DISTRIBUTION: My site, LJ, fanfiction.net, just email me if you are interested!

SPOILERS/CHANGES: Takes place during “The Harsh Light of Day” in season 4.  Parker has walked Buffy to her dorm room when the scene begins.

FEEDBACK: I welcome comments, but no flames!

SUMMARY: Giles attempts to find Buffy before things really heat up between her and Parker.

NOTES:  Thoughts are in single quotes. ‘…’   This is in response to a challenge by mrsdrake on buffy_giles LJ comm. 

    --Set during 'Harsh Light of Day.' Some how Giles learns of Parker's reputation (maybe Willow or Oz hears something and mentions it to him). Giles finds Buffy before she kisses Parker. Giles kisses her in front of Parker after telling her that he would explain later.

    --Optional: Buffy saying something like 'not really old and definitely not gross.'

PAIRINGS/CHARACTERS: Buffy/Giles, Willow, Oz,

DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.

DATE:  6/30/04

    “Willow, Oz, where are they?”  Giles rushed up the steps of Stevenson Hall, hoping he’d make it in time.

    “Where are who?  Giles, what’s wrong?” Willow stopped on her step and turned to face a panting Giles.

    “Buffy.  And that-that boy,” he snarled as he spoke.

    “Oh, Parker?”  Willow was giddy, oblivious to Giles’ hurry and his annoyance.  “I hope they’re in our room by now, making with the smoochies,” she continued on.  “Why?  What’s going on?  Something bad?”  Willow glanced at a silent Oz, and thought maybe he looked more pensive than normal, if that was possible. 

    Giles didn’t say anything but began to race up the remaining steps.  He bust through the stairwell door and flew down the hall just in time to see Buffy lean into Parker, almost a kiss.

    “Buffy!” Giles ran towards her, watching her face pass through all the emotions of annoyance, surprise, confusion and fright as she pulled back from Parker. 

    “Giles?  Wh—” Her question was silenced by the fierce embrace Giles suddenly caught her in.

    “I’ll explain later,” he whispered into her ear.  He pulled back a bit and turned her so her back was to a bewildered Parker, mouth gaping open, not at all prepared for the continuation of the scene.  Giles pulled Buffy’s head toward his own gently, but firm enough to silently communicate his intentions.  His eyes were shining and his cheeks were flushed, a smile played upon his lips reassuringly.  He saw—or felt, maybe—something shift in Buffy’s eyes and she accepted the chaste kiss he placed upon her lips.  Stunned into stillness, it was all she could do just to comprehend, let alone try to respond to the kiss.

    After a small eternity, Giles stepped slightly back, and smoothed her hair.  “Buffy, love, let’s not fight any longer,” he smiled almost wickedly as he fell further into his role.

    “Wha—fi—huh?” was all Buffy could sputter out.

    “Who is your little friend, dear?” Giles’ voice turned cold and sharp.  She turned in his arms to look upon a befuddled Parker.  Giles held her hand tightly, trying to keep her with him in the charade.  They both knew she could easily pull away if she desired, but he was glad when he felt her relax into his hand. 

    “Oh, um, I-I’m Parker.  Abrahams.  Uh, sir,” Parker managed to get out and half extended a hand, which Giles pointedly ignored. 


    “And just what were you doing with my girl?” Giles pushed further, enjoying watching Parker squirm.  He accentuated the ‘my girl’ part by pulling Buffy closer to his side and squeezing her abdomen lightly.  Buffy leaned into him, lost as to what was going on, but not really wanting it to end.

    “Well, I…I was…I mean, noth—um, I don’t…nothing.  Just talking.  Really,” Parker stumbled over sounds and words, visibly shaken. 

    “Mm.  I suggest you stay away from here on out.  Understood?”  He nodded curtly at the boy’s confused expression.  “And darling,” he turned to Buffy with a slight wink, “please, you know how jealous I can be.”

    “Um, right.  See you around, I guess…” Parker stepped back and hurried away, nearly colliding with Willow and Oz not twenty feet away.  Willow was rooted to the ground and couldn’t take her eyes off Giles and Buffy.  Her mouth hung open, silenced by the events. 

    As soon as Parker was gone, Buffy turned to Giles, still awash in confusion.  “What the hell was that?!” 

    Giles took a step back at the hostility in her voice and body language.  Willow finally located her motor functions and had moved to their door, ushering everyone inside.

    “I had to save you,” Giles said limply.

    “Save me?!  What kind of a line is that?”  Buffy paced around the room, flailing her arms.  “Parker wasn’t a demon, Giles; unless he was a very sweet, very nice demon who takes people out on several great dates!”

    Willow also had been able to find her voice.  “Things were going great for Buffy, for once, Giles.  Why’d you go and muddle it all up?”  Oz smiled slightly at his girlfriend’s defense of her best friend.  It was admirable, but both Giles’ and Oz’s expressions felt it was also misplaced.

    Giles sighed and slumped onto Buffy’s bed.  Oz was lounging on Willow’s, attempting to stay out of the scene.  Giles glanced over at the frowning young man, hoping for some support.  Oz’s stoic air surrounded him, forcing Giles to speak alone.

    “Buffy, please, stop pacing.  Sit down and hear me out,” he tried, reaching for her.

    “You kissed me!” Buffy blurted out, still pacing.

    “Yes, yes I did,” Giles affirmed slowly.  His glasses were off by now, and he was fiddling with them.  “It was the best idea at the time…” he sighed.

    “Idea to do what?”  Buffy’s confusion won over her outrage and she finally plopped onto the bed next to him.

    While staring intently at Giles’ face, Buffy could sense movement behind her.  She heard soft whispering and shuffling, and when she heard a door close, Buffy knew Willow and Oz had left. 

    “Giles, just tell me what’s going on,” she coaxed.

    “Oz told me…about that boy...” he began hesitantly.

    “Oz?  What’d he say?  About Parker?”

    “Buffy, please let me finish.”  She bowed her head in silent concession and he continued on.

    “Oz spoke to me about…Parker.  He has a…reputation.  He told me Parker has a nasty habit of luring young women into…falling for his story.  Sad past, learn to live, that sort of line.  Then he has his fun with them, drops them…and begins again.  Preys again.”  Buffy’s look changed from one of utter confusion to blind anger and betrayal.  Every dark shadow that passed her face caused Giles to grimace in self-loathing inside. 

    “How would you know?  I’m not that stupid, I mean, how do you now he didn’t really…” her voice cracked and faltered.  Buffy swallowed back a lump forming in the back of her throat, refusing to cry so easily.

    Giles reached out and covered the hands on her lap with one of his own.  The other hand drew her chin up to face him.

    “Oz was concerned and didn’t want you to get hurt,” Giles said tenderly.  ‘Neither did I…’ he added in his thoughts.

    “Then why didn’t he just say anything himself?”

    “He’s Oz.  He told me instead.  Figured I’d bloody do something about it I suppose.”

    “But he didn’t tell Willow?”

    “I gather not.”

    Buffy sighed and attempted to pull herself together.  “Giles, I-I have to go.”  She stood up quickly and left him alone in her room, upset at himself and bewildered at the situation he created.

    After a few moments of wallowing, Giles got up and left.  ‘I’d best follow her.’

    Buffy had no direction in mind as she hurried out of Stevenson Hall.  Once on the main campus walk, she slowed, sluggishly walking but mind racing.

    ‘That was…crazy!  But not bad…Snap out of it, Buffy!  Oh, come on, you can’t deny that kiss wasn’t great, I mean really!’  Her mind battled itself internally as she replayed the recent events.

    Almost ten minutes passed and Giles knew she was oblivious to the fact he was following her at a safe distance.  He had a feeling she might go searching for Parker—if she found him, he didn’t want to be far away.

    He was right.  Though not consciously, Buffy scanned the crowds for any sign of Parker.  She was near the library when she finally spotted him.  He was talking to a girl from her history class.  The girl was on a bench and Parker leaned into her, standing with one foot on the bench seat.  He looked fine, normal, as if nothing odd had happened recently.  Buffy inched closer to hear their conversation.

    “I mean it really hit me hard, you know, my Dad.  Since then I just don’t put stuff off anymore.  It’s about living for now,” he was saying as she stopped behind him.

    “Parker?”  Buffy questioned, her voice barely above a whisper.

    He didn’t hear her, or just ignored her, coaxing the girl on the bench up.  “How about a cup of coffee?  I’d love to hear more about you.”  He led the entranced girl, nonchalantly placing his arm around her waist as the walked off.

    Buffy’s breathing became labored as she dealt with the scene.  ‘Giles was right.  Oz was right.  They had to be.  If Parker really cared, he’d be trying to find a way to talk to me, see what happened and if he still had a chance.  Instead, he’s already moved on…in under a half an hour…’

    She sat heavily on the newly vacated bench and sighed.  “Love sucks,” she said aloud.

    “Not always,” came a gentle rebuttal from behind the bench.

    She turned eagerly and saw Giles standing above her, looking adorably sheepish.

    “You were right, Giles.  I am such an idiot,” she mumbled.  Buffy’s face fell and she couldn’t meet his gaze.

    “I believe I’m the bloody fool here.  At least I can see I was right.  I am sorry about that, Buffy.”  The sincerity in his voice caused her to glance up at him.  He was attempting a small, comforting smile, but it was overshadowed by the sadness the rest of his body exuded.

    “Yeah, well, it’s not like it should surprise me, really,” she tried to lighten the mood, but ended up only darkening her spirits.

    Giles moved around the bench and sat next to her, leaning into her earnestly.  “Buffy,” he moved to take her hand again, and then stopped suddenly.  “You deserve so much more.  So much more than—him.” Giles paused momentarily before deciding to plunge on, with everything to lose, but wanting her to understand.  “You are a beautiful, talented, loving woman, and any man should feel privileged if you should even cast them a glance.  However, no pillock boy could even understand that, and is therefore not worthy of your attentions.”

    She stared at him in stunned silence.  ‘I never knew Giles noticed or thought about me in that way,’ Buffy thought.  ‘But…I like it…’

    “Buffy?”  Giles asked haltingly when he realized she was lost in her thoughts.

    “Oh, Giles!”  Buffy lunged forward and caught him in a warm, tight hug.  “I love you!”  She gasped as the words tumbled out of her mouth.  She hadn’t meant to vocalize what her heart had for so long been signaling to her, but her mind could only now process.

    Before he could even reply, Buffy caught Giles’ mouth in a desperate, wanting kiss.  He returned it full force and Buffy could feel strong emotions and desires coursing through her body, tugging at her center.  She pulled back reluctantly to gaze into his warm eyes.

    “Buffy—?”  His voice was hesitant and soft, but full of love.

    “I’m sorry, Giles, I just…wow.”

    “Indeed.  What happened to ‘very, very ol-’” he started to quote her when she shushed him with another kiss.

    “Not really old, and definitely not gross,” she smiled at him.

    “I didn’t think you would ever see me as anything but…” he returned the smile and visibly relaxed.  “I do love you, Buffy.  I always have.”

    “I know you do.  I’m just sorry it took me so long to realize how much I love you back.”

    “I’m a patient man.”

    “And I love you even more for it.”  She paused and glanced around her.  “Hey, if you want, we could go…somewhere else that’s not…so public?”


    “Yes, I was attempting originally to preserve your reputation.  Let’s not go and create a new one on this bench, shall we?”  He rose and extended an arm.  Buffy took it, beaming at him.

    “At least not in the daylight—yet,” she replied coyly.  He kissed her forehead, and nose, then her lips again.  Giles gazed at Buffy happily then led her down campus walk, both of them glowing.