Ficlet: Eat your darn cake

Happy birthday to Anthony Stewart Head, my favorite chinny British actor!

I'm told it's also Rupert Giles' birthday. I have a ficlet as a birthday present for him.

Title: Eat your darn cake
Pairing: Giles/cake
Blah blah header. Blah blah disclaimer. Blah blah I probably yank season 1 chronology around. Frothy.
FRC at worst. Should be rated "Safe for infants".

Giles ripped open the shipping container. Addison-Wesley, likely entirely boring watered-down history textbooks, but he did love the smell. Freshly-printed books, ink, binding glue. Ah. Not the history texts, but the new algebra books. Giles pulled the shipping slip from its plastic blister on the box and did the paperwork. It wasn't much different from what he'd done at the museum. Only that had been about cataloging shards of pottery, not new textbooks.

It was his birthday today, but fortunately no one knew. He did hate having a fuss made. Especially when the fuss was made by people who barely knew him.

He got out the rubber stamp and the inkpad. Property of Sunnydale High School, in blue-black ink, fifty times on the inside front cover. Stamp. Stamp. Stamp. Thirty-eight. Thirty-nine. Forty.

Forty-three. A prime number. Otherwise entirely un-noteworthy. Giles began attaching inventory tags to textbooks, and also compiling a mental list. A gloomy list. Things he'd really thought he'd have accomplished in his life by this age. Here he was gluing pockets into books. At least he'd finally been given a Slayer.

His mind wandered to his training plan for Buffy. She'd started to listen to him after that incident with the witch, which was something. She'd shown no interest in the esoteric topics or in learning Latin, but her eyes had lit up when he'd shown her the padded quarterstaves. No on crystals, yes on karate.

She was the strangest girl.

The doors to his library slammed open. Giles spun around to deliver a sharp rebuke, but his mouth hung open silently. Buffy, Willow, Xander, and that girl Cordelia were advancing on him. They had a cake on a plate, obviously home-made, with white frosting inexpertly applied. Strawberries were mounded over it. And stuck into it, almost but not quite dead-center, was a single lit candle.

They plonked it down on his circulation desk, on top of a stack of new books, along with a jug of some pinkish liquid and a number of paper plates. Then, to Giles' horror, they began singing "Happy Birthday". Lord, it was exactly the fuss he'd wanted to miss.

Cordelia wasn't singing. She had her arms folded, her eyes rolling, and her foot tapping. Willow was dreadfully flat. Xander was in decent voice, and Buffy, surprisingly, best of all. He flushed darker as it proceeded. By the time it ended, he wondered his ears hadn't turned to crisps, they were so hot.

"Happy birthday, Watcher-guy." Willow hugged him, Xander punched his shoulder, and Buffy made an odd hand-gesture at him.

"How d-did you know? Willow, did you break into school records again?"

"Nope. I did it. Lifted your wallet," said Buffy.

"Bloody hell." Her only response to his glare was a flip of her hair and a bright grin.

Xander handed him a knife, and he held it and stared at the cake, befuddled. Then Buffy took it from him and hacked it through the cake a few times. Chocolate underneath all the frosting and strawberries, Giles noted. Buffy began sliding messy slabs onto plates.

"I made this. I hope you like strawberries," she said, uncertainly.

"I bought the frosting, so that's going to be the best part," said Cordelia.

"I brought punch," Willow said.

"Hey, don't glare at me, G-man. I'm just here to eat it. And guess what? You're gonna eat your cake too."

Xander shoved a paper plate at him. Giles took it and held it, still resisting. His Slayer gripped his elbow and marched him to a chair at the study table, with inexorable strength.

"Cake *and* punch, and you're gonna like it. You should be grateful. We talked Willow out of those little party hats and those honk-y things."

Buffy made a face at him, and he melted suddenly. His Slayer could fuss over him whenever she wished. He grinned at her.

"I love strawberries," he said. "Thank you." She handed him a white plastic fork. Giles ate his cake, and beamed.
Awwww! So sweet! Good job with the early high shool years voices.
I am sliding into high school voice mode these days for the tenyearsofbuffy/Holmes/Shiva statuette story :)
We just had a big German pancake for dinner in honor of the pancake day. That's high up on my list of yum.
Aww, librarian!Giles! I love to see him actual doing, you know, work related to his day job. And aww, Buffy cooked for him!
Remind me to confess how I put myself through college some day.

I imagine that cake as being entirely sloppy but well-intentioned from Buffy in domestic mania mode. Pangs!Buffy, only with a less advanced case.
But one can imagine them striking terror in the heart of the season 1 Giles! By sombrero time, he'd relaxed enough for even noise-making party favors.
An Antennapedia fic is always just the very thing. This is completely aww worthy. You have such affection for Giles and it just beams through this lovely little fic.
I am being very very mean to him in the long thing I'm working on right now, and am compensating by being overly nice in these short things. (Perhaps I could arrange to have him frozen in a tank? Eeek on that story, btw, and I blame you entirely for recommending it. Wow.)
Yes, it's been quite the ride. Deb doesn't back away from challenging images and situations. I admire her courage as a writer. Always draws me into her stories, makes me completely fascinated no matter how much it makes the hair at the back of my neck stand up.
I deffinitely come down on the side of cake for Giles' birthday. Very sweet (no pun intended)!
Awwwwwwwwwww! I love it! It's so cute!

Plus, PROPS and MORE PROPS to you for not using that horribly tired old "Buffy never remembers Giles's birthday because she's such a bitch" routine. It drives me nuts. This? Was great.
Buffy is sometimes a horrible person. I wonder if there is a meta-point here, about how the demands of Slaying just destroy somebody. And someday I will write a depressing story about how the people around her just keep on putting up with the ruined human being that is Buffy, until she dies, at which time they're all released and relieved. Perhaps a story in which I crank up the bad behavior at the end of season 5, and make her choice to commit suicide quite explicit. Or maybe a season 7 nasty fix-it, where they dump her and fight the First earlier and more effectively, leaving her to sulk.

Sorry. I love early-seasons Buffy, and I agree: no way the 16-year-old Buffy would skip people's birthdays out of selfishness.
Awww, how sweet! And yay, cake! Though pie is the celebratory dessert of choice in my family, good cake is very, very good.

*snuggles Giles*
How nice that Giles finally got some recognition--and cake! And how good that Cordelia didn't sing since she's clearly awful at it. I'm a total sucker for fluffy Buffy/Giles fic even if they are just friends. I've always felt that her not being more involved with her Watcher, one way or another, was not really true to life. For one thing, who could resist Giles? I mean really? You've got to be made of tougher stuff than most sixteen year old girls have to give all that Gilesy goodness a miss.
Huh. Actually, now that I think about it, I got that character detail wrong. Cordelia would have sung, horribly. Willow would have refrained. Poor Willow.

I just think young Buffy was a sweet person, and no way would she have ignored her Watcher's birthday.
Well, yes...seeing how the writers gave him a really tragic love life and repeated blows to the head.

The man deserves some peace, quiet, and cake!
Awwww, de-grumpified Giles. He's such a softie at heart. So much love for this ficlet. Thank you! :D