Prompt: 42. Relationships
Word count: 2300
Table: Complete smut_69 prompt table
Notes: BDSM kink. A Blackmail!verse story.
Buffy brushed out her hair. Giles did not own a hair dryer. She'd forgotten that. It had been ages since she'd spent a night here and showered with Giles' funky soap. Funky soap, which had at least smelled chocolatey, and worse shampoo. And no conditioner. She'd have to bring some of her papaya stuff over, something that she could be sure wasn't making her split ends worse. And some clothes. She'd stashed some clean panties in her messenger bag, but it would be nice to have a fresh shirt. Something Saturday-morning perky.
She wandered out to the flat's main room, brushing thoughtfully. A drawer. She should take over one of his dresser drawers.
The front door rattled. Then somebody hammered on it. Giles leaned over the pass-through and looked at the door, then at Buffy. "May I ask you to answer that, Buffy?"
"No prob." Buffy slid the bolt open and twisted open the lock on the doorknob. She pulled the door back. Sunlight and an anxious Xander poured through.
"You okay? Giles okay? Never seen that door locked before. What?"
Buffy made a tilty-headed dumb-blonde expression at Xander. "Sorry, Xan. Didn't realize you were in the habit of walking in here."
Xander shrugged, and grinned, and his anxiety vanished. "See, I'd like to be. It smells nice in here. Like breakfast. I am digging that."
Giles' voice floated in from the kitchen. "Ah. I see. Should I be making more French toast, then?"
"Wouldn't say no," Xander said cheerfully. "You make good French toast."
Xander and Buffy installed themselves on the stools at Giles' kitchen counter. Giles handed a plate of French toast to Buffy, along with a fork. Xander watched the plate move from hand to hand closely. Butter and a shaker full of cinnamon and sugar were already set out. Buffy slathered both on. She ate a chunk of cinnamon-y egg-y bread. Seriously good stuff. Xander watched her with the air of a man who regretted every bite that wasn't going in his own mouth.
"Xan. Gilesy breakfast is a good reason to be here, I admit, but your urgency level seemed high for mere breakfast. Even for you."
"Oh, right! There was a reason. Yeah. Willow called, looking for you. Because Riley pounded on the dorm door at two AM wanting to know where you were."
Buffy rolled her eyes.
"Funny, that's exactly what Willow said to him, only much more politely and at much greater length with actual words, 'cause she's Willow. But he appeared again this morning still in a lather, so she called me. So here I am, about to eat Giles's delicious French toasties."
Xander took the plate Giles handed over. Giles turned back to the stove. Buffy watched him dip more bread into batter. It was so unreal, to look at him now, in baggy corduroy pants and one of those oversized shirts he was always wearing, and remember what he looked like naked and hard and dripping with sweat. What he looked like coming underneath her.
Giles turned and stuck another two pieces of toast on Xander's plate, then carried his own plate out of the kitchen to his desk. He caught her eye and held it while he sat. His face didn't change, but Buffy knew he was feeling every one of those ten stripes. She'd taken a good look at them earlier, and they were deep bruises. Buffy felt herself get a little excited, just thinking about what they looked like. How Giles had writhed. How thrilling it was to think that under his clothes, he had marks she'd given him.
Buffy gave him a tiny grin, then ate her last piece of French toast. Giles bent to his breakfast.
Xander kicked her. Buffy looked over at him. Xander pointed to his neck, then pointed over at Giles. The hickey was completely obvious over the loose neck of Giles's shirt. Xander made a wide-eyed comic face, then an impressed hand gesture. Then he stuffed more toast in. Buffy giggled. He'd make an even funnier face when he found out who'd bitten Giles.
The front door opened. Buffy was so going to get into the habit of bolting that thing. "Hey! Smells good in here."
Willow came in, followed by Tara. Tara ducked her head apologetically and shut the door behind them.
Giles waved his fork, then swallowed. "No more," he said.
"That's okay, we ate."
"Willow had a coupon for wheatgrass juice at the co-op, so we went there for something healthy. I think it was healthy. It tasted healthy. You know."
"Terrible," said Xander, with his mouth full.
"Exactly," said Tara. Buffy decided right then that she liked Tara about fifty times more than she'd expected to. There was something about the way the mischief was visible at the corners of her eyes.
"Anyway, we're here because Riley said there was a demon and he was worried about you. We weren't worried, but we thought you ought to know about this demon. It was standing--"
"The HST was standing in the intersection of MLK and Avenida de las Pulgas downtown," said somebody at the door. Buffy snapped around, on alert. Sunshine in the doorway, however, and the voice was Riley's. He took a step inside and shut the door behind him. "It was swinging this weird metal thing on a chain. Smoke everywhere. Smelled like church, only weirder. Dunno what it was."
"Thurible," said Giles, promptly. "Interesting. What did it look like?"
"Metal, silvery, chain less than one meter in length--"
"No, the demon, juggins." Giles stood and carried his plate to the kitchen, collecting Buffy's and Xander's along the way.
"Oh. Our report said two meters tall, a single back-swept horn and a tail."
"Hoofed feet?" said Giles, voice raised over dish clatter.
Giles came back from the kitchen. "Single horn, hoofs. The species was undoubtedly a Chuffer. Though what it was doing censing an intersection, I don't know. What time?"
"First report just past midnight."
"Oh ho!" said Willow.
"Was it asking to learn to play the guitar?" Xander said.
"Never mind," Buffy told Riley.
Giles was already burrowing in the shelves, pulling out books. This made Buffy nervous. She went over to him. "Scoop?"
"It's quite easy to kill. Use wood. A stake, a wooden knife. I have a couple you can use, in the weapons chest. You should have no trouble."
"So why the research?"
"Crossroads at midnight are mystically powerful. Might be up to something. Something more menacing than learning to play a musical instrument."
Giles handed Buffy a standard demonology and requested that she look up the Chuffer. He gave Xander the index of demon religions that Buffy hated to look through, because it didn't have an index and was in order by some weird religion classification scheme the author had invented that was not alphabetical. Buffy flopped onto the couch with the book.
Riley sat next to her. "So where were you last night?"
Dammit. She and Giles hadn't had time for that talk on tactics he'd told her he wanted. He'd seemed to think there was something she wasn't thinking through with Riley. That was interesting. Giles, in saying that she needed to think tactically about her dealings with Riley, was implying that Riley was an enemy. Why?
Buffy considered Riley. He was smiling at her. A typical concerned boyfriend. "Why?" she said.
"I was worried when I couldn't find you," he said.
"I was here all night," Buffy said, which was the absolute truth. Something about what Riley had said irritated her. What? He didn't seem angry or annoyed. Just concerned.
"I didn't think to look for you here," Riley said, still the picture of the earnest boyfriend.
Buffy opened her demonology to the index. "Probably should get used to it."
"Giles and I had a long talk last night," Buffy said. She saw Giles color slightly and look down at the book in his lap. "We agreed some stuff needed to change. I need to start training again. So we made it official. He's my Watcher again."
"Cool," said Xander.
"That's really good news," Willow said.
"I'm very happy for both of you," Tara said. Buffy looked at her for a second, wondering if Tara had figured it out. She had the fewest preconceived notions about them, Buffy guessed.
"Wow. I'm really surprised."
Riley's voice was polite, and his face was carefully bland. Buffy kept her voice just as calm.
"We didn't discuss it," Riley said.
"Why would I discuss that with you?"
"Because I'm your boyfriend. I help you make decisions like that."
"No, you don't," said Buffy. "That's Watcher-Slayer business. I don't consult with you about this any more than you consulted with me about going for that parachute certification."
"But the Army is my job--" Riley seemed to realize what he'd said, because he stopped.
"Got it in one. You jump out of planes with guns for a living, and I Slay." Buffy gave him her perkiest smile. Then she didn't want to be sitting next to him any more. She picked up her book and carried it over to Giles' desk.
Giles had stood when she did, and was waiting beside his chair, which he pulled out to offer to her. He inclined his head to her, just enough for her to notice. He'd always been polite, with doors and chairs and so on, but this was a step further. This wasn't a game to him, she realized. He was demonstrating his respect, which was sincere and heartfelt and deep. She sat, and touched his hand in thanks. Giles went over to the kitchen pass-through with his book to stand and read.
Buffy held her hand over her mouth. She'd just figured something out.
She set it aside for now and opened the demonology. Time for work. For looking up this Chuffer thing, which had a name so silly that she was stumped trying to find a funny way to mispronounce it. That ought to be against the rules, as far as Buffy was concerned. She paged to the right section and started reading.
Five minutes later, Willow squeaked. "Ew! And yay me. I just found out what it's doing. It's trying to open a portal to Chufferland. So it can send back the dogs it collected. Which it eats. Last time it showed up in 1956 in New Jersey, it ate every single pet dog in town. Starting with the ones in the pound."
"I second your ew," said Buffy.
"Thirded," said Tara.
"Motion carried," said Xander.
Giles closed his book. "Well, then. Kill it and have done."
"How are you going to do that? Our bullets bounced right off."
"Oh, Giles already told me how to kill it."
Buffy didn't bother telling Riley how. He wouldn't believe her anyway. He was still not sure he bought that the Slayer wasn't a myth, even though Buffy had killed vamps right in front of his nose. He usually scoffed at the research stuff Giles did, and supplied his own reasons for why the tactics worked anyway. He said they were the rational ones, he and Professor Walsh and the Initiative. But didn't being rational mean taking in all the available information and reasoning about it? Okay, now he was sulking, and that was not what Buffy wanted. He was a nice guy, Riley was, maybe clueless sometimes, but he meant well. And he liked her. There was no point in hurting him.
Even if he didn't respect her calling and that meant the relationship was toast, eventually.
Think tactically. Buffy thought. Then she went over to Riley and popped up on her toes to kiss him.
"Don't fuss. The Slayer is on the job. We'll save the cute puppies."
She went over to Giles' weapons chest, where he kept the good stuff, and burrowed around until she came up with a wooden knife. She held it up to show Giles, and he nodded. She stuck it into her messenger bag.
"Hey, guys, I gotta hit the dorm soon. I have a paper to write for my lit class."
"Ooh, yeah, I have to work on my second draft for that one," Willow said. "Library time?"
"Yeah, think so," said Buffy. "Giles, I'll call ya when I've killed the Hufflepuff demon, okay?"
He smiled at her, just a brief flash, but for once refrained from correcting her. "I'll expect you tomorrow morning for our first session, Buffy. I'll give you a workout plan then. And some other material."
The gang packed up to head out together, the students back to campus and Xander to some place where he could watch Saturday morning cartoons in color. Or so he said. Buffy suspect him of heading off to find Anya for a session of whatever it was they did that left Xander looking so happy these days.
Giles saw them all off at his front door. Buffy watched the others head up the stairs to the street, then stepped close to Giles in the doorway.
"Hey. Giles. Watcher."
Giles inclined his head to her. "Yes, my Slayer?"
"I'm gonna come by after patrol. Not sure when. Maybe midnight or so. I want to find you naked except for the collar. In bed. And I want you to have your favorite plug ready."
She watched his throat work as he swallowed. Then he smiled at her, just a little quirk of his lips. "As you wish."
Beautiful. He was going to spend all day anticipating it.
Continued in "Lies".