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FIC: Driftwood, BtVS (Buffy/Giles), NC17

Title: Driftwood
Fandom/Pairing: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: NC17
Word Count: 2,391
Warnings/Notes: Written for qldfloodauction for lynnylou, who requested Buffy/Giles with an established relationship and kink. Set post-S7. Thanks to laeria for all her idea-bouncing and beta-ing help! Also up at my DW. No content notes apply.
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related settings and characters belong to Joss Whedon. No profit is made from this work, and no infringement is intended.
Summary: “You’re off your game," he says. “Normally you’d have had me on my back in five minutes.”



After six months in Richmond, they decide to move to Minneapolis. They get a house at the corner of 39th Ave and Lake Street, turning the basement into a training room and the biggest room on the ground floor into the offices of Giles's mail-order magic supply business. The neighborhood is quiet and residential, perfect for keeping a low profile, and within a week a handful of activated Potential Slayers have trickled in from around the Upper Midwest. Buffy settles the girls into the two upstairs bedrooms and establishes a rigorous training schedule. Giles can’t help but feel proud, watching his Slayer guide half a dozen of her own students through a basic sparring drill.

“I think I’m really getting the hang of this teaching thing,” she says thoughtfully. She’s curled up on his office couch, watching him parcel out potion ingredients from tiny jars into even tinier plastic bags.

“And to think, we only had to go through seven cities for you to get to this point,” he teases.

She leans over to punch him on the shoulder, then winces, inspecting her fingers.

“Did you pull something?” Giles asks, concerned. “You’ve been working very hard.”

“No,” Buffy says absentmindedly. “Broke a nail. Dang it!”

Giles rolls his eyes.

The summer is lovely, with warm evenings and just enough trouble from a local nest of vampires to keep things interesting. Dawn comes to visit, gushing about all her friends from college and how awesome Willow’s new apartment is. She gives the Potentials a few tips on balancing schoolwork and the supernatural and then flies back off to California. In August, a few of their school-aged charges go back home; Giles makes sure that those to stay are enrolled in local schools.

Fall comes gradually, cool September breezes blowing away the humidity and mosquitos of August, and then in mid-October everything changes: fall turns into winter, and winter... stays. For months. The sun comes out most days, but the temperature never climbs higher than ten degrees Fahrenheit, and often dips well below zero. In the mornings, the Potentials hover by the door until the bus is mere feet from the stop, then race to catch it, minimizing the time spent in the cold. They keep the heaters blowing around the clock, so the house is a comfortable sixty-five degrees, but the air feels stale, dry. Giles can’t watch Buffy’s training sessions from his office window any more — the back yard is piled too high with snow for drills. The girls try practicing in the basement, but it just isn’t big enough for full-fledged group training. At the end of December, Buffy calls for a pause in their training schedule. She’ll just keep patrolling on her own, she says; the Potentials can start back up when the weather improves.

Giles has to agree with her decision for practical reasons, but it worries him. It had been Buffy’s idea to start moving around the country the way they have been, finding Potentials whose powers had been woken by Willow’s spell years ago and training them into competent Slayers. Giles is ostensibly just along for the ride, providing a steady if modest source of income and a thin veneer of adult responsibility if the authorities ever come calling. He knows Buffy would probably say they’re on a mission, taking the fight directly to the forces of evil. Giles would say the same, but he can’t help but think that their constant pilgrimage is less action and more reaction, the coping strategy of someone who has had too much responsibility and not enough stability in her life.

His suspicions are confirmed every once in a while, when Buffy stays motionless for too long, and whatever emotional demons she’s been running from catch up. She never melts down — she barely even lets on that anything is wrong. She just fades away, disappearing into routine and rumination.
Giles knows how to pull her back down to earth, but every time she starts drifting scares him more than the last.

With that in mind, he starts keeping a closer eye on her. With so much extra time on her hands, she seems lost. She tries to help him with orders, which always pick up around the end of the year, but grows bored after a few days. Her patrols grow longer and longer, with no real cause — much like the local humans, the local vampires tend to limit their activities during the coldest part of the year. She comes back each night looking half-frozen, and each night the cold, dead look in her eyes takes longer and longer to thaw.

Slowly but surely, the distance between them gets worse, until it's one in the morning and Buffy still isn't home from her nightly patrol. Giles makes himself six cups of tea in an hour and a half, pacing between his office and the kitchen and the front window. He’s about to get his coat and boots and go looking for her when he hears the crash of the gate swinging shut and muffled footsteps on the front stairs.

Buffy walks in, stripping off various layers of outerwear as she goes. She’s down to a sweater and her snow pants before she notices Giles, hovering by the sink with his tea.

“Hey there,” she says with a forced smile. “I didn’t think you’d be up.”

Giles swallows, giving himself a minute before he speaks. “Trouble on patrol tonight?”

Buffy shrugs. “Not really.” She sits down to take her boots off, methodically untying the laces.

Giles watches her for a moment, noting the fixedness of her stare. “Right, then,” he says. “I’m off to bed.”

Buffy doesn’t say anything. It’s another half an hour before she comes to bed — Giles is still awake, jittery from too much caffeine — and she climbs in silently, curling onto her side away from him.

The next morning, Giles sets his outstanding orders aside, unplugs his office phone, and goes to find Buffy.

She's in the kitchen, eating a bowl of cereal and staring blankly at the far wall. She's drawn so far into herself that she doesn't hear him coming, but she doesn't jump when he puts a hand on her shoulder.

"Did you have plans for the morning?" Giles asks. "I thought we might do some training downstairs."

Buffy smiles at him (although the smile doesn't reach her eyes) and shrugs. "No big plans. Feeling nostalgic?"

"I've been thinking about the past, yes," Giles says. He searches her gaze for any sign that she recognizes the double meaning in his words, but her eyes are empty, lifeless.

Buffy pushes her cereal bowl away and hops off her chair. “Well, let’s get to it, then.”

Even though Buffy has been the teacher instead of the student for almost two years now, her motions going through her usual warm-up routine are flawless, one stretch leading seamlessly into the next. When she’s finished, she looks at Giles expectantly, and he waves her toward the punching bag, naming a basic hand-to-hand combat drill for her to start. She begins the series of kicks and punches, completing each set with mechanical precision. Giles picks up a short staff from the rack in the corner, circling carefully behind her. She doesn’t seem to notice his movement, all her energy focused in completing the drill he assigned.

He steps in while she's shifting her weight for another kick, reaching in with his staff and sweeping her feet out from under her. Buffy drops and rolls, springing back up, and when she looks at him there’s genuine confusion in her eyes.

"Giles?"

He doesn't respond, just goes in for the attack, his staff whirling in a complicated pattern of blows. Buffy knows this combination drill, and blocks every stroke perfectly -- until Giles steps out instead of back, throwing her off-balance. He gets his staff in front of one of her feet and shoves, sending her sprawling to the ground again.

When she pops back up again, she's already in the ready position, a look of intense concentration on her face.

Giles attacks without warning. Buffy parries, almost catching his staff, but he whips the end around unexpectedly and catches her in the stomach. She coughs and hits backs, striking out in a pattern he taught her at the very beginning of their training. Giles turns the drill into a variation he doesn't think she's ever seen before. Buffy frowns and blocks clumsily.

“I have a confession to make,” Giles says, knocking her off-balance and stepping out of the way of her retaliatory punch. “I didn’t bring you down here for a regular training session.”

“I’m starting to realize that,” Buffy says, her frown deepening a bit. She tries to go on the offensive, but Giles dances backwards, and her kick goes wide.

“You’re off your game.” Giles jabs her in the side and the back of the knee in quick succession, not quite dodging the kick she aims at his ribs. “Normally you’d have had me on my back in five minutes.”

“I’m fine, Giles,” she snaps. “I’m just going easy on you.”

Giles sweeps her feet out from under her instead of responding. She pops up again, her movements tense and angry, but he’s already rushing at her, backing her up against the wall with his staff under her chin.

"You're not," Giles says, his eyes piercing. "You're drifting, Buffy. You know I can see it." She struggles, trying to elbow her way free, and he increases the pressure of his staff, angling it lower so it captures her arms. "I've seen it every time before."

“Giles—“

“And I’ve pulled you out of it,” he says, ignoring her. “I know exactly how to do it, now.” He lowers his voice, leaning in to whisper in her ear. “I know you remember.”

Buffy is shaking, filled with emotion like he hasn't felt from her in weeks. “You don’t have to rescue me,” she grits out from between clenched teeth. “I’m supposed to be the superhero.”

“And yet here we are,” Giles says. Buffy thrashes against his grip, and Giles leans on the staff with one hand, freeing his other hand to grab her chin, making her look straight at him.

“There’s nothing wrong with needing to be rescued,” he says. “You just need to let me know when you need it.”

Buffy's eyes are shining with tears, but there’s still a cloud there, a film of indifference covering the life Giles knows is there. “Giles,” she says, her voice cracking. “I’m sorry, I—“

Giles leans in, capturing her lips with his own. She moans, some of the tension leaving her body, and Giles drops the staff with a clatter and grabs her wrists, locking one of them into the shackles bolted high up on the wall. Buffy squeaks in surprise and twists, trying to break free, but Giles clicks the other shackle closed around her second wrist. He cups her face in his hands.

“No need for apologies,” he says firmly. “But I’m not letting you slip away.”

Buffy wraps her hands around the chains of the shackles, anchoring herself, and hooks a leg around the back of his knee, pulling him close. “Prove it,” she breathes into his mouth.

Giles kisses her hard, slamming her back against the wall. “Don’t mind if I do,” he growls. He lifts her tank top and sports bra, shoving the cotton and elastic up and out of the way. Her breath picks up when he cups her breasts, pinching her nipples. He kisses the side of her neck, gentle at first, and when he suddenly bites down just below her jaw she gasps. He moves back up to her mouth, kissing her roughly, and she gives as good as she’s getting, biting at his lips and fighting her way into his mouth with her tongue. Giles puts his hands on her hips, fingers inching closer to the waistband of her sweats, and she hums into his mouth, loosening her grip on his waist.

By the time Giles steps back to pull her pants off, Buffy is smiling wickedly at him, eyes dancing. Giles’s heartbeat doubles in pace, and he shoves her sweats and panties down in one smooth motion, immediately stepping forward to kiss her again. Buffy grabs the chains at her wrists, using them to hoist herself up, and wraps her legs around his waist. She’s already wet, and when she arches against the bulge in the front of his trousers, he can feel her, wet and ready for him. Giles shudders. Buffy grins, baring her teeth, and strains forward to mouth at his neck.

“Come on, Giles,” she murmurs against his pulse point. “Bring me home.”

Giles undoes his fly and shoves his briefs out of the way one-handed, quickly rolling on a condom and lining himself up. Buffy gasps as he pushes into her, letting her head fall back against the wall. Giles wraps an arm around her waist, thrusting into her roughly, feeling her tremble and flex around him. He leans down to bite at the place where her neck meets her shoulder, listening to her panting breath and her heart beating a few inches away.

Buffy’s hands are clenching around the chains, white-knuckled. She arches her hips towards Giles, rocking into every stroke, using her legs around his waist to move herself on his cock. Giles cups her ass, fingers digging into tan skin. Buffy moans. She leans forward, kissing Giles hungrily, and moves her hips faster, urging him on. “Harder,” she pants. “Please.” Giles obliges, slamming into her harder, faster, until her writhing hips stutter and she yells wordlessly, shaking apart around him. Giles lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding and shudders out his own orgasm.

Buffy’s whole body is loose, relaxed, and she smiles lazily at Giles as he fishes the key to the shackles out of the pocket of his trousers. She massages her wrists and stretches, twisting to work a kink out of her back, then drapes her arms over Giles’s shoulders.

“Thank you,” she says softly.

He smiles at the fire in her eyes, kisses her softly on the forehead, and says, “Welcome back.”</cut>

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
lynnylou
Jun. 2nd, 2011 06:27 am (UTC)
I love it! Thanks alot it was well worth the wait! Plus I love the fact their in Minneapolis Minnesota since I live in Iowa and it only live like 2 1/2 hours away from here. I have spent alot of time up there with my friends over the years! Thanks again!

Edited at 2011-06-02 07:59 am (UTC)
jessalae
Jun. 2nd, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like it! I go to college in Saint Paul, so setting it in Minneapolis seemed fun -- write what you know, right? :) Thanks for commenting!
pingback_bot
Jun. 2nd, 2011 08:07 am (UTC)
Auction Fic
User lynnylou referenced to your post from Auction Fic saying: [...] you’d have had me on my back in five minutes.” jessalae.livejournal.com/91638.html [...]
polly1esther
Jun. 2nd, 2011 11:17 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this! This is something I could definitely picture their life being after Sunnydale. This feels so true to the characters - for Buffy who as the Slayer is always partly cut off from rest of the world, and for Giles, who will always be her anchor and who will bring her back.
jessalae
Jun. 2nd, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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