Author Notes: I believe this is referred to as a "Core Four." I think it's one of only three in existence. If I'm wrong, let me know. This is wrong on so many levels. I really didn't want to but I couldn't not. I don't usually write this kind of thing but wtf.

Story Notes: Takes place a couple of months after "Chosen". It starts out a little light but slow, then gets melancholy, then a little silly, then a little porny, back to silly, culminating in almost seriousness. This is the R version. I hope I have successfully removed the html tags from the original document (you'll let me know if you find any stray letters, right?).

Giles shocked them all when, instead of pulling out the books, he placed four tumblers on his coffee table and set down a bottle of old Scotch whisky with a thud.

"What gives?" asked Buffy through heavily blinking eyelids.

Xander concurred without hesitation. "Yeah, this is weirding me out and that ain't easy." Along with Buffy and Willow, who looked up at Giles from her seat on the couch with a stunned look about her, he couldn't fathom what the older Englishman had just done.

Giles chuckled as he pulled up a lovingly worn-out chair to the side of the table. "I can assure you that I have not been possessed by a spirit, replaced with a doppelganger, the First, or turned evil in any way," he said as he reclined gently into the seat. "I knew you would start to wonder and I wanted to avoid the flying tackle and the, ah, inappropriate touching which you inflicted upon me the last time this occurred."

"To be fair," said Xander, "I was the only one here who actually touched you."

Willow and Buffy added a simultaneous "Eww," to his statement. Giles gave them a stern look, which just screamed 'Children!' They tried to suppress their smirks but Willow still failed to contain her giggle.

"Just with what we've been through, you know we take the cautious route with this sort of thing, try to avoid confusion," Xander tried to explain through the sniggers with a look of annoyance on his face.

"I remember, which is why I took the precaution of telling you in advance oh, will you two stop it! It wasn't that funny." Despite the scolding, neither cooperated with his request.

"Was too," Buffy squeaked, struggling to compose herself. "Sorry, Giles."

"We're sorry," Willow forced on a serious facade.

"Very sorry," added Buffy again. Willow snorted abruptly, "Hee! Xander-Giles-touching." She zipped up her mouth under the disapproving gazes of the others. That was not very open-minded coming from a lesbian wicca but she continued to plead its funniness. "I'm sorry, in any case," Buffy said. "Back on topic now. You, whisky, in front of us. What's the deal?"

Giles glanced sidelong through squinty eyes at Willow, who had still not fully recovered, before answering. "I was about to say that the four of us here, having fought the good fight for seven years, that we had deserved it and that you had all reached the age and maturity level where I could include you in this sort of celebration. Though I should possibly rescind the invitation."

"Sorry," apologized Willow. "Haven't had a good giggly fit in a while."

"Quite," he glared at her through his glasses. "In spite of your outburst-"

"And it wasn't that funny," Xander interrupted, causing Willow and Buffy to start all over again, which was exactly the response he had been aiming for.

"In spite of your continuing outbursts I've decided it is time that we took pause and shared a drink. An occasion to commemorate both t-the good and the bad things that have happened, to take stock in what we've accomplished to allow us and the world to be here today." Giles uncapped his whisky bottle and began to pour a glass. "To just take comfort and relax in the company of old friends. And to get piss drunk," he added quickly.

"I'll drink to that!" cheered Buffy, as she picked up that first poured glass of firewater and downed it in a gulp. "Blaaah! Hey - wait. That wasn't so bad."

"It's a bit finer than what you're used to, I suspect," said Giles and a continued to pour for himself and the others. "One of the privileges of my advanced years: a deep knowledge of whiskeys and the means to afford them."

Buffy replaced her tumbler on the table so he could refill it. "The goods just keep on coming with you, don't they?" she smiled at him. He ignored her, but filled her glass.

"I'm not much of a drinker," said Willow, her first whisky in hand, "but sure. Ooh! But we have to toast something. I mean it seems appropriate, considering..."

"Y-yes, I suppose so," Giles agreed. He and Buffy raised their glasses.

"I guess I shouldn't have taken one already," said Buffy, but Giles assured her that it was okay.

Xander pondered the bizarre situation for a second before plunking his tumbler in front of Giles. "Whisky me up, G-man!" he announced.

"Excellent," said Giles. "I was growing tired of drinking alone. And stop calling me that. Now what shall we toast to?"

"What, Giles? I'm surprised you don't have any good ones," asked a surprised and scowling Buffy.

Giles shook his head. "I do, probably. But I wanted to hear yours. I'm tired of having to come up with profound nonsense things to say all the time."

"Well... in that case I've got one," said Buffy. "Now in light of everything that we've been through, and me being a bitch recently," she added, "I think this one's appropriate: May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends gathered below never fall out."

"Awww. That's sweet, Buffy," said Willow.

"Especially that part about the roof. Not like that's ever happened to us before, ow," Xander was quickly hit by Willow in the shoulder. "And it makes my life a lot easier, ow ."

"How about you, Willow? Do you have any good toasts?"

"Well..." she thought. "Here's the traditional Jewish version of cheers. Le'chaim."

"Le'chaim," Buffy and Xander repeated after her.

"To life," said Giles, translating from Hebrew. "I thought it wasn't used when toasting the deceased."

Willow smiled a little bit. "We're not. We're toasting that we're alive, and that just about everyone else is too, and for the forseeable future. If that's not worth a le'chaim I don't know what is."

Xander looked excited and mischievous. "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."

"What in blazes was that?" asked Giles.

"It's from the Simpsons. Ignore it."

"Well, bottoms up then," Giles said. They all took back their drinks. Despite the quality of the liquor, Willow still winced at the way it burned her mouth and throat. She tried fanning her mouth.

"Why do people like this stuff?" she asked.

Buffy grinned. "Wait for it."

"Wait for what?" Then Willow's eyes went out of focus. "Oh. That's tingling. In the tummy. Whoa. You don't get that with mixed drinks or beer."

"And that's not all," Xander added. "There's two more good things and two more bad things that happen later."

Willow scowled. "I know what it's supposed to do. I just never got it, really." She set her tumbler down in front of Giles. "More please."

Giles filled them all up again. "Yes. But from now on we sip. This is well aged and it's very expensive so we should appreciate its finer qualities." As soon as her glass reached full it was practically set back down empty. "Dear Lord, Willow. I don't think that's a good idea."

Buffy leaned over to whisper to Xander. "We're going to have to fish her out of the gutters tonight."

Willow was a mindlessly giddy drunk.

Between the singing and the uncontrollable (and unprovoked) laughter someone decided that they were having fun. So cheers to that. Clang! There went another bottle.

"Come on, Giles. You should have invited Andrew to this. That would have been freaking hilarious."

Willow clambered over Xander's shoulder to agree. "He would have said something about Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica or whatever and then BOOM! on the floor. And maybe if he was drunk enough we'd be able to find out if he's gay or not! What? Oh, come on. You guys trying to tell me that you don't think he's gay. He bakes. No, I'm not being mean. How can I be mean by saying someone's gay? Hellooo. I'm gay."

"I'm impresshed that you're able to carry on a conversation like that when nobody's talking to you," blinked Buffy in awe. "But really, we're having fun here, and everyone could use a little fun."

"I told you," Giles replied while filling the glasses again, "Just those of us who have been fighting the fight longest. As-as a reward for our years of service to the cause. Let everyone have their own party when they get old."

Buffy drank some more. "That doesn't shound like you, Giles. Dawn deserves to be here. I know she's just a kid and didn't do much in the early days but she's had to put up with all the horror flick stuff-"

"And having you as a sister," Willow interjected.

"-her whole life. And thanks for the moral shupport, Will. Unless you don't like the underage drinking and say, what is the legal drinking age in this country?"

"Eighteen," he said, trying to hide behind his glass as he drank.

"Damn," said Xander. "We should have moved here a long time ago."

"We could have brought the whole gang here," pointed out Willow. "I could have brought Kennedy and I know Faith likes the alcoholism." She reached for the bottle again but tripped when she attempted to get up from her seat.

"I'm beginning to shuspect an ulterior motive for the reshtricted invitations to this shindig," Buffy slurred while pouring herself her ninth - no tenth... eleventh? "And noble my ass. You're not fooling anyone, Giles." She stabbed a wobbly finger into his chest.

"Indeed," he said, doubtlessly amused by the way the young ones were handling their liquor. "I'm not made of money and you all drink like fish." Giles sipped slowly, deliberately, and constantly despite the scowls.

And a guffaw from the floor where Willow had quickly made her way. "Yeah, like you haven't put back your own bottle already, mister." She tried to rise on unsteady feet back to the couch. "If we drink like fish, you drink like a-a whale. Or maybe a whale shark or some other large aquatic animal. Ever seen pictures of those giant squid with all those forty-foot long tentacles and suction cups and eyeballs bigger than your head? It's enough to put you off seafood for ever and I'm going to pass out now." Thud.

"Saw that coming."

"I'm shurprised she lasted this long."

Smiling as he picked up Willow's fallen glass, Xander said, "You guys keep doing what you're doing. I'll make sure Will doesn't do anything Giles' carpet will regret in the morning. Come here, Will, and try to minimize the property damage."

"Please mind the chesterfield," Giles warned. They blinked at him in confusion. "Couch. It's what we call a couch. Backwards, barbaric nation."

Xander's fingers kneaded their way through Willow's red trusses. Her face was resting against the cold wood of the coffee table, idly resting in the sticky, odd-shaped rings left from the bottoms of their tumblers and discarded bottles. She wasn't asleep, just resting, but she was really feeling it. The room was spinning, at least for her. One year ago she was a word away from setting the world on fire. Now the only thing she could do was hold on to Xander and hope that her blood alcohol level wasn't high enough to spontaneously combust if someone started smoking. Oh, how the mighty had fallen. Her stomach churned, rebelling against her unwise rule. She might have fallen, but something else was sure on its way up. Willow moaned.

Giles interrupted the conversation he was having with Buffy to ask if Willow was alright. Before Xander could peer down into her distorted face Willow grumbled, "I'm fine."

"You don't look it."

"Don't contradict me or I'll have to puke on your shoes."

Xander chuckled softly and stroked her hair while staring dreamily at nothing in particular.

"Are you okay, Xander?" concerned Willow asked.

"Mmm. I'm okay. It's just some days, y'know?"

"Yeah, I know," said Willow, morosely, knowing all too well about the 'some days.' She put on a false feeling air of chipperness. "But at least when you're feeling a little down you don't go all black and veiny and try to end the world."

"Would if I could, Will... I would if I could... But I know you'd be right there to stop me... Do you still miss her, Willow?" Xander asked as he stroked her hair. She drew in a deep breath that felt like a sob.

"Every day," she finally said. "When I get up in the morning I see her, I feel her." It was Willow's 'her' she was talking about, as Xander had meant it, as they all understood. "Sometimes I don't want to get up. I just want to dream... to pretend it's still real. And I'll never stop missing her." Xander felt her body tense in his hands, on his lap. She clutched him with her slender fingers.

"I get that," he said softly, just to her. She smiled and eased her grip. Xander missed Willow's 'her' too. And he missed others as well. "Do you miss him, Buffy?"

Buffy blinked in surprise and she put up a brave face of denial, which not one of them bought. Buffy didn't buy it either, but it was habit, a bad habit and difficult to break. "Oh God," she muttered. She did miss him. And there was no shame in that.

"Giles?" Xander asked.


He couldn't look at Giles when he asked his question. He didn't want to see pain on the older man's face; worse yet, he didn't want to see emotionless either. Maybe he shouldn't have asked the question, but he needed to know. He just didn't want to see it.

"Does it ever get better?" he asked Giles.

Giles didn't answer for a long time. Yes. "Yes," he said.

"Nearly six years... Does the pain go away?" Giles had lost his love to the Hellmouth long before any of them. Poor Jenny, the first claimed, the first to cause heartbreak. So unique yet now so alike in how death joined her to the rest of their lovers. Their wounds were all too recent to know. Fresh damage, still bleeding in their hearts. Giles would know different. He had long-term experience.

His life had sucked longer.

"No." As if hurting, Giles closed his eyes tight. "The pain lessens," he said. "It never goes away. Soon, sooner than you'll expect or want, it will get better. It will be bearable, and you'll not want it to be. You'll wake up and you will forget to feel the remorse." He poured himself another glass. "Then you'll chastise yourself for doing so. But eventually there will just be this nagging feeling. It stops being bad." Giles downed the glass quickly, wincing in physical pain as the alcohol seared his throat. He set the glass down and stood up, much too quickly so that he had to steady himself on the chesterfield. "And on that note I think I'll retire for the night."

"Are you sure?" Buffy asked, but corrected herself asking instead if he was okay.

"Yes, yes. I don't feel like opening old wounds tonight. You three enjoy the rest of the bottle," he said as he fumbled with his glasses. "I trust you'll be able to show yourselves out when the time comes." Giles stopped by the door to his bedchamber and scowled back at them. "And moderation, please." They exchanged scowls then warmhearted smiles.

"Goodnight, Giles," Willow said.

"Goodnight, children," he replied. Buffy giggled. Then she turned sour.

"Oh my God. I have never sheen Giles drink like that," said Buffy in hushed tones once she heard his bedroom door close. "It was giving me the wiggins. Tell me that wasn't scary to you."

Xander made a noncommittal grunt. Willow shrugged her shoulders. "Its not like he's a teetotaler. He's hit the bottle harder than this before, but you weren't there to see it."

Understanding dawned on Buffy. "When I was dead."

"He was wrecked," Willow nodded. "It was even worse than when Ms. Calendar died. We were really worried about him. It was destroying him, eating him up inside. He would disappear for a day or two and come back with the baggy eyelids and reeking of booze. It was almost a relief when he tried to get on with his life and come back here to England." She saw Buffy's face fall. "Oh, no. It's not like that now. He's happy drinking, not slowly killing his liver drinking. This is of the good." Her stomach audibly gurgled and they all looked at it. "Mostly."

"I'm glad," Buffy smiled, softly. "I don't know what I'd do without him. Even when he was gone it was like he was always with me."

"He really cares for you a lot, Buffy. More than you probably know."

"Yeah. I'm getting that."

"I miss her long, soft hair," said Willow, dreamily.

"Mmmm..." Xander mumbled beside her, caught in his own reverie. "The way it never stayed one color for very long."

"The way she smelled like flowers..."

Buffy let them continue their reminiscing. It wasn't her place to intrude and she doubted they would appreciate her espousal on the virtues of Spike. Spike with the tight abs and the sinewy muscles. How he was totally in love with her and that cute eyebrow scar of his. His adorable accent. She shook the thought out of her head and drank more whisky.Mmmm... Giles. Where did that thought come from? Way too much of his whisky.

"Nice full red lips. What she could do with her tongue..." continued Xander.

"Oh, could she ever do things with that tongue!" Scary, Willow. You little minx Tara you.

"And those boobies. Firm, yet supple. So firm..."

"Nice big boobies..."

"I like boobies."

"I like boobies too."

"I love boobies."

"I love boobies more."

And thus the two lifelong friends began a fevered argument about who enjoyed breasts to the fuller extent.

"Like Hell!" Xander yelled. "As a macho, heterosexual American male it is my duty to my country and my gender to love boobies more than any woman."

"I love boobies so much that I said fuck it to penises!" Oh my God, Willow swore! And said penis.

Buffy burst out in juvenile laughter.

There was no way Xander was going to top that. Didn't stop him from trying. Meanwhile Buffy had collapsed in hysterics at the base of the couch. Those two yelling 'boobies' was too funny.

"Oh yeah!" Willow challenged. "Put your money where your mouth is." She pointed at Buffy. The only thought that had time to enter Buffy's mind was 'uh-oh'. "Boobies." In a flash both Xander and Willow were on her, pinching and groping and no amount of drunken Slayer strength could repel them. There were two pairs of friendly, usually platonic, hands on her breasts and under her shirt. Clumsy fingers tweaked her nipples. She ineffectually swatted with her hands, but not really. She was so drunk and it felt good to be touched. It had been so long.

Speaking of drunk, Willow tumbled to the ground, knocking them all over in a heap on top of Buffy, taking an open bottle to the floor with them. Through the whole thing neither of them let go of her breasts.

Enough was enough. "You asked for it!" she retaliated. With her left hand she grabbed Willow's breast, overhand, and with a right underhand she clutched at Xander beneath his pants. Buffy instantly felt it harden in her grasp and Xander's eyes glazed over as he gasped. "How do you like that, Bitch," she sneered. She had a feeling that he liked it just fine.

With great shame Buffy was forced to admit that Willow's boobs were bigger than hers. When did that happen? They'd never been that way before. Buffy just wasn't all the girl she used to be. Now that this apocalypse was over she'd really have to start eating right again. Starting now. She took Willow's mouth into her own. She was sweet like strawberries or cherries, not maraschino but the fresh kind, but earthy from the whisky. Before long Willow pushed her tongue into Buffy's mouth and Buffy took it between her lips. Willow finally relinquished her hold on her breasts and Buffy felt a sense of loss, of disappointment - at least until she felt those hands touch her ass, around the small of her back and caress softly. Buffy wrapped her arms around Willow and deepened the kiss.

Xander wasn't one to be left out either. Muscular arms, more muscular than Buffy had realized up 'til that point, embraced her from behind. His hands, calloused from years of woodworking, felt rough against her stomach and chest as he stroked her skin under her shirt. Buffy had to break off her Willow kiss once she felt his lips on her neck, teasing and nibbling their way down to her collarbone.

Willow pouted her trademark puppydog pout when Buffy turned away from her. Buffy was immune, not because of willpower or constitution, but because she was completely engrossed in Xander's lips, kissing her, kissing him. Buffy grasped at his shaggy, dark hair and pulled him around her to kiss him better.

Revenge was sweet indeed for Willow when she stole him away from Buffy. She removed her shirt and squeezed her way between her macking friends. Xander was powerless against the allure of bare breasts. He let go of Buffy. Xander fondled Willow's breasts with both hands, then lowered his head to suckle tenderly, first taking small nips, then lapping at the hardened nipples with his tongue. She gasped and held his head to keep him there. Buffy looked on in astonishment. She had never believed that her friend was capable of an act of such pure bitchiness. Willow winked at her, the devil shining in her eye. Two could play at that game.

Buffy unzipped Xander's fly and unbuckled his belt. Soon he would be putty in her hands. Or better still - something much less malleable in her hands. Willow stared at her agape as Buffy pulled down Xander's jeans.

Xander moaned, "Oh, Buffy...". He stopped his ministrations on Willow, his pelvis involuntarily bucking against Buffy's hands.

"Bitch," accused Willow.

Buffy winked back at her. She emitted a feral growl and bared her teeth. The message was received. She hiked up her skirt and, with one hand still clutching Xander, she tore her panties away. Deftly she threw the tattered garment aside, teeth still bared in animalistic desire.

"Come here, big boy," she drawled. He didn't disappoint.

Willow was powerless to stop him. Grudgingly she conceded defeat as Xander lowered himself between Buffy's legs. Willow peeled off Xander's shirt and ran her fingers through the hair on his chest. She smelled his scent, temperature rising as he entered Buffy. Buffy too was getting hot. The English summer was uncharacteristically unforgiving. Their three bodies rubbing together as Xander slowly pumped into Buffy generated so much heat, and sweat began to cascade off of them.

Buffy rubbed her leg over Xander's back, her calf slick with perspiration sliding smoothly over his rear and down the back of his thigh. Her knees brushed against the silky fabric of Willow's pants, damp from her arousal. It was wrong of her to tease her friend so. Buffy had won, and it was time to play to gracious victor. She tucked her toes into the waistband of Willow's pants, and slowly, tantalizingly slid them down the witch's legs. Her heels caught in the small of Willow's back and kneaded the tense muscles of Willow's ass as she pulled and tugged with her feet. Legs tangled with cotton, damp and hot. Skin rubbing against skin and massaging their yielding flesh.

Xander was oblivious to the kink going on behind him, focusing solely on Buffy. He ground slowly against her, he pulled her skirt up higher and caressed her ass and down her thigh. He was so much taller than she was; there was no way for him to look into her eyes without her throwing back her head, baring her long, graceful neck. He kissed her on the tip of her nose, making her giggle, before he bit and chewed on her earlobe. It was quite a stretch for him to reach that low. Buffy didn't want him to strain with effort, so she distracted him by kissing his neck. The rough stubble from his sporadic shaving was odd for her. It tickled her lips. So different from Spike's cool alabaster skin. So much more like a man.

"Oh, God!" she panted when Xander plunged into her, a few moments before she had expected it. Months of pent up sexual frustration evaporated from her body in that instant. She needed to feel him inside of her, as much as he could give her, as long as he could. She needed it all. Buffy wrapped her legs around him and squeezed him tight, with Slayer strength she usually reserved for her more-than-human lovers.

Pain is an aphrodisiac. At least it can be. To Xander it apparently was.

Her rocked harder into Buffy, faster and deeper. She arched into his motions, practically pushing both he and Willow off the ground.

"I need this Xander," she gasped. "Give it to me! Harder!" He was good, for a mortal. A lot like Riley, but less robotic. Anya had trained him well. Idle hands he had not, nor idle lips. His hands - and Willow's as well - pinched and rubbed her flesh, her breasts, the arch of her hips. Willow's sweet mouth alternated between her nipples, her neck, Xander's jawline, Buffy's swollen lips

With frantic spasms, Xander released into her. Willow rode his bucking backside like a broncobuster, hollering as he came. Despite her own blossoming orgasm a few seconds later, Buffy was far from satisfied.

"I'm not done with you yet," she complained. "Get back here," she scolded his softening penis. Xander shrugged.

"Give me a minute. I'm only human." He stood and righted one of many spilled bottles of whisky for a drink.

Willow consoled her. "My turn, honey." She pulled Xander off of Buffy and pulled her up to the couch, taking her in her arms, kissing her neck, sloppily at the corner of her smile.

Buffy rolled Willow onto her back and gathered her breast into her mouth. Under the gentle force, Willow's nipple puckered as she suckled.

"Tell me if I'm doing anything wrong," Buffy said. "I've never made love to a woman before." She could almost hear the record screech to a halt. All pleasuring actions ceased immediately and she was greeted with blank stares.

"What?" she asked.

Willow stammered, "Well, it's just, you know..."

"What I think Willow is trying to say is," said Xander, "is that we're a little surprised, is all." Buffy craned her neck to squint at him. He had the 'deer caught in the headlights' look.


"We just thought that you kinda had. There were rumors in high school."

"No, no. That was just Scott Hope dissing me-"

Willow's touch stopped her. "It wasn't just Scott," she said. Willow shrunk away, embarrased. "He didn't even start them."

"Again. Huh?"

"Well..." continued Xander, "At the time Angel was gone. You went nutso and split. And then you were spending all that time with Faith-"

"A world of no!" Buffy screamed.

Xander scoffed. "Come on. You were even more obsessed with her than I was. And she deflowered me. You're trying to say that with the late night staking things, with all the horny, which we all know that you get despite how often you deny it, and the 'rah-rah' girl power, that you never had sex with Faith?"


Pondering this, Xander said, "I owe Oz ten bucks."

She shook her head in disbelief. "You have got to be shitting me. You two sheriously thought I was gay?"

"Bi-curious," Willow said. "A-and to be fair my official stance was not gay, but that was only because I was aligning with Oz since I was dating him. You were both dropping hints like bombs and there was really no way we couldn't draw conclusions. Why do you think I was so shocked when you went catatonic when I came out in first year? Kinda thought you were 'been there, done that' girl."

"No! No 'doing that' girl. And no 'doing' that girl either," Buffy gaped. "I don't believe you people. Kinda spoils the first time."

"This is traumatic for me too," Xander said. "I just learned that the image that got me through those long months after Cordy was a lie."

"If it makes you feel any better you're living a better fantasy right now."

"True. But you were hot for her, right?" Buffy again said 'no' but he could have sworn there was a telltale pause before she said it. "You're jealous of me," he singsonged.

"Xander!" Buffy elbowed him in the head. The boy tumbled to the floor, not so much from the blow, which had only glanced off him, but from seeing the Slayer so flustered. He laughed. It was too funny, though dangerous to his continued health.

"Less fighting, more smoochies!" Willow yelled.

Snapping to obey her command, Buffy's hands danced over Willow's breasts and down her torso. She even tentatively stroked down between Willow's legs before returning to less adventurous territory.

Willow nuzzled her neck. "Y'know what? You'd probably be more comfortable if I did you instead." As she reached to tend Buffy's needs she whispered, "Don't worry. I have a bit of experience with getting prudes to loosen up."

Willow ran her tongue up and down the inside of Buffy's thighs, licking at the droplets of sweat that laced between them. The cooling sensation of the evaporating saliva left Buffy shivering. The acrobatic tongue glazing over her body left her quaking. Xander had sufficiently recovered to begin nibbling at her breasts again. The sensations were overwhelming. Two people simultaneously making love to her. It was almost too much. And just when she thought that, the ever mysterious 'it' got 'more'. Someone certainly knew what they were doing down there.

"Whilloh-oh!" she breathed as she came and shuddered.

She received a wicked smile from Willow and swore that she was still evil. "You may praise me now," said Willow.

Buffy struggled to catch her breath. "That... that was better than I ever imagined."

Now Xander was wicked. He took a swig of whisky and said, "So you did imagine it." And he was rewarded with another smack to the head.

"Aw, Xander," Willow teased, pointing at his bruised forehead. "I know. I'll kiss it better." Willow leapt into his lap and kissed him sweetly above his good eye. Then over his bad eye. "This eyepatch makes you super-rugged sexy," she said. "Dangerous." Kiss. "Hot." Another kiss. Then she wormed her tongue into his mouth. "Bad-boy." He took a look down Willow's naked body sitting on top of him. He heaved the bottle and drank of her instead.

Buffy watched them caress each other as lifelong lovers, not friends. They had known each other intimately forever, now they were proving it for her to see. Xander had regained his, 'ahem', composure and was leaving a satisfied Willow questioning why she had to choose one or the other in the first place. Willow impaled herself on his cock and bounced and bounced. Her breasts rose and fell in a hypnotic rhythm, wild gyrations putting her in a trance-like state.

Buffy really needed a drink. Or a smoke. Now where did Giles keep his emergency cigarettes? She knew he had them. So often Buffy had visited Giles and could smell the nicotine on his breath. Sometimes it hung in the air of his apartment, and not just when Spike was prisoner there. Maybe he had stolen them from Spike as some form of revenge or payment. Either way her lungs beckoned for the warm toxins. Failing that, she got another drink. What the hell? She went to his liquor cabinet and took a bottle.

"Blaaah!" That wasn't the good stuff. And it was spelled with an extra 'e'.

Buffy really felt bad about this. Poor Giles was missing all the action. And she was missing him. Maybe she would pay him a visit in a while if her search for cigarettes brought her there; she would make sure it would.

Willow and Xander were still hopping up and down on the couch making squidgy noises and heavy breathing noises. They were so cute together. Giles was cute too, with the taught lips, the angular face. He was in good shape, and not just for a man of his age. Spectacles like on owls in cartoons, even though he had contact lenses. She wanted him. Now.

Downing most of the bottle without breathing (and the remainder shortly thereafter), she burst into Giles' bed chamber, throwing both doors open like Angel used to. Sure, the drama wasn't there, seeing how she was short, drunk and naked, but it was the thought that counted.

Giles was lying peacefully in bed, covers pulled up halfway across his torso. Buffy could see his well-muscled upper body and the graying chest hair that covered most of it peeking over the top. The rise and fall of his chest was deep, slow, and easy; not the fast, harsh pumping she would soon bring it. Asleep, the wrinkles in his face were relaxed, the eyelids devoid of the anguish and misery that the orbs beneath them so reflected. He looked young.

The bed was soft under her knees and palms as Buffy prowled her way up from his feet. She stopped above his groin and gently set down on him. Lightly, so not to wake Giles, she ran her hands through the fine hairs on his chest, loving just the feel of them and the pectoral muscles underneath. He still smelled of that same old, comforting cologne that he had always worn, just faintly, but so vibrant to her supernatural nose. Buffy rubbed her hands down his arms. There were scars there, like much of his body, but here they intertwined with veins, and intricate criss-cross of death and life. So profound, beautiful and horrid at the same time. He had taken so much abuse for her. She owed him so much. Buffy took one of those loving arms and lifted it to her face. She nestled into his limp hand, nuzzling the palm, the wrist, tasting of the salt and the whisky and something that was Giles. She pulled his index finger away from the others and took it into her mouth, sucking, licking inside, running her turgid lips down it's length until the tip and nail emerged with an audible pop.

Giles murmured in his sleep, a smile tugging at the corners of his unconscious mouth.

He did not remain asleep for long, however, as Buffy shifted her weight and threw the covers off his body. She was not much less violent when she stripped him of his pajama pants.

"Buffy?" he murmured through his mouth, prickly and dry from drinking, for he could not see through his bleary eyes.

She never gave him a chance to append that thought. Buffy sat back down below his groin and leaned forward to apply the full length of her body to his. Her lips caressed his jaw. She trailed kisses down his chest, over his nipples and the sexy muscles all over his lower torso. He went hard underneath her and she smiled, even as her teeth came down on his pierced earlobe.

"Oh... what is this?" Giles stumbled out under her onslaught of desirous actions.

"Shhh... Giles. Just enjoy," she said before she finally pressed his mouth against her own. And he listened well, his sleep-slowed body responding to her touch, his muscular arms encircling her tiny body and his tongue joining her kiss.

When she opened her eyes she noticed something on the nightstand. Not the cigarettes she had been hoping for, but Giles glasses, discarded for the night. She had a devilish thought.

"Those aren't your glasses," he said. "Not your prescription." She didn't have a prescription.

He wasn't lying. The room looked real close up and blurry, spinning and flying colors, though that could probably be attributed to the drink. But Giles was still sexy eight feet tall and bloated around the edges. She did close her eyes, however, when he began to fondle her back.

That eight feet tall visual effect did give her an idea. She wormed her way down his body, glasses on, to his penis. The glasses did not disappoint, nor did Giles. She did that thing with her mouth that the boys liked. Giles spasmed underneath her. He was close. She slid him out of her throat one last time. He sighed at the loss. Buffy couldn't blame him; she was good. He did deserve a reward, though. She slid like a snake up his chest and kissed him again, his own taste on her lip (but that wasn't the reward).

Buffy gently rocked her pelvis into his, savoring how it filled into her. She rocked into it again with a little more force. Instinctively she arched her back, grinding into him again and again, even harder this time. His hands reached up to grab her breasts, palms rubbed against her nipples. He took one of them into his mouth, lost it as she bucked on top of him, then recaptured it again. Buffy held his face against her chest with her hands. She needed to keep him there as she jerked into him with ever-increasing force, and she could generate quite a lot of that.

She forgot that instant how she had always needed to let up on any of her human sex partners, how she could hurt them if she let go. How it was good but never great. But this was Giles. This was great. She didn't let up on him.

Pain was clearly etched across Giles' face. Her thighs clamped down ever tighter around his hips. But he was fighting through it, teeth gritted in determination, pupils black with lust, eyes gleaming with desire. His body shuddered as he came into her, but none of that determination left his face.

Though his piercing eyes never left her face, Buffy was sure that Giles was not the only one staring at her. They had an audience. Letting Giles nuzzle her neck, she looked over her shoulder. There they were standing in the doorframe.

"Giles is so sexy," Willow breathed. "Nice muscles. Strong face. The reformed bad-boy look is very in and I just love his singing voice. Isn't he dreamy, Xander?"

"I don't know. I guess so but I really hadn't thought about it, what with being a macho heterosexual American male."

Willow seemed to mull over his response for a moment.

"You wanna join them?"


His head was pounding, the ringing between his ears growing louder with every one of his heart beats. Dear Lord, how much had he had to drink last night? His throat was scratchy and his body ached. The various pains had Giles wondering what had he done the previous night that had caused him such discomfort. Drinking and going to bed didn't used to lead to anything other than a mild hangover. He must truly be getting old. But he couldn't help shaking the feeling that his somewhat embarrassing acrobatic dreams had contributed to the situation. He sighed. At least he was peaceful in his own bed. With someone's arm draped over him.

Giles flung himself out of his bed in all haste. His motions had not been gentle and the repercussions thundered in his ears - along with the murmurs from several voices. He realized that he was lacking his pajama trousers and was now standing completely naked. That was his first truly frightening discovery. Giles grasped at the sheet that was draped over that mysterious arm and pulled it toward himself, covering his shame. With the theft of the sheet, one of the murmurs turned into a groan of complaint.

The groan startled Giles, sense finally returning to his sleep and alcohol impaired brain. He dared look at his bed, at the source of the annoyed mumbling.

The womanish shriek he heard next came from his own throat. 'Why' built up in his brain over the next few passing seconds, raising in a crescendo to fear and panic like he had never faced in all his years of supernatural danger. On his bed, tangled in far too few sheets and their own limbs, lay the three young people he had come to consider as his children, naked and sweaty from their own body heat intertwined in the tight confines of his bedroom.

Willow was struggling to awake but Xander was the first to arise with a scream of "Oh my God!" which was successful at raising both of the women. Their responses were similar and each time cut a new searing pain through his skull.

Disentangling herself from Xander, Willow quickly rolled off the bed, wrapping herself in the other sheet. This left Xander ineffectively trying to cover himself with his hands and calling out for a blanket. Buffy grabbed the pillow and sprung to her feet, running around the room to try to find her clothes. She could not.

"No, no, no, no, no..." she muttered in utter despair as she scampered indignantly across the chamber.

"We didn't?" pleaded Willow. "We couldn't have. Nothing happened." She paused. "Oh my God! What did we do?" She collapsed into the corner and covered her head with her arms.

Xander had finally resorted to stripping the spread from the mattress and fashioned himself some sort of toga. The disbelief showed in his face. After all these years of chaste friendship they had had to let some idiotic night of drinking change their relationship to something awkward. A hint of satisfaction crept into his expression, however, as he watched Buffy's bare backside disappear out the door. Then his eyes locked with Giles'.

"Did we?" he asked, jaw dropping to his knees.

"I don't remember," was all Giles could answer.

Muffled from her perch on the floor a despondent Willow simply said, "You did." And that was it.

Xander screamed and ran out the door.

"I'll never drink again."

Giles studied Willow for a second. "Yes, I imagine I won't as well."

"I feel like I'm going to be sick."

Clothes retrieved and one trip to the bathroom for Willow to throw up (not entirely due to alcohol) later, the four gathered around the same coffee table that had started this disaster in the first place. Giles' entire flat reeked of perspiration, sex, whisky and whiskey, and would likely never seem the same to any of them. Nothing would ever completely remove the stench. Even the tactile response from the furniture, no, the acrobatically smudged and damaged furnishings, elicited revulsion and illness from them all. Given time it may one day be salvageable as a dwelling to someone who didn't know, but to any of them the homey, comforting atmosphere was forever replaced with wrongness.

"I can't breathe," Buffy whimpered and cried.

A hand smacked into Xander's forehead. "How could we have let this happen?" he asked while wincing due to his own action. "I mean, even with the booze. No. Not Giles. Never."

"I beg your pardon?"

"No, it's not that. I mean. I don't know. Wrong." Xander face fell. "So very, very wrong."

"Not you, Giles," Willow said. "If it wasn't for, you know, ick with you being father figure to us, and me with the whole gay thing, I'd be all over you. You'd be a good catch."

"You didn't have a problem with any of that last night."

"No!" said Buffy. "We will not talk like that. What happened last night was an unfortunate byproduct of a lot of grief a-and alcohol and in no way reflects any of our feelings toward each other, our desires or our impulses. None of us do the sexual promiscuity thing," her voice deepened when she said 'sex.' Buffy felt the redness creep up her neck again, among other places. Staggering, she continued. "We just have to put this behind us, forget if ever happened. I mean it. NEVER. We didn't. Deny, deny, deny and we'll get through this."

"You're right," Xander muttered in agreement, as cautious as he said it. "We can still make it out of here the friends we've always been."

Willow whispered a 'yeah,' but her heart wasn't in it.

"We're not going to get through this," whined Buffy. "I don't know if I could live with being with you every day. The guilt. Overwhelming. I'm sorry. I love you all, but I don't want to love any of you like that."

Springing to her feet, Willow paced around the living room set, clawing at her hair. "What do we do?" she cried. "I can't want you. I have a girlfriend. I don't do this. We don't do this." An empty bottle skittered away from her kicking feet.

"Oh God," Xander suddenly said.

"What is it?"

He swallowed, eyes wide with fear. "What if someone finds out? The people we hang out with all have super-senses. They'll know. Regular girls can pick up on perfume. Think what Slayer girls could smell on us. And they can listen to our heartbeats like lie detectors. And I think at least one of them is psychic." Xander started to rock himself gently in the chair.

"Now you're just being paranoid," said Willow. Her brow furrowed as she was met with disagreeing stares. "Or not."

"Maybe we 'fess up?" Buffy proposed. "Save ourselves the eventually being found out."

Not an option, she surmised, given the abject horror from the others.

"That may be okay for you. They already think you're a freak," Willow ignored the hurt expression that overcame Buffy. "But the rest of us are normal 'doing it'-wise. Learning to put respectable us and drunken orgy in the same sentence could tear the group apart."

"No offense," Xander added, despite listing Buffy's very real undead sex-capades x2 and less authentic orientation rumors. Among other things.

Buffy sank her head into her hands. "Oh, Lord. I am a freak."

"We can still rescue the situation, I-I think," said Giles. Xander shared the same thought.

"Get out while we still can, you mean?" he asked.

"Yes. Remove the opportunity for, cough, shame to arise. Spread out and get as far away from each other as possible." Giles wished he could find his glasses so he could clean them, to not have to look at the stares and feel the hurt radiating from his young charges. "We have been planning to scour the globe in the search for new Slayers. It is entirely conceivable that we would choose splitting up as the most efficient way of doing so. Put the distance between us that we need to keep our mental foul ups from arousing suspicion."

A stunned Buffy asked, "If you think that's the only way."

"I call Australia," said Xander.

"Population density is too low. Less likely to find Slayers."

Dejected, Xander said, "Damn," and went back to sulking.

Willow paused in her pacing but not her hair pulling. "What am I going to do about Kennedy? Guys, I have to make it up to her."

"Even if she doesn't know?"

"Especially if she doesn't know. I did it with you when I was with her. Hello? Cheating. I'm an evil ho." She resumed her pacing. "She owns me. I'll give me to her."

"If you think it would help we can let you have the most resorty globe-trotting assignment. Romantic getaway to heal your heart. Anything you want. Italy, Brazil, Mexico, name it." Xander scowled. "Not Australia."

Willow jumped to hug Buffy as hard as she could. "Oh, thank you! That's a great idea." She let herself down and immediately grasped her auburn locks again, returning to wearing a groove in the carpet with her wandering feet. "If anyone breathes a word of any of this to Kennedy I will eviscerate you and hang you with your own intestines."

"Not a word," they agreed.

They motioned that it was time to leave. Willow would take Kennedy to Brazil, under the guise of centering a Slayer search around Sao Paulo, but there were no illusions covering the fact that it was purely a front for patching up their relationship among the party hotspots of Rio de Janeiro. Buffy chose Rome, based on something that Dawn had said in passing about learning better Latin. Yes, she did actually listen to Dawn. Xander hadn't decided where he wanted to go, as long as it was away from civilization. Too many painful memories. And Giles would maintain base of operations in England, but he would move from the flat. He couldn't live there anymore, not while retaining any semblance of mental discipline. London.

Buffy stood by the door as the younger Scoobies were leaving. "So Giles. I guess we'll see you at the team meeting tonight?" she asked, innocently.


"Ah. Bye!" She hurried out the door. It slammed behind her.

Giles turned, but looked back to where Buffy had just left, an odd feeling of disgust with himself yet love washing over him. He shook his head and tried to clear his mind. Blast it. His flat was in shambles. A quick survey found an uprooted potted plant, a felled and smashed picture frame. Somehow his kitchen table had been shattered. What a night. If only he could remember it.

He found his glasses, trampled underfoot, or at least something he hoped was feet, near the chesterfield. The arms were bent, the lenses cracked. They were done for. Oddly, they smelled not of whisky, but of Buffy's perfume and sweat. He had been near her in exercise often enough to place the scent instantly, without doubt. Now Giles seriously wondered what they had been doing. It was frightening to say the least, judging by the torn set of women's undergarments on his lamp. He tossed the glasses in the waste paper basket as he sorted through the broken bits of furniture, of his tattered life. Unconsciously, he pulled the broken glasses from the refuse and returned them to his shirt pocket.

"Bloody hell," he muttered to himself. He threw the table leg he had been holding against the wall, where it fell with a satisfying clatter. He really needed to forget this.

Giles made his way to his liquor cabinet. Despite what he had said earlier, his body called out for the soothing release of alcohol to calm his nerves. He turned the key and opened the box. His liquor cabinet was completely bare.