TITLE What I Want
CHAP 1 (of 6?) Confrontation
FANDOM Buffy The Vampire Slayer
PAIRING Ganya Spuffy… More ganya than anything
WARNINGS AU timeline, Tara's around, Dawn is 17, Anya and Xander are together but not engaged, Spike and Buffy are 'foolin' around' but it's still a secret – and Buffy is still torn about how she feels for Spike. Oh and yes… yes, Giles and Anya SHOULD be together!
RATING PG13/K+ this chap due to a lil language.
AN What a fricking difference a beta makes!! And TWO, TWO is better than one! mobilealh and Xela Ebonie thanks ever so much for helping me beat back the elliptical monster that seems to live in me!! You were BOTH dolls and oh soooo much help! All remaining mistakes are mine mine mine!!
AN2 part of my entry for the Summer of Giles LJ
Giles poured another glass of the revered Glenfiddich scotch before tucking the bottle back behind the tomes on the top of his bookshelf; the only hiding place in his home he'd managed to locate that Spike had never been able to find.
The woody, aromatic scotch burned pleasantly as it coated his throat, but the flavor was lost on him. Which was a shame really, it was a fine brand; a drink that was made to be savored. But tonight, it was wasted on him because he was just so tired.
Rubbing his hand against the back of his neck, he sighed, pulled off his glasses, and rubbed his stinging eyes. Giles was weary because he was worried; worried about the decisions the children – although, they weren't really children anymore – were making. Willow, Xander, Buffy, Dawn… and Anya – his thoughts cheered buoyantly, briefly, at the thought of Anya's smile, before the morass of concerns he had been so undeniably sinking in to, reclaimed him.
Buffy. She was like his own child, his most fragile daughter. It broke his heart that she was constantly so alone and yet, surrounded so many people. He knew it was her duty to… to save the world. But he also knew that she had done more amazing things in her short life than would ever be chronicled by the Council – including raising Dawn to be a beautiful young woman. She deserved to find someone… someone who appreciated her for what she was, and who wanted her with all of her strengths and her foibles.
Spike's face flashed through Giles' mind and he grimaced. He too had become a part of the 'family' that Buffy had created; although his role in the 'family'…? The only signs of life he saw these days on Buffy's face were when she was around her vampire. Giles settled himself in the chair by the lamp. Brother, friend, thorn, teacher, lover – Spike was all of these things to the group. Yes, 'lover'. Giles knew about Buffy' recent… dalliances with the black sheep of the group. He was almost certain they were having physical relations.
He grimaced again. 'Her vampire.' Giles honestly didn't know how he was going to handle this situation. Play dumb when the truth invariably, horribly, and most probably, embarrassingly, came out? Approach Buffy and try and talk some sense into her?
He chuckled quietly; Buffy was not known to take well to 'orders' or 'demands'; even when they came from her Watcher… especially when they came from her Watcher.
He slouched slightly in the chair, trying to make himself more comfortable – physically and mentally.
He supposed he could address the issue with Spike. Talk to him man-to-man, as it were.
This time he laughed out loud. Yes, that will work, I'll just appeal to the demon's sense of propriety. His sense of right and wrong. His heart. He laughed again.
Throwing back the rest of his tumbler of scotch he stood up and moved back to the bookshelf. 'Really shouldn't have bothered putting the bottle away.'
As he poured the amber liquid into the cut-crystal glass, the door of his apartment burst open.
"Speak of the devil, and he shall appear." Giles murmured and closed the bottle back up. "Spike, what are you doing barging into my home?" He turned, glass in hand.
Spike ignored the question, and eyed the drink speculatively. "I don't suppose you have any more of that lying about?"
"You are an aggravating, irritating creature, Spike." Giles nonetheless turned his back to the vampire and pulled another glass from the cabinet beneath his bookshelf. Pouring a generous glass for the blond, Giles handed the tumbler to Spike.
Spike raised his drink to Giles in cheer: "Old wood to burn/Old books to read/Old wine to drink/Old friends to trust."
Giles raised his eyebrow then raised his glass, "Sláinte!"
"An Irish toast?"
Giles shrugged and ambled over to his chair. "Spike," he repeated wearily, "to what do I owe the pleasure of having you in my home?"
Settling back, he watched as Spike moved to the couch and carelessly threw himself down. "Honestly? I don't know. I was just out and about, waiting for the Sl –" he caught himself, lifting his eyes quickly to Giles' before continuing. "– waiting for this Slazian demon friend of mine… we're planning on meeting up tonight, and, uh," a smile slid across Spikes lips, "getting into some trouble."
Giles tipped his head to the side and pursed his lips. He hadn't missed Spike's slip-of-the-tongue; it as was yet another sign that Buffy and he were… involved. 'I guess it's to be a face-to-face confrontation then.'
"Spike," Giles cleared his throat. "I know about you and Buffy."
Spike's head shot up from his glass. "You… you know what…?" He played for time, hoping Giles wasn't referring to what he thought he was.
"I know that you and Buffy have grown… closer in the past few months."
"Closer? Yeah, well, she doesn't want to stake me quite as often as she use to, it, umm comes from the whole spending more time together… erh, patrolling, watching after Dawn, and whatnot."
"It's not the patrolling that I'm worried about Spike. I AM, however, worried about the aforementioned 'whatnot'."
Spike remained silent.
"You do know that it's wrong, don't you, Spike? That you and Buffy make no sense together?"
"Yeah, well, mate, if life… and death… have taught me anything, it's that love doesn't make sense."
"Take a look at you. You and the demon bird. Might not make a lick of sense when people look at it from the outside. But on the inside, yeah, on the inside, everything feels damn right, doesn't it?''
Could he know? How? Did I do something? Inadvertently say something when Spike was around that gave it away? He straightened his back and tightened his grip on his glass. "I have no idea what you're talking about Spike. Stop trying to change the topic."
"'m not. I'm tryin' to prove a point. You have a thing for Anya."
"I – I don't know what you're talking about! Anya Jenkins?! She… she and Xander… whatever would give you that idea?"
"'Me thinks the Watcher doth protest too much.'" Spike grinned and settled back on the couch, crossing his black jean clad legs at the ankles. "Sorry, Rupes, it's there in your eyes every time you look at her; in your voice every time you talk to her."
'If Spike can tell how I feel about Anya, have the others noticed? Good Lord! Has Anya noticed and --.'
"Don't worry, Watcher, I don't think anyone else has realized you have a thing for the ex-demon. Excellent scotch by the way."
The sigh that escaped Giles was audible… even to someone who wasn't a vampire. He flushed lightly.
"Yes, well, we're not talking about myself… or Anya."
"Actually, we sort of are. You and the blonde are in the same… well similar… boat that the Slayer and I are in. Not everyone is going to get it… but, it works, for you… and I think for Anya."
"She… I…," clearing his throat then taking a deep breath, Giles gathered himself. "If I have feelings for Anya," Spike smirked as Giles spoke, and Giles put more conviction behind his voice. "If I have any feelings for Anya, she is unaware of them, and will remain so."
"Why?" Spike questioned with a lift of his brow.
"Why?" Giles echoed, scrambling for reasons.
Spike repeated, "Why?"
"Good Lord, we sound like parrots! Anya … I… Xander," Xander is a safe argument. "Xander and Anya are a couple. There is no hope for a ahem a relationship to blossom between Anya and me."
"Xander's a bloody prat who doesn't know what he has, or what it's worth, even when it's being dangled right in front of his face."
"He's a good boy."
"Right. 'A boy'. Anya is 1000 years old, she needs a man. A man who appreciates her. A man who wants to shout from the rooftops that he loves her. She doesn't need a… a 'boy' who only notices her when he wants to 'take her out to play'."
Giles was silent. He had seen Xander's tendency to ignore Anya. He'd seen Xander's tendency to disregard Anya's knowledge, which really, should one ever ignore the knowledge of someone who had lived for 1000 years? And Giles had most definitely been privy to Xander's tendency to be embarrassed by Anya's frank, forthright speech. Giles would be the first to admit that Anya said some rather surprising and unfiltered things, but for him – stodgy, British, older Giles – Anya's honesty was a part of her charm.
He drew himself out of his reflections with a huff. Listening to Spike's rhapsodies regarding the state of his love life was getting him nowhere. Pulling himself out of his chair he held his hand out for Spike's glass, "Another?"
"Since you're offering."
"Yes, well, don't get use to it, I'm not going to be your free watering hole."
Giles poured them each another glass. He'd have to stop drinking soon; there'd be nothing worse than being plastered around Spike. Unless, it was being plastered around Buffy and the rest of the group in their entirety. He shuddered at the thought. He wasn't a bad drunk, but he was certainly a lot less in control of his actions. Ripper and Rupert and Giles should NEVER be mixed… and that's what inebriation did, it took all his parts and made a one-of-a-kind cocktail out of them.
"She's a pretty woman, Rupert."
"She's damnably beautiful." He thrust the new tumbler full of scotch in front of his guest. His smirking guest. "And don't be so smug about being right. It was bound to happen to you once in century."
Spike's laughter was hearty and encouraged Giles to chuckle himself.
"How did you know?"
"Like I said, mate, it's in the eyes. It's in the eyes. And I think similar plights make a man notice and commiserate. I know love when I see it."
"Which brings us back around to you and Buffy." Giles tried to reassert some control on the discussion.
"We never really left me and the Slayer. What I've been trying to say, trying to point out to you, is that I feel for Buffy, the way you feel for Anya. Our plights are different only in that the Slayer and I were born to be enemies – that's where we don't fit. Where we do fit, is strength, passion, darkness."
"Buffy is not 'darkness', Spike. You may be, but she is not."
"And that's the part of her you'll never understand, Rupes. I agree, she's not all darkness – neither am I by the way – but she is some darkness…." He held his glass-filled hand up and shook his head to stop Giles' immediate argument. "She's not all darkness, but our girl, yeah," Spike settled back on the couch, "she's got these layers to her. White light, shades of steely and soft grays, and fathomless blackness." Brilliant blue eyes stared into gray-blue ones. "There's more to her than meets the eye. Than even she knows."
"I won't let you bring her down, Spike. We all have layers – depths, but that doesn't mean we should delve into them."
"Delve?!" Spike jumped up and began to pace. "I'm not talking about delving… or rolling around in them or… any shit like that. What I am talking about is accepting, recognizing, that she bloody HAS a dark side." He stopped pacing, "What? Does the damn council teach you Watchers and Slayers that you're all just, just… one dimensional? Because, mate, life isn't bloody like that!"
Stepping off of his soapbox, Spike dropped back down onto the couch and swallowed half of his scotch. His tone a little more relaxed, he pointed his hand at Giles. "Your girl, for instance, she's not just the blonde simpleton that the whelp seems to think she is. She's got passions, and energies in her – a mind; she's got a great mind."
Giles' voice was low, "I know."
"Then why aren't you doing something about it?!"
"Because we're not right for one another Spike. She's young… and, and I'm not."
"She's got 1000 years on you mate."
"She's with Xander; happily with Xander."
"You call THAT happy? Have you ever seen her face when he shuts her down?"
"We have nothing in common."
"Other than a close group of friends, your common 'fight for the good', the Magic Box, and let's not forget your appreciation of history. Half of what you study, she knows. First hand."
"However did we get on to the topic of Anya and me?"
Spike smiled, "You were trying to tell me that opposites don't work. Or that differences between a man and woman mean that their relationship is doomed to failure… or some such rot."
Giles relaxed his frame against the cushions of the chair and suckled a little more of the scotch. He studied Spike with one eye and wondered, could the vampire be right? Might he stand a chance with Anya?
"I'll give you one point where our situations – yours and mine – differ. I've taken the first step. I'm 'balls out, heart in my hand' with the Slayer. She could… does… take either – and sometimes both – and trounce on them a bit. But, she sees 'em. She knows. And, I have these moments, these moments of pure unadulterated bliss with her. Moments when she's not hiding. And she's not protecting herself from the possibilities." Spike took a last gulp from his glass, "Makes the 'bleedin' heart', the 'crushed nuts'," he grinned as Giles grimaced, "the whole bloody thing worthwhile."
Standing up, Spike put his glass down on the table, moved to pat Giles on the shoulder, then headed to the door. "Make your move mate. At least then you'll know. And you'll be living; truly living." Opening the door Spike looked back at the Watcher, "I'm off to get my Slayer. Thanks for the drink."