Setting the mood

Disclaimer: Faith and Giles are owned by Joss Whedon and co.

Author notes: This takes place post Chosen, in line with the season eight comics, pre "Retreat." It's not necessary to have read the comics to read this though. Faith and Giles are involved in a relationship (though they are not canonically as far as we know in the comics).

Giles heard the music even before he had entered through the hidden panel door of the underground bunker that was their current place of dwelling. By merely touching the door he could already feel its vibrations resonating within his chest, and he cringed slightly, knowing that the stone walls must be considerably muffling the sounds. He could only imagine how terribly loud the volume would sound to him when he actually opened the door. So much for subtlety… had the woman forgotten that they were in fact attempting to keep a low profile, to remain hidden- that they had gone underground literally as well as figuratively for a reason beyond mere whim?

It was unlikely that anything would hear them in their current location, of course, and it was certain that nothing above ground would be able to. No doubt the woman realized that, and thus chose to take advantage of their relative solitude while she could. But still…was it quite necessary to have the volume turned up to a decibel level approaching that of a jet plane taking off for flight?

Giles shook his head with part dread, part amusement, and inhaled slowly, bracing himself before opening the door. Immediately his eardrums were assaulted with the vehement cacophony of screeching instruments, beating drums and other violent-sounding unidentifiable noisemakers, and a voice that sounded to him rather like the "singer" in question was being tortured and recorded as he bellowed in agony. Giles shook his head again, his features tightening with an expression that appeared on the verge of physical pain as already he felt his ears begin to throb. He was not opposed to loud, angry music- he had thrived off of classic rock and still enjoyed it considerably more than the syrupy, bouncy rubbish that Buffy had often tormented his brain and ears with during training. But heavy metal, particularly Faith's favorite sort of heavy metal, was not music; it was headache-inducing noise.

As Giles set down the bags of groceries and supplies he had set out for, he could hear Faith around the corner from the area in which they ate, her feet pounding in uneven rhythm on the concrete floor as she moved enthusiastically with the pulsing vibrations of the beat surrounding them. In spite of himself Giles was smiling slightly as he walked in the direction of the source of both music and pounding, wondering with some faint incredulity how Faith, whose hearing, as a Slayer, was much finer than Giles's, could possibly stand to listen to this drivel at such a volume without going deaf.

As he turned the corner the music seemed only louder still, attacking his hearing with such appalling volume that Giles barely restrained himself from covering his ears. As it was he crossed his arms, watching as the young woman before him danced beside her battery-controlled small stereo with energetic abandon, leaping about, shaking her hips, moving her arms with a joyous passion as a nearly feral smile curled her lips, tangles of long dark hair flying about her head as she gyrated wildly. Watching her, Giles's breath caught, and for several moments he was able to forget the music entirely as he simply took in the sight of his Slayer, his lover, and the easy beauty of her body and its movements before him.

When at last Faith glanced over and grinned, dimples flickering into view, and called out in greeting to him, simply continuing to dance without breaking stride or slowing down in the slightest, Giles called back to her, having to nearly scream for her to hear him over the noise.

"I suppose it's a good thing we are underground, Faith, or half of the street would be deafened by the caterwauling you call music."

"Oh, come off it, you know you wanna join me!" Faith yelled back, eyes glinting playfully, and she began to make her way over towards the corner in which Giles stood, still dancing in admirable rapid rhythm even so. "C'mere, G!"

"Faith, really-" Giles began, starting to shake his head, but she would take nothing but yes for an answer. Reaching for his hand, Faith pulled him in close to her, spinning herself around so that she was dancing around him in a circle, her hands stroking up and over his arms and chest as she continued to leer up at him.

"Really, G…you know how I get when you tell me no," she smirked, and then grinned widely as she backed herself into him so that her backside pressed heavily into his groin, her back into his chest. She began to grind quickly against him, covering his arms with hers and wrapping them around herself as she rubbed herself against him. "You really wanna say it now anyway?"

With Faith's body, so warm, so aroused, so persistent and close against his, her hands rubbing up and down his arms, the scent of her hair just under his chin, intoxicating in the smell of it so that Giles unconsciously swallowed, inhaling deeply, he had to admit with no reluctance that the price of loud music and throbbing ears was definitely worth the payoff of an excited- and excitable- Faith in his arms. As he tightened his arms around her, beginning to sway his body along with hers, pressing himself into her as well, Faith laughed out loud, squeezing his hands briefly.

"Thought so!"

As the music continued, Giles actually began to somewhat enjoy the way the music's vibrations rattled in his chest, the pounding in his ears, the loose, slightly vacant feeling in his body as he held Faith against him hard, as if he were becoming an empty vessel, free to feel everything more intensely than usual. As Faith's back, ass, and legs rubbed against him, and his hands wandered over her legs, arms, stomach, and sides, Giles let go of it all and allowed himself to give over to the moment, the music, and Faith's delighted laughter.

When the song ended a couple of minutes later, switching over to another that to Giles, sounded indistinguishable from the first, Faith turned in his arms, pausing their dancing to reach up, locking her arms around his neck and flattening her breasts against his chest as she kissed him with heavy enthusiasm, her tongue massaging his almost roughly. Giles's arms closed around her, one hand splayed between her shoulder blades as he returned her kiss, eyes closing, concentrating on the always heady sensation of Faith's embrace, not to mention the skilled work of her kiss.

When they pulled apart slightly both were out of breath, their faces flushed, and Giles's glasses were slightly fogged. Faith's lipstick was smeared, her hair disarrayed in a mass of waves Giles thought to be unbelievably sexually stimulating, and her eyes fairly danced as she beamed up at him, her arms still locked around his neck.

"Not bad… got the makings of a guy who can really get down, even if you are British. I say we keep up on the dancing, move to a horizontal mattress mambo now…"

Giles kissed her again, quicker, more gently this time, even as he reached to turn off the music, his ears instantly achieving relief. As Faith turned her head, making a noise of protest, he turned her chin towards him again, speaking in a low undertone as he held her face.

"I do not protest against that suggestion… but I would ask, Faith, that we wait."

Faith's eyebrows drew together, and she breathed out with incredulous indignation, removing one hand from his neck to make a gesture that emphasized her feelings of this statement.

"What? What exactly would we be waiting for when we're both more than ready now? And believe me, I can tell you're ready," she smirked as her free hand travelled to his hip, gliding its way to cover his crotch and press down hard with a suggestive leer.

Giles swallowed, feeling the immediate response of his body to her touch, but nevertheless did not move, other than perhaps to squeeze her just a little bit tighter, his voice just a bit less steady as he responded.

"Believe me, Faith, what I have in mind will bring you to even greater readiness than your current state."

"Not possible," Faith asserted in a low, husky tone, looking up at him through half lowered eyes and a lusty smile as her hand continued to very lightly press, than knead, the crotch of his pants, and Giles swallowed again, his pulse speeding. It took him a few moments to regain control of his thoughts and body enough to remind himself to press his will, and he covered Faith's hand with his, entwining their fingers as he gently removed hers from the front of his pants.

"Trust me."

Slipping himself out from under Faith's other grasping arm and releasing her, but still holding her hand, Giles lead her bemused, skeptical, and slightly irritated form back past the stereo to the very few CDs he had managed, in their limited time in the bunker, to amass. Choosing an Eric Clapton compilation of hits, Giles slipped it into the CD player, starting up the disc, and began to scan through to his song of choice. Faith, who had raised her eyebrows high at Giles's selection, looked all the more disconcerted when he paused on track 11.

"Hey, I'm all for trying new kinks, you know that…but how the hell is listening to that super-slow, mega-sappy "Wonderful Tonight" gonna amp up our sex drives more than they already are?"

"Trust me," Giles repeated, and he met Faith's eyes with his, something of a challenge in his gaze even as he smiled faintly. "I danced with you, Faith, and now I ask that you dance with me. Trust me."

He had let go of her hand to ready the CD, and now he turned fully towards her again, holding out his hand, palm up, for her to take. Faith smirked, rolling her eyes, and displayed in her posture and expression as much scoffing impatience as was possible for one person to convey.

"I thought we were through with the Eliza Doolittle routines once we blew up the Slayer seducing sorcerer…"

Nevertheless she slipped her hand into his, allowing his fingers to wrap around hers, and let Giles pull her close against him, into his arms. He closed his arm around her, closely encircling her waist, and bent his arm, holding her hand with his against his chest as he began to sway with her slowly, in easy keeping with the unhurried pace of the playing song. As he turned them in a slow circle, leading them, controlling the movement of Faith's body, she exhaled, and her body tensed, not yet yielding to his control or relaxing into his arms. Clearly she was still restless to skip ahead of the scenic route and to hop directly into bed and under the covers- if she even took the time to do that.

"This is weird, G," she said in a loud mock whisper, as if in an attempt to preserve the sanctity and quiet mood of the moment, though Giles knew very well that she was poking fun. "Not to mention corny…and it's not revving me up, it's putting me to sleep."

"Shh," Giles murmured back, not even glancing down at her.

He drew her in a little closer, then began to use the hand lightly resting on the small of Faith's back to stroke up and down her spine, underneath her hair, with slow, even caresses. Faith shivered, and the hand in his tightened its grip, her body unconsciously pressing against his; even so she continued to resist.

"I never danced this slow in my life, G. Never MOVED this slow unless I was sleeping or comatose."

"Shh," he said again, and he stroked his thumb over her hand, where their fingers remained entwined, marveling to himself how smooth, soft, and small her hands really were, even with the calluses of her palms and the incredible strength he knew they could bring forth.

Faith, however, was never one to let him or anyone else have the last word after only two shots at it.

"I don't even know if you can CALL this dancing, I mean, we're barely moving at-"

"Faith," Giles interrupted, squeezing her hand, and his voice was soft, but intent. "Stop talking."

Faith opened her mouth, but when Giles squeezed her hand again, hard, then bent his head to give her a quick but firm kiss on the lips, she exhaled as though she were long-suffering indeed and surrendered to silence. Giles kissed her again briefly and then pulled his face away, continuing to slowly sway in a circle, his hand ascending, then descending over her back and shoulders as he kept her body close to his.

For nearly a full minute Faith was only aware of the incredible slowness of the song, of their movements, and how infuriatingly frustrating it was to be forced to be so slow and still when all she wanted was to drag Giles to their mattress and strip off their clothes as fast as was humanly possible. But after that first minute was up she began to be aware of other things, her senses slowly expanding to include other, more exciting stimuli.

She could feel Giles's heartbeat under her fingers, its speed increasing as time passed…she could feel his chest rising and falling against hers with his breaths, and she was almost certain that they were breathing in near unison with each other, even as their breaths grew faster, shallow with desire and growing excitement. She could smell him so near her, and her stomach twisted with need to be even closer, to have him even nearer…to have him in her. She felt the evidence of his arousal more keenly than before pressed against her, and as Giles's thumb stroked her hand, his hand caressed her back, she tucked her head under his chin, pressing her face into his neck, and relaxed her body against his, further aroused by the warmth of the hollow of his neck and the rapid spiking of his pulse. She had never wanted him so badly as she did then; she felt the desire to her core.

When the song ended, Giles did not reach to shut the music off. He embraced her briefly but hard before meeting her mouth with his, kissing her aggressively, and Faith's fingers buried themselves in his hair as she pulled his face closer down to hers, returning the kiss with enthusiasm that was need as much as wanting. When she began to drag him down to the floor without pausing in her kissing, fumbling to remove their clothes with shaky fingers, Giles smiled into the kiss. There was no words exchanged; no 'I told you so' was necessary.

end