Author's Note: You did pay attention to the note in the summary, right? If not, then go right NOW to 'Giles' New Car' by Manchester, and read it!
Buffy Summers continued to grimly scrape off the demon goo from her lower left pants leg, until a muffled curse reached her ears. Glancing up from where she was wiping away at her stained clothing with a discarded paper wrapper picked up from the ground, the Slayer felt her grouchy mood abruptly lighten, as the young woman amusedly watched Rupert Giles standing at the far side of his new car and trying to reach a spot on the back of his tweed suit.
Just a few minutes before, the pair had been driving back to their homes from Buffy's latest patrol tonight guarding Sunnydale, until they passed a deserted city park and noticed in the darkness a particularly nasty-looking demon scuttling through that area, clearly up to no good. Giles had promptly pulled over, with Buffy leaping out of the Defender before that British SUV had come to a complete stop and going right at the demon, bringing it to bay in a cleared patch among the bushes and trees of the park that shielded from anybody's prying eyes the ensuing battle between a Hellmouth escapee and the Slayer.
Fondly watching the Englishman going through the usual bodily contortions necessary to clean off with his handkerchief what had splattered against his back, Buffy now had a very pleased expression appear on her pretty face. What had occurred several moments ago was pretty rare for the California native ever since she'd been Called; just herself and her Watcher going up against a creature of the dark, as Slayers and their companions had done for millennia. Buffy's friends that normally accompanied the blonde girl had a scheduled night off, so both Willow and Xander had missed everything. An actual smirk now materialized upon Buffy's features, as she went over in her mind precisely what she was going to tell two people tomorrow at the high school.
How she'd done the usual superhuman kicks and punches, while Giles had stayed to one side, calmly giving his normal advice and criticism of her efforts, all while that Council member had tried to identify her foe and determine its weaknesses. Finally, once Buffy had lured that walking lump of nastiness under a park lamppost, Giles had recognized the monster, and he'd promptly told Buffy to stab it with her knife in the middle of its chest, or whatever the front of that thing was called.
Her lower lip sticking out in her sudden pout, Buffy inwardly grumbled that Giles knew all about Slayer reflexes, which meant it was clearly his fault for not saying that man's next words quickly enough, in that only a single stab was necessary to finish off the demon. Not to mention that her Watcher should have definitely kept in mind a sweaty girl's eagerness to get home and immerse herself in a bathtub filled to its brim with glorious, steaming hot water and maybe a pinch or two of lavender bath salts.
In any event, after she'd sunk her knife to its hilt into the body of the demon, Buffy had then speedily completed the job by making a final, savage slice downwards, disemboweling her foe, at the exact point when Giles had been about to mention that the fiend she'd just finished off was a member of an unearthly species that possessed something best described as pressurized insides, and that it was wise to avoid creating any more holes in the hide of that menace to humanity than was necessary.
The resulting explosion was truly impressive, accompanied by about a hundred pounds of demonic inner contents being spread far and wide. After her ears had stopped ringing, Buffy had slowly swiveled around on her soaked pants leg that her best Slayer speed hadn't been quick enough to avoid being splashed by that yucky stuff, sending her fiercest glare over to-
To where a sputtering Rupert Giles was standing, completely covered in dripping goop.
A young girl had then spent an appreciable amount of time flat on her back on the park lawn, shrieking with laughter as she clutched at her sides, until a man in a state of extremely high dudgeon had stalked over to his car, moving to the opposite side of this newly-purchased vehicle where he would mostly be out of sight of a hysterical Buffy Summers, even if he was forced to hear that most impolite Slayer subside into fits of giggles.
As she continued watching Giles glumly examining his ruined tweed suit, a beaming Buffy caught the man's eye as he glanced up to return her amused gaze over the hood of his Land Rover car, with an extremely dirty look starting to appear on her Watcher's face. Until, at the very next instant, a truly surprised expression burst upon Giles' features, all while Buffy abruptly heard a faint, sizzling sound nearby, followed by her lower left leg suddenly feeling warm.
A startled Slayer glanced down, just in time to see the last threads of cloth that had previously made up the bottom of her pants leg soaked in demon blood now dissolve into thin air, leaving her completely unharmed smooth skin exposed from her knee down to where her left Doc Martens boot remained totally unaffected. That was all Buffy really had time to notice, before a panicked howl of sheer disbelief then pierced her ears.
Instantly taking off at a dead run towards where Rupert Giles had made that truly alarming noise, it was only after the first few steps that Buffy lifted her head, to look at where she was sprinting, which was the point where her Watcher was staring down in absolute horror, only to have her onrushing form catch his eye, as that man himself now thrust out towards her both of his arms, fingers up and palms facing out, while Giles then screamed over the hood of his car, "BUFFY, STOP!"
That astonished girl hastily slowed down, but she didn't actually stop, as she passed by the SUV's radiator, making her turn around the left front corner of this vehicle, as Buffy further goggled at her Watcher moving almost as fast as a Slayer, as this man dashed to the back of his car, to then make his own skidding turn around that rear corner, just as Buffy got on the side of the car that Giles had just departed from, in time to see a very white-
Coming to an abrupt skidding halt, Buffy slammed her eyes shut, as she fought down the overwhelming urge to claw these orbs out of their sockets over what she'd just witnessed.
After a minute or so of ultimate silence in the park, Buffy warily opened one eyelid the merest fraction, to then see through the side windows of the Defender a doleful male face regarding her, from where Rupert Giles was crouched down against the opposite side of the car where he'd fled, just beginning to shiver in the cool night air wafting against his entire exposed skin.
Working her jaws, Buffy managed to choke out, "How- what- do you have any clothes left at all?"
"Okay, right," gagged a blinking Buffy, beginning to walk in small circles. Not daring to look again at her Watcher lest she actually kill herself from an exploding brain due to sheer revulsion or dying from containing the devastating laughter about to begin any second now, Buffy frantically considered just what to do, only to then feel immense relief, as the Slayer now announced, "Look, here's the plan-"
"-I'll close my eyes again and cover them up with my hands, except for opening the back door and getting in, and then I keep them on again-"
"-and you get in front and drive me home, and I'll get out again, still with hands over eyes, until I hear you drive away completely out of sight-"
"-and then you change the driver's seat cover, or better yet, buy a whole new seat, and we never ever talk about this-"
At that roar from Giles battering her ears, a surprised blonde girl finally paid attention to the man on the other side of the car sadly regarding her. With real regret in his tone, the Englishman then explained to the daughter of Joyce Summers the slight flaw in her gibbered plan. "Buffy, this is Sunnydale."
"Oh," was produced in a very small voice from the Slayer.
Giles nodded, as he went on to further expand upon his remarks to Buffy, making sure that she absolutely understood what he was trying to say. "Satan and his entire legion of devils could stroll down the main street of this town at high noon without any single member of the authorities batting an eye, but if we follow your plan, all we'd get is a single block from here before the whole bloody police force showed up and forced me to stop the car, to then at once arrest a stark-naked man in the company of an underage girl. I don't think your mother, for one, would be particularly pleased about that at all, Buffy."
This addressed young woman had to admit that Giles had a…point. An entirely ridiculous one, but an actual point. From what Buffy had lived through in Sunnydale ever since she'd moved here, this very place was the vacation spot of Murphy himself, that not-so-imaginary entity delighting in causing trouble to others at the most inopportune moments. Even if Buffy went jogging off on her own to her home, and left Giles to cautiously drive to his apartment, the absurd consequences of what he'd just suggested might actually happen. So, okay, what were they going to do?
There were some more moments of silent deliberation for both Buffy and Giles, with the former actually considering imitating a Flintstones cartoon she'd once watched and going back into the park to gather up leaves from various bushes, to then weave these into some kind of skirt for her Watcher. Hey, that wasn't any more idiotic than this man himself seriously mulling over a scheme involving the street map in the driver's glove compartment of his car. Still, Buffy finally remembered something that she really should have thought of right away.
"Uh, Giles…" That named Watcher blinked as he was diverted from his gloomy thoughts, to see a very peculiar expression now upon his Slayer's face as she stood on the opposite side of the Defender. Mixed in there was worry and amusement (damn her!) and…regret?
Buffy sheepishly went on, "….the fact is, there might be something in the car that you can wear, and you could, um, actually get away with it, even if anybody stops us. But, well-" Cutting herself off, the young woman then rallied, to rush out her next mystifying words, "It's your birthday next week!"
An utterly dumbfounded man just stared at who'd stated that inexplicable announcement, until Giles now said what first came to his mind, "Er, yes, but how the blazes did you know that?"
Buffy just shrugged, as she sent towards the older man a cautious smile. "Oh, Willow hacked into the government files and found your passport. Your birth date was on it."
Giles' mouth dropped open over that unsettling bit of news, only for him to abruptly close it, to then utter a very reproving remark, "Buffy, you or Willow could have simply asked that of myself. Plus, it was most improper for her to break the law over such a minor thing."
An indignant girl then declared, "But if we'd asked, you'd have found out about the whole surprise party and the bigger surprise- Ooops."
After finishing off with that chagrined comment, Buffy then cast her sheepish gaze downwards, and she started casually digging the toe of her right boot against the ground, sensing all too well the suspicious stare now being given in her direction by the older man, who then cleared his throat, to warily inquire, "What bigger surprise?"
Not looking up from her attempt to excavate with her footwear a shaft all the way down to China, Buffy mumbled, "It was totally Xander's idea!"
"Yes, I'm sure," came from a merciless Giles. "Could you please be a tad more specific, if I dare ask?"
Buffy sighed, knowing that it was all going to come out now. "Look, me and Willow just chipped in, 'cause it would have been so funny! Right during the party, we'd have all gone out to your car, and then showed you a whole new outfit for you to wear, that I sneaked in the trunk yesterday and hid under my weapons kit. We figured that you'd go along with it there at least once, dressing up for the rest of the party!"
Trying to understand what his charge was babbling about, Rupert Giles concentrated upon what was most important. "There's actually something in the boot that I can wear?"
A bewildered Buffy looked up at that last question, to then uncertainly answer, "Well, there's a pair of boots, but it's a complete outfit-"
"Never mind, Buffy," happily interrupted Giles, rubbing away the goosebumps that were beginning to appear on his bare chest. "We say the word 'boot' back in England for the luggage compartment. Now, kindly move to the front of the car and face forward, if you please. I'll gladly put on whatever it is, and then we'll be off. Afterward, mum's the word between us, agreed?"
Buffy opened her mouth as if to say something, only to change her mind as she turned to obey her Watcher's instructions, who himself might have become more than a bit apprehensive at the sudden smile of pure evil that had appeared upon the Slayer's face. When Buffy halted in her few steps towards the front of the Land Rover, she gleefully awaited for the proper moment. When the various sounds of the rear door being opened and the trunk being lifted told her that now was the time, Buffy then offhandedly spoke, "Hey, Giles, I'll go along with the keeping quiet, but you've gotta wear it all right this minute. Because seeing you in it, that's the only thing that'll get me to tell Xander and Willow I changed my mind about giving you the present back there."
As sounds of clinking weaponry came from the shifting of Buffy's spare knives, swords, and axes, these noises were followed by the confused voice of Giles asking, "What are you talking abo- OH, DEAR LORD!"
Starting to snigger, Buffy then demanded of her blackmailed Watcher, "So, Giles, do we have a deal?"
The outraged silence coming from back there lasted for several endless moments, to eventually be broken by a wordless snarl of peevish acceptance, as Buffy Summers wrapped her arms around herself and shook with sheer delight, smiling straight ahead as she listened to the soft whispers of cloth being pulled over middle-aged flesh, of a ludicrous outfit being donned by a now-sullen Englishman resigned to his fate.
Finally, the stomping steps of Rupert Giles moved from the rear of the British SUV, up the side of the car, to then stop right behind Buffy at the front left corner of that man's car. Slowly turning around, the grinning Slayer examined from top to bottom the Watcher standing there in his total wrath.
A gleaming white pith helmet was perched upon Giles' head, pulled down low over his glowering face, while a safari jacket with attached crossed bandoliers stuffed full of sham bullets the size of large bananas covered his chest. The bogus double-barreled rifle the Englishman was holding with difficulty in both arms now twitched, as if he dearly yearned to use that oversized toy weapon (appearing more than capable of wiping out entire species of African wildlife with one pull of both triggers) upon a certain blonde. Finishing off Giles' new attire was a pair of khaki shorts revealing rather knobby knees, with accompanying massive hiking boots for traipsing on the bush veldt.
As Buffy again sank to the ground, once more shrieking with laughter, an absolutely calm, carrying voice then informed that Slayer, "Buffy, you have two seconds to get in the car, or I'm going to run over you when I leave here." The very cold gaze now bestowed upon the young girl lying in front of the safari vehicle showed that Great White Hunter Giles truly meant this.