Rating: FRM (very light)
Synopsis: Giles has some things to say – and Xander is going to listen, whether he likes it or not.
Author’s Notes: As always, thank you, fairygothmum.
Giles shook his head in mild disappointment as he walked into the bar. He made his way over to a table in the corner occupied by Xander…alone. As he sat down, Xander looked up at him and sighed.
“Hello.” He replied, glancing at the bartender and requesting a drink with a gesture of his hand.
Xander snorted softly. “How do you do that? I try that and they just look at me like they have no fucking clue.”
“Perhaps it’s because I show them respect for their vocation and not expect them to simply be at my beck and call.” He said in a slow, calculated tone. He turned his eyes to the server as she placed a beer in front of him. “Thank you very much.”
The server gave him a grin and then walked away quickly. Xander’s eyes widened slightly.
“You could be all up in her in about five seconds…” Xander said with a slightly intoxicated smile.
Giles rolled his eyes and took a sip of his beer before levelling his glare at Xander. “That is not why I’m here.”
“Nah…Buffy’d kill you.”
“She wouldn’t, but I have no interest there.”
“I wouldn’t either if I were sleeping with Buffy.” Xander muttered, sliding his empty glass over to the edge of the table.
Giles stared at Xander. After a long moment of silence, Xander looked up at him expectantly. He inhaled sharply at the intensity in Giles’ eyes.
“Oh…did I say that out loud?” When Giles merely continued his stare, Xander swallowed and sat up a bit straighter. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to overstep or…anything. I’m just…I’m not in a good place right now, Giles. I’m really sorry.”
Giles took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “You’ve been having doubts for a while, haven’t you?”
“About the wedding? I thought it was just…you know, cold feet.”
“What do you think ‘cold feet’ refers to?” Giles asked, furrowing his brow.
“Considering how you just asked that, I’m gonna go with ‘having doubts’?”
“Why didn’t you just talk to her? You could have discussed your concerns at any point and she would have understood.”
“Understood? Oh, she totally understood – that’s why she went and slept with Spike.”
“She slept with Spike because she was hurt and needed – ”
“Is that why Buffy slept with Spike? Because she was hurt?” Xander interrupted coldly, his eyes dark with anger.
“Buffy sleeping with Spike had nothing to do with you, Xander. I’m not sure why you seem to think you should be upset with her for that.”
“What? You’re totally okay with it? For fuck’s sake, Giles! She – ”
Giles leaned forward, narrowing his eyes as he stared directly into Xander’s. “Why are you concerning yourself with Buffy’s actions when they do not affect you in any way? You’re deflecting, as you’re wont to do. The issue here isn’t Spike. It’s not Anya. And, it’s most definitely not Buffy.”
“What, I’m the problem here?”
“Yes.” Giles responded, frustrated that he was even having this conversation. “You’re the one who refused to discuss your concerns. You’re the one who led Anya to believe everything was fine. You’re the one who left her at the altar. You’re the one who still called the wedding off, even after acknowledging that you knew that what you were shown was untrue. You’re the one who broke her heart, Xander – so, yes, you’re the problem here.”
“Why are you okay with Buffy sleeping with Spike?”
“Why is your concern given to Spike instead of Anya?” Giles countered, not bothering to hide his annoyance and completely ignoring the question.
“Buffy should’ve told us what was going on. We could’ve helped her work through her issues with you leaving.”
Giles took a deep breath, then sat back in his chair. He curled his fingers around the base of his glass, but didn’t pick it up. Instead, he blinked slowly and did his best to calm himself.
“I would think that’s very much an instance of the pot calling the fucking kettle black, don’t you?”
Xander shook his head, glancing off to the side. “I’m trying to work out how I’m supposed to deal with this. Yeah, I fucked up. I get it. But, she slept with Spike…and I’m just supposed to be okay with that?”
“Yes, you are. Because you don’t get to choose who Anya spends her time with anymore. You gave up the ability to give your opinion on that when you walked away from her.”
“She left me! I just wanted to postpone the wedding. I still wanted to…”
“Date her? Sleep with her?” Giles asked when Xander trailed off. “Seriously? Did you even see her? Or were you too concerned about your own feelings to even consider hers?”
Xander was quiet for a moment, staring at his empty glass. Then he cleared his throat and shook his head slowly.
“You’re not helping.”
Giles scoffed as he lifted his glass. “I’m not trying to help you.”
Xander glared at Giles angrily. “Then why are you even here?”
“To try to help you understand.” Giles replied, keeping his frustration reined in…for the most part.
“Why is it that you leave and everything falls apart…and then you come back and everything just fixes itself – and you get the girl.”
“What are you even going on about, Xander?” Giles asked, tired of holding his frustration back.
“You didn’t even have to try. You came back and everyone was all ‘ooh, Giles is back’. And the next thing I know, you’re moving into Buffy’s bedroom. What the fuck is that about?”
Giles drank a third of his beer in one swallow and shook his head. Then with a deep sigh, he looked into Xander’s eyes.
“Do you know why I left?”
“Because shit was too hard?”
Giles’ eyes narrowed. “Because Buffy was relying too much on me…and I couldn’t tell her no. I needed for her to see that she was strong enough to take care of herself.”
“You hurt her though. Like…she was devastated. And fucking pissed off at the world.”
“Yes, she was. And I did hurt her. However, it was the right thing to do.” He took another drink of his beer and glanced at the bartender. “Saying that…it’s not as though I just picked up and left without explanation. Buffy knew exactly why I was leaving Sunnydale. She also knew that I wasn’t leaving her.”
“Then why did she sleep with Spike?”
“That’s not my story to tell. And I don’t think she actually owes you an explanation for that. Buffy is not your concern, Xander.”
“She’s my friend.”
“But, not your girlfriend. And you seem to have trouble clearing that line – it’s been blurred in your eyes since the day Buffy walked into Sunnydale High.”
Xander looked like he was getting ready to argue the point, but then slumped back in his chair and sighed heavily. “Yeah, you’re probably right about that.”
Giles smiled at the server as she placed another beer down in front of him. She cast a quick glance at Xander and then arched an eyebrow at Giles. Giles gave a barely perceptible shake of his head. The server responded with a nod, glanced at Giles’ left hand, and then walked away.
“You should tell her.” Xander mumbled, drawing indistinct shapes against the tabletop with his index finger.
“Tell who what?”
Xander looked up and tilted his head towards the bar. “Her. You should tell her that you’re taken. Because…she’ll make a move on you.”
“I do know how to kindly and respectfully decline advances.”
Xander furrowed his brow and looked at Giles curiously. “You and Buffy were together before, weren’t you? That’s why she didn’t go after Riley.”
Giles took a drink of his beer and then leaned forward slightly. “Give Anya some time. Stop berating her over Spike. Stop giving Buffy a hard time about Spike. Acknowledge your part in this. Stop fucking deflecting and take responsibility for your actions. This is on you, Xander. Once you realise that and truly accept it…we’ll be able to help you.”
He finished off his beer and placed the empty glass on the table.
“But, I will not discuss my relationship with Buffy with you. Not in the way you want me to.” He waited until Xander gave him a nod of understanding, then he stood up. “Now…do you need a ride home or are you going to continue drowning your sorrows for a while longer?”
“I think I have some thinking to do.” Xander answered quietly. “But, thanks.”
Giles hesitated as if he were getting ready to say something but thought better of it. Instead, he gave Xander a nod and bid him a good night. He walked over to the bar and smiled at the server as he handed her a fifty dollar bill.
“For my drinks and a cab for him when he’s ready to leave.”
“No problem.” She said with a sparkle in her eye as she took the money. “I’m off the clock in a couple of hours…”
“And if I were single, I’d seriously consider coming back. Alas…I need to get home to my girlfriend. But, thank you very much for the offer.”
“My loss is her gain.” She gave him a wink and glanced over at Xander. “Everything okay there?”
Giles sighed heavily and shrugged his shoulders. “He’s a bit of an idiot at times…this time moreso than usual.”
After a beat, he pulled two twenties out of his wallet and passed them over to her. “Will that cover his drinks?”
“More than. Hold on, I’ll get your change.”
“That’s alright, put it in the tip jar.” He said, casting another look over to Xander before turning and walking out of the bar.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“I’m guessing you found him, since you’re this late getting in…” Buffy murmured when she felt him climb into the bed next to her.
“I did.” He whispered, placing a kiss on her shoulder before sliding his arms around her.
“I don’t know.” He said, pulling her back against his chest.
Buffy opened her eyes and looked over her shoulder at him. “You sound annoyed.”
“It was a frustrating venture.” He admitted, shifting as she rolled over to face him. “He’s placing far too much importance on things that simply do not matter.”
“Spike.” Giles muttered, allowing his fingers to brush the hair back from her face.
“Oh…” She sighed, placing her hand on the soft fabric of his pajama top. She nervously chewed on her bottom lip as her fingers toyed with a button. “I’m guessing by your tone that the conversation wasn’t just about Anya and Spike.”
“It’s none of his business.” Giles grumbled, the muscle in his jaw twitching.
“What did he say? I know that he said something about me…he always seems to whenever Spike is mentioned. He forgets I have Slayer hearing and his under the breath mutterings are like normal volume for me.”
“Can we not talk about it?” When her brow furrowed, he offered her a gentle smile. “I’ll tell you everything tomorrow, but…could we not talk about it right now?”
She returned his smile when he felt his fingers edge under the top she was wearing. “Other things on your mind?”
“How’s the soundproofing spell going?”
He grinned and rolled her onto her back, slipping his left leg between hers as he leaned over her. “Let’s find out, love.”
She giggled, sliding her hand into his hair and pulling him down for a kiss. Just before his lips met hers, she stopped giggling and looked into his eyes.
“I’m really glad you came back.” She whispered.
“I’m really glad you were okay with me coming back.” He whispered in reply.
“I didn’t want to be with him.”
“I know.” He pulled back slightly and arched an eyebrow at her. “Are we discussing this now?”
“No. But, something did just pop into my head.” She pulled a button free on his top. “Do you think he knows that you and Anya kissed?”
“I suspect not. I’m fairly certain only three people know about that. And the third was none too happy with me when I admitted that I had told you.”
“Spells…” She mumbled, pulling another button free and gently scratching her nails over his chest.
“Mm-hm. Are we finished talking about things that aren’t about us?”
She laughed and wrapped her right hand around the back of his neck. Her laugher was replaced with a soft moan as he covered her mouth with his.
She had to admit that she was curious about what Xander had said to Giles. But, when he pushed her pajama shorts down her legs and pulled them off, she decided that her curiosity wasn’t nearly as enticing as what his mouth would soon be doing. She could definitely talk to him about it later.
Right now, she was more interested in finding out if the soundproofing spell had worked.
“Holy fuck…” She groaned loudly as ran his tongue through her wet folds.
Guess they’d find out soon enough.
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