Giles knotted his tie and adjusted it in the mirror. Strange to see himself dressed like this: suit jacket and trousers, the red silk braces he’d worn so often only a year ago. The shirt didn’t fit as well as it had then. Giles had lost inches around his stomach and gained them across his shoulders.
Today his bit of leather was the band around his right wrist. He wore it pushed up under his shirtsleeve. Buffy generally required that he show it, but not today. Today he was an academic, intending to offer his expertise to a colleague at the university about an artifact they’d decided to put on display. An artifact that gave Buffy the wiggins, and that Giles suspected was of vital importance to a mystery cult currently operating in LA.
So. Dress the academic. Be the academic. Stammer, as he had not stammered in months. Push his glasses up his nose and give that shy smile. Leave the sword at home. Hide the new nipple piercings under the broadcloth. Hide one version of himself, and expose the other.
The ear piercings, though, he could do nothing about those. Buffy had put the rings in his ears; he would suffer only Buffy to remove them. Perhaps the tweed would have further countered them? Too late. He had to leave now if he was to be on time. Giles rattled down the front steps of their house and coaxed the Citroen into motion.
The interview broke down right away, though not because of any sartorial choices Giles had made. And not from any defect of his manner. He found it easy to slide back into his prior self, easy to talk shop with a fellow historian. But the man sitting on the other side of the desk in the cluttered office was not predisposed to be friendly. Professor Williamson, degree from Tufts, just back from a year rooting around on little Aegean islands. He was young for someone so donnish, in a rumpled jumper with elbow patches. Jumpy. Deep circles were scored under his eyes. He answered Giles’ casual questions with as few words as he could. Giles wondered why he’d agreed to the interview. Perhaps he’d hoped Giles would reveal something inadvertently?
Giles scanned the detritus on the shelves and walls, cautiously, while attempting small-talk about the pitfalls of foreign digs and prickling national pride. No wonder he looked haunted: the man was up to his neck in demons. That was a copy of the Codex Seraphinianus wedged into the bookshelf at Giles’ elbow. Tiny, and terrifying. There was no good reason for any human to have a copy of that, and damn good reason for Giles to call the Council and alert them the second he got home.
This man didn’t appear to know what he had, or it would have been locked in a silver box anointed with sanctified oil. Not sitting on a shelf where it might spontaneously open a portal to Seraphus. Ignorant, suspicious, and proof against Giles’ charm. Not likely to cooperate with the Initiative, at least.
Giles learned nothing about the source of the artifact that he had not already known before the visit. He thought perhaps that Williamson had warmed to him somewhat during the conversation.
On his way out, he palmed the codex and slid it into his jacket pocket. This man wasn’t summoning demons, but somebody else was. And it couldn’t be left.
The first thing he did when he got home was ward the book. The second thing he did was call the Council. He’d been begging them to send a team to help for weeks now. This, he thought, would finally convince them how bad the situation was. The third thing he did was pull out his references on the codex. His memory of the exact protections needed should be checked. Mucking this up would have nasty consequences.
Some time later, he felt Buffy approaching. On foot, happy, hungry. Giles straightened in his chair. God, it felt as if he’d been sitting there for hours. According to his watch, he had. The front door opened, and Buffy breezed in. She slung her bookbag onto the sofa and came over to him.
“Look at you,” she said. “Full librarian mode. How’d it go?”
“Um. Badly. Buffy, about that professor. It’s worse than we thought, but no Initiative.”
“Worse?” She leaned up behind him and played with his tie.
“Definitely demon-summoning threat. And by amateurs, which means we might have an incursion to deal with. I stole something from his office. He had no idea what it was, but it’s the single most dangerous book in existence. When it’s not warded. Don’t think he’ll notice any time soon, but there might be repercussions.”
“Oh boy. Fun ahead,” said Buffy.
He stood and stretched, working out the stiffness in his legs. He’d missed his afternoon workout. “Dinner? I can throw something together.”
“Naw. Let’s go out. Since you’re all dressed. Feel like sushi?”
They were at their favorite sushi bar half an hour later, in a corner table. The restaurant had light custom that evening. Buffy took the seat that positioned her with her back against the wall, where she could scan the room. As ever. She never truly stopped being the Slayer these days, even when relaxing. Once upon a time Giles would have insisted on that seat. Now he was content to trust her.
The waitress brought tea for Buffy and Onikoroshi for Giles without needing to ask. Giles had his first sip of sake, and sighed when he tasted it. He ordered food for them both, as usual, not telling Buffy what he was ordering, also as usual. Though she’d already begun to learn the words, and knew when he was asking for her favorites. He asked her how her classes had gone, and got her enthusiastic reaction to the reading for her 20th century novel class. He drank, she talked, and their food arrived.
Buffy brought her discussion of The Go-Between to a halt. “Hey. Where’s your leather?”
“Wristband. Under the shirt.”
Giles stood. He shrugged off the suit coat and hung it on the back of his chair, then folded up his shirtcuffs. He sat down again, and raised his eyebrows at her.
“Excellent.” She studied him, and smiled. “I missed the suspenders, believe it or not. You’re pretty hot in those suits, you know?”
“Thank you. I always rather liked the look of the braces.” He tucked his thumb under the left brace and stroked it.
Buffy took a piece of nigiri from the common tray and examined it doubtfully. It was uni. He’d never ordered it for her before. Buffy ate it and made a face. “The texture… I don’t know about that. Slimy. Tastes good, though. Don’t tell me what it is.”
Giles smiled behind his hand. He ate a piece of salmon, then a little ginger.
“So. Those suspenders. Braces. Whatever. Did you know I had fantasies about them?”
“Good lord. I thought I was ew-worthy back then.”
Buffy waved her teacup at him. “That was so about making sure you didn’t think I had a crush on you. I thought you would wig. Funny how things work out, huh?”
Giles quirked a little smile. This was gratifying. “Mmm. What were your fantasies?”
“Oh, you know, the usual. My, isn’t it hot in here, Mr Giles. Why yes it is, Miss Summers. Allow me to undo your cute yet strangely alluring and most definitely mature dress.”
Giles finished off the goma wakame and set the bowl aside. “Library?”
“Definitely library. That table. Me sitting on top of it, you standing in front.”
Giles ate the other piece of uni. “Which dress? The, er, green and white one that looked like curtains? Impossibly short?”
“Oh, my God, you remember that dress? Yeah, okay, let’s go with that one. I’ve got high boots on, and I can see you looking at my legs as I sit on the edge of the table.”
“Mmm, I can imagine it. How do the braces enter in?”
“Aha. He asks the crucial question.” Buffy pointed at him with her chopsticks. “You step up to me, and kiss me, all soft and melting at first. One hand on my thigh, tentative, right at the edge of my dress. One hand at the back of my head. Nervous and stammery, until I start taking over. I loosen your tie and undo the top two buttons of your shirt, not breaking the kiss.”
Giles leaned forward toward her across the table, sushi forgotten. Buffy continued.
“Then I slide your braces down your shoulders. I unbutton them from your pants and loop them around your wrists. You break off the kiss, then, and stare at me. You’re startled. But I’ve already got your hands tied with the braces.”
“Good Lord. Even back then, you wanted, er…?” Giles indicated the band around his right wrist.
“Yeah. Even then, I had an idea what I liked in a man. Smart. Handsome. Strong. Big chest. Hands tied behind his back and begging me to keep going.”
Giles’ breath caught. He looked away from her, and picked up his sake glass.
“Are you excited yet?”
He froze, then continued raising his glass to his lips. He drank, and put it down. She held his gaze. “Are you?”
“Good.” Buffy dabbed some wasabi onto a piece of maguro, and bit it in half. “Stay that way. When we get home, I’m going to want to play.”
“Bloody hell, woman.” Giles adjusted the napkin in his lap.
Giles didn’t bother replying. He emptied his glass, and thought about ordering more. He’d have to let her drive if he did. He raised the glass and signaled to the waitress. Buffy smiled at him, all innocence on the surface, all wicked promise simmering underneath where only her Watcher could read it.
“Do you wanna hear what happens next?”
“Yes, Buffy,” he said. It came out a little hoarse.
“Mmm,” said Buffy, through her mouthful of salmon. “Sec.” Giles looked down at his food, and realized he was too worked up to eat any more. Already. All it took was that smile, that promise, that certainty that later in the evening he would be bound and gasping under her hands.
His second glass came. He muttered a quick “domo domo” to the waitress, without taking his eyes from Buffy.
Buffy drank some tea. “Kay. Where was I?”
“My hands, behind my back. Tied with my own braces. I’m surprised.”
“Right. Yeah. You’re breathing hard. I run my hand down your chest and stop with my fingers over the top button of your pants. You’re begging me with your eyes, but you’re afraid to say anything.”
“Afraid it’ll jar myself awake. Because I must be dreaming.”
“So I’ll pinch you to prove you’re not. On your nipples, both at once. Hard. You moan for me, but don’t pull away. If anything, you move closer. So I do it again.” Buffy must have seen the longing he was completely unable to keep from his face. “Pinch your nipples. Do it, right now. No one will see you.”
Giles obediently reached up and pinched himself, fast, hard enough to make himself gasp. Buffy smiled over her tea mug.
“Good. Now a reward. I unzip you all the way, and push your trousers down to your knees. You’re wearing— what are you wearing?”
“Boxers. Silk boxers. Black.”
“Tented out. Like your boxers are right now.”
He raised his glass to her, ironically, and drank a long swallow.
“Silk boxers are new to me, so I spend some time running my hands all over them. Your completely cute butt. Your legs. All that nice jogging muscle. And of course the part of you that’s saluting me eagerly. But I avoid touching that, because it makes you frantic, every time I come close but don’t touch.”
“I can imagine,” Giles said. He had extensive experience with how much Buffy loved doing that to him. And how much he loved it when she did.
“I think right about now is where you say something about how somebody could walk in on us, any time. Snyder, or one of the gang. Let them walk in, I say, and I pull down your boxers, to just above your knees. You’re all tied up in your own clothes. Your cock is standing straight out, and it’s twitching.” Buffy tilted her head. “I never really looked at it before you got the PA, ya know? I can imagine it, though. And what you do when I finally touch it.”
“Mmm, please.” He would be standing as still as he could manage, struggling to make himself available to her, but he’d be unable to fight the urge to thrust, to push into her hand.
“Hmm, okay, it goes one of two ways here. Sometimes I sloooowly slide up my dress to reveal that I’m not wearing anything, but I think, given the teenyness of that particular dress, there’s no way I went without. I am wearing lacy green panties. Match the dress. Tres cute. Should I rip them off in a moment of urgency or tease you by easing them off?”
“Please do take them off slowly. I assume I may look at what is revealed?”
“So oblique you are, all indirect and polite. Yeah, you can ogle. You’re staring. You also look like you’re going to panic any second, but you’re incredibly turned on and panting like I can’t believe. It’s cool to see my careful, buttoned-up Watcher barely in control of himself. So I hook my legs around behind your waist and pull you close. Slayer strength. Not that you’re pulling away.”
The logistics of taking her on the table, with his hands trapped behind his back… Giles shoved practicality aside. “And then what?”
“You tell me.”
Giles glanced around, fast. Nobody nearer than three tables away, and the wait staff busy elsewhere. “God. I slide myself into you. You’re hot and wet, so tight around me. I hold perfectly still, just feeling you. It’s all I can do not to spend straight away.”
“I say you better dare not come until I tell you to. And you say, ‘yes, Buffy’ in that voice you’re talking in now, the one that says you’d do anything.”
Giles looked around guiltily again. He hated having his back to the room. Anyone might be behind him, and listening. And Buffy might give him no sign, if she decided she wanted to see him squirm.
“So, er, may I, that is, I assume that I then do my best to satisfy you?”
“You may assume that, yes, Mr Stuffy. You ‘do your best’ to make my brains leak out my ears.”
“And that this effort ends with you on your back on the table, touching yourself with one hand while you bite the other in a vain attempt not to cry your pleasure to the entire school?”
“Ooh, nice variation there. I like that idea.”
“Did you come?”
“You told me not to. So I haven’t.”
“But you’re close. I can tell by how red your face is, and by your breathing. And by the way you’ve finally broken down and started begging me.”
Giles had reached that point in reality. “Buffy. Please.”
“Please finish your dinner, so we can go home.”
Buffy grinned at him and crumpled her napkin on the table. Giles raised two fingers and signaled for the check.
Giles signed the credit card slip and returned his wallet to his pocket. Buffy’s face was alight with promise, and he was nearly breathless with anticipation of what would happen when they got home. They’d both been busy the last few days, with no time to play, in any sense. He stood, and went around to hold her chair for her. He slipped on his jacket.
“Hands behind your back,” she murmured to him. “Grab your right wrist. Pretend I’ve got you tied up.”
He put his hands behind his back, and at that moment ceded all control to her. He bit his lip to contain a moan. He followed her out of the restaurant. All his awareness was drawn down to his cock, heavy and awkward and sensitive, in loose trousers that did nothing to disguise his arousal. But that wasn’t his problem to worry about. And nobody ever noticed.
Buffy opened the Citroen’s passenger door and held it. He got in a little awkwardly, hands still behind his back. She got into the driver’s seat and started the car. Buffy fastened his seatbelt for him and let her hands linger on his thighs. She slowly stroked a hand over him, between his legs. He thrust himself up against her. She liked him wanton, vocal, and writhing, and he was happy to oblige.
“Want me to tie your hands with your braces?”
“N-not until we get home. Too dangerous. Oh, god, Buffy.”
She gave him one last hard squeeze and released him. She drove them up to his little house in the Sunnydale hills, through winding streets. Every traffic light and stop sign was an opportunity for her to tease him further, and she took full advantage. Giles was breathing hard and sweating when she pulled into their driveway. Though some of that was his usual reaction to her driving.
She opened his door and unlatched his seatbelt. Giles stood awkwardly, wrists still crossed behind his back. She made as if to close the door behind him, the stopped. She tilted her head.
“What is it?”
Buffy held a finger to her lips and closed her eyes for a moment. Giles felt her slipping into a state of alert. He took his hands from behind his back. He rolled his shoulders to loosen himself up. Buffy was already in motion, heading toward Xander’s cottage.
Giles followed, and caught up to her as she flattened herself against the wall below a window. He slipped a stake from his jacket pocket, but she shook her head. “Demon,” she mouthed. Giles nodded and put it back. Damn this monkey suit! It didn’t have his usual range of armament. He’d grown used to the boots with their knife sheaths.
Buffy leapt, and smashed in through Xander’s window, feet-first. Giles followed.