Single White Slayer
Chapter 1 - Boy Wanted

written by Gileswench

Rating: FRT
Spoilers: Through "Triangle".
Summary: Will a personal ad lead to love for Buffy?
Dedication: To my Twisted Sister Fabrisse. Hope you forgive me.
Author's Notes: This is in response to a challenge by Fabrisse on You Got The Stones? in which each of the core Scoobies is to write a personal ad for him/herself and for one other member of the gang. The chapter titles are all Gershwin songs, because they seem to fit.
Feedback Author: Gileswench
Author's Website: Wench's Tavern

Buffy sat staring dismally into her soda at The Bronze. Her friends had taken her out for an evening of music, dancing, and non-slaying gossip in an attempt to help her get her mind off the departure of Riley Finn. It wasn't working.

"I keep looking at it all and I can't see where I went wrong. I mean, I see, but I don't see where I made that first wrong move."

"Nobody ever sees it, Buffy. If they did, they wouldn't ever do it and then they'd never break up and grow and move on, which is what you're supposed to do when you're young."

"And the growing experience here would be what Will? The very special knowledge that this time I've driven a guy all the way to South America? Not seeing the up side to that."

"Look, it's been six weeks now, I think it's time you got over it and found another man. Someone not in South America."

Buffy glared briefly at Anya.

"It isn't that simple."

"Not if you keep turning down every guy who asks you to dance and carrying your own personal thunder cloud as a fashion accessory."

"Says the woman who blinded Giles, almost got Xander and Anya made into demon chow, and made me get engaged to Spike because she couldn't deal after Oz left."

"Well, okay, I did go kinda over the edge there, but I've matured since then. But Buffy, you dealt better after Angel left than you're doing now. What you need is to go on a date."

"A date? Actually, I'm thinking I need to try on more wimples. I mean, how religious do you have to be to be a nun? I could be Sister Buffy."

"I think you just missed the last train to Sanityville, Buff." Xander looked concerned for his friend.

Buffy tried to glue on a smile.

"Really guys, you're all being great, but I need some more time to not deal with this whole thing. Anyway, there's dance music afoot. Why aren't any of you dancing?"

"'Cause, um, we don't want to leave you alone." Tara supplied.

"Go on. I'm fine. Well, maybe not fine, but it's not like I'm gonna do something crazy if you guys enjoy yourselves for a minute or two."

Anya immediately jumped up and grabbed Xander's hand.

"Come on, let's dance!"

"Anya, I don't think..."

"But she told us to. She wants us to."

Before he could protest further, the former demon had dragged him onto the dance floor. The two witches looked at one another, then at Buffy.

"Go on. I'll be okay. Really."

The two joined Xander and Anya in the crowd. Buffy let her smile fade as she watched all the happy couples clinging to one another. A part of her longed to have Riley back so she could be one of those couples, while another wished she'd never met the clean-cut Iowa boy. She was startled from her reverie by a familiar voice at her side.

"Hello Buffy, may I join you?"

"Hey Giles. Sure, have a seat. So what brings you slumming here?"

"The bass player in the band is a regular at the shop. I've been dodging invitations to gigs for weeks. At least this one didn't involve crashing someone's party and trying to find a date."

"So this isn't another mid-life crisis?"

"Thankfully, no."

"Good. And I hear you. About the date part. Not that I get it, really."

"What don't you get?"

"Why it is that we're dateless in Sunnydale. I mean, we're nice people. We're of the good and we floss regularly. Our hats are white and everything."

"Yes, but we spend our days and nights fighting evil, which sometimes makes it difficult to find romance. Not to mention the havoc it plays with keeping love alive."

"Are you talking about Olivia or Ms. Calendar?"

"Neither. Both. I'm not entirely certain I was even talking about my own love life." They sat in silence for a moment before he told her quietly: "It's not your fault, you know."

"What isn't?"

"Riley. He made his own decisions that led to the end of your relationship. You may have been somewhat blind to his needs, but he needn't have reacted by paying vampires to drink from him. He didn't have to go to South America. Laying the blame on you was unforgivable."

"Thanks for being so sweet, Giles, but it isn't all his fault either."

"And Jenny's death wasn't yours at all."

Buffy ducked her head so he wouldn't see the tears forming in her eyes. Not fooled for a minute, Giles quietly handed her his handkerchief.

"How do you do that? You always seem to know what I'm thinking."

"I suppose it's because I know a thing or two about guilt and regret. Besides, watching you has been my life's work for four years now. If I didn't know you rather well by this time, it would mean I'd been pretty bad at my calling."

"I still don't get why you don't ever have a date. You're smart and nice, and you're pretty good looking."

"For such a very ancient person?"

"Don't be snarky. Enjoy the compliments while they're flowing."

"Whatever happened to 'you're very, very old and it's gross'?"

"Okay, first off, I was really embarrassed that night. I mean Olivia was wearing nothing but one of your shirts and you were all done up in your Hef suit. It was sort of a shock. And then you were being all 'oh grow up and get a life Buffy' and I wanted to hurt you back. Not the most shining moment for either one of us."

"I have to agree with you there. So let me see if I have this straight; you don't think it disgusting for me to have a personal life after all?"

"Nope. We need to find you a woman."

"And how do you propose to do that?"

"Don't you know anyone you want to go out with?"

"Not really."

"So, we need to find you someone."

"How did we get from my telling you not to feel guilty about Riley to setting me up with strange women?"

"Yours is not to question why. Oh, I know what we should do! You need to write a personal ad and put it in the paper."

Just then, the rest of the Scoobies returned to the table. They greeted Giles cheerfully, and were intrigued when Buffy told them of her idea.

"I think you should do it, Giles" Willow told him. "I bet there's lots of women out there who would love to go out with you if they knew you were, y'know, looking."

"It just strikes me as undignified. As if I have to beg strangers for an evening out."

"When was the last time you had a date?"

The Englishman glared at Xander in reply.

"And protecting the Hellmouth and training me doesn't leave you much time to look for love. C'mon Giles. You should really try it."

"All right, Buffy, I'll do it. On one condition: you will write one too."

"I don't think I could write a good personal for you."

"Not for me, for yourself. I don't want you sitting about wallowing in misery because Riley is gone. Besides, if I must suffer indignity at your request, I expect you to do the same for me."

"What about the rest of us?"

"Huh?" The Slayer spoke for everyone at the table in response to Anya's odd question.

"Don't we get to write ads too?"

"An, honey, those are for people who don't have relationships."

"But I want to write one."

"Actually, it sounds sorta fun."

Willow looked unhappily at her girlfriend. "It does? This isn't a break up thing is it?"

"No, don't be silly. I just think it could be fun to write one. It's not like I think we should place them in the papers. Except for Buffy and Giles."

"Why do I hafta? I don't even know what I'd say." Buffy turned her infamous pout on Giles, but he remained adamant.

"Say what you like, just say it."

"Are you my Watcher or a Nike ad?"

"Hey, I know!" Willow almost bounced with excitement over her idea. "We could each write one for ourselves, and then one for somebody else in the group. And we wouldn't have to show them, except to the person we wrote it for. It could be fun. Like an assignment."

Buffy stared at her friend. "Only you could find a way to make this like school. But okay, yeah. Why not? I guess it beats abjuring men for a living. I don't look that good in a wimple."

"Nobody looks that good in a wimple, Buff" observed Xander.

* * * * *


Buffy hurled the pen across the room where it imbedded itself in the opposite wall.

A moment later, there was a gentle tap at the door.

"Are you okay in there, Honey?"

Buffy looked up to see her mother standing in the doorway with a bemused look on her face.

"Yeah, sorry Mom. I just got a little frustrated. With the pen."

"The pen, or what it wasn't writing?"

"More Door Number Two, I guess." Buffy admitted sheepishly.

"What's the assignment?"

"It's not for school. The gang ganged up on me last night and now I have to write a personal ad or Xander's gonna set me up on a date with the guy from the comic book store. I think they based that guy on The Simpson's on him."

"Well it would probably do you some good to get out of the house for a night. You should be having fun, not being cooped up with your sick Mom and your little sister. But a personal ad? I'm not so sure about that, Buffy."

"I could've used you in my corner last night. I never meant that I should have to write one."

"Oh, so you thought somebody else should do it?"

"Well, I thought it might be a good idea. I mean, Giles doesn't..."

"You talked Rupert Giles into writing a personal ad?"

"Sort of. It's not like I could really talk him into anything he didn't want to do."

"Buffy, I think he would try to fly if you asked him to. So how did he talk you into it?"

"He said he would if I would. And we agreed we would tell each other how our dates go - if we get any from the ads. It's a really weird kind of Watcher/Slayer bonding. Hey! I know! You could write one too. Y'know, get out of the house now that you're out of your fuzzy blue robe. Meet a nice guy, kick up your heels and celebrate that you don't have anything nasty growing in your noggin anymore."

"Oh yes, I can see it now: 'Divorced, forty-ish mother of two with hole in head seeks sophisticated man with heartbeat for companionship, romance. Must love old movies, put up with two squabbling teenagers, and be able to tan successfully. Disinclination to drug snackfoods a plus.' I should be swamped with callers after that."

"Okay, now you're abusing sarcasm. I was really thinking more like: 'Attractive, mature businesswoman seeks single man for adventure, romance. Must love walks on the beach, Gary Cooper, and fine art.' Y'know, something like that."

"But I don't like to walk on the beach."

"Hey, I tried. And the rest of it was good."

"So how is yours coming?"

"Not so good. Being Secret Identity girl is not of the helpful when looking for love. It leads to being all sneaky and stuff. Anyway, this is what I've got so far."

She handed Joyce a piece of paper covered in aborted attempts violently scribbled over.

"See, nothing but writer's block."

* * * * *

Giles drew a neat line through yet another failed attempt at writing his ad. He couldn't understand why it was so hard to do. Perhaps it was the realization that once he'd finished writing his own, he would have to write one for Anya that made the task so difficult. He'd known it was a bad idea to draw names and write ads for one another. He shuddered at the thought of what Xander would write for him. At least Buffy would be safe with Willow writing an ad for her.

The Englishman shook his head to clear it. Woolgathering wouldn't get the job done. He set pen to paper once more.

Read the next chapter: Nice Work If You Can Get It