Sew The Chicken
Part 1 - Sew The Chicken
written by Kim Wylie
Spoilers: Vague through 3rd season.
Dedications: Giles/Buffy is for Lisa, the chocolate is for Ann, and the parts-not-skipped-over are for Brenda. :)
Feedback Author: Kim Wylie
The sound of the ringing phone invaded Giles' dream before he woke up. Buffy looked up at him and asked, "Is that an alarm, Giles?" He was about to answer her when he realized he was in his office, his arms and head at a terrible angle across his desk. The phone rang again and he reached instinctively for it, trying to focus through bleary eyes.
"Giles? It's Buffy."
He fumbled for his glasses, couldn't find them, and knocked over a glass. He rubbed his eyes as she asked, "Giles? You ok?"
"Fine. What's wrong?"
"Nothing. I'm going to be late. You sure you're all right? You sound, I don't know, like you just woke up." A heartbeat's pause, then she added, "You *did* just wake up, didn't you? Did you spend the night in your office again? Didn't we talk about this before?"
He was about ready to give her the *I'm*-the-Watcher-Not-You speech, then decided he didn't have the energy for it.
"There are beds in the world, Giles. I suspect you own one. They're very comfy. You can actually sleep in them. I know you think that's a myth but if you went upstairs in your apartment and go in the first door on the right, you'll find---"
"Buffy," he said warningly.
"When you sleep in your office, you're always real crabby the next day."
"I'm not crabby, just strict. Why are you going to be late?"
"Willow called and she's got a new CD that's sold out everywhere only her father knows someone who knows someone and managed to snag a copy so I'm going to run by her place first, then I'll be there for training."
Giles had sudden visions of this CD being playing endlessly during her workout in the library. It was Saturday, which meant Buffy would feel free to turn it up exceptionally loud.
He groaned inwardly, already getting a headache. "And you think this is an acceptable excuse for tardiness?"
"Yes," she answered promptly. "See what I mean about the crabby part, Giles? See you soon!"
She hung up before he could mumble another word.
He sighed, righted the glass, fumbled again for his glasses, and debated whether or not he cared to make a trip home to freshen up before she came. He was going to leave well enough alone when he realized that Willow might come along. He wasn't sure when she attended her synagogue but remembered seeing her come along for other Saturday trainings. It was one thing to be, well, earthy around Buffy. They'd spent more than their fair share of time sloshing around in sewers. But he wasn't sure he wanted to share his sodden hadn't-changed-his-clothes-in-over-a-day-state with Willow.
He had a change in his office. He paused. No he didn't. He hadn't replaced them after the last eventful patrol. Then he heard a whistle from far-away.
The soccer team. They practiced Saturday mornings which meant Coach Brazelwood would be there. Brazelwood kept spare school wear in his office and the change room had several showers.
Fifteen minutes later, Giles struggled to pull sweatpants and an oversized school jersey over still-wet skin. He couldn't do anything about a day's growth of beard and it bothered him to see some gray in it when he paused by a mirror.
Buffy was in the library when he returned, stretching like a panther to the beat of some Godawful thing from the CD player. Willow sat on the table, one leg up and the other idly swinging as she ate a pear. They both stared at him when he came in and Willow stopped eating in mid-chew.
"Um, nice duds, Giles, and isn't that unshaven Miami Vice look new for you?" Buffy managed. "When did you join the soccer team?"
He gave her a *look*.
She turned to Willow and grinned. "Told you he slept here. Now he's going to be snarky all day."
"I've never known Giles to be snarky," Willow said in his defense.
"Oh yeah, you always get the polite end," Buffy said.
"Just train," he told her as he went into the stacks.
The music flared up and the floor vibrated under the bass.
"Buffy!" he called.
She looked up innocently and spread out her arms as if to say huh?
"BUFFY, IF I HAVE TOLD YOU ONCE I'VE TOLD YOU A--" Giles abruptly silenced, realizing she'd turned the music off.
"Whoa! They probably heard you way out on the field." She chuckled up at him, then turned to Willow. "See? Snarky."
Willow didn't say anything but the corners of her mouth curved up.
A low curse sounded as he disappeared back in the stacks. Buffy turned the music to a middle-loudness and started her workout.
"I know how to push all his buttons," Giles heard Buffy say to Willow.
"And the girl sounds damned pleased about it," he thought in irritation as he searched through a shelf. His next train of thought was broken a few moments later by Willow.
"What are you looking for?" she asked, peering around the end of the bookcase.
"Mauphin's Book of Dreams."
She helped him hunt. "Buffy didn't mention a dream to me."
"It wasn't her."
"You?" In a softer voice, "Was it a bad dream?"
Giles shook his head. "Buffy has the prophetic dreams. I don't."
"What did you dream about?" Willow asked, then quickly added, "I mean, you don't have to say anything if you don't want to."
Giles frowned at the shelf. "Maybe the book is in my office."
He checked there. A few minutes later, he heard the music stop. He came out, empty-handed, to find Willow and Buffy side-by-side at the table with Mauphin's book before them.
"What did you dream about, Giles?" Buffy asked.
"Nothing in particular."
She looked up, an undercurrent of tension under her otherwise casual expression, and he discovered he knew how to push one of her buttons as well.
"May I have the book, please?" he asked.
She hung onto it. "Was it something hellmouthy?"
Giles sighed as he sat in a chair. Both girls were regarding him intently now.
"I'm sorry I even mentioned it," he said.
"Oh. Was it like a……private dream?" And now both girls looked uncomfortable as well as worried.
"No," he said quickly. Clearly he was going to get no rest on this one. "All right. Buffy, you and I were in a house. There were two children with us and a baby chicken, and the children told us that their mother was going to cook the chicken for dinner. You said, "Giles, surely their parents can afford food and not eat the baby chicken." I put the chicken in my pocket and we went down endless flights of stairs until we found a way outside."
He looked over, slightly embarrassed. "Do you see how ridiculous this dream is? There's no need to dwell on it."
"Then what did we do?" Buffy persisted.
"It was night and very dark. I didn't know the way so you were leading us. We were near a house on a corner when the porch light came on. You said we had to hide so we ran to the back where there was a garbage bin. A man came around the side of the house. You said, "Oh no, he's going to take his garbage to the curb. He'll find us." So we started back into the street. The man waved at us as we left, so obviously he hadn't minded us in his bin. We passed bus stops and I wanted to wait at one but you said, no we had to keep going. An owl came down to fly beside us and I checked in my pocket to make sure the owl hadn't snatched the chicken but found a mouse in there instead. You threw a needle and spool of thread at me and said angrily, "Giles, I told you to sew that chicken in there."
Both girls were starting to smile. His point about the absurdity of the dream had been made but decided to finish it anyway. "You then gestured ahead, Buffy, at a shopping mall and said we had to go in there."
"That would be Cordelia, not me," Buffy mused.
"Anyway, it was extremely crowded in the mall. It took a while before we found a narrow path through the people. It was only wide enough for one so you told me I had to carry you. It was awkward because you kept going through my pockets while I was walking. I told you to stop but you refused. Then you found a key. You showed it to me and said emphatically, "This is mine." As you said that, a bell sounded. You asked me if that was an alarm and I woke to find the phone ringing beside me."
Buffy and Willow exchanged a look, then started laughing.
"I gotta look this up," Buffy said, flipping some pages in the book.
"I'd rather," he started but she shook her head.
"No, let's all do it. Think of it as Watcher-Slayer-Slayerette bonding."
After a few moments, Buffy said, "I don't see chickens."
"Here's something," Willow said, pointing at a paragraph. "House. A house refers to oneself, depicting one's body and attributes. The upper part of the house is consciousness. Running down stairs means running away from aspects of ourselves that bother us."
"How many flights of stairs, Giles?" Buffy asked in amusement. He frowned back.
"Were the children boys or girls, Giles?" Willow asked.
"One of each."
"A girl child can represent a lesser expressed part of ourselves especially feelings of rivalry, vulnerability, or a lost love. A boy child symbolizes one's ambitions, potential, and hopes. Buffy led you away from them, down the stairs." She caught herself. "I mean---"
"Thanks, Will, I get it," Buffy said sardonically. "Let's go on to the chicken."
Willow flipped some pages. "Um, nothing. Oh here, under birds. Chicken. For a woman, it refers to nourishment. For a man, sexual characteristics." She coughed.
"And I told him to sew it in his pocket," Buffy said in horror.
In a toneless voice, Giles asked, "May I please have the book now?"
"In a minute, Giles," Buffy said. "Try something else, Will."
"Dark or night time." Willow looked it up. "Secrets we hide from ourselves. What is unknown, not defined by intellect or reason. Emotional hurt, subtly felt urges or feelings." She checked the index at the back and turned to another page. "Garbage.”
"This ought to be good," Buffy said.
"Part of feelings or past experience no longer useful," Willow said. "Now the man. He's an aspect of self, depending on his character or activity. A man who is glad to see the dreamer or who sends the dreamer on his way is a guide giving approval."
Buffy cut in. "At last something likes me."
Willow gave her a smile. "Bus stops. Well, none of those, but a bus refers to an undertaking or relationship with a group of people. Missing the bus means an impending loss of that group. Now the owl. That would be back in the bird section. Here we are. Because the owl sees in the dark, it represents our intuitive sense."
"Which ate the chicken," Buffy said.
Giles shifted uneasily on his chair. "Have you two had your fun yet?"
"Not entirely," Buffy said. "Keep going, Will."
Willow glanced at Giles who finally shrugged. "Ok," she said. "What was next? Oh, the needle and thread given to you by Buffy. Thread - there's nothing. Needle. Male sexuality." She exchanged a look with Buffy.
"Don't," Giles said warningly.
"Mouse," Willow said quickly. "That sounds innocuous enough." She was quiet for a moment, then a peculiar expression crossed her face. "Irritants which gnaw away at ourselves. Also the sexual organ which goes in and out of a hole."
"Giles!" Buffy said. "If going in the mall continues this trend, I am *so* out of here."
"There's nothing about shopping malls," Willow said, "But to shop means we are looking for something. The crowd of people refers to being crowded out, feeling frustrated."
"Finally," Giles muttered.
"Was that directed at anyone in particular?" Buffy asked, daring him, but he only gave her a sardonic look in return.
"Narrow path," Willow continued. "Limited choices or view. Feeling restricted. Now the carrying part." She read in silence for a few seconds, then said, "Feeling used, what one is carrying in life such as a responsibility or grudge."
Buffy eyed Giles. "I don't like your dreams much."
"What was the deal with the key or do I dare ask?" Buffy asked Willow. "The one of mine I found in Giles' pocket. It means he finally took something from *me*, doesn't it?"
Willow turned pages. "Pockets refer to personal secrets or thoughts. Key. If someone gives the dreamer a key, they are opening up or allowing the dreamer freedom but to take a key is symbolic of denying the dreamer something they desire. The key is also a representation of the male penis or sexual intercourse."
They both looked at Giles who had buried his face in his hands. To Buffy, Willow said, "I'm sure there are many other meanings."
"Nice try," Buffy muttered. "But the fact is that it was my key he took away."
Giles suddenly stood and held out his hand. "The book."
No please. No thank you. Willow handed it to him silently and he disappeared in his office.
"There's the snark part," Buffy said. She lowered her voice. "Do you think he really feels that way?"
Willow looked uneasy. "Um, you mean about the--?"
"That I deny him…..things and that I'm a burden?"
"Well, he did willingly follow you."
"Right," Buffy tried, grasping at the straw. "And the key was *mine*. He took it from me."
"Except that it's a depiction of a male… part."
They sat in fidgety silence until Buffy said, "The workout."
She flipped on the CD, turned up the volume, and hopped off the table.
It was close on ten when Giles heard the music stop, then footsteps and the library doors. He put down the book and stretched. He hadn't had breakfast yet, not that food was generally high on his list of priorities. He didn't often feel hungry or notice if he did.
Still, a cup of tea might be nice and a muffin somewhere. He was reaching for his wallet when the door to his office opened.
He turned and found Buffy, still in her workout clothes. "I got you a coffee and a moon pie from the machine. I know it's not the best but you didn't get anything to eat yet, did you?"
"Thank you." He took the offered breakfast, regarded the moon pie, then opened the package and gave her half.
Buffy frowned. "I don't want to take…..stuff from you."
He smiled. "Actually, the part where you told me to sew the chicken was rather amusing."
She sucked out some of the filling. "Quite a dream though."
"Buffy, we both take things from each other. It's the nature of our work."
"Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about the amount of sacrifices on *my* side of it." She met his eyes and grinned. "Do you want to go out and get a real breakfast somewhere?"
"Yes." Giles stood. "You'll need to carry my wallet until I get home. I don't have a pocket."
She put the billfold in her fanny pack. "No, we're going *out* to breakfast, not to your apartment."
"I have to change first."
"Geez, Giles. You think *I* hold you back? Let your hair down for a little while and…..and go out in sweatpants. Be a daredevil. I'm going to go out like this."
"I need to shave at least."
"It's Saturday. Believe me, if you shave, you are going to stick out in the crowd."
"Stop," she cut in. "You sound like a nervous macaw in overdrive."
She leaned up, pulled him down simultaneously, and kissed his stubbly cheek. "Come on, Giles, out for breakfast. We'll even pretend that you just came from the hardware store where you bought an impossible amount of socket sets, and later you'll be watching Baywatch while scratching your beard. Fantasize."
" * No *. * Snarking *! "
He looked at her, then laughed himself. "Maybe just a little more but I'll save it for later."
He picked up his keys and followed her out.
Read the next part: Guys With Things