Sew The Chicken
Part 3 - But Wesley Ate Those
written by Kim Wylie
Giles opened his eyes long enough to check his watch. 1:05. Late nights were par for the course for Watchers but he was particularly feeling the lack of sleep tonight. He opened his eyes again to peer across the table and discovered Wesley, as chipper and perfectly groomed as ever, making jaunty notes as he consulted a text.
Smart ass, Giles thought. As if reacting to the thought, Wesley looked up.
"Did you find anything in that journal, Mr. Giles?" he asked.
"No. Nothing about ascensions."
"Pity. I'm fairing somewhat better."
"What have you found?"
"There's a reference to an ascension that happened in 977 a.d."
When nothing more came, Giles pushed. "And?"
"Everyone in a small roman town died."
"That's incredibly helpful."
One thing Giles admired about Wesley was that the latter was quick to sense sarcasm and take appropriate offense at it. It was, Giles decided, a saving grace to an otherwise 'company-man' personality.
"I have made a call to an acquaintance of mine at the Library of Congress regarding the town. Having a specific date and location *is* quite helpful," Wesley said brusquely. "We should be receiving a fax before morning with a full history of the area. It won't bother me if you wish to go back to sleep while we wait."
Hiding a dirty look, Giles got up and plugged in the kettle. He had just warmed the teapot when he heard the library doors open, followed by voices. He snatched one of the stakes he kept beside the canister of tea and peered out the door of his office.
And went through a moment of stunned surprise before he was able to lower the stake. He returned it to its spot and laughed quietly until he needed his handkerchief to wipe his eyes.
He heard a step behind him. "What are you doing, Giles?"
"Thinking that Cordelia needs acting lessons." He finished brewing the tea, then poured a cup and handed it to Buffy.
"She is pouring it on rather thick," Buffy agreed. "But it seems to be working." This last was said so quietly she wasn't sure Giles had heard. She glanced out the door to where Cordelia sat sobbing on Wesley's lap, her arms wrapped around him like he was the last buoy in a stormy sea. He looked terrified and, unsure where to put his arms, opted for holding them straight out at each side, giving the appearance of a tightrope walker who's suddenly discovered the net below him has vanished.
"What is her story?" Giles asked.
Buffy shrugged. "Fierce vampire at the Bronze. Scared her to pieces and she needs to talk to someone who understands."
"I thought your patrol tonight was uneventful."
"I dusted a little stupid one as we were leaving and I think that's where she got the idea."
Giles closed his office door. "Perhaps we should give them their privacy."
When the silence stretched out, Buffy asked softly, "Are you still angry about the… restaurant?"
"Is there any reason I shouldn't be?"
Buffy sat on the couch. "I did try to be considerate all day today. I bought a tee-shirt for your benefit and I have a few issues with you as well, so there!"
Bewildered, he asked, "You bought me a shirt?"
"No, I bought it for me." As he tried to sort that out, Buffy added in exasperation, "After I left you in the restaurant, Xander made a comment that daughters generally stop sitting on their fathers' laps before age seven. Later, Willow said that I bounce up and down in front of you and maybe it might affect you, being a male and all, so I bought a shirt for training."
"Oh, the tent," Giles murmured.
"It was about the size of one, wasn't it?" Buffy muttered. "I was trying to be considerate of your feelings, Giles."
He sat down across from her. "Training in front of me and being in my lap are two different things. Don't wear the shirt if you don't like it. As for the other, stay off my lap and we'll both be happy."
"Well, perhaps," she mumbled, setting her cup down. "I don't like the way you make tea."
"Is that one of the issues you were talking about?"
"No, you just brew it too long."
Giles leaned back and considered her thoughtfully. "All right," he said at last. "Why are you upset with me, then?"
She took a breath. "Straight out?"
"When did you see Cordelia undressed?"
Giles blinked. "Pardon?"
"She was wandering through here in a slip earlier."
"She was? When was this? I didn't see her."
"And she said it wouldn't be a problem if you walked in on her because you'd seen her like that before."
Giles frowned. Then, slowly, a small smile crossed his lips. "Oh. *That* night."
"What night?" Buffy demanded. "If Cordy is playing bedroom leapfrog with my Watcher, I think I have a right to know."
"In fact, she *is* playing," he coughed, "bedroom leapfrog with your Watcher, at this moment in the other room."
"Buffy, in this area, you do not have a 'right to know'."
"Excuse me. Watcher, Slayer. Watcher Slayer need to work together and you're the one pushing the honesty factor."
"I was referring to when you hid Angel's return from me. I was *not* referring to my sex life."
"You had sex with Cordelia?" Buffy squeaked.
Giles sighed loudly.
"God, I'd hoped the undressed part hadn't referred to *both* of you!"
"Would it matter if it did?"
"Yes!" she said without thinking.
He met her gaze. "Why?"
"Why? Because the ugh factor in that is just tremendous! Not to mention the ick's and yuck's going right up my spine."
Giles paused, caught between feeling irritated and feeling absurd. Finally, he said, "This is truly bothering you."
"Quick on the mark as always, Giles. The thought of you and Cordelia is pretty frightening."
"She's out there with Wesley right now and that isn't bothering you."
Buffy felt a flush creep across her neck. Astute bastard, she scowled to herself.
"Fine," she snapped as she jumped to her feet. "If you and Wesley want to time-share Cordelia, go for it! I don't care."
"Doesn't that create a lovely picture," Giles said.
"Just let me have the schedule so I know which Watcher is on-call."
"Buffy." He delivered the word in a singularly severe tone, one she'd heard only rarely before. "Sit down."
"I'll sit when I want to."
She met his eyes and a brief battle of wills ensued. "Fine," he said at last. "Stand all night if you want, but stop this childish tantrum."
"Childish?" she repeated angrily.
"Cordelia is a woman with a right to do as she pleases in this area."
"In case you haven't noticed, Giles, Cordy and I are the same age. Why is it when she crawls on Wesley's lap, she's seducing him but when I hop up on yours, I'm a teasing brat who doesn't know better? Why are you treating me like a child?"
"Because you're acting like one."
"Bad cliché, Giles and, by the way, I'm not, and I wasn't in the restaurant. You treat me like a child, not because I am one, but because it makes it easier for *you*. And if it makes me angry to think of Cordelia infringing on my territory, then, damnit, I'm going to be angry. It's *not* a tantrum!"
"*Your* territory?" Giles asked quietly.
She barely resisted an urge to hit him with something. "Are those the only two words you heard out of that whole paragraph? If you don't want to be with me, have the courtesy to tell me directly instead of creating a situation that doesn't exist between us and using it to hide behind. If you don't want me on your lap anymore, just say so." She stopped with her hand on the doorknob and added awkwardly, "Actually, you *did* say that, didn't you? Damnit, I'd like to make a great big exit right now but those two are in the other room!"
"I think the worst you might encounter is another puddle on the floor," Giles said in a subdued voice. He brushed past her, opened the door, and called, "Go comfort her somewhere else!"
Cordelia and Wesley looked up, startled. Cordelia recovered first. "That's very insensitive, Giles," she said. "I could have been killed tonight." She held up her arm. "Look, Wesley. I got scratched."
"Oh dear, oh dear," he said. "That should be seen to."
"Exactly. I'm sure you have rubbing alcohol and bandages at your place. You look like a man who's prepared for everything.."
"Well, um, perhaps we shouldn't….."
"And I have another spot I'm *sure* is going to bruise. You should look at that too. Come on, let's go!" She bounced off his lap, dragged him to a standing position, and yanked him towards the door with a strength he hadn't anticipated. He nearly went flying off his feet.
As the door closed behind his stumbling form, Giles stepped away and gestured towards the main room. "The way is clear, Buffy."
She glared at him. "Now who's throwing the tantrum? You are going to end up a lonely old man."
He watched her stomp out, then whispered, "I already am."
* * * * *
Buffy glanced up from her book when she heard Oz say, "Did you ever notice that Smurfette doesn't have a tail?" He held up the toy.
They'd been eating Kindereggs for the last two days, compliments of another school fundraising venture, and now had an assortment of the toys on the library table. The Kindereggs came in packages of three with a large advertisement promising that one in three of the toys inside would be a smurf. Buffy looked at the alarming number of smurfs sitting among the books and hoped the ratio was more in the nature of two out of three. Otherwise, they'd eaten enough of the chocolate eggs to send the Kinder stock up a hundred points.
Willow stopped typing at her keyboard to ask, "Does she also have a french accent?" Oz laughed.
Cordelia frowned. "I don't get it."
"Monkeys have french accents," Willow said. "They're the only ones with pants."
Cordelia moved the remaining packages of candy away from the computer. "You two are cut off until you start making sense again." She nudged up against Wesley as she returned to her book, a clear signal of ownership. He shifted as much as he could, already being on the edge of his seat, but he wore a pleased expression. Buffy wasn't sure if he was uncomfortable with physical contact or if was just that the rest of them were around. Not that anyone was paying much attention anyway. Xander had bailed earlier, claiming a stomach ache, and Willow and Oz were being extraordinarily couple-ish, sharing a chair and whispering in each other's ears.
When Xander had been here, Buffy hadn't felt such the odd man out. It seemed that all she noticed lately were people in pairs. At least outside she could walk on past but here she was stuck. Every time she looked up from her book, it was right before her eyes.
Oz finished arranging the smurfs. "Is Giles supposed to return tonight?"
"Who?" Cordelia asked.
"Tall English guy," Oz said humorously. "Lives in the library."
"Oh. Hasn't he been here?" Cordelia shrugged and prodded Wesley again. "Our quota is one tall gorgeous English guy, which we currently have." Wesley looked at her and blushed.
I'm gonna puke, Buffy thought. Right here on the table. And it's nothing to do with those million Kindereggs I ate.
"I believe his return flight is tonight," Wesley said.
To Willow, Oz said, "Maybe we could pick him up at the airport."
"Ok," she replied, looking into his eyes as she smiled at him.
Cordelia made a face. "You two are making me ill." She turned to Wesley. "Where has Giles been anyway?"
"Chasing down information on the ascension at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, which he clearly told you four days ago when you asked why he had a suitcase!" Buffy snapped, rising from the table. "And you told him not to take hairspray in his luggage as it would explode when the air pressure changed. *Hairspray*, Cordy! When have you ever known Giles to use hairspray?"
Cordelia reacted about as much as she would to the sight of a gnat flying by. "I think you've had too much chocolate as well," she remarked casually. To Wesley, she asked, "If a Slayer starts bouncing off the walls from sugar-shock, do the rest of us need to duck?"
"I, ah, have never encountered that situation before," he said. "Buffy, perhaps it might be better if you went outside to get some air."
"Fine. I'll patrol in the blazing sun. I'm sure I'll meet lots of SPF'ed nasties." Buffy retorted as she left. By the time she got to her locker and punched out the lock trying to get in, she began to wonder if there was some merit to the over-sugared theory.
She tossed her books on the shelf and was attempting to close the now-bent locker door when a piece of paper fluttered to the floor. She picked it up curiously and unfolded it.
Printed on it was "Pen fifteen, Sunnydale Zoo. Don't skip any classes."
"Excuse me," she said to the paper, "but I'll skip whatever classes I want."
* * * * *
That the Sunnydale Zoo was not actually in Sunnydale seemed a good thing, Buffy mused as she neared the zoo's entrance, or the smell of damp rhino would be a permanent permeation in the city's air. She'd taken a bus to the city limits and had walked the rest of the way, working off her sugar rush in the warm afternoon sun. Several school buses parked in the lot clued her in to the presence of a school trip and, once in the gates, she passed them, a line of small children holding onto a rope and a tired teacher trying to keep up with their bathroom demands.
She found an attendant. "Hello. Do you have a pen fifteen?"
He pointed behind her. "It's in the petting zoo. Go past Rodent Residences, through the Exotic Bird Pavilion, and left at the Wacky Walruses."
Fifteen minutes later she decided the walruses weren't feeling particularly wacky today. After putting up with a host of children throwing popcorn, they rolled into their pond, sank to the bottom, and stayed there. She followed the rope of children into the petting zoo and started counting pens as the teacher lowered herself onto a bench with a weary admonition to the class not to "pet anything to death".
Nursery rhymes and fairy tales were the themes in this area, Buffy noticed. She passed by the three little pigs, the billy goats gruff, and puss in boots, as well as a herd of miniature horses. The sign at pen fifteen read "a nick and a nock, a hen and a cock, and a penny for my master." The enclosure was filled with chickens.
"Well, I'm here," Buffy said to the nearest bird. It clucked at her until it discovered she didn't have any food to throw at it. Then it mooned her and waddled away.
"Same to you," she told it.
"Same to who?"
Buffy whirled at the voice. "Giles? I thought your flight was tonight!"
He'd come up beside her and was leaning on the rail. "I took an early one. I knew you'd cut classes to come here."
"Well, if you took an early flight, why aren't you in the library? I'm not the only one skipping out."
"Touche." Giles said.
Buffy gestured at the pen. "Is there any special significance to the chickens, Giles?"
"I thought it would be an appropriate place for us to talk."
However, they lapsed into silence. Feeling simultaneously embarrassed and angry didn't lend itself to making small talk, and when Buffy couldn't take the quiet any longer, the only thing she could find to say was, "I never thought of chickens as petable."
"I don't think they are," Giles said. Children passed by behind them and one of them squealed, "Flowers!"
Buffy glanced at them. "Poor kids have never seen a chicken before," she started when she caught sight of Giles bringing out a bouquet that he'd been holding behind his back.
"A peace offering," he said.
"Daisies," Buffy said, smiling despite her mood. "How did you know I liked daisies?"
"You told me once."
"I did?" She inhaled the fragrance. "I'm still ticked about the Cordelia thing though."
"Come here." He took her hand and led her to a bench. "After Cordelia fell through the staircase in the factory and took that steel rod through her stomach, I visited her in the hospital. She was…..different, very sad. She was crying when I entered her room. I went to leave but she asked me to stay. She told me about Xander and Willow, what she'd seen."
"It really wrecked Oz for a while," Buffy said.
"It also hurt Cordelia."
Buffy frowned. "She didn't show it."
"But it hurt her all the same," Giles said. "She worried me. I had never seen her that upset before. I didn't know she was capable of it. I went back the next day and the next. On the third day, a blood clot from where she'd been impaled travelled into her liver. It happened so suddenly. A monitor attached to her went off and the next thing I knew, they were rushing her back into surgery. They needed to feed a catheter through her stomach and up into her liver in order to get to this clot. She was awake during it and terrified. She asked for me to stay with her and I did, holding her hand, talking to her while the catheter went in."
"The doctors let you stay?"
"They thought I was her father. They'd never seen him, apparently. Buffy, her parents left her in that hospital on her own." A harshness underlined his words. "When she was discharged, I brought her to my apartment and made her stay there until she was able to return to school. The first night, I had to help her into bed. Because of the stitches and the surgery, she couldn't do that on her own. That's all that it was. When she told you that I'd seen her in very little clothing, that's true, but the circumstances were not…..romantic ones. She trusted me to take care of her and I didn't betray that trust, not in any way. I did as much for her as a father would but nothing more."
Buffy made a move to touch his hand, but stopped mid-way. "Why did you make me think there'd been more to it?'
"Because I was still angry with you. What you did in the restaurant was not funny in any way. I have always treated you with respect but you chose to treat me with none."
"Giles, before last Saturday, I never thought I had an effect on you. I knew you were a guy but I never thought of you as a… *guy*. It really floored me that you could get a… well… you know."
"Yes, let's do keep harping on that."
"Harping," Buffy repeated, managing a smile. "Yes, Giles. Let's do." The smile faded. "Then when I tried to talk to you, you pulled the anti-Lolita routine which really doesn't fit because I saw that movie and I'm not anything like her. I would never wear that colour lipstick and I don't even want a scooter." At the look on his face, she added quickly, "And you aren't anything like *him* either because he was a middle-aged pervert."
"Buffy, I am middle-aged."
"Well then I should have just said pervert. You know what I mean! And that's another thing that bugs me about you!"
Giles blinked. "Pardon?"
Buffy sighed loudly. "You *do* know what I mean. You *always* know what I mean but you sit there and let me babble through run-on sentences!"
"Your run-on sentences do have a certain quality."
"Bastard," Buffy grumbled. To her surprise, he started laughing.
"Well you are," she repeated. "Giles, I'm tired of not knowing what's going on in your head. I'm tired of your not talking to me, of not telling me how you feel or thinking that I'm not strong enough to take it. I know I've been blind. I know there were lots of times when all I could see or think about was Angel."
"Would 'lots of times' be equivalent to two years straight?" he asked quietly.
"Yes," she admitted.
That startled him. He eyed her before venturing, "You still belong to Angel."
"No." Buffy shook her head. "There is too much bad stuff there. We could stay together just fine if I didn't mind being unhappy for the rest of my life. We both know it. We just don't…..talk about it. We pretend otherwise. And I think you know *this* already too. You've just been waiting for me to admit it."
More children ran by and the teacher called for them in the distance. Buffy watched them run around the tree. "Giles, tell me, do Watchers and Slayers ever get together?"
Reluctantly, he said, "Far more than the Council would admit. After going through so much together, it….." He stopped.
"It seems right?" she offered. "We've been through a lot together."
"Yes," Giles agreed and closed his mouth before adding how short-lived such relationships usually were. The life of a Slayer could be very brief indeed.
"Sometimes I think I know you better than anyone. Other times, I don't know the first thing."
He met her eyes. "I know the feeling."
"So this is inevitable?"
He shook his head. "No. Not inevitable. It's a choice."
To the accompaniment a pen full of noisy chickens, he raised her chin up to his and kissed her. It was gentle at first but he deepened it, sliding her across the bench to him and into the enclosure of his arms.
"Do you want me back in your lap?" she whispered.
She slid onto him and kissed him in return. "Is this going to have an effect on you?" she asked while wiggling, and received her answer.
"Stop," he said, grabbing on to her arms in order to keep her still.
Buffy grinned at him. "You're, like, all humiliated because you get a… you know. That's so cute!"
"That's not why I'm… uncomfortable," Giles replied, glancing around them. "Why do you insist on choosing locations where there are so many people?"
She giggled in his ear. "What location would suit you better?"
* * * * *
He was a big man. She'd vaguely noticed it in the past, but this position of lying down, his body covering hers, made it particularly evident. Buffy pressed her face against Giles' shoulder as he thrust in her, his penis stretching her opening deliciously wide.
Despite the difference in their sizes, she fit him completely. He'd trained her these past three years, molded and shaped her for him without realizing it. The rhythm of their attacks and parries carried through to this bed and culminated in this sensual undulation. She suddenly realized she knew his body as well as her own, that they'd started this dance the moment they'd first faced each other on the mat in the library.
She raised her thighs, tightening them around his hips and allowing him to ride her higher. Her clitoris pulsed as his shaft slid wetly over it. Her pussy was already drenched from previous orgasms - one in his car in his driveway while his fingers explored her, another on the top stair courtesy of his lightly-nipping mouth, and the third as his tip of his penis penetrated the swollen lips of her vagina. Now she felt the pleasurable edge of the fourth.
Buffy sucked in air so hard the nerves in her teeth tingled. "Giles!" she gulped.
He knew what she meant. He slid a hand under her bottom, angling her hips until her engorged clit rasped through his pubic hair, barely able to keep his own crisis at bay until the first throbs of hers began. Then he let go, crushing her underneath him as he emptied gush after gush of seed into her.
Buffy drew in a languid breath as her body relaxed. "I knew it wasn't a myth. I knew you had one," she murmured.
Giles paused in the middle of a kiss on her neck. "Knew I had a what?"
She opened her eyes to find his sparkling green ones an inch away. "A bed. I knew you actually owned one."
He laughed as he rested his face in her hair. "You shine golden even in a dark room," he said softly, and felt her answering smile curve against his cheek in return.
They remained for a few minutes longer, one of his hands still under her buttocks, the other on a breast. When his breathing calmed, he raised up and his weight left her body. He went into the bathroom to dispose of the condom but was gone too long.
"Giles?" she called.
When she didn't get an answer, she got up and rushed into the bathroom. He was in the middle of the room, regarding his surroundings with a curious look on his face.
"What is it?" Buffy asked, winding her arms around his chest as her burst of panic eased.
"What are all these things?"
She glanced around. "Oh. Those things?"
"Yes, *those* things," Giles said. "Do you know anything about them?"
"Xander, Willow and I needed some of your books when you were gone, so we came over a couple of times."
"I don't keep books in the bathroom."
"No, but we had to use the bathroom every once in a while. We were here for hours."
He regarded her severely. "And?"
"Don't give me that look," she said.
"The school is having another fundraising drive." She glanced at the rows of objects lining the tub, the vanity, the top of the toilet bowl, and the edge of the sink. Resignedly, she said, "They're smurfs, Giles."
"Smurfs! They come inside chocolate eggs. You eat the egg and a smurf appears." When he made a motion to clean them up, she tugged him out of the room. "Uh uh, Giles. Bed now. Smurfs later."
"But they're all *over*!"
She silenced him with a kiss. "If that's freaking you out, just wait until you see how many are in your library." Thinking quickly, she added, "But *Wesley* ate those."