Blast From The Past

Giles cradled the receiver of the telephone numbly. A moment later he rubbed a hand over his face then covered his mouth with his fingers, his thoughts miles away.

Eventually he got up and went upstairs, where he opened the closet and stared at its contents for a long while before sighing heavily and closing it again. Next he opened the tallboy and poked around before slamming the door and swearing under his breath.

Finally, he went to his bedside cupboard and got out his tin of old photographs. It took him some time to find what he wanted. He dug out several old pictures and laid them on the bed alongside each other.

It wasn't possible. How could they be here? They would never understand…

He went back to the closet, even dragged out his meagre selection of shoes and boots, muttered under his breath, kicked them all back into the closet and closed the door with rapidly growing temper.

A few minutes later he found his keys and his wallet and headed out of the apartment.

Buffy, Willow and Tara emerged from the Espresso Pump deep in conversation about the relative merits of Brad Pitt versus Russell Crowe. The debate seemed to involve much laughter and giggling as they headed for the cinema.

In the midst of Tara's dissertation on Brad Pitt's smile, Willow squealed in her own tiny squeak kind of way.

“What?” the other two girls said simultaneously.

“Sexy butt, at seven o'clock,” she giggled.

They turned. Someone in faded blue jeans was bent over the engine of an impressive looking motorcycle. The jeans were tight and pulled even tighter across the hard, round rear. Its owner straightened a few minutes later, without turning, instead wiping his hands on a handkerchief.

“Whoa, shoulders too,” Buffy growled, her eyes tracing the outline of the dark leather jacket. “Bet he looks like Pee Wee Herman, or Herman Munster. They always do. You never get it all.”

“Need to see,” Willow said almost too longingly.

Tara looked sharply at her.

“Backsliding again, Will?” Buffy asked amused at both of them.

Willow shrugged. “Hey, nobody said there were rules…I can appreciate the merchandise on both sides of the store.”

“Oh…turning,” Tara said suddenly.

The other two turned to watch the very tall figure turn to look when a car came down the street making a terrible racket with it's obviously holed muffler.

He was wearing dark reflective sunglasses and his hair was virtually unrestrained. From across the street he looked about thirty and a product of the open road.

It was a few moments before any of the girls could speak.

“Giles?” Willow squeaked.

“Giles?” Tara repeated.

“Can't be,” Buffy said too quickly. “He doesn't own a motorcycle, and I've never seen him wear sunglasses, let alone…and that butt…”

They all groaned: Giles' butt…

“It's Giles,” Willow said weakly.

“I don't thi—”

Buffy stopped mid-sentence when the figure turned back and swung a long leg over the seat of the bike.

“It can't be Giles,” she repeated. “I'm going to the magic shop, and if he isn't there I'm calling his place. That's not him.”

Tara and Willow looked at each other.

“You okay, Buffy?” Willow ventured.

“Me? Fine,” she insisted as the motorcycle came to life and the hunk gunned it down the street in an entirely knee-wobbling, other things throbbing, fashion.

“Isn't he supposed to wear a helmet?” Tara asked.

“Magic shop,” Buffy said in a strangled voice.

“No, he's not here,” Anya said for the third time as she expertly wrapped an orb of Thessala for a strange looking young man.

“When will he be back?”

“He said I was in charge until day after tomorrow,” Anya said patiently.

“Is he going away?” Buffy asked edgily, drawing the attention of all three girls.

Anya frowned. “He didn't say that. He said he had something he had to do and that he trusted me implicitly to handle everything…and to not scare the customers too much,” she told them proudly.

They were all too distracted to giggle at Anya's innocent self-indictment.

“What could he possibly have to do that would involve a motorcycle and looking like a refugee from Easy Rider?” Buffy muttered.

“I guess the only way to find out is to ask,” Willow ventured.

“Um, sweetheart: Popcorn…soda…lights, camera…”

Willow's eyes widened and she turned to Tara. “What time is it?”

“We have ten minutes to get back to the theatre.”

Willow turned to Buffy. “Buffy, Giles is a big boy. If he's got something going on, let him deal with it. Tara and I have to go. We've been waiting for weeks for this film…”

“Go,” Buffy said immediately, still distracted.

Anya blinked as the two witches raced out of the store. “Must be a good movie.”

“They don't watch the movie,” Buffy said equally distractedly.

For a moment Anya looked nonplussed, then she grinned, her eyes dancing and her expression approving. “Neither do Xander and I,” she added with satisfaction.

Buffy's face scrunched slightly. “Too much information,” she muttered. “See you later.”

Anya watched her go and smiled to herself. She'd seen the boss only a few hours earlier, when he stopped by to relieve her for an hour so that she could have some lunch. He hadn't explained his appearance or the motorcycle he'd parked out front. He had, however, made her want to have orgasms from the moment he walked in and smiled at her from behind those dark glasses when she'd exclaimed in surprise, to the moment he'd walked out again and she'd watched that incredibly tight, sexy butt below the surprisingly wide, leather-covered shoulders, moving away from her. Her only regret was that she wouldn't get to see the Slayer's face when she saw him and wanted to have orgasms too. She chuckled aloud and went to ask the new customer why they were so interested in Stymphalian Shaman's casting bones.

Buffy stood at the door of the apartment trying to make herself knock, terrified that something horrible, like Olivia in one of his shirts, was going to be inside.

When she finally tapped on the door it was with her eyes closed and her face scrunched.

After a few beats it opened.

“Buffy, what's wrong? Are you hurt?”

She opened her eyes.

Giles was dressed in slacks and a navy blue polo shirt and eating an apple. His hair was still exactly as it had been down the street, and still he wasn't wearing his glasses, but otherwise he was behaving perfectly normally.

“New hairstyle?” she asked.

He let her in and closed the door behind her. “Yes…um…time to try something different,” he said casually.

“I saw you,” she said simply.

“Oh,” he said, the hand with the apple in it dropping to his side.

“Is everything okay, Giles?”

“Yes, of course,” he said uncomfortably. “Why wouldn't it be?”

“You didn't tell me you bought a motorcycle.”

“I didn't.”

Buffy's eyes found his.

“I've had it in storage since I moved here. It came with me from England, but I needed a car and there was nowhere here,” he cast a meaningful glance around the apartment, “to store the bike. It's valuable and not something I would risk leaving on the street.”

“Unlike the Citroen,” Buffy teased.

He half smiled, his affection for the half-forgotten old warhorse plain to see. “Indeed.”

“But…why now?”

Giles moved away and sat down in his chair, his dropped hands between his knees.

“Was…did I look…were you so terribly shocked?” he asked uncomfortably.

Buffy stared at him. He seemed sort of defeated, unhappy. Not at all like the man she knew.

“Giles, we were ogling you on the street. We thought you were a hunk. And then you turned around and well, it was you…” she told him, too focused on his feelings to realise what she had just said.

He looked up slowly, his eyes dancing. “Who, um, exactly is we?” he asked almost shyly.

“Willow, Tara, me…us,” she explained. “I thought you needed your glasses all the time?”

He shook his head. “They're for an astigmatism, and in recent times for the close work. In our…um…line of work, being able to see distances is extremely important, but I don't have to have them on all the time.”

Buffy tilted her head to one side. “Good,” she said softly. “I like it when you take them off.” She frowned. “You haven't answered the question…about the motorcycle, I mean.”

He sighed. “If you must know, I'm expecting someone…a couple of people, actually.”

“And you decided to try for the retro-bikie look…why?”

He half chuckled, but the humour faded quickly. “Stupidity, mostly. We were part of a large group when I was a lad.”

“With Ethan?”

He shook his head. “Before. We were thugs, toughs…roaming the streets.”

Something registered in Buffy's eyes. “You were the gang leader,” she guessed.

He looked up, smiled at her insight and nodded. “I thought Stitch and Bacchus would have to be in jail by now. I know Ursula has six children and a drunken husband, and Judy still works in a fish shop in Billingsgate. Dozer…a big fellow named Duncan McInerney, died of lung cancer a couple of years ago. I haven't see or heard from Stitch—Stephen Willis, or Bacchus… Bob Seaton, in something like twenty-five years or more. Now they're coming here, together, to visit me.”

“And you think they'll roll around laughing if they see you in your suits and your shop and your terminal stuffiness?” Buffy guessed, amused.

He looked up. “Something like that. It was my gang. It required constant vigilance because Stitch wanted to take it over so badly, and Bacchus was always his best mate. Dozer wasn't smart enough to take sides, and he liked everyone.”

“I'm guessing there's a point here somewhere…?” Buffy prompted.

Giles seemed to focus. “Only that I can't let him see what I've become.”

“Giles, this is crazy. Some stupid guy from your childhood reappears and you suddenly think you're not good enough, or a failure or something?”

He shook his head. “You don't understand. It's not about money or assets…it's about…”

“Testosterone,” Buffy growled.

He looked up, surprised, and stared for a long moment, before clearing his throat. “Well, I wouldn't put it quite like that…”

Buffy felt herself begin to relax a little, the sense of foreboding dissipating at last. “It's a pissing contest…you and this Stephen…?”

Giles snorted, then sighed again. “We were extremely competitive.”

“How competitive?”

He ran a hand over a suddenly harried face. “I took up with Ethan because Stitch had seduced my girlfriend and more or less taken over the leadership of the group. They thought I was weak because I wouldn't agree to certain activities…”

“I didn't think there was much you hadn't tried,” Buffy said dryly, indicating the tattoo on his arm.

Giles looked at it. “A lot happened between being an eighteen year old playing at being tough and a twenty four year old idiot trying to destroy himself rather than face his future.”

“When are they coming?” Buffy said suddenly, sensing that Giles needed a change of subject.

“Um…Thursday. I'm to meet them and their girlfriends in Anaheim, at a hotel there.”

“They're your age and they're not married?”

Giles looked at her wryly. “I'm my age and I'm not married,” he pointed out.

Buffy made a dismissive noise. “You're different.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I am not,” he retorted. “I just haven't met anyone…”

“So who are you taking?”

“Taking?”

“Well, if it's a pissing contest and you're trying to be one better than this Stephen, don't you need a girlfriend too?”

Giles deflated a little. “I'm not seeing anyone,” he sighed. “I've been so caught up in the stupidity of trying to be seventeen again I didn't even think about it. That's it. I'm a fool. I'll go as a bloody well am and they can take me or leave me!”

Buffy smiled. That was more like her Giles.

The phone shrilled. Buffy automatically rose to pick it up.

“'Allo, what's Rupert been up to then?” a broad London accent replied on the other end. “Listen, luv, whatever he's been telling you it's all lies,” the voice said with a chuckle. “Rupert always was good with the pretty words and not a lot else…I bet 'e 'asn't changed.”

“Rupert is right here,” Buffy said sweetly. “You must be Stephen. I'm guessing what Gi-Rupert has been saying about you must all be absolutely true…”

Giles almost guffawed as he took the phone.

“Who? Oh, that was…that was…”

Buffy took the phone back. “Leave my boyfriend alone, Stevie-boy, or we're not coming,” she drawled just as sweetly and handed the receiver back to a wide-eyed Giles.

“Yes…uh…Stitch, what can I do—? Um, yes,” Giles looked up at Buffy wildly for a moment. “Yes, that was my...um…lady. Your utter lack of charm has left a lasting impression, as always. No, no…we're coming. Thursday, four o'clock. Y-yes, fine.”

Giles sighed heavily as he listened.

“No…I didn't mention her before because it never came up.” He rolled his eyes. “No I haven't been to Disneyland and I harbour no ambition to go there,” he replied a little shortly, “but...um…thank you for asking.”

Buffy giggled.

A few minutes later, Giles hung up with a look of utter relief.

“What was that all about?” Buffy asked.

“What? Oh, they've changed the time. Apparently the women have discovered something else they just had to see. He doesn't believe you're my girlfriend. He wanted to know how much I was paying you. I'm meeting them an hour later, same place. I'm going to have to explain your absence,” he added gruffly.

“Why?”

Giles flashed a puzzled look at her.

She smiled back at him dazzlingly. “Aren't I coming with, Rupert, babe?”

“Buffy…”

“It'll be fun. I already don't like your friend.”

“I can't. It wouldn't be right…”

“But it would be a lot of fun,” she pointed out. “And I've never ridden on the back of a motorcycle before.” She frowned. “I've never ridden on a motorcycle, period.”

“Buffy, I'm old enough…you…we can't,” he said helplessly.

“Sure we can,” she smiled. “I've got some seriously slutty clothes, and my red leather pants for the bike…and it's not that much of a stretch to lust after you when you're in those jeans…”

“Buffy!”

“Well they were serious jeans, babe,” she said in character, moving to him as he sat down again, and sliding on to his lap before he even realised what she was doing.

“Buffy!”

She curled her arms around his neck. “We've gotta practise if we're going to sell this act to Stitch and Co,” she pointed out, trying not to laugh at his near-apoplexy.

“We don't have to practise anything,” he growled, sliding her off as he stood up suddenly. “Because you aren't going.”

Buffy found her feet and glared up at him, partly in surprise, partly hurt and completely at a loss for words.

Until she saw something as he turned away from her.

A shiver went down her spine.

It had all been a game.

Until now.

She was used to teasing Giles, and this time it had somehow seemed just as comfortable to take it the joke that extra step farther. Their relationship had been changing and evolving since graduation and it didn't seem so much of a leap to her to pretend to be his girlfriend for a while.

She swallowed. “Giles?”

“I-I'm sorry Buffy. I do appreciate your efforts, but we can't…it isn't…I'm sorry…” he said without looking back.

She moved quietly to his back and touched him between the shoulder blades. “Don't,” she said very softly. He had stiffened at her touch, but he didn't move away.

“I'm sorry,” he whispered.

“What for? Being appreciated is of the good, Giles,” she told him. “You don't think I wasn't in the same condition when I was watching you bending over your motorcycle earlier today?”

For a long moment he didn't say anything. “It isn't the same thing,” he told her. “I'm not…it isn't my place to…you don't…”

Buffy took pity on him and rubbed his back comfortingly. “You can't know that,” she pointed out. “I'm not a kid any more, Giles. I don't know how I feel about…us….but I know how I feel about you.”

He turned slowly.

“I…I care for you a great deal, Buffy. It wasn't simply…I have felt…I…blast it…” He turned away again.

Buffy stared. She couldn't speak. Not in her most bizarre imaginings had she ever considered that Giles might have…feelings…for her. Her eyes dropped to her feet.

And a good part of the reason for that was that she didn't believe she was good enough for him…that he'd never see her as anything but a troublesome child, a charge to be cared for, tolerated and trained. She had none of the sophistication of Olivia, the worldliness and poise of Jenny or any of the other things she believed Giles would want in a woman.

“I'll be here on Thursday morning, early,” she said quietly. “Don't leave without me.”

Giles heard the door close behind him and closed his eyes.


*******

Buffy arrived for breakfast.

It was all Giles could do to remain calm and unruffled when he opened the door. She was wearing the tight red leather pants and a short, low cut top that plunged more one side than the other, the effect of which was to appear as though her left breast was in constant peril of falling out of said item of clothing.

Her hair was deliberately loose and flowing and her makeup heavier than usual, in a sensuous, pouting sort of way.

He swallowed. “Y-you came,” he managed.

“I told you I would,” she pointed out, looking him up and down. He was unshaven and wearing a silver crucifix in his left ear, heavy, masculine, silver chain at his throat, and his hair was again on the wild side, in an incredibly sexy kind of way. He was wearing the jeans again and the jacket was thrown over a chair for the moment. His one concession to the new millennium was the expensive black ribbed shirt that looked so good on him.

They were by far the tightest pants she'd ever seen him wear, and it was stunningly obvious that he was in far better shape than he'd ever let her see with his multiple layers, sloppy sweaters and baggy sweats.

She swallowed. “So what's for breakfast?”

They ate in silence before Giles went to shave and clean up. Even when they left, nothing was said until they reached the motorcycle.

“Giles?”

“Yes?” he said hoarsely.

“Giles…” she repeated, and put her hand on his arm before he could put the stand up.

He turned reluctantly.

“I'm not going to ride all the way to Anaheim with you like this.”

“What did you expect?” he growled. “It was your idea.”

Frustrated, angry, and confused about her own feelings, her body's crazy response to his nearness and the unfairness of his reaction, she reached up and dragged his head down to her mouth.

The kiss began with her lips crushing themselves into his shocked ones then slowly transmuted into searching questions from her and reluctant answers from him, until she slid the tip of her tongue along his bottom lip and her arms right around his neck.

A tremor went through Giles, then his arms closed around her and dragged her to him, his mouth taking hers, no longer tentative, instead claiming the tender lips, the soft mouth, kissing her with all the passion so long repressed, so long denied, in his heart and his soul.

When they finally parted he dropped his hands to his side and waited for the rejection that had to come.

Buffy stared up at him, breathing hard.

The silence stretched, and his heart grew heavy.

Finally the blue-grey eyes found and held his.

“Kiss me again,” she demanded.

This time they shared the passion and the pleasure, until it became necessary to separate or go back to the apartment.

“W-We should go,” he managed, not sure whether he'd stepped into another reality, or if he was dreaming…

Buffy smiled at his discomfiture, her own head spinning at the speed of the shift in their relationship. “Yeah, we should,” she agreed. “You first.”

He put the stand up and mounted the motorcycle.

Buffy slid onto the seat behind him and moulded herself to his back. After a beat to decide how she felt about that, and the effect his warm body was having on her insides, she decided she could live with it. In fact, her rebellious hormones were willing her to continue to explore.

Slowly, her arms slid around him, her hands feeling the rise and fall of his chest, through the ribbed fabric. She shivered, aware of what she wanted, even though the logical part of her brain was still in shock.

Her fingers slid from his chest down his torso to his jeans. When her hands reached their destination Giles said a word she'd never heard him use before and started the bike.

Buffy giggled as he put it in gear and roared away.

Across the street Willow, Tara and Xander stood with their mouths hanging open.

“That was the nachos I ate last night, right? I'm not really awake and I didn't just see what I thought I saw?” Xander babbled.

“I saw it,” Willow whimpered.

“So did I,” Tara added dazedly.

“But only in my nightmare,” Xander told them. “You'll see. Anya will wake me up in a minute for another…uh…never mind. Just trust me, she's going to…”

“Shut up, Xander!” both girls said at the same time and Willow pinched his arm.

“Ow!! Oh…oh God, it's real! Please tell me I can go home and start today again?”

“Xander, it's not that bad,” Willow said, when she finally snapped out of it. “Think about it. Where is the bad in this?”

Xander frowned. “It's Giles and Buffy, isn't that bad enough?”

“No,” Tara said, surprised.

He shrugged and spread his hands. “It's Giles, Buffy, a motorcycle, seriously sexy clothes and major smoochies…doesn't anybody else see the wiggins, except me?”

Willow shook her head slowly. “I used to daydream stuff like that about Giles. He's a seriously sexy guy, in case you hadn't noticed—”

“Oh yeah, I'm gonna notice that Giles is cute,” he retorted. “Selma Hyak in a thong is sexy…Giles is old, boring book guy. No sex. No cute. Red blooded, regular American guy here, remember?”

Willow snorted. “You know what I mean. I guess Buffy has finally noticed. That kind of bond between them…”

“Chemistry,” Tara supplied.

Willow nodded. “Their chemistry…the way they were around each other…they must have finally realised what it was.”

Xander whimpered again. “And now they're going away together…staying somewhere together…away…together…at night…”

Tara giggled.

Willow looked at him pityingly. “Buy you a double chocolate fudge Sundae with cookie dough and chocolate chips,” she offered in her sympathetic, best friend's voice.

“With the candy sprinkles and the little flags?” he asked in a small voice.

Willow nodded, trying not to giggle.

“Let's go!” he agreed, his lopsided grin almost, but not quite convincing.

*******


The motorcycle tore along the highway at speed. Buffy felt her hair streaming out behind her and wondered whether they would get booked for not wearing helmets. It was another contradiction in the man in front of her that he hadn't offered any.

Despite the initial precariousness of her first few turns, Buffy was loving the wildness riding behind him on the motorcycle, the feeling of freedom, the feel of her body pressed against his, and the freedom to keep her hands clasped around his torso, her fingers playing with his shirt, beneath the open leather jacket.

Giles focused with difficulty on the road, only too well aware of the warm body pressed against his back, the curves, the feel of her fingertips stroking his chest through his t-shirt, her arms tight around his body. Despite the distraction he was glorying in the freedom, the rediscovered joy of riding. It had been over five years, and he'd missed it terribly.

They reached the designated hotel in Anaheim two hours before they were due to meet the others. Only when they reached the lobby did it occur to Giles that he hadn't changed the booking. The concierge shook his head apologetically. “You need to book several days in advance,” he told a dismayed Giles. “Bookings are heavy this time of year.”

The room was lovely.

Buffy dumped her backpack and sat down on the king sized bed. “Isn't this kind of big for one?”

Giles looked sheepish. “I'm a large man. I need room.”

Buffy looked him up and down. “How large?” she asked playfully.

His mouth dropped open. It was still open when she reached him and slid her arms around him. It was getting easier every time she did it, and she was getting to like it more and more.

When he didn't move immediately she slid her hands down to cup his butt, eliciting a strangled noise from his throat. A moment later she was in his arms, being kissed, hard.

She responded with equal fervour until his mouth began to travel down her jaw to her throat, making her moan as they trailed down to the soft skin above her bosom. When she whimpered he lifted his head.

“Buffy…?” he asked softly, helplessly.

“Please, Giles,” she whispered, pressing herself to him.

They kissed again, before he lifted his mouth and dropped down to kiss between the soft breasts.

Buffy shuddered and raised her arms as he lifted the top.

He looked at her for a long moment after dropping the shirt, the beautiful curves finally revealed to him.

Buffy whimpered as he caressed them with his mouth, his lips, his fingertips, until she groaned with need.

By the time his shirt and her leather jeans were on the floor, Buffy was on the bed, Giles worshipping every inch, every curve of the lovely body until she writhed with pleasure and moaned with desire.

Then he was kissing her again, his jeans on the floor and no underwear to be seen. Buffy felt him brush her thigh, felt how incredibly hard he was and felt her centre throb with greed for him.

She lifted her legs as he came to her, and met him, gasping as he pushed into her, crying out as he filled her to breaking point.

“Oh God, Giles!” she groaned, raking her fingers down his back and closing her legs around him as he began to stroke.

Giles bit his bottom lip, waves and waves of pleasure sweeping over his body as he took the woman he'd loved for so long, took her with the same abandon as he'd stolen the ride…defied the rules…

He exalted in her need, her desire for him, and her pleasure as she rose and groaned in wanton, demanding gasps, matching him thrust for thrust and stroke for stroke..

They took each other, faster and faster, deeper and deeper, shifting and moving until they were both gasping and crying out.

“Gi-i-les! Oh…oh God…oh my God!” Buffy thrashed and arched her hips off the bed as Giles followed her, his strangled exclamations followed by his own contortions and arching until, finally, they both came to rest, Giles' brow resting momentarily on her shoulder.

When he felt her fingertips slide through his hair then stroke his temple tenderly, he finally looked up.

She smiled at him, a rush of tenderness filling her as his face softened into a boyish, almost shy smile.

When they made it to the lobby to meet the others they were arm in arm, Giles' long one casually draped around Buffy's shoulders as she leaned into him.

Buffy was surprised then, when Giles stopped dead some distance from the lounge where they were to meet his friends. She followed his gaze.

In one small hutch of chairs sat two men and two women. The bigger of the men was large, corpulent and balding. The middle-aged woman next to him, with the big hair, was quite obviously his girlfriend. Opposite them sat a much smaller man with thinning grey hair and an extremely large woman who seemed to be complaining about something, judging by the pained look on his face.

Buffy looked up at Giles' profile and almost giggled at the satisfaction in his smug grin.

“Hey,” she exclaimed as he turned them around. “What gives? Aren't we going to—?”

“No,” he said contentedly. “I don't have to prove anything to anyone…and I can think of a much better use for the next few hours.”

Buffy let her hand slide down to his hard right buttock as they headed for the elevators again. “So can I,” she said with satisfaction.



* * *