Paul Gadzikowski



During the first break in the training session Buffy said, "It happened again."

"What did?" said Giles, distracted. He was unwinding, as he frequently did, by cataloging.

"Before everyone else left," said Buffy. "It was Xander and Cordy, Willow and Oz ... and you and me."

Now Giles looked up from his cards and books.

Buffy took the plunge. "Giles, do you believe in friendly sex?"

Giles pushed the books and cards to the side of the table where they were sitting across from each other, taking off his glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose. "Buffy, we can't afford to have me fired."

"So you have thought about it."

"Yes and no," Giles said. "In an if-I-were-twenty-years-younger sort of way."

"Do you usually have fantasies about teenage girls?" said Buffy. She might've added, "After all, you're surrounded by them all day," but that would have suggested that she wasn't special to him, which she didn't want to suggest to either of them at the moment. Not to mention that she really had no idea what he would answer.

"When I have fantasies about teenage girls," said Giles, "they are flashbacks about girls I knew when I was a teenager. My - our - reality is so fantastic, I prefer a certain realism to my fantasy." He put his glasses back on. "Are you serious?"

"Yes," said Buffy. "And no," she admitted. She looked away from him. "I guess I'm just trying to overwrite my first time." She looked back at him. "With someone who will still love me afterwards." She hoped she wouldn't cry, irrationally afraid he'd see it as an attempt to manipulate him.

"Buffy," said Giles softly, "you don't believe in friendly sex. Physical intimacy is part and parcel of emotional intimacy for you. Or you'd have done this already.

"And even when you find it, or I do, or both, what you and I have can still never be subsumed; for the intimacy between us is of the soul."

Now Buffy did cry, because the tears were squeezed out of her eyes when she smiled. "I didn't know you were a poet."

"Actually that was written by a twelfth century Watcher. But I've always wanted to say it."

She put her hand on his and gave it a brief squeeze; then rose and started lacing on one of the boxing gloves. "Well, enough of the mushy stuff. Let's just get hot and sweaty together."

"My," said Giles. "You do know how to sweettalk a fellow."


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