Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (tv)
Characters: Giles/Cordelia, Buffy
Summary/Teaser: Cordelia's grown as a person, though Buffy isn't sure she has.
Warnings: implied hetsex between adults
Spoilers: "Where the Wild Things Are" (BtVS 4.18), S1 Angel up to "Five by Five" (Angel 1.18)
Notes: Set shortly after "Where the Wild Things Are" (BtVS 4.18) but before "Five by Five" (Angel 1.18) even though technically both episodes aired the same night [April 25, 2000].
Written for jedi_penguin for topazangel's *BtVS/AtS Het fic-a-thon. The request: Giles/Cordelia; Buffy freaking out over the relationship, and plenty of snark; Cordelia is not dead, or a demon, or a saint.
Word Count: 1219
Standard Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and co. own the characters, I'm just playing with them. I do, however, own this story, so don't steal it. Archive it anywhere; just ask first.
Feedback is always appreciated. Make me blush with praise or rip apart the story with criticism, or both.
Thanks to Decaf Land for getting my brain going, and especially to CC's Playboy shoot for jumpstarting my muse. Thanks also to Dictionary.com for providing a translator.
Title taken from Ani DiFranco's song "swan dive."
"I'm having a vision," Cordelia murmured as she rubbed Giles’ shoulders.It wasn't yet noon that Saturday morning, so Giles was surprised to see Buffy when he answered the knock at his front door.
"Oh, um, hello Buffy. It's, um, a pleasure to see you, as always."
"Thanks, Giles," Buffy replied brightly, pushing her way past him and into his apartment. "I know you missed me this weekend, probably cooped up in here the whole time, reading your stuffy old books, while Riley and I -- went patrolling, yeah patrolling." Hearing muffled laughter, she turned toward the kitchen and saw Cordelia wearing a terry cloth bathrobe.
"What-- What are you doing here?"
Buffy gaped at her.
"Yeah, I know, hard to believe. Who'd have thought I'd ever learn how to cook? Living on your own, though, you wouldn't believe how fast you get tired of takeout, even in L.A."
Buffy found her voice. "Yeah, L.A. Isn't that where you're living now? Being an actress or something?"
"Actually, I'm helping Angel fight evil," Cordelia said evenly.
Buffy was speechless for a moment but then recovered.
"Okay, fine, so you're moving up in the world. But why are you here? Doesn't L.A. have enough evil? What are you doing back in Sunnydale, with my Watcher?"
"Oh come on, Buffy, we all know the Council fired him last year and it's not like you've ever had any big hard-on for authority. Though with an authority figure like this one, I'm hard-pressed to understand why not." Giles had poured himself a scotch, deciding it was never too early for alcohol when women were involved, and sunk into the couch. Cordelia settled herself on his lap as she finished speaking.
"I don't believe this. You and Giles are…"
"Snogging, shagging, and otherwise enjoying the pleasures of the flesh? Why yes, actually." Cordelia smiled the innocent smile of the wicked.
Buffy sputtered. "When did this happen?"
"Well, we were researching a demon, as one frequently does when one is in the business of fighting evil, and Wesley--"
"Wesley? Wesley's working for you?"
"Yes. Is this an issue for you? Would you rather I were back in L.A. sleeping with him? Do you want me to finish my story or what?"
"Fine, finish your damn story," Buffy grumbled.
"Anyway, Wesley said there was some book that told how to kill it, some really rare book--"
"La Sconfitta di Quelle Spaventose," Giles said softly.
"Yeah, that. Anyway, Giles was the only person he knew who had a copy of it, well besides the Council, but it's not like they’re terribly eager to help us out, so he called Giles and then Giles drove up for a weekend because what are you gonna do, FedEx a rare mystical text? So anyway, he walks into the office and I'm answering the phones so I barely notice until he's actually at the desk, right in front of me, and hello, Hottie McHottie much? I mean what was I, blind all these years?"
Giles winced at the Valleyspeak. "Miss Chase has also rather grown up since high school."
"Oh hush Giles, you'll ruin my cover. If Buffy finds out I've turned all mature, next thing you know our entire graduating class will know and where will my reputation be then?"
"Half our graduating class is dead," Buffy said. "And you know I never talked to anyone anyway."
Cordelia sobered. "I know. I was just trying to lighten up the mood a little."
Everyone was quiet for a bit, and then Buffy spoke. "So, what, you said 'Let's go in the back and fuck' but it got too crowded so you decided to come back to my town?"
"We went out for dinner," Giles said. "La Sconfitta di Quelle Spaventose is written in a rather dense style and, like so many mystical texts, can be very subtle in the shading of its meaning. It is not a text to be rushed through. Wesley is very adept at translation, however, so he assured me it would only take a few days to get all the information they needed and be sure of it. It seemed foolish to drive out there and back in the space of only a few days. And it was good to get out of town. Not that Los Angeles has much in particular to recommend itself, but sometimes the fact that somewhere isn't Sunnydale is enough."
Buffy wanted to say something rude and cutting but couldn't stop thinking of the summer she ran away to L.A.
Giles continued. "I was interested to hear how Angel's demon-fighting operation functioned, and it was truly fascinating. Oh, the various methodologies of research and fighting are nothing particularly new, but the whole idea of co-opting the traditional 'detective agency' conceit to hone your attack. Brilliant. And then hearing about all that they've seen in less than a year. Fascinating."
"So you were captivated by her stories? Like I don't have interesting stories? No, I did not just say that."
Cordelia laughed. "We went out to dinner, there were sparks, one thing led to another, and here I am." Cordelia shrugged, smiling.
“Yes, but why are you here here? Has torturing me become part of your job description or something?"
“Hardly. You know, it isn't always about you, Buffy. I was going to come down for my baby's coffee shop gig, but we were in the middle of some big deal stuff and I couldn't exactly am-scray for a concert. But the poor boy deserved some loving, so once I could take some time off I came down for a private party." She leaned over and kissed Giles.
"Giles?" Buffy whined, scrunching her eyes and shaking her head to try to rid herself of the unwelcome mental picture. "First my mother, now this? I do not need to know this."
"Oh come on. Don’t get all prudish on me," Cordelia returned. "I think you and your latest boytoy just set the world record for marathon sexcapades. Okay, so you were possessed by demons but hey, Guinness doesn't need to know that. After all, half the freaks in there are probably part demon anyway."
Buffy glared at her.
"So," said Cordelia, with exaggerated perkiness, "what brings you here -- and by here, of course I mean La Casa de Giles, not the city itself, since I am well aware that the entire city belongs to you and you need no reason for being seen in it." Cordelia's smile was tight under bright eyes.
Buffy looked just a touch bashful. "Oh, my mom's making pancake brunch for me and Riley and she said you had the best blueberry syrup, straight from England or something."