Strike the Match
: Strike the MatchAuthor
: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, Season Three, AUPairing
: FR-15Word Count
: 1296, for this first part.Distribution
: Please ask first. Please do not screencap this story, save it to hard drives, exchange with others, or translate into other languages without explicit consent.Feedback
: Con-crit is valued; flames are exhibited and mockedDisclaimer
: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, lyrics, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Snippets of dialogue may be incorporated from the original canonical episode(s) and belong to their respective authors/creators. The original characters and plot are the property of the author(s). The author(s) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended, nor should any be inferred. No profit is being made.Summary
: Faith isn't interested in denials.Author's Note
: For katekat1010, for so many things.* * * * *
Rupert Giles restlessly perused an ancient Coptic text forwarded to him by a member of the Council who still considered him a colleague, despite Quentin Travers’ best efforts. He was vaguely resentful that the presence of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce had done little to alleviate his workload as it pertained to slaying; the man may have been learned, but had about as much common sense as an aardvark.
The physical resemblance was also unsettling.
He sighed and shifted in his desk chair, ruing that his aching, tired muscles and weary eyes were yet more in a long list of signs heralding his advancing maturity. Regardless, he had a duty to perform, and while he might no longer be in the employ of the Council, his jobless state bore no impact on his commitment to Buffy, and now to Faith, as well. He certainly couldn’t leave them in the inept hands of that prissy upstart. The world would be doomed.
“How’s it hanging, Jeeves?”
Giles managed to swallow his yelp before it erupted from his mouth, annoyed not only at the interruption, but at the easy stealth she had exhibited in catching him off-guard. He settled instead for a very resigned sigh. Turning toward the door, he slowly removed his glasses and narrowed his eyes.
“Good evening, Faith,” he nodded. “I did not expect to see you again tonight. How was patrol?”
She shrugged, a gesture which was far too elegant for one so young, and coolly regarded him as she leaned a shoulder against the jamb of the door, one hand resting on her cocked hip, and the other twining through her hair. Her t-shirt was streaked with dirt, blood, and a substance Giles could neither name nor even identify. The requisite leather pants were on full display, as was the black bra strap desperately trying to slide down her tanned shoulder; he was honestly surprised she bothered to wear such a garment.
A great many things about the girl managed to surprise him.
“Five by five. Me and B took out a nest.” She cocked her head and gave a blissful smile as she cracked her knuckles. “Good times.”
He pursed his lips. “Indeed. Well done.” He turned slightly, hoping she would take the hint and leave him to his research and his maudlin thoughts. “Well, I’m relieved to note that your excursion was otherwise uneventful. Now, if you wouldn’t mind…”
“But see, I would.” She slunk into the office, her gait that of a predatory feline, eyes scanning the room for enemies, or perhaps prey. Finally, they again settled on him. “So what are you up to?”
“Apparently, I am entertaining you in addition to researching yet another prophecy portending the end of the world, which,” he frowned, peering at the calendar above his desk, “should occur in approximately three days time.”
She nodded. “Score. And you’re right. You’re all kinds of entertaining.” She tossed him a toothy grin while at the same time stretching the kinks from her back, popping several vertebrae, and thrusting forward her chest.
He tilted his head and cocked an eyebrow, waiting for her to explain herself and finding the room much smaller than he had ever realized.
What was she playing at?
He definitely had the sensation that she was after something, and he was disturbed to posit just what that might be. He resisted the urge to shake his head. He was being ridiculous.
“I’m so glad I could be of service,” he replied, trying in vain to keep from his voice that officious sneer which drove Buffy barking mad, “but as I explained, I am rather busy.”
“What other services do you perform?”
He swiveled his chair so that he could face her directly, his blue eyes now gray with incredulity and anger, her entendre clearly demarcating the purpose of her visit.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Begging’s good. Pleading’s better.”
She chuffed and grinned. “Not that young. Never been called a lady before, neither. Kinda classy.”
His resolve weakened slightly in the face of an admission which betrayed more vulnerability of which he doubted she was aware.
He had watched her interactions with the others, particularly with Xander and Wesley, and realized she too often equated power and self-esteem with piquancy and innuendo when confronted with the opposite gender.
It was depressing.
He wondered as to the woman she might have become had Linda not been killed. He sighed again.
“Faith, please do spare us both this moment of uncomfortable flirtation. It is offensive and simply beneath you.”
A look of such surprise flitted across her face, he almost regretted his words, but not enough to recant them. It was imperative he disabuse her of the method she used to relate to him while somehow managing to impart to her the notion that she was cared for and valued beyond her Calling or the anatomy between her legs.
He was not technically her Watcher, but that did not lessen the responsibility he felt toward her. He didn’t know much about her, other than he understood that something must have occurred which compelled her to play the femme fatale whenever confronted with a man.
She offered a lazy smirk. “I ain’t the one uncomfortable here.”
“Precisely. Please do refrain from attempting to shock me. Rest assured, I have encountered in my life far more provocative women than you. Don’t embarrass yourself.”
He hated being forced to wound her pride, but knew it was necessary if they were to develop the traditional relationship between a Watcher and his Slayer. He was rather startled when it become obvious his effort was a spectacular failure.
The smirk became a leer. “I’m not embarrassed, Jeeves. I’m not embarrassed, uncomfortable, young, or a lady. I know exactly what I’m doing, and we both know what I’m doing here.”
“Your attempt at seduction is rather lackluster.”
“Then why are you about to cream your tweed?,” she asked, raising a brow and looking pointedly at his crotch.
He felt his face flush and any semblance of dignity eradicated. He cleared his throat and hurriedly swung around to face the fall, pushing his legs beneath his desk, betrayed by his own body.
“I won’t deny that I find you attractive, but whatever your game, I’m not interested in playing. Please leave, Faith.”
He slammed his glasses back on his face, wincing as a ragged bit of cool metal cut into the bridge of his nose.
He gave an indignant squawk when, in the next moment, the chair was unceremoniously yanked out from beneath him and he tumbled to the floor. Before he could voice his anger, she was straddling him. He pushed himself up onto his hands and glared at her, though he imagined the look wasn’t as menacing as he had hoped, given that he could only see her out of one eye. Tremendous. His glasses were askew.
Indeed, she gave him a wry smile before placing her small hands on his waist, hard enough to leave bruises, and tilting his hips until they were flush with her own, reveling in his startled gasp. She lowered her face to his and sank her even, white teeth into his lower lip, all of his protestation and indignation abandoned. She grinned as she tasted his blood on her tongue and released him, before grabbing him by the collar and kissing him hard.
When she was done, she pulled back and got to her feet, looking down on him, her eyes alight with both satisfaction and longing.
“When Jeeves decides he’s had enough of being a pussy, Ripper knows where to find me.”
He straightened his glasses in an effort to construct a coherent reply, but when he looked up again to offer a scathing retort, she was gone.