Lost In Translation
Summary: Set Early season 1 BTVS. Giles and Buffy have difficulty understanding each other.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not none of it. Thanks to Buffyworld for the help with the episode details.
Notes: The inspiration for this came after a discussion with Cinnie showed how far apart the English and the American languages are sometimes and major misunderstanding on my part. And before you ask yes, I did try this at home. Fluff humour fic.
Dedicated to CinnamonGrrl. Just because.
Buffy Summers bounced her way into the library of Sunnydale High School, swinging her bag around her. She had had a great day. First, she had actually remembered to study for her quiz today and had gotten good marks. Secondly, the math lesson they had just had was curiously not as painful as she had been expecting it to be, and thirdly, she had a potential date with a cute guy called Gus. All in all, life was pretty good for her.
She took one look at Rupert Giles’ face as he came out of his office, however, and her heart sank quicker than the Titanic.
”Don’t you dare spoil my good mood!” she said before he had a chance to say anything.
Giles remained silent as she put her bag on the floor and then swung herself up to sit on the table to face him, kicking her legs in mid air. Her bright eyes met his serious expression and she sighed.
“Oh, go on, then. I knew it wouldn’t last.”
“I’m sorry, Buffy. I’ve just come across this prophecy about a demon named Morkis. He is due to rise tonight and I’m afraid it will take all of our resources to fight him.”
“Morkis? Dumb name,” she said, digging around in her bag for her strawberry flavoured lip balm. She applied it without a mirror and then shrugged. “What’s the prob? I go fight. I go kill. I get a PB&J sandwich.”
“I’m afraid it’s not going to be as easy as that, Buffy. And I wish you would moderate your flip attitude. Killing demons and vampires is a serious matter.”
Not even her Watcher’s severe tone could dampen Buffy’s spirits, but she tried to stifle her grin for his sake.
“So, how do I kill him?” she asked pertly. “Is a stake going to work here?”
“I think something slightly larger than a stake is going to be needed.” Giles hesitated as his mind caught up with what Buffy had just said. “A PB&J sandwich?”
“Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Giles. God, you are so uncultured.”
“Peanut butter and jelly? Together?”
“Yeah.” She stared at his revolted expression. “OK, I can understand why YOU wouldn’t like it.”
Giles bristled at this. “If I promise to get you a….” his tone dripped with disgust, “…a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, will you take tonight more seriously?”
“I promise,” Buffy answered, allowing her bright smile to come through.
Giles laid the book on the table next to her and there was a shocked silence.
“I think that’s his leg.”
“I think that’s his other leg.”
Buffy spoke cautiously. “Um, if those are his legs – what’s that?”
Buffy glared at Giles as she lowered the long sword he had given her.
“A sword?” she demanded in frustration. “You got me all worked up to fight a massive demon with three heads, eight arms and what we hoped were three legs, and it turns out to be what – not less than 1 metre high.”
“It’s not my fault the drawing wasn’t to scale.”
“Giles!” she groaned. “I could have used a dinner knife and done the same job.”
“I said I’m sorry. The book wasn’t exactly clear.”
Giles picked up what was left of the Morkis demon and carefully placed it in a large plastic trashcan liner.
“I am SO annoyed with you.”
“Well, I don’t see why. You should always be prepared for the unexpected. Size shouldn’t matter.”
“Of course size matters!” Buffy nearly yelled,stopping abruptly when she realised what she had just said, and her eyes widened. “I really just said that, didn’t I?”
Giles managed to stop the blush creeping into his cheeks and turned away from his Slayer to hide the grin on his face.
“Well, you’ve fulfilled two of the criteria for tonight,” he began and when he saw Buffy’s confused expression, he clarified. “You fought and you killed.”
“I get a PB&J sandwich?”
“If you don’t mind visiting my house first,” Giles said.
“Lead the way,” Buffy said, wiping down the end of her sword before putting it away in the cupboard at the back of the cage.
Giles’ house was one of a set of apartments built not far from Revello Drive. It was Spanish style, but somehow the Englishness of Giles had managed to permeate it. The Times sat on the coffee table, the fresh smell of polish scented the apartment and it was completely loaded with books, records, and more books. Buffy looked around her curiously, not having visited Giles’ house before, but the apartment did not reveal anything personal about him. It looked more like a mobile library.
“Would you like a drink, coke or something?” he called as he went through to the small kitchen. Buffy settled herself on one of the couches and dug through her bag for a nail file while she waited.
“Sure, coke would be great” she called back.
Giles came through and put a glass down in front of her. He had shed his jacket and left it hanging on the back of a chair as he went back into the kitchen.
“White bread?” he called.
“Yep,” she answered, paying particular attention to one nail that had gotten snagged. She paused for a moment, reflecting on the fight. ‘Fight’ was too strong a word; perhaps ‘tussle’? Tussle was a good word.
“Smooth or chunky?”
She worked her way through her left hand and then examined her right, tutting to herself as she noted the polish had peeled off her thumbnail and making a mental note to do it before she went to bed.
There was some muffled swearing from the kitchen and then Buffy heard the clang of a knife hitting a plate. She tucked her nail file back in her bag and followed the sound of the cursing to find Giles in the kitchen, looking helplessly at a plate.
She raised her eyebrows and looked from her annoyed Watcher, to the plate, and back again.
The kitchen surface was a mess. There were two carefully buttered slices of white bread, one which had already been neatly and generously spread with smooth peanut butter. And then, and here was the confusing part, was a large bowl of what looked like strawberry Jell-O. A spoonful of the Jell-O was sitting in the centre of the other slice and Buffy could see that Giles had tried to balance the other slice of peanut buttered bread on top of the slice with Jell-O on it.
“What are you doing?” Buffy asked, confused.
“I should have thought THAT was obvious. I’m making you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” Giles fumed.
Buffy poked the Jell-O curiously and it wobbled slightly. She looked back at Giles.
“But this is Jell-O.”
“No. That is jelly.”
Buffy stared at her Watcher for a moment. She then began opening the cabinets until she found the one that contained his food and she pulled out a jar of jelly and held it up.
“THIS is jelly,” she said. Buffy then indicated the blob of Jell-O sitting on the bread, “that is Jell-O.”
“Not where I come from,” Giles said indignantly, picking up the peanut buttered slice and pressing it down on the Jell-O again. All the Jell-O began to squeeze out the sides and he stopped again.
“You eat this?” he complained. “I can’t even make it!”
Buffy couldn’t help herself. The laugh worked it’s way up out of her and she roared with laughter. She laughed and laughed until her sides hurt and every time she looked up, all she could see was Giles’ hurt expression, which made her bubble over all over again.
“Well, I don’t see what is so funny,” he began huffily. “I went to all this effort to make the jelly for you.” He opened the cabinet that Buffy had got the jar of jelly from and took out a jar of peanut butter and slammed it down on the counter. “I didn’t know what you liked so I got both, I didn’t know what bread you liked, so I got both. I made the jelly properly, and here you are laughing at me.”
“Oh, Giles” Buffy hiccupped and wiped away the tears that were running down her cheeks. “I’m not laughing at you.”
“Yes, you are.”
“OK maybe just a little bit. But see, no harm done.”
Buffy carefully scraped the Jell-O off the bread and dropped it in the trash, then spread the bread with the strawberry jelly. She sandwiched the bread together and cut it down the centre and put it on a clean plate. She then spooned some Jell-O into a bowl and took the plate and the bowl into the living room, Giles following in embarrassed silence.
She curled up on the couch and began to munch away happily at the sandwich until it was finished and then polished off the bowl of Jell-O in record time.
“So let me get this straight. Jelly here is Jell-O and jam is jelly?”
“Yep,” Buffy mumbled through a mouthful.
“So what is jam then?”
“Jam is jam.”
“Is there anything else I should know?” Giles enquired. “Before I make even more a fool of myself that I just have?”
Buffy continued to chew thoughtfully before mentioning, “You know that fags aren’t cigarettes here, right?”