#567 Giles/C.J. Cregg (West Wing)
Rating: PG – for random smoochies
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Buffy or The West Wing.
FFA pairing # 567 Giles/C.J. Cregg
C.J. stared blankly at the nervous-looking young man behind the check-in counter. She made a great mental effort not to bang her head on that counter. Instead, she gripped it with a strength that turned her knuckles white. It was less satisfying, but a tad more dignified.
“What do you mean you don’t have a flight to D.C.? You have airplanes, right? And they have enough fuel to get there, yes?”
“Uh, yes ma’am.” He looked down at a screen she couldn’t see. “We just don’t have any direct flights.” C.J. opened her mouth, but he quickly volunteered to see what flights were available. After two and a half minutes of rapid-fire typing, he looked up at her with a small expression of triumph on his face.
“I do have a flight with only one connection, in Atlanta.”
C.J. narrowed her eyes and viciously squashed the urge to vault the counter and throttle the man. “We are in Akron, Ohio.” She said very softly, “Are you telling me that I have to go to Georgia in order to get to Washington?”
He took a step back before nodding.
Her shoulders drooped and she rubbed at one pounding temple. “Okay,” She said with a sigh, “When does it leave?”
“Ten-fifteen, tomorrow morning.”
Her hard-fought calmness abandoned her, and her voice increased in volume. “Are you kidding me!”
She spun around to face the person attached to the soft-yet-masculine voice that had just spoken her name.
“Rupert?” C.J. felt the corners of her mouth turning up in a smile, despite her current situation. “Rupert Giles, what are you doing here?”
“I live here, well, in Cleveland. I have a connecting flight, in fact, it was delayed by the President’s departure.” He paused for a moment, “Wouldn’t you usually fly on the same plane with him?”
She smoothed back her hair in an unconscious, and ultimately useless, attempt to put off admitting her problem out loud. “Yes, I do usually fly on Air Force One . . . except for when I get left behind by the motorcade. I was cleaning up a few things with the press because I’m, you know, the Press Secretary - and may I say as an aside that you have some particularly tenacious reporters here in the Akron/Canton area - and I was delayed, and well, they left – without me.”
She sighed, folded her arms across her chest, and murmured to herself. “Toby and Josh are never going to let me hear the end of this. At least they got to have dry rub when they were left behind.”
She glanced up to see Giles with his brow crinkled in confusion, gazing at her with some concern.
She decided it was time to shift the conversation to any other topic. “So, Rupert, it’s been something like twenty years. How are you? What are you doing in Cleveland?”
He smiled and ducked his head in that slightly embarrassed way he had whenever anyone paid attention to him. “I’m doing well. As for Cleveland . . . do you remember that I used to have some interests in the paranormal, the occult, and other such topics?”
“Sure, you even had that creepy tattoo on your arm.”
Giles grimaced, “Yes, well, I’m still in the same field, but I’ve left my youthful foolishness behind and concentrated on helping to stave off the encroaching forces of darkness.”
She looked him over, head to toe – taking in the abundance of tweed. “Forces of darkness, huh? You’re going to need better camouflage if you’re going to battle the Republicans on the Hill.”
“Claudia, I’m serious.”
“No, no, I believe you, and you do your staving off in Cleveland?”
“Actually, I used to live in Sunnydale, California – the town that was inexplicably wiped off the face of the earth.”
She looked thoughtful, and then a bit disturbed. “That was really strange. Our science reports never pinpointed the exact cause of the sinkhole.”
“That’s because it was destroyed by magical energy when my associates and I closed the Hellmouth.”
“Really? Wow, thanks for taking care of that one. I have no idea how I could spin that in the briefing room.” She started to laugh, but stopped when she saw his expression.
“Are you serious?” She stared at him incredulously, “The Hellmouth? As in . . .”
“The Mouth of Hell.” He supplied, “Precisely. I’m sure the President knows about it, we had issues with military interference before.”
C.J. grabbed his arm and dragged him behind the dubious cover of a large fake potted plant. “Just because the President knows something, that doesn’t mean that I would have the faintest clue about it.”
Giles looked a little confused, “But you would need to know some of the inside information in case the press found out too much, wouldn’t you?”
“No! If I don’t know the truth, then I won’t be lying to the press when I tell then something else. Come on Rupert, you saw on television that I only found out that the President has MS a couple days before we went public.”
Giles looked shocked, “The President has multiple sclerosis?”
C.J. rolled her eyes, “Have you been living in a cave?”
“Admittedly, I haven’t gotten out much in the past few years, but . . .”
“Rupert, could we please concentrate on the fact that you’re talking about Hell and magic, and I am starting to believe you, and . . . and . . . this is so much worse than just being left behind by the motorcade.”
Giles turned sympathetic eyes on his old friend. “I’m sorry, I never would have said anything, but I thought you would already know.”
She shook her head vigorously, “No! I didn’t know! But now I do, and I’m really freaking out a little bit, and I . . .mfmph.”
Giles slid one hand up her neck to cradle her head as he kissed her. She relaxed into the moment, and then blinked several times when they finally parted.
“You kissed me. Why did you, I mean it was really nice, just unexpected, and . . . why?”
“You were becoming rather upset, and I thought it was much more gentlemanly than slapping you.”
She arched an eyebrow, “Plus, you knew I’d hit you back.”
He grinned, “Yes, quite.” He sobered as he took her hands. “Claudia, why don’t you come stay with me tonight? I’ll tell you whatever you want to know, and you can have the luxury of a stiff drink while I do. You can’t get a flight back to D.C. until the morning anyway, and you don’t have to be at work . . . you don’t have to be at work tomorrow, do you? It is Christmas Day.”
She gave him a small smile, “I have the day off.”
“Good, then you can get a flight mid-morning and still have time to spend the day however you had planned,” He paused, “and with whomever you had planned.”
“Well, I was going to get together with Toby, and Josh, and . . .”
“The ones who will taunt you about your unfortunate travel mishap?”
“Hmm, good point.” C.J. looked thoughtful for a moment, “I guess I could take a little detour, on one condition.”
“I don’t suppose you have any mistletoe hung around your house with reckless abandon?”
Giles resisted the urge to clean his glasses as he remembered Willow and Dawn threatening to decorate his house.
“There is a possibility that there might be mistletoe.”
She cocked her head to the side and he felt himself start to blush as a mischievous expression crept across her face. She turned around without another word and headed back to the apprehensive ticketing agent.
“Would you please change my ticket? It seems that I’m going to Cleveland for Christmas.”