It’s All In How You Play the GameRating:
Not mine - I just borrowed them for a bit.Summary:
Faith thinks she knows what she wants and, being the girl she is, she expects to get it. But when things stray from the plan, she’ll see she’s not the only one who knows how to play the game. Author’s Note:
Written as a thank you for Ruth for reassuring me that I am not too stupid to get into Cambridge just because I couldn’t figure out their screwy college/university system on my own.
Giles wasn’t sure how long she had been standing there. He was elbow-deep in texts documenting the possible rise of yet another dark force when he noticed a shadow darkening his door. Faith leaned against the doorframe watching him, a tiny smirk twisting her lips. She grinned when he looked up, her smile more befitting some jungle feline than a young woman in jeans and a T-shirt. If ever anyone looked like trouble, she did.
“Didn’t want to interrupt you.”
Giles glanced at his watch – 2 am already. It looked to be another night spent in his library office, he thought tiredly. He closed the book in front of him and straightened his papers before swiveling the chair around to face her. “I could use a bit of a break. Is anything wrong? Anything unusual on patrol?”
She had been a little skittish since Kakistos had followed her to town. She and Buffy had slain the vampire and his followers, but he had the impression she was still holding back. Buffy said it was the only time so far she had seen Faith afraid and they’d been in more than a few serious situations together. Perhaps she was still feeling a little off kilter.
Faith shrugged and shoved her hands in her pocket. “Nah, the usual. A few vamps. Dusted ‘em.”
“She was getting tired and said something about a big test tomorrow. I told her to head home and that I would finish up. Did a few more sweeps by myself.”
He waited for her to elaborate.
“And that’s it,” she said, puzzled as to what he was waiting to hear. “No vamps. All quiet on the Western Front.”
Again, he said nothing. It was far more interesting to wait for her to admit why she had really come here. Faith didn’t strike him as the sort of Slayer to carefully dot her I’s and cross her T’s by coming to check in with her Watcher at the end of a night. The fact he wasn’t really her Watcher and that smile she was giving him only made things more intriguing.
An odd look flitted across her face, or rather, an unsure look, which was a very odd look indeed on her. She squirmed for a moment before reaching some decision and strolled over to seat herself on the desk, narrowly missing the neat stacks of papers and books. Reaching out with her foot, she kicked his chair around to face her.
“So I guess it’s just you and me.” She threw him a saucy grin. “Thought maybe you could use a little entertainment.”Ah, her purpose surfaces.
Leaning back in his chair, he carefully kept his face blank as he answered her. “And you unselfishly decided to drop by and keep me company?”
His sarcasm was entirely lost on her. She leaned forward, resting her palms on the edge of the desk, giving him a lovely view straight down the front of her shirt. He couldn’t help but sigh inwardly. He had suspected this might happen. He took comfort that his instincts, which had labeled her possible trouble from day one, had been right. Still, he was surprised she was actually going to try and go through with it. I’ve grown too used to Buffy. She would never consider such a thing.
Suddenly shy, she looked down at the floor, restlessly kicking the leg that wasn’t holding his chair firmly in place. “I wasn’t kidding you know…” she said softly.
For a moment, he considered putting a stop to this before it went any further. But in the silence as he considered the ways to go about it without hurting her feelings, she snuck a look at him through her lashes. The gesture itself was cute, endearing even. The look in her eyes, however, was one of such cold calculation that it left him no doubt. Nope, I am not going to make this easy for her.
Feigning innocence he casually asked, “Kidding about?”
She shifted her stance, giving the chair a small spin so that he was pinned by her feet on each side. Still, when she looked at him, her face was wholly innocent. “About requesting a transfer if I knew Watchers came as young and cute as you.”
“Don’t do this, Faith.” He would give her one warning. A warning that would probably be lost on her, child that she was.
She smiled, shifting from innocent to seductress with practiced ease. “Do what?” she asked, casually rubbing her calf against the outside of his thigh.
His knuckles went white from the grip he had on the arms of the chair, a fact that was not lost on her. “Don’t play this game, Faith. It’s far too dangerous.”
She laughed. God, what a laugh. It was warm like the honey fire of bourbon, with all the languid smokiness of the darkest corners of clubs she was far too young to even gain entrance to.
“Dangerous for who?” she asked with a smirk.
When he said nothing, she pulled his chair closer and slid off the desk onto his lap. “Don’t you like me, Rupert?”
She grinned then, his erection all too obvious as she settled herself against him.
Resting her hands on his chest, she leaned forward to whisper in his ear. “Something tells me you do like me, quite a bit.”
“I will not do this.” His mouth said that but most of his mind was busy with the fact every inch of her was glued to him.
“Why not?” she asked, placing tiny kisses along his jaw, all the while slowly moving against him. “Because you’re my Watcher?”
Still, he did not move or respond except to say, “I’m not your Watcher. Your Watcher is most likely on a plane crossing the Atlantic right now. But no – even if I were, plenty of Watchers and Slayers were – involved.”
That gave her a moment’s pause. “Really? Bet the Council didn’t like that.”
“I doubt the Council said much at all. Keeping a Slayer in prime form is more important than not offending their sensibilities. Some Slayers simply needed more…care than others. I am not sure you qualify as one of them. Now, stop that.” He pushed her away, gently but she still started to slip off his lap.
He might have said ‘stop’, but the way his arms went around her to keep her from falling said something else entirely, at least to her way of thinking. Once again confident, she flippantly asked, “Well then, what’s the problem?”.
He frowned. “There is your age…”
“My age? I’m eighteen. All legal and willing!” With his arms holding her secure, she leaned back to rest her elbows on the desk edge, which thrust her breasts even further forward. Her voice dropped to a low purr. “Really willing, so anytime here…”Eighteen? She just wasn’t going to give up, was she? Well, then.
He gave her a look that said he wasn’t buying her casual untruth.
“Faith, I have your records from the Council. You are seventeen years, eight months and fourteen days old. An age that makes you an illegal potential companion in a number of countries, including the one we are currently in.”
One brow slowly rose into a taut arch. “Eight months and fourteen days, huh? Not that you have been giving this any thought.” Amused, she took his arithmetic skills as an invitation and languidly extended a hand to fiddle with the buttons on his shirt. She undid the first three, teasing them out of the holes, before continuing. “Besides that makes this dangerous for you
, not me.”
Moving from the buttons to his sleeves, she pushed one, then the other up past his elbows. She ran one finger over the tattoo there, tracing the inked glyph. “Buffy told me about your ‘bad boy’ days. Isn’t there just a little bad boy in there who wants to come out to play?” She bit her lip thoughtfully and the gesture was so highly eroticized he wondered if she had actually practiced it. Knowing her, probably.
She was bound and determined to play this game, then. And it was a quite dangerous game. Some people only learned not to play with fire by getting burned. One day she was going to try this on someone far more ruthless than she was and she was going to get hurt, possibly badly, quite possibly before she realized the tables had turned. Better to have it be me than some wolf she picks up in a bar. One fire, coming right up.
He took off his glasses and carefully folded them. He leaned forward to set them on the nearby bookshelf, brushing against her exactly as he intended. He allowed himself a smirk at the way her breath caught, in spite of her best efforts to appear unruffled. What amused him was that it had happened before he ever moved closer to her. That was an interesting Pavlovian response. He wondered offhand who the ex-boyfriend was.
Letting his hands drift to her hips, he looked her straight in the eyes. “What makes this dangerous for you, Faith, is that you are playing this game with someone who is much,” he abruptly stood, tightening his grip on her hips even as her legs curled around him to keep from falling as the lap she had been resting on abruptly disappeared. He set her down on the desk with a bone-jarring thump. “MUCH better at it than you.” Well, that got her attention.
Her eyes had widen for a moment, the shock more than she could hide.
He carefully untwined her legs from his waist and planted his hands on either side of her spread legs. Unable to go anywhere without a show of Slayer strength, he had her neatly pinned. Now it was simply a matter of leaning. With her seated and him standing, he loomed over her and he tried not to smile as she leaned back slightly. “How many boys have you had, Faith?”
Some of the bravado returned and she shrugged. “Lots. Boys. Men. Guys old enough to be my father. Never counted.”
His laugh sent goosebumps racing up the bare flesh of her arms. “No matter how old they were, they were boys. That much is clear from your routine.”
Before she could protest he continued, eyes never leaving hers and continuing to lean ever so subtly. “You just waltz in with your cleavage hanging out and your wicked little walk, let them buy you a few drinks, take a few liberties as you undulate on the dance floor, and before they know what hit them, they are trotting along home with you?”
She had leaned so far back she had to put her elbows under her to keep from falling and her voice wasn’t nearly so sure. “Yeah, I guess.”
“And you thought you come in here and try the same tricks?”
She didn’t seem to have an answer for that one. “What exactly did you come here for, Faith? Is this what you wanted?” he asked, shoving himself against her.
She looked like a fish out of water, mouthing opening and closing but no sound coming out. Clearly, this is not what she was expecting. She had been trying to scoot away but the books were blocking her escape and she had succeeded only in draping herself back across the desk.
“Is it? Did you really want me to take you right here? Fuck you on top of my desk until you have my notes permanently tattooed to your back and you can’t remember your own name? Or maybe you wanted it in the stacks, pressed against a shelf with books poking into your bare arse, which I am sure won’t be comfortable but I doubt you’ll care...”
Her eyes got wider and wider until finally she looked away. He went in for the kill. “Or maybe you were hoping I would just bend you over the circulation desk and ride you ‘till your legs give out.”
She gasped, eyes snapping back to his, and for a moment, he thought he had succeeded. He started to straighten up but she let out an inarticulate moan and threw herself at him. Suddenly she was more octopus than seductress, arms and legs clenched around him, kissing him fiercely. She stopped long enough to whisper, ‘Fuck yes’ and somehow his plan went horribly awry as he found himself kissing her back. That endless string of boys must have taught her something. She kissed like she couldn’t get herself close enough to him, all nipping teeth and thrusting tongue in a frenzy of need. And God help him, he got lost in it. Her hands were everywhere and he slowly came to realized his were places they really shouldn’t be. Like the slow rise to the surface from the watery depths, coherence returned bit by bit and enabled him to take the hardest step of his life, a step away from her.
For the second time that night, he untangled her from him, though this time was more difficult. He no sooner removed a hand then a leg snaked back around him. He finally managed to extricate himself from her limbs and simply looked at her for a moment. Then he turned away, retrieving his glasses from where he’d carefully set them.
“Go home, Faith.”
Faith, dear clever-tongued little Faith, couldn’t manage a coherent response to that. “What?!”
“You heard me, go home.”
“You’re serious.” He turned at the hurt tone in her voice.
“You are quite tempting, Faith.” He gave her a slow, appreciative look up and down, to soothe her bruised ego, he told himself. “Quite tempting, but not enough for a extended stint in the gaol.”
He held out a hand and helped set her on her feet. “You have a long day of striking fear into the hearts of vampires and mortal boys alike tomorrow and you need your rest. Now run along.” He pushed her towards the door, a firm swat at her rear getting her feet moving. She rubbed the spot where his blow had landed looking more amused than upset. It was only to smooth her ruffled feathers, he justified and nearly believed it.
When he resumed his seat at his desk without a second glance, fishing a book out of the stack and opening it before him, she went. As far as the doorway. She paused to watch him as he found the page he was looking for and reached for his pen. “Giles, you know...”
He sighed before answering. “Three months, seventeen days - I know. Now do go home, Faith.”
She grinned. “Going. I’m as good as gone.”
As the outer doors of the library flapped behind her, he began writing.Faith is proving to be a far more typical Slayer than Buffy. Not only does she crave the thrill of the hunt, but she shows the precocious sexual appetite common in many Slayers. She is proving to be a creature of deep passions – be they emotion, violence, or pure lust. She will need careful guidance to balance her drives with the necessary reason and control or could become a reckless hunter, indiscriminate in her prey. I shall have to watch her more closely in the future and make careful observations as to the best course of training for her particular needs.END.