The gang gets up to some real classic Scooby fun on Halloween night, of course. G/B, bit of G/other. T-Rating, some drug use, slash.
“Oz, man. Doubting Ozmas. Oz the non-believer. Trust me, my nostrils were built for this.”
“Oh I trust you, and I know I won’t have to in about ten seconds, but I gotta say that is an ambitious amount of candy corn to fit in your nose.”
The four teenagers were hanging out around the main library table. It was late in the evening, had been dark outside for a couple of hours. They were waiting for their other friend, the stuffy adult one, to join them. And they had been waiting a while, or at least by Xander’s standards, who had taken to entertaining himself and the others with the tray of candy corn in the center of the table.
“Nah, see, they’re ergonomical.” Xander’s voice was nasally as he had already progressed halfway through his challenge.
Willow couldn’t hide her disgusted look as it traveled from Xander to the candy bowl and back. She turned to Buffy, “Giles definitely said he was coming?”
“Yeah, totally. In fact his enthusiasm was surprising.”
“Really?” her friend asked, a little suspicious, “What did you tell him exactly?”
Buffy shrugged. “That we had a little Halloween party planned for the group of us, a slay-free night of mirth and merry, dress accordingly.”
“Oh!” Willow’s eyebrows raised with a bit of worry, “you don’t think…”
“There’s the man of the witching hour!” She was interrupted as Xander suddenly stood for Giles appearing in the swinging library doors. At the sight of him, Buffy froze and cast a side glance to Willow.
“Nope. Looks like I didn’t think.”
Giles proudly strode to the table, obviously very pleased with himself. He wore an aged brown leather windbreaker, with the telltale wool collar broadening his shoulders, a bountiful tan scarf draped carefully around his neck. Large driving goggles had replaced his glasses and were resting just above his forehead. Tucked under his arm was an obviously original aviator ball cap, funny leather ear flaps and all. He had a boyish grin that was slowly disappearing as he took a closer look at the teenagers who were not in costume, but wearing varying shades of all black clothing.
“Was…was I…did I miss something?”
“No its fine! Exceeding my expectations, actually.” Buffy gave him the once over candidly, “When I said dress accordingly I just meant, you know, not your usual tweed uniform. This works too.”
Without glasses to clean, he stared down at his helmet in his hands, fidgeting with the buckles, “Well I just assumed, with, with the holiday and all…”
“Don’t sweat it, man.” Xander piped in, “At least its functional. So are you like, Indiana Jones?”
Giles raised his eyes to Xander but still kept his head slightly down, his voice quiet now, “Fighter pilot. RAF, more specifically.” All of his previously present confidence had vanished. Buffy noticed this and jumped in to save her long-suffering Watcher.
“And it’s adora…bly accurate,” she hesitated. No need to make it worse for either of them. “Very handsome,” she finished with a smile.
His own smile returned and his cheeks slowly grew red. Alright. Still stuttering, but good stuttering.
“Well then, let’s beat this bushel guys. We’ve got a night to seize.” Xander made towards the door, blowing a forgotten piece of candy corn out of his nose on the way. Giles stared at the candy on the floor and back to the others for some explanation.
“Best not to ask,” Oz answered.
The troop of teenagers and their stand-in patriarch had marched through downtown, pointing out cute costumes and decorations. There was a surprising amount of people out and shops open, probably meant to create a safer environment for young trick-or-treaters after the strange incident of last year’s Halloween. ‘Ignored, but not forgotten’ was Sunnydale’s unspoken motto.
Unknown to Giles, their party was elsewhere. They had left behind the warm comfort of the festivities in town, and were now very close to one of their frequented cemeteries. He followed his young friends blindly for a while, paying more attention to conversation than surroundings. Willow was excitedly describing a Halloween specific ritual she had just read about, speaking in a bubbly way about the occult in a way only Willow could. He happened to look up when he noticed how much darker it had become. They had been following the wall around this particular cemetery, gradually moving away from the streetlights, and reached the back that met with the edge of some woods.
At this point the kids had all stopped, and simultaneously pulled out tiny flashlights. Willow smiled amusedly at Giles, pulled an extra from her fuzzy backpack, and handed to him. They were cheap novelty things, meant for children to use on this one night only. The lens was tinted orange and had the face of a jack o’ lantern printed over top. Even before questioning their purpose, Giles questioned their tools.
“These can’t possibly be useful.”
“It’s the color that helps,” Oz explained. “They’ll help us see the path but they won’t shine straight through the woods. So nobody else will be able to see us.”
Giles nodded at this clever foresight, but then frowned as he followed the teenagers into the trees.
“Alright, so there is no party. I understand now. I carry far too much responsibility for you all to turn back now, however, so you’d best prepare me for what we’re walking into.”
Buffy turned around and winked, “That was the plan, Giles. Knew you wouldn’t let me down.” Fortunately she couldn’t have seen him blush again.
“Just some classic Scooby fun,” she continued, “Like the TV show, not us, Giles. I chased a vamp through here one night and found one of your run-of-the-mill Blair Witch houses, totally abandoned, totally creepy, and totally perfect for experts such as ourselves to have a little fun with.”
Giles sighed and rolled his eyes playfully, not that they could see this either. Satisfied with the story so far though, they trudged on in silence, nothing around but leaves crackling under their feet. He had long not been afraid of the dark, but it was very nearly chilling, walking through the trees, not knowing what was around them or ahead. It felt rather like a hike with boy scouts. He hoped for their sake his slayer was just as prepared. And he couldn’t believe himself. It was starting to feel fun.
After a few minutes, the silence felt eery, and Giles spoke up again. “Far be it from me to be a party pooper…” there was a snort from someone in the group, at which he still tried to glare in the darkness behind his flashlight, “…but don’t you get enough thrill in your daily life without resorting to what is almost definitely trespassing?”
“Don’t forget breaking and entering.” Xander said hopefully.
“A chance of property damage.” Oz added.
“Oh guys! Maybe we can hope for a vandalism charge. That’s an artsy kind of crime.” Buffy looked back at Giles again, obviously teasing him.
“Don’t worry, Watcher-mine, we’ll be fine. Do I have to even say the bit about how we’ve been through worse?”
This reassured them all for a moment. The trees had begun to open up a while back, and they had followed a wide gravel path that seemed to start out of nowhere. This led them to what looked like a break in the night sky, but was actually the moonlight reflecting off the white paint of the house suddenly before them. It was a marvel of a structure to be so far from anywhere. It really was the stereotypical haunted house: shattered glass, rotting wood, the eyes of some small animal glowing under the wraparound porch, the fear of staring too long into any of the upstairs windows.
“This is it. Home sweet home.”
Now a little more nervous, the collective approached the front door which did a poor job of hanging on to its own hinges. Reluctantly they moved single file inside, Buffy in front and Giles holding up the end, and huddled together in the hall. The darkness only became more absolute the further one looked in. Like mice they stayed to the walls.
Willow’s tiny voice spoke up first. “So, what do we do now?”
“Split up, obviously,” Xander spoke a little louder and grinned. “Not it!”
Everyone but Giles stage-whispered their claims to immunity. Even Oz could be heard. Giles was of course utterly confused until it was too late.
“Close your eyes,” Buffy said, and he did without much question, surprising himself and the others. She plopped his goggles down over his eyes. “And don’t think I can’t see ‘em open under there.”
Truth be told the goggles were hardly functional anymore, irreparably scratched and smeared with dirt and dust, but he nodded all the same. He walked rather awkwardly as she led him by the arms to a corner.
“Count to 60.”
He heard them start to shuffle around, picking directions to travel. “Be careful,” he still warned without turning around. He sensed that they were safe from anything supernatural. The place was a bit creepy, was all, and probably not all that structurally sound. He could let them have their fun. They trusted him to do so.
He had forgotten to start counting and picked up around ten, in Russian. Just for the hell of it. When he’d finished, he pulled up his goggles, blinked once, twice, and turned around. A chill ran up his spine at the sudden emptiness of the building. He felt absolutely alone. Rolling his shoulders, he slowly moved inward.
The first thing he noticed however was, at the end of the hall that went straight through the house from the foyer, the back door standing open. He was fairly certain he hadn’t noticed any light from this area earlier, so it must have been one of the children. He rolled his eyes, smiled, and crept quietly to the exit.
Sure enough, there was Oz, merely sitting on the steps of the back porch. Briefly he wondered if the boy was alright, and discreetly checked the moon. Not even close. He moved closer, lowering his foot a little heavier than normal so he wouldn’t startle him. Oz didn’t look up until Giles was standing next to him, looking down his shoulder. He nodded and looked back to his task.
Oz had a lit joint in one hand and a lighter in the other that had the greater pull of attention on the moment, as flicked it on and off. Giles wasn’t surprised, or even disappointed, really. It confused him, but he only barely felt the tug of authority that would be shocked and chastising already.
“I’m going to pretend I haven’t seen this,” he said finally, still standing behind the little adult.
Oz considered the joint for a second then seemed to talk to Giles knee, right by his face.
“You gonna pretend you didn’t share it with me, too?”
Giles is then gifted by Oz’s signature all-knowing smirk, suggestive and curious all at once. He tries to smile back and slowly moves to sit beside the boy. The joint was passed to Giles’ much larger hand, pinched precisely between his thumb and forefingers. Not the usual way he holds any type of cigarette, but it was a delicate thing. He inhaled at a relaxed pace, trying to remember his limit. He released the smoke after he had passed it back to Oz, nodding politely. He licks his lips, tasting a bit of sugar.
“What is that, is the, the paper, er, flavored?”
Oz takes another hit, holds it a smiles. “Yeah, pumpkin spice.” Exhale. “Isn’t that neat?” He holds his teeth clenched for too long, as if they were holding the word on a leash.
Giles smiled despite himself and shook his head. “Indeed, very festive. What will they think of next.”
They continued to share the rolled cigarette, the effects of which were creeping around the edges of Giles senses pleasantly. He felt warm, his face felt light, and he found himself quietly observing Oz, not staring, but not making any effort to hide his examination. The boy was adorable. He had always been fascinated by the compact strength of the werewolf’s body, the tiny space for such a presence. And, for he had to analyze these feelings carefully, noting his position and age and role in their lives, it was not desire he felt for Oz. It was love, but not a familial love. His eyes came to rest on the younger man’s freckled jaw and lips. It was a love that warranted physical affection. No. Perhaps not. Maybe he was just feeling excited. Maybe he simply wanted to kiss the boy.
Oz’s low voice broke his trance. “I’m the first you found, right?”
“Yes,” he replied, not looking away from his lips.
Oz smirked again and tried to catch Giles’ eyes in his own. He leans closer and whispers.
“You know, if you wanna, you can.”
There’s a beat, and Giles doesn’t think, just accepts and leans in slowly. Oz holds up the hand with the joint though, freezing him. “Just this once, though, in the spirit. I’m a kept man.” He was smiling, “Pretty sure you are too.”
Giles puts those words aside for later and cautiously meets Oz’s lips in the space between them. Soft brushes that command tendrils of warmth through Giles body. Working almost like the weed, he thinks. These are not kisses to ignite a fire. They are calm, soothing, like someone petting the back of one’s head. He tries to focus, but he keeps smiling through the kiss. The tip of tongue comes out only briefly to taste a bit of the sugar paper on the boy’s bottom lip, and retreats, satisfied.
Oz is the one to pull back, slowly, again. Everything now was moving slowly. Giles is breathing a bit too heavily, and he knows it’s not from arousal, merely elation, and he wants to explain that to Oz, let him know he’s not some panting pervert, but he feels that the boy knows. Oz is still smiling, a full smile now, like his own. He picks up Giles’ helmet, forgotten behind them, and pushes it on his head with a smack on top.
“Ok captain. You’re ready. Go find the others,” he says with a barely noticeable wink.
Giles stands, a little shaky at first, but takes a few breaths and turns to go back inside. He wanted to say something, but nothing seemed appropriate. Everything had been said for that moment.
Still buzzing from the kiss and floating on his high, Giles drifted quietly upstairs. He knew he had heard somebody’s footsteps creak behind him on the landing when he was counting. It was even more silent up here, filled with dead, musty air. He closed his eyes and held his breath, trying to maybe reach out and feel the presence of his slayer. The breath escaped in a giggle, and he bit his lip, feeling overall very silly.
There it was, though. He had only tested this once or twice, but he felt her colors nearby. He wasn’t making sense, but these were the words coming to mind. There was a bit of pink, leading to a scarlet red aura, that he wasn’t seeing so much as sensing. He ended up in a bedroom on the edge of the house. A small room, possibly a child’s, lit by large window on the backside of the house. In the corner was a half door, maybe a tiny closet. He closed his eyes again and felt the door pulse garnet.
He crouched in front of the door. The size reminded him of the Wendy house his cousins’ had owned, merely a wooden box large enough to be a clubhouse to small children. Well if he were entering her house he’d give her the consideration she never showed him. He knocked lightly before turning the knob.
Buffy beamed at him, looking sinfully childish. Her arms were wrapped around her knees to fit in the space.
“Found you,” he said.
“Isn’t this cool? Come on in, let’s see if we can both fit.”
Again, following orders was all he felt he needed to do, and he scooted forward on his hands and knees into the dusty closet. It didn’t much farther back but maybe two feet. Hardly functional. He sat with his back to the wall and, allowing him to stretch his legs, his slayer rested between them. Probably a bad idea, but they had both conceded to ignore that apparently. He felt her hands resting innocently on his bent knees.
The door was pulled shut, just a sliver of light, not even light, just not-dark showing the way. He couldn’t see past his eyelashes. When she spoke however he could hear how close she was.
“You know I could feel you cheating.”
“I, well…I don’t think it’s cheating. It’s an inherent tool to my mind, just like any of the other senses.”
“Yeah but if Oz could had found me by scent, that would have still been unfair.”
“To you, maybe. You would have to adapt to your predator’s strengths.”
“Alright this isn’t training, I’m not going to get stinky for a game of hide and seek.”
She now had her hands on the ends of his scarf, tugging playfully.
“Speaking of which, Giles, you smell kind of…” she sniffed his shoulder. “Giles, are you stoned?”
He chuckled. “A little. Lot.”
“Precisely, thank you.”
“Well excuse me for ever doubting your fun side, Ripper.”
He tensed at the name, but it was only because it was strange hearing it from Buffy. She must have felt his body language, and he wanted her to know it was ok. He reached up to find her arm and rubbed it assuringly.
He felt the sweet need to kiss again, this time for Buffy. He’d never really let himself think about it. He was an adult, he knew the risk and penalties of falling for his charge. But right now it seemed like it just was going to happen. Maybe it was Oz’s encouragement. Definitely the weed, but a bit of something else. He would ask, though, this time.
“Buffy, I would really like to—“
He was stopped by her smooth hand finding his jaw, her thumb searching for and finding his bottom lip deftly.
Then suddenly, before she lost her nerve, he supposed, she was kissing him, sweetly, gently, her thumb still in place between their lips. When she had decided she knew her way around in the darkness, her hand fell to his jaw, and his came around to cradle the back of her head. He was excited and deepened the kiss a little too quickly, but she followed his pace eagerly.
He left her breathless, and with a smug grin made his way along her cheek, pecking her earlobe, tonguing her piercings.
“Geez, Giles. We need to get you out more often.”
“I am feeling rather daring tonight. May be the costume.” Or the weed. Or this wonderful propulsion of divine purpose he was sensing. Or maybe Buffy herself. He rested his face in the junction of her shoulder, breathed in, and sighed peacefully. This was another of those actions that was not necessarily lustful, just loving in a way he had yet to surmise. And he intended to explore these feelings by kissing her again.
After another few minutes of this, verging on the edge of desperate, Giles separated from her. “Maybe we should go find the others.”
“Give ‘em time, they’ll find us.”
A cluster of footsteps could be heard running through the hall, approaching their closet. Without warning the door was swung open, revealing the other three teenagers breathing heavily, eyes wide.
“You guys, I think the cops just pulled up outside!” Xander whispered.
“Shit, I don’t know, not really important, someone else is here! What the hell do we do?”
“First, Xander, mind your language,” Giles said in his natural authoritative tone, “this is where my experience comes in handy.”
“Well we get our happy arses out of here, run!”
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