wisdomeagle: Original Cindy and Max from Dark Angel getting in each other's personal space (Default)
[personal profile] wisdomeagle
Title: "Ends in Yes"
Fandom: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Giles/Tara
Other pairings mentioned: Tara/Willow, Willow's crush on Giles
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers/Timeline: The first part concerns "Buffy vs Dracula;" the second "Tabula Rasa."
Summary: Two ways Giles discovered Tara was bisexual.
Wordcount: 1534



Ends in Yes

Willow is terrible at keeping secrets. But he knows this, and why tell her if he didn't.... Well, he didn't expect... this argument, but there she is, padding down the garden path in long skirts, almost unnaturally lovely except for the frantic darting of her eyes from his door to the hazy sky.

"Tara," he says, attempting a smile. "Would you care for a cup of tea?"

"I - I -." She refuses the tea with frantic eyes, but accepts a seat on his couch.

"I imagine Willow told you of my plans?"

Tara swallows hard. "You c-c-c-- sorry." With her head lowered, Tara looks less sculpted, more human. "You can't go." The words are a whisper.

"I didn't think you..."

"I don -- I mean -- for Willow." Tara's voice around her lover's name is a gentler sound than Giles has heard in years.

He feels himself stammer a response, something genial and false.

"She n-needs you."

Giles wants to put a hand on her knee, steady her stutter, but imagines that from him, the gesture would mean less comfort, more terror. He looks sympathy at her, but with her head down she can't see him, and, even looking, she wouldn't understand.

"Willow needs..." he pauses. Tara is, after all, only a girl herself, neither older nor wiser than Willow.

"I know..." Tara swallows the rest of the acknowledgment, but nonetheless Giles feels a blush steal up the back of his neck. He reaches automatically for his glasses. "Oh. Y-you didn't m-mean."

"Willow needs... self-control," he tries. "More than magic books, more than my -- anyone's -- guidance, she needs control. You can't teach wisdom." He pauses. "Nor can I."

"But y-you know she..."

He waits till she dares look up, then, holding her gaze, he says, "Willow is gay, Tara. That's as far as either of us need think."

He waits, but she mentions neither Oz nor Xander, but just sits, hands folded politely in her lap, feet hidden under her.

"She c-could be both. I mean -- I'm not a gayness expert or anything. But - I - I mean -- I --"

"Yes. And I as well."

"Oh." When she whispers, Tara might be a magical -- well, a creature, a night zephyr or a nymph. Her voice holds all sorts of secrets. "I thought you might." And she is human again, an almost-smile pressing on her lips, a companionable easiness in her half-laughter.

"I suspect an expert in Willow would say she couldn't understand that."

Tara frowns.

"I am not," Giles clarifies, "an expert on Willow. But I have known her," he counts silently, "for four years, and observed far more of her love life than I've cared to."

"S-sorry."

"Why do you think Willow told you I was leaving? For sympathy? Or for this?"

"Willow wouldn't!" Tara protests, and Giles fights hard the urge to roll his eyes.

"And I assure you she would. Never mind. I won't stay for you, and I certainly wouldn't stay for her."

"But --"

"You've no need to know why," Giles says, and Tara blushes. "Just take care of her."

He ushers Tara out and dares touch her, gently, as he does so. "Y-you won't tell her, will you?" Tara demands before the sunlight touches her.

Giles smiles and shakes his head. He is excellent at keeping secrets.


+++

Giles generally drinks at home, preferably alone, where no one can observe the amount he's consumed or the speed at which he's done so, but tonight he fears Buffy, or worse, one of the others -- could he argue rationally with Dawn's tears? -- will lay siege to the flat, so he's slipped away and found the bar in Sunnydale least likely to attract Buffy -- although the rainbows in the windows and the hideous pornographic films playing constantly in the background are hardly attractive to him most nights. The Scotch is plentiful, though, so he ignores the throbbing sounds that in no way resemble music and concentrates so hard on his drink that he doesn't notice he's been joined at the bar till Tara says softly, "You too?"

He smiles ruefully at her tear-stained face, touches her hand awkwardly, and buys her a drink. The bartender smirks as he pops open the beer, but leaves them to their drinks, and Giles considers that he's likely seen things far more obscene than a man buying a drink for a young friend.

Giles imagines that alcohol won't loosen Tara's tongue, and indeed, she seems to slip deeper into silence with each bottle. In fact, Giles is fearful that she's retreated beyond reach, and although she shouldn't be his responsibility, here she is on the barstool next to his, and it would be inhumanely negligent to ignore her.

"Have you left, then?"

"I moved my things tonight," she mumbles, and her slur is ugly, almost grotesque, a mirror of her stutter but dark and bitter as Giles's scotch.

"There will be other women," knowing the words are more terrible than comforting this night. (There will be other Slayers.)

"No." Lips rounded to indulge, Tara has the air of a failed roadside prophet whose warnings have gone unheeded so long she's forgotten herself how to take them seriously. "I'll not -- never."

"You mustn't -- ." He loses the words in his glass. "You're very attractive."

She tries to smile, grimaces, and says, "That's not what I mean. I -- there won't be --"

If Giles hadn't been drinking for two hours already, he wouldn't think of this, but he has, and does. She's lost the ethereal appearance that's made her both Willow's problem and off-limits for a year and a half; in the bright lights of the gay bar, and juxtaposed with the two leather dykes eying her from across the room, Tara is human and desirable, oddly less vulnerable now, half-drunk and heartbroken, than she was when he met her.

Through magic or intuition, Tara senses his intention, recoils, then, with a sudden jerk, abandons both drink and caution and leans in.

"I ought --"

"Forget," she mumbles, to herself, or to him, then "forgot," and then her mouth's on his, warm and yeasty from beer, soft, as women are, and he had forgotten, what women were like, the slickness of mouth around his tongue, how to engulf a tongue with his mouth, what it meant to be yielded to.

She breaks the kiss first, whispers, "I'd forgotten what boys were like -- all suck, no play --" and then plunges in with a considerable degree of both.

Before his glasses are knocked awry, he feels they're playing to the bikers and the barkeep, and when he grips her waist, it's they he's thinking of, but then the glasses go, and then thought, entirely, in the sweep of Tara's hand up his back and the desperation of her kiss, then fumbling hands that grapple his keys from his pocket and -- accidentally? -- brush his dick.

"You're in no condition to drive," he says.

"You think you are?" Her brow creases upwards, worried. "We've got -- I can't wait much longer. I've got to --"

"God," he says, and knows there's something more important than Tara's lips but can't at all remember what it is. "There's bound to be a room --"

"First door on your left," the bartender says, pointing, bored. The knowledge that they are just one more couple in an endless sequence makes Giles a little ashamed of how hard he is.

Tara grabs his hand and presses close to his side; a reminder that she's never been in this particular kind of room before. She's soft and slightly sweaty, and her hair is falling out of its bun.

"You don't--" he says.

"I know. I -- I need this."

"No," he says, and turns, and kisses her again.

"No?"

"But I'm willing to concede you want it."

"I don't care," she says, "just, let's do it, quickly."

"Yes."

"Please."

Giles hardly trusts himself to turn the doorknob and then lock the door, yet somehow Tara trusts him enough to guide his hand to her breast, the other to the small of her back, and her quiet moan against his shoulder invites him further still. He slips a hand down her pants and slides her knickers aside with his thumb, and her wetness overwhelms him; she shudders when he brushes her clitoris but manages to maneuver both of them to the stained mattress.

"Y-you're sure?" she asks, and the need for his consent almost startles Giles from his arousal, but a nod is enough, and she leans over him, hair brushing his shoulders, then his belly; she unbuttons his shirt and he's gone, absolutely gone, and she hasn't even -- she touches his fly, unzips him so deftly, and then straddles his legs and rocks against him, hard enough to --

"God --"

Still rocking, she leans over to kiss him, mutters, "Yes," against his lips.

And it shames him to realize they'll want to forget this moment when morning comes.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-03 05:39 am (UTC)
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (buffy - hallelujah)
From: [personal profile] zulu
Lovely last line. Both scenarios were well done. I like the use of stuttering you've got here, not just to conceal what they mean to say, but to reveal their characters as well. Good times.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-04 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debxena.livejournal.com
Oh, but that was beautiful. The last line was quite a dark note to leave it on, but fitted perfectly.

*adds to memories*

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-05 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cadence-k.livejournal.com
You know, I was secretly hoping you would write an explanation for how Giles knew Tara was bisexual. Okay, maybe it wasn't so secretly, since I told you how much I loved that part of your list, but still.

Fic! Wonderful Giles/Tara fic! I love them both.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-05 10:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
The knowledge that they will never see each other again--at least not alive--after that last scene makes it oh so poignant. And Tara and Giles are so rich and so deeply characterized and so vivid here, especially in the first scene--they really do come alive as real people with so complex needs and wants. Excellent job as usual.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-06 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
Rereading it, I love the first scene even more. Fandom seems so convinced that Giles was wrong to leave in season 6 sometimes that it's hard to get into his POV, but you do so masterfully. It's really a rich and complex characterization job, and a breath of fresh air as well as its a side of Giles we rarely get to see in fanfic.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-05 11:27 am (UTC)
frogfarm: And a thousand gay men wept. (Default)
From: [personal profile] frogfarm
*hearts and flowers*

(I'm getting a lot worse at coherent reviews. The shiny of LJ is rubbing off on me.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-02-24 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmesandy.livejournal.com
This is really brilliant and awesomely done.

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wisdomeagle: Original Cindy and Max from Dark Angel getting in each other's personal space (Default)
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