Prompt: any point post-S3 to post-Chosen, Buffy cares for Giles when he's injured in battle. Any rating so long as it's plausible compared to the injuries suffered.
Written for Giles hurt/comfort ficathon.
post-Chosen, no comics.
This is way shorter than I wanted, but, quite possibly, look out for the extended version on the wild-card day.
"'Is everything all right?' I asked," someone who sounded suspiciously like Buffy muttered under her breath. "'Why, of course, Buffy. Everything is perfectly fine,'" she continued, in a quite poor mockery of an accent, presumably English, but this was just a guess.
Giles tried to tilt his head to see who was talking, but the shooting pain in his neck discouraged any such notions.
"'So, no Apocalypse in sight, then? Nothing you'd want to tell me about?' 'Of course not, the height of my excitement this week was making tea with two whole spoons of sugar, it's not like I'm going to go hunting demons all by myself.'"
It did sound like Buffy. A very pissed-off Buffy, to boot.
"Why are you talking to yourself?" he asked, slowly, closing his eyes and grimacing, as apparently the sound production put a strain on exactly the muscles that hurt. Which, admittedly, were all the muscles that he could actually feel.
"Yes. I am talking to myself," she huffed, and he felt the bed shift as she moved to sit next to him. He opened his eyes and looked up. "Because I'm clearly not talking to you. Like, ever."
She was angry, yes, but underneath the anger was... well, more anger, Buffy never did anything halfway. But also, concern, and worry, and a hint of fear.
"You're doing a great job. Not talking to me," he clarified, and shifted slightly, holding back a groan at the shooting pain in his side.
"Careful," she muttered, and moved to help him up, propping up the pillow for him. Then, she frowned. "What the hell where you thinking?"
He opened his mouth, but she interrupted. "Because I'm guessing you weren't. Rome, Giles? You go demon hunting in Rome, and you don't tell me? Sure, not like I could have just popped into the demonpalooza headquarters on my way to the coffee shop, or anything. But you really should have called and..."
She paused, connecting the dots he really hoped she wouldn't, and coming to the right conclusions. Or, quite possibly, judging from her expression conclusions just hitting her on the head.
"That call the other day."
He nodded. "Yes."
"And you let me ramble on about my date, and the party, and the shoes, and..." she rolled her eyes. "Anyone told you lately you are a great big idiot?"
He laughed, then coughed at the burning sensation in his throat. "Not lately, no."
"Huh. You think they would, what with you setting new records in the all-round dumb-assery," she muttered darkly, absently reaching for the glass water and bringing it to his lips, sneaking one hand to cup his head and hold him up gently. "But I guess no one tells the Council Head Honcho what a moron he is?"
"Not in that many words, no."
She nodded decidedly. "Whatever. Good thing you'll have me, then."
He blinked. "Excuse me?"
"I hope you didn't turn the guest bedroom into a library... on the other hand, I might just stay in your room then, and it will all work for the better," she mused absently, running her fingers up and down his arm.
"Excuse me?" he repeated, a little louder, and she gave him a look.
"I'm moving in with you. You obviously need someone to tell you when you are about to do something ver, very dumb."
She really was hung up on that one, wasn't she? He sighed. "I don't need a baby-sitter, Buffy."
She grinned, slightly. "Wow, that would be creepy, considering," she muttered, holding back a giggle. "I guess I might just as well tell you now."
"Tell me what?" he asked suspiciously. If she was reluctant to tell him something... it never bode well. She clearly had no qualms about berating him for stupidity, so he could just imagine what was she going to tell him now.
Well, no, he couldn't. That was the slightly scary part.
Still smiling, she leaned in, and placed a small, soft kiss on his lips.
He held his breath back.
She pulled back, tilting her head, her tongue darting to lick along her lips. He watched, mesmerised.
"Tell you this."
What? ...oh. Oh.
"Are you..." he started, and she made a sudden noise, something akin to a 'tsk' but much, much louder.
"I swear, Giles, if you ask me if I'm sure, or any other crap like this, I'm gonna... well, gently poke you in the side, but believe me, it will hurt."
He grimaced. He could imagine, yes.
She was looking at him, and he studied her expression for a moment. She stared at him daring him to venture the question, but her eyes belied her words, the were soft and brightened.
He smiled. "Buffy," he started, and she nodded.
"Yeah. I know. Wait with the declarations until I can do something about them, like, oh, say, tear off your clothes."
He laughed, ignoring the way his body protested the action. Right now, frankly, he did not care at all.