Pairing: Giles/Wesley (pre-slash)
A/N: Written for bethynyc at maleslashminis' Wesley round. Post-Chosen, and probably around the middle of AtS season 5, but no details pertaining to that.
It was just typical, that on the first evening of the month that Giles had free, he had only managed to put on the kettle and disconnect the phone before the knocking interrupted any kind of plans he might have had. Of course, nowadays the high of his excitement was reading through a chapter uninterrupted, but it still would be nice. Apparently one of the benefits of running the Council was not having any free time. Who knew.
Well, fine, maybe the high of his excitement was chasing demons through the streets of Manchester, as evidenced last week, but one wouldn't call that fun.
Well, some might.
The point was, it was bloody typical that just when he wanted to read in peace, someone was making a racket by the door. He sincerely hoped it wasn't Buffy with another one of the emergencies that involved her getting out of doing things and him taking over them instead. If it was her, he might be forced to use sarcasm or whatnot.
"It better be an Apocalypse," he warned, opening the door, his jaw hitting the tiles in a silent shock.
"Subtle. What if I were the postman?" Wesley asked, lowering his hand and picking up his bag.
"Young Daniel? He's a minor demon, very nice chap. Says that the ability to fold dimensions comes in handy while delivering larger packages. What the hell are you doing here?" he asked pleasantly, leaning against the open door, making no move to step aside just yet.
"I've been in the neighborhood. And by neighborhood, I mean LA."
There were other questions Giles really wanted to ask, starting with repeating the first one until he gets an actual answer, but Wesley looked even more tired than Giles felt, and that was an achievement. And besides, there was something like hospitality.
"Would you like a cup of tea?" he asked instead, stepping to the side, wordlessly letting Wesley in.
"That would be heavenly. Thank you," he added, and it was clear that it wasn't just about the tea offer. Giles nodded and busied himself with putting on the kettle. Again. Hopefully not to be interrupted this time.
"So, how's working for Evil Incorporated treating you?" he asked as a mean of making small talk. It was pretty low, but he really wanted to read that book tonight.
"About as expected. How's the mockery of a council you're running?" Wesley shot back with an almost cheerful smile, and Giles couldn't help but offer a dry one himself. It sounded very much like a quote, and he had no doubt whom Wesley was citing.
"Coming together nicely," he shrugged. "Looking for a job? Faith's lacking a Watcher."
"Because it clearly worked so well the first time," Wesley said, smiling bitterly. "No one else interested? She's the second senior Slayer, I'd imagine you'd have young Watchers fighting themselves for the honour."
"Oh, they were. At the beginning. Now she's six for six in making them quit. And cry. I think she treats this as a personal challenge."
"Why do you keep assigning them?" Wesley's smile was a little bit more genuine now, and Giles was surprised at how much difference did that make. Clearly, something wasn't right. But then again, his first hint should have been Wesley making the trip from LA to London.
"I tried to stop after the third. She called and said that I didn't love her anymore."
"Traumatic," Wesley agreed, laughing, hands closed around the tea cup without the previous tension in them.
"Very," he agreed, taking a sip of his own tea.
"Sorry for barging in on you in this manner," Wesley said after a longer moment, not looking up. "Hope I'm not imposing... or interrupting anything."
And even though Giles had been thinking just that mere minutes ago, he now shook his head politely. "Nonsense. If it weren't you, it would be one of the younger Slayers. Buffy keeps on sending them to me with every minor emergency. Says that I should be able to deal with them since I did such a good job with her," he muttered wryly, and Wesley looked up.
"And you fall for that?"
"Every damn time. She pouts," he explained.
"The horror," Wesley agreed, finishing up his tea. He didn't say anything for a long while, hesitant and unsure even if nothing showed on his face.
"If you're planning on staying on this side of the pond for a longer while, we could use your help," Giles offered finally, eyes firmly fixed on the biscuit he was holding. "We don't have enough of experienced Watchers."
"You can actually say that last part with a straight face?" Wesley asked, and got a mild glare for his effort. "Thank you," he added quietly, and Giles nodded.
"That settled, you're making the next pot of tea. And a fair warning, Buffy had turned my spare bedroom into a storage area for all kinds of weaponry, so it's the couch if you intend to stay here."
"I can make do," Wesley offered, and something in his smile made Giles think that maybe the couch wasn't the only option. The evening might have been shaping up to being more interesting that he had expected.