"David is bloody remarkable on paper. His essays are nothing short of brilliant but when I address him in class, he seems to go blank and can't verbalize his thoughts." Giles’ eyes scanned the dark, tombstone speckled horizon. "He stutters and rambles, totally unable to express himself."

"I know the type." Buffy smiled, zipping up her leather jacket to protect herself from the chilled, damp breeze.

"Perhaps if he were to get involved with some social activities outside of class. Maybe there's something at the student center that would catch his interest, something that could bring him out of his shell."

Buffy smiled at the excitement in Giles' voice. "You're really sinking your fangs into this professor gig."

"It sounds silly but I never realized what a simple pleasure it could be to study and debate ancient histories without the fate of the world hanging on the balance." He ducked his head shyly. "And if I were being honest, I must admit, there's nothing quite like the thrill of performing in front of an attentive audience. They're like eager sponges waiting to soak up all the bits of knowledge you have to offer. It's nice to teach again, just for the pleasure of it."

"You're good at it. You really are." She took his hand in hers and gave it a tender squeeze.

He brought their hands to his lips and placed a gentle kiss to the back of hers. “Thank you. Unfortunately my star pupil seems to have a serious case of inattentiveness. Janie shows real promise, if she could just focus!" He shook his head in frustration. "Her attentions seem to be most fleeting during lectures, which are of course the meat of the course. Reading books will only take them so far, they need to learn how to put the information together.” He began to walk again, still holding her hand. “I don't know what distracts her so but it seems to infect a good deal of the students."

"I think I might have a good idea." Buffy smirked knowingly. "So you're calling your students by their first names now?"

"Yes. Is there a reason I shouldn't be?"

"Nope." Buffy shrugged. "What do they call you?"

"Some call me Professor Giles, some simply Giles. Either way, it doesn't really matter to me. Whatever they're comfortable with. After all, they're paying for my services, seems I should try to cater to them. Besides, I'd always thought it pompous to insist on titles." He glanced down at Buffy out of the corner of his eye. "Or have I been presumptuous these past eight years not referring to you as Slayer Buffy Summers?"

"I'd have preferred 'Her Royal Highness' or 'Her Majesty the Supreme Empress Buffy,' but I learned to deal."

Giles laughed as he shifted the weapons bag into his other hand and glanced behind them and then right and left before returning his attention to the conversation. "I'm not sure what to do to stop these outbreaks of flightiness during my lectures."

"That's an easy one," Buffy shrugged. "Stop wearing your faded blue jeans."

"To my knowledge, there's no established dress code at the university. I hardly see how my casual attire could cause such disruption," Giles said.

"Of course not. You're not on the receiving end of that image." Buffy waved a hand in his direction.

Giles returned his attention ahead of their path, unaffected by her comment. "Seems rather quiet tonight. With Percy's urgent email alerting us of the nomadic band of Rarkatar demons, I'd assumed this week's patrols would keep us busy." He paused when he noticed Buffy had stopped, brows raised in disbelief and her hands set on her hips, obviously irked by something. "Hmmm?"

"You don't get it, do you?"

"Get what?"

"Wake up and smell the pheromones, Giles. You're a hottie!"

The Watcher's eyes immediately rolled and he began to march on, his face flushing. "I seriously doubt that's what's affecting my class."

"I'll bet it is." Buffy skipped up in front of him, teasing him with a playful poke of a finger to his chest. "Come on... betcha. Skip the jeans this coming week and test my theory."

"Perhaps my lectures are growing too tiresome. I should look at ways to spice things up."

"You’re already too spicy in those jeans!" Buffy insisted. "That’s the problem and you know I'm right. You're just scared to try it. I'll bet you anything it's those faded, button up Levi's..."

Giles dropped the weapons bag to the pavement and swiftly pulled Buffy to him, silencing her with a kiss. She immediately melted in his arms as his lips pressed to hers and his hands began roaming along the curve of her spine, almost lifting her from the ground. The kiss deepened as his tongue slipped through to entwine with hers. She moaned and drew her hands down his back, clawing her fingers over his jean-covered rear. She let out a faint whimper as he pulled back, a sly smile curling along the corners of his mouth.

"Definitely the jeans," she growled, trying to steal another kiss only to be denied with his subtle dodge.

"And what do I win if I take you up on your bet?" He rumbled sensually, placing feather light pecks to her chin and cheek.

"It's a surprise," she whispered, drawing his mouth back to hers.

"Surprises tend to come off badly for us," he replied, just as quietly.

Ear piercing roars broke the gentle quiet of the night and Giles and Buffy jerked apart. Three hulking beasts stood ten yards from them, each donning jagged, blade like spikes along their multiple sets of arms. Razor sharp fangs jetted out from snarling smiles.

Giles sighed. "Case in point!"


Previously   Credits

previously prologue credits act 1 act 2 act 3 act 4 end credits