Pie Charts And Prophecies
by Kessica

"At some point," she said, exasperated,"we should have set some guidelines. There should have been charts, graphs, timelines. Rules could have been good."

"Rules?" he asked, a little befuddled. This wasn't exactly the reaction he had expected.

"Yeah. Rule number one should have been 'tell Buffy about every Slayer killing prophecy all at once instead of stringing them out over four years'."


"Yes, ah! If you would just tell me about these things, I could plan for them! My life could be scheduled."

"I'm telling you now. And we have plenty of time to prepare. It's not as if I have a book of these things that I'm hiding from you. I tell you as I come across them." he said, sitting down crossly.

"I know. I'm sorry, Giles. It's just... everyone wants to kill me. It's trying." she plopped down next to him.

"I don't want to kill you." he said and she smiled.

"Good. So how do I not die this time?"

"Well, the demon that will supposedly infect you should be easy enough to conquer, but the infection works quickly." he said, skimming over the book in his lap. He peered at it.

"Woo?" she asked, not understanding the ancient text.

"Luckily there is a plant that can counter-act the effects in the desert not more than a days drive from here. So, we'll take a road trip and get it before the demon even comes."

"And thus, I live." she concluded."I like it. It's innovative, original."

"You are a sucker for a happy ending." he agreed.

"As are you, my Giles. As are you. Oh, hey." she said, grabbing his arm and looking at his wristwatch."I got class in ten."

"Do you need a ride then?" They were at his flat.

"Nah, I'll make it. Call me later with our road trip details." She said and left in a hurry.


"To where?" her mother asked, tossing the salad for dinner, a rarity that Buffy was home for it at all.

"The middle of hot sweaty nowhere, Arizona. Obscure plant will save my life. Etcetera, etcetera." she said, slapping at Dawn's hand as the young girl tried to steal a crouton.

"Just you and Mr. Giles?" she asked.

"Well... I guess. I mean, with the beamer, it's just two people if there is to be any sort of comfort." she raised her eyebrows at her mom."Why?"

"Well, I was thinking that maybe it would be more comfortable if you took the jeep. And maybe... maybe I could come along." her mom smiled hopefully.

"You want to come?" Buffy asked, surprised."On a road trip? With Giles?"

"I want to go with you. You spend more time with Mr. Giles than me. If we went this weekend... I just never see you, Buffy."

"That's sweet mom, but what about Dawn?"

"I could stay with Miranda or Kelly or even Willow and Tara." she offered, happy with the idea of a weekend of freedom.

"And we could take the Jeep?" her mother nodded."I'll call Giles after dinner."


"Let me, let me." Buffy said, rushing to where her mother was struggling to lift a cooler into the back of the jeep. She lifted the beverage filled cooler into the car with ease, next to their just in case suitcases and closed the hatch with a slam.

"I think that's it. Do we really need all those extra outfits?" her mom asked one more time.

"Trust me. Are you ready?" she asked and they climbed in the car. She felt odd giving her mother directions to Giles' apartment. It was like her second home, but something her mother was very much not a part of. It was weird enough she was doing something slayer related. When they arrived, Buffy told her mom to wait and walked right in without even knocking. They emerged from the apartment, Giles with a medium sized duffle bag on his shoulder. Buffy climbed into he back, giving the front seat to her watcher.

"Hello, Joyce." he said, nodding his greeting.

"Hello, Rupert. Thanks for letting me tag along."

"No, thank you. Not only do we get the added comfort of you car, but Buffy gets to spend time with her mother which is of the utmost importance."

"So... does Buffy always just barge into your home like that? Do you mind?"

"Yes, she does. But I don't mind. It's better I leave it unlocked and have her have a key, otherwise she'd just bust down the door." he laughed.

"Uh-guys? I'm sitting right here." Buffy said, already beginning to regret allowing both of them in the same vehicle. By the time they hit the freeway, however, she was fast asleep, sprawled across the backseat.

"We drive for five minutes and she is out, without fail." Giles commented, smiling gently at the sleeping slayer in his mirror.

"It was the only thing that could sooth her when she was a baby." Joyce said and frowned at him a little.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"You seem to know her almost better than I do. It's not very fair."

"No, I suppose not. But you are her mother. That can never be replaced. I can, I am her second watcher. And what else? Teacher? Never ending drone of responsibility?" he took off his glasses and rubbed them on his handkerchief. The mood had gone sour.

"Oh? I might as well be propped up in a corner for as much time as she spends talking to me. I'm... dusty." she said. Giles didn't respond. After an hour of the exhausting mood filling the car, she pulled over. The air waved in the heat. She got out of the car and walked over to the passenger's side. Giles slid over the middle console into the driver's set. Smoothly, without Buffy waking, they continued their drive in the thick silence.

The sky was mostly purple and orange when Buffy woke. Her mother's head lulled to the side, resting against the window. Giles' eyes looked glassy in the rearview mirror.

"Giles, let me drive. We'll put her back here." Buffy said, laying her hand gently on his shoulder as not to startle him.

"Ah, it can't be much further." he said, covering her small hand with his own.

"And I need you in good shape." she said, firmly. He nodded his consent and they stopped at the first rest stop they came to. In the bathroom, washing their hands side by side, Buffy leaned over and kissed her mother's cheek.

"Thanks for coming, mom." she said and dried her hands on the seat of her jeans.

In the car, Joyce sat in the back and Giles shot gun while Buffy displayed her much improved driving skills.

"How much longer, do you think?" she asked.

"An hour or so. You're going to turn up here in a while. Left. Then it's off paved roads. We'll have to look for it. We might need to find some place to spend the night, if it's just too dark." he said, glancing at the blackening sky.

"Let's try not to do that." They lapsed in into a more comfortable silence."Giles?"

"Yes, Buffy?" she didn't say anything, just reached over and put her palm against his cheek. He leaned his head into it and let his eyes close. In the back, Joyce snored softly.


She stopped the car, but left the lights on, shining a few feet into the darkness.

"Can you feel it?"

"It's a trap. Get the bag." she agreed and got out of the car."Mom, stay here. Kill the lights, lock the doors." Joyce didn't argue. Their eyes quickly adjusted to only the dim beam of his Maglight. She stepped carefully around shrubs and rocks. There was the dim light of a fire in the distance. She could see the large demon pacing, waiting for her. Believing she would be stupid enough to come to her own death.

"I'll look for the plant. You take the demon." she nodded and sprinted towards the bulky shape.

It was like kicking a stone wall, and the large gray mass, equipped with curling horns and beady eyes, knocked her over with ease. She grunted, on her feet again, but his claws had scrapped through the midsection of her t-shirt and her blood sprang out against the blue fitted cotton.

She stabbed him and took his head in once swift motion. It was almost too easy but he looked almost pleased, like he had been successful. Her midsection began to burn, it was agony. Her skin felt hot and she was so dizzy. She fell against a rock for balance. She thought she heard her name, but it sounded muffled and far away. Her eyes were heavy. She let them close.


The scratch of cheap motel sheets was familiar and she tried not to move against them. Her skin felt sensitive and she opened her eyes as little as she could.

"I think she's awake." this was her mother and she felt a cool hand against her forehead. She opened her eyes more.

"I feel... like crap. Where's Giles?" she said, sitting up, trying to ignore how dry and huge her tongue felt.

"Here, here." he said, sitting at the foot of the motel bed."I'm sorry, Buffy. I should have realized this was a trap. You nearly died and it's my fault." He looked nearly ill.

"Died? I mean, you got plant and shoved mouth and that was that, right?" she was confused and it hurt her head.

"The plant wasn't there." Joyce said."We had to go to Nevada to find it. Just outside Las Vegas." she said.

"We're in Vegas? How long have we been gone?" she asked.

"About six days." Giles answered."You were very sick."

"What about Dawn?" she asked.

"Staying with Melinda. She's fine. Willow calls to check in." her mother smiled.

"Well... okay. Let's go home." she said, pushing out of the bed. But her head swam and Giles caught her arms and pushed her gently back into the mattress.

"Not only are you a little more undressed than normal," he said and she blushed, looking down at the small tank top and panties she had on."but you're too weak to just jump up. You need food, a bath, and to take it slow. We can leave tomorrow." he said.

"Why don't you go get us some lunch. I'll help her bathe." Joyce said and Giles nodded. Joyce went to run a bath and Buffy tried again, moving slowly out of the bed and leaning against the bathroom doorframe for support. She was already feeling stronger.

"Motel 6?" she asked.

"Best Western." her mother answered.

"Why didn't you go home? To Dawn, to work? Giles could have taken care-"

"Rupert is not the only one who takes care of you." she snapped and Buffy stepped back. Instead of responding, she just stripped off her clothes and stepped into the bath. She was unashamed of her body, especially in front of her own mother.

"I couldn't just leave you. You might nearly die all the time, but this was the first time I was there to see it. You're my baby girl... and even Giles was worried." her mother said, feeling the need to explain herself.

"Why didn't you take me to a hospital?" she asked as her mother was walking away to give her daughter some privacy.

"Rupert had enough faith that his cure would work." she said and closed the door. Her mother and Giles seemed to be at each other's throats. She didn't know why they hadn't just dumped her body into the back of the car and go home, but they could only have their reasons. Maybe she had been just that sick.

The hot water tired her out and so she took a terrycloth robe and put it on and reemerged from the bathroom feeling better by the moment.

"I brought you soup and a turkey sandwich." Giles was sitting on the other double bed, drinking tea from a Starbucks cup. She picked her cardboard cup of soup up.

"Thank you. Where's mom?" she asked, sitting next to him carefully.

"Went to get ice." he said. She looked down and took a bite of the sandwich and ate most of the soup."I know things feel tensed but you nearly died and your mother... she had a lot of questions about you and what we do that I had to answer." she could tell he was holding something back. She let it pass for a moment.

"What did you tell her?"

"Mostly about battles, the big ones. The demise of the school, the master, Jenny Calendar, Oz being a werewolf... our daily lives."

"I do sort of keep her in the dark. She shouldn't have to worry." Buffy explained.

"She asked about me and you." he said carefully, meeting her eyes to convey understanding."I am not your father, nor do I view you as a child, let alone a daughter. But she, nor I, could understand where that left us. She thinks I am in love with you, Buffy. And she is angry at me for it."

It was a lot for her to take in. And he didn't expect her to answer. They chewed their meals quietly, sneaking glances at one another. Her mother came in with soda, ice, and bottles of water and they killed the afternoon. Giles read the paper, Joyce watched soap operas and Buffy stood outside, leaning over the railing, talking to Willow and Dawn on her mother's cell phone.

It was seven-thirty when Buffy came back in the room.

"I don't see why we can't go now." she said.

"You were so sick, Buffy." her mother reiterated.

"Yes, but my healing is finally kicking in. I feel almost normal. And Willow said it's high activity back home - probably because they know I'm not there. Can't we just drive now? We can be home by midnight." they both looked at Giles. He just got up and starting packing up their things.


Her mother was asleep, this time, in the front seat. She sat in the back, her foot up on the center console. She starred at the passing desert with little interest, feeling restless. Gently, his had came to settle on her leg, his fingers dancing over the skin on the inside, where her knee met her thigh.

Her mother used to do that while she drove, but this was different than the rapid-succession three pats of her childhood. This was more suggestive, almost sensual. When Joyce stirred and his fingers left almost guiltily, she missed the feeling desperately.


After a week of normalcy, she found herself sitting on his steps, waiting for him to come home. When he finally appeared, he looked genuinely pleased to see her.

"Buffy, what brings you here?" he asked, unlocking his door and holding it open to allow her to enter first.

"I've been kind of avoiding you, a little bit, since Vegas." she admitted, moving in the kitchen to make his tea for him.

"Ah, I, uh, hadn't noticed."


He moved to take the kettle from her hands and led her to the living room. He would try to do this without tea.

"I shouldn't have told you all that I did, I see that now." he conceded."I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."

"Are you in love with me?" she asked, point blank.

"I have no idea." he took his glasses off and tossed them on the coffee table. It would be easier to bury his hands in his face that way, if he should have to."I know I have immensely strong feelings for you - you're my slayer." he said."But is it more than affection, respect, and attraction? I don't know."

She was grateful for his honesty. He waited patiently for a response past her staring at him with no expression. Finally, she put her hand on his leg, just to touch him.

"What are you thinking?" he pleaded to know.

"I'm thinking about kissing. Kissing Angel was so cold, so hard to get used to. And kissing Riley was empty, sloppy. But I know kissing you would be fantastic. Your attention to detail alone... and your Ripper days... and just because it's you. And If I kiss you right now I know ill never really want to kiss anyone else ever again."

"Ah. Well, it's your decision." he said, leaning back on the sofa, watching her in the afternoon sun coming through his windows. She lean back as well and she closed her eyes. He thought she might even be asleep when the phone rang and her eyes opened and she moved to answer it.

"Hello?" she let her shoulders drop."Yeah, tell her I'll be home. How did you know where I was? I am not always here... Does she know I'm here? Good. No, don't tell her. Love you too." she put down the phone."Dawn." she said to his steady, questioning gaze."I'll go make that tea." He grabbed at her arm from the sofa and tugged until she was standing in front of him. He put his hands on her hips and let his cheek rest against her flat stomach. She ran her fingers through his hair, her nails scraping his scalp. His breath was hot through the knit of her sweater.

"It remains your choice, but if you could choose now, you'll save me a great deal of agony." he muttered into her abdomen and she had to laugh a little.

"Pretend I didn't have all this responsibility. If I asked you to just leave with me, we could go to England or wherever, would you do it? Could we go?" she asked, her voice surprisingly calm considering the magnitude of the request. It broke his heart to hear it.

"You'd want too go with me?" he asked, pulling her down so she sat on the coffee table across from him, his hands content to rest on her jean covered knees.

"Yes. Just you and me and far away." she said, blushing. It made her shy, asking it of him.

"I'd say yes, if we could do it."

"You would leave your life?"

"I would go with my life." he clarified. She smiled broadly and leaned into hug him, wrapping herself around him and his hands rested on her lower back. Pulling away, she touched his nose playfully and stood.

"I have to go home and start dinner. It's nearly five. You're invited to come."

"I fear your mother and I have reached our quota for the month." he said. She hadn't expected him to accept. She left his apartment, pausing at the door.

"I haven't made my choice yet." she reassured him and left. He bumbled to the kitchen and shattered his favorite kettle on the kitchen floor. Picking up the pieces he knew it was love.


He had never been the one to climb into her window. He had seen Angel do it, sent Xander or Willow to do it. He had waited on her lawn while she came down. But now, as he hoisted himself out of the branches and onto the roof he felt like a moron and an adolescent. The window was open and she watched him with amusement.

"The point of the secret window escape is so no one knows your comings and goings. You woke the whole neighborhood, Giles." she helped pull him in and he stood in the middle of her room, and place he rarely had seen.

"It seemed a better idea earlier." he admitted. She wrapped her arms around herself and moved to close the window. She was in a pair of plaid boxer shorts and a small gray t-shirt. He'd seen her in less clothing but there was something incredibly sexy about the clean, comfort of what she more. She looked older, more refined.

"You're staring." she commented mildly.

"It's love, I'm sure of it." he blurted and then looked quite angry with himself. She just laughed.

"Sit down." she ordered, pointing to her rumbled, pseudo-made bed. He sat at the foot. Mr. Gordo was laying next to him and he picked up the comforting object, giving his fingers something to do."I'll be right back." she left the room and while she was gone Dawn stuck her head in.

"You're lucky Mom sleeps like a rock." she said."You should just use the door next time."

"How are you faring?" he asked.

"Glad we're all home. I like Miranda, but she's an only child and has some serious sharing issues." He smiled."Goodnight, Giles."

"Goodnight, Dawn." she left and Buffy reappeared with the tea she'd been trying to make him all day."Thank you." she clicked her door closed and sat next to him."My declaration of love isn't going exactly as planned."

"I know. It never does. But hey, I think I'm in love with you too, so that's of the good." she said."And I mean, I know I've treated you like dirt but I need you more than anyone and it's easy for that to turn into love. I'm glad it did." he didn't respond immediately so she continued."And that wasn't exactly a huge romantic revelation, but it's the truth."

"It's perfect. I didn't love you like this when you were sixteen. It happened over time, and now you're a woman." he shrugged and se the tea on the window seal.

"That was almost too easy." she smiled."Take off your coat and stay awhile." he removed his overcoat and draped it over her desk chair.

"It was." he took the moment, standing in her room, to look around."Do you miss living in the dorm?"

"Nah. It was fun seeing Will twenty four - seven but it wasn't practical. I sleep better here, being close enough to protect Dawn and Mom if anything happens." he nodded, picking up a picture of himself, candid and blurry, a secret snapshot that was on the desk."You never will pose for me." she commented.

"I should let you get some rest. How was patrol?" he asked as an afterthought.

"Five. Busy night." she said."It was no contest."

"Good." he paused and turned to her."I-"

"Just do it now." she said and stood to meet him. Awkwardly, they reached for each other. Her arms hesitatingly came around his neck, pausing to remove his glasses and slip them into his shirt pocket. He put his arms around her waist and she came up on tiptoe to meet him.

At first, they just pressed their mouths together. Then, with a painful slowness, he moved against her, nudging her lips apart, letting his tongue press against hers.

It was the fact that she whimpered at the same time he moaned that made them reluctantly part. She wasn't letting him go, if anything, clinging tighter, resting her head on his shoulder, clawing at his back in an attempt to be closer. His hands ran up and down her back, each time going lower until they resting on her butt.

He pulled up and her legs went around his hips and he was holding her as close as he could while still fully clothed in the middle of her bedroom. He wanted the moment to never end.

She was kissing him again. Bold, this time, ravenous. It made his head swim and he had to let her slide down his body to hold her own weight and the sensation made him gasp and shake. She finally stepped back to look at him.

"Yeah." she said, agreeing with her earlier presumption. He nodded in agreement. Picking up his jacket, he headed out the door of her room, planning to leave in a civilized manner.

"Buffy... we'll take some time. Just go. Leave California at the very least. It won't be forever but when you need it most, just tell me and we'll take my car and go." he smiled and walked down the stairs and out the front door.

Grinning, she watched him on her front lawn, pumping his fist in the air with victory as he headed for his car.


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