Mutating Paradigms And Other Shifts In Reality
by Minim Calibre

Okay. Ground rules. Thinking about Giles the way you'd think about Angel or Spike or Riley, or even Parker, was wrong. Giles was not allowed to be attractive. Giles was not allowed to wear tight tee-shirts that showed just how much working out he'd been doing since they'd set up base in England. It was a momentary lapse of sanity brought about by strong cider and too many teenaged girls in the house. Several momentary lapses of sanity. Stretching back over several weeks.

She had not caught herself watching him bend over to lift another one of the bags of training weapons, nor had she admired anything about the way his arms flexed as he tossed the bag over his shoulders. Nope. It hadn't happened. And she most certainly hadn't barged in on him this morning while he was still shirtless and toweling off in the bathroom. Nope.

If she had to be having those sorts of thoughts about anyone, she should be having them about Xander, or Robin, or even Andrew before she had them about Giles. See? She couldn't even think of him as having a first name. It was like Mulder and Scully--no, wait, that was a bad example. Jeeves and Wooster? Actually, the way Andrew described it, that was just as bad.

Of course, it wasn't Xander she spent long hours talking to every night over cider or scotch. It wasn't Robin she spent her days developing training strategies with. And it wasn't Andrew who rubbed the tension out of her shoulders when he noticed her wincing during fight practice, because Andrew was busy doing that for Xander, which was another thing she didn't want to think about. Not that that stopped her.

She took another sip of scotch and considered her options.

If thinking about Giles that way was wrong, then kissing him was definitely whatever came after wrong. Which appeared to be 'really, really, really much more fun than it should be'. Which made sense, because things that felt good were pretty frequently wrong, and this felt better than good. Giles didn't taste remotely tweedy; he tasted like scotch and water. He probably would have cleaned his glasses if he'd been wearing them. She saw his hands reach reflexively towards his face when she pulled away to see his reaction.

"Technically," she reminded him before he could say anything, "you're younger than Spike or Angel."


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