Title: Before Today I’ve Never Ridden On The MCA
Summary: A day in the life
Setting: Could really be anytime. No spoilers.
Disclaimers: Buffy &c belong to Joss &c. No profit, etc.
Thanks to rumidha and fiareynne for the betas.
When they piled into his flat that Saturday morning, Giles wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them all. Xander arrived first, a box of jelly donuts in one hand and a bag of Egg McMuffins in the other. “Hey, G-man!” he shouted as he walked through the unlocked front door.
“Good morning, Alexander.”
Xander froze, then grinned. “All right, all right, I got the message. Morning, Giles. Hungry?” He held up his offerings.
“Actually, yes.” Giles grinned back. “I’ll just put the kettle on.”
“Kettle, kettle, always with the kettle. You keep drinking that stuff, you’re going to turn into The Amazing Tea Man.” Xander dropped the box of donuts on the table, then slipped into the kitchen with Giles for a plate to put the sandwiches on. As he moved back into the living room, the door opened again, and Willow strolled in.
“Morning!” she exclaimed cheerfully. She was carrying a good-sized black box under one arm. “Look what I brought!”
Xander and Giles both came around to look at the offering, and Xander groaned. “Oh, come on Will, you know that’s not fair!”
At the same time, Giles’s eyes brightened. “Oh, I say! I’m quite good at Trivial Pursuit.”
Willow grinned. “Me too. I thought maybe we could play teams. You and Xander against me and Buffy.”
“Boys against girls?” Buffy’s voice spoke from the doorway. “That’s real enlightened of you, Will.” She followed her friend in, carrying a bag from Blockbuster. “I brought some movies for later.”
“Ooh! What’d you get?” Xander dove for the bag, and Buffy, quick as lightning, tossed it to Giles. Xander spun on Giles, who tossed the bag over to Willow. She, squeaking as Xander turned toward her, tossed it back toward Giles and missed.
Xander snagged the missile from the air, neatly intercepting its trajectory toward Giles’s favorite dragonfly lamp, and clutched it to his chest, moving to crouch by the television with a deranged expression on his face. “We has them, precious, we has the movies. We loves the movies, precious.”
Laughter greeted his Gollum impression, and Xander straightened, dropping into a chair and laying the movies out on the coffee table one at a time. “Okay! We got Shawshank Redemption, always a classic. We got Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the British among us, and we have The Shining, for those of us who don’t get enough oogly-booglies in our daily routines. Nice choices, all. Siskel and Harris give it two thumbs up.”
The kettle whistled as Buffy reached into the bag of Egg McMuffins. “Giles, have you got any jelly?”
“You know where the refrigerator is,” Giles pointed out as he poured hot water into the leaves in the teapot.
Grumbling good-naturedly, Buffy rummaged around in the refrigerator, unearthing a small jar of grape jelly and a bowl of sliced cantaloupe. “Ooh! Growing Slayers need their fruit, right, Giles?” She batted her eyelashes at him as she retrieved a fork and his salt shaker.
“Here, now, that’s my cantaloupe!” Giles exclaimed as she waltzed past him.
“I’ll share,” she replied easily, grinning as she headed for the couch.
“Yes, but you’ll salt it,” he whined, following with the tea tray. “I hate salted cantaloupe.”
“Big baby,” she replied, curling up on the couch with her feet under her. “I won’t salt yours.”
“Shoes on my furniture!” Giles exclaimed.
Three pairs of shoes were kicked off and shoved unceremoniously under the sofa and three voices apologized for forgetting. Then the cheerful foursome began digging into breakfast.
Once the food was gone – and that didn’t take long – the Trivial Pursuit board was laid out. In a remarkable display of bad sportsmanship, Giles and Willow decided to team up against Buffy and Xander. This turned out to be a mistake, as someone had changed out the regular Trivial Pursuit cards for Pop Culture Edition cards. Some hours later, the reigning championship team of Summers and Harris demanded that, as winners, their reward should be Chinese delivery.
Giles made the call as Willow put in the first movie, and they watched the first few minutes of Monty Python before the delivery man arrived. Willow answered the door, and proceeded to stutter and stumble over herself when he turned out to be cute and also flirty. She had to be dragged away from the door by Xander, who put a hand over her mouth to stop her in mid-babble and shouted at Buffy to “Pay the man before he gets completely lost listening to Willow and wanders away in confusion.”
Buffy shouted back that she was in the bathroom and couldn’t Willow restrain herself for five lousy minutes, and Giles, with a good-natured grumble, retrieved some cash from his wallet and finally got rid of the grinning delivery man. They turned the movie back on and dug into boxes of sweet and sour pork, moo shu chicken, pepper beef and everyone’s favorite cheese wontons. Buffy teased Giles with the last spring roll, stealing it off his plate and pretending to lick it before giving it back when he appealed to her with his saddest puppy-dog eyes. Then he broke it into two pieces and offered her one, which she accepted with a grin.
After Monty Python, they watched Shawshank Redemption, and then the sun was going down, so Buffy loaded up her pockets with stakes and headed out into the deepening night. Willow and Xander straightened up the apartment a little bit while Giles paced, trying to pretend he wasn’t worried about her. The two younger Scoobies exchanged nervous glances several times before Buffy finally returned, around eleven, stinking of vampire dust but cheerful and unhurt. She dictated the results of her patrol to Giles for him to note in his journal, and then vanished down the hall into his bathroom for a quick shower.
Xander put The Shining in, and they fast-forwarded through the previews to pause at the beginning of the movie and wait for Buffy. She emerged at last, fresh-faced and with wet hair, to curl up on the floor by Giles’s chair. He came out of the kitchen with a tray of hot chocolate and handed her a mug first, then settled into his chair. She leaned against his leg as Willow pressed the play button, and the movie began.
Halfway through, Giles looked down and realized that Buffy was asleep against his leg. Willow and Xander saw him reach down to stroke her hair gently, waking her up enough so that she could adjourn to the downstairs guest room under her own power. When Giles came back from tucking her in, he found them packing their things to go. “It’s late,” Xander explained. “We ought to be heading to bed ourselves.”
“We had a great time today, Giles,” Willow said softly on her way out the door behind Xander. “We should do this more often.”
“Yes,” Giles agreed. “We should.” Once they were gone, he locked the door. He nipped down the hall to check on Buffy one last time, pleased beyond measure that for once he knew for a fact that she was safe and sound, and then he headed upstairs to his own bed.