Pairing: Giles/Xander
Rating: Er, PG?
Summary: A date with Giles.
Notes: Written for [info]soft_princess in [info]trkkr47's Core Four Ficathon. She requested a post-Chosen G/X movie night with Xandersnuggles. Thank you to [info]entrenous88 for the marvelous quick beta. Really, she's excellent.

It's Raining Frogs


Xander had a date. Really. A date.

A date with Giles.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly a real, honest to Bob date date. But it was a planned event between two single men, one of whom had a gigantic crush on the other. So Xander decided to just ... pretend.

Xander was getting quite good at pretending. He pretended that the phone calls Giles had made to him in Africa had been a sign that the older man missed him, had been made to check on Xander and hear his voice, not just to talk about New Council business. He pretended that when Giles asked him to come back to London it was because he wanted him there, in the same city, where they could see each other, not just that Giles needed Xander working for him. He pretended that the hug Giles gave him at the airport was a little more than an act of friendship.

Today, when Giles had suggested they get together for drinks and manly bonding, Xander pretended some more.

He knew enough to separate fantasy from reality. Sure, Giles didn't really return any of the warm fuzzy feelings Xander had felt for years, but sometimes it was just nice to think ... what if?

Xander ran his hand through his hair again in front of the mirror. He adjusted his eye patch, straightened his collar, and turned from side to side. Do these slacks make me look fat? He snickered at his thoughts and grabbed his keys.

Xander blinked at the selection of videos sitting on the table. "When you said let's hang out, just the two of us, without nail polish and perfume and instead the manly smell of hops at room temperature, I was pretty much thinking a bar. Er, pub."

"You'd rather we go out?" Giles asked. If Xander didn't know better, he would have thought the older man was worried.

"No, no, this is fine!" Xander said with a grin. "So, what do you have here? Independence Day, Mission Impossible 2, Thelma and Louise -- Thelma and Louise, Giles? What's this, Magnolia? Don't think I've ever seen this one."

"They aren't mine, you should know," Giles said, looking embarrassed. "I seem to have acquired some of the girls' belongings over time ..."

"Right," Xander smiled knowingly. "Thelma and Louise does have the delicious eye-candy that is the young Brad Pitt."

Giles gave him an amused smile.

"For the girls. Because the girls ... they like that kind of stuff."

"Brad Pitt?"

"Yeah. Hey, did you hear about him getting a role in Pride and Prejudice?" Xander asked. Changing the subject was good.

Giles sat back on the sofa and rolled his eyes. Xander held back a giggle. It was hard, because Giles rolled his eyes and said, "As if anyone could compare with the hotness that is Colin Firth."

When Xander just stared at him with a mix of horror and hysterical amusement, Giles smiled, his eyes gleaming with mischief. "That's what Buffy had to say about the matter, anyway."

After that, Xander just lost it. He started laughing so hard that tears came to his eye. Just the thought of Giles saying that ... he heard it in his head again and laughed even harder.

When the laughter finally tapered off -- although there was still the occasional giggle that burst forth uninvited -- Xander wiped his face and looked up to find a big bowl of popcorn and a cold beer being offered to him. He was touched that Giles had thought to have his beer cold for him. He thanked Giles and sat back. At some point, Giles had started their movie -- Magnolia, he saw -- and now they both sat back, side by side, and watched.

The movie was long. Too long, if Xander had anything to say about it. But Giles was sitting right there next to him, close enough that their legs were touching and their arms kept brushing and a few times their hands collided in the popcorn bowl. Xander had a happy flush to his face, and a nice warm, muzzy feeling from several strong beers.

At one point, both Xander and Giles were sniffling -- in a very manly way, of course -- at the same scene. Tom Cruise was crying, and when Tom cried ... well, Xander just couldn't help it. Giles gave him a little teasing nudge and Xander sniffed and smiled and nudged back.

And then it happened.

Giles wrapped his arm around Xander's shoulder and drew him closer. Like he was cuddling him. Of course, it wasn't really cuddling because Xander had only been pretending that this was a date. It was probably some weird ... Giles friendship thing. Like the hug. Sure, Giles had never been one to just casually touch someone, and had never seemed like the hugging, cuddling type, but maybe ... maybe he was changing. Maybe it was because he'd been away from the hellmouth long enough that he could finally relax. Maybe under that proper exterior he'd always been a teddy bear.

Xander gave himself a mental shrug and decided to pretend it was a cuddle. He relaxed against Giles. Slid down on the couch a little and rested his head right there in the dip where Giles's shoulder and chest met. Xander's head fit that little dip perfectly.

He didn't pay much attention to the movie after that. He was too busy enjoying himself, trying to imprint every second of the experience in his memory, not knowing if he'd ever get the chance again. He closed his eyes and moved his cheek against the fabric of Giles's shirt, breathing in the faint scent of fabric softener and spice.

Xander opened his eyes near the end and frowned at what he saw. It went on, then there were credits and he was even more confused. "Frogs?" he asked in a bewildered voice. "The movie's big climax was ... frogs?"

"It's supposed to be a metaphor, I think."

"For what, exactly?"

"Seemingly chance happenings, and how nothing is really accidental, and how sometimes, Fate and Fortune have their hands in everything."

Xander smiled but didn't look at Giles. He was comfortable, and he was loath to move from The Perfect Spot. "You got all that from frogs?"

"You have to take the frogs in the context of the entire film," Giles answered, amusement in his voice. His arm tightened around Xander. It felt so good that Xander nearly purred, or did a little happy puppy whine, or something.

Giles flicked the television off with the remote and Xander sat up reluctantly. He didn't stand, though. He just ... didn't want to leave.

"I have to say I was ... a bit nervous about tonight," Giles began.

Xander looked at him in surprise. "Why's that?"

"I think you know ..." Giles said. He looked embarrassed.

Now Xander was genuinely perplexed. "Um, no?"

"It's our first real ... date," Giles explained.

Speechless did not begin to cover the state of one Alexander Lavelle Harris.

"But it ... went quite well, don't you think?"

The End

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