Summary: It's Valentine's Day and the library should be closed all ready, but Sally somehow finds herself staying late with a rather interesting man. - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Holiday, Romance, Humor, Giles/Sally (ofc), Buffy & Xander, Rated G with 1,206 words.
Title: Gypsies, Tramps & Watchers
Author: The Artful Dodger / dodger_sister
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Category: Holiday, Romance, Humor
Characters/Pairing: Giles/Sally (ofc), Buffy & Xander
Summary: It's Valentine's Day and the library should be closed all ready, but Sally somehow finds herself staying late with a rather interesting man.
Word Count: 1,206 words.
Date Written: Feb, 2007
Disclaimer: 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' doesn't belong to me. Giles certainly doesn't belong to me. Hell, even Sally doesn't belong to me. I did write this story, all for fun though, not profit.
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Author's Notes: Sally is an original character created by baylorsr for other things and eventually used in an episode of SuperPretendNatural. I just borrowed her to write this little Valentine's Day fic for baylorsr, involving librarians, awesome geek girls and pie. The great thing about Sally is that she is all of us fangirls and thus, essentially, making this a story about each of us getting to flirt with Giles. This story was written when baylorsr first discovered her love of all things Giles.
Dedication: For baylorsr. May you - (and all the Sallys out there) - find your own handsome, book-loving and OCD English Watcher on this Valentine's Day. Love you!
"As if," the shrill voice of a teenage girl said, echoing around the nearly empty library. "That's so not fair."
"I just think you might learn something," an English accent answered her.
"That's your job," the girl said. "Mine is slayage. Yours is books."
"And mine is dancing," a new voice, this one clearly a teenage boy, added.
"It's Valentine's Day," the girl whined. "There's a club. And there are boys. And there is dancing. We got the stupid stone. Now you find out what it does and we'll see you later."
"Sorry, old man. Kids only," the boy said and then the sound of high-heeled shoes followed by squeaky rubber sneakers filled the library until Sally heard the big wooden doors slam shut.
It was quiet then, for nearly an hour. Sally was going through the stack of newly delivered magazines when she heard the sound of a throat clearing.
She looked up and saw a man, possibly in his fifties, with a tired but kind face smiling slightly at her.
"Can I help you?" Sally asked in her nicest librarian voice.
"I'm sorry to bother you," the man said, the English accent loud and clear. "I was wondering if you could help me with some local history?"
"That's my specialty," Sally answered him, this time her smile genuine. "What are you after? Civil war? Family tree? Pagans?"
"That's a new one."
"They would have been here close to a hundred years ago," the man told her.
Sally came out from behind her desk and motioned for the man to follow after her. She led him all the way to the back of the large, high-ceilinged room, grabbing a rolling ladder along the way.
"They wouldn't have settled here very long. Well, after all, being gypsies," the man said, trailing along behind her.
The English accent was too much for Sally and she suddenly found herself thinking about every horror movie she had ever seen where the pretty young librarian was alone in an old empty library with a man just like this.
She stopped suddenly in front of a row of books that were a hundred years old and looked as if they hadn't been touched in nearly that long. Sally swung herself up onto the ladder in one movement, even as the man reached out a hand to steady the thing.
Scanning through the books, Sally pulled down two particularly dusty editions and handed them off to him.
"It's a shame, isn't it?" the man said softly, as Sally dropped back down to the floor. "How the good ones just gather dust like this."
"No one ever comes back here," Sally said, just as softly. "It is a shame," she added. "The older ones are always better. And worth the extra effort."
She slid past him too quickly to notice the blush that crept into the man's face.
For the next hour, Sally heard nothing but the occasional soft brush of a page turning and the click of her own fingers on the computer keyboard.
Just as she was glancing up at the clock for the fifth time in twenty minutes, the man approached the front desk again.
"You ready to check out?" Sally asked expectantly, glancing up at the clock one more time.
The man followed her eye-line. "I'm…I'm terribly sorry. I didn't…you were meant to close before now, weren't you?"
Sally felt slightly shamed-face at the thought of whisking this man out the door. It'd been so long since she'd had anyone in the library that actually wanted something more than the latest Harlequin romance novel.
"Well, yes. I mean, we should have closed up twenty minutes ago but I wasn't…it's no problem."
"I'm sorry," the man said again. "I lose track of time, when reading."
Sally clicked her computer off, hoping the man hadn't noticed the giant picture of David Duchovny that had been there a moment before. It was her Valentine's Day too, after all.
"I don't have a library card," the man told her. "I'm not from around here."
"No shit, Sherlock," Sally said, grinning.
"But I need more time with the books. It's hard to trace the family line of these people. They were the exact embodiment of the word 'extended' family."
Sally looked at the man and the stack of old, dusty books in his hands.
"I'm the only one who has ever even tried to decipher those," Sally told him, nodding at the books. "I'll tell you what, you take them home tonight and bring them back in the morning."
"Are you quite sure?" the man asked her, hesitantly.
"If you really mean to steal them, who am I to stop you? Worse things have been stolen from this place by worse people, believe me."
Sally came out from behind her desk, swinging her backpack onto one shoulder and pulling the library keys off her belt loop.
The two walked to the front doors of the library. Sally could feel the man glancing over at her.
"So, you've actually read these books?" he asked her, as she began the nightly ritual of locking up the several old bolts on the doors.
"Several times," she answered, without looking up.
"You know a lot about local history then?"
"Well, I'm not a buff or anything, but my family goes way back and my grandmother raised me and I do a lot of reading, so yeah, I know a thing or two."
The man was silent for a moment, as Sally locked the last bit of the doors. She turned to face him then, standing on the front steps of the library.
"I'd…I'd love to know what you know," the man said, the blush creeping back to his face ever-so-slightly. "Perhaps, I could buy you coffee and pick your brain?"
"You know," Sally said, smiling, "When you say 'pick your brain' with that accent of yours, I expect Igor to come in the room with your lab coat."
"I'm sorry?" the man asked her, clearly confused by the reference.
"Never mind," Sally told him, waving her hand in the air. "You got a name?"
"Oh, yes, of course. Giles. Rupert Giles." He extended his hand and Sally took it, grasping hold of his wrist and turning his watch so that she could see the time.
"Well, Mr. Giles, I'm Sally and there is thirty-three minutes left in Valentine's Day. So what do you say we skip the coffee and go right for the piece of pie? There's a place right down the street."
"Piece of pie?"
"It's a pie shop. Down the street. Where people eat pie."
"Yes, of course." And this time the smile and the blush competed for room.
"So," Sally said, as they walked down the front steps of the library. "Those teenagers you were with before, do you ever actually get them to read anything?"
"Read? Uh, no."
"Do they ever actually learn anything?"
"Well, I don't know. I hope they do. Accidentally. When I yell at their backs as they are walking out the door."
Sally laughed. "Well, it's a noble cause you fight for anyway, Mr. Giles. Maybe I should pay for the pie."