Title: Battles

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 3)

Rating: G

Disclaimer: Joss' creation (no matter who owns the movie rights). I certainly don't. And I don't make a cent from this.

Summary: Giles takes a break from research mode in order to deal with his own crisis

Author Notes: Written as a penalty drabble. Bad, slacker tg, that's me! :-)





                “You would think that for something so big, there would be more mention of it.” Wesley turned the page of the thick volume he was wading through.


                Further down the table, Giles had his nose stuck in his own book. The stack of books between them was enormous but those were only a fraction of the ones they needed to get through. Giles raised his eyebrows at Wesley. “Perhaps there is a reason for that. Perhaps there are powerful forces keeping anyone from learning about th-the Ascension.” Giles pinched the bridge of his nose tightly between thumb and forefinger.


                Wesley sighed. “I'd settle for even a brief reference to the Books of Ascension. Who wrote them… where they've been throughout the years… anything at all that might help us get to the bottom of what the Mayor—”




                Down went the book. Wesley leaned back in the curved, wooden library chair and looked over at Giles. “God bless you.” He hesitated for a beat, looking concerned. “Dust?”


                Giles nodded. “I expect so, yes.” He rose at once, leaving his book open on the table. Tea was in order. Something strong and most definitely hot. He thought briefly about offering a cup to Wesley. They'd been at it for hours and there was no sign of stopping any time soon. They had nothing, and having nothing was an unacceptable position to be in. But, as Giles approached the kettle, another sneeze snuck up on him.


                Considering they had been knee deep in dusty volumes, a little irritation was most understandable. However, Giles was fairly certain dust had nothing to do with the tickle festering in his nose. That could be attributed best to a young man whose name Giles couldn't quite remember. It was something simple—Steve or Sam perhaps. The boy had been cramming for a chemistry exam with some friends and had been sniffling nonstop with what had to have been the runniest nose Giles had ever had the displeasure of witnessing. Then, upon checking out a reference book, the boy had lost whatever battle he'd been fighting with his nose and had sneezed on Giles.


                And, apparently, the vigorous hand washing and face scrubbing had not done Giles any good at all. “huhh… huhh-TIHShhhhh!


                “Ah, God bless,” Wesley said again. “Are you all right?”


                “Quite,” Giles said, meaning exactly the opposite. He sniffed quietly and turned around towards Wesley. Perhaps something to take Wesley's mind off this subject. Giles took his glasses off and pulled his handkerchief out to clean the lenses. “How about some tea?” Giles suggested.


                Wesley smiled. “Delightful, yes. Thank—”


                In the nick of time, Giles set his glasses down on the counter and lifted his handkerchief to his face. “H'Shuhhh! HehTshhhh! heyihTschhhhh! Uhh… sniff!” Giles gave a few, tiny blows into the hanky then wiped his nose dry.


                Wesley got up. “If you're ill, you should go home.”


                Giles did his best to not roll his eyes at the asinine suggestion. “I don't need to go anywhere. It's merely a trifle.”


                “It's a cold in your nose. A ferocious one by the sound of it.”


                “Not so terrible as that,” Giles insisted, though the stuffiness in his voice did nothing to help his cause. And a fresh tickle in his nose felt both terrible and ferocious. Up came the handkerchief again. “hehhh-KETCHEOO! h'TuhShhh!”


                Wesley frowned. “Terrible enough. We cannot risk the slayer's health, particularly with the impending disaster. The Council has strict rules regarding the state and disposition of a watcher.”


                Giles swiped the handkerchief under his nose. “Then it is a good thing I've been dismissed as a watcher by the council, isn't it?” He cleared his throat and turned back around. “Tea, then? Snff! We have a number of books left to go through before we can call it a night and I'm determined to find something we can use. That's my priority, not this.” He waved the cloth at his runny nose.


                Wesley took a step backwards, heading to his book. But he chose a seat a little closer to where Giles had been sitting. And Giles noticed when he sat back down and slid the other cup across the table.