Rating: Gen to Adult (This Part Gen)
Summary: They meet, they hang out, they date, they…you know, and they live reasonably happy ever after—it’s just your average love story.
Author Note: Written for leni_ba’s CYA ficathon. Request was for Buffy/Gunn with a side of Dawn, post-NFA, and flirty fun banter. Thanks to southernbangel and cornerofmadness for super quick beta-duty.
This series of ficlets will be posted individually as connected stand-alones. They are written with the intention that they whet the appetite for more but that they could reasonably be read as a complete ficlet in case you never remember to come back and read the rest. There are 5 ficlets in this story series.
The sharp wooden object sailed through the air, unfailingly finding its target and sinking deep inside. Without pausing, Buffy threw the next one with a quick flick of her wrist and watched as the point penetrated the target with a satisfying crunch. She felt around on the surface in front of her, blindly hunting for another pencil as she she kept her eye firmly planted on the ceiling above, but the search came up empty. Out of weapons for the moment, Buffy’s attention returned to the enemy in front of her.
Paperwork. Mounds of it, piled in heaps on her new desk. Some of it was haphazardly stuck in colorful hanging files that hadn’t quite made their way to the filing cabinet, but most of it was stuffed together in no real discernable order, waiting for her attention. Buffy wasn’t sure how it got like this. Not exactly. Sure, she’d gotten frustrated on several occasions when she was trying to read through the rules and mandates and clauses and maybe once or twice she’d thrown handfuls of documents and forms across the surface of her desk. And okay, maybe a few times on the floor as well and there was that one incident that Dawn called the “papercide tragedy” in a mocking tone.
Buffy sighed and started shuffling the stray forms into a semi-straight pile, trying to clean up the mess of her desk a little before the new attorney made his appearance. She had to get things together, and soon, if she wanted to turn this place into any kind of headquarters for the new LA branch of . . . the Scooby Guild? Slayers Inc.? The Chosen Corporation? They hadn’t completely agreed on a name yet, but everyone did agree that after Angel’s questionable actions with the Black Thorn and the vacuum of power left behind, they were needed in L.A. to maintain some kind of stability. So here Buffy was, in her new office behind her new desk waiting for the new lawyer who would hopefully understand the little black words on the reams of white paper that loomed in front of her.
The bell over the front door jingled, signaling that someone had entered the reception space of the offices. It sounded like the one that used to hang over the door of The Magic Box and a lump formed in Buffy’s throat at the reminder of the not-so-distant past. She hadn’t wanted to put the bell there, arguing that they weren’t a shop and it sounded ridiculous, but Dawn had insisted that the neighborhood was rough even without the marauding demon bands and a little advance notice of attack wouldn’t be totally unappreciated for the non-Slayers of the staff.
Buffy shuffled more frantically, suddenly embarrassed by the state of her office. What had she been thinking? The attorney Angel had recommended was going to run away screaming after one look. She just hoped he didn’t notice the big pile of rubber bands that had been sling-shotted one by one into the corner—condemning evidence of how she’d spent most of her morning.
She sensed the presence of someone in the doorframe of her inner office just before she heard the deep voice call out a greeting.
“Hi. I’m looking for Miss Summers.”
Buffy looked up from the sea of white in front of her and found her eyes settling on one of the most attractive men she’d seen in her life. Beautiful, smooth brown skin, gorgeous golden brown eyes, and Buffy had no idea until that moment how hot the bald head/goatee combo could be. A crisp white button-down, casually open at the neck, was draped over broad shoulders and his narrow hips and long legs were covered by a pair of dark blue jeans with faded creases in the lap. Buffy stared at him for one long moment before it occurred to her that she was ogling what was very likely her new lawyer. Heat flooded her face, and she stood up, reaching a hand across the desk to introduce herself before he turned right around and slapped her with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Just as she opened her mouth to try to say something intelligent, or at least businesslike, something dropped from the ceiling and landed point down on her scalp.
Not what she’d been intending to say, and she hadn’t really meant to snatch back her hand to rub her wounded head just as he was reaching forward to shake it either.
Buffy followed his gaze to the ceiling and she felt the flush move down from her face to include her neck as he took in the sight of 24—no, make that 23—sharpened pencils stuck lead first into the ceiling tile above her desk. God! He was going to think she was completely mentally challenged.
He looked back at her and grinned, wide and white and Buffy felt something in her stomach twist at the sight.
“I’ve got enough ammo here for one hell of a spitball fight, if you’re interested,” he said, cocking his head to indicate the stack of files he had under one arm.
Buffy’s embarrassment receded a little at his teasing tone and she smiled back. “Tempting. Especially if it’s half as boring as what I’ve got,” she replied, removing her hand from where it was massaging her scalp to point at the mess on her desk.
He laughed at that and nodded, then set the stack of files he was carrying on the desk and reached out his freed hand. For the first time, Buffy noticed that his other hand was occupied by a cane.
“I’m Charles Gunn. You Buffy?”
Buffy nodded and grabbed his offered hand. “Sorry. I think my social skills must have regressed to junior high level right along with my work ethic. Buffy Summers, head of the new Scooby Guild.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Interesting choice of names.”
Buffy shrugged. “Yeah, well, it’s not set in stone yet but Slayers, Inc has a certain deadly ring to it that might attract the wrong kind of attention.”
The broad smile turned into a smirk that had Buffy staring at his lips again. “Instead you’ll get the kiddie crowd dragging mom and pops in to see if Scooby and the gang are in.”
“And an amazing number of 20-somethings with the munchies,” Buffy mused with a wry smile of her own. “We really didn’t think it through.”
They stood there, smiling at each other for several long moments before they realized their hands were still clasped together. Buffy pulled her hand away and reached up to brush a strand of her hair away from her rapidly re-flushing face, suddenly filled with a whole lot of nervous energy in the wake of the awkward pause in conversation.
“So Angel said you needed some help with setting yourselves up as a non-profit.”
Thank God Buffy thought, breathing out a small sigh of relief as she sat back down in her chair and gestured to one of the chairs on the other side of the desk, inviting the lawyer to have a seat as well. As he slid slowly down into the chair, using his cane for support, Buffy spared a quick glance up at the dangling missiles hanging from the ceiling. She sent out a quick prayer that the rest of them would stay put, and then pointed to the stacks sitting on the desk between them.
“Again, I refer you to my personal spitball arsenal.” As often happened when she was nervous and feeling out of her element, Buffy started to ramble, shuffling through the stacks as she spoke and only managing to make different piles that were no more neat or organized than before. “ Seriously, I’m so in over my head with this stuff. I’m more of the kick ass now, fill out the paperwork never kinda girl. We really appreciate that you’re willing to help as out at a severely reduced rate, Mr. Gunn.” The thought that he might not be aware of the promises that were made on his behalf occurred to Buffy and her head whipped up, her hands stilling as she voiced her worry. “Angel did make it clear that we can’t pay you what you’re worth, right?”
The lawyer shook his head, and Buffy felt her hope sink until he spoke. “Don’t need to worry about that. From what I hear, you’ve saved the world several times over for way less than minimum wage. Way I figure it, you’ve more than paid for all the corporate law you need. And my friends call me Gunn.” The last was said with another slow smile and Buffy felt that funny little flip in her stomach again.
“My friends call me… well, a variety of really annoying nicknames so let’s just stick with Buffy.” She wondered if a bad guy managed to slip a mind altering drug in her Starbucks earlier that morning. The wondering quickly turned to active hoping as Buffy reflected on her sum contribution to her first meeting with Gunn. Any explanation for her bumbling idiot-like behavior other than that she was, in fact, a bumbling idiot was more than welcome right then.
“Buffy it is, then,” he laughed. Pointing to the desk, he raised an eyebrow. “I think if you want to be in business by Christmas, we better get started.”
Buffy’s face fell as she looked at the surface of her desk, but she couldn’t keep the smile from returning when she glanced back up at Gunn. Pulling out a pen and notebook, she prepared to take notes on what she needed to do.
Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Part 2 They Hang Out Coming Soon...