Say I Love You

~ For Rubywisp, who I'm pretty sure said 'socks and frogs'.

"What are these?"

Xander glanced over his shoulder towards Giles, who was holding up a pair of socks. "They're socks." He went back to shuffling boxes.

"Yes, I know they're socks," Giles replied, sounding somewhat patient. Xander grinned -- safe enough with his back to Giles. "What I want to know is *why*."

Xander glanced back again. "Why what?"

"Why do I have a pair of socks?"

"Because your feet get cold and your shoes get smelly without them?" Xander maintained a look of innocence easily, from long experience.

Giles gave him an exasperated look and set the socks, and the box he'd pulled them out of, down on the couch cushion beside him. "I'm aware of the purpose of socks, thank you."

"Then why'd you ask?" Xander had to turn around again to hide his face, and moved a couple of boxes back and forth. He didn't know if he was fooling Giles, but he figured that the jig had been nearly up as soon as Giles had opened the sock package.

"Xander." Giles sounded remarkably patient, all of a sudden. Patient and calm.

Xander shivered. "Yes?" He risked a look back.

"You gave me socks."

"Yes," Xander agreed, nodding.

"For our third anniversary."

"Yes." Xander spoke slowly and nodded again, as though he was afraid Giles had gone senile. Luckily Giles was still young enough that those kinds of jokes were funny.

Giles gave him a dirty look. "The remaining three presents which you've been pretending to chose among, are all from our friends."

"Yeah?"

"And there aren't any others hidden anywhere in the flat."

"How do you know?" Xander demanded.

"Because you always hide them in the hall closet on the top shelf behind the winter hats and scarves."

Xander scowled. That was true, but that was mostly so *he* wouldn't forget about any hidden presents. It was embarrassing to find a birthday present four months later, all wrapped in 'happy birthday' paper so he couldn't pretend it was an early christmas present. "So?"

"So this is the only present you bought me," Giles replied.

"And?"

"You bought me *socks*." Giles sounded exasperated again. Xander was having a hell of a time looking confused.

"Don't they fit?"

"Xander, we forced all of our friends to leave town for the weekend, under one guise or another, except for Annie and Tamara who are patrolling to make sure nothing apocalyptic happens -- and if it does, they'll either take care of it themselves or they'll call Buffy or Willow to come home early to help, possibly even call Wesley and Angel to fly in from LA if need be. I spent hours on the telephone arranging things so that for three days you and I would be home, undisturbed."

"Um...thank you?" Xander gave him a half-smile.

"Dawn even gave us a present of thirteen tubes of lubricant, thereby guaranteeing I shall *never* be able to look her in the face again as long as I live. And you buy me *socks*."

"You said you wanted..." Xander began, and trailed off with a tone of uncertainty.

"I said I wanted *sex*. I wanted *sex* from you for three days." Giles was scowling at him.

Xander realised with a burst of glee that Giles really didn't know if Xander was serious or not. He said nothing.

"*Sex*. Not socks. You're half blind, not half-deaf," Giles continued, testily.

Xander grinned -- sometimes Giles still worried about having said stuff like that, even after all these years. Letting him know he thought the teasing was funny also allowed him to relax from trying *not* to smile. "They sound a lot alike."

Giles narrowed his eyes. "And they've got frogs on them."

Xander tensed -- then leapt backwards as Giles lunged. He didn't get far before Giles landed on top of him, pushing him down onto the floor and lying on him. Giles' face was inches from his own, and his eyes burned with a fire that made Xander whimper -- and grow hard as a rock.

Giles said, in a low, nearly growling tone, "I distinctly remember saying 'flogging'."

With a half-hearted grin that was barely hiding how he really felt, Xander said, "Oops?"

"Oops, indeed." Giles slid his hands underneath Xander's ass. "I was expecting that suede whip we saw in Harsteins, but I suppose I'll just have to improvise."

Xander didn't try to stifle his shiver of anticipation. But he laughed. "Nah, we won't -- look in Buffy's box."

Giles stopped. Xander nodded, seriously. Giles dropped his head on Xander's shoulder. "Oh, god..."

"If it makes you feel better, I think Willow bought us a movie."

Xander didn't think he should mention what kind, until Giles had stopped whimpering.