Title: Strawberry Swing
Timeline: Post-series, AU.
Synopsis: Giles is still a Watcher, but sometimes other people require Watching as well.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Giles sat on the steps leading up to the front porch of the house, a mug of steaming tea in his hands and a smile on his face. His three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter were playing happily in the yard, under their father’s close watch.
“It never stops, does it?”
Giles turned towards the teasing voice, his smile growing as Buffy sat down next to him. “I assume, by the amusement in your tone, you’re referring to my watching them?”
“Uh-huh.” She took the mug from his hands and took a sip before handing it back to him. “But, I like this watching better than…Watching.”
“Oh?” He asked softly, turning his eyes back to the children when the little girl giggled.
“This kind of watching is safer…for both of us. I mean…” She looked up at the blue sky and sighed softly. “…it’s such a beautiful day and they’re so happy.”
“As am I.” He stated simply, gently rubbing his hand down her spine. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” She smiled brightly, resting her head against his shoulder. “Are you sure about this?”
“About having another?” He chuckled softly and dropped a kiss in her hair as she nodded. “I’m sure I want to try for another child. And should we be successful in our attempts, I’m sure that I’ll be elated.”
“You are such a wonderful father.” She whispered.
“It’s not all that hard, Buffy. I love them so very much and I…I just want them to have what neither of us had. I don’t want to be my father.” He answered quietly. “And…you are a wonderful mother.”
“Daddy! Come here!” The little boy called happily, holding up something that looked like a rock. “I finded a rock…an’ it has a pitcher init!”
Giles furrowed his brow. “A picture? What do you mean, Robbie?”
Robbie rolled his eyes in a manner very reminiscent of his mother and ran over to his parents, his little sister hot on his heels. When he stopped in front of his father, Robbie grinned and handed the rock over.
“See? A pitcher init!”
Giles to the object and studied it carefully, his furrowed brow smoothing. “Ah…you’ve found a fossil, Robbie. Congratulations!”
“A boxil?” Robbie’s sister questioned as she leaned against her father’s thigh. “Whas a boxil?”
Giles smiled adoringly at the little girl as Buffy pulled Robbie onto her lap. “Not a ‘boxil’, Ellie. A fossil.”
“Oh.” Ellie responded and then tilted her head, her jade eyes gazing into her father’s matching ones. “Whas a fossil?”
Buffy laughed, earning her a mock glare from her husband and a confused stare from her daughter. “Sorry…that was just really funny.”
Ellie giggled, not really understanding what was funny but she always laughed when her parents laughed. Robbie joined in the laughter as he took the fossil back from his father.
“What is a fossil, Daddy?” He asked once his laughter calmed.
“When an animal, or plant, dies and gets buried…the soft parts of the organism decays.”
“Decays?” Robbie questioned, turning the rock over in his hand.
Buffy smiled. “Do you remember finding that yucky tomato yesterday?”
Robbie nodded quickly as he made a face. “Yeah…yucky!”
“It was yucky because it had decayed.” Buffy explained, running her fingers through the boy's soft curls. “That’s what decay means.”
Robbie thought for a minute and then nodded. “Okay.”
Giles chuckled and placed his empty mug on the porch as Ellie climbed onto his lap. “Okay, so the soft parts decay and that leaves the hard parts behind. Like bones and shells.”
“Bones and shells and puppy dog tails…” Ellie sing-songed softly as she played with her father's earring.
Giles smiled, knowing that Ellie was merely keeping herself occupied. “After a while, more layers of dirt or sand cover the dead…thing…”
He glanced at Buffy when she laughed. “What?”
“Is that a technical term? ‘Thing’?”
He rolled his eyes and continued his lesson. “So, all of these layers press the dirt surrounding the remains of the organism into rock. And then it makes its way back up to the surface and little boys and girls find them.”
“Like me!” Robbie exclaimed proudly.
“Mm-hm. Just like you.” Giles grinned. “Now you have a rock with an imprint of what looks like a prehistoric snail to keep in your room.”
“What’s a imprind?”
Giles answered without thought. “It’s kind of like a picture.”
Buffy bit her tongue to stifle her laughter, knowing exactly how this conversation would end.
Robbie narrowed his eyes and looked down at the rock and then looked back up at his father. “Yeah…a rock with a pitcher init. That’s what I sayed!”
Buffy gently nudged Giles with her elbow. “He’s three, honey. Probably a little young for an archaeology lesson.”
Giles grinned and nodded in agreement. Ellie sat up quickly and beamed at her older brother.
“Fine a pitcher fer me, Bee!”
Robbie sighed heavily. “ROBbie, not jus’ Bee.”
Ellie grinned, mischief flickering in her green eyes. “Peas, Bee?”
Robbie rolled his eyes and slid from his mother's lap. “Okay.”
Giles laughed softly as their children ran off in search of more rocks with pictures in them. Buffy watched Giles watch them and noticed when he seemed to stray into his thoughts.
“Mm?” He murmured, looking down at her.
“What are you thinking about?”
He smiled warmly, threading his fingers through her hair as he leaned down to kiss her lips. He pulled back, giving her a playful warning glare, when her tongue pushed its way into his mouth. He gave her a wink when she responded with a pout.
“Later, love.” He sighed, swallowing as her eyes darkened with desire. “Um…I, uh…I was thinking about how it doesn’t matter what’s going on…my life is perfect. And I don’t care if it rains or storms…because every day I have with you, and our children, is a perfect day. Just like today…and…”
He paused as her eyes glistened. “Buffy?”
She shook her head, smiling as she sniffled and wiped her eyes. “Good tears, Giles. It’s just…you say the sweetest things sometimes. I love you so much.”
He smiled lovingly and slipped his arm around her, pulling her against his side as he redirected his gaze back to their son and daughter. Robbie pulled another rock from the ground and handed it to Ellie.
Ellie ran towards Giles as fast as her little legs would carry her.
“Look Daddy, I finded ‘nudder rock pitcher!”
Giles laughed happily…and then proceeded to give her the same lesson in archaeology as he had given to her brother when she had been busy singing about bones and shells and puppy dog tails.
Ellie understood it about as well as Robbie had.
Giles wasn’t worried though…they had plenty of time.