Timeline: This is so AU that it doesn’t matter.
Synopsis: Giles meets someone…and can’t help but help him.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Giles paused on the sidewalk, a couple of bags of groceries held in his arms. He looked at the boy sitting on the curb looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Giles judged him to be fourteen or so, quite a few years younger than Buffy. He shifted the bags and cleared his throat.
The boy looked up and gave a small nod. “Yeah. You?”
Giles smiled softly, even though he could see the weariness in the boy’s eyes. “I’m well, thank you.”
The boy narrowed his eyes as he looked at Giles. “You’re...Mr. Giles, right? You used to work at the high school. The first one, I mean...before it exploded...”
Giles nodded, taking in the boy’s appearance. He looked familiar, but he was far too young to have been a student with Buffy and the others. The boy smiled and stood up, brushing the dirt from his hands onto his jeans.
“My brother went to
“Tyler Leonard...” Giles thought for a moment and then smiled. “He had a strange fascination with Russian novelists. He ran through my entire collection during my first semester at the library.”
“You married the girl who saved all those people at the graduation that year, didn’t you?” When Giles raised an eyebrow, he shrugged a shoulder. “Small town...word gets around. I’m Kody, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, Kody.” Giles smiled. “And yes...Buffy and I were married last year. And...I’m very sorry about your brother.”
“It’s not your fault Mr. Giles. Sunnydale’s not really a safe town...” Kody sighed and shook his head before gesturing to the bags. “Can I help you with that?”
When Giles handed one of the bags to Kody, a unique and genuine friendship was born.
* * *
Over the next few months, Kody came by the Giles’ house regularly...at least three times a week. One day, Xander joked that Giles and Buffy should adopt him. Kody just blushed and then threw a handful of popcorn at Xander, much to the amusement of Buffy and Giles.
It was obvious that Kody’s home life wasn’t ideal. But, each time Giles tried to talk about it, Kody would change the subject. It reminded Giles of the times he would try to talk to Xander when he was a teenager. Giles was worried, but Kody always gave him a bright smile and a hug when it was time for him to go home.
And then...Kody came by the house wearing a turtleneck in the dead of summer. Had it not been two in the afternoon, Giles and Buffy would have suspected the worst. Two hours later, they had persuaded Kody to show them what he was hiding...and Giles wasn’t sure what would have been worse. Vampirism or...the truth.
Kody’s neck was a mass of bruises...bruises in the shape of a hand. A man-sized hand. Kody’s eyes filled with tears as he begged them not to say anything. Because if they said anything...or if the police were called...bruises would be the least of Kody’s worries.
Giles’ rage had been barely contained as he agreed...on one condition.
And the next day,
while Kody’s mother and stepfather were at work,
Buffy and Giles...with the help of
When the others
announced that they would protect him as well, tears welled in Kody’s eyes. The
only person who had ever tried to protect him had been
But, now he had the Gileses...and the Scoobies. And once he could have himself emancipated from his mother...his stepfather would have no hold over him anymore. And he’d be free.
Four months later, Kody finally had a real family. A family with parental figures and built-in siblings in Willow and Xander. And though he didn’t call Buffy and Giles ‘Mom and Dad’, they had told him that they were having a baby...and that they would like for Kody to consider himself the baby’s big brother. When Kody questioned them, Giles just smiled and ruffled his hair...and said ‘because we consider you the baby’s brother.’
Kody was walking home from school, the weariness
gone from his eyes and a copy of The Gift
by Vladimir Nobokov under his arm. He heard the squeal of tires and
turned...just in time to see the black
The last thought he had was that he should’ve had his last name changed to ‘Giles’ like he had discussed with Buffy and Giles.
* * *
Seven months later, Giles sat down on the ground...a baby in his arms and Buffy sitting next to him. He sighed heavily and looked at the headstone. Kody Allen Giles. They’d had his name changed posthumously...with no arguments from his mother.
Giles doubted that Kody’s biological mother even knew her own name these days. Not long after they moved Kody out of that house, his stepfather had slipped a massive amount of LSD into the mother’s drink. She rarely had lucid moments now.
Giles cleared his throat and smiled. “I’m sorry we didn’t come by last Saturday, Kody. Um...Buffy had the baby. See?”
Buffy stroked the baby’s head and kissed Giles’ cheek. “His name is Dakota. I...I wanted to name him Kody, but Xander said I couldn’t have two sons named Kody. And then he kinda laughed and said it was weird that I had a son who was only nine years younger than me.”
Giles smiled down at his son when he whimpered. He took a deep breath and looked back up.
“Jack’s sentencing was last week. No one needs to worry about him hurting anyone…ever again.” He handed Dakota to Buffy and reached over to pull a stray weed from the edge of the grave. “I miss you, Kody. We all do. I just hope…I hope that you know how much we love you. And…how much joy you brought into our lives.”
Kody smiled as he sat on top of his headstone, his feet swinging through the dark granite. “I love you too, Dad.”
Giles smiled, feeling Kody’s presence, and sat back. He wrapped his arm around Buffy and proceeded to tell Kody everything that had happened since their last visit.
Kody especially liked Xander’s reaction to Buffy’s water breaking in the living room.