Title: Sister, Sister
Timeline: Two months after The Fifth of Five.
Synopsis: The time has come for Buffy and Giles to talk to Haddie about the true relationships between her and Katie.
Giles groaned softly as he rolled Buffy onto her back, sliding his hand underneath her silk nightgown as he broke their kiss and moved his mouth to her neck. Buffy flexed her fingers against the back of his head, holding him to her as she moaned his name.
His teeth nipped at her flesh, his hand slipping between her thighs to gently nudge her legs apart. She shuddered as he moved between her thighs, grinding his pajama-clad groin against her as her nails lightly scratched his back.
“God, Giles...I want you...” She panted, scraping her nails down his sides to the waistband of his pajama pants.
Giles sucked harder at the tender flesh of her neck as he pushed her nightgown up. He pulled his mouth away when he heard a gentle whimper come from the baby monitor.
“No...no, not now...”
Buffy’s nails dug into his hips slightly as she gave her own whimper. When Declan’s whimper turned into a soft cry, Giles rested his forehead against Buffy’s shoulder.
“I think he has the worst timing of the five…” Buffy offered as she took a deep breath in an effort to calm her arousal.
“Mm...” He mumbled, rolling to the side and staring at the ceiling. When Declan’s cry began to grow, Giles sighed. “I’ll go...”
Buffy shook her head as she sat up. “He’s hungry...”
Giles offered her a crooked grin. “Well, that would be something that he’s inherited from you. My appetite was never that voracious.”
She ran her hand over his erection and grinned as he inhaled sharply. “Not for food anyway.”
He gave her a mock-glare and then licked his lips as he watched her climb out of bed and grab her robe. “Hurry back, love.”
She gave him a wink and leaned over, kissing his lips warmly. “Try to stay awake.”
Giles chuckled and laid back, folding his hands under his head and watching her run from the room before closing his eyes to listen to her soft voice over the monitor.
* * *
He was drifting further into sleep when the bedroom door opened. He heard her soft chuckle as she climbed onto the bed and forced himself back towards the surface of wakefulness.
“Are you awake?” She whispered softly after she had slipped under the sheet and blanket.
“Yes.” He licked his dry lips as he cracked open his eyes. “Barely, but...yes.”
“It took longer than I thought it would...sorry.”
He gave a slight shake of his head and quickly pulled her on top of him. “Don’t be sorry. Is he alright?”
“Yeah...sound asleep now.” Buffy grinned, lifting an eyebrow when she felt his erection underneath her. “Well, something feels like it was more than ‘barely’ awake…”
“It was dozing...and then you came back to bed.” He answered with a smile, sliding his hands along her thighs and under her gown. “I want you, Buffy.”
Her eyes fluttered as his fingertips brushed through her soft curls and she leaned forward, supporting her weight with her hands on his chest. “How...how do you want me?”
“Hard...fast...deep...” He whispered in a gravelled tone, pulling her hips tightly against his. “Christ, I want to fuck you.”
She trembled at his words and opened her eyes, staring down at him. His eyes darkened as she rubbed his nipples.
“I want you on your knees in front of me...” He growled, feeling her wet heat through the fabric of his pajamas. “Right now...”
“You want to fuck my mouth?” Buffy asked, her voice deepened by her arousal.
“God, yes.” He swallowed hard as she pulled the gown over her head and dropped it to the side. “Your mouth, your breasts, your ass...”
Her nipples hardened, her fingers slipping under the waistband of his pajamas. “Say it...tell me where you want to come...”
He inhaled sharply, thrusting into her hand when she tugged his pants down and then wrapped her fingers around his erection. “Yes, Buffy...harder, love...”
She shook her head lightly, a smile in her eyes. “Not until you tell me where you want to come...”
“Deep within you...” He whispered, covering her hand with his in an attempt to tighten her hold on him.
“Say it.” She whispered thickly, leaning down and dragging her tongue over his nipple before staring into his eyes. “Where do you want to come, Rupert?”
“Why do you want me to say it so badly?” He asked, mischief flickering in his dark green eyes.
“Because...” She shifted until she was straddling his thigh. “Say it...”
His hands moved to cradle her face, stopping her before she could lick his nipple again. “Why?”
She groaned in slight annoyance and rocked her hips against him. “Because it turns me on...”
“Your cunt.” He stated, his voice thick with lust. “I want to come in your cunt...while I swallow your screams...”
“Oh God...” She breathed a millisecond before Giles covered her mouth with his.
She shuddered as his tongue plunged into her mouth, coating his thigh with her juices as she moved against him. Before she knew what he was doing, he had flipped her onto her back and moved between her legs. He broke the kiss as he kicked his pants off completely and smiled down at her.
She gasped as he moved forward, thrusting his cock into her. “I thought...I thought you were...”
“Oh, I am, darling.” He whispered, settling into a hard pace chosen to bring her to orgasm as quickly as possible. “But, you need to come now...”
“Giles...” She groaned, wrapping her legs around the backs of his thighs as her hands moved to his ass. “Oh, God...”
“Come for me, Buffy.” He grunted, nipping at her earlobe with his teeth. “And then we can continue on to other things...”
Her nails dug into the firm cheeks of his ass as she thrashed beneath him. He waited until he could feel her scream bubbling in her chest and then thrust his tongue back into her mouth. He swallowed her cries as she came, flooding his thick cock with her fluids as she spasmed around him.
He stilled his hips, smiling down at her as she trembled violently beneath him. She opened her eyes and stared at him, licking her lips suggestively at him.
“Come on, then...”
After thrusting one more time, causing her to groan softly, he withdrew and moved up her body...his left hand wrapped around his wet cock as he guided it towards her mouth. He stopped suddenly, a grimace on his face as he grabbed the headboard to steady himself.
Buffy’s eyes widened as she registered the pain in his voice. “Giles? What’s wrong?”
“Bloody fucking hell!” He hissed, clenching his eyes shut as his erection quickly subsided.
She scurried out from under him, her worry growing as he inhaled sharply and then carefully lowered his body to the mattress. “Giles?!”
He heard the near-panic in her voice and reached out a shaking hand towards her. “I’m...I’m alright...”
She shook her head quickly, taking his hand. “No, you’re not! Is it your heart? I’ll call the doctor...”
Even in obvious pain, he managed a soft chuckle. “It’s not my heart, Buffy. It’s my back...”
“Your back?” She tenderly placed her hand on his lower back, jerking away quickly when he gave another hiss. “Okay...I’m calling the doctor.”
“No...no, I don’t need the doctor.”
“What if it’s broken?” She asked nonsensically.
He arched an eyebrow at her. “Yes, I’ve broken my back while attempting to push my cock into your mouth.”
Buffy’s eyes widened further and then she caught the sarcasm in his words. “Well, you could’ve slipped a disc or something...”
“I didn’t slip anything, Buffy.” Giles stated, his patience wearing thin as his back began to throb even more when he gingerly moved onto his back with her help. “I’m fairly certain that I’ve pulled a muscle...I have muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories in the medicine cabinet...
He looked up at her, his eyes clearly showing his pain. “Please, love...”
She regarded him carefully and with a quick nod, she clambered off the bed and ran into the ensuite. She rummaged through the cabinet until she found what she needed and then ran back into the bedroom. She stopped as she saw his gentle smile.
“What? Why are you smiling?”
“You look so beautiful...running while nude, bare breasts bouncing with each hurried step...”
She rolled her eyes and gently climbed back onto the bed. “Only you would become aroused when you’re in this much pain.”
His smile grew for a moment as she dropped the pills into his hand. “I distinctly remember making love to you not long after you put my hip back into place one time.”
“Yeah...” She grabbed the bottle of water that was on her bedside table and removed the cap before handing it to him. “And you almost caused even more damage. We’re not taking that chance with your back.”
He swallowed the pills and sighed, shifting carefully into a more comfortable position. She watched him and then placed a pillow under his hip to relieve the pressure on his back.
“What’s the sigh for, honey?”
He sighed again and looked into her eyes briefly before staring up at the ceiling. “This...is not how I imagined the evening would end. I’m sorry.”
“Hey...” She whispered, carefully laying down next to him and rubbing his sweat-dampened chest. “I’m more concerned about you than the rest of the evening.”
He narrowed his eyes as his vision began to blur. “Buffy?”
“Shh...don’t fight it. I gave you something for the pain.”
He turned his quickly glazing eyes towards her. “Why?”
“Because you were hurting...and you weren’t going to ask for them.” She smiled softly and kissed his cheek. “How long have we been married, Rupert? I know how your mind works...most of the time.”
“But...” He murmured, his vision blurring.
“I love you.” She whispered, tenderly stroking her fingers through his hair. “I love you so much.”
“Buff...” His eyes closed as a drug-induced sleep took him over.
She sighed softly as she watched him for a few minutes. And then she kissed his lips and climbed out of bed. She picked up her nightgown and slipped it over her head before picking up his discarded pajama pants from the floor.
She dressed him quickly, smiling as he murmured in his sleep. Her smile faded as his brow furrowed.
He wasn’t exactly happy with her at the moment. She was well aware of the fact that he’d have words for her in the morning.
But, at least he’d get a decent night’s sleep…and maybe the pain would be less when he woke up.
Something cold and wet pressed between his shoulderblades is what brought Giles out of his slumber. He opened his eyes, closing them again quickly against the bright light shining through the window. He groaned softly and the cold, wet thing moved...and then the bed shifted.
Feeling as though he was being watched, Giles slowly opened an eye…grinning as found himself staring into Callie’s eye, her nose nearly touching his.
“Good morning, Callie.”
Giles heard the familiar ‘thump, thump’ of an excited Callie’s tail thwacking against the mattress. He chuckled and then felt the twinge in his lower back. He carefully rolled onto his back and inhaled sharply at the stab of pain that followed.
Callie watched him curiously and then laid down next to him when he stopped moving. Giles smiled sleepily and closed his eyes as Callie snuggled against him, resting her head on his shoulder.
“I should get up...it’s morning, after all.” He stated softly, curling his arm around Callie and stroking her side. “And it’s not fair to leave Buffy with all five children...”
“Well, Braden and Lucas are a huge help...”
Giles opened his eyes to find a smiling Buffy standing in the doorway, a tray of food in her hands. “Hello.”
“Hey.” She said, a slightly nervous tone to her voice.
Giles furrowed his brow. “What’s wrong?”
Buffy shook her head and made her way over to the bed, placing the tray on the bedside table before sitting down on the edge of the bed. “I was just worried that you were going to be upset with me.”
“Upset with...” He trailed off and then sighed, reaching out to take her hand. “The pain medication?”
“Yeah.” She whispered, looking down at their hands as she played with his long fingers. “I know you hate taking them.”
“I do, but...you were right in slipping them in.”
She looked up and relaxed when she saw his gentle smile. “How are you feeling?”
“Old.” He answered quickly and then glanced at the tray of food. “And hungry. That looks delicious.”
“You’re not old.” Buffy said emphatically.
Giles met her eyes and then focused on the tray again. “You made black pudding?”
He sighed, hearing the annoyed tone, and returned his gaze to her. “I feel old right now, Buffy. I...I couldn’t even – ”
Giles stopped his explanation and smiled as Evan ran into the room, smiling brightly. Callie sat up, wagging her tail again as she watched the boy.
“Good morning, Ev.”
“It’s not raining today! And Luke’s gonna show me how to tell a boy turtle from a girl turtle! And can we play tennis when you get up? And...” He looked at Callie and giggled. “Why is Callie on the bed?”
Giles’ smile grew and, after taking a deep breath to prepare himself for the pain, he slowly pushed himself up and rested against the headboard of the bed. Evan narrowed his eyes. He may have been only five years old, but he knew when his parents or siblings weren’t feeling well.
“What’s wrong, Daddy?”
“Oh, I’m just a bit sore, Ev. It’s nothing to worry about.” He reached out and lovingly ruffled the boy’s hair. “So, it’s not raining…is it nice and warm? I see that the sun’s out.”
Evan nodded and glanced towards the window. “Yeah, it’s warm...not hot though.”
“Good, good.” Giles said with a smile. “Lucas is going to show you how to tell a boy turtle from a girl turtle?”
“Why?” Giles asked, darting his eyes to Buffy when she stood up.
“ ‘Cause I asked him to. Never know when you need to find a boy turtle.”
“Well, this is very true.” Giles chuckled at the boy’s logic and then smiled lovingly at Buffy as she carefully moved the tray over his thighs. “Thank you, love.”
“You’re welcome.” She whispered, leaning down and giving him a soft kiss.
“How come you get to eat in bed? And...you didn’t finish answering my questions!”
“Then perhaps you should wait until I’ve finished the first set before asking more.” Giles laughed at his son’s confused expression and winked at Evan as he patted the mattress. “Come on up and help me eat this. Mummy thinks I’m an army apparently.”
“Huh?” Evan asked as he crawled onto the bed.
Buffy laughed and helped him get settled and then motioned for Callie to get down. Callie obeyed quickly and waited for a pat on the head before trotting out of the room.
“That’s your father’s way of saying I made too much food for him.”
“Oh.” Evan beamed as he looked at his father’s plate. “You have puddin’!”
Buffy shuddered as Giles stabbed his fork into a slice of the black pudding and offered it to the boy. “Definitely your son.”
Giles grinned at her as Evan chewed happily and then popped a piece of the pudding into his own mouth. Buffy rolled her eyes playfully and then gestured at the two medicine bottles hidden behind the lamp on his bedside table.
“Yes, Dr. Giles.” He replied sarcastically.
“Mummy’s not a doctor!” Evan mumbled around a mouthful of toast.
“It was a type of joke.” Giles stated before tapping Evan on his nose. “And don’t speak with your mouth full.”
Evan swallowed and leaned against his father. “Daddy?”
“Hm?” Giles murmured as he watched Buffy make her way to the closet.
“Are you really okay?”
Giles looked down at Evan, placing his knife and fork on the tray and then gently tilting the boy’s head up so he could look into his eyes. “I promise you, I’m okay, Evan. I just pulled a muscle in my back last night.”
“Training with Mummy?”
Buffy caught herself before she laughed and pulled a shirt and a pair of jeans out of the closet. Giles reddened slightly and cleared his throat.
Evan nodded and reached for a mushroom. “Yeah, Bay and Luke said that you and Mummy train so that she stays strong. And sometimes she knocks you down but that she’d never hurt you on purpose.”
Giles smiled. Evan’s words had obviously come from Braden trying to soothe his younger brother’s concerns without telling the boy too much.
“That’s true. She’d never hurt me intentionally.”
Lucas popped his head in the doorway and grinned. “Hey Ev...I’m getting ready to feed the turtles, you coming?”
Evan grinned and nodded quickly. “Comin’ Luke!”
Lucas met his father’s eyes, his grin fading slightly. “You okay, Dad?”
“Daddy hurt his back training with Mummy. But he’s gonna be a-okay, aren’t ya, Daddy?”
“A-okay?” Giles asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Xander.” Buffy supplied as she pointedly looked at the medicine bottles.
Giles sighed heavily and grabbed them. “Alright, alright...”
Lucas walked over to the side of the bed and plucked a piece of black pudding from his father’s plate. “How bad did you hurt it?”
Giles shook two pills out from one bottle and one from the other and then looked into Lucas’ eyes. “It’s just a pulled muscle, Lucas. It’s nothing serious.”
“Yeah?” Lucas asked softly.
Giles heard the concern in that one word question and smiled. “Yeah.”
Lucas exhaled softly and returned his father’s smile. He popped the sausage-like morsel into his mouth and chewed as he looked at Evan.
“Come on, then...the turtles are hungry...”
Evan kissed his father’s cheek and then clambered off the bed. Giles bit his lip, grimacing in pain as Evan jostled the bed. He inhaled shakily and watched the brothers run from the room.
“Hey, do you need something more for the pain?”
Giles shook his head quickly, leaning into Buffy’s touch as she ran her fingers through his hair. “No...I think a hot shower will do wonders though.”
“Will you be okay in the shower alone?” When he raised an eyebrow, she shook her head. “Okay, I mean that in the ‘help you because you’re in pain’ way...and not the ‘sexy shower’ way.”
“I’m not sure that I wouldn’t try to turn it into a ‘sexy shower’.” He replied with a chuckle. “Is Declan asleep?”
“Yeah, he went down about twenty minutes ago.”
“He went over to Jason’s house.” She watched him, tilting her head when she saw his mood turn more serious. “What’s up, Giles?”
“We need to talk to Haddie.” He answered softly.
“Not this second, now...but, today. We should talk to her today.”
Buffy moved the tray back to the bedside table and then sat down next to him. “What’s with the urgency?”
“I don’t know.” He replied truthfully. “I just feel that it should be today. And it needs to be at the Council, not here.”
Giles thought for a moment and then shook his head. “I don’t know...a dream, a visit...I’m not sure what it was that gave me that information.”
Buffy smiled and kissed him softly. “Ethan and Michael would probably like to spend some time with the boys...”
“I love you.”
Buffy tilted her head and looked at him curiously. “What was that for?”
He shrugged a shoulder and reached up to thread his fingers through her hair. “I just...wanted to say it.”
“I love you too.” She regarded him carefully, sighing as he gave a soft groan when he shifted. “Giles?”
“Please don’t feel old.”
He looked at her and then gave her a half-smile. “I am old, Buffy.”
“No...fifty-six isn’t old...”
“I’ll be fifty-seven next month...”
“That’s still not old...” She protested even as his smile grew.
“You know...just fifteen years ago, you thought I was old.” He stated, mild amusement in his voice.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “I was seventeen, Rupert. Anyone over twenty-three was old.”
“It’s amazing what a difference a few years can make.”
She looked into his eyes, placing her hand on his cheek, and shook her head gently. “It’s more than that. It’s everything we’ve been through together...from the time you were assigned to me. The good, the bad, the ugly...everything. I don’t see the age, Giles...I see you. My Watcher, my husband, my best friend...the father of my children. You could be a hundred and I’d love you as much as I love you now.”
Giles licked his lips and took a deep breath. “There was a time when I thought that I’d outlive you...and now, with each passing year, I worry that it’s the other way around.”
“I want you to outlive me...but...”
Sensing that he was starting to upset himself even more, Buffy silenced him with a long, passionate kiss. When she felt him start to relax, she slowly ended the kiss and looked into his eyes.
“You pulled a muscle, Giles.” She whispered, moving her hand to the thick band of scar tissue on his chest. “Nothing more...and it had nothing to do with your age.”
He swallowed thickly as her fingers traced the scar before moving over to the reminder of the gunshot that nearly took his life over two years earlier. “Buffy...”
“This...” Her eyes darted to the scar on his neck. “And that...those were the closest calls...I nearly lost you both of those times. And...and they had nothing to do with your age. I...”
“You have so many years left.”
Buffy and Giles both looked towards the voice, their immediate panic at the thought of an intruder in their home subsiding as the owner of the voice stepped out of a shimmering portal.
“Katie...” Giles sighed as he carefully swung his legs over the side of the bed, Buffy’s arm around his back for support.
“Hi, Dad.” Katie smiled at him and then Buffy. “Hi, Buffy.”
“Hi, Katie.” Buffy smiled back. “How’s things?”
“Another day, another...well, not dollar. I don’t get paid for this...” Katie shrugged and then grinned. “Haddie’s been telling me all about her new little brother. She’s quite taken with him.” She turned her green eyes to Giles. “She says he looks just like you.”
“You...haven’t seen him?” Giles asked softly, grimacing as he straightened his back.
“No. I didn’t want to intrude. Are you alright?”
Giles nodded and then exhaled as the spasm came to an end. “Just a pulled muscle, I’m fine. And...you can look in on our children, it’s not an intrusion...they’re...well, you’re their sister.”
Giles’ eyes glistened slightly. Buffy knew that it was more from Katie referring to him as ‘Dad’ than anything else. She gently rubbed his back and then caught Katie’s eye.
“We’re going to explain things to Haddie today. I...I’m not sure it’s going to be a huge surprise to her.”
“I know.” Katie smiled and glanced at the clock. “The Council building at three o’clock...I’ll be there.”
“It was you.” Giles whispered, not really shocked by the confirmation of the fact when Katie nodded. “Why the Council?”
“Because...” Katie paused, searching for the right words.
The pause caused Buffy to chortle softly. “There’s a ‘Giles’ response for you...”
Katie furrowed her brow and then realized that Buffy was merely teasing her. “I take it that’s something else I get from my father?”
Giles huffed and shook his head. “I’ll have you know that your mother was...”
Buffy and Katie both looked at him when he trailed off. Giles cleared his throat and spoke softly...a near whisper.
“How is your mother?”
“She’s doing well. She still misses her children...and she misses the two of you.”
Giles looked away and closed his eyes for a moment. “Why the Council?”
“Doors will be opened with this revelation. Spirits will try to enter those doors...they will be unable to do so on Council grounds.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. “How long will these doors be open for?”
“Just for a few moments.” Katie answered with no hesitation, tearing her eyes from her father. “I promise, there’ll be no danger to her. It could be that the spirits wouldn’t have enough time to enter at all...but, I don’t want to take that risk.”
“Why does this happen only with you? I mean...she’s understood about the spirits for a few years now...”
Giles exhaled slowly and took Buffy’s hand. “Because Katie is to be Haddie’s...” He met Katie’s eyes and tilted his head. “Mentor?”
“Yes.” She whispered, kneeling on the floor in front of them. “As you are Buffy’s Watcher, I am Haddie’s...only she deals with spirits, not demons.”
After a few moments of silence, Buffy was the first to utter a sound.
Giles looked at her, the corner of his mouth curving upwards. “Yes, quite.”
Katie sat down on the floor and smiled adoringly up at them. She had liked Buffy from the very beginning. And she enjoyed being privy to the scene unfolding in front of her now. Her mother had told her about the unspoken conversations that would often take place between Rupert and Buffy. She hadn’t actually believed it at first, but there was no question now.
There was a full-on conversation going on...with no words being uttered at all.
Giles dressed as quickly as he could...which wasn’t really all that quickly. The hot shower had loosened his muscles slightly, but there was still a fair amount of pain to go along with the persisting spasms. Sitting on the bed, bent over to tie his shoes certainly hadn’t helped the spasms.
He heard Ethan and Buffy playing with Lucas and Evan, Ethan’s rich laughter clearly heard as Lucas bickered playfully with him. He heard Haddie’s giggle and knew by the sound that someone, probably Michael, was tickling her relentlessly. He smiled as the sound of Declan’s soft whimper sounded through the monitor.
“Someone’s waking up...” He said to himself, buttoning his shirt as he stood up.
He had come to a decision in the shower, but hadn’t been able to discuss it with Buffy or Katie. Buffy had been in the living room with the children, Ethan, and Michael...and Katie was gone. His decision was to take Declan with them and he had three reasons for making that decision.
First, Katie hadn’t seen him...and he wanted his eldest child to meet his youngest. Second, as much as Ethan and Michael loved the children (and the feeling was reciprocated greatly)...Declan was a handful. Much more than the previous four had been. And third, which was the most simplest reason of all...he didn’t want to leave the baby behind.
His gait held a slight limp as he walked over to the dresser and picked up his watch. His smile grew as Declan huffed impatiently. He fastened the leather band around his left wrist and then glanced in the mirror. He felt old, but that was mainly due to the fact that he was in pain.
He stared at his refection, studying himself. Sure, there were a few more wrinkles around his eyes and his hair had certainly lightened in the past few years, but it was still more brown than any other color. His joints creaked a bit more with each passing year and he had a dull pain in his hands that made its presence known in the winter.
But, he could see the love in Buffy’s eyes each time she looked at him. And he could feel her passion for him in every touch...even the simple brush of her fingers as she handed him a book held her desire for him. And he may have pulled a muscle in his back last night, but...he had swallowed her screams of ecstasy beforehand.
A slow grin appeared on his lips at that thought. His baby’s escalating impatience stopped him before the thoughts carried him further than a grin. Chuckling to himself, he stepped away from the mirror and made his way down the hall to Declan’s room.
* * *
Haddie scrambled off of Michael’s lap as Giles walked into the living room with Declan in his arms. She ran over to him, her green eyes shining brightly.
“Daddy! You’re up! And you have Declan!” She narrowed her eyes slightly as Giles. “Evvie said you hurt your back...”
Giles curled a strand of her hair around his finger and smiled. “It’s feeling a little better, Hadley...I’m fine, don’t worry.”
Ethan regarded Giles carefully. “What happened, mate?”
Evan, curled up on Ethan’s lap with his head resting on Ethan’s chest, tilted his head up and answered the question. “He pulled a muscle training with Mummy.”
Ethan’s lips quirked into a grin. “Training with Mummy, huh?”
Giles rolled his eyes, which caused Ethan to break out in a full-fledged smile, and met Haddie’s eyes. “Where is Mummy?”
“Beverage duty.” Buffy replied, walking in from the kitchen with a tray laden with mugs and cups in her hands. “I didn’t hear him...”
“He was just huffing impatiently. When I went to check on him, he gave me a big smile.” Giles smiled and looked down at Declan’s face. “Isn’t that right, Declan?”
Buffy snorted in amusement, placing the tray on the coffee table and handing a cup of juice to Evan as Evan moved off of Ethan’s lap. “He’s two months old, Giles...he doesn’t give big smiles yet.”
Hearing Giles scoff, Buffy met his eyes and smiled warmly. “But, I think it’s very adorable that you think he gave you a big smile.”
Ethan rolled his eyes and stood up, gingerly plucking the baby from his father’s arms. “For God’s sake, give him to me. He’s a boy, a robust Giles...he doesn’t deserve to be sucked down the ‘cutesy-wutsey’ tunnel.”
“ ‘Cutesy-wutsey’?” Giles asked, his laughter barely controlled.
Michael grinned as Ethan sat back down next to him. “Just his way of getting to hold the baby, I’m sure.”
“Shut up.” Ethan murmured, his eyes sparkling as he smiled at Declan. “They think they’re funny, don’t they?”
Buffy chuckled and then turned her attention back to Giles. “You feeling okay?”
He nodded as Lucas ran into the room, Callie on his heels. He smiled with genuine happiness as he watched Callie jump onto the couch and sit next to Evan. Lucas laughed and grabbed a cup of juice and handed it to Haddie before taking one for himself. Ethan and Michael chuckled together as they discussed the almost disturbing similarities between Declan and Giles.
“I’m feeling just fine, love.”
“Good.” Buffy leaned up and kissed his lips. “But, you look like you have something on your mind.”
Giles picked up a mug of tea and took a sip as he met her eyes. “I, uh...I want to take Declan with us this afternoon.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow at him. “Is that a smart thing to do? I mean...there’s a reason this is being done at the Council anyway.”
“And the Council is the safest place...which is why we’re doing it at the Council and not here. Besides, I want...” He sighed and glanced at the couch. “Katie’s never seen Declan.”
Buffy paused for a moment and then smiled softly. “You want her to meet her baby brother.”
“I do.” Giles agreed, running his finger around the rim of the mug.
Hearing a gasp, Buffy and Giles both turned their eyes towards the couch. They took a step forward when they saw the surprise in Ethan’s eyes.
“He...he just opened his eyes...” Ethan offered in a stunned voice.
Buffy and Giles relaxed, but Michael looked even more confused.
“That’s a good thing, EJ.”
Ethan tore his gaze from Giles and stared at his husband for a moment. “No, I mean...didn’t you see them? His eyes?”
Michael shook his head slowly, looking at Declan only to find that the baby had dozed off again. “No, what’s wrong with them?”
“There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with them, it’s just...they...well...”
Buffy chuckled softly, sliding her arm around Giles’ waist and resting her head against his chest. “He has his father’s eyes.”
Michael glanced at Buffy and then turned his eyes back to Ethan. “But...they all have the same color of eyes. Rupert’s green...”
“No...” Ethan shook his head, smiling as looked back down at Declan. “They’re exactly like Rupert’s.”
Lucas smiled and nodded happily. “Even has the brown spot.”
“Bay has one.” Evan announced as he played with Callie’s tag.
“Yeah, but his is different.” Haddie offered, grinning as Michael looked at her. “Bay’s a reflection but Dec’s a clone.”
Everyone stared at Haddie, even Lucas and Evan. Haddie looked uncomfortable for a minute and then looked up at her mother.
“That’s what Auntie Willow said...”
Buffy thought for a minute and then smiled. “Bookends...”
Haddie nodded emphatically, her smile returning. “Yeah!”
“I’m sorry?” Giles asked, obviously confused by the conversation.
“Willow and I were talking the other day when she came over...you were at work, the kids were at school...”
“But, I was home ‘cause I wasn’t feeling good.” Haddie added helpfully.
Buffy nodded in agreement and then continued. “We were talking about the similarities between the children...and how Declan is just like you. And then I said that Braden was so much like you too...only everything was like a mirror image. You’re left-handed, he’s right. Your brown spot is in your left eye, his is in his right. You have this little mole on your...”
She paused when his eyes widened slightly and then cleared her throat. “And he has one elsewhere. Anyway...I said that Braden and Declan are our bookends. They’re mirror images of each other...which means that Declan is pretty much your clone.”
“Oh...” Giles stated, understanding showing in his eyes.
“I think I’d much rather hear about your ‘training incident’.” Ethan stated with a lewd grin.
Giles rolled his eyes and Michael thumped Ethan’s shoulder.
“Did she hit you with the staff?” Lucas asked in genuine curiosity as Giles carefully lowered himself onto the other sofa and pulled Buffy down next to him.
Ethan snorted, earning him a silent scold from Michael.
Giles cleared his throat and shifted slightly when Buffy placed her hand on his thigh. His mind raced to find a way to change the topic.
“Would you two mind watching the older boys for a couple of hours this afternoon? Braden will probably come home from Jason’s house for an afternoon snack...”
Giles breathed a sigh of relief as Lucas and Evan launched into a barrage of questions. He’d rather explain why Haddie and Declan were going to the Council building with them than to continue on a conversation about a nonexistent ‘training incident’ any day.
“How come Ru didn’t come with us?” Haddie asked, swinging her mother’s hand as they walked down the empty corridors of the Council building.
Giles shifted Declan as he reached into his pocket for his office keys. “He was over at Jason’s house.”
Haddie looked up at him as they came to a stop in front of her father’s office door. “We coulda stopped and picked him up...”
“Mm-hm, we could have.” Giles agreed softly, slipping the key into the lock. “But if you were playing with Maria, would you want us to make you stop?”
Haddie thought for a brief second and then shook her head. “Nope!”
Giles chuckled and pushed the door open, meeting Buffy’s eyes and recognizing the concern in them. His chuckle ended and he ran his fingertips down the side of her face.
“It’ll be alright, love.”
“Katie!” Haddie exclaimed before Buffy could reply to Giles.
Haddie let go of Buffy’s hand and rushed into the room, followed closely by her parents. Giles closed and locked the door as Haddie began hurriedly talking to Katie. Katie chuckled softly at the little girl’s excitement and then waved to Buffy and Giles.
Buffy smiled nervously and waved back, relaxing only when Giles took hold of her hand. Katie’s gaze drifted to the baby held in Giles’ left arm and a warm smile played at her lips.
“Is that your baby brother, Haddie?”
“Yep. That’s Declan! He looks just like Daddy...” Haddie nodded quickly, grinning brightly as she took Katie’s hand. “Come on, I’ll show you.”
Giles raised an eyebrow when Haddie gripped Katie’s hand. “Um...you’re, uh...”
Katie smiled and gave him an understanding nod. “For a brief time if the conditions are right. Remember?”
“Yes.” He whispered softly, remembering the conversation they had in Sweden a few years earlier. “I remember.”
He watched her, aching to touch her, as she leaned over and gazed at the baby. He smiled as Katie whispered softly to Declan before she met his eyes once more.
“He does look like you.”
Buffy gently squeezed his hand before letting go and taking Declan from him. He looked down quickly, questioning her silently. Buffy merely smiled and tilted her head towards Katie. Giles returned her smile and then looked at his older daughter, tenderly curling a dark strand of her hair around his finger.
“I’ve missed you, Katie.” He whispered, swallowing hard when he noticed her eyes glisten.
She said nothing, but stepped forward and wrapped her arms around him. He closed his eyes and lovingly rubbed her back as he held her.
“Why are you hugging Katie?” Haddie asked softly.
Katie pulled back and cleared her throat. “It’s time.”
Giles exhaled slowly and gave her a nod before taking Haddie’s hand and leading her over to the couch. Buffy and Katie followed, sharing a tender smile.
“It’ll be okay?” Buffy asked, glancing at her husband and daughter.
Katie nodded, placing her hand on Buffy’s shoulder in a comforting gesture. “I promise, everything will be okay.”
Giles sat down on the couch and pulled Haddie onto his lap, wincing lightly at the twinge in his back. Haddie sweetly patted his chest as she looked into his eyes.
“You okay, Daddy?”
He gave a soft chuckle and kissed her cheek. “I’m fine, sweetheart.”
Haddie looked up at Katie as Buffy sat down next to Giles, Declan smacking his lips in his sleep. “Daddy hurt his back training with Mummy.”
“Did he?” Katie asked, sitting down in a chair.
“Yeah, but it’ll be fine...that’s what Mummy says.” Haddie furrowed her brow in thought, her fingers tracing the thick band of scar tissue on her father’s chest through his shirt as she stared into his eyes. “How come you can see Katie? And...how come she’s not a Shimmering this time?”
“Well...” He sighed and shifted into a more comfortable position. “That’s why we’re here. We...Mummy and I...we need to tell you something about Katie.”
Haddie looked from her father to her mother and then turned her eyes to Katie, tilting her head slightly. “Is my daddy your daddy too?”
Katie’s eyes widened, Buffy’s mouth dropped open, and Giles cleared his throat nervously. The gentle sound caused Haddie to look back at him.
“Um...why would you ask that, Hadley?”
Haddie shrugged her shoulders and leaned back against his chest, her fingers playing with the cord on her hooded sweater. “Lucas said he had a dream that my friend Katie was our sister. And she has green eyes...like us. And she’s got a brown spot in her eye like you and Ru and Deccie.”
“Uh...” Buffy started, only to be interrupted by her daughter as she continued.
“But, Lucas said that Mummy isn’t Katie’s mummy. She has a different mummy.” She craned her neck to look up at her father. “Is that right, Daddy?”
Giles glanced at Katie to find her staring at him in shock. “Uh...Lucas has dreams.”
“Prophetic?” Katie asked, looking at Declan when he whimpered.
Buffy nodded, gently rocking the baby. “Yeah, a lot of the times they are.”
Haddie reached over and stroked Declan’s fine brown hair, smiling as he quietened. “So...are you, Daddy? Are you Katie’s daddy too?”
“I...” He sighed, pausing only for a moment. “Yes. Yes, I am, Haddie.”
Haddie thought for a second and then looked at her mother. “But...you’re not her mummy?”
“No, sweetheart.” Buffy whispered.
Haddie looked at Katie, resting her head against her father’s chest. “Who’s your mummy?”
Katie smiled softly and leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees. “My mum’s name is Amelia.”
Katie furrowed her brow in confusion and looked at Giles. Giles smiled, placing a kiss in Haddie’s hair before giving an explanation.
“Rayna is our friends’ daughter. Her middle name is Amelia...she, uh...” His smile faded and he reached for Buffy’s hand. “She...was named after Mealie.”
Haddie’s eyes lit up. “Mealie! I remember Mealie!”
Buffy and Giles both looked at her in surprise. Buffy laced her fingers with Giles’ and gently rubbed Declan’s chest as he snored softly.
“You remember Amelia? Daddy’s friend?” Buffy asked, silently wondering if Haddie was mistaken.
Haddie nodded enthusiastically. “She called me a ‘muffin’.”
Buffy and Giles exchanged a glance. Katie moved over and sat on the coffee table in front of them. Haddie’s smile faded as she lowered her eyes.
“Mealie’s gone now, though. She got sick. Ru said she was too sick to get better.”
Silence fell over the room for a few moments, no one really knowing what to say. And then Katie cleared her throat, smiling as Giles looked at her.
A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Braden. For some reason, Haddie’s taken to calling him ‘Ru’ over the past few days. It’s...what we called him when he was little.”
Haddie twisted Giles’ wedding ring and looked at Katie. “Mealie’s your mummy?”
“And my daddy is your daddy?” When Katie nodded again, Haddie furrowed her brow. “So...you’re my sister?”
“Half-sister.” Katie answered, biting her lip nervously at the thought of what the next question might be.
“But...you’re a Shimmering.” Haddie whispered. “That means you’re dead.”
Katie nodded slowly, not taking her eyes from Haddie’s. “Yes.”
Haddie thought about that for a minute and then slid from Giles’ lap. She stood between her father’s legs, her hands on his knees.
Buffy looked over at Giles just in time to see the flash of rage in his eyes before he lowered his gaze. She gently stroked the back of his hand with her thumb.
Katie glanced at Giles, sighing as she saw the tear trickle down his cheek. Taking a deep breath, she rubbed her palms over her thighs and looked into her sister’s eyes.
“I was born too early.” She replied, hoping that would be enough for the time being.
“Did it hurt?” Haddie asked softly.
“No, honey. No, it didn’t hurt. I just...I went to sleep and didn’t wake back up.”
Haddie turned around and tapped Giles’ thigh. “Daddy?”
Giles lifted his head, not bothering to wipe the tears from his face. “Yes, princess?”
“Why are you crying?” She asked, true concern in her voice.
“I...” He turned towards Buffy, unsure of what exactly to say.
Buffy offered him a gentle smile and handed Declan to him before pulling Haddie onto her lap. “Daddy wasn’t able to be there for Katie...and that makes him sad, because he loves her just like he loves you.”
Haddie met Katie’s eyes as her hand rested on her father’s shoulder. “Do you love Daddy too?”
Katie smiled warmly as she nodded. “I love Daddy very much, Haddie. I always have.”
Giles inhaled shakily, smiling even as another tear fell. His smile turned to a soft chuckle as Haddie made a statement to her older sister.
“I’m the only princess, though...you can be Lady Katie, okay?”
Katie laughed, her green eyes shining brightly. “Okay, Princess Haddie.”
“Princess Hadley Summer Giles of Richmond.” Haddie clarified, giggling as Katie laughed harder. “What’s your full title?”
“Lady Katherine Rose Dotson of London, I suppose.” Katie replied, her laughter softening.
Haddie narrowed her eyes, obviously confused at the given name. “No...Lady Katherine Rose Giles of London.”
“Oh, um...well...” Katie met Giles’ eyes and sighed. “I was given the name ‘Dotson’ instead of ‘Giles’ when I was born.”
“Why?” Haddie asked. “Daddy’s name is Giles, not Dotson.”
“Dad?” Katie whispered, her eyes pleading for his assistance.
“You should have been a Giles, Katie. I...if I’d been there, if I’d known...you are a Giles, no matter what the paperwork says.” When Katie’s eyes glistened, Giles leaned forward, curling his right arm protectively around Declan as he placed his left palm against Katie’s cheek. “I’ve never thought of you as anything other than a Giles. Please know this.”
A tear spilled down Katie’s cheek as he tenderly stroked her skin with his thumb. Haddie grinned and clapped her hands happily.
“See? Lady Katherine Rose Giles of London!”
Giles and Katie shared a smile, Giles brushing the backs of his fingers across her warm cheek before dropping his hand and settling back against the cushions. Buffy exhaled softly and wiped the tears from her own eyes.
“If you’re my half-sister, does that mean that Mummy is your half-mummy?”
Buffy snorted a laugh, followed quickly by both Giles and Katie. Buffy shook her head in amusement, running her fingers through Haddie’s curls.
“Technically, I guess I’d be Katie’s step-mother...right?”
Giles grinned and lifted his hand to tuck a strand of hair behind Buffy’s ear. “Technically, yes...”
There was much more to discuss, but it wasn’t going to hurt anything for them to just be a family for a moment. Half-sister, half-brothers, father, step-mother...Katie wasn’t labelling anyone. They were her family.
The other stuff could wait...just a few minutes longer.
Giles looked in the rearview mirror and smiled. Haddie had fallen asleep not long after they had started the trip home. What made him smile was the fact that Declan’s small hand was wrapped around her finger as he snored softly. He felt Buffy’s hand on his thigh and turned his head towards her.
He nodded slowly, glancing down as her fingers traced the inner seam of his jeans. “I’m, uh...feeling much better at the moment.”
She pulled her hand away and folded her hands in her lap. “Sorry, I...I didn’t realize what I was doing.”
He sighed softly and reached over, pulling her hand back and placing it on his thigh. “You don’t need to touch me for me to be in this predicament, Buffy.”
He stroked the back of her hand as he grinned. “Last I checked, my thigh is nowhere near my back.”
She rolled her eyes and then licked her lips as he moved her hand further up until it rested lightly on top of the warm bulge in his jeans. “Giles...”
“Neither is...this.” He whispered in a gruff tone. “Buffy...”
She shook her head quickly and glanced in the back of the car. “Not here, Giles.”
“If we didn’t have two of our children with us...”
“Well, that would be a different story, wouldn’t it?” She replied with a smile, giving his erection a gentle rub before pulling her hand away. “But, we do.”
“I want you.” He stated quietly, but bluntly.
Her smile grew, leaning over when he stopped for a red light. She placed a warm kiss on his cheek before whispering one word in his ear.
He inhaled sharply, shifting in his seat in an effort to relieve the pressure of his growing erection.
* * *
Haddie ran through the front door of the house, calling out the names of each of her siblings...with the exception of Declan, who was gurgling happily as he gazed up at his father. By the time Buffy and Giles had made their way into the living room, Haddie was already excitedly telling her brothers about her trip to the Council.
Braden and Lucas listened intently while Evan played a game of tennis on the PlayStation with Xander. Braden furrowed his brow as Haddie mentioned Katie. He glanced at his parents and Giles gave him a look that plainly said that he’d explain things a little later.
“I hope you don’t mind that we came over. The Osbournes will be over in a little while too.” Xander stated as he looked over at them. “Rayna wanted to come over to play with Evan...and – ”
“Why are you limping?” Anya interrupted, staring at Giles as she bounced River on her knee.
“Daddy hurt his back training with Mummy.” Evan announced helpfully.
Anya snorted, but thankfully didn’t say anything to the contrary. Giles cleared his throat and then met Xander’s eyes.
“No, of course we don’t mind.” He glanced at the television screen and grinned. “Losing the match?”
“Huh? Oh...yeah. He’s a terror on the animated courts, isn’t he?”
“I’ll be a terror on the real courts when I get bigger.” Evan replied, laughing as he served another ace. “Game, set, MATCH!”
Xander shook his head in amusement and handed his controller to Michael. “Your turn, Michael. I think I’m tired of being humiliated by a five year old.”
Giles laughed, handing Declan to Xander when he reached for him. “I’ve yet to win a match against him. But, he can’t touch me on Need for Speed.”
Xander chuckled and tickled Declan under the chin, making the baby laugh. “There was a time I wouldn’t have believed we’d be talking about you playing video games.”
Giles merely shrugged a shoulder and then met his oldest son’s eyes. He tilted his head towards the kitchen and smiled softly.
“Care to help me with tea and coffee, Ru?”
Braden nodded and pushed himself up from the couch. “Sure, Dad.”
Buffy sat down in the seat vacated by Braden and smiled as Lucas plopped down next to her when Haddie ran off to play with Rayna. She ran her fingers through his curls, prompting him to look up at her.
“You understand what Haddie was talking about?”
Lucas nodded slowly. “Yeah...um...Dad and Amelia had a baby. But, the baby died.”
Ethan furrowed his brow as he looked at Lucas. “Braden seemed a bit more surprised by that revelation...”
Lucas shrugged a shoulder and leaned against Buffy. “I overheard Mum and Dad talking about it a while back.”
Buffy looked down at him quickly. “What?”
“Haddie had told Dad that Katie said ‘hi’...and then later that night, I had to...” He looked around the room and cleared his throat softly. “I got up for a few minutes and you and Dad were in here talking.”
He looked up at his mother and sighed. “I didn’t mean to listen, Mum.”
Buffy lightly ruffled his hair and gave him a gentle smile. “It’s alright, Lucas. But...do you have any questions or anything?”
Lucas thought for a moment and then shook his head. “No, but...I’m really glad that Bay knows because now I can talk to him about it.”
Buffy’s smile grew as she leaned down and placed a kiss on the top of his head.
* * *
“Talk to me, son.” Giles stated softly as he filled the kettle with water.
“What’s to talk about? You had a baby with Amelia.” Braden answered, annoyance in his voice.
Giles regarded his son carefully. “It was a very long time ago, Ru. Before I even knew...actually, before your mother was even born.” Giles thought about that and furrowed his brow. “And that sounds really...strange.”
Braden didn’t seem to even think about that fact and jumped up on the countertop. “So, I have another sister...who I’ll never see.”
Giles cleared his throat, pulling down mugs from the cabinet. “You’ve seen her, Braden.”
“Yeah...in Sweden...when I didn’t know she was my sister. Haddie’s been talking to her since then...and...” His eyes glistened as he met his father’s concerned gaze. “Why does Haddie get to see her and I don’t?”
A tear fell from Braden’s eye as he continued. “I want to know her too, Dad.”
Giles quickly pulled his son into a hug, sighing as Braden held onto him tightly. “I’ll see what I can do, okay? I can’t...I can’t promise anything, but I’ll try...”
Braden nodded silently, but didn’t pull from the embrace. Giles soothingly rubbed the boy’s back, content to hold him for as long as Braden wanted him to.
* * *
Hours later, their visitors were gone...after a feast of pizza and popcorn to go along with the movie that Willow and Oz had brought over. She had grinned and said that it had been too long since all of them had had a movie night together. And it was true, it had been.
But, now they were gone...and the children, all five of them, were sleeping soundly in their rooms. After checking on each of them, Buffy led Giles to their room...smiling as she asked him how his back was feeling.
He had closed the bedroom door, replying that his back was much better. And then, without further conversation, she had dropped to her knees in front of him reminding him that he had planned to come in her mouth the previous night.
And now here he was, standing in their bedroom...his right hand pressed against the wall, his left on top of her head. His fingers flexed against her scalp as he followed her movements and a soft groan escaped from him as he watched her lips slide along his hard length.
When his hips began a gentle thrusting motion, her smile flashed in her eyes. As she sucked harder, he increased the length of his slow strokes.
“Mm?” She mumbled around his thick flesh, causing him to groan again.
Raw lust sparked in his darkened green eyes and he moved his hand from her head to the base of his cock, pulling out of her mouth and grinning as she grumbled her protest. Her grumble ended as he rubbed the head of his erection over her lips.
“Keep your mouth open...” He whispered in a gravelled tone, lightly stroking the shaft with his hand as he spread the thick fluid gathering at the tip over her bottom lip. “I want to fuck your mouth, Buffy...see my come on your tongue...”
Her eyes darkened at his words. He licked his lips as she opened her mouth and ran her tongue over her bottom lip.
“Already so close...” He murmured, pushing the head of his cock back into her mouth. “So fucking close, Buffy...”
Her brow furrowed for just a moment when he pulled back out, lightly tapping the swollen head against her lip. When he slipped back in, she realized what he was doing. He wanted to come quickly...and shallow thrusts, completely withdrawing for just a second before sliding back into her wet warmth was one of his favourite ways to do just that.
He stared down at her flushed face, groaning as his cock became wetter...with her saliva as well as his own fluids...with each thrust. When her hand moved to fondle his testicles, he shook his head.
“Touch yourself, Buffy. Fuck yourself with your fingers...you’re as close as I am.”
He pulled his erection from her mouth long enough to watch her push two fingers into her wet core. He inhaled sharply and gazed into her eyes as he returned his thick flesh to her lips.
“I can hold on...suck it, lick it...do whatever you want...until you get ready to come. I...I want to come with you, yeah?”
“Uh-huh...” She mumbled, flattening her tongue along the underside of his cock as her fingers steadily increased their pace.
“God, yeah...” He moaned as she dragged her tongue up the shaft.
His right hand curled into a fist, his knuckles pressing against the wall as she sucked the throbbing head of his cock. They stared into one another’s eyes...and he knew that she was on the brink of an orgasm at the same time she did.
His hand tightened around his hard flesh, stroking faster as he smiled lustfully down at her. When he heard her softly moan his name, he moved his hand from the wall and placed it on the side of her face.
“Ready?” He licked his lips as she nodded quickly. His voice was thick with passion when continued. “Open your mouth, babe...”
He rarely called her ‘babe’...or anything other than ‘Buffy’ or ‘Love’. As a result, the endearment...along with the tone of his voice in which he said it...pushed her over the edge. Watching her reach orgasm was enough for him.
He cursed lowly and positioned his cock directly above her tongue. He growled her name as he coated her tongue with his come, biting his lip as he spread the thick fluid with the head of his cock. He tenderly caressed the side of her face with his fingertips as he pulled out and rubbed his come-slicked cockhead over her bottom lip.
She swallowed his offering, lifting her wet fingers to his hip. He grabbed her hand and lowered himself to the floor in front of her. He gazed into her eyes as he cleaned each of her fingers with his tongue.
“You...shouldn’t be...down here...your back...” She whispered, her eyes drawn to his mouth.
He smiled softly, releasing her hand and sliding his fingers into her hair. “My back is fine, love.”
Before she could say anything, he covered her mouth with his...dipping his tongue inside and groaning as their tastes mingled as they kissed. He felt a slight twinge in his back as he gently pushed her onto the floor and leaned over her. He paused for a moment...and when the pain didn’t intensify, he smiled warmly and kissed her again.
Suddenly, he didn’t feel very old at all.