Timeline: AU, Post-Series. Anya survived. It’s the year 2020.
Synopsis: When Giles finds something he can’t help stop, he doesn’t quite know what to do.
Author’s Note: For A. As always, thank you - for looking over my fic and for requesting this scenario. Much love.
Buffy looked up from her book as Giles entered the room, angrily hitting the ‘end call’ button. She smiled as he grumbled.
“This new fangled technology kinda takes all the fun out of hanging up on someone, doesn’t it?”
He stared at her and then rolled his eyes. “Funny. Are you okay?”
“Mm-hm.” She closed her book and gave him a wink. “Reading, not arguing with Council members. What’s going on?”
“Idiots not understanding what ‘lockdown’ actually means.” He sat down heavily next to her on the sofa. “Have you spoken to Xander or Anya?”
“Yep, kids are good. They’re happy to have them for a few days, then she’ll open the portal and send them all here…we’ll have their kids for as long as they have ours. Back and forth until this is all over and done with.”
Giles arched an eyebrow at her. “Do you understand the meaning of ‘lockdown’?”
She smiled and leaned against his shoulder. “I do. But, I also know that they’re in isolation…we’re in isolation…and a portal is directly between the two, with no contact with the outside world. It’s like...travelling in an isolation tunnel.”
He sighed heavily. She could feel the annoyance in that sigh.
“What’s really wrong, Giles?”
“We have averted too many apocalypses to count now. I have been able to do something in each of those instances. But, this…I can’t do anything except for sit in this house. No amount of research is going to help, there’s nothing to fight…” He sighed again and leaned his head against the back of the sofa. “I’m feeling a bit useless.”
“Well, what’s going on isn’t supernatural or mystical.”
“No, it’s not.” He turned his head to look at her. “You’re not getting restless?”
“How do you mean?” She asked.
“With the not being able to go out to patrol.” He replied, glancing at the book on her lap.
“Not really. Vampires seem to be kind of freaked out about the whole thing too. They don’t seem to be immune and it’s accelerated in them. So, yay? Everything is super quiet out there.” She placed her hand on his thigh. “You, on the other hand…are very stressed. It’s more than feeling useless or being annoyed with people not sticking to the current regulations.”
“What are you reading?” He asked, purposely ignoring her statement.
He stared at her in disbelief. “Are you fucking serious?”
She shrugged a shoulder and tossed the book onto the coffee table. “Okay…in the twenty-three years that I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you this worked up over something.”
He exhaled deeply and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “There’s absolutely nothing I can do to keep you safe. This is all left up to chance.”
“You’re panicking.” She said softly. “Giles…”
“I’m not panicking. I’m frustrated.” He pushed himself up and ran his hand through his hair. “Anyone can be infected, Buffy. This thing doesn’t discriminate. It’s already hit the Royal Family, for fuck’s sake.”
She didn’t say anything, but merely offered him a look that clearly said that she didn’t quite believe him.
“Okay, fine. Perhaps I’m panicking a little.” He admitted. “I’m just not used to not being able to figure things out. And this is all…confuzzling.”
She raised an eyebrow at him. “Confuzzling? That’s not even a word.”
“Eric used it the other day. I liked it. It fits the situation perfectly. It should be a word.”
Buffy laughed softly. “You two can spend this time making your own dictionary once he gets back.”
“You’re full of the funny today, aren’t you?” He asked, walking over to the fireplace and adjusting the logs.
“Okay, so this is more about you not being able to fix things than actual concern over infection?”
“Possibly both. Probably both, in fact.” He gestured towards one of the bookshelves on the opposite wall. “This isn’t in the Codex, Buffy. I have no answers.”
Buffy stood up and walked over to him, placing her hand on his chest. “We don’t need answers right now, Giles. This isn’t something you can fix…unfortunately. If it were, this would’ve been over weeks ago…because you’re Rupert Giles and if you have the ability, it gets done.”
“Aren’t you concerned?” He asked, genuinely curious about her answer.
“Of course I am. I watch the news, I see what’s happening. We have two kids to worry about, we have each other to worry about…we have our friends to worry about. I’m definitely worried about what’s happening and what the state of the economy is going to be on the other side of this. But, I also know that we’re relatively safe here…”
“We are.” He agreed, glancing down as she toyed with a button on his shirt. “What are you doing?”
“Trying to calm you down.”
He stared at her, a smile playing at his lips. “What you’re doing is, in no way, going to calm me down.”
“How long has it been since we’ve had the entire house to ourselves…with no chance of anyone coming by?”
Giles snorted a laugh. “Never. Not even in Sunnydale.”
“You know what I mean, Rupert.” She smiled as he raised an eyebrow. She didn’t call him by his given name often. “We’re here…alone.”
She glanced at the fireplace. “Wanna start a fire?”
“Literal or between us?” He asked, his voice lowering as he placed his hand on her hip.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, sex is on your mind.” He chuckled and then muttered a phrase in Latin, smiling as she trembled when the flames enveloped the logs in the fireplace.
“I pretty much don’t need a global pandemic, Giles.” She whispered, sliding her arms over his shoulders. “And you asked first, you know. With the whole ‘literal or between us’ thing…”
“You called me ‘Rupert’.” He countered, grinning at her before kissing her softly. “Are you just trying to keep me preoccupied?”
“Is it working?” She asked, placing a line of kisses along his jaw.
“It’s not…hindering.” He replied, closing his eyes as she started pulling the buttons on his shirt free.
“Life isn’t always a puzzle, Giles. And you can’t always fix everything.” She said, pushing his shirt open and kissing his chest. “But, you’ve always been able to fix me…”
“Are you broken?” He licked his lips as she pushed his shirt off his shoulders.
“Not yet. It’s your job to make sure you don’t have to.” She smiled up at him and then gestured towards the fireplace. “How long has it been since we’ve made love in front of the fire?”
Giles laughed softly. “Since Eric learned to walk…”
Buffy thought for a second and then started to laugh. “Well, we came close after that. Remember?”
“Mm…” His eyes flashed as he slipped his hands under her shirt, quickly pushing it up and off. “Owen interrupted that one…wanting milk, I believe.”
“What would you think about having another one?”
His fingers paused on the clasp of her bra. “I’m sorry?”
“After the current non-mystical crisis is over…”
His eyes narrowed slightly. “What?”
“Buffy…” He swallowed as he lowered his hands to her hips and looked into her eyes. “Um…I’m 65 years old.”
“And I’m 39.” She said, glancing at a horizontal scar that ran over his ribcage. “We always thought we’d have three.”
“It’s not as if we didn’t try.” He replied softly, lowering his gaze.
Buffy nodded sadly. He didn’t talk about the two pregnancies between Eric and Owen very often. But she knew that he had felt their losses deeply…and that he still grieved. Though he rarely spoke of them, each year he stayed home with her on two very specific dates. They had never been forgotten.
“Will you think about it, at least?”
He leaned down and kissed her, a soft kiss that quickly turned into much more. And as he lowered her to the floor in front of the fire, he knew that he’d think about it. He had reservations about it…but, he’d think about it – he’d even give it serious consideration.
They were on lockdown for at least three weeks, possibly longer depending. He had plenty of time to think about it. It might even keep his mind off of the lack of control he had on the situation going on outside.
Maybe. Maybe not.
As she moaned when he entered her, he decided that he was more than happy to push that to the backburner for now – focusing on the things that he could control to some degree.
And take advantage of a few days alone before a portal opened and four boys clambered through.
“Mm?” He murmured against her neck as he moved slowly within her.
He chuckled softly and picked up the pace.
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