Title:  Something to Be

Author:  Froxyn

Rating:  FRAO

Pairing:  Buffy/Giles

Timeline:  Fifteen months after the end of From the Hellmouth to Richmond. 

Synopsis:  Braden is four and a half years old, Lucas is eighteen months old.  Buffy and Giles have decided to add to their family, but problems arise.  One of those problems could be the arrival of an unexpected visitor.

Warnings:  Angst.  And a fair bit of it, at that.


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Buffy hung up the phone after talking to her sons and went into the bedroom, placing candles strategically around the room.  She had already changed the sheets, opting for the dark brown thousand count Egyptian cotton set that Giles had proclaimed his favourite.  She straightened the blanket and smiled. 


She was hoping that tonight would be the night they would conceive their third child.  They had been trying for another baby for six months and, though she knew it would happen at some point, she had the feeling that tonight would be the one. 


Willow and Oz had agreed to watch Braden and Lucas for the night.  The boys loved spending time with them, especially Oz, and Willow and Oz enjoyed having them just as much.  Lucas always begged Oz to be the ‘woof’, as he called it.  Sometimes, Oz complied with the request now that he had complete control of the wolf.


Lucas would giggle uncontrollably each time he saw the wolf.  Normally, he would follow his giggles with  Oss is silly woof!”. 


However, Oz was very careful around Braden.  He would also make sure to carefully bathe Lucas after each ‘play date’ with the wolf, due to Braden’s allergy to werewolf fur.


Buffy laughed to herself and made her way to the kitchen.  She glanced at the clock and swore softly when she saw that it was already 4:30.  Luckily, she had already cut up all the vegetables that were needed for dinner.  Tonight was going to be a lovely roast.  At least, she hoped it was going to be lovely.


She scowled at the memory of her first attempt at a roast dinner.  She had burned the meat badly…however, it wasn’t completely her fault.  Giles had distracted her for a couple of hours.  Her scowl was replaced with a smile as she put the roast and vegetables into the oven.  She remembered apologizing profusely to Giles when the smoke alarm sounded.  He had merely laughed as he helped her clean up the mess.


Tonight though…no distractions, no smoke alarms alerting her to the destruction of dinner.  She grinned happily as she set the table with their best china and silverware, adding two slender, tapered candles as a finishing touch.


After checking to make sure everything was set up, she looked at the clock and groaned.  Ten to five.  He’d be leaving work soon and she still needed a shower.  She bustled through the house, shedding her clothes and tossing them into the hamper.  She grabbed a fresh razor blade and hopped into the stall.


Yes, tonight was going to be perfect.


* * *


At twelve minutes past five, her mobile phone rang.  She glanced at it, a bright smile appearing on her face as she flipped it open.


“Hi, honey.”


He chuckled softly.  “Hello.  What are you doing?”


“Getting dressed.  You?”


He raised an eyebrow.  “Are you…undressed at the moment?”


“Mm-hm…just got out of the shower.”


He lowered his voice slightly.  “You know…you could just stay undressed…”


Buffy laughed as she opened a drawer and pulled out the silk underwear she knew to be his favourite.  “Yeah, I could.  But, then where would the fun of you undressing me be?”


“A valid point.”  He cleared his throat.  “How would you like me to undress you this evening?”


“Slowly…”  She whispered, feeling her heat rise.  Hearing his sigh, she smiled.  “Are you…hard?”


“Mm.  Always with you.”


A mischievous grin graced her features.  “Are you touching yourself?”


He shook his head in amusement.  “Do you want me to?”


“God, I want to say ‘yes’.  I love listening to you come.” 


“But?”  He questioned softly.


“But…I think I’d prefer for you to come home and let me take care of it.”


He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.  “I’m on my way now.  Depending on traffic…”  He did a quick calculation, taking into account the time of day and the fact that it was raining.  “It might be a little over an hour before I get there.”


“Good, dinner’ll just about be ready by then.”


He laughed gently and grabbed his umbrella and keys.  “I love you, Buffy.”


“I love you too.  Be careful.”


He smiled and, after assuring her that he would indeed be careful, ended the call.  He slipped his phone into his pocket and closed his office door, locking it behind him.  With a bright smile on his face, he made his way to his car.


* * *


Thirty minutes later, Buffy was sitting on the couch reading a magazine.  The smells of the meat roasting were beginning to permeate the room.  She looked up at the clock when the doorbell sounded.


She narrowed her eyes, grumbling as she dropped the magazine onto the coffee table and stood.  “So not interested in buying anything right now.”


The doorbell sounded for a second time and she swung the door open.  “Look, it’s almost…”  Her eyes widened as she looked at the visitor.  “Riley?”


Riley smiled and shifted nervously.  “Hi, Buffy.”


Buffy returned the smile as she leaned against the doorframe.  “What are you doing here?  And…how did you know where to find us?”


Riley raised an eyebrow at her.  “Us?”


She chuckled and shook her head, stepping away from the door and silently inviting him inside.  “Yeah…us.”  She glanced back outside after he came in.  “Where’s Sam?”


“Paris.  A nest of Kolkash demons on the outskirts.  We’re in different divisions now.  The head honchos didn’t agree with spouses working that closely together.  But, if I’m not busy I try to accompany her…and she does the same for me.” 


Buffy nodded and closed the door, gesturing towards the living room.  “Have a seat.  Would you like something to drink?”


Riley smiled as he sat down on the couch.  “No, I’m fine.  Thanks.”


She sat down on the other end of the couch, shaking her head in disbelief.  “Wow, you’re here.  God, how long has it been now?”


“Six years or so.  Maybe longer.  I lose track sometimes…life is so hectic these days.”


Buffy laughed softly.  “Yeah, I know what you mean.”


“So…awkward moment now.”  Riley stated quietly as they lapsed into silence.  He shrugged and looked at her carefully.  “You look good.”


Buffy felt a twinge of uneasiness, but shrugged it off.  “Thanks.  Not bad for having two kids, huh?”


His eyes widened in surprise.  “Two?  Wow.  How old are they?”


“Four and a half and eighteen months.”  She gestured to a picture resting on the mantel.   “Those are my boys.”


Riley stood and walked over, his eyes narrowing slightly.  “And…Mr. Giles?”


Buffy sighed happily as she nodded.  “Yeah.  I’m Buffy Giles now.  Have been for a little over five years.”


He turned around, his smile showing in his eyes.  “You married Giles?  Wow.”


“Yeah…”  She tilted her head and looked at him.  “Okay, if you didn’t know my last name is ‘Giles’…how did you find me?”


“Oh.”  He made his way back to the couch and sat back down.  “We ran into Faith on a routine sweep in Cleveland.  And if you think this is awkward, it’s nothing compared to that meeting.”


Buffy laughed and leaned back against the cushion.  “I can only imagine.”


He grinned and turned towards her.  “Anyway, she told me about the whole Sunnydale thing…and said that you had moved here…Richmond, England.  She didn’t mention anything about a husband or kids though.”


“Yeah, Faith forgets to mention important things sometimes.”


Riley laughed and nodded in agreement.  “Luckily, there aren’t too many girls named Buffy in Richmond.  There was a guy working in the corner store who knew you…and he told me where you lived.”


“Johnny…yeah, good guy.  Doesn’t ask questions when I go in close to midnight for bandages and such.”


There were quiet for a few moments and Buffy broke the silence.


“So…how are you and Sam doing?”


“Oh, great.”  He smiled briefly, then shook his head.  “I think.  I haven’t really been able to spend time with her in about four months, so…”


“Kolkash demons…in Paris?  That’s a little unusual.”


Riley nodded.  “Highly unusual.  And it’s not just one or two.  When I say ‘a nest’, I’m talking nearly a hundred.  It’s taking longer than expected to clear them all out.”


“So, you decided to track down an old friend?”


Riley lowered his eyes.  “Yeah, well…I didn’t know my ‘old friend’ was actually married with children when I decided to track her down.”


Buffy narrowed her eyes.  “Huh?”


He inhaled deeply and ran his hand through his hair.  “I, uh…well, I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately.  And, I realized that I really missed you.”




“And…”  He continued, not allowing her to interrupt him.  “I realized that maybe I was wrong.  About a lot of things.  The way I left Sunnydale, you…that was wrong.  I shouldn’t have given you an ultimatum like that.  In fact, I don’t think I should’ve left at all.”


“Well, it was a bit…painful…the way you left.  But, it was something you needed to do.  I kinda forgave you for that, you know.”


“I think I still love you, Buffy.”


Buffy stared at him, her mouth opening but no words forming.  He looked up and chuckled nervously at her expression.


“And…I really didn’t mean to say that.”  He cleared his throat and moved closer to her.  “But, while I’m on that subject…”


He tilted his head slightly, as if he were listening to something.  His smile grew and he leaned forward quickly, covering her mouth with his before she had a chance to stop him.  His arm slid around her, pulling her towards him as his tongue pushed its way into her mouth.


She raised her hand between them, placing her hand on his chest to push him away.  He groaned into her mouth at her touch and thrust his tongue even deeper into her mouth.  He held her tightly against him, angling his head as he smiled inwardly.


Chapter Two


Giles whistled softly as he walked up the steps to the front porch.  He smiled to himself as he opened the door and stepped inside.  He placed his umbrella in the stand next to the coat rack and ran his hand through his rain-dampened hair. 


He shrugged off his jacket as he made his way into the living room.  He stopped in his tracks, the smile quickly fading from his lips.  His suit jacket fell from his hand, landing on the floor with a wet thud. 


He wanted to look away, close his eyes and banish the image from his memory.  But, there it was in front of him.  Riley and Buffy sitting on the couch, his mouth covering hers…her hand on his chest.


The sound of wet wool landing on the hardwood floor caught Buffy’s attention.  She broke away from Riley’s embrace quickly, turning towards the sound.  Her eyes widened as her husband stood there, staring in shock at her.


“Giles…”  She stood quickly and shook her head.  “It’s not – ”


“My God.”   Giles whispered, completely stunned.  His heart sank and a wave of nausea hit.  At one time, he would have demanded an immediate explanation…and demanded it angrily.  But not now…he was a different man now.  Then again, he never once expected to walk in to his home and find his wife kissing another man.  Not knowing what else to do, he swallowed and took a step back. 


She ran over to him and grabbed his arm as he turned towards the door.  “No!  Giles…”


He took a deep breath and looked down at her.  She gasped when she saw the pain in his eyes.  Her own tears welled in her eyes as a single tear rolled down his cheek.


“Giles, please…”


Seeing movement out of the corner of his eye, he snapped his head towards Riley.  Riley shoved his hands in his pocket and took a deep breath.


“Mr. Giles…”


Giles’ anger finally rose and his eyes darkened dangerously as he stared at the younger man.  “You do not speak to me.  If I were twenty years younger, I’d have already snapped your neck.  Be grateful that I have some modicum of control.”


Riley straightened and returned the stare.  “If you were twenty years younger, you’d be in prison for messing around with a six-year-old child.”


Giles took a step towards Riley and Buffy tightened her hold on his arm.  “Giles, no!”


He turned his head slowly and stared at her.  “No?  You’re going to protect him?”


When she didn’t answer immediately, he jerked his arm free and stepped away from her.  He turned his hardened eyes back to Riley.


“You will not be here when I return.  If you are, you will live to regret it.”


As he stepped towards the door, Buffy whispered his name, her tears falling down her face.  He shook his head and opened the door, refusing to look at her.


“Go protect your ex-boyfriend from your husband.”  His hand trembled violently as he picked up his car keys from the small table next to the door.  “And the best way you can protect him is to make sure he’s not here when I get back.”


Without another word, Giles walked out the door and slammed it behind him.  Buffy sank to her knees, her tears falling freely.  Riley made his way to her and knelt beside of her, slipping his arm around her.




She threw his arm off of her and glared at him.  “What the hell, Riley?!”


He narrowed his eyes in confusion.  “What do you mean?  I thought we, uh…you know…”


When he offered her a boyish smile, her eyes darkened in anger.  She lashed out, forcefully pushing him away. 


“You thought what?  That you could come back into my life…after I’m married and have two children, no less…and I’d leave my husband for you?”


“Well…you just married him because you were lonely after I left, right?”


She stared at him in disbelief, her voice trembling with anger.  “No!  I married him because I fell in love with him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him!”


Riley smiled softly and tilted his head towards the couch.  “You can’t say you didn’t feel something…”


“What I felt was you forcing your tongue into my mouth as I was trying to push you off of me!”




She stood up and grabbed his collar, flinging him towards the door.  “Get out!”


He chuckled as he stood.  “Saving me from your big, bad husband?  How sweet.”


She pushed him out the door and down the front steps.  “Get the fuck out!  And if you come back, it’s not Giles you’ll need to worry about.”


He grinned as she slammed the door.  He kicked a loose stone down the driveway as he whistled to himself.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Ethan Rayne opened his front door when he heard the hard knock.  His eyes narrowed as he took in the appearance of his visitor.


“Rupert?  What’s wrong?”


Giles leaned against the doorframe, his clothing drenched from the rain and his eyes red and full of sadness.  His voice trembled as he spoke.  “I need you to help me forget.”


Ethan stepped back and quickly ushered his friend inside.  “What’s wrong?  Is it…is Buffy okay?”


Giles ran his hand through his dishevelled hair and shook his head.  “That’s what I need to forget.”


Ethan closed the door and led Giles into the living room.  “I’m not sure I’m following you, Rupert.  You want to forget Buffy?”


Giles sank down on the couch and stared at the floor.  His hands shook as he twisted his wedding band…a gesture that did not go unnoticed by Ethan.


“I…want to forget that I think she’s having an affair.”


Ethan’s eyes widened in disbelief.  “What?  Buffy have an affair?  What makes you think that?”


Giles’ voice was soft and full of pain.  “The fact that I walked in and found her kissing Riley Finn.  In the house we own…on our couch.”  He looked up and his eyes glistened brightly.  “I want to forget, Ethan.”


Ethan shook his head, trying to wrap his mind around what Giles was telling him.  “Where are Braden and Lucas?”


“With Oz and Willow.  We…Buffy and I…we were supposed to…”  He swallowed as the lump formed in his throat.  “We’ve been trying to have another baby.  I…I was hoping that tonight we…would be successful in that attempt.”


Ethan opened his mouth and then closed it again when Giles’ mobile phone began to ring.  Giles pulled it out of his jacket pocket and looked at the caller i.d. display.  His jaw clenched and he punched a button, silencing the ring, and slipped it back into his pocket.


He raised his eyes and met Ethan’s.  “Make me forget so that I can go home.”


Ethan shook his head slowly.  “That isn’t a good idea, Rupert.”


“Ethan, please…” 


Ethan sat down in the chair and sighed.  “It wouldn’t make the problem go away.  You just wouldn’t know about it.”


“That’s what I want!”  Giles stood up suddenly and began to pace.  “I don’t want to know about it.  I just…I want to be blissfully unaware and go home to my family.”


“And if this is true…if she is having an affair…you’d want to bring another child into it?”


“I wouldn’t know, would I?”  He turned and glared at Ethan.


“You’re irrational, Rupert.  This is a rash decision and…I’m sorry, I can’t.”  Ethan softened his voice.


A tear spilled down Giles’ face as he fought to control his emotions.  Ethan stood and took Giles’ arm, moving him back to the couch and gently pushing him down onto the cushions.  Giles lowered his head and inhaled shakily.


“What am I supposed to do?”


Ethan reached into Giles’ pocket and pulled out the phone.  “You’re going to call Willow and tell your boys goodnight…and then you’re going to go to bed and sleep.  And we’ll discuss this further in the morning.”  He took a deep breath and handed the phone to Giles.  “Do you want to call Buffy and let her know where you are?”


Giles shook his head slowly as he flipped the phone open.  “No, I’m rather sure I’m unable to speak to her right now.”


“She’ll be worried.”  Ethan supplied softly.


Giles’ eyes darkened as he lifted the phone to his ear and stared at Ethan.  “She has Riley to keep her company.”


“Rupert – ”


Ethan sighed as Giles spoke softly into the phone. 


“Hello, Willow.”


“Hey, Giles…wasn’t expecting to hear from you this early.” 


He closed his eyes when he heard the smile in her voice.  “Yes, well…I, uh…I was wondering…I’m sorry, can you hold for a moment?”


“Sure…”  Willow narrowed her eyes as she registered the tone of Giles’ voice.


Giles lowered the phone and looked at Ethan.  “I need to see them…to hold them…”


Ethan nodded in understanding.  “Ask her to bring them by here before she takes them home.”


Giles cleared his throat and held the phone to his ear again.  “Would you be able to bring Braden and Lucas to Ethan’s place?  I’d like to see them before you take them home.”


“Giles?  What’s wrong?  And…what are you doing at Ethan’s tonight?  I thought – ”


He interrupted her quickly.  “So did I.  Please…I need to see my sons.”


“Okay.”  She replied with an unsure tone.  “We’ll be there in twenty?”


Giles nodded slowly.  “Thank you.”


Before Willow could say anything else, Giles disconnected the call and tossed the phone onto the coffee table.  When it began to ring again, Ethan picked it up.


“It’s Buffy.”


“Turn it off.”  He rose and made his way to the liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of scotch.


Ethan turned the phone off and quickly walked over to him, placing his hand on Giles’ arm.  “Wait until your boys are gone.”


Giles nodded numbly and stared out the window.  “Can I have a cigarette?”


Ethan pulled a pack out of his pocket and shook one out.  “Come on outside.  I’ll have one with you.”


Giles followed his friend out the back door.  His silence frightened Ethan.


Chapter Three




Giles forced a smile onto his face, kneeling as both boys ran towards him.  Willow met Ethan’s eyes, hers full of worry.  Ethan shook his head and glanced down, watching as Giles wrapped his arms around the children.


Braden looked around the room and furrowed his brow.  “Where’s Mummy?”


Giles took a deep breath.  “She’s at home.”


“Oh.  Are you going to take us home now?”


Giles reached up and ran his fingers through Braden’s thick brown hair.  “No, son.  Willow’s going to take you.”


Lucas’ fingers played with Giles’ earring.  “You come, Daddy.”


Giles exhaled slowly and kissed his younger son’s cheek.  “Not tonight, Lucas.  I…I need to talk to Ethan about some things tonight.”


Lucas shook his head.  “You read!”


Giles’ eyes glistened once more.  “Mummy can read you a story tonight.  She’s a very good reader.”


Braden tilted his head slightly, noticing his father’s eyes.  “Daddy, are you okay?”


Giles nodded quickly.  “I’m fine, Braden.  I just wanted to see you before you went home.”


Braden moved back into his father’s arms and hugged him tightly.  “I love you, Daddy.”


“I love you too, Braden.  I love both of you so very much.”


Willow felt a pang of dread as she heard Giles’ voice crack slightly.  “Giles?”


Everyone turned towards the door when it swung open.  Giles gave a kiss to both of his sons and then stood, his eyes darkening with anger as Buffy walked into the room.


“Giles…”  She started cautiously after seeing the look in his eyes.


His jaw clenched tightly.  “Willow, take the boys to the car please.”


“But – ”


Giles turned towards her and stared into her eyes.  “Now, Willow.”


Willow was shocked to realize that the emotion showing in his eyes was bordering on rage.  She cast a quick glance at Buffy, whose eyes were the shade of red that only comes from an intense bout of tears.  She motioned to the young boys.


“Come on guys, let’s let Mommy and Daddy talk and I’ll drive you home.”


Lucas smiled brightly, oblivious to the tension in the room, and gave his father another hug before running over to his mother.  “Bye Mummy, Illo take me home.  Love you!”


She swallowed and knelt, pulling the boy into her arms.  “I love you too, Lucas.  Be good for Willow.”


“Yep!”  Lucas nodded and ran to Willow’s side, reaching up and taking her hand.


Braden, more aware than his younger brother, darted his eyes between his parents.  “Daddy?”


Giles looked down at him, forcing his eyes to soften.  “It’s okay, Braden.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”


“I love you.”


Giles ran his hand down the side of Braden’s face.  “I love you too.  Go on, give Mummy a hug and ask Willow to read you a story before you go to bed.”


Braden nodded slowly and did as he was asked.  He wrapped his arms around Buffy’s neck and hugged her tightly.


“I love you, Mummy.”


Buffy gently rubbed his back and kissed his cheek.  “I love you too, Ru.  Help Willow take care of Lucas, okay?”


“Okay.”  He pulled back and looked up at her.  “You’ll be home soon?”


She looked up to find that Giles had turned his back and was staring out the window.  She sighed softly and looked back into Braden’s eyes.  “In a little while.  You may already be asleep when I get home, but I’ll come in to make sure you’re all tucked in, okay?”


Braden gave her a soft smile.  “Okay.”  He gave her a kiss and walked over to Willow, taking his brother’s hand. 


Willow met Buffy’s eyes.  Buffy sighed as she stood.  “I’ll be home…I’m not sure when…”


“It’s okay.  I’ll stay as long as you need me to.”


Buffy nodded a silent thank you and watched as her best friend led her children out the front door.  She took a deep breath and took a step forward.


“Giles, it wasn’t what it looked like.”


Giles spun around, his eyes sparking with anger.  “Oh?  What was it then?  Because it sure as hell looked like Riley Finn had his tongue down your throat!”


“I…”  She shook her head and started again.  “He kissed me, I…”


“Didn’t seem to be attempting to stop him.”  He finished for her.  “In fact, it makes me wonder what I would’ve walked in on had I been ten minutes later.”


“You would’ve seen me push him away and tell him to leave!”


He took a step towards her, his voice trembling with a nearly uncontrollable rage.  “Is that what you were doing when I walked in?  Pushing him away?”


“I…he surprised me, I…”


“He surprised you?  Or…did I?”


“Giles, no…it wasn’t like that.”  She reached out to touch him, pulling back when he flinched.


“I trusted you, Buffy.  Blindly, I trusted you.  With everything.  I believed in your love for me.”


A tear spilled down her cheek, her voice lowered to a whisper.  “Why are you using past tense?”


He ran his hand through his hair and stepped away from her.  “I find that it’s hard to trust…to believe in a love…when I come home to find my wife kissing another man.”


Another tear followed the first as Giles continued. 


“We’ve had a lot of arguments, Buffy.  We’ve been through some extremely bad situations.  But, this is the first time since we started dating…or since we met, for that matter…that I feel that I can’t trust you.  I’ve given you everything I have…I have loved you faithfully for over six years.  Five years of marriage and…”  His voice trembled as tears welled in his eyes.  “I can’t trust you.  I love you, Buffy.  But…I can’t trust you right now.  And…that is breaking my heart.”


“Come home with me.  We’ll work through this, like we’ve worked through everything else.”  She pled through her tears.


He shook his head sadly, lowering his eyes as a tear rolled down his face.  “I…need to think.  I’m too angry at the moment…I can’t discuss anything with you rationally right now.  Please…go home.”




“I’ll call you tomorrow.  Go home, Buffy.”


With that, he turned and walked out the back door…grabbing the bottle of scotch on his way out.  When Buffy started after him, Ethan gently grabbed her arm.


“Give him tonight, Buffy.”  He stated softly.


Her bottom lip quivered.  “I didn’t…”


Ethan sighed as she trailed off.  “Right now, he’s convinced himself that you’re having an affair with Finn.”


Buffy’s eyes widened as she shook her head furiously.  “I’m not!  I…Riley kissed me and…”


“Did you kiss him back?”  He asked gently.


“No!  Giles walked in just as it happened.  I…no!  Ethan, please…”


Ethan looked into her eyes and, reading her sincerity, nodded.  “I believe you.”


She reached up and wiped the tears from her face.  “But, Giles doesn’t.”


“He’s hurt…he’s angry…and he’s confused.  Give him some time.  He said he’d call you tomorrow…”


“But…what if he doesn’t?”  She asked in a small voice.


Ethan squeezed her shoulder lightly.  “I’ll make sure he does.  I promise.”


“He’s never not listened to me before.”  She whispered sadly.  “He’s jumping to conclusions and…that’s not like him…”


Ethan sighed softly.  “He’s…scared, Buffy.  Vulnerable and highly irrational at the moment.  Yes, he’s jumping to conclusions, but given the circumstances…I understand why.  Try to see it through his eyes…”


Buffy was quiet for a few moments, her silent tears running down her face.  She nodded slowly, understanding what Ethan was saying.  “Tell him I love him?”


Ethan nodded and led her to the front door.  “I will.  Are…are you okay to drive?  I…can drive you home…”


“No.  I think…I think I need to be alone for a little while before I see our children.”  She looked up at him through watery eyes.  “Will you take care of him tonight?”


“Yes, I will.” 


Buffy glanced back into the house and inhaled shakily before walking to her car.  Ethan watched until she was out of sight and then closed the door.


Chapter Four


The following morning, Ethan walked into the guestroom with a glass of water and three aspirin tablets.  Giles was fully clothed, lying in the same position that Ethan had put him in the previous evening.  Ethan placed his hand on Giles’ shoulder and gently shook him.




Giles groaned in response and opened one eye.  “Awake.  Have been for a while.  Hurts to move.”


“Yes, I would imagine so.  You drank nearly a full bottle on your own last night.”  He sat down on the edge of the bed and held out the glass of water along with the tablets.  “Here, take these and then I’ll fix you some toast.”


Giles pushed himself up slowly and took the offerings from Ethan.  “Not hungry.”


“Yeah, you never were after a big night on the piss.  But, toast always made you feel better.”


Giles swallowed the tablets and closed his eyes as he leaned against the headboard.  “What time is it?”


“Ten-thirty, give or take.”


Giles took a deep breath.  “Hand me my phone?”


Ethan nodded and picked up the phone from the table.  He stood as he handed it to Giles and motioned towards the door.  “I’ll just go get your toast ready.”


Giles grunted in response.  Ethan hesitated at the door.


“She loves you, Rupert.  As much as you love her.”


Giles swallowed and flipped the phone open.  Ethan sighed and closed the door behind him.


He stared at the phone for a moment, debating on whether or not to call her.  He promised her that he would…but the pain was still so raw.  He took a deep swallow of the water and sighed heavily as he hit the speed dial number that contained Buffy’s number.


He closed his eyes, resting his head against the headboard as he waited for her to answer.




Giles’ eyes snapped open at the sound of the male voice.  He pulled the phone and glanced at the number, his brow furrowing when he saw that it was indeed Buffy’s number.


“Hello?  Who is this?”  Giles asked cautiously.


“Oh, hey Mr. Giles.  It’s Riley.  How are you feeling today?”


Giles sat up straight, ignoring the throbbing in his head.  “Why the hell are you answering my wife’s phone?”


“She’s in the shower.”  Riley replied simply. 


“Why are you there?”  Giles growled as he stood up and began to pace.


“Well, she needed someone to comfort her after you walked out.”  Riley paused for a moment before quietly adding to the statement.  “Comfy bed you have…doesn’t squeak either, which is – ”


“You fucking bastard!”


Riley chuckled softly.  “Well, yeah.  But, you’re the one who walked out.  And…I just heard the shower cut off, so I’d better go.  I’ll tell her you called…later.”


As the line was disconnected, Giles growled and threw the phone against the wall.  He looked down at the mangled phone and stormed out of the room, grabbing his keys.


Ethan realized that Giles was up and about when he heard the crash in the guestroom.  He came out of the kitchen in time to hear the front door slam shut.  He ran to the door and swung it open, only to see Giles’ car speeding down the road.


Ethan hurriedly ran back inside and picked up the phone.  He rushed around the room, grabbing his keys and wallet.




“Willow…we have a problem.”


* * *

Giles stormed through the front door, startling Buffy.  “Giles!”


“Where are Braden and Lucas?”


Buffy looked into his eyes, fear gripping her when she saw the uncontrolled rage.  “They’re at daycare today…it’s Thursday.”


His eyes narrowed.  “Is he still here?”


“What?  Who?”


Giles took a step towards her.  “Don’t fuck with me, Buffy.  You know goddamn well who I’m talking about!”


Buffy shook her head, staring into his eyes.  “No…Giles, I made him leave last night after you left.  I haven’t seen him since then.”


“Except for when he came back and you fucked him in our bed?”  He ground out each word.


Buffy’s eyes widened.  “What?  What the hell are you talking about?”


“You fucked him.  In our bed.  With my children asleep in their beds!”


She shook her head quickly.  “No, Giles.  I don’t know where you got that idea, but…”


“From the man himself.  When he answered your fucking phone twenty minutes ago!”


Buffy looked towards the door as it opened and Ethan and Willow rushed in.  If Giles realized they had visitors, he didn’t show it.  Instead he took another step towards Buffy, his eyes nearly black with fury.


“You love me?  You’d never hurt me?  And yet…you fuck him at the first chance you get.  Tell me, Buffy…why did you even come to Ethan’s last night?”


Buffy’s eyes filled with tears.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Giles.  I swear…I haven’t seen him…and I certainly did not have sex with him!”


Ethan grabbed Giles’ arm and pulled him back.  “Rupert!”


Giles turned and glared at Ethan, his voice icy when he spoke.  “He was here.  He answered her phone when I called.”


Willow looked at Buffy, who was staring at Giles.  Buffy shook her head and reached for her phone. 


“My phone hasn’t rung all morning, Giles.  I was waiting for you to call.”


Giles turned slowly and shook his head in disbelief.  “You were in the shower, apparently.”




“I need to get out of here.  I…I can’t be around you right now.”  He turned to Ethan.  “I need clothes.”


Ethan understood instantly, knowing that Giles couldn’t face going into the bedroom.  “I’ll get them for you.”


Giles gave him a quick nod and pushed past him, heading towards the door.  Buffy ran after him, grabbing his arm.


“Giles, stop!”


He shook his arm free and glared at her.  “I’m leaving now, Buffy.  If I’m around you much longer, I’m afraid I’ll hurt you.  And even though I’m dying inside…I don’t want to hurt you.  Let me go.”


Tears ran down Buffy’s face as he turned and, without another word, walked out the front door.  Ethan cleared his throat softly as Willow made her way to Buffy’s side.




Buffy’s knees gave way and she crumpled to the floor.  Willow wrapped her arms around her, holding her as she cried.


“I haven’t even had a shower today.”  Buffy sobbed.


Ethan narrowed his eyes.  “Excuse me?”


Buffy’s chest heaved with her tears.  “He…he said…I was in…the shower.  I…I wasn’t…”


Willow looked up, her own eyes wet with tears.  “Ethan, if she wasn’t in the shower…”


Ethan knelt beside of Buffy and placed his hand on her shoulder.  “Buffy, may I see your phone?”


Her hand shook violently as she handed it to him.  “I…would never cheat on him.”


“I know.”  Ethan lifted his hand and brushed the tears from her face.  He flipped the phone open and quickly went through the call log.  When he saw that the last received call was from Willow late the previous night, he cursed.


Willow looked up at him.  “What is it?”


“You were the last person to call her.  Rupert hasn’t called her since…”  He looked back down at the display.  “Five-twelve yesterday afternoon.”


Buffy nodded sadly, her sobs under control for the moment.  “That’s when he called to say he was leaving the office.  Riley came by about thirty minutes later.”


“What about Giles’ phone?  We can check the log on his…”


Ethan shook his head.  “Rupert’s phone is in a million pieces on the floor in the guestroom.”


“He’s going to leave me.”  Buffy whispered as her tears started to fall again.


Willow looked up at Ethan, concern etched on her face.  “What are we going to do?”


“I’ll go back to my house and try to talk to him.  You go to the Council…talk to…bloody hell, I don’t know who to talk to…um…”


“I’ll start with Anya.  She’ll know who can help us.”


Ethan glanced down at Buffy, his heart aching for her.  “Can Oz pick up the boys?”


Willow nodded.  “Yeah, I’ll call him.” 


“Okay…take Buffy with you.”


Buffy’s head shot up.  “No, I want to come with you.  I…I need to talk to him!”


Ethan shook his head and cradled the side of her face in his hand.  “No, love.  Not right now.  He’s…too volatile, too vulnerable.  Go with Willow and see if you can get some answers about what’s going on.  I’ll see if I can calm him down, okay?”


“I love him, Ethan.”


“I know you do.” 


Ethan exhaled slowly as Buffy began to cry again.


Chapter Five


Ethan walked through the front door of his house and called Giles’ name.  Hearing no answer, he walked into the kitchen.




Seeing two pieces of paper on the kitchen counter, he narrowed his eyes and picked them up.  He read the first one and sighed. 


“So, you’ve been writing again?”  He shook his head and looked at the other piece of paper. 


His brow furrowed as he read the words.  They were both obviously song lyrics.  Ethan remembered that in times of extreme emotion, whether good or bad, Rupert would write his feelings down in the form of a song.  It had always impressed him how easily Rupert could form a song.


The first one reeked of sadness and depression.  The second one…anger.  He re-read the words again and picked up his phone, quickly dialling Willow’s number.


Willow answered on the first ring.  “We have a problem, Ethan.”


“Yeah, I was going to say the very same thing.  What’s the problem on your end?”


“Riley’s dead.”


Ethan dropped the papers onto the counter.  “Rupert killed him?”


“No.  Riley’s been dead for four months.  Anya called Sam to ask her a few questions.”


“Oh, dear God.” 


“Yeah, pretty much the feeling I had too.  How’s Giles?”


Ethan shook his head and picked the papers back up.  “He’s…not here.  But, he’s been writing…and…I think we need to find him before he does something really stupid.”


“Stupid?”  Willow’s voice lowered.  “Like…suicidal stupid?”


“No.  Stupid like finding a woman to shag stupid.”


“What?”  Willow asked, clearly unsure she head Ethan correctly.


“He’s written two songs.  The first one is…rather depressing.  The second…extremely angry.”


“Okay, but what makes you think he’d…do that?”


Ethan took a deep breath and read from the paper in his hand.  “Maybe I should find a downtown whore, that’ll make me look hardcore.”


“Oh God…” 


Ethan nodded.  “He truly believes that Buffy had sex with Finn.  He’s angry and hurt…”


Willow interrupted him quickly.  “Anya’s researching this, she’ll find something and call us.  Buffy and I are on our way to your house.  We’ll find him together.”


Before Ethan could respond, Willow hung up.  He picked up the papers and went into the living room.  With nothing else to do but wait, he silently prayed that they could find him in time.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Buffy and Willow walked into Ethan’s living room.  Ethan looked up in surprise, immediately noticing that Buffy’s tears had been replaced with fierce determination.


She held her hand out and gestured towards the paper.  “I need to read it.”




“Ethan, Riley’s dead…it wasn’t him who kissed me.  Which means something…and, I’m gonna guess The First…is trying to pull me and Giles apart.  And, so far…it’s doing a pretty damn good job.  I need to read what’s going on in his head.”


“The First isn’t corporeal.”


Buffy shrugged her shoulder.  “It’s either figured out a way to become all touchy-feely or it’s something else.  Give me the papers…”


Ethan sighed heavily and handed the pages to her.  “The one on top is the one that causes me the most concern.”


Buffy gave a quick nod and looked down at the words.  She swallowed and glanced at Willow, who was looking at her expectantly.  She took a breath and began to read aloud.


“Hey man, I don’t want to hear about love no more

I don’t want to talk about how I feel

I don’t really want to be me no more


Dressed-down, now I look a little too ‘boy next door’

Maybe I should try to find a downtown whore

That’ll make me look hardcore

I need you to tell me what to stand for”


Buffy took a deep breath and cleared her throat, willing her tears not to resurface.


“Hey man, play another one of those heartbreak songs

Tell another story how things go wrong

And they never get back

My pain is a platinum stack

Take that shit back


You don’t want to be there when it all goes wrong

You don’t want to see me with the houselights on

I’m a little too headstrong, stand tall

I don’t want to get walked on”


A tear rolled down her cheek and her voice trembled slightly as she read the last three verses.


“I can’t stand what I’m starting to be

I can’t stand the people that I’m starting to need

There’s so much now that can go wrong

And I don’t need somebody trying to help it along


It’s the same old song

Everybody says you’ve been away too long

Everybody wants to tell you what went wrong

They want to make you like an icon

Till you believe that they’re right


And I’ve been looking for something

Something I’ve never seen

We’re all looking for something

Something to be”


There was silence in the room as Buffy wiped her face and dropped the pages onto the couch.  She exhaled slowly and looked at Willow.


“We need to find him…now.”


Ethan stared at her, agreeing with her statement but unsure as to how to proceed.  “You do realize how big London is?”


Buffy nodded slowly and glanced at her wedding ring.  “Will, locator spell?”


Ethan shook his head.  “Only works on demons, you know that.  And…Rupert may be a lot of things, but a demon he’s not.”


Buffy slid her ring off and handed it to Willow as she met Ethan’s eyes.  “We had our rings enchanted before the big showdown with the Turok-Han.  Just in case we needed…to find one another.  It’ll work…if he’s still wearing his ring.”


Willow nodded quickly and pulled Ethan’s map of London down from the wall.  She had never asked why he had a map of the city on his wall, but at this moment she was very glad that he did.  She placed Buffy’s ring on the edge of the map and quickly uttered a soft chant.


Ethan’s eyes widened as he watched a thin line burn into the paper, leading from her ring to a spot on the map.  “Well, that’s interesting.”


“I’ve got him.”  Willow smiled as she handed Buffy her ring back.


Buffy slid the gold band onto her finger and sighed.  “Or…his ring.”


Hearing the sadness in her voice, Ethan stood up quickly and clapped his hands.  “Where are we going?”


Willow carefully read the map.  “Corner of York Road and Mepham Street.”


Ethan raised an eyebrow.  “That’s Arch One.  I used to go there quite frequently.”


Buffy grabbed Ethan’s keys and tossed them to him.  “You’re driving.  And get us there fast.”


Ethan nodded and followed Willow and Buffy out the front door.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Giles sat at the bar, working on his fifth drink.  He had three in quick succession, and was now feeling fairly tipsy.  A young woman, he judged her age at around thirty, had sidled up next to him when he ordered his third.  He smiled, instantly knowing she would be an easy fuck. 


He was surprised at how easily he had slipped into a Ripper-like persona, using his charm to seduce the young woman.  Then again, alcohol and pain…that was what had fuelled him in his younger days.


He met her eyes when she asked his name.  “Rupert.”


The woman raised an eyebrow and took a sip of her drink.  “Rupert?  You don’t look like a Rupert.”


He chuckled and lifted his glass to his lips.  “And what does a Rupert look like?”


She shrugged a shoulder.  “I don’t know.  But…I would imagine not nearly as sexy as you.”


He grinned and let his eyes wander towards her breasts.  “And what would your name be?”


“Chantal.”  She smiled when he looked back up. 


He licked his lips and downed the rest of his drink.  “Well then, Chantal…would you fancy a shag?”


She reached over and placed her hand on his thigh, inching towards his groin.  “Your place or mine?”


When her fingers brushed across the hardened bulge in his jeans, he tilted his head towards the back of the pub.  “I was actually thinking about taking you down the hall and fucking you against the wall.”


Her smile grew as she slid from the stool.  “Lead the way then, Rupert.”


Chapter Six


Ethan made his way to the bar, flanked by Buffy and Willow.  The bartender looked up and smiled.


“What can I get for ya?”


Ethan showed him a picture.  “We’re looking for him.  Have you seen him recently?”


The bartender smirked and nodded as he leaned against the counter.  “Oh yeah…he’s here, mate.”


Buffy’s eyes narrowed.  “Where is he?”


He glanced towards the back.  “Took Chantal back there.  He’ll be a while, I’d imagine.”


Ethan swore under his breath as Buffy took off towards the back room.  When she stopped suddenly, he caught up with her, swearing again when he took in the scene.


Giles had the woman pressed against the wall, his mouth latched onto her throat and his right hand on her breast.  His left was on the thigh that she had wrapped around his hip.  She had her hand on the back of his head, holding his mouth to her neck as he thrust his denim-covered groin against her.


“Shit…if you’re half as talented with your cock as you are your mouth, I’m gonna come so fucking hard…”


Buffy was finally able to get her feet to work properly and moved quickly, grabbing the back of Giles’ shirt and pulling him away from the woman, throwing him against the opposite wall of the small hallway.


She glared at the woman dangerously.  “You’re not going to get the chance to find out.”


Giles pushed himself from the wall.  Buffy turned towards him.


“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”


His eyes darkened.  “I rather think you have no right to ask me anything.”


She took a deep breath and grabbed his arm.  “We’re going home.”


He pulled his arm free and stared at her.  “I don’t bloody think so.”


Buffy turned to Chantal and gestured towards the door.  “Leave.  Now.”


Chantal straightened her skirt and ran down the hallway without a second thought.  Giles sighed in exasperation.


“Great.  How many more ways do you want to ruin my life?”


Buffy’s eyes narrowed in anger.  “First of all, I don’t want to ruin your life at all.  Second of all, exactly how much have you had to drink?  And…thirdly…do you even have a fucking condom on you?”


Giles smirked drunkenly and leaned against the wall, lifting his hand and ticking off his answers with his fingers.  “One, you have ruined my life.  I could’ve forgiven the kiss…but you fucked him.  Two, enough to be able to fuck a woman who’s not you, but not enough to cause a hangover.  Three, why do you even care?  Afraid I was gonna get her pregnant?”  He scoffed and lowered his eyes from hers.  “Apparently, I’m not able to impregnate women anymore…after all, we’ve been trying for six months.”


Buffy lifted her hand and slapped him, hard enough for it to sting.  “Pregnancy is the last thing I was worried about, Rupert.  I was more concerned about any diseases that skank might have!”


Giles rubbed his cheek and grinned.  “And…why should that concern you?  I have an appointment with the Council lawyer tomorrow afternoon.  It shouldn’t take too long to have the papers drawn up and I’ll send them over for you to sign.”


His grin faded and he stood straight as he looked into her eyes.  “I’m requesting joint custody of Braden and Lucas.  I would never attempt to take them from you.  I would appreciate the same courtesy from you.”


Buffy’s eyes glistened with tears.  Willow stared at him in complete shock, a tear rolling down her face.  Ethan sighed softly and shook his head.  Buffy was the first to be able to form words.


“You’re…you’re talking…divorce?”


“Oh…sweet Buffy.  What did you really expect?  That I’d just say ‘oh, I understand’ and then take you in my arms?  I may be hopelessly in love with you, but I refuse to watch you juggle your affection between me and another man.”  He swallowed and glanced around.  “How did you find me anyway?”


“You’re still wearing your ring.”  She answered softly.


He lowered his eyes from her gaze.  She took a deep breath and stepped forward, placing her hand on his chest.  He shook his head and stepped back as far as he could, ending up with his back pressed against the wall.




She lowered her hand, but didn’t move back.  “I know you don’t believe me, but I didn’t have sex with him.  I…I didn’t even return his kiss.  I’m in love with you…only you.”


He leaned back, resting his head against the wall.  “You know as well as I do…there doesn’t have to be love to have sex.”  He gestured down the hall.  “Do you think I have any feelings of love for her?”


“No.”  Buffy whispered softly.


He closed his eyes and exhaled slowly.  “And yet…I was going to fuck her.  If anything, just to forget about the pain for a while.”


“Giles – ”


She was interrupted by her phone ringing.  As she pulled it out of her pocket, he sighed heavily. 


“It’s Anya.”  She stated, knowing he would assume it was Riley.


She flipped the phone open, listening as Anya immediately began talking.  Buffy told her they’d be there in ten minutes and ended the call.  She turned her head and looked at Ethan and Willow.


“We need to get to the Council now.”


Ethan nodded and reached out, taking Giles’ arm.  “Come on then, Rupert.”


Giles opened his eyes and stared at Ethan.  “I’m not going.”


“Yes, you are.”  Ethan countered.


“No, I’m bloody well not.”  Giles growled.


Ethan took a deep breath.  “You’ll thank me for this later.”


Before Giles had a chance to question him, Ethan struck out with a hard punch to Giles’ jaw.  Giles’ head smacked against the wall, his eyes closing as he began to slide to the floor.  Buffy caught him before he fell to the hard tiles.


Ethan shook his hand, wincing in pain.  “I’ve forgotten how much it hurts to hit him.  Come on, let’s get him into the car.”


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Giles came to in the car.  He opened his eyes to find himself in the backseat, Buffy sitting beside of him.  He sat up quickly and lifted his hand to the back of his head.


“Bloody hell!”


“Are you okay?”  Buffy asked softly, concern in her voice.


“Oh, yes.  Never been better.”  He ground out sarcastically. 


Ethan looked at him through the rearview mirror.  “Sorry, Rupert. But…it’s important that you be there.”


“Sod off.”  He muttered and turned his head, staring out the window.


Buffy sighed sadly and watched him ignore her.


* * *

Giles reluctantly followed Buffy and Willow down the Council halls, Ethan by his side.  When he entered the room, his eyes narrowed and immediately darkened.  He reached out and grabbed Buffy’s shoulder, spinning her around to face him.


“Are you trying to completely destroy me?”


“No.  I’m trying to save our marriage.” 


Giles opened his mouth to respond.  Instead, his eyes snapped to the man standing in the middle of the room when Riley spoke.


“Oh, hey there.  I wasn’t expecting you to bring him…”  He gestured towards Giles as he smiled brightly at Buffy.  “But…the more the merrier, I guess.”


Giles took four long strides into the room, lashing out with a hard punch towards Riley.  When his hand bounced against an invisible barrier just inches from Riley’s face, his eyes narrowed.


“I’ve bound him.”  Anya stated matter-of-factly.


Giles turned and stared at Anya.  “Let him go so I can beat him within an inch of his life.”


“He’s already dead.”  Her eyes shone with confusion as she looked at Buffy.  “Didn’t you tell him?”


“Haven’t really had the chance.”


For the first time in nearly forty-eight hours, Giles looked at Buffy with something other than anger.  His green eyes were puzzled as he straightened.  “Tell me what?”


“Riley’s dead, Giles.  He was killed four months ago.  Car accident, of all things.”  She gestured towards the middle of the room.  “That’s not Riley.  And…he’s been playing us…trying to tear us apart.”


Giles looked into her eyes for a moment before turning to Anya.  “If it’s not Riley, what is it?”


“Bamapana.”  As four people stared at her, Anya continued.  “A trickster demon.  It has shape-shifting abilities, but can only take human form if the human is…dead.  Once it picks a human, it inherits all of the memories of that human.  It makes it easier to play really bad tricks on people.”


Giles turned slowly and stared at the demon.  Bamapana laughed, his eyes glowing a light blue.


“It took a bit more work than I was expecting.  I didn’t realize how deeply you trusted her.  I thought the kiss would be enough, but I felt you try to reason it out in your head.”


Giles narrowed his eyes, his rage barely reigned in.  “What did you do to me?”


Bamapana grinned maniacally and gestured vaguely.  “Insinuated a heavy cloud of doubt into that big brain of yours, intercepted a phone call and suggested I had slept with her…that seemed to do the trick.  Ready to leave your family and everything behind.”  Bamapana gave him a wink.  “I even got you to fuck another woman.  That was a pleasant surprise.”


Anya’s mouth dropped open and she stared at Giles.  “You did what?”


Buffy shook her head quickly.  “He didn’t.  We got to him in time.”


Bamapana sighed sadly and leaned his head against the barrier.  “Pity.  I’m sure he could’ve used a really good fuck.”


Giles walked over to a cabinet in the corner of the room and pulled out a longsword.  He gripped the hilt tightly and looked at Anya.


“Release him.”


Anya shook her head.  “I’m not sure – ”


Giles’ eyes showed his barely contained rage.  “Either release him or I will.”


Anya sighed and uttered one word.  The barrier came down and Bamapana laughed as he stepped forward.  His laughter ended abruptly as the blade neatly separated his head from his body. 


As the corpse dropped to the floor, the cloud of doubt lifted from Giles’ mind.  The sword fell from his hand, the clang of the metal hitting the cold tiles resonated in the room.  He turned and walked out of the room without a word said to anyone.


Anya raised an eyebrow.  “I wasn’t really expecting that.”


As Ethan started to follow Giles, Buffy touched his arm.  “Please…let me go to him.”


Ethan looked down at her and gave her a small nod.  As Buffy left the room, Willow met Ethan’s eyes.


“Are they going to be okay?”


Ethan sighed.  “I hope so.  But, we all know how Rupert deals with guilt.”


Anya crossed her arms over her chest.  “Okay, someone want to finally tell me what the hell’s going on?”


Chapter Seven


Buffy found Giles in the courtyard, sitting on the bottom step.  He was staring across the green grass, a cigarette burning idly between his fingers.  She swallowed and sat behind him, two steps up.  When her hand lightly touched his back, he lowered his head.




“I’m so sorry, Buffy.  I don’t…I was so angry…I was in so much pain…”  His voice quavered and he ran his hand through his hair.


“I know.”  She whispered as she moved down to sit next to him.  “I want to be angry with you…like…really pissed off with you.  And…I think part of me is.  Seeing you with that…woman…”


When she trailed off, a tear rolled down his cheek and he closed his eyes as he muttered softly.  A mutter so soft that it was barely audible to himself.  “What have I done?”


Buffy inhaled deeply, a tremble in her whisper.  “I’m still in love with you.”


Hearing the unspoken ‘but’ in her statement, he swallowed and turned his head to look into her eyes.  She lifted her hand and placed it against his cheek.


“Maybe…maybe we need to take some time.”


He lowered his eyes and cleared his throat.  “Should I…should I keep the appointment with the lawyer?”


Her thumb gently stroked his skin.  “I don’t want a divorce, Giles.  I just…I think…”  She sighed sadly. 


He was quiet for a few moments, reading between her words.  He closed his eyes and gave her a slight nod.  “I’ll, uh…I’ll just pack a few things…”


“Giles, that’s not – ”


“I’m not sure it would be…”  He opened his eyes, a tear rolling down to her thumb as he looked at her.  “It might be easier…for both of us, all of us…if I’m not there while we’re working through this.”  He exhaled slowly.  “I…I can stay here…in one of the rooms upstairs.”


“Braden and Lucas…”


“I…I can come to the house after work…for dinner and be there to tuck them into bed and read them their bedtime stories.  And…I’ll come back here once they’re asleep.”


Knowing his mind was made up and he wasn’t going to change it, she offered him a reluctant nod. 


“I love you.”  She whispered and gently kissed his lips.


She stood quickly and ran up the stairs.  He dropped the cigarette butt into his Styrofoam cup of now-cold tea.


“I love you too.”  He whispered softly, though he was the only one to hear it.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Three weeks later…


Giles was stretched out on Braden’s bed, his son cuddled next to him as Giles read the story.  In the middle of the story, Braden looked up at his father.


“Daddy, do you still love Mummy?”


Giles lowered the book and looked down at his son, his eyes wide with surprise.  “I love your mother very much, Braden.”


Braden bit his lip.  “Are you staying tonight?”


Giles hesitated for a moment and then took a deep breath.  “I…have a lot of work to do tonight.”


“I miss you in the mornings.”  Braden stated softly.


Giles leaned down and kissed Braden’s forehead.  “I miss you too.”


Braden smiled and pointed to the book.  “You can finish the story now.”


Giles nodded and lifted the book.


* * *


Buffy looked up as Giles walked into the living room.  She instantly noticed the look of sadness in his eyes.


“What’s wrong?”


He took a deep breath and stuck his hand in his pocket.  “He’s a perceptive boy.  Almost frighteningly so.”


She narrowed her eyes slightly.  “What do you mean?”


He looked at the picture resting on the mantel.  A family picture that had been taken only six months prior.  “He…asked if I still love you.  And…then he asked if I was staying tonight.”


Buffy nodded slowly.  “He asks where you are every morning.  I don’t think he really believes that you’re that bogged down with work.”  She kept her eyes on him, lowering her voice to a whisper.  “Do you?  Still love me?”


He turned his head quickly, meeting her eyes.  “You know I do.”


“I miss you.”


He stared into her eyes, his own voice lowering.  “I miss you too.”


She stood and quickly walked over to him, wrapping her arms around him and resting her head on his chest.  He held her tightly and took a deep breath, his eyes closing when she whispered one word.




She had requested the same thing a few times in the past three weeks.  His answer had always been the same. 


Tonight’s answer was no different, though she did notice his hesitation.


“I can’t.  Not yet.”


She sighed sadly and tilted her head up to look at him.  “I love you.”


He lifted his hand and caressed her cheek.  “I love you too.”


He bent his head and placed a tender kiss on her lips before moving out of her embrace.  He pulled his keys from his pocket and whispered softly.


“Goodnight, Buffy.”


“Goodnight, Giles.”


She watched him move to the front door and walk outside.  As he closed the door behind him, she sighed sadly and headed for the shower.


* * *


Two weeks later…


Giles lay in the bed, staring at the ceiling.  The longer he stayed in this room, the more he missed her.  He had been lying there, staring at the ceiling, for nearly two hours debating with himself over whether or not he should go to the house and talk to her.  He glanced at the picture resting on the small table next to the bed.


Four smiling faces stared back at him, the epitome of happiness.  He instantly made his decision and climbed out of bed.  He dressed quickly and grabbed his keys.


He swung the door open and jumped, clearly startled.  Buffy stood there, her hand raised as if she were getting ready to knock on the door.  Her eyes were wide.  She was obviously startled herself.


“Buffy.”  He breathed softly.


She lowered her hand and swallowed almost nervously.  “I…am I interrupting?  I…I wanted to, uh…talk to you.”


He shook his head quickly.  “No, you’re interrupting nothing.”


She glanced down at the keys in his hand.  “Were you…going somewhere?”


He smiled shyly.  “Home.  To…talk to you.”  His brow furrowed as something suddenly occurred to him.  “Braden and Lucas?”


“I went on patrol tonight.  They’re spending the night with Willow and Oz.”  She motioned past him with her hand.  “Um…can I come in?”


He nodded and stepped to the side.  When he closed the door and turned to face her, he met her eyes.  They stared at one another for a few moments, no words being said.  Just as she opened her mouth to speak, he grabbed her arm and pulled her to him.  His mouth covered hers, his hand winding into her hair as his tongue nudged her lips.


She groaned, allowing his tongue to slip into her mouth as she gripped his shirt and pushed him against the door.  She returned his kiss hungrily, her fingers quickly unbuttoning his shirt.  She felt his groan rumble underneath her fingertips as her fingers slid through the soft hair covering his chest.


He broke the kiss, breathing heavily and grasped the hem of her shirt, tugging it up and over her head.  He dropped it to the floor as he reignited the kiss and began pushing her towards the bed.  She pushed his shirt off his shoulders and then nimbly unbuckled his belt.  She was working on the button on his jeans when the backs of her legs hit the mattress.


He gently lowered her down, covering her body with his.  She lifted her legs, wrapping her legs around him as he moved his mouth to her neck.


“God, Giles…”


“I love you, Buffy.”  He murmured against her skin.  “I love you so much.”


“Love you…”  She moaned softly, shivering when she felt his fingertips run down her torso to her hip. 


He gently rocked his hips against her as his lips edged the strap of her bra off of her shoulder.  She inhaled sharply, her mind clearing for a brief second. 


She had to know…and she had to know now.




“Mm?”  He mumbled as his lips nipped at her heated flesh.


“Will you come home?”


He lifted his head and looked into her eyes.  He watched her tears well and threaten to spill over her lashes as she reached up and touched the side of his face.


“Come home, Giles.  Please come home.”


He offered her a loving smile and nodded.  “If you’re ready for me to come home…I…think it’s time.”


Her smile threatened to blind him.  His own smile turned to confusion when she pushed him off of her and jumped off the bed.




She picked up his shirt and threw it at him and then bent down to retrieve her own.  “Get dressed.  Now.”


His brow furrowed as he watched her hastily put her shirt back on.  “I…”


She ran over to him and kissed him deeply, taking the shirt from his hands and helping him put it back on.  She broke the kiss and smiled, lowering her eyes as she quickly buttoned the shirt.


“I…don’t understand…”


She looked back up and ran a trembling hand through his hair.  “I want to make love with you…right now.”


He glanced down at the bed.  “I…I thought…”


She placed a finger over his lips and smiled.  “I want it to be in our bed…our bed…at our house.”


His confusion slowly dissipated, his smile returning as understanding seeped into his mind.  He gave her a quick nod and stood, re-buckling his belt and pushing her towards the door.  He grabbed his keys and locked the door behind him.


He could retrieve his belongings later.


Chapter Eight


He kissed her as he pushed her through the front door of their home.  He continued his passionate kisses as he backed her into the living room.  He broke the kiss when he felt something under his feet.  He looked down at the floor and smiled.  He bent down and picked up Lucas’ stuffed bear.


“At least it wasn’t something breakable.”  He chuckled as he tossed the bear onto the couch.


Buffy’s smile faded slightly when she realized he was staring at the couch.  She placed her hand on his chest and rubbed softly.




Hearing the concern in her voice, he met her eyes and smiled lovingly.  “I’m sorry…I was thinking about the time I poured honey on your nipple and sucked it until you came…”


She blushed heavily and gestured towards the kitchen.  “We, uh…still have some…”


He shook his head slowly and began unbuttoning his shirt.  “I think I’d much prefer to taste only you.”


She pushed his now-opened shirt off of his shoulders and smiled up at him as she ran her hands over his chest.  “I’ve missed the feel of you…”


His eyes darkened slightly as her fingers brushed over his nipples.  He reached between their bodies, his fingers easily pulling the button of her jeans free before his hands slid under the hem of her shirt. 


He quickly pulled her shirt over her head, for the second time in less than an hour, and dropped it onto the floor.  Sliding his hands to her back, he pulled her against his chest and held her tightly to him.


“Dear God, I’ve missed you…”


She placed her ear over his heart and sighed as she listened to the frantic beating.  “I love you so much, Giles.”


He moved his hands to her hips and easily lifted her, smiling softly as she wrapped her legs around his waist.  “I love you too, Buffy.”


His mouth captured hers once again, his tongue exploring her mouth as he blindly made his way down the hall to their bedroom.  When he was standing next to the bed, he slowly pulled from the kiss and groaned as she slid down his body to stand in front of him.


Giles swallowed thickly as he watched her remove the rest of her clothing.  His slightly trembling fingers pulled his belt free and he inhaled deeply.


“What time are we to pick up the children tomorrow?”


Buffy smiled and climbed onto the bed, licking her lips as she watched him remove his shoes, socks, trousers, and boxers.  “Oz said that he’d drop them off.  He has to go into Sunbury and since he pretty much has to go through Richmond to get there…”


Giles nodded and moved onto the bed next to her.  “So, we have all night.  Alone…”


She grinned and pushed him down, quickly moving over him and sitting on his thighs.  “Yeah…we do.”


He cleared his throat softly as she ran her index finger along the length of his erection.  “Which means…there’s no rush.”


She added another finger to her gentle touch.  “Is that your way of requesting we go slow?”


He nodded and placed his hand on her thigh.  “Ideally, yes.  However…I’m not certain I can adhere to that plan.”


She moved forward, dragging her core over his erection as she settled lightly on his abdomen.  He groaned softly, moving his hands to her hips and gently urging her to move further up his body.  She looked down at him, raising an eyebrow in a silent question.


He licked his lips.  “I believe I stated that I wanted to taste you.”


She smiled, allowing him to tug her a little further up his torso.  “And…what if I want to taste you?”


He stilled the motion and stared into her eyes.  “Do you?”


She rocked her hips, moaning softly at the friction her movements caused.  “God, yes…”


His fingers tightened on her hips as she reached behind her, curling her fingers around his erection.  He hissed and thrust against her as she gently stroked him.


“You’re so hard…”  She whispered lustfully.


He moved his hands up her sides until his thumbs brushed the firm flesh of her breasts.  “Christ, Buffy…I need you.”


Her eyes sparkled at the wanton tone of his voice.  “Save the tasting for later?”


He nodded slowly, groaning when she released his hardened flesh and scooted back down his body, leaving a warm, wet path along his torso.  His hands fell to his sides as she rubbed her warmth over his cock.


She smiled down at him and gently rubbed his chest.  “I am so tempted to tie you up right now.”


“Oh?”  He struggled to keep his eyes open as she continued to undulate against him.  “You can…if you’d like.”


“Not now.”  She lifted his hands and raised them to her breasts.  “It’s been over a month since I’ve felt your hands on me like this.  I need you to touch me.”


His right hand gently kneaded her breast, his left gripped her shoulder and pulled her down.  He kissed her slowly, easing his tongue into her mouth.  Letting go of her breast, he slid both hands to her back, pressing her chest tightly against his.  As he held her and continued the languid kiss, he gracefully rolled their bodies until he was cradled between her thighs.


She arched her hips towards his, her hands sliding under his arms to rest on his back.  Her fingers rubbed his heated skin as he moved his mouth to her neck, using his lips to lovingly nip at her flesh.  His hand slid down her side, coming to a stop on her thigh, leaving gooseflesh in its wake.


Lifting his head at her moan, he smiled warmly.  “I love the way your body reacts to my touch.  So loving…so…”


When he trailed off, she looked into his eyes.  “You okay?”


He nodded absently, lost in her gaze.  She ran her fingers through his hair, her eyes darting to his lips.


“I need you, Giles…”  She whispered urgently.


Hearing her deepened, lust-laden voice, his cock twitched against her.  “I…I’m not sure how long – ”


She smiled in adoration, running her fingertips down the side of his face as she lifted her legs over his hips.  “Trust me…I’m so close right now, it isn’t going to matter.”


At his soft smile, she grinned and lightly fingered his earring.  “And besides…we have all night…”


He inhaled sharply and reached between them, grasping his erection and slowly guiding it into her warmth.  His eyes closed in pleasure as he easily slid his length into her.


“Oh, God…”  She breathed softly as he began a slow pace.  “You feel…Giles…”


He lowered his head, kissing her lips before brushing his lips along her cheek.  His breath was hot against her neck as he nibbled at her earlobe.


Her left hand roamed along his back as he continued his gentle thrusts, her hips rose in perfect rhythm.  He lifted his head, gazing into her eyes as the fingers of his left hand gently stroked her cheek.


“You are my life, Buffy…”


Tears welled in her eyes and she smiled when she noticed the concern in his.  “I’m okay…I’m just…oh, God…Giles…”


He felt her inner muscles ripple against his thickening cock and gasped.  “God, yes…Buffy, please…”


He grasped her right hand with his left, lacing their fingers together.  He pressed their twined hands to the mattress, his fingers gripping hers tightly as he struggled to hold his orgasm at bay.  Sensing his struggle, she quickened her own pace and slammed her hips upwards.


He groaned loudly, burrowing his face in the crook of her neck.  The nails on her left hand dug into his back as his teeth scraped along her skin. 


“Yes…Giles…”  She moaned loudly, her moan turning to a scream of ecstasy as he lightly bit her.  “Harder!”


He grunted with exertion, his body not registering any pain from her nails breaking the skin on his back.  His teeth clamped down on her skin and she screamed again, her orgasm crashing over her violently.


Feeling her hot juices flood over his cock was all it took for Giles.  He threw his head back, her name leaving his lips on a loud groan as he came deep within her quivering core.  His body trembled as he collapsed on top of her, his arms bearing most of his weight.


As he shifted slightly to move off of her, she gripped him tightly and shook her head.  “No…stay…”


He lifted his head with some effort and looked into her eyes.  “I love you, Buffy.”


She ran her fingers through his damp hair and smiled softly.  “I love you too.”


He began to move again and she stared at him.  “I said ‘stay’.”


He chuckled softly and kissed her lips.  “I’m just moving beside of you so that I can hold you.  I’m not going anywhere.”


She sighed heavily and reluctantly loosened her hold on him, allowing him to shift his body to rest next to her.  He draped one leg over hers and laid his arm across her abdomen.  She could feel his heart pounding in his chest.  She met his eyes and grinned.


“Tell me when you’re ready again?”


He laughed and held her tightly against him.  “Give me ten.”


She pushed him onto his back easily and laid her head on his chest.  Her fingers traced indistinct shapes across his stomach as she listened to his heart rate calm.




“Mm?”  His fingers were slowly working their way up and down her spine.


“Are you still looking for something to be?”


His hand paused in its motion and he took a deep breath.  She placed a soft kiss on his chest and sighed.


“I was referring to…”


“The song.  Yes, I know.”  He replied softly.


She lifted her head and looked into his eyes.  “Are you?  Still looking, I mean?”


He shook his head slowly, raising his hand and combing his fingers through her hair.  “I am what I am, Buffy.”


“And…what’s that?”  She inquired, leaning into his touch.


“A husband…a father.  The Watcher of the most successful Slayer in history.  And, I’m extremely happy with my life.  I don’t need to look for something else to be.”


She smiled and leaned down, kissing his lips tenderly.  “I’m very glad to hear that.”


He pulled her over him, returning her smile as her knees came to a rest on the mattress on either side of his hips.  “It’s the truth.”


He licked his lips as she shifted slightly.  “And…I do believe it’s been ten minutes.”


She grinned as she felt him begin to harden beneath her. 


Chapter Nine


The following morning…


He smiled as he walked into the kitchen, freshly dressed and his hair still damp from the earlier shower he had shared with Buffy.  He leaned against the doorframe, his smile growing as he watched her flip a pancake as she sang softly.


“You seem unusually happy this morning.”  He commented with a chuckle.


She jumped, dropping the pan onto the stove.  “Jesus!  I was until you scared me half to death!”


He grinned and walked across the tiles to stand behind her.  He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against his chest.


“Would you like some help with that?”  He whispered, lowering his head to brush his lips across her neck.


She shivered lightly, relaxing against him for a moment before remembering she was in the middle of cooking breakfast.  She shook her head and playfully slapped at his hands. 


“No, because…if I let you help, we’ll just end up back in bed…with no food.”


He flicked his tongue against the nearly healed bite mark on her neck.  “Would that be so bad?”


She swallowed and tried to concentrate on the seemingly easy task of slipping the spatula under the pancake.  She found that, with his hands caressing her and his mouth on her neck, the seemingly easy task was anything but.


“You’re going to make me burn it…”  She whispered, unconsciously tilting her head to allow him better access.


He took the spatula from her hand and placed it next to the stove before reaching over and turning the knob to the ‘off’ position.  She felt the hardened bulge under his jeans as he leaned forward, pushing the pan off the hot eye.


“Giles…”  She whimpered.


“We can always take the boys out for breakfast later…” 


She leaned against his chest and took a deep breath.  “Aren’t you hungry?”


“Mm.  Very.”  He kissed a warm line up her neck to her ear.  “However, I’m not sure pancakes are what I want.”


He accented his statement with a gentle push of his hips against her backside.  She turned in his arms, sliding her arms around his neck as he leaned down to kiss her.


And that was the moment the phone decided to make its presence known.  She gave a frustrated sigh and he smiled understandingly.


“I’ll get it.”  He chuckled when she pouted as he pulled away from her.  He gave her a wink and picked up the offending object.  “Hello?”


A soft feminine gasp was heard.  “Giles?”


He grinned and leaned against the counter.  “Good morning, Willow.”


“Oh my God!  You’re…wait…are you?”


He laughed gently, easily able to decipher her severely fractured question.  “Yes, we are.  Very much so.”


“Oh my God!”  She repeated excitedly.  “It’s about damn time!”


He shook his head in amusement.  “Were you calling to speak to Buffy?”


“Huh?  Oh!  With all the excitement of you answering the phone, I almost forgot the reason I’m calling.”


Giles laughed loudly.  “And…do you remember now?”


“Oz left about ten minutes ago to drop Braden and Lucas off at home.  And, right after they left, I realized that Braden forgot his Glo-Worm, so I…”


Giles’ eyes narrowed slightly when she trailed off.  “Willow?”


“Sorry, it’s just…they are going to be so excited to see you!  Braden was just saying how much he misses having breakfast with you and Lucas just gets this huge smile on his face when you’re mentioned…”


“Thank you, Willow.”  His spoke softly and took a deep breath.  “For being there…for all of us in our own ways.  It has been greatly appreciated.”


Willow exhaled slowly.  “I love you guys…all of you.  And…I’m so happy that you’ve decided to quit being a guy and…”


Giles laughed loudly, interrupting her.  “I think I’ll let you speak with Buffy now.”


Buffy tilted her head, her smile dancing in her eyes.  Giles shrugged his shoulder and handed the phone to her.


“She’s happy I’ve ‘quit being a guy’.”


Buffy snickered and took the phone, pulling him down for a kiss.  He returned her kiss for a moment before pulling away and grabbing the pan from the stove.  She smiled brightly, watching her husband scrape the ruined pancake into the rubbish as she chatted happily with her best friend.


* * *


Buffy had just hung up the phone when the doorbell rang.  She ran into the living room, pointing at Giles as he stood up.


“You stay there.  They’re going to be really excited to see you and I want to see their faces…and yours.”


He smiled and gave her a nod.  “As you wish.”


She rolled her eyes playfully and ran to the front door.  As she swung it open, Oz’s eyes immediately darted to her neck.  Seeing the mark on her neck, he raised an eyebrow.


“Um…good morning?”


She grinned brightly.  “Great morning! Come on in.”


“Mummy, I forgot Worm.”  Braden said sadly as he walked in and dropped his bag.


Buffy knelt in front of him and gave him a hug.  “I know.  Willow called and told me.  We can go by later and pick him up, okay?”


She ruffled his hair as he nodded slowly.


Lucas pushed in and wrapped his arms around his mother.  “Mummy!”


“Lucas!”  She laughed and hugged him tightly.  “Were you a good boy?”


“Yep! I…”  He glanced up and a broad grin spread across his face.


Braden followed his brother’s gaze, his own eyes brightening.  “Daddy!”


Both boys launched themselves at their father as he knelt down.  Giles laughed happily, his eyes misting with emotion.  He wrapped his long arms around both of them and kissed them.


“How I’ve missed seeing the two of you in the mornings.”


Lucas looked up at him and giggled, snuggling closer against his chest.  Braden grinned and kissed his father’s cheek.


“No more work?”


Giles tenderly stroked Braden’s cheek and shook his head.  “No more work at night.  I still have work during the day, but…I’ll be home all night from now on.”


Braden exhaled dramatically.  “Good!”


Lucas gently tugged on Giles’ earring.  Giles looked into his eyes and smiled.  “Yes?”




Giles poked his belly and grinned.  “Hungry?  You?”


Lucas nodded and giggled.  “Yep.  Hungry.”


Giles turned to his older son and smiled.  “And what about you, Ru?  Are you hungry?”


Braden smiled widely.  It wasn’t every day that his father called him ‘Ru’.  That was normally his mother’s pet name for him.  When his father used the nickname, it was a very special occasion. 


“Yeah, I’m hungry too.”  He looked up at Buffy, the amber speck in his eye showing brightly against the green.  “Can we have pancakes?”


Giles chuckled.  Buffy grinned.  Even Oz looked mildly amused.


Giles ran his fingers through Braden’s thick hair.  “How about we go out for breakfast this morning?”


Braden tilted his head and regarded Giles carefully.  “Can I still have pancakes?”


At that question, Oz gave a laugh and shook his head.  Giles smiled lovingly at the boy and nodded. 


“You can have whatever you want, Ru.  If you want pancakes, then pancakes you shall have.”


Braden jumped up and down happily, clapping his hands.  Lucas watched him for a second and then copied the behaviour.  Buffy picked up their dropped bags and handed them to each boy.


“Okay, kids…you know the drill.  Empty your bags and put your stuff away.  And then we’ll go see about breakfast.”


Giles stood, watching his sons take off down the hall at a high rate of speed as they dragged their bags behind them.  Hearing Oz clear his throat, he turned and smiled at the young man.


“So…this is permanent, right?”  Oz asked cautiously.


Giles nodded and wrapped his arm around Buffy as she leaned against him.  “It is.”


Oz’s smile crept into his dark eyes.  “Good.”


Buffy chuckled at Oz’s response.  As the boys ran back into the room, she looked down at them and gestured towards Oz.


“Give Uncle Oz a hug and kiss and tell him thank you for bringing you home.”


The boys ran to Oz and hugged his legs tightly.  He picked each one up and gave them a proper hug and a kiss.  As he placed Lucas back on the ground, he met Giles’ eyes and glanced at Buffy.


“It’s nice to see both of you happy again.”


Giles smiled warmly as his sons stood on either side of him.  “Thank you.  Would, uh…would you care to join us for breakfast?”


Oz shook his head slowly.  “Thanks, but…I kinda need to get to Sunbury.  And…I think this breakfast should just be about the four of you.  But…dinner at our house tomorrow night?”


Buffy grinned and took Giles’ hand.  “Count on it.”


With a gentle nod, Oz turned and walked out the front door, closing it behind him.  Giles felt a gentle tug on his pants leg and looked down at Braden.


“Are you working today?”


Giles smiled and shook his head.  “No.  I think I’d like to spend today with you and Lucas and Mummy.”


Braden grinned brightly up at him and clapped his hands.  Lucas giggled and once again copied his older brother.  Giles met Buffy’s eyes and smiled lovingly.




Buffy nodded and reached up, sliding her hand to the back of his head and gently pulling him down.  She gave him a soft kiss, which she ended with a tender swipe of her tongue against his bottom lip.  She grinned and pulled away as he inhaled sharply.


“Breakfast sounds good.”


“Yay!  Pancakes!”  Braden announced loudly and ran towards the door.


Giles chuckled and picked Lucas up as Buffy followed Braden to the door.  He looked into his son’s dark green eyes and smiled.  “Would you like pancakes too?”


Lucas nodded and wrapped his arms around Giles’ neck.  “Love you, Daddy!”


Giles kissed Lucas’ cheek and rubbed his back.  “I love you too, Lucas.”


At the sound of Lucas’ giggle, he smiled and followed his wife and older son to the car.


Chapter Ten


Five months later…


There was a large round table positioned in the corner of the pub.  Though the table was large, it almost wasn’t large enough to accommodate the eight people seated around it.  When Peter Watts had overheard Giles talking to Buffy about the get-together, he had immediately offered babysitting services provided by Julian and himself.  Giles and Buffy had accepted graciously.


Ethan had arrived late with Anna, smiling shyly at Giles as they sat down with Ethan next to Willow.  “Sorry we’re a bit late, mate.”


Giles chuckled good-naturedly, his arm resting across the back of Buffy’s chair, and smiled at Ethan’s girlfriend.  “Good evening, Anna.”


“Hello, Rupert.”  She smiled and settled next to Ethan.


Oz smirked as Anya spoke up quickly.  “You know, it’s not very polite to be late because you’re having sex.  That’s why Xander and I had sex this afternoon.  I didn’t – ”


Xander blushed heavily, covering Anya’s mouth with his hand as he glanced at Ethan.  “Uh…sorry?”


Ethan cleared his throat and smiled in embarrassment.  “Quite alright.”


Ethan turned his eyes to Buffy and Giles and grinned.  “So…have we decided on a name yet?”


Giles scoffed lightly, placing his hand on Buffy’s rounded stomach.  “Oh, we’ve decided…and then we’ve changed our minds and started all over again.  We seem to be back at square one at the moment.”


Anya stared at Giles and shook her head.  “This baby needs a name, Giles.”


Buffy laughed and leaned against Giles as he gently rubbed her abdomen.  “We still have two months, Anya.”


Anya shook her head and sighed heavily.  “You had Braden and Lucas named on the night they were conceived.  I don’t see what the big hold-up is on this one.”


Xander took a sip of his lager and grinned.  “I still think Alexandra Giles has a nice ring to it.”


Willow shook her head in amusement.  “You have no intentions of giving up on that, do you?”


Xander shook his head and popped a chip into his mouth.  “Nope.  One of these days, they’ll cave in.”


Giles smiled in amusement.  “Don’t hold your breath on that one, Xander.”  Before Xander could respond, Giles looked down at Buffy and tilted his head towards the dancefloor.  “Dance with me?”


“I’d love to.”  She grinned and allowed him to help her from her chair.


He pulled her onto the small dancefloor and held her as they began to move to the slow music.  She slid her arms around his neck and tenderly stroked the hair covering his nape. 


“What’s wrong with Scout?”


He chuckled and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.  “Nothing except for the fact that ‘Scout Giles’ doesn’t really…flow.  And besides…Scout Summer Giles sounds even worse.”


Buffy pouted and then sighed heavily.  “I really like that book…”


He smiled and leaned down to kiss her softly.  “Mm-hm, so do I.  However, Scout isn’t right for her…and I’m not naming her Boo.”


Buffy laughed and met his eyes.  “Boo Giles.  Not very good, huh?”


Giles shook his head, grinning when he felt his daughter kick.  “Reya?”


She thought for a minute and then sighed.  “I like it, but it doesn’t seem…right.  Piper?”


“Piper Summer Giles?  No…Ella?”


“Ella…”  She nodded slowly.  “We’ll put that one on the list.  Cadence?”


Giles sighed softly.  “Too…trendy for my tastes.”


They fell into a comfortable silence as they continued to dance.  He brushed his lips across her cheek and whispered softly.  “Hadley…Hadley Summer Giles.”


She lifted her head and smiled.  “Hadley?”


“Mm-hm.  You mentioned the name Heather a few weeks ago…”


“Yeah, and you shot it down real quick too.”


He chuckled softly.  “I don’t care for the name ‘Heather’.  However…the meaning of Hadley is ‘field of heather’.  And…I quite like the idea of calling a little girl, ‘Haddie’.”


Buffy smiled brightly.  “I like it…a lot.”


“Yes?”  Giles returned her smile.  “So, we’ll put it on the list of keepers for the time being?”


“Yeah…I think so.”  She rested her head against his chest, listening to his heart.  “Of course, give me a couple of days and I’ll probably change my mind again.”


Giles laughed, his hands gently caressing her back.  “As long as she has a permanent name before we bring her home…”


She snuggled into his embrace as the song came to an end.  When he started to pull away, she looked up at him.


“Just one more?  I love being in your arms…”


He nodded slowly, grazing his fingertips over her cheek.  As they danced, neither spoke…each content just to hold one another as they swayed with the music.  Feeling a gentle movement from her abdomen, Giles grinned…feeling his heart swell with pride.


‘A daughter.  Finally…a daughter…’


She looked up and noticed his grin.  “Whatcha smiling about, Giles?”


“Hm?”  He met her eyes and shrugged a shoulder.  “I was just thinking.”


She slid her left hand in between them and gently rubbed his chest.  “About maybe taking me home early tonight?  Or…maybe asking Peter and Julian if they would mind spending the night at our house with the boys while we get a hotel room in the city?”


He closed his eyes and exhaled slowly.  “Well…I’m definitely thinking about that now.”


She chuckled and brushed her fingers over his hardened nipple.  “What were you thinking about before?”


He opened his eyes and smiled down at her.  “The fact that we’re having a girl.”


She returned his smile.  “You were really hoping for a girl this time, weren’t you?”


He nodded slowly, running his fingers down the side of her face.  “Not that I wouldn’t have been happy with another son.”


She stared into his eyes for a moment as his fingertips grazed down her neck.  “Not to change the subject or anything, but…do you have any idea how much I just want to throw you down on this floor and – ”


He placed two fingers over her mouth quickly and swallowed, his eyes darkening a shade.  “If you finish that statement right now, I’m liable to be arrested for indecent exposure.”


She smiled and flicked her tongue against his index finger.  He groaned softly and shook his head. 


“Darling, it’s already going to be difficult to walk back to the table without everyone in here knowing the state I’m in.”


She grinned and repeated the motion, this time pulling the tip of his finger into her mouth and sucking lightly at it.  He shivered and tightened his hand on her hip.


“Christ…”  He whispered huskily. 


She released his finger, smiling as he closed his eyes.  She quickly glanced at the bartender, who gave her a subtle nod.  Her smile grew as she wrapped her hand around his neck and gently pulled him down.  He felt her warm breath on his skin as she moved her mouth to his ear and whispered softly.


“Follow me.”


His eyes snapped open as he lifted his head.  She took his hand and led him from the dancefloor towards a doorway in the corner of the pub.


Xander narrowed his eyes.  “Where are they going?”


Ethan grinned and pulled Anna closer to his side.  “They’ll be back in a few minutes.”


Willow and Oz shared a look and then smiled.  Anya rolled her eyes and took a sip of her drink. 


“Xander, you’re not that stupid.  You know exactly where they’re going and what they’re going to do.”


Xander’s eyes widened.  “They wouldn’t!  Not here.  I mean…it’s a public place.”


Ethan chuckled and took a swallow of his beer.  “With a private function room…with a locking door.”


Xander opened his mouth and then closed it again.  Anya scoffed lightly and patted his knee.  “Drink your beer.”


He nodded numbly, lifting the glass and finishing his lager in one swallow.  He placed the empty glass on the table.




* * *


Giles swallowed as Buffy closed and locked the door.  “Buffy?”


She smiled and began unbuttoning his shirt.  “Private function room.  We’re…having a function.”




She chuckled and led him across the room and pushed him onto the plush sofa resting against the far wall.  “Do you really think I didn’t plan this?”


“Our friends are out there…”  He protested half-heartedly as she quickly removed her clothing.


“Yeah, and they’ll still be there when we go back out.  This won’t take very long.”  She smiled, glancing down at his hand resting over his erection.  “That is…if you’ll get out of your clothes.”


He took a deep breath and unbuckled his belt.  “You…want to make love in the private function room of the pub we frequently attend?”


She shook her head slowly, batting his hands away from his belt and quickly unbuttoning and unzipping his trousers herself.  “No.”


He looked at her in confusion as he raised his hips, allowing her to tug his pants down his legs.  “I’m sorry?”


She curled her hand around his erection, stroking his firm flesh slowly as she straddled his thighs.  “I want to fuck you in the private function room of the pub we frequently attend.”


“Buffy…”  He groaned, resting his head against the back of the couch.


She lifted her hips and positioned the head of his cock at her entrance.  “I want it hard…and fast…and I want to swallow your screams with my mouth as you come.  Can you do that for me?”


His chest heaved as his hands moved to her hips.  “God, yes.”


He pulled her down quickly as he thrust upwards, completely embedding himself in her warm depths.  She inhaled sharply and for a brief moment, he was worried he had hurt her.


She saw the concern in his eyes and quickly shook her head.  “God, don’t stop!”


He gripped her hips tightly as they moved together at a frantic pace.  He leaned forward, pulling a hardened nipple into his mouth and sucking hard.  With one hand on his shoulder for leverage, she grasped the back of his head with the other.


“Giles…yes!  Oh God…fuck me!”


When he felt the tell-tale quiver of her inner muscles, he released her nipple and looked up at her.  On her next plunge down, he used all of the strength he could muster to hold her down, not allowing her to rise again.


Her eyes snapped open and she stared at him.  “Giles!”


He breathed heavily and smiled up at her.  He kicked his shoes off and quickly lifted her off of him.  She shook her head furiously.


“No, Giles…I’m…”


“Not stopping, Buffy.  Dear God, I’m not.  I couldn’t if I wanted to.”


“But – ”


He grinned as he deposited her onto the couch beside of him and leaned over removing his socks before kicking free of his trousers and boxers.  He stood, his hand wrapping around his wet cock and stroking slowly.


“Turn around.  Knees on the cushions…”


She grinned as she complied.  “Mm…I love it when you take control.”


She placed her hands on the top of the backrest and he shook his head, lifting her left hand with his and placing her palm flat against the wall.


“Hands here.”  He growled softly.


She lifted her other hand to the wall, moaning softly as he moved behind her and slid his erection through her wet folds.  “Giles…”


He leaned over her back, nipping her neck with his teeth before moving his lips to her ear.  “I’m going to fuck you…hard and fast, just as you want.”


“Yes…”  She pushed back against him, her fingers curling against the wall as the head of his cock brushed over her clitoris.


He reached up and tapped her fist.  “Palms flat against the wall.”


She uncurled her fist and pressed her hands against the cool cinder block wall.  She groaned as his fingers brushed across her nipple.


“After you come…”  He thrust his hips, only rubbing against her clit with his cock.  “I want you to turn around when you hear me say your name.  And…then I want you to suck my cock dry.”  He smiled, reaching down and guiding his erection back inside of her.  “Is that alright with you?”


She nodded as he began thrusting into her again.  “Yeah…God, yeah…Giles…”


When he noticed her fingers starting to curl again, he covered her hands with his, pressing them flat against the wall.  He lowered his head to her shoulder and nipped the skin lightly with his teeth as he thrust his hips against her.


“Harder…fuck me harder, Giles…”  She panted heavily as she pushed back against him.


He complied with a groan against her skin.  When he felt her inner muscles begin to quiver once again, he pulled her right hand from the wall and placed it on her breast.  Her nipple slipped between her fingers and he flicked it with his thumb, smiling when she groaned loudly.


“Yes, Buffy…come for me…”




He nodded in silent agreement and lowered his hand, leaving hers on her breast.  She continued kneading the firm flesh as his hand moved over her swollen abdomen and down to the soft curls covering her mound.


The light touch caused her to buck back against him.  He closed his eyes when he felt the spasms become stronger.  He doubled his efforts, fucking her with long strokes.  When her spasms became ripples, his fingers found her clitoris and pinched the throbbing bundle of nerves lightly.


She threw her head back and screamed his name.  Her fluids washed over his thrusting cock and he groaned loudly, quickly pulling out and whispering her name gruffly.


She collapsed onto the cushions and turned her trembling body towards him.  Her glazed eyes stared into his as she leaned forward and pulled his thickening flesh into her mouth.  His hand gripped the top of the couch tightly as she began to suck.


“Christ, Buffy!”


The fingers of his free hand wound in her hair, stopping her motion as he came in her mouth.  She swallowed greedily, refusing to let one drop escape.  He inhaled shakily and smoothed her hair down as she used her tongue to clean his flesh thoroughly.


His body trembled, the sensations becoming too much, and he took a step back.  She looked up at him and licked her lips. 


“God, Buffy…”  He breathed and dropped to his knees in front of her.


He pulled her to him and quickly covered her mouth with his.  His tongue swept into her mouth, tasting his essence on her tongue.  He ended the kiss slowly, pulling back to rest his forehead against hers.


“I love you.”  He whispered softly.


She sighed and placed her palm against his cheek.  “I love you too.”


He lifted his head and chuckled warmly.  At her raised eyebrow, he combed his fingers through her hair and gave her a wink.


“You look thoroughly fucked.”


She grinned and slid her hand to his chest, loving the feel of his heart pounding under her touch.  “So do you.”


“I suppose they’ll know exactly what we’ve been doing.”  He gestured towards the door with a tilt of his head.


Buffy laughed.  “Even if we didn’t look…sated…they would know what we’ve been doing.”


Giles grinned and grabbed his discarded clothing as he stood.  “I’m not sure I would classify myself as ‘sated’ at the moment.”


She pushed herself up from the couch and picked up her clothes.  “No?”


He shook his head, quickly dressing himself and sitting on the couch to tie his shoes.  “It…took the edge off.”


She laughed again, slipping into her dress and running her fingers through her hair.  “Still want to ask Peter and Julian if they can stay the night?”


He stood and then leaned down to kiss her soundly.  “Would you object to that idea?”


She smiled brightly and shook her head, taking his hand and leading him to the door.  “Not at all.”


He licked his lips as she unlocked and opened the door.  As she pulled him out of the room, he stopped her and turned her around to face him.  She sighed softly as he placed his hand on her abdomen and gently rubbed the protrusion.


She gave him a moment with his daughter before she tugged on the hand she was still holding.  He raised his eyes to meet hers and smiled shyly.  She tilted her head in the direction of the table and rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand.


“Come on…”


He nodded silently and they made their way across the pub to their table.  As he sat down, Xander smiled at him. 


“Where’ve you guys been?”


Giles blushed lightly and Buffy gently patted his thigh.  She grinned as she looked at Xander.


“Discussing baby names.  And…if you’re interested, we’ve decided.”


Giles looked at her quickly, knowing they hadn’t been discussing names…much less making a decision.  Willow giggled happily and leaned her elbows on the table.


“Well, tell us!  Don’t keep us in suspense!  We’ve only been waiting for three months, you know.”


Buffy smiled brightly and leaned against Giles’ shoulder.  “Hadley Summer Giles.”


As Willow gushed about the name, Anya rolled her eyes and looked at Ethan.


You know they weren’t talking about names, don’t you?”


Giles cleared his throat and joined in with the conversation that now included Xander as well as Willow and Buffy.


Ethan winked at Anya and lifted his glass of beer.



~ End


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