Title:  Unravelled

Author:  Froxyn

Rating:  FRAO

Pairing:  Buffy/Giles

Timeline:  Five months after Thirty.

Synopsis:  Patience isn’t always a good thing.


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Giles woke to the sensation of Buffy’s tongue circling his nipple.  He groaned softly and opened his eyes when he felt her warm fingers slip underneath the waistband of his pajama pants and wrap around his erection.  Buffy lifted her head and smiled.


“Sorry…I just couldn’t help myself.”


He returned her smile, his breath catching as she began to stroke him.  “What…what time is it?”


“A little after three.”  She rubbed her thumb over the head of his cock as she placed a soft kiss on his cheek.  “Had a dream…woke up.”


His right hand slid under the shirt she had worn to bed, gliding across her skin until it covered her left breast.  “Good dream, I hope.”


“Mm.”  She sighed as he gently massaged the firm flesh.  “Oh yeah…great dream.”


He rolled her nipple between his thumb and forefinger, smiling as she gasped.  “So, you woke up aroused and decided to molest me?”


She stared into his eyes, tightening her grip on his erection and giving it a firm stroke.  “Something like that.  Is that okay with you?”


His hips thrust of their own accord as he nodded.  “God, yes.”


She grinned as he whimpered in protest when she suddenly released him.  Placing a kiss on his chin, she hooked her fingers under his waistband. 


“Relax.  I just need you naked.”


He swallowed, lifting his hips as she tugged his pants down his legs.  He watched her closely as she moved down the bed, pulling his pants completely off and tossing them to the floor.  When she lowered her head and flicked her tongue against the head of his erection, he inhaled sharply.




Her eyes sparkled in the moonlight shining through the bedroom window as she took him into her mouth.  He reached out, running his fingers through her hair to move it out of the way.  He loved the current length of her hair, but it did have the tendency to obscure his view.  And, oh how he loved to watch her lips slide up and down his hard shaft.


When he whispered her name, Buffy met his eyes but continued bobbing her head.  He licked his lips and moved his hand to her cheek, his thumb brushing her upper lip.


“Come here.”


She mumbled an incoherent sound that he took as her saying ‘no’. 


“Please.”  Giles whispered urgently.  “Please come here.”


She sucked hard as she moved her mouth up his length, allowing it to slip from her lips when she reached the glans.  She licked her lips as he groaned loudly.


“How close are you?”


“Close enough.”  He panted heavily, grabbing her arm and pulling her up his body.  “I’m hoping you woke me to make love, because I desperately want to be inside of you.”


She nodded quickly, straddling his hips and pressing her wet core against his erection.  “I definitely want to make love with you.”


He took hold of her right hand and brought it to his lips, kissing and then licking her fingers.  He met her eyes and smiled when he tasted her essence on her middle finger.


“Did you make yourself come?”


“Nearly.”  She whispered, rubbing her core along his cock.  “Decided I wanted you to make me come instead.”


“How?”  He asked softly, slipping his hands underneath her shirt and slowly pushing it up.  “How do you want me to make you come?”


She raised her arms, allowing him to remove the shirt, leaving her completely naked on top of him.  “I want it slow…nice and slow…”


He smiled and dropped the shirt from his hands before carefully pushing himself up.  He ran his fingers through her hair as he leaned back against the headboard.


“You are so beautiful.”  Giles whispered as he leaned forward, dropping a soft kiss onto her lips.  “I’m sure I’ll never know what I did to deserve your love, but every single day I thank whoever is listening for the fact that you’re mine.”


“You know what you did, Giles.”  She lifted her hand, tracing his cheek with her fingertips.  “You loved me…unconditionally.  I screwed up so many times when I was younger…”


“We all do, love.  It’s part of being young.”


She shook her head slowly, moving her fingers to his lips.  “I gave you so many reasons to not like me, to be disappointed in me.  And you only gave me your support, your shoulder to cry on if needed.”


“I’m your Watcher, Buffy.  That is a small part of my duty to you.”


She smiled and kissed him slowly, combing her fingers through his hair.  She nipped his bottom lip with her teeth as she ended the kiss with a sigh of contentment. 


Merrick was my Watcher in the beginning.  He was a good man, but…he was never as attentive to my feelings as you were…are.”


Giles smiled, covering her right breast with his left hand.  Merrick cared, but it wasn’t in his nature to listen to young girls pour their hearts out over a tub of ice cream.”


She arched against his hand, moaning softly as he increased the pressure of his ministrations.  “God, that feels good…”


“Did I ever tell you about the dream I had after one particular ice cream fest?”


She shook her head as he rolled her hardened nipple between his fingers.  She could feel the fingers of his right hand tracing indistinct shapes over her ribcage.


“No.  When?”


He wet his lips with the tip of his tongue before he began.


“Your father had cancelled your birthday plans…for the third year in a row.  I felt so badly for you.  And you ranted and raved over a carton and a half of chocolate chip cookie dough.”


She shifted on his lap, sighing when she felt the head of his erection brush across her abdomen.  “I remember that.  You were so patient…listening to me bitch about how men were just stupid and – ”


He chuckled softly, nodding as he gently pinched her nipple.  “I remember stating that not all men were stupid.”


“Uh-huh.”  She moaned, scratching her nails against the back of his neck.  “Your dream?”


“Christ, I love it when you do that…”


She stared into his eyes and grinned.  “If you don’t tell me about your dream, I’m not doing it again.”


A smile played at his lips as his right hand moved to her left breast.  He gently massaged both, his eyes darkening as she gave a pleasurable growl.


“You were having a bad day, I’m unable to recall the reason.”  He smiled as she arched an eyebrow at him.  “Of course, the reasoning isn’t important in this instance.”


She reached between their bodies and rubbed the hard shaft pressed against her stomach.  “Get to the good part, Rupert.”


He smiled, moving his hands to her back and rolling their bodies until she was on her back and he was kneeling between her thighs.  “The ice cream had melted in the time we had spent kissing, touching, and undressing each other.”


He glanced at her chest as his hands caressed her inner thighs.  “I drizzled it onto your nipples…down your stomach…covered your golden curls with it.” 


He leaned over her, flicking his tongue against her nipple.  A grin formed as she groaned.  “I started with gentle licks…like this.”  He carefully circled the hardened nub with the tip of his tongue.  “And then…”


She grabbed at his back as his mouth closed over her nipple.  He sucked, licked, nibbled at the sensitive flesh until he felt her nails claw at his skin.  He lifted his head and gave her a smile before following the imaginary trail down her stomach.




“It was so sweet, almost too sweet.  And so very sticky.”  He gently parted her lower lips with his thumb and forefinger.  “There wasn’t much left, but what remained I poured over your clit.  Your hips arched towards me, begging me to taste you…”


He lay down between her legs and kissed her inner thigh before whispering huskily to her.  “And so I did.”


The words had barely left his lips before he sucked her clitoris into his mouth.  Her hand flew to his head, holding him to her as he pushed two fingers inside of her.  He didn’t thrust, just enjoyed the sensation of being inside of her as he sucked and nibbled at the throbbing flesh in his mouth.


Her head thrashed against the pillow as his tongue laved her clit.  “God, Giles!”


Giles felt her inner muscles tighten around his fingers.  He moved quickly, removing his fingers from her and sliding up her body.  He covered her mouth with his, nudging his tongue between her lips as he slowly pushed his hard cock into her.


He gently rocked his hips against her, breaking the kiss and smiling down at her.  “My cock was so hard when I woke up from that dream.”


She raised her legs, resting her knees against his sides.  “What did…oh, yes…just like that…”


He supported his weight with his left hand on the mattress, using his right to tenderly play with her nipple.  “What did I do?”


“Uh-huh.”  She mumbled as he lengthened his strokes, but kept his slow pace.


“Masturbated as I fantasized about precisely what we’re doing now.”  He looked into her darkened eyes and sighed.  “Christ, how I wanted to make love with you then.”


“Should’ve…should’ve told me…”  She whispered, lifting her hips to meet his thrusts.


He shook his head slowly, sliding his right hand down her body.  “You were barely nineteen…and seemingly happy to be in someone else’s arms at that time.”


She gazed at him through passion-glazed eyes, sliding her hand over his sweat-dampened chest.  “Seemingly…key word…”


“I love you so very much, Buffy.”


At his thickly whispered admission, her orgasm crashed over her.  He rode it out, increasing his pace as her inner walls spasmed around him.  He groaned and lowered his mouth to her collarbone. 


Buffy gripped his back with her right hand, using her left to lovingly stroke the back of his head.  “Loved you then…love you now.  Giles…oh, God…yes, baby…”


He grunted against her skin, feeling his own orgasm quickly approaching.  When she wrapped her legs around him and whispered for him to move faster, he lifted his head and groaned her name. 


He complied with her request, pushing harder…faster into her.  When he felt her nails scrape across his back, he shuddered and came deep within her as her fluids bathed his cock for a second time.


He slowed his thrusts gradually, lowering his mouth to hers.  Just as their lips touched, the phone rang.  She whimpered, his groan rumbled in his chest.  He rolled to the side and grabbed the offending object on the third ring.




He smiled as Buffy curled her leg over him and ran her fingers through the hair on his chest as she kissed his shoulder.  His smile faded as the caller began to speak.


“Mr. Giles, I do apologize for calling so late.  This is John Franklin, head of your surveillance team in Camrose.”


“Yes?  Is there a problem?”  He pushed himself up and reached over to the bedside table, flicking the lamp on.


Buffy sat up quickly, concern etched on her face.


John Franklin sighed heavily.  “Yes, there is, sir.  You are aware of the obliteration of Three Hills that took place five months ago?”


Giles narrowed his eyes.  “I vaguely remember something about that.  A factory exploded, setting off a chain reaction within the town, right?”


John cleared his throat.  “That was the initial report, sir.  We sent a team down to investigate.  It’s normal procedure when something of this magnitude takes place so close to a Hellmouth.”


“You said ‘initial report’.  Did your investigation find something else?”  Giles asked warily.


“Yes, sir, it did.  We found evidence that shows magick was involved.”  John hesitated for a moment before continuing.  “We tracked it back to Camrose.”


“Dear Lord.”  Giles whispered, swallowing thickly.  Stockton?”


John exhaled deeply.  “That is another issue, sir.  Three hours ago, he left his residence.  I sent two men to follow him, as per our orders.  My men came back and reported that Mr. Stockton had driven his car off a cliff.  I have a search team out there now investigating the wreckage.”


Giles cleared his throat.  “Search, but no rescue team?”


John hesitated for a moment.  “There was no way he could have survived the crash, Mr. Giles.  We’ve just searched his residence and found a suicide note.  It also stated that he was behind the Three Hills tragedy.”


Giles’ eyes widened, alarming Buffy.  “Did he give a reason for obliterating an entire town?”


“No, sir.”  John sighed softly. 


“Call Brooks and advise him.  Keep me updated with any further details.”  Giles requested softly, but with authority. 


“Yes, sir.”


Giles stared at the phone as John disconnected the line.  He cleared his throat and slowly met Buffy’s eyes.


“Mitchell Stockton is presumed dead.”


Buffy stared at him in shock as he conveyed the entire conversation to her.  Neither of them were able to get any more sleep that night.


Chapter Two


Two days later, Giles was in his office organizing a new Watcher for the Slayer stationed in Nepal.  She was currently under Council watch as her Watcher had been killed the previous day by a Yeti, of all things.


Giles sighed sadly.  Kyle Perry had been two years behind him in the Academy.  Giles always found it difficult when a Watcher or Slayer were killed, but it was even harder when it was a friend.


He signed his name to the bottom of the form and walked over to the fax machine.  Jalaja, Kyle’s Slayer, was purported to be in a state of shock.  She and Kyle had been well-matched and their bond had formed quickly.  Bryan Vance would never take Kyle’s place in Jalaja’s soul, but he would train her well.


As he turned towards his desk, he noticed a figure standing in the doorway.  He looked up and stopped his movement, his mouth dropping open slightly.


Mitchell Stockton chuckled and pushed himself from the doorframe and entered the office.  “I look pretty good for a dead guy, huh?”


Giles studied the man carefully before shaking his head.  “You’re not dead.”


Stockton grinned and tapped his temple with his forefinger.  “I always knew you were a smart one, Mr. Giles.”


“You killed over three thousand people five months ago.”


“Yeah, I did.”  Stockton stated in a nonchalant tone that concerned Giles.  “I watched them burn before I went back home.  You took my career, what else was I to do?”


“I’m rather sure that mass murder wouldn’t have been my first choice.”  Giles responded, narrowing his eyes.


“But, I’m not you.”  Stockton stared into Giles’ eyes, his smile growing.  “Would you like to know what I’ve been doing for the past five months?”


“I suppose you’re going to tell me whether I say yes or no.”


Stockton’s smile faltered.  “Your smart mouth might very well get you killed one day.”


Giles didn’t move, didn’t allow his sudden panic to be seen.  But, he felt it rush through him.  And he felt his heart begin to race when Mitchell Stockton pulled a gun out of his pocket and pointed it at him.


Stockton’s smile returned as he tilted his head slightly.  “That day will probably be today.”


* * *


Ethan laughed as he held the door to the stairwell open for Michael.  “Rupert offered me a job one time, but I turned it down.  I’m…just not the nine to five type.”


Michael walked through the door and hesitated at the bottom of the stairs.  “I don’t really have that much experience with…”  He gestured vaguely.  “All of this.  I didn’t even know this stuff existed until I met you.”


Ethan smiled and placed his hand on Michael’s back in a supportive gesture as they climbed the stairs.  “I doubt that you’d have many dealings with the demons themselves.  Rupert needs a good accountant on his team…one that he can trust.  You’re one of the best in London, Michael.  And he trusts you enough to take care of his children, I’m sure he’ll trust you to take care of the Council’s money.”


“How much money are we talking about here?”  Michael asked quietly.


Ethan grinned as they reached the second floor.  “More than – ”


He jumped back, pulling Michael with him as the stairwell door slammed open.  A man roughly pushed Ethan out of the way before running down the stairs at top speed.  Michael grabbed Ethan to steady him.


“Was…did he have a gun?”


Before Ethan could answer him, sirens sounded within the Council walls.  Ethan’s eyes widened. 


“Shit!  Rupert!”  He rushed out of the stairwell and ran down the hall towards Giles’ office, Michael right on his heels.


Michael stopped just inside the office doors, his mouth dropping open in shock.  Ethan cursed loudly and ran to the centre of the room where Giles was laying, the midnight blue of the carpet taking on a purplish hue as the blood soaked into it.


“Fuck!  Rupert…”  He fell to his knees at his friend’s side and pointed towards the desk.  “Michael, scissors…now!”


Michael got his feet moving and rummaged through the desk, quickly locating a pair of scissors which he handed to Ethan.  As Ethan cut Giles’ shirt open, Giles opened his eyes.




“God, Rupert…what the hell happened?”  He glanced down, immediately seeing the wound on the right side of Giles’ chest.  “That fucker shot you?”


“Ethan…you…you need to listen.”


Ethan looked into Giles’ eyes and shook his head.  “No…don’t you fucking die on me now, you bastard.”


Giles ignored him, continuing to speak…wanting to get things out before he passed out.  And he could quickly feel himself becoming lightheaded.


“Protect Buffy and the children.  She…she’ll want to give me her blood…it must be purified before the transfusion.  Willow knows.  Stockton…not dead.”


Ethan swallowed thickly and spoke three words in an ancient language as he pressed his hand over the wound.  Michael’s eyes widened as a shimmering light appeared on the opposite side of the room.


“What the hell?”


“It’s a portal.  I need you to go through it.”  Ethan answered quickly.


Michael stared at him.  “What?”


“It’ll open in their living room.  Tell Buffy you’ll watch the kids.  She needs to be here now.”  He reached into his pocket with his free hand and pulled out his mobile phone.  As he flipped it open and punched in Willow’s number, he noticed that Michael hadn’t moved.


“Michael, you’ll be safe.”


Michael glanced from Ethan to the portal and back to Ethan.  “Are you sure?”


Ethan nodded quickly.  “I’d never put you in harm’s way, Michael.  Please, we need Buffy here now.”


Willow had answered the phone and heard Ethan’s last statement.  “Ethan?  What’s going on?”


“Rupert’s been shot.”  He sighed softly as Michael took a deep breath and stepped into the portal. 


“Oh my God!  Is he…”


“He’s alive, but he’s lost a lot of blood.”  He cursed as Giles closed his eyes.  “Fucking wake up, Ripper!”


“Ethan?”  Willow’s voice was filled with panic.


Willow…he said something about purifying Buffy’s blood.  I don’t know what that means.”


“I do.  I’ll be right there.”


Before he could say anything else, Willow had ended the call.  He dropped his phone to the floor and gently stroked the side of Giles’ face.


“Come on, Rupert…don’t do this.  Just…just hold on, okay?”


“Buffy…”  Giles mumbled almost inaudibly.


“She’s coming.  Stay with me here.”  Ethan whispered, fear gripping his heart.


* * *


Buffy had just checked on Haddie and Evan.  They were sleeping peacefully, their afternoon nap.  She’d made herself a cup of tea and was heading back into the living room.  She bit back her startled scream as Michael walked out of a portal in front of her.  Michael glanced around the room, seemingly surprised.  But, Buffy also saw the panic in his eyes.


“Michael?  What’s going on?”


“I…Ethan sent me to watch the children.  You…”  He gestured at the portal behind him.  “You need to go through that.  Rupert’s been hurt.”


Buffy dropped the mug of tea she was holding.  “Is he…”


“You need to hurry.  Please.”


Hearing the urgency in his voice, she jumped into the portal.  Michael sat down on the couch and fought back his tears.  “God, I hope it’s not too late.”


* * *


Ethan looked up as Buffy screamed her husband’s name. He moved to kneel above Giles’ head, maintaining the pressure on the hole in his chest.


“I’ve called the doctor.”


Buffy fell to the floor and gently stroked Giles’ cheek with her trembling fingers.  “Giles?  Baby, wake up for me.”


When he didn’t stir, she turned her tear-filled eyes up to Ethan’s.  “What happened?”


“I’m not exactly sure.  He mentioned a name…Stockton, I think?”


“Oh, God.  The kids – ”


Ethan shook his head quickly.  “As soon as the doctor gets here, I’ll put a protection spell on you and the children.  Rupert’s orders.”


Hearing a shocked gasp, they both looked to the door to find a teary Willow rush into the office.  Ethan repeated all that he knew as Buffy urgently whispered to Giles.  The next ten minutes was a flurry of motion as more people showed up.  Xander, Anya, Oz…the doctor followed quickly and took over from Ethan.


Only when Ethan looked down at his blood-covered hands did he allow his tears to finally fall.  He tried to listen to the others, but found he could only catch snippets of the frenzied conversations.


As Giles’ unconscious body was transported onto a gurney and pushed out of the room, Ethan raised his eyes towards the ceiling and whispered a heartfelt prayer to anyone who might be listening.


“Please, don’t let him die.”


He felt a warm hand on his shoulder and met Xander’s concerned eyes.  “You can ride with us.”


Ethan slowly shook his head.  “I…I have to place a protection spell on their home…their children.”


Anya gestured towards the portal.  “This is to their house, right?”  When Ethan nodded, Anya took a deep breath.  “It’ll only take you a few minutes, we’ll wait.”


“Michael’s with the children.”  He whispered as he stood.  “I…should stay with him.”


Without another word, he walked into the portal and vanished from the room.  Anya took Xander’s hand and led him to the door.


“Do you think he’s going to be okay?”


Xander sighed heavily and glanced back and the dark patch on the carpet.  “I don’t know.”


* * *


Michael looked up as a bloodstained Ethan came out of the portal.  He stood up quickly and pulled Ethan into his arms.


“Are you okay?”


Ethan bit his lip and glanced down at his ruined clothing.  “A lot of blood, this is.  Where are the children?”


“Braden and Lucas are at school.  Haddie and Evan are taking a nap.”  He answered as he placed his hand on the side of Ethan’s face.  “Is he going to be okay?”


“Maybe.  I don’t know.  If they can get Buffy’s blood into him in time, he’ll have a better chance.”  He leaned into Michael’s touch and closed his eyes.  “I…should get cleaned up.  We’ll pick up Braden and Lucas…and then I’ll call…someone…to see if they want us to bring them to the hospital.”


Michael sighed softly.  “Ethan, are you okay?”


A tear rolled down Ethan’s cheek.  “Not at the moment, no.”


Michael leaned forward, placing a tender kiss on Ethan’s lips.  “I love you.”


“I love you too.”  He swallowed the lump in his throat.  “Do you think…well, would you mind coming with me?  I’d like to talk to you while I’m in the shower.”


“Of course, love.  I’ll just check on Haddie and Evan first, okay?”


Ethan nodded numbly and headed towards the bathroom.  Michael watched him and then exhaled deeply.  He knew about Ethan’s past with Giles.  He knew that Ethan was in love with Giles at one time.  He also knew that Ethan still loved Giles to some extent.  He couldn’t imagine what Ethan was going through, but he did know that he would do whatever he needed to do to help Ethan.


Chapter Three


Willow sprinkled a handful of herbs over the two pints of blood and quickly spoke the words of the purification spell that Giles had taught her a few years earlier.  She grimaced and shook her head…two pints was a lot.  But, Buffy refused to give any less.  Even the doctor’s warnings wouldn’t change her mind.


The blood glowed brightly for a few moments, just like Giles had said it would.  When the glow dissipated, she knew that the purification spell had been successful. 


She looked up at the Council medic and smiled softly.  “It’s ready.”


The young man raised an eyebrow.  “And why did it need to be purified?”


“If a Slayer and her Watcher have formed their bond, there is a side effect that comes with the healing powers when the Slayer’s blood is given to the Watcher.  We’ve been there, done that…really don’t wanna go there again.”


“Oh.”  He answered uncertainly.


She gestured to the two bags of blood.  “You need to go with that now.”


“Right.”  He replied nervously, grabbing the bags and running from the room. 


Willow sighed heavily and walked into the hallway, glancing at the doors leading to the operating rooms before making her way to the waiting area.  Buffy stood at the window, staring out at the city with a large cup of orange juice in her hand. 


Xander was whispering to an obviously upset Anya.  Xander’s eyes were red, Willow knew that he’d been crying as well.  She looked at her husband, who offered her a reassuring smile and tilted his head towards Buffy.


Willow nodded and then walked across the room.  Buffy sniffled as Willow put her arm around her.




Buffy’s hand trembled as she reached up to wipe the tears from her face.  “I’m scared, Will.”


“I know, Buffy.  We all are.  Listen, the medic just took your donation into the operating room.”


Buffy turned to her friend.  “The purification…does it lessen the potency of the healing aspect?”


Willow nearly smiled at Buffy’s use of the word ‘potency’, but stopped herself.  “No, it just gets rid of the overly aroused Watcher aspect of it.”


“What if he doesn’t make it, Will?  What am I supposed to do?”  Buffy whispered as fresh tears ran down her cheeks.


Willow quickly wrapped her arms around Buffy, holding her as she cried.  “It’s Giles, Buffy.  He’s not going to leave you and the kids without one hell of a fight.”


“The kids!  Oh, God…what if Stockton – ”


Buffy was interrupted by the ringing of her mobile phone.  Seeing the caller ID display Ethan’s name, she quickly answered.


“Ethan, are they – ”


“They’re fine, Buffy.  I’ve placed the protection spell on the house…and the children, as well as you.”  He exhaled slowly, hesitating slightly before continuing.  “How is he?”


“He’s in surgery now.  They just took two pints of my blood in…I just hope I wasn’t too late.”


“Buffy…we’re…Michael and I…we’re getting ready to pick up Braden and Lucas from school.  Haddie’s already asking where the two of you are.  I…what do you want us to tell them?”


Buffy thought for a second, running her hand through her hair.  “Tell them Daddy’s had an accident.  And…and then bring them here.”


“Okay.”  He replied softly, handing the car keys to Michael.  “We’ll have to take your car.”


Buffy nodded absently, the tone of Ethan’s voice registering finally.  “Ethan?  Are you okay?”


“Probably a little better than you, but not by much.”  He cleared his throat.  “We’ll be there in about thirty minutes.”




“Yes, Buffy?”


She bit her bottom lip and stared at the glass of juice in her hand.  “Thank you for being there with him.  For…for staying with him.”


“I couldn’t leave him.” 


With nothing more to say, they whispered their goodbyes and ended the call.  Willow tenderly rubbed Buffy’s shoulder.


“What are you going to tell them?  You know they’ll want to see him.”


“I don’t know.”  She turned her eyes back to the window and shook her head.  “I really don’t know.”


* * *


Braden’s eyes glistened as he stared at his mother.  “Is…he’s going to be okay, though.  Right?”


When Buffy hesitated, a tear rolled down his cheek.  “Mummy?  Daddy’s going to be okay?”


“I hope so, Ru.  He was hurt pretty badly.  But, the doctors are working really hard to make him all better.”  She reached out and ran her fingers through his hair.  “Please don’t cry.”


Haddie looked up from the picture book she was sharing with Evan, smiling brightly when she noticed someone standing in the corner of the waiting room.  She dropped the book and stood up, quickly running across the room.




Buffy looked up sharply, gasping as Haddie stopped suddenly and looked up, confusion etched on her face.  “Oh, God…no.”


Giles looked at Buffy and sighed.  He had meant to stay out of his daughter’s sight, but he had momentarily forgotten that she was drawn to spirits much the same way her mother was drawn to demonic activity.


He knelt quickly and looked into Haddie’s eyes.  “Hadley, I need you to tell Mummy something very quickly, yes?”


Haddie reached out, narrowing her eyes when she couldn’t touch him.  “Daddy?”


He glanced at Buffy again, his heart breaking to see the tears stream down her face.  He looked at their friends and realized all of them were staring at Haddie with a look of shock on their faces.  Braden’s bottom lip was quivering, Lucas was asking Buffy what was wrong, and he heard Evan state that he couldn’t see Daddy.


“Haddie, please.  Listen to me.  Tell Mummy to remember that not all spirits are ghosts.  Please, tell her now.”


Haddie gave him a quick nod and looked over at her mother.  “Daddy says to ‘member that not all sprits are ghoses.”


When Buffy calmed a little, he cleared his throat and smiled at Haddie.  “I’m going to need your help, Haddie.  I need you to tell Mummy some things, okay?”


Haddie smiled back at him and nodded.  “Okay.  What?”


Giles sighed and looked around the room.  “Ask her to come here, but I want you to talk quietly, okay?”


Haddie turned and whispered softly.  “Mummy, come here.”


Buffy took a deep breath and pushed herself from the chair.  She made her way across the room and knelt at Haddie’s left side.


“Where’s Daddy?”


Haddie smiled and pointed directly to her right.  “Here.”


Giles spoke quickly.  “Tell her I’m alright.  This is an O-O-B experience.”


“He’s aight. Is O-O-B sperience.”




Haddie looked to her right and listened carefully before speaking.  “Daddy’s gonna dance with you on your anversry.  An’ I need elcution lessons.”


Buffy chuckled as she wiped her face.  “I love you so much.  I got so scared when…”  She glanced at Haddie and shook her head.  “Earlier.”


“He knows.  He loves you too.”  Her brow furrowed.  “Stod…stok…”


Stockton?”  Buffy supplied for Haddie, causing her daughter to grin and nod.  “I know.  The sirens at the Council?”


“He had enough time to hit a buddon.”


Buffy swallowed and looked into her daughter’s eyes.  “How does he look, Haddie?”


Haddie studied the seemingly empty space and then shrugged a shoulder.  “He looks like Daddy.”


Giles smiled and took a deep breath, glancing over at the nine other people staring in their direction.  “Hadley?  I need to go now, but…would you be able to tell everyone something for me?”


Haddie nodded quickly and listened intently.


* * *


Haddie smiled at Ethan and Michael, the last two people her father said to give a message to.  “Daddy said thank you.”


Ethan closed his eyes briefly, inhaling deeply as Michael gently rubbed his thigh.  “Is he still here?”


Haddie looked around quickly before shaking her head.  “No, said he had to go back.”


He glanced at Buffy, reaching out to gently touch her arm.  “Are you okay, Buffy?”


“After the initial feeling of fear?  Yeah, I’m…”  She trailed off as the doors leading to the operating room swung open. 


She stood up slowly, wiping her suddenly damp palms against her jeans.  She opened her mouth, but no words formed.  Instead, she waited until the doctor stood in front of her.


“It took a lot of work, but…he’s going to be okay, Mrs. Giles.”  He smiled as Buffy exhaled a deep sigh of relief even as tears filled her eyes.  “He’ll need some time to recover, though we’ve been monitoring him for the past thirty minutes.  His inner tissues seems to be knitting back together quite rapidly.”


“My blood…”  Buffy whispered quietly.


The doctor smiled and nodded.  “We’ve given him something to keep him quiet for at least twenty-four hours.  Though the healing properties of the transfusion are seemingly successful, he’s going to be in a fair amount of pain.”


Buffy furrowed her brow.  “Keep him quiet?”


The doctor looked into Buffy’s eyes.  “He’s in a drug-induced coma for the time being.  It’s merely for his own protection.  He’ll fight the process if he’s awake.  This way, his body can heal without having to be in constant turmoil with his mind.”


“Can…can I see him?”


“Of course.”  He leaned forward and whispered softly in Buffy’s ear.  “Your children can come as well, if you’d like.  There’s nothing that would frighten them.  He simply looks as if he’s asleep.”


“Thank you.”


* * *


Braden gripped his mother’s hand tightly as they walked into the room.  Buffy looked down and offered him a reassuring smile.


“It’s okay, Ru.  Daddy’s just resting.”


Lucas was the first to make it to the bedside.  He stared at his father, studying him closely.  “He’s asleep.”


Buffy nodded as she sat down in the chair next to the bed, Evan in her arms.  “Yeah, he needs to rest.  That’s the best way for the body to heal when it’s been hurt.”


Lucas looked at her curiously.  “Like when you’re sick?”


Buffy smiled, watching Braden as he made his way to the side of the bed.  “Yeah, just like when you’re sick.”


Braden reached out and gently stroked his father’s forehead.  He released a deep breath when he felt the warmth of Giles’ skin.  As Haddie carefully climbed onto the bed, Braden leaned over and kissed his father’s cheek.


“I love you, Daddy.”


Buffy held back her tears.  If the children saw her cry, it would bring more questions than she had answers for at the moment.


* * *


Forty-five minutes later Ethan and Michael quietly walked into the room.  Xander, Anya, Willow, and Oz had already been in for a short visit before needing to get home to their own children.  Buffy looked up as she tenderly stroked Giles’ left hand.  Braden and Lucas were sharing a chair on the opposite side of the bed, Haddie and Evan were sitting on the foot of the bed. 




Ethan smiled softly.  “Hi.  It’s getting late…I thought maybe you should get the kids home.”


Buffy glanced at the children, biting her lip as she looked at Giles’ face.  “I should.  They’re all tired, but…I don’t want to leave him.”


Ethan nodded in understanding.  “Michael could take them home and get them some dinner and ready for bed.”




Ethan gave Michael a nod, sighing when each of the children gave their father a goodbye kiss.  The process took another fifteen minutes and Ethan smiled as Buffy promised them that she’d be home in time to read them a bedtime story and tuck them in.


Michael picked up Evan, rubbing the boy’s back as he laid his head on Michael’s shoulder.  He looked at Ethan and gently kissed his cheek.


“I’ll see you later.”


Ethan nodded slowly.  “Be careful.  I love you.”


Michael smiled warmly before returning the sentiment and ushering the children out of the room.  Ethan cleared his throat and sat down in the chair vacated by Braden and Lucas.  He glanced at Giles and then looked over the bed, meeting Buffy’s eyes.


“You could stay for a while longer.  I can…well, I can open a portal here.  You could be home in two seconds…back just as quickly.”


“I don’t want to leave him.”  Buffy spoke quietly, moving her gaze to her husband’s face.  “What if he wakes up and I’m not here?”


Ethan sighed and shook his head.  “Buffy, you heard the doctor.  He’s not going to wake up until they let him.  Your children need you right now.”


“I know.  And I need them as well.  It’s just…”  Tears filled her eyes as she looked back up.  “I don’t want to leave him here alone.  What if Stockton comes back for him when he finds out Giles is alive?”


“There’s a manhunt going on right now for Stockton.  I don’t think you’ll have to worry about him coming here.  And…I can stay with him tonight or for a few hours.  Once the children are in bed and asleep, you can come back.  Michael and I will stay with the kids…”


“Are you sure?”


Ethan nodded slowly.  “Of course, I’m sure.  I’ll leave the portal open.”


“Thank you.”  She looked back at Giles and sighed sadly. 


Chapter Four


Nearly ninety minutes later, Buffy sighed heavily.  She reached over and tenderly ran her fingers through Giles’ hair.


“I need to go home, honey.  Ethan has a portal open that leads straight to our house, so I can get here pretty damn quick if I need to.  I don’t want to go, but…Michael’s with the kids and I promised them I’d be home in time to read them a story.”


She watched him carefully for any sign of acknowledgement.  Seeing none, she leaned over him and kissed his forehead. 


“I think you can hear me.  I know you can’t tell me if you can, but…”  She swallowed the lump in her throat.  “Ethan’s going to stay here with you.  I’ll be back in a little while, okay?  I love you, Giles.  I love you so much.”


She pressed her lips to his, a tear spilling onto her cheek when she felt no reaction from him.  Ethan placed his hand on her back and whispered her name.


She didn’t take her eyes off of Giles as she spoke.  “He’s never not kissed me back.  Even…even when he’s been sick or sound asleep…he always kisses me back.”


“This is a little different, love.”  Ethan offered. 


She nodded and slowly lifted her eyes to Ethan’s.  “I know, it’s just…even though I know, I wasn’t expecting it.  It just looks like he’s asleep, you know?”


“Theoretically, he is.  It’s just a deep sleep, is all.”


“You’ll let me know if anything changes?”  She asked in a worried tone as she lovingly stroked Giles’ cheek.


“I promise, Buffy.”


She nodded absently and kissed Giles’ forehead before whispering a soft ‘good night’ to him.  Ethan sat down in the chair, watching as Buffy moved towards the portal.  With one last look back at the bed, she breathed a heavy sigh and stepped into the shimmering light.


Ethan leaned forward and rested his arms on the edge of the bed.  “The doctor says everything’s gonna be okay, Rupert.  Says the healing aspects of Buffy’s blood are doing as they should.  But, I have to admit…I’m scared.”


He lifted his hand and gently stroked Giles’ forehead with his fingertips.  “I’m not used to seeing you this still.  Even when you were unconscious when you were coming down from your high on drugs and magicks, you were never this still.”


He watched for any signs of movement, sighing when he saw none.  “I hope the doctor’s right, because…Buffy and the children need you.  And if I’m perfectly honest…I need you too.”


Just as Michael stepped through the portal and into the room, a grimace took over Giles’ features.  Michael narrowed his eyes in concern and quickly made his way to Ethan’s side.


“Is he alright?”


Ethan nodded and then spoke softly.  “I need you to help me move him.”


“What?”  Michael’s eyes widened.  “We shouldn’t move him…he’s been shot and spent three hours in surgery.”


“He’s having a nightmare.”  Ethan exhaled slowly and looked up at his partner.  “He always has nightmares when he sleeps on his back.  I need you to help me move him onto his side.”


When Michael merely stared at him, Ethan continued quietly.  “His right side would be ideal, but considering where he was…shot…his left will have to do.  We can…we can place a few pillows behind him to keep him from rolling onto his back…”


Michael reached out, lovingly caressing Ethan’s cheek as he whispered.  “How many times did you share a bed with him before you figured this out?”


“Four.”  Ethan answered before standing.  “He never would tell me what the nightmares were about.  But, after I figured it out I was able to help him get a good night’s rest.”


Michael gave him a nod and moved to the wardrobe in search of more pillows. Ethan watched him, finding himself thankful to have him in his life.  And even more thankful that Michael was understanding when it came to his past.  Specifically, the past he shared with Giles.




“Yeah?”  Michael turned around with three pillows in his arms.


Ethan hesitated and then licked his dry lips.  “Would you…would you spend the rest of my life with me?”


Michael smiled, grabbing a fourth pillow from the top shelf.  “I’d spend the rest of my life with you.”


Ethan took a deep breath and looked into Michael’s blue eyes.  “Will you marry me?”


Michael dropped the pillows to the floor and stared at Ethan in shock.  “Did you…did you just propose to me?  In the middle of a hospital room where your best friend is lying in a drug-induced coma?”


Ethan cleared his throat and nodded slowly.  “I’m rather sure that I did.  I know it isn’t terribly romantic or – ”


“No, it’s not.”  Michael agreed before a smile appeared in his eyes.  “But, it’s you.  It’s purely an Ethan Rayne type of thing to do.  And…my answer is yes.”


Ethan released the breath he’d been holding and smiled as Michael moved into his arms.  “I do love you so, Michael.”


* * *


Somewhere deep in his drug-filled mind, Giles laughed.  Michael was right…it was an Ethan thing to do.  His laughter ebbed as the nightmare began to form again.  Hopefully, Ethan and Michael would remember their task of turning him.


He wasn’t sure if he could handle watching Mitchell Stockton shoot down his family again.


* * *


Four hours later, Buffy walked back through the portal.  The children were sound asleep, but sleep couldn’t find her.  She smiled softly.  Ethan had remembered.  She shook her head, knowing that it didn’t surprise her. 


The two chairs had been placed side by side on the left side of Giles’ bed.  Michael was sleeping, his head resting on Ethan’s shoulder.  Ethan was awake, watching Giles as he continued to sleep.




Ethan looked up quickly, clearly startled.  “Buffy, hi.  He’s…we moved him onto his side…”


“Nightmares, I know.  Thank you for thinking of it.”  She moved to the side of the bed and combed her fingers through her husband’s hair.  “No changes?”


“No.”  Ethan gently shook Michael to wake him.  “The kids?”


“Worried, but asleep.  I…have trouble sleeping if he’s not there.”


Michael roused and yawned as he stretched.  “Ethan and I will head over to your house.  That way you can spend some time with Giles and we’ll keep an eye on the children.”


Buffy smiled appreciatively.  “Thank you.  There are fresh sheets on the bed in the guest room.  Sometimes Lucas has nightmares, but…he’s like his father.”


“Does his right or left side work better for him?”  Ethan asked as he stood up, slipping his hand into Michael’s.


“His right, just like Giles.”


Ethan glanced down at Giles and rubbed his hand over his weary eyes.  “Do you need anything before we leave?”


Buffy tilted her head slightly as she looked at Giles.  “Would you be able to help me shift him over just a little?  I can do it, but I’m worried about hurting him.”


Ethan smiled warmly.  “I can do that.”


* * *


Buffy and Ethan had been able to move Giles without much hassle and, seconds after Ethan and Michael had slipped through the portal, Buffy carefully climbed into bed with Giles.  She wanted to wrap his arms around her, but the various i.v. needles and tubings made that extremely difficult.  Instead, she snuggled as close as she could and listened to the steady beeping of the heart monitor.


He looked peaceful, and that helped her to relax.  She bit her lip when she thought back to the fact that his first thought was of the safety of her and their children.  He had nearly died, lying on the carpet in a puddle of his own blood…and the first thing he had thought of was his family’s safety.


It didn’t surprise her, he had always put her well-being ahead of his…from the very beginning.  She reached up and traced his lips with her fingertips.


“We’re all okay, Giles.  Braden asked a lot of questions, so did Lucas.  I told them as much as I could without really freaking them out.  Haddie and Evan just think that there was an accident and you were hurt.  Evan misses you…and doesn’t really understand why Haddie could see you and he couldn’t.”


Her eyes filled with tears as her fingers moved to his cheek.


“I was so scared when I saw you lying there.  I thought I’d lost you.  I know that with our lives and everything, things happen.  But, Giles…this was a calculated attack on your life.  He tried to kill you.  And…”


She sniffled as a tear rolled from the corner of her eye and fell to the pillow underneath her head.  “God, he almost took you from us.  They’re looking for him and I honestly don’t know what to do when they find him.  I mean…this is attempted murder, and I want him to pay dearly for what he did to you.  But, then…if he’s terminated…in the Council way…he won’t remember what he’s done.”


She sighed and moved her hand from his cheek to rest lightly on top of the bandaged wound.  “I just want you to wake up.  I mean, I guess it’s for the best right now.  The doctor’s right, you would fight it…unintentionally, but you would.  But, I just want to see your eyes…hear your voice.  I love you, Giles.”


She inhaled deeply and then watched him sleep for a while longer.  She felt her exhaustion creeping up on her and allowed her eyes to close. 


The drugs kept Giles’ body asleep, but not his mind.  He had heard every word she had said to him.  And more than anything, he wanted to hold her.  He hoped that her sleep would be restful.  Unable to see her, he settled for listening to her breathing change as she fell asleep next to him.


He could feel the wound healing…stretching and pulling as the tissues knitted back together.  It wasn’t painful, as such.  It did itch, much like a scab itches when the skin repairs itself at a slower rate. 


When he felt Buffy’s arm carefully slide over his side, he decided that it would be best just to go back to sleep.  Maybe once the doctor checked his wound tomorrow, they would allow him to wake up. 


He wanted to see his family again.


Chapter Five


Ethan sighed as Michael placed a line of warm kisses down his torso.  “I…I’m not sure we should do this here…”


Michael lifted his head and smiled.  “Kids are asleep, EJ.”


“I like it when you call me that.”  Ethan smiled back, running his hand through Michael’s hair.  “And, it’s not so much that there are kids in close proximity…it’s just…this is Rupert and Buffy’s house.”


“Mm-hm.”  Michael mumbled as he slipped his hand under the waistband of Ethan’s pajama pants.  “And you asked me to marry you, to which I said yes.”


Ethan groaned softly as Michael’s hand wrapped around his erection.  “God, Mike…”


“You are the only person I’ve ever allowed to call me ‘Mike’.”  Michael grinned as he slowly stroked the hardened flesh.   “I want to make love with you, Ethan.  And I want you inside of me so badly right now.”


Ethan lifted his hips, allowing Michael to pull his pants down his legs.  When he felt Michael’s warm mouth slide down his hard cock, he knew he wouldn’t be able to stop.  As Michael’s tongue flicked against the glans, Ethan also knew that he didn’t want to stop. 


Michael smiled inwardly as Ethan’s fingers wound in his hair, Michael’s name leaving Ethan’s lips on a hoarse whisper.


* * *


Buffy woke when the nurse came in to check Giles’ blood pressure.  The nurse narrowed her eyes when she noticed Giles’ position on the bed.


Buffy smiled and met the nurse’s eyes.  “He sleeps better on his side.”


The nurse returned the smile and nodded.  “Has he stirred at all, Mrs. Giles?”


Buffy sighed softly and shook her head.  “No.”


Seeing the disappointment in Buffy’s eyes, the nurse spoke softly.  “It’s for the best at the moment.  A fair amount of damage was inflicted by the bullet, from what I understand.”


“Yeah, there was.”  Buffy replied in a whisper as she looked at her husband’s face.  “But, he’s going to be okay.”


“He’s a very lucky man.”  The nurse stated as she recorded the numbers onto Giles’ chart.  “If it were a little further to the left – ”


“I know.”  Buffy sniffed back her tears.  “Trust me, I know.”


The nurse sighed softly.  “Can I get you anything?”


“No.  No, I’m good.”


The nurse nodded and adjusted one of Giles’ i.v. drips.  “If you need anything at all, just let me know.”


“Thank you.”  Buffy replied before placing a soft kiss on Giles’ lips and settling back down next to him.


* * *


Ethan leaned over Michael, flicking his tongue against Michael’s hardened nipple as he knelt between Michael’s legs.  Michael groaned and reached down, grasping Ethan’s erection and stroking firmly.


Ethan’s head shot up at the contact, thrusting his hips against Michael’s hand.  “God, I love you…”


“I love you too.”  Michael whispered, shuddering lightly as Ethan lowered his mouth to Michael’s neck.  “Feels so good, Ethan…you feel so good…”


As Ethan nipped and sucked at Michael’s skin, Michael grabbed the foil packet lying on the bed next to their bodies.  Ethan lifted his head and whimpered as Michael let go of his cock.


“Relax, baby.”  Michael grinned up at him as he ripped the packet open.  He quickly rolled the condom onto Ethan’s erection and gave him another firm stroke.  “I want you inside of me…”


Ethan shook his head as he thrust his hips against Michael’s hand again.  “We…have no lubrication, Mike…”


Michael’s smile faded, he had completely forgotten that they weren’t in their own bedroom.  “Oh…”


Ethan caressed Michael’s cheek and dropped a tender kiss on his lips.  “God knows how much I want to be inside of you right now…I want to fuck you so badly…”


Michael groaned softly at Ethan’s words.


“But, I…I can’t…not without proper preparation.”  Ethan whispered softly. 


Michael’s eyes glistened, alarming Ethan somewhat.  “What is it?”


Michael shook his head, placing his hand on Ethan’s neck.  “Do you know how many men that doesn’t matter to?”


“Yes.”  Ethan replied sadly.  “And if this were just sex…preferably rough sex…it probably wouldn’t matter to me either.  But…I’m in love with you, Michael.  I want you, but I won’t hurt you in order to have you.”


Michael smiled warmly, reaching down and carefully removing the condom.  “There are other things we can do, EJ…”


Ethan closed his eyes and gave a soft groan of pleasure as Michael pressed their erections against one another.


* * *


Buffy had just begun to doze back off when her mobile phone rang, alerting her to an incoming call.  She grabbed it from the table next to the bed and flipped it open.




“Mrs. Giles?  This is John Franklin.  Sorry to call so late, but I was told to report to you while Mr. Giles recovers.”


Buffy sat up quickly and glanced at a still sleeping Giles.  “Yeah, you’re the head of the surveillance team, right?”


“Yes, ma’am, I am.  Mr. Giles…is he alright?”


A brief smile appeared on Buffy’s face at the sincere concern in the man’s voice.  “He will be, thank you for asking.  Have you found Mitchell Stockton?”


“Um, yes.  Yes, we have.”


Buffy furrowed her brow.  “What’s going on, John?”


John cleared his throat before continuing.  “We had Stockton in custody…”


“Had?”  Buffy asked quickly. 


“As we were loading him into the van, he resisted quite violently.  He wrestled a gun from one of my men.”  John exhaled deeply.  “We had no choice but to take him down, ma’am.”




“I’m afraid so.  I will be awaiting the Council investigation team.  I assume that you’ll want a full investigation into Stockton’s demise.  I have asked Jason Ross, the man who fired the fatal shot, to surrender his weapon for testing.”


Buffy wasn’t sure whether to be upset or relieved.  She had wanted to look the man in the eyes…she had wanted answers.  Now those answers would never be given.


“I’ll make the necessary arrangements.  Have the body sent to Council HQ as soon as possible.”


“Are you sure, Mrs. Giles?”


“I’m positive.”  Buffy answered with authority. 


“Very well.  I’ll have the body crated for transport as soon as the investigation team releases it.”


“Thank you…for everything, John.”


“You’re welcome, Mrs. Giles.  Send our well wishes to your husband.”


As the line disconnected, Buffy leaned over and kissed her husband’s forehead.  “It’s over, honey.  It’s over.”


The heart monitor registered a slight change in Giles’ heartbeat as Buffy punched in Alan Brooks’ number.  As next in command, he had the authority to send the investigation unit out to meet Franklin and his team.


* * *


Ethan groaned as Michael flipped him onto his back, taking his turn at thrusting his hips against Ethan’s.  He reached up and gently pinched Ethan’s nipple.






Michael smiled and ground his erection against Ethan’s.  “I love the way your cock feels against mine…”


“Jesus, Mike…”


“I want to make you come like this.”  He leaned down and flicked his tongue against Ethan’s bottom lip.  “And then…I want to come in your mouth.”


Ethan stared at him through lust-glazed eyes.  “Yes…oh yes…”


Michael lightly nipped at Ethan’s lip with his teeth.  “How close are you?  Are you going to come for me soon?”


“Mike…”  Ethan moaned, raking his short nails down Michael’s ribcage.


“I only ask…because…God, Ethan, I’m going to come soon…so soon.”


Ethan thrust his hips up, increasing the pressure between them.  Three hard and fast thrusts later, Ethan cried out in ecstasy as his orgasm hit.  Michael looked down quickly, watching Ethan’s semen splatter against his abdomen.


“God…”  Michael moved down Ethan’s body quickly, lapping at the thick fluid with his tongue. 


Once he had cleaned the come from Ethan’s skin, he pushed himself back up and covered Ethan’s mouth with his own.  Ethan plundered Michael’s mouth with his tongue as he reached down and grasped Michael’s throbbing erection.


Michael broke the kiss quickly, realizing how close he was to his own orgasm.  He straddled Ethan’s chest and gripped the headboard.


“Now, EJ…please, now…”


As Ethan slid his lips around Michael’s cock, Michael thrust forward gently, pushing himself further into Ethan’s mouth.  Ethan sucked hungrily, scraping his teeth against the sensitive flesh in his mouth.


Michael dropped his right hand to Ethan’s head, winding his fingers in Ethan’s hair.  “That’s it, baby…God, I’m going to come…”


Feeling Michael’s cock thicken, Ethan sucked harder.  Ethan groaned when he tasted the salty sweetness of Michael’s come as he erupted in his mouth.  He swallowed quickly, grunting around Michael’s softening cock as he felt a second, less violent, orgasm crash over him.


Michael breathed heavily as he pulled his flesh from Ethan’s mouth and collapsed beside of him.  He murmured softly as he rubbed Ethan’s stomach lovingly.


“I’ve never been with a man who could come more than once.”


Ethan stroked Michael’s cheek with trembling fingers.  “You…are only the second person to make me come more than once…”


Michael didn’t have to ask who the other person was.  He knew that Ethan was referring to Rupert.  Instead, he smiled and turned his head slightly to kiss Ethan’s palm.


“I love you, Ethan.”


Ethan smiled as he pulled Michael into his arms.  “I love you too, Michael.”


Michael glanced at the clock on the bedside table and sighed.  “We should get some sleep.  I know four children who will be up in a few hours demanding to see their parents.”


Ethan exhaled deeply and nodded.  “We should probably get dressed as well.  Just in case they should come in to wake us up.”


Michael agreed and climbed out of bed, grabbing both pairs of pajama pants that had been thrown to the floor earlier.  As he watched Ethan slip into his, he smiled.






“Would you be opposed to…well, I was thinking…”


Ethan raised an eyebrow as Michael stammered slightly.  “What is it, Mike?”


Michael sat down on the bed next to Ethan and placed his hand on Ethan’s thigh.  “It’s stupid.”


Ethan tilted his head and placed two fingers on the side of Michael’s face, gently turning it until he was looking into Michael’s eyes.  “Tell me.”


Michael took a deep breath and sighed.  “I was thinking…of maybe…changing my name.”


Ethan narrowed his eyes in confusion.  “What’s wrong with ‘Michael’?”


Michael chuckled nervously.  “No, Ethan.  I was thinking of changing ‘Statler’ to ‘Rayne’.”


When Ethan’s eyes widened in surprise, Michael began to speak quickly.  “I mean, if you…well, if you don’t want me to, I – ”


Ethan cut him off with a kiss, pushing him down onto the mattress.  He made it very clear to Michael that he had no issues with him becoming a ‘Rayne’.


Chapter Six


Ethan groaned as the phone rang.  He blindly reached over to the bedside table and lifted the handset to his ear.


“ ‘Ello?”




Ethan’s eyes opened and he pushed himself up, immediately noticing that he was alone in bed.  “Buffy.  Is everything – ”


Buffy cut him off quickly with a small chuckle.  “Everything’s fine, Ethan.  The doctor is going to wake him up soon…apparently, his wound healed a lot overnight.”


As Ethan breathed a sigh of relief, Buffy continued.  “Are the kids up?”


Ethan listened and heard the distinct sound of a child laughing.  “I believe so.  I guess Michael got up with them and left me to sleep.”


“He’ll want to see them, but I was wondering if you would mind driving them instead of bringing them through the portal.”


Ethan smiled softly.  “I wouldn’t mind at all, Buffy.  What time do you want us there?”


* * *


Giles opened his eyes, squinting against the light.  “Buffy?”


“I’m here, honey.”  Buffy whispered as she placed her hand on the side of his face.  “How are you feeling?”


He licked his dry lips and leaned into her touch.  “Thirsty.”


“What do you remember, Mr. Giles?”  The doctor asked as he removed the bandage on Giles’ chest.  He looked up as Buffy held a glass of water with a straw in it to Giles’ lips.  “Small sips.  I know you’re thirsty, but if you start gulping you’ll make yourself sick.”


Giles took a sip of the water, relishing the sensation of the cool liquid on his tongue.  “I remember little of the actual incident.  I remember most of what happened afterwards.”


Buffy furrowed her brow.  “What do you mean?”


Giles took another sip and reached for Buffy’s hand.  “I remember much of what was said while I was sleeping.”




Giles gently rubbed his thumb over the back of Buffy’s hand and smiled.  “I’m sorry I frightened you.  I…I didn’t intend for Haddie to see me.  But, once she did…I only wanted to reassure you.”


The doctor raised an eyebrow, but didn’t comment on that statement.  Instead, he inspected the nearly healed wound.  “Everything looks wonderful, Mr. Giles.  However, I would like you to have at least a week’s rest.  Your body has been through a lot in the last twenty-four hours.”


“I feel fine.”  Giles protested softly, looking up at the doctor.


“No…humming?”  Buffy whispered as she gently squeezed Giles’ hand.


Giles turned his head slowly and looked into Buffy’s eyes.  “No humming.  The purification worked as it should have.”


He glanced across the room and narrowed his eyes.  “Why is there a portal open in here?”


Buffy reached up and ran her fingers through his slightly mussed hair.  “Quicker to get here.  Ethan and Michael are bringing the kids in a little while.”


No sooner than the words had left her lips, the shimmer disappeared.  Giles smiled and exhaled deeply.  “Looks as though they’re on their way.”


“I’ll probably discharge you today, Mr. Giles…providing that you agree to adhere to the discharge instructions.”


Giles chuckled and met the doctor’s eyes.  “I’d probably agree to just about anything in order to go home.”


The doctor grinned and placed a fresh bandage on the wound.  “Very well.  I’ll come back to check on you again after my rounds.  Until then…rest.”


Giles nodded and uttered a soft ‘thank you’.  As the doctor left the room and closed the door behind him, Giles gently pulled Buffy towards him.


“What are you doing?” 


He smiled, reaching up to run his fingers through her hair.  “I believe I’m going to kiss you.”


She leaned into him, sighing softly.  “I missed you so much.”


“I missed you too.”  He whispered moments before their lips touched.


When his tongue nudged its way into her mouth, she whimpered and moved closer to him.  He held her in his arms, allowing his tongue to caress hers.  When he carefully pulled her onto his lap, she broke the kiss and looked into his eyes.


“Giles…you’re supposed to be resting.”


He nodded slowly, his hands lovingly rubbing her back.  “I am.”


She raised an eyebrow and glanced down.  “Doesn’t really feel like you’re resting.  You sure you’re not humming?”


He chuckled warmly.  Buffy thought it was one of the most beautiful sounds she had heard in a while.


“I assure you…this reaction is entirely due to you.”


Buffy grinned for a moment and then sighed, her grin fading.  Stockton’s dead.”


Giles moved his hands to Buffy’s hips, but made no effort to move her.  “I had a feeling that’s what you meant by ‘it’s over’.  What happened?”


Buffy told him everything that she knew.  A tear escaped the corner of her left eye when she admitted that she felt relief at the news.  He reached up and tenderly brushed the moisture away with his thumb.


“That is a perfectly normal reaction, Buffy.”  He sighed softly and shook his head.  “It seems as though his mind unravelled.  I’d like to get medical confirmation of that, however.  If that is the truth, then…it wasn’t his fault.  But, had he hurt you or the children…”


“I know.”  She whispered before leaning forward and kissing him again. 


* * *


Giles smiled brightly, folding the newspaper he was reading and dropping it to the bed as the door to his room opened.  Braden was the first to peek his head around the door, a slow grin appearing on his face when he found his father smiling.


“Dad!”  Braden ran into the room and jumped onto the bed without thinking.  As he leaned forward to give Giles a hug, he stopped.  “Oh…”


Giles chuckled and grabbed his oldest son, pulling him into his arms.  “It’s okay, Ru.  I’m alright.”


Evan stood by the side of the bed, his fingers gripping the blanket as he watched Lucas and Haddie follow Braden onto the bed.  Ethan grinned and lifted the boy up.


“There you go, mate.  Go give Daddy a cuddle, yeah?”


Buffy laughed as the children swarmed over their father.  “Come on, guys…be careful.”


Giles’ eyes glistened as he hugged and kissed each of them.  “They’re fine, Buffy.  Even if I was still in pain, they’d be fine.”


Michael arched an eyebrow.  “No pain at all?  Even after…everything that happened?”


Giles grinned as Haddie traced the thorned circle scar on the left side of his chest.  “No.  Buffy has extremely rapid healing power…she would’ve healed a little faster than this.”  He narrowed his eyes and glanced at his wife.  “However, I remember the last time taking a little longer…”


Buffy nodded in agreement and then shrugged a shoulder.  “Maybe it has to do with the purification ritual as well.  Speedier healing, no humming.”


“Humming?”  Michael questioned.


Ethan chuckled softly.  “I’ll explain that one to you later.”


Michael nodded, offering Ethan a smile.  Buffy cleared her throat and caught Ethan’s eye.


“The doctor said he might release Giles after his rounds.”  Hearing Giles snort, she grinned.  “Which means he’ll be leaving once the doctor comes back after rounds.  I was wondering…would the two of you be able to watch the kids this afternoon?  Just until I get everything settled at home…and Giles all comfy in bed…”


“Buffy…”  Giles started to protest.


Buffy shook her head and glared at her husband.  “You heard the doctor.  At least one week’s rest.  You go home…you rest.  Understood?”


Ethan snorted a laugh, earning him a Ripperish glare from Giles. 


* * *


Giles rolled his eyes as Buffy fluffed a pillow and slid it behind his head as he rested his back against the headboard.  They’d been home less than ten minutes before Buffy had ordered him to bed.


“Buffy, is this really necessary?  I feel – ”


“Fine, I know.  I know you feel fine, but…I plan on following the doctor’s orders.”  She leaned forward and dropped a kiss onto his lips.  “Too close this time, Giles.”


He carefully pulled her onto his lap, much the same way as he had in the hospital bed.  His voice lowered to a whisper as he threaded his fingers through her hair.


“I know, love.  But, it’s over now.”


“I thought I was going to lose you.  Seeing you on the floor…”  She shook her head as the painful images flashed through her mind.


He took her hand and placed it over his heart.  “Everything is going to be alright, Buffy.”


She was quiet for a moment, feeling his heart thump under her touch.  “I told Franklin that I wanted to see the body.  I…I have to be sure.”


Giles nodded slowly, dropping his left hand to her thigh.  She felt his heart rate quicken, watched as his eyes darkened a shade.




“I want you, Buffy.”


“You just got out of the hospital.”  She argued lightly.


“Doesn’t matter.”  He whispered, sliding his hands to her hips.  “I need you…”


“The doctor said – ”


He cut her off quickly with a kiss, tightening his hold on her hips as his tongue pushed into her mouth.  Her groan rumbled in her chest as he held her tight against his quickly growing erection. 


When she attempted to break the kiss, he moved his left hand to the back of her head, holding her mouth to his as he carefully rolled until she was on her back underneath him.  Only when he pulled the button free on her jeans did he end the kiss. 


As he pulled the zipper down, he gently rubbed his pajama-covered groin against her knee.  “If you want me to stop, I will.  But, please know…I don’t want to.”


She whimpered as he slipped his hand into her jeans, under her silk underwear, and stroked her soft curls.  “Giles…the doctor…rest…”


He rubbed the tip of his middle finger over her clitoris as he leaned down and nipped at her nipple through the cotton of her shirt.  “I can rest later, and I promise I will.” 


Her hips arched of their own accord, increasing the pressure of his finger against her.  He smiled and thrust his hips once more.


“You’re not wearing a bra…”


She shook her head, staring into his darkened eyes.  “Was gonna lay down with you…took it off while I was…Jesus, that feels…so good…”


He moved down her body, pushing her shirt up with his teeth before placing a warm, wet kiss on her abdomen.  “Let me love you, Buffy.”


She remembered nodding her permission, she remembered his warm lips trailing over her skin.  She didn’t remember him undressing her or himself, but as he knelt between her thighs, she knew that he had at some point.  She could only blame the fact that his mouth had preoccupied her, keeping her from noticing.


She lifted her hand, her fingers lightly tracing the puckered flesh that would leave another scar on his body.  “I love you.”


He exhaled deeply as he leaned over her, supporting most of his weight with his left hand on the mattress next to her shoulder as he slowly pushed his erection into her.   “I love you…”


His thrusts were long and slow, giving him time to watch her skin flush with passion.  If he were asked about his favourite part of making love to his wife, he’d be hard pressed to choose between this very moment and the sight of watching her body thrash beneath him as she reached orgasm.


As her skin began to glisten with a light sheen of sweat, he steadily increased his pace.  Her hands gripped his back as she wrapped her legs around his hips. 


“God, Giles…”


He smiled and lowered his mouth to her neck.  He traced a path from her throat to her earlobe with the tip of his tongue.  When he reached the fleshy part of her ear, he pulled it into his mouth and nibbled lightly.  Her breath was hot against his neck as she moaned.


He released her lobe and shortened his strokes, though maintained his current pace.  “I’ve read that a near-death experience instils an intense urge in men to procreate…”


Her legs tightened around him, her hands moving to his sides as she met each of his thrusts with her own.  “Wh…what?”


He slid his right hand between their bodies and gently massaged her left breast.  “I’m not sure I agree.  Procreation is not the desired outcome…feeling life is.”


She threw her head against the pillow, baring her throat to him.  He took immediate advantage of the opportunity, latching his mouth onto her throat and sucking hard.  His name left her lips on a guttural groan.


He placed a series of hot, sucking kisses up her throat to her chin and smiled.  “This…having a beautiful woman thrash beneath a man as he makes love to her…this is life in its rawest form.  This is what a man wants to feel after he has neared death and survived.  This…is what I want…I need…I love…”


She shuddered under the onslaught of his words and motion, her inner muscles beginning to spasm around him.  “Giles!”


His hand tightened on her breast as he quickened his thrusts.  “To feel your heat flow over my cock as I’m moving within you…forward, back…fast, slow…to feel your muscles grip me as you come…”


He brushed his lips across hers, nipping her bottom lip lightly with his teeth.  “This is life…this is beauty…this is us.”


He groaned loudly as she screamed his name, her orgasm crashing over her violently.  The heat of her fluids, the contracting of her inner walls, proved to be too much for him this time.  With a cry of her name, he trembled and emptied himself within her.


Her hands clutched at his sweat-drenched back, her nails clawing at his skin as she came once more before he collapsed on top of her.  As he rolled onto his back and pulled her into his arms, he smiled at her in adoration.


“You…and your words…”  She panted as she rested her head on his shoulder.


“Only the truth, love.  You…are my life, Buffy.  You and our children…I live for you.”


When he shifted uncomfortably, she raised her head and looked at him.  “Are you okay?”


“Mm…little twinge, nothing major.  Lay with me, Buffy.”


“Too soon…I knew it was too soon.  I  – ”


He placed two fingers over her lips and shook his head.  “We both needed this, darling.  And, seriously…it was only a twinge.  I’m fine.  Lay with me.”


Seeing the truth in his eyes, she sighed heavily and settled down next to him.  He rubbed her back soothingly as she draped her leg over his.


“Okay, but…we rest now.”


He chuckled softly and placed a tender kiss on her forehead.  “Yes, we rest.”


There would be time later to deal with the Council red tape of the attempted murder and of Mitchell Stockton’s death.  There would also be time later to put forth his ideas of Watcher promotions to the Board.


For now…he wanted nothing more than to sleep with his arms around his wife.  And so he closed his eyes, as did she…the sounds of their breathing lulling one another to sleep.


They had won again.  A sleepy smile played on Giles’ lips as he held Buffy against him.



~ End


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