Title: A Sliver of Peace
Author: Froxyn
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Rating: FRT
Synopsis: Follow up to Lockdown. Buffy and Giles come to a decision.
Timeline: AU…post-series. Anya survived. It’s the year 2021 and it’s been 18 months since everyone was locked down.
Author’s Note: As always, thank you A. Also, thank you for the inspiration, Skyson.

Lockdown had originally been estimated to last three weeks. Two months later, it was very obvious that it wasn’t going to be ending anytime soon. 


Buffy was handling the situation beautifully  -- a complete surprise to everyone, including herself. She had been worried that the continued extensions would cause an extreme bout of Slayer restlessness. Fortunately, as vampires were more susceptible to the virus than humans were, this wasn’t the case. In fact, she was the most relaxed she’d been in a very long time. 


Eric and Owen had continued spending time at the Harris’ - the ‘Tunnel of Isolation’ had been a lifesaver for them, as well as Xander and Anya’s two boys. Alex and Robbie had spent just as much time at the Giles’.


Four active children had the potential to make life difficult in an enclosed space. Thankfully, Eric and Alex - the two oldest - were quite happy to keep the younger two occupied. If that meant playing video games about zombies in World War II…then so be it. 


Giles, though…


He had spent a great deal of time pacing and grumbling — and panicking, though he would be hard-pressed to admit it. But, Buffy knew him better than anyone…and she could see how it was affecting him. There were times he would stalk through the house, the phone to his ear – doing his level best to keep the Council members from being completely rash and ridiculous.  There were times when he didn’t seem to know what to do with himself, staring out the window at the world outside.  And then there were days when she could literally watch his nervous energy increase to a potentially dangerous level.


On those days he was the most restless, most volatile…and she would give him space to work though it. Most of the time, he’d come out the other side on his own — with the help of his guitar or polishing the swords. But there were a few times when he’d come to her…to ask her for help. 


And she would drop everything immediately — and they would work through his anxiety together.


Lockdown hadn’t been easy on them at all.


* * *


Four months into isolation, they sat down with a glass of wine and talked.  Their boys were with Xander and Anya – and the house was incredibly quiet…peaceful.  And for the first time since the insanity had begun, Giles had been able to remain relatively calm for the past week. 


She took a sip of her wine and looked at him, a smile instantly appearing on her face as she watched him watch the fire.  It was obvious that he was deep in thought, but judging by the softness in his eyes, she was fairly certain that he wasn’t thinking about work.


“What’s on your mind, Giles?”  She asked, turning her body towards him and leaning into the corner of the sofa. 


He was quiet for a moment and then lifted his glass to his lips.  She watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed…and she very nearly wasn’t able to stop herself from sliding over to him and latching her mouth onto it.  Instead, she curled her hands around the globe of her wine glass and pressed herself harder against the sofa.


“You asked me a question when this all began.”  He finally replied, waving his hand in a vague motion.  “A request, as it were…”


She didn’t have to ask what he was talking about.  She hadn’t brought it up again, preferring to let him think it through on his own if he wanted to. 




He nodded slowly, turning his head towards her and allowing his eyes to momentarily drop to her lips.  “You were right.”


“I normally am, but…how about you detail that vagueness up for me this time.” 


He laughed softly, allowing his body to twist until he was fully facing her…his left knee touching the back of the sofa as his fingers tapped absently against his wine glass.


“We always thought we’d have three.”


“Yeah…”  She whispered wistfully.  “You’ve been thinking about it?”


“Mm.  Thinking, considering…seriously considering.   And if it’s something you’re still – ”


“I want to have another baby with you, Rupert.”  She interrupted quickly, her eyes glistening. 


“I do too.”  He whispered in response, then smiled brightly as elation lit up her eyes.


* * *


Three months later, Buffy showed him a positive pregnancy test.  And what she noticed, as his entire face lit up with happiness, was that there was no moment of panic or ‘what have we done?!’.  Not that she was expecting him to be unhappy about it, but she’d wondered more than once if he was 100% sure about the decision.  He’d done his best to assure her each time that he most positively was sure. 


His reaction was definitive proof.


When she was fourteen weeks along, they had decided to announce the news on a video call with their friends.  It wasn’t the way they’d wanted to tell their friends…their family…that a new little Giles was on the way.  But, in the current climate, there was no other choice.


Xander was somewhat relieved by having the distance between them when Anya responded with “so you play Lockdown Sex Olympics too?”


He merely shook his head as his face turned bright red.  Willow laughed loudly, saying how grateful she was that the kids were off doing their own thing.  Buffy and Giles said nothing, simply smiling with Giles’ arm curled around her back…and her snuggled up into his side. 


Xander coughed nervously and shrugged a shoulder.  Anya grinned brightly, but stopped herself before detailing her favourite event.


* * *


Eric and Owen had been surprisingly overjoyed to find out they were going to be oldest and older siblings.  From the day they’d been told of the impending arrival, they’d started making plans – where the baby would sleep, what the baby’s room would look like, what they would be able to do to help their parents. 


And then came the process of picking a name for the child.  Buffy and Giles had been able to hold the boys off on their name discussions until they’d had the anatomy scan at twenty weeks.  Once they found out that the baby was a girl, Eric and Owen found the baby name book on the bookshelf and brought it to the dinner table.


They’d spent the better part of the meal calling out names to see what sounded nice and what didn’t.  Giles had seemed mostly amused, but also extremely touched by the love that their children were showing towards their unborn sister.


After the discussion had begun to delve into obviously ridiculous names that would never be chosen, Buffy laughed and reminded them that they still had months to find the perfect name…the baby didn’t need to be named that particular night. 


Owen had still been looking at the book, smiling when he said a name that hadn’t been mentioned.




The room quietened.


Maybe she would be named that particular night. 


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The pregnancy had been pleasantly uneventful and Cleo was hitting all of the in utero milestones perfectly – growth, weight, development.  She was an active baby, nighttime being her favourite time of day.  At night, she’d kick hard enough that she’d wake both of her parents.  Giles didn’t seem to mind – he’d place his hand on Buffy’s abdomen and talk or sing until the baby had quietened back down. 


Buffy found that she had fallen even more in love with him.  And she didn’t think that could have been remotely possible. 


One afternoon, in her thirty-second week, Giles was relaxing on the sofa with a book after a fairly frustrating conference call.  Not frustrating because something was wrong, but frustrating because everyone was talking over one another in excitement.  It looked as though Lockdown might be coming to an end soon.  He’d called an end to the meeting when he realized that they were going to get absolutely nothing accomplished in regards to Council business.


So, here he sat…on his sofa – a book on his knee, a mug of tea in his hand. 


And then he heard Buffy singing along to the song playing on the radio.  He looked up, watching her…listening to the emotion that she put into her singing.  And then he started listening to the lyrics more closely.  He had always liked the song, but there was something about the way the lyrics were hitting him this time. 


As the song came to an end, Buffy looked over at him and smiled sheepishly.


“Sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you.”


He closed the book and placed it on the side table as he shook his head.  “Your singing will never disturb me, love.”


She raised an eyebrow at him.  “Okay, what’s on your mind?  You’re being all sappy all of the sudden.”


“I’m not sure Cleo is the right name for our daughter.”  He said quickly, but softly.  “I think as a middle name, it’s perfect.  But, I don’t think she’s a Cleo.”


“Chances are I’m having this child in three to four weeks, going by past experience…and you want to change her name?”


“Better now than after we fill out the paperwork, yes?”  He countered with a smile. 


She sat down next to him and chuckled in amusement.  “Yeah, true.  Okay…talk to me.  What are you thinking?”


He looked at her closely for a long moment, his eyes sparkling with love and absolute adoration for her.




“Iris?”  She said questioningly, then tilted her head in thought.  “Iris…”


And then she met Giles’ eyes and her smile matched his.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Five weeks later, Buffy woke to an empty bed.  She sat up and yawned, glancing at the clock.  After a deep stretch, she slipped out of bed and went to look for her husband. 


She found him relatively quickly – in his favourite chair next to the window.  She felt a rush of love sweep through her as she watched him from the darkened corner of the room – their eight day old daughter resting in the crook of his right arm as he fed her a bottle, the moonlight coming through the window casting just enough light that he could watch his tiny girl’s face as he spoke softly to her. 


“And that’s how you came to have your name.”  He said, allowing his middle finger to gently stroke her cheek as he held the bottle for her.  “Iris Cleo Giles.  You, my darling, have completed this family.  And we have so many tales to share with you.  I love your mother more than I could possibly express – but, you…”


He sighed blissfully, smiling adoringly at the baby.  “You are absolute perfection.”


“She is, isn’t she?”  Buffy interjected softly, walking further into the room. 


Giles looked up, his eyes bright with unshed tears.  “I’m sorry, love…did I wake you?”


She shook her head, standing next to him and gently stroking his hair.  “Only if you not being there when I’m trying to snuggle is what woke me.” 


She leaned down, kissing him warmly before gliding her fingertips over Iris’ head. 


“I love watching you with our babies.”


His smile lit up his face.  “The best part of my life has always been the family that was created in Sunnydale.  To expand that family is nothing short of incredible.”


“Sap.”  She whispered, capturing his lips in another kiss.


Iris snuggled closer to her father’s chest and stopped suckling at the now empty bottle as she fell back asleep.  Buffy pulled from the kiss and carefully perched herself onto the arm of the chair.  She leaned her head against Giles’ as they watched their youngest sleep comfortably in his arms.


Bathed in soft moonlight --  a sliver of peace within the chaos of the time.

~ End

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