Title: Squeaks
Author: Froxyn
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Rating: FRT
Synopsis: Just a snapshot of the future - Giles, Buffy, family, and the love of animals.
Timeline: AU, post-series

Buffy smiled as she walked into the bedroom to find him still asleep.  Lying on his stomach, his arms curled under the pillow, hair mussed terribly…and not just from sleep, her fingers had played a huge part in the state of his hair.  He wasn’t snoring, but he was breathing heavily – that heavy breath of deep sleep.


She sat down on the edge of the bed and gently stroked his hair before placing her hand on his shoulder.  “Giles?”


“Mm…”  He mumbled in his sleep, nowhere near awake.


“Hey, babe…I need you to wake up for a minute.”


“Tired.”  He grumped, rubbing his face against his pillow. 


Buffy smiled at the childish behaviour and then kissed his shoulder.  “I know, but this is kinda important.”


He sighed heavily and cracked one eye open.  “What’s wrong?”


“Violet brought something home.”


He rolled over onto his back, wincing as his shoulder popped.  “What?”


She reached into the pocket of the hoodie she was wearing and pulled out a tiny duckling.  His brow furrowed as she gently placed it on his chest.


“What the hell?”


“I went down to the creek to return it to its mother, but…”  She sighed sadly as she shook her head.  “The mother was dead…and there were no other ducklings to be found.  I’m not sure what happened.”


“Violet didn’t?  Did she?”


Buffy smiled at the Labrador as she walked in and placed her chin on Buffy’s knee.  “No.  It wasn’t Violet.  She was worried about the duckling…carried it all the way back to me so gently.”


Giles smiled as the duckling curled up on his chest.  He supported it with one hand as he slowly pushed himself up to a sitting position and leaned back against the headboard.  “So…we’re adopting a duck, are we?”


“You know that as soon as Hugo sees it, he’s not going to let it out of his sight.”


Giles chuckled, tenderly stroking the duckling’s head with his fingertip.  “I’m assuming he hasn’t seen it yet.”


“No…”  Buffy said with a laugh.  “I was going to run it over to the vet if you said no.”


“Why is it up to me?” 


Buffy scratched Violet behind her right ear.  “Because you’re the one who grew up in the country.”


“Countryside, Buffy.  Not the country.  It’s not like I grew up on a farm…”  His lips twitched into a gentle smile as the duckling nuzzled against him.  “What do ducklings eat?”


“Well, Google says vegetables and…”  She trailed off as he gave her a knowing look. 


“Mm-hm…”  His eyes sparkled as he grinned.  “So not only Hugo, then…”


Before Buffy could respond, the sound of small feet running towards the room could be heard.  Giles beamed happily as their four year old son bounded into the room and climbed onto the bed.


“Mummy!  Daddy!  Violet!”  Hugo cried excitedly.


“Good morning, Hugo!”  Giles responded as Buffy pulled the boy into a hug.


And then Hugo narrowed his eyes and moved slowly towards his father.  “Is that a baby duck?”


“Mm…seems as though Violet rescued it.”  Giles said softly, watching his son lovingly stroke the underside of the duckling’s bill.


“Where’s its mum?”


“Well, I looked around, but this little guy was all alone.”  Buffy said, reaching out and running her fingers through the little boy’s hair.  “What should we do?”


“We can’t let it go.  It’ll die on its own.  It probably doesn’t even know how to find food for itself.”


Giles nodded in agreement.  “You’re probably correct.”


“What kind is it?”  Hugo asked, running his fingertip along the back of the duckling’s neck.


“You know, I’m not exactly sure.”  Giles mused, watching his son gaze at the duckling.  “There are quite a few types around here.”


“Is it a boy or a girl?”


“Not sure.”  Buffy answered with a grin.  “We’d probably have to take it to the vet to find out.”


The duckling squeaked softly, causing Hugo to gasp adorably.  Giles chuckled as Hugo looked up at him with bright green eyes. 


“Squeaks could be a girl’s name or a boy’s name, right?”


Giles nodded slowly.  “Indeed, it could.”


Hugo moved to sit next to his father, snuggling back against the pillows.  “Can I hold Squeaks, Daddy?”


Giles carefully placed the duckling in his son’s hands, then placed a kiss in his hair.  Then he looked at Buffy and gave her a wink.


“So…what else did you read about raising a duckling?”


Buffy smiled broadly and then leaned over to place a warm kiss on his lips.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Squeaks thrived in the Giles’ household.


She had turned out to definitely be a she.  A female Ruddy – a little bit of research told them that they needed to keep Squeaks safe.  There were some conservation groups who were none too thrilled about the number of Ruddy ducks in the area.  Luckily, Squeaks was seemingly quite content to stay close.


Giles and Hugo had built a lovely garden pond with plenty of depth for diving and shallow spots amongst reeds for hiding.  Violet spent quite a bit of time at the edge of the pond and Squeaks would often waddle over to her and snuggle up against her for a nap in the sun.  When Hugo would go out to play, Squeaks would call out to him – and Hugo would run over to the pond, his smile bright as Squeaks would greet him at the edge.


More often than not, Hugo could be found at the pond – stretched out on his stomach, Violet resting beside him, having a good chat with Squeaks.  It was a beautiful relationship that the three of them were cultivating amongst themselves. 


One morning, Buffy looked out the kitchen window as she made a cup of coffee.  She smiled to find her husband sitting down at the pond – legs outstretched, leaning back slightly, supported by his hands on the ground behind him, smiling brightly as he watched Hugo feed a handful of seeds to Squeaks. 


She leaned against the sink, sipping her coffee – happily watching the two men in her life spending some quality time together.  Giles had always been an incredibly attentive father and had been wrapped around Hugo’s little finger from day one.  She was sure that he’d be exactly the same with the little girl due to arrive in a few months time.  She turned around when she heard the side door open, grinning when Xander walked in with a bag of tools slung over his shoulder.


“Morning, Xand.  Coffee?”


“Morning and yes, please.”  Xander grinned, nodding as he carefully placed his tools on the floor out of the way.  “Where’s Giles?  Not still asleep is he?”


Buffy snorted, then gestured towards the window.  “At the pond with Hugo.”


“So, how many ponds do you guys actually need?”  Xander asked, blowing over the top of his mug before taking a sip.


“Two, apparently.  That one…and the one you’re building in the basement.”    


“Two ponds…one duck.” 


Buffy smiled warmly at Xander.  “Winter’s coming…”


“One spoiled duck.”  He laughed, moving over to look out the window.  “I wish I’d had that when I was a kid.”


Buffy looked at him, but didn’t say anything…just waited for him to continue.  She had an idea she knew where he was going with it. 


“A dad who was just…there.”  He said softly, before taking another sip of his coffee.  “I don’t ever remember him just sitting outside with me while I played.  In fact, I don’t ever remember him just sitting with me.  I’d ask – he was always too busy doing whatever he was doing.  Most of the time, watching tv.  Eventually, I just stopped asking.”


He paused and then cleared his throat.  “Hugo will never stop asking.  And that’s amazing.”


Buffy wrapped her arms around him and leaned her head against his shoulder.  “You’re going to be an amazing dad too, you know.”


“Jesus, don’t go there…I’m terrified at the thought of it.”


Buffy laughed and patted his chest before pulling away from him.  “You’ve got a few months to wrap your head around it.”


Xander looked at her curiously for a moment.  Buffy arched an eyebrow in response.




“Do you have weird cravings?  Like…at really inconvenient times?”


She grinned broadly.  “Giles went on a hunt for hot and spicy pork rinds at 3 in the morning once.  Does that count?”


Xander stared at her and then nodded slowly.  “Yeah, it does.  Also…it obviously runs in the family.”


“Dawn hates pork rinds.”


“Hot and spicy.  That runs in the family.”


“I’m not really sure what sort of conversation I’m walking into here…”  Giles said, amusement in his voice as he walked into the room. 


“Food.  Hot and spicy food.  For pregnant women.”  Xander clarified quickly.


Giles laughed then kissed Buffy’s cheek before looking at Xander.  “How is Dawn?”


“Moody.  Beautiful, but…moody.”  He grinned brightly as Hugo came running into the house, Violet close on his heels.  “She said to say hi and that she’ll come by in the next couple of days.”


“Who?”  Hugo asked, lifting his arms towards his father. 


Giles chuckled and picked the boy up.  “Auntie Dawn.”


Buffy snorted.  “You know she hates that.”


Giles gave her a wink and kissed the side of Hugo’s head.  Xander gestured towards the door that led to basement.


“I’m just gonna go get started…”


Hugo’s eyes lit up.  “Can I help?”


Xander smiled as he picked up his tools.  “Absolutely, little man.  I mean, if it’s okay with your mom and dad.”


Hugo looked at his father hopefully. Giles nodded and put him down. 


“Listen to Xander though, Hugo.  Especially if he asks you to not do something.”


Hugo nodded excitedly.  “Okay, Daddy!”


Then he ran over to Buffy and wrapped his arms around her leg.  “Love you, Mummy!”


“Oh, I love you too, Hugo.  Go on now, have fun and make something amazing for Squeaks, okay?”


“Yep, yep!”  Hugo called, racing down the stairs behind Xander.


Buffy turned from watching Hugo to find Giles gazing at her.  “What?”


“You’re lovely.”  He said softly, moving past her to pull a coffee mug out of the cupboard. 


She arched an eyebrow at him.  “You okay?”


“Of course, I am.”  He leaned down to kiss her, then quickly lifted her to the counter.  He smiled against her lips as she gasped in surprise. 


She pushed him back slightly and shook her head, whispering quietly but urgently.  “We can’t do this here, Ru.”


“What, kiss?”


“Kiss?  We never just kiss when you do things like that.”


“You’re shorter than I.”


“You’re full of shit.”  She said, laughing as she pulled him back for another kiss. 


They wouldn’t go further…not right now.  Not with Hugo awake and Xander in the house.  But, it was a promise for what would be to come later.  For now…they’d settle for kissing – her sitting on the counter, him standing between her thighs.  For just a few moments.  Hugo was liable to appear at any given moment with little to no warning. 


Outside, Squeaks quacked happily as she swam around the pond.  Violet rested at the edge, watching her as she basked in the warm sunlight.

~ End

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