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24 December 2012 @ 03:57 pm
The Watcher Moves In ...  
Another Fill for [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Characters: Giles, Scoobies, Joyce, Wesley, Lorne, Cordelia and Angel
Pairing: None for this chapter although there are hints
Medium: Fanfiction
Prompt: Moving In/Living Together
Summary: Set in Season 5. This is Chapter 3 of my fic Ancient Languages, Archaeology and Child Psychology? published at ff.net. It was written specifically for this Bingo fill.
Word Count: ~2235
Content Notes: None

“Mine!” Buffy said as she pushed the others away from Giles. Judging by the generous shove she gave to Cordelia it appeared that four year old Buffy had retained some of her Slayer abilities. The quick thinking Lorne scooped up the crying Seer and began to sing “Happy Together” by the Turtles. Joyce smiled at his successful diversion. The only child unmoved was Buffy, who remained in a defensive stance in front of Giles. With a pleading look from Joyce, Giles placed a gentle hand on Buffy’s shoulder and joined Lorne for the chorus.

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you and you for me
So happy together

Disaster averted, Lorne took the children, minus Buffy, into the kitchen for some ice cream. A determined Joyce led a pouting Buffy upstairs for a timeout, leaving Giles and Wesley alone in the living room.

“That was odd.” Giles remarked to Wesley.

“How so?” Wesley asked.

Giles ran his fingers through his hair and replied, “Buffy. Why on earth did she push the other children away? They were getting along just fine this afternoon.”

“The children are getting tired so they’re more prone to act out,” Joyce answered as she came downstairs. Hiding a smile, she waited for the question that she knew was coming next.

“But they were sharing the crayons and the paper. What happened?”

“Cordelia went to show you the picture she had drawn. The one of you and her.” Joyce answered.

“Yes?” a still bewildered Giles asked.

Joyce rolled her eyes. How on earth could someone so intelligent be so clueless.

Wesley coughed. “Well, like most Slayers, Buffy is territorial. She has always been a bit possessive of you.”

“What? Of me? You’re joking,” said a disbelieving Giles.

His naive comment broke Joyce’s resolve and she burst out laughing. “Oh, Rupert. I’m sorry,” she apologized while wiping away tears. Lorne’s return with the children prevented further discussion and left Giles to ponder his Slayer’s behavior.

A subdued Buffy came downstairs and sat quietly next to Giles after apologizing to the others. When the children demanded a bedtime story Joyce handed him one of the books she had purchased that afternoon. After losing a much heated debate with four year old Willow on the proper way to read a story, Giles began The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Ten minutes later they fell asleep. Giles carried the sleeping Buffy to her room, kissed her forehead, and turned off the light before heading downstairs.

With the children asleep, the adults discussed their next steps. Giles and Wesley were to go back to Giles’ place to begin on the research while Lorne was going to stay at the Summers’ residence to help with the children. Giles had grabbed his keys and was a few steps from the door when he heard Buffy call from the top of the stairs, “Giles?”

“Buffy? What’s wrong?” Giles asked, taking a step towards her.

Joyce took one look at her daughter and silently left the room.

“Don’t go.” Buffy sniffed, her eyes open wide and pleading. Her lower lip trembling.

“Buffy, I’ll be back tomorrow. But I need to research this so we can fix it.”

But Buffy shook her head and sniffed a little harder, “Please,” she implored.

Sighing Giles asked, “You want me to stay? Will you go back to bed if I do?”

Nodding happily Buffy threw her arms around his neck, “Promise?”

Sighing once again, but returning her hug, he agreed. “I promise.”

Joyce returned with the bed linens for the couch and a knowing grin on her face. She whispered to the others, “He can’t refuse her anything when she uses the twenty year old version of that pout. He didn’t have a chance withstanding the four year old version.”

Giles felt a tickle under his nose. He absently brushed at it and encountered something soft and hair-like. Cautiously he opened one eye and appraised his surroundings. He was on the Summers’ couch and morning light was streaming through the window. Buffy was curled up on his chest, a fistful of his t-shirt in her tiny fist. Careful so not to wake her, he rubbed one hand over his face. As futile as it seemed, he had hoped that the morning would have found Buffy and her friends back to normal. But things seldom worked out that easily on the Hellmouth. He heard someone approaching from the kitchen. Turning slightly, he noticed Joyce smiling down at him with a cup of tea in hand.
Perhaps sensing her mother, Buffy stirred and was instantly wide awake. “Giles!” she exclaimed happily as she hugged him. “You stayed.”
“Well, I did promise, didn’t I?”
Buffy nodded but her expression still looked a little sad.
“Buffy why don’t you go wash up for breakfast. Your friends are waiting for you to come play,” Joyce suggested.
Buffy looked back tentatively at Giles, but at his encouraging smile she did as her Mother asked.
Joyce sighed and sat in a nearby armchair. “They are so much like their older selves, but so much more open with their feelings. Whenever I try to talk to Buffy about Riley leaving, she passes it off with some glib remark. I know she must be hurting, but I can’t seem to reach her. But four year old Buffy can’t hide her fear of abandonment.”
Giles placed his now empty tea cup on the side table and studied Joyce for a moment. At times she seemed quite content to have her daughter at an age where she was desperately needed, but it was clear to him that she wanted to help her daughter. “I think the best thing we can do to help Buffy and her friends would be to return them to their proper ages. And for that, I’m afraid I’ll need to do some research at the Magic Box.”
Joyce looked at him ruefully.
He blinked. “Perhaps Wesley and I can take a few of the children with us. Cordelia, because Wesley can best handle things if she has one of her visions, and perhaps Tara and Anya as they are the newest members of Buffy’s group.”
Joyce nodded. “Buffy will want to go with you too.” At his disbelieving look Joyce continued, “Rupert, I know grown-up Buffy teases you, but she does it out of affection. You mean the world to her. And she’s hardly let you out of her sight. She must have snuck down here last night, because when I last checked on her she was asleep in her bed. Besides, you’re much better equipped to deal with a four year old with Slayer strength.”
“Of course. I, I just thought she would have preferred to stay with her friends.”
“Rupert, you are her friend.” She smiled gratefully when he took the tea tray from her and followed her into the kitchen.
“Dear Lord, how could ones so small create such a mess?”

After helping with the cleanup of both the kitchen and the children, Giles placed Buffy, Anya and Tara into the convertible. He left Wesley to manage Cordelia on his own with arrangements to meet at the Magic Box in half an hour. Enough time for Giles to stop at his flat and pick up a few changes of clothes and other necessities. For Joyce was right, Buffy became distressed whenever he was out of her sight for any period of time. So like it or not, it appeared that Joyce was going to have a house guest until they could get things resolved.
“Does anyone need to use the loo?”
The three girls looked at him blankly until Anya piped up and said, “Loo means potty!”
“Er, yes. Very good Anya.”
She beamed at his praise but all three shook their heads no. “Alright then, how about you watch some cartoons while I go get a few things upstairs?”
He smiled as they were no longer paying him any mind, too engrossed by the antics of the roadrunner and wile coyote. Nevertheless, he packed quickly and after a quick detour to the kitchen to grab Buffy’s favorite biscuits, they were once again bundled into the car. When he pulled into the space behind the Magic Box, they were greeted with the sight of Wesley pleading with a stubborn Cordelia.
“Please Cordelia. Get out of the car.”
“You promised to take me shopping!” She wailed.
“Well, er, this is shopping. See?”
From the rather displeased and determined look on her face, Giles did not think that Wesley’s reasoning, no matter how creative, was going to work on the four year old.
Fortunately they were saved by Buffy. “Cordy wanna donut? Giles got jellies!”
“Yay donuts!” And with that she was bounding out of the car to join her friends.
“Uh, Rupert. Do you think it wise to feed them something with so much sugar?”
Giles sighed. “Perhaps not. But I don’t think I will have the energy to keep up with them without it.”
True to Wesley’s predictions, the children did indeed get hyped up on sugar. However, once it wore off, it also caused them quite a crash. With the four children napping happily on the mats in the training room, Giles and Wesley researched volume after volume with no success. Just as the sun moved low in the sky, the front door of the Magic Box slammed open to reveal an irate Angel.
“Where the hell have you been and why hasn’t anyone called me?” he demanded.
“Er, Angel. We’ve been here as I believe Wesley informed you when you spoke with him this morning. And please lower your voice the children are sleeping.”
“Don’t lie to me! I’ve been calling for hours!” He took a menacing step forward.
Shocked, Giles glanced over at Wesley. Wesley had told him that Angel had not been acting himself, but he never indicated that he was this dangerously on edge. He slowly edged towards the counter and the weapons he knew were behind it. But Angel had vampire speed and was upon him before he had taken two steps. Roughly grabbing Giles by the throat he shook the Watcher and shouted, “Where is Buffy?”
A surprised Angel yelped in pain, grabbed his shin and dropped Giles to the ground. His eyes widened at the sight of four year old Buffy, the placer of the kick, standing protectively in front of Giles. “No hurt Giles again!”
He spread his hands wide and said calmly, “Buffy, it’s me, Angel.” His mistake was in taking a step towards her. Buffy shoved him hard and he landed against the bookshelves It was only Giles’ hand on her shoulder that kept her from attacking him further.
“Angel you should leave before someone gets hurt.” Wesley stated firmly. He cut off any further objection, “Buffy clearly has her Slayer strength and you’ve upset her. Perhaps tomorrow we can arrange for her to speak with you, but right now, you need to leave.”
He snarled as he rose, but taking in the determined pair of Watchers and one four year old Slayer, he turned and stalked out the door.
Once he was gone, Buffy started crying. She was joined by the other three children who had woken from all the shouting. Deciding the children had had enough excitement for the day, they grabbed a box of books from the research table and headed for Revello drive. Perhaps Joyce could use her mother’s touch to bring back a little joy for Buffy and her friends. And just maybe Giles could catch a quick nap on the lumpy sofa. His back muscles twinged in protest and he sighed. Well, he’d certainly slept on worse during his Ripper days. At least staying at the Summers’ house would let him keep an eye on Buffy, especially since Angel was as the kids would call it, “weirding”.
But a nap was not in the cards for him. At least not while the children were still awake. He was shocked when two year old Dawn toddled over to the couch and climbed up into his lap. He winced when she kneed a rather sensitive part of his anatomy and looked at her quizzically until she shoved the book into his chest.
“Ah. What do we have here?”
She slapped at the cover. Impatient for him to start.
He chuckled and read as ordered. Dawn gave a giant yawn just as the Grinch concluded his adventure. “Are you ready for bed?”
She rubbed her eyes and nodded sleepily. Rising with the child in his arms, he carried her up the stairs and placed her in Buffy’s bed like he had the night before. As he reached over to switch off the light she surprised him by throwing her arms around his neck and kissing his cheek. “Love you.”
Embarrassed but greatly pleased he responded, “I love you too, Sweetheart.” He tucked the covers tightly under her chin and kissed her forehead.
“Night Giles.”
“Goodnight Dawn. Pleasant dreams.”
He had barely reached the bottom of the stairs when she called out in alarm, “Giles! Mom!”

autumngirl17autumngirl17 on December 25th, 2012 11:00 am (UTC)
Very very sweet! :)
gilescandy: Huh Ggilescandy on December 28th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
I can't even express how much I am loving this story. It's cute, and sweet, and I have no idea what's going on. It's totally adorable how much all the children have this mega-love for Giles. I can so see him going all daddy.

And finally, four-year-old Buffy makes the right choice and kicks Angel's ass for hurting Giles.

I can't wait for more. Keep it coming. Please!!!
Flippancy provided by: stripesil_mio_capitano on December 29th, 2012 10:06 am (UTC)
This story is such a hoot. I really need to read more. :)