Back at the apartment they emptied the shopping bags then Giles set the ingredients out for the main dish while Buffy prepared the salad. As they worked together in his tiny kitchen they kept running into each other.
“Giles we need a bigger kitchen.” he gave her a startled look, “I-I mean you need a bigger kitchen.”
“Yes well it suits my needs just fine.”
“Yeah, but you know if you get married ...”
He gave her a wry grin, “Yes, well, I’ll deal with that little problem if the time ever arises; now dinner will be ready in about five minutes if you would set the dishes it would be appreciated.”
Buffy took the plates from the cupboard and placed them on the pass-through counter and was in the process of getting the silverware when a wave of nausea hit. She ran to the bathroom, making it just in time. Giles turned the heat off, under the pan, and went to see if she was all right. Buffy didn’t have time to close the door but he didn’t need to see what was going on, he could hear her as he approached.
“Buffy?” Giles took hold of her hair to hold it back while she continued to heave. After a bit he gave her a glass of water to sip.
“I’m okay Giles. Just, give me a minute and I’ll be right out.”
“Of course,” he left to take care of the dinner while she freshened up.
As Buffy came down the hall and toward the seats at the pass-through she said. “There’s something I have to tell you.”
Giles stopped what he was doing and gave her his full attention, “Yes”
She sat on one of the tall chairs placed at the counter. She played with a stray strand of thread at the hem of her shirt; taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly; gathering her thoughts.
Giles remembered when Faith had accidentally stabbed a civilian, thinking something similar must have happened he said, “Buffy whatever it is we can handle it together.”
He placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. At this small gesture Buffy broke down; quickly throwing her arms around him. He hesitated for a millisecond then allowed his arms to wrap her in a comforting hug.
“Giles I messed up. I don’t know what I’m going to do.” she sobbed; as her situation really hit her. Before when no one knew she could pretend that it was all a nightmare but now with one of her closest friends there with her it all became real.
“Why don’t you start, with telling me what you’ve done?” He said gently as he guided her to the couch; dinner forgotten for now.
He set his right index finger under her chin and gently lifted her head to look her in the eyes.
“There is nothing that you could have done that we cannot fix.”
Buffy took a breath. “There was this demon about a month and a half ago; I chased if for like an hour. When I caught up to it we fought for like; forever but it still got away. Well, when I got back to the dorm, Riley was there. I needed to release the pent up tension I ... we kissed and soon we were ... at any rate; I forgot to check my supply of, um, of - well I was all out. I told Riley to stop; to slow down, but I guess, he didn’t hear me and I tried to push him away but I was too tired from the fight and now I’m, I’m pregnant.”
She looked into Giles’ eyes to gauge his anger but couldn’t read his emotions. Outwardly he was as calm as if she were discussing breakfast choices but then she saw a little spark that told her, her Watcher was furious.
“I’m so, so sorry ...” her voice barely a whisper.
“What do you ‘ave to be sorry for.” Giles’ accent slipped from the refine Oxford to the one he had used as Ripper, “It’s the bloody pillock who wouldn’t stop when you told him to. If I ever see him again he’s gonna be singin’ for the Vienna Boys Choir.”
“Giles!” Buffy admonished, though she kind of, liked his protectiveness, “It isn’t his fault; I’m to share in the blame.”
“Not his fault, did you tell him to stop?” she nodded. “Then it is entirely his fault. A woman has the right to stop a man at any time; if he doesn’t then he’s committing ra...”
Buffy turned pale, “Don’t say it, I wasn’t...”
Giles watched as the tears welled up in her eyes. “Buffy, I’m sorry, truly I am.”
Setting his glasses on the coffee table he took her into his arms, she in turn wrapped hers around him.
“I never should have said anything, I won’t say another word; I promise.”
Buffy felt the warmth and comfort of his embrace; I could get use to this. She shook herself mentally, no, stop, this is Giles. To get her mind off her increasing state of arousal; she released her grasp and changed the subject.
“So, have I committed another council faux pas,” he in turn released her and gave her a questioning look, “you know the first Slayer to get knocked up.”
“Buffy,” he admonished, “Please don’t put it that way; and no actually, you aren’t. There was a Slayer in the 70’s in NY. Her Watcher is actually still alive. I’ll give him a ring tomorrow and see how they handled, things; training and all. That is if you’re, are you planning to continue with,” his tone hopeful for the affirmative.
“Giles, I never gave it a thought; I may never get another chance to be a mom. Hey my next appointment is in six weeks and Sarah,” he raised an eyebrow, “my mid-wife, said I might be able to hear the heartbeat.” She looked at her hands, “You wanna go with?”
Giles eyes brightened, “Yes, if you’re sure you want me there?”
“There isn’t anyone else I want to share this with.”
“Um, wouldn’t you rather, Willow was there?”
“No, I mean obviously I need to tell Will and Xander but not right now. You know in case something happens to the baby.” She rubbed her abdomen absentmindedly.
“You’ll need to tell her something. The reason you’re here today is because she’s concerned with the way you have been lately.”
“I guess you’re right. Can I invite them over? I don’t want to give the news over the phone?”
“Yes you may and while you do that, I will see if I can salvage dinner.”
Willow, Tara, Xander, with Anya in tow, arrived just as Giles was putting the last of the dinner dishes into the drying rack.
“So what’s the sitch?” Xander asked as he closed the door to the apartment.
“Well,” Buffy began, “Why don’t you all have a seat.”
“Oh Buffy, you’re sick aren’t you but you’re gonna get better right; I mean you’re the Slayer and Slayers aren’t sick for long right?”
“I’m not sick Will.”
“Then how come you’ve been, you know ... tossing cookies?”
Buffy looked to Giles, who gave her a reassuring glance. “Well guys, it looks like we’re gonna have a new Slayerette in about eight more months; though it will be some time before he or she can help with the research and stuff.”
Xander looked perplexed, Anya looked bored, Willow’s expression showed her mind was working through what was said; Tara was the one to speak.
“Are c-congratulation in order or ...?”
“Congratulations are fine, thank you.”
“Congratulations? What for?"
Willow interrupted Xander, “Buffy that’s awesome. Does Riley know, he must know ... though if he knew he’d be here so, I guess he doesn’t know?”
“He knows, he left anyway; but I’m okay with that.”
“Can I buy a clue here?” Xander looked from Buffy to Willow to Tara then back to Buffy.
“She had unprotected orgasms with Riley and now she is incubating her young.” Anya said to her clueless boyfriend.
The room became silent as everyone just stared at Anya. It was broken when Giles said, “Yes well now that everyone knows I feel this evening shall be declared a night off from patrol and where as Buffy bought a numerous amount of snack foods, we shall have a party.”
“Sounds good to me.” seconded Buffy.
The next day Giles was on the phone with Bernard Crowley, the Watcher from NY, who now resided in Beverly Hills. He went on to tell Giles that he had to keep Nikki’s pregnancy from the council; because Slayers are not intended to have children. Though, the council found out after his Slayer’s death; when they tried to reassign him somewhere else. He had to tell them about Robin, Nikki’s son. The council agreed that a child of a Slayer was unique and he was to remain as guardian to Robin.
Bernard went on to say that he didn’t document anything for fear the council may find it; but would try to recall all that he could and send the notes on to Giles.
By the end of the week, true to his word, Giles received a manila envelope with Crowley’s address in the upper left corner. He slit an opening in the packet and read the cover sheet; it stated that if Crowley recalled anything else he would send it along later. Giles began to read through the document when Buffy burst through the store front.
“Giles, you’ve got to do something about Xander.”
Giles looked up from the papers, “Hmmm...”
“Xander, you’ve gotta stop him.”
“What has he done now?”
As Giles was finishing his question Xander was closing a sun umbrella as he entered the store. “Boy Buffy, you walk fast.” he stated.
She glared at her friend, “Do I look like the type of person who needs a parasol. I have grown up in California. I think I can tell if I’ve had too much sun or not.”
“I know I just thought ... oh yeah, you’ve been out in the sun. Let me get you some bottled water.” Xander scampered off into the training room.
“See,” Buffy pointed in the direction of Xander’s retreating form.
“He is right you know, you do need to increase you intake of fluids; especially with the hotter days approaching.” Giles stated.
“Not you too,” Buffy’s voice rang with exasperation.
“We only mention these things because we care.”
“I know Giles and I’m sorry; I guess I’m just not use to being waited on hand and foot.”
Xander returned with the water, “Here ya go, if you want more just ...”
“I can get it myself, thank you.”
“You can get me some water, Xander.” Anya said trying to get attention from her boyfriend.
Xander slipped into the training once more to retrieve another bottle. Giles returned to the few pages of notes that were sent. There wasn’t, much just Nikki’s mood swings and her penchant for not wanting to be treated with kid gloves. The only other note was the increase in vampire activity and her intense desire to patrol. Crowley theorized it was her instinct to rid the world of vampires before her baby was born; to protect it.
As Buffy neared the end of her first trimester the morning sickness went away; although the smell of tomatoes, fresh or cooked, turned her stomach. It became so bad she avoided all the usual hangouts of the gang because of it; this, secretly, pleased Giles as he would prepare her dinners; at his place.
Giles was in the kitchen, dressed in khakis, a white and blue striped shirt and an apron, preparing a simple chicken dish. Buffy watched from the doorway. Wow, when did Giles wear become so sexy? Her eyes roamed over his body as he taste-tested the dish; she continued to check out his firm tush. Don’t go there, she told herself.
While having dinner she asked, “My appointment is tomorrow were you still going to come with me?”
“Of course” he gave her a shy smile internally pleased again that she chose him to share in this life changing experience of hers.
Buffy and Giles sat in the waiting room. Giles, looking out of place while Buffy thumbed through a parenting magazine. A woman came in carrying a car seat with a newborn followed by a small child of about three. The little girl went over to the stack of children’s books and while looking for one her baby brother began to cry. The mother was involved with trying to calm the infant that her daughter walked over to Giles and stood in front of him just staring; as if sizing him up.
Giles was starting to feel uncomfortable with the child’s stares; when she asked, “Would you read to me, pwease.”
Giles saw the mother was still occupied and relented taking the book from the little girl. Glancing at the cover he smiled and read the title.
The girl stood beside him as he began the book. “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day”
“You sound like the movie.” She said.
“Yeah, I watch all the time.” She climbed onto his lap and back against him; putting her right thumb in her mouth as he continued to read.
Buffy looked over from her magazine and grinned at the scene. Willow will never believe this. She thought.
The mother finally got her baby to settle and now her attention went to her daughter. She smiled at her child and the older gentleman; the little girl had coerced into reading. The woman leaned toward Buffy, “it is very nice of your father to read to my daughter.”
“Giles, he’s not my father; he’s ...”
Buffy paused for a moment, how to explain her relationship with Giles? He definitely wasn’t a father to her, he was more than a friend; her mentor, yes but more than that. The pause lasted a little longer as she tried to work it out and the woman got the wrong impression.
“Oh well, he’s seems very nice. My daughter isn’t very trusting to strangers but just the way she has accepted him I’m sure he’ll be a great father.”
“Oh he’s ...”
Buffy was interrupted by her name being called. Giles politely set the little girl to the floor.
“I must leave now. You keep working on learning your letters and you’ll be reading this book and others in no time.” Giles gave her a little pat on the head and followed Buffy.
On the way to the room they stopped at a scale to get Buffy’s weight and then once in the room she was given a little cup.
“Again, I thought we did this last time.”
“We need a sample at every visit to test for sugars and protein which if elevated could indicate something that needs to be addressed.”
Buffy left the room to give her sample while Giles sat in the chair by the exam table. This was a room he never pictured himself in. There was a poster on the wall of the stages of pregnancy, the growth of the infant within the uterus; and the delivery. Looking away from the poster brought his vision to the stirrups on the table. Good Lord, what am I doing here?
Buffy returned and climbed up on the table.
“Are, are you sure y-you want m-me here?” he said as he cleaned his glasses. He hadn’t stuttered this much in a long time.
“Yes, I do. What’s wrong?”
“Well if, if you’re t-to be ex-examined,” his cheeks flushed a little’ and he stuck his hands in his pockets.
“Not to worry, Sarah said I wouldn’t need that close an exam this time around.”
There was a rap on the door.
“Come in.” Buffy said.
A woman entered carrying a thin file. “How are you today, Buffy?” then she noticed the older man in the room, “Is this your father?”
“No this is my … this is Giles, Giles this is Sarah, my CPM”
They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.
“Everything is looking fine. Shall we try to hear a heartbeat; you’re right on the threshold of being able to hear.”
Buffy gave a smile; then said, “Ya, that would be neat.”
“Alright lie back.”
Sarah lowered Buffy’s pants to expose her lower abdomen, just above her pubic bone. Giles, for lack of anywhere else to look; looked into Buffy’s eyes and gave her his shy grin. Sarah began by squirting some get onto her exposed belly then placing the transducer on the midline of Buffy’s abdomen and aimed it downward behind her pubic bone. Slowly Sarah angled the probe in search of the fetal heart rate.
"There it is. Sarah said as a faint steady whoosh sound was heard coming from the device. Buffy’s face lit with a smile as she heard the heartbeat of her growing child. She glanced from the mid-wife to Giles and saw a look of astonishment and something else there.
“That ... that is truly amazing; thank you for allowing me to be here." He gave Buffy's hand a little squeeze.
“Sounds very strong,” Sarah wiped the goop from where she had placed the probe; then wiped the device setting it on the counter. “If you don’t have any questions for me; I guess I’ll see you again in a month.”
Buffy and Giles left the office; both couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of what they had heard. It was all real to Buffy now. There was a precious life growing within her. She was determined now; there was nothing that would stop her from protecting this child.
To be continued in New Things