Continued from hereGiles gave his wife a sheepish look when she questioned him about the gifts he'd gotten for their unborn child. Truth be told, he'd played with one of them in the toy store before buying it. Actually, Xander and him both had played with it in the toy store before getting it. It was one of those Leap Pad deals he'd seen adverted in the local paper. He'd gotten that and several of the books to go along with it."Maybe," he muttered before motioning toward her toast. He was about to tell her to eat when she mentioned finding out the sex of the baby. It would be helpful to know what they were having. That way they could plan accordingly with decorating the nursery and picking out the names. "I think that's a splendid idea."After Fred finished eating and asked about the presents, Giles chuckled at her. "You're so adorable," he whispered before softly kissing her. He took her hand again and led her out to the living room. "The presents on the bottom are for the baby." He picked up the small box and held it behind his back. "Open your other presents first, and then you'll get this one."
The expression on her husband's face told her everything that she needed to now before he even admitted that he had bought the toys so he could play with them too. She grinned at him, thinking that he was so cute. "It's okay, sweetie," she told him. "I won't tell anyone else. You can play with them all you want."She was glad that he agreed that they should find out the sex of the baby. It would definitely put her mind at ease about what had happened at the store the other day, and it would also let them decide what else they were going to buy without having to wait until after the baby arrived.Letting Rupert lead her out to the living room, she looked at the boxes with a smile. She had something upstairs in her suitcase for him, but when he picked up the small box that had been sitting with the other gifts, her curiosity was piqued. "Okay," she told him, sitting down and picking up one of the presents. "When I'm finished, I have something upstairs for you too."She opened the two gifts, grinning at the sweater and cap she found inside. "They're beauitful, Rupert," she told him, leaning over to give him a kiss. "Although I think I'm going to have to wait until we're back in England to wear them! They'll be perfect. Although..."With a laugh, she put the cap on her head. "What do you think?"
Giles laughed when Fred put on the cap and shook his head. "You look lovely - as usual," he said with a grin. He held the small box in his hands and looked at her for a moment. "This is something I wanted to get you after we found out you were pregnant." He held up the box. "My grandfather did it when he found out he was going to be a father."He rolled the box over in his hands and looked at it for a moment. "My grandparents went through a lot to get to where they were in life. My grandmother had been a prodigy at the Council and my grandfather was a son of a baker. Those sort of relationships were frowned down upon, especially since my grandmother fell in love with him when she was ten and he was fourteen," Giles said, shaking his head. "They eventually married when my grandmother was seventeen, and soon she was pregnant. The Council didn't want her pregnant because they wanted to make her a Slayer straightaway. She declined and stayed with her husband. Eventually she would become one of the Council's most famous Watchers, and most outspoken one too." he said with a small chuckle."My grandfather was so happy that he spent a month worth of wages on a ring for her. A mother's ring and he gave it to her on their first Christmas together." Giles pulled the paper off the small box and opened it up. "You've stood by my side when you didn't have to - especially after what I pulled." He took the ring out of the box and held it up. "It has your birthstone, my birthstone and places for our children's birthstone. I want you to have it because you've given me the two greatest gifts I've ever received - your love and hope for the future."Giles reached out and took her hand and slipped the silver band onto her finger before looking up at her. "I love you," he whispered before softly kissing her.
As Rupert told her the story of his grandparents, Fred felt her throat tighten a bit. It had to be one of the sweetest and most romantic things she had ever heard, especially given the different backgrounds that they came from. To know that her husband was here because of such a strong love made her unbelievably happy, even given the demands on his grandmother's life with her Watcher duties. She had made time to focus on her family as well as her work, something Fred intended to do as well.Then Rupert opened the box to show her that he - like his grandfather - had gotten her a special ring, one that would symbolize their own family. When she saw it, tears formed in her eyes."It's beautiful," she whispered as he took her hand and slipped it on. When he kissed her, she ran one hand up his collarbone while wrapping the other around him. "I love you too. And this is possibly the most wonderful gift you could have given me..." Taking his hand in hers, she placed it on her stomach and smiled. "Besides our baby."After kissing him again, she leaned her forehead against his, thinking this was quite definitely the best Christmas she had ever had. She got to be with the man she loved in a beautiful place."I'm going to get your present now," she told him softly. "Then we can open the presents for the baby together, okay?"Slipping off the couch, she hurried upstairs. Stopping for a moment, she looked at the ring on her finger and smiled, then opened the suitcase and pulled out his gift, which she took downstairs."I--I hope you like it. I talked to the shopkeeper about this a few months ago, and it took him a while to find it, but he finally did." Taking a deep breath, she set the wrapped copy of the first edition Le Morte d'Arthur on his knee.
Giles was glad that Fred liked the gift. He'd been worried she wouldn't because it was a tradition in his family, and he had remembered all the talks they had about not falling within the traditions. He returned her kiss and then watched her get up and go upstairs. When she came back, he eyed the present and picked it up."Oh, love," he whispered when he pulled the wrapping off the book. "I've been wanting this book for quite a long time. This is the best Christmas I've ever had. Thank you so much." He leaned forward and deeply kissed her before pulling back. He sat the book on the table and motioned toward the tree. "We have some more presents to open."Getting up, he brought over a pile of presents for their child. "Some of these are from Willow, Buffy, and the rest of them," he said, opening up one of the presents. Inside was a set of bottles. He then found one of the presents he'd gotten for the baby and grinned. "See?" Giles took the paper off and showed Fred the Leap Pad and books."You put these books in it," he said as he opened the box. It already had the batteries in it because he'd played with it before wrapping it. "This book teaches shapes and colors." He placed the book in and started to play with it.
"This is best Christmas I've had too," Fred told Rupert with a smile, closing her eyes for a moment as he kissed her. She looked down at the ring again while he picked up the gifts for the baby. Some traditions were definitely worth following, she thought."Not even born, and she's already getting spoiled," she mentioned with a laugh, looking at the presents. She couldn't help but grin, though, when he showed her what he had gotten. "Oh! I read about these! I always thought they would be so cool for a child."Leaning over, she watched Rupert play with it for a few minutes, matching up the shapes and the colors. He really was into it, and for a moment, she could just picture their child sitting on his lap as they played with the toy together."You're going to be a great daddy, you know that," she said softly before moving to her knees on the floor and taking the Leap Frog from his hands, sitting it down on the couch. "You can play with that more later. Right now, there's another gift I want to give you."Tugging on his hands, she pulled him down with her on the floor in front of the Christmas tree. She then placed his hands on her nightgown and gave him a smile."Gonna unwrap your gift and play with it in front of the Christmas tree?"
Giles smiled when Fred said she was going to be a good father. “I’ll try my best love,” he whispered. When she took the toy off his lap, he almost pouted until she pulled him down to the floor. He perked an eyebrow as she pulled him to the foot of the Christmas tree. And a smirk formed on his lips when she placed his hands on her nightgown and asked if he was going to play with his gift.Pulling the nightgown over her head, Giles carefully nudged Fred onto her back as he knelt beside her. “I don’t know,” he said, giving her a thoughtful look. “Where should I start? How about here?” He bent down and sucked one of her nipples into his mouth and when it became erect, he pulled back. “Oh, an interactive toy. I like those.”He moved over to her other nipple and sucked that one into his mouth too. When it became erect, he pulled up and ran his hands over her body. Leaning down, he placed a small kiss on her stomach before hooking his fingers under the waistband of her panties. He pulled them down and smiled.“I wonder what’ll happen when I do this…” Giles moved between Fred’s legs and softly licked up her wetfolds. “The toy even tastes good.” He smirked at her before pushing two fingers inside of her as his tongue found her clit.
At Rupert's comment about her being an interactive toy, Fred started laughing, only for it to turn into a moan less than a moment later when he began teasing her other nipple. "I--I heard interactive toys...are the best...the best kind," she told him, her heart pounding in her ears.As he moved down her body, she found herself arching underneath him, which allowed him to easily slid her panties from her body. She was already trembling slightly in anticipation, and when she felt his tongue on her, she gasped. Her hands tried to grab at the carpeting underneath her, but of course, she couldn't get a hold of it."Rupert!" she cried out, bucking up against his hand as his fingers began thrusting into her while he teased her. Reaching down, she managed to thread one of her hands into his hair.He knew just how to play with her, how to wind her up and test her limits without breaking her. She felt like putty in his fingers every time he touched her like this.Bringing her legs up, she pressed her feet against the floor, pressing against him as she felt her body tightening up. Her eyes fell closed, and soon, she felt herself hanging on the edge, wanting to tumble over, but all she could feel was her body tensing more and more until it was almost too much.Finally, she starting spasming and let out a cry as her entire body arched up.
Giles sucked and licked Fred's clit. His fingers continued to thrust inside of her and he could feel himself becoming hard from her taste and the way she was reacting to him. She was the most vocal lover he'd ever had and it drove him mad with want and desire. She also reacted unlike anyone he'd ever had, even in his Ripper days when he used magic on people to get them to submit to him.When she came, Giles pressed his tongue against her clit, groaning at how hard she was clenching around his fingers. Once she was finished, he pulled his fingers out and licked them clean before smiling down at her. She was so beautiful post-orgasm, her body flushed; her nipples hard. "So beautiful," he whispered as he carefully ran his hands over her stomach.Giles moved so he was lying beside her. "All right, love?" he quietly asked as he nuzzled her neck.
As Rupert ran his hands over her stomach, Fred shuddered a few more times, her skin feeling very sensitive. When her eyes opened to look up at him, she returned his smile, then reached over to embrace him as he cuddled next to her."I'm okay," she told him, moaning softly as his lips traced along her neck. "I take it you enjoyed playing with your toy."Suddenly, giving a wicked grin, she rolled and pinned him on the floor, leaning down and kissing his chest. She nipped at his nipples before looking up."Thing is that I'm the ultimate interactive toy. I play with you too," she told him before reaching down and pulling his boxers off him.Once he was nude, she leaned down and blew gently across the tip of his erect cock. It throbbed a bit, causing her to smile. She loved the way she could make him react. Pushing her hair back from her face, she leaned down, taking him in her mouth and sucking gently.
"I don't think I've ever had a toy that's played back," Giles whispered as he watched his wife pull off his boxers. He was around starting to get hard, and when his cock sprung out, he moaned as he felt himself throb and harden even more. "I'll have to thank Father Christmas for the wonderful toy."When he felt Fred's warm breath on the tip of his cock, Giles yelped and bucked up. "Tease," he muttered, looking down at her. He groaned as he watched her take him in his mouth - it was such an erotic sight. "Bloody hell, Fred," he groaned as he tried hard not to thrust up too much. He didn't want to choke her.Instead, he allowed Fred to set the pace, even if it seemed too slow to him. He pressed his body against the carpet and moaned in delight. Soon, he felt his balls tighten and he let out a gasp. "Fred...I'm about to..." he forced out right before he felt himself twitch and start to spill himself inside of her mouth.
When her husband called her a tease, she couldn't help but smile a bit. She loved that she could get such reactions out of him, that she made him want that much.She also loved that she could give him so much pleasure when she did this, even though her jaw ached a bit. The look on his face was so worth it, as were the noises he made. She rolled her tongue around his shaft and up the underside before sucking a bit harder, speeding up a little bit but not much since it was hard to keep up such a pace.Finally, though, she could feel him beginning to throb as he tried to warn her and closing her eyes, she kept her mouth around him as his salty cum filled it. She held herself there until she felt him start to settle down then pulled back and swallowed. It burned a bit, but it didn't matter when she saw the look of utter bliss on his face."Merry Christmas," she whispered to him before crawling up and kissing him before cuddling with him, running her hand over his chest, feeling his heart beating. "I love you."
Catching his breath, Giles wrapped his arms around his wife. Being here, and away from the Council, had done both of them a world of good. He knew they had to go home soon but he also knew that he wanted to make this a yearly thing. "I think we should come back here every Christmas," he said. "I know that sounds selfish, especially since I'm sure our parents will want to spend the holidays with their grandchild, but I think we should just come here instead."He smiled, thinking about how they would have a child by the time Christmas came again. Just then, there was a loud clap of thunder outside and he raised his head a bit. It was getting dark and he sighed. "Looks like a storm's coming in," he said. He then picked himself off the floor and helped Fred stand. Small droplets of rain started to fall and he looked at his wife."Looks like we might have to occupy each other today," he said, nuzzling her neck. "Can't do anything outside with the rain."
The end of their holiday came too quickly it seemed. It was so beautiful and peaceful and warm where they were in New Zealand, and Fred knew she would have been content to hide from the world, raising their children together away from the hell that invaded their lives. She knew they couldn't - and shouldn't. There weren't enough of them out there in the fight, especially with what had happened with Angel and Charles. They had already lost fighters, including Wesley. She wouldn't give up too.So they had soon flown home, finding themselves stepping out of Heathrow airport into a cold rain. She pulled her new knit cap down further over her ears, glad she had decided to put on the sweater too when she had stopped off in the bathroom inside. Luckily, they found a Council car waiting and were on their way home within a few minutes, Fred leaning against her husband."I guess we'll have to call the others and find out what's been going on," she told him. "I bet we're going to have a million messages waiting for us although I'm really, really impressed that Andrew managed to go the entire time we were gone without calling us."When they pulled up outside the house, the driver helped them get their luggage into the house. Once he was gone, Fred smiled and looked around."You know...actually...as nice as the house in New Zealand was, it's wonderful to be back in our own home." She looked around as she wrapped her arms around Rupert. "It's quiet without Molly, though. We going to go down to see your parents this weekend and pick her up, right?"
Giles was glad to be home. Yes, he was going to miss the sun and warmth of New Zealand but he missed his home, and bed. He even missed Buffy and the rest of them. When they got inside, he grinned down at Fred and hugged her tight. "It feels quite nice," he said. When she made mention of Molly, Giles' grinned widen."Actually," he said, releasing his wife and going to the guest bedroom. He opened the door and Molly came running out. "My parents brought her this morning because they're going to Scotland for New Year's." He bent down and picked up the hyper puppy. "Did you miss us, love?"Molly yipped and wagged her tail so hard that her entire body was moving. "We have a gift for you," Giles whispered before kissing the puppy on top of the bed. She handed her over to Fred and picked up one of the suitcases. He took it into the parlor and sat it down. After a few moments, he produced a rather large gift basket full of toys, bones, and treats for the puppy.
"Molly!" Fred said, pleased beyond words to see their puppy again. She grinned as she took the squirming little furball from her husband and held her. Molly immediately started trying to lick her face. "We're glad to see you too. I'm glad your daddy decided to make sure you were here waiting for us when we got home because we missed you."Following Rupert into the parlor, she sat down on the floor - realizing as she did that she probably wouldn't be able to do that for too much longer - and picked up the knotted cloth that looked like ragbone. She let the dog go and swung it in front of her, pretty soon ending up in a tug of war.Before long, Molly got the bone away and started jumping around the room a bit, shaking the cloth bone in her mouth. "I think she's going to love playing with all those toys and eating all the treats." Fred then looked over everything they had brought back. "You don't think we overdid it just a bit, do you? Our puppy and our child are probably going to be the most spoiled in the world."
Giles grinned at Molly and Fred as they were reunited. Everything felt right and it did his heart good. He sat down on the floor with them and laughed as Molly got the upper hand and ran around with the toy. "I do believe you're right, love," he said, "but nothing wrong with spoiling our girls." He reached over and lightly ran his fingers over her stomach.Molly came running over and dropped her toy on Giles' lap. He picked it up and threw it out into the foyer and the dog went running after it. "We should probably check the messages," he said. He stood up and helped Fred up before going to the answering machine they had in the kitchen. "Only thirty messages." He chuckled and shook his head.He pressed play and they listened to the messages. It was mostly messages wishing them happy holidays, a few from his parents assuring them Molly was all right, and one from Fred's parents thanking them for the flier miles. "Not too bad. I assume everything went well at the Council," he said as the messages ended. "Of course you still have to check your mobile. Never know...Martin may have let Xander into the lab!"After giving Fred a soft kiss, Giles went over to the icebox and noticed a note from Willow. "Oh! Willow and Charlotte already got the food for our party tomorrow night and Dawn and Buffy are going to be here too," he said, showing her the note.
The more they called their unborn child a girl, the more right it felt and the more certain Fred was that however that woman in the grocery store in New Zealand had known, she was right. She placed her hand over Rupert's on her stomach. A girl. A daughter. She couldn't wait until they met her when she arrived in about seven months.Still smiling, she went with her husband to check the messages, sitting on the counter (since she could still get up there at the moment) and listening. The smile stayed on her face as it seemed everything had gone well while they were gone...Until Rupert mentioned that she hadn't checked her own phone yet. The idea of Xander being in her lab - as much as she adored the younger man - filled her with a bit of fear. She could only imagine the mischief he might have gotten up to with Martin, and suddenly, she wasn't sure whether she wanted to know or not.She tried to distract herself for a moment by looking at the note from Willow, grateful that their friends had taken care of the food for the party. Going shopping was one of the last things on her mind.But she still had to check her messages.Sighing softly, she slipped down off the counter and went to find her bag, pulling out her phone and turning it on as she returned to the kitchen. After connecting to the network, a beep told her that there was one voice mail message waiting, so she called in to the service."Hey, Fred. It's Martin. Merry Christmas. Hope your holiday was a great one. Erm...give me a call when you get back. Would like to talk to you before the New Year's Eve party. Talk to you soon. Bye."Fred bit her lip as she logged off the service, wondering whether that was good or bad. Shaking her head, she found Martin's number in her address book and hit call, waiting through several sets of double rings before a slightly winded voice came on the line."Hello?""Martin?""Fred! You're back! Erm...how was your holiday?""Wonderful. Amazing. I'm very tan now." She took a deep breath. "How's the lab?"There was a laugh from the other end of the line. "You mean, is it in one piece still?"The laughing put her mind at ease a bit as she was sure his tone would have been much different if something had happened. "Well, I didn't want to put it that way...""Don't worry, the lab's fine. Close call a few times since Xander decided to pay some visits, but I...erm...found a way to distract him.""Distract him? What did you do? Build him a better gun?""Well...not quite..."Fred's eye opened wide. "You didn't mix together some new explosives, did you?""Not as such. We...well..."Fred squeaked a bit, suddenly wondering if she really wanted to know. "Martin...the lab's okay, right?""Yes.""Then how doesn't matter." She paused for a moment. "You happy?""Yes," he said, and she could just hear the grin in his voice."He happy?""I think so.""Then that's all the matters. I'll see you tomorrow at the party.""Looking forward to it."When Fred hung up, she looked over at Rupert. "The lab's in one piece, but apparently, guns and weapons aren't the only thing Xander's interested in."
Giles could see Fred was a bit afraid of calling Martin about the lab. He felt awful for bringing it up and was about to assure her, and tell her it was probably in one piece when she went and got her mobile. While she was getting it, he let Molly out and watched the puppy romp around in the muddy garden.He looked over at Fred as she called Martin, wishing he could hear both sides of the conversation. Molly wanted to come in so he opened the door but quickly caught her and wiped down her paws before she tracked mud in. "Oh?" Giles asked when Fred said Xander was interested in more than weapons. He'd known the young man for several years and knew he had other hobbies.Then it dawned on him what she was referring to, especially since he'd heard the bit about Martin and someone else being happy. "Xander and Martin? I...I never realized Xander even liked men," he said with a small shrug. Not many people would believe he had relations with men before, and had wanted Wesley when they were in Sunnydale together. "Good for them," he said, frowning a bit. "Although, I really wanted Martin for myself." Giles dramatically sighed and then smirked at his wife. "Just joking my dear. No one will be as beautiful as you." He stepped closer to her and deeply kissed her. When he pulled back and continued to smile. "I'm glad Xander's found someone."
Fred nodded when Rupert realized what she meant, seeing his shrug. "I didn't either, but I guess it goes to prove that it's the person that matters, not the gender."While she herself had only been with men intimately in her entire life, she had had a couple of crushes on women, including one of the other history majors at UCLA before she had switched over to physics and had lot track of her. She had sometimes wondered what might have happened with her, but that had been a long time ago, and she knew now that she was supposed to be here, with Rupert. However, as long as the people involved in the relationship were happy, she knew that gender definitely didn't matter.When her husband started teasing that he had wanted Martin himself, she raised her eyebrow and gave him a grin. "Would you have shared him with me?" she asked, laughing softly before wrapping her arms around him and returning his kiss. She definitely knew she was supposed to be with him in moments like this. He was her love and her life."I'm glad he's found someone too," she told him, resting her head against him. "I didn't know Anya, but I know he's missed her, so it's good to see that he's been able to move on with his life."She paused for a moment, thinking about how close friends Martin and Xander had both become to her. "But I'm a bit confused. Am I supposed to threaten Martin or Xander that I'll kick his butt if he hurts the other?"
"Share? I don't know, love. I'm a bit attached to you and would go completely mad at seeing another man touch you," Giles chucked before pulling her closer. He rested his cheek on top of her head and grimaced a bit when she mentioned Anya. "She was...different to say the least. They loved each other but I don't think it was meant to be."He shook his head at the memory of Anya and decided it was best not to speak of her anymore. He'd liked her well enough but she wasn't always his favorite person. "I think you should threaten them both. And make sure I'm there when you do it. You're quite sexy when you're threatening people. Unless it's me," he said, pulling back.Giles hooked a finger under Fred's chin and looked at her. "How are you feeling? Do you want me to make you something to eat? Or would you rather head to bed? We have a long day of cooking tomorrow," he said.
Closing her eyes as Rupert held her, Fred nodded. She supposed that everything happened for a reason - her losing Wesley, Xander losing Anya. In the end, they had ended up right where they were supposed to be. For Fred, right were she was supposed to be was in Rupert's arms.When he mentioned that he thought she was sexy when she threatened people, she looked up at him with a grin. "You do seem to like it when I do. I seem to remember you being pretty randy after our meeting with the Board." She paused for a moment when she realized that she had used a British slang term. "I think you and the others are beginning to run off on me. Must sound funny, me using British words with my Texas drawl."Looking up at him, she smiled at his concern for her, realizing that it really had been a long day. "I'm fine, actually. Not sure what's going to happen to my not-so-morning sickness now that we're back, but for right now, I'm fine." She suddenly let out a yawn. "I think, though, that I'm ready to just head to bed. We're going to have plenty to eat tomorrow, I'm sure, and I'm still trying to adjust to the fact that we're back in a different timezone."Slipping back, she took his hand and led him out of the kitchen up to their bedroom. It was going to be good to sleep together in their own bed again.
After getting a good night sleep, Fred and Giles woke up and started to prepare the food for that night's party. it was the first party they were throwing as a married couple, and Giles wanted everything to be perfect, even though it was just going to be the Scoobies and their dates. He wanted everyone to be happy because he was happy.He was finishing up the meatballs when Molly came in, begging for some. Giles knew he shouldn't give the puppy one but when Fred's back was turned, he 'accidentally' dropped one to the floor. When he wife turned around, he gave her an innocent look before he went back to cleaning up the kitchen. It was then that there was a knock on the door."I'll get it," he said, walking out to the front foyer. When he opened it, he smiled when he saw Martin and Xander standing there. "Come in. You're a few hours early.""Um, well, I have some things for Fred," Martin said as he held up a box. "Well, for the baby. Some toys and clothes. I-I wanted to do something nice for the two of you.""Thank you, Martin," Giles said as he looked at Xander, who looked a little nervous about being there. "Fred's in the kitchen. Why don't you take the things into her? And Xander, I'd like to have a chat with you.""Whatever it is, I didn't do it!" Xander said as Martin walked off to the kitchen."It's nothing bad," Giles said with a small smile. He placed his hand on Xander's shoulder and steered him toward the study.
The day had gone by fairly quickly for Fred since she and Rupert had been busy the whole day, getting things ready for the party. Molly kept coming around, begging for food, but she shook her head - they didn't need a fat puppy, especially with all the spoiling they were doing of her anyway. And she had bags of treats they had brought back for her anyway. The day went so quickly in fact that she was surprised when there was a knock at the door. As Rupert went to answer it, she looked up at the clock. They were early, she realized, wondering who had arrived.Her question was answered when Martin came into the kitchen a few moments later, a box in his arms."Hey, you," she said as he put the box down on the table. "Where's Xander?""In the other room with Giles. Your husband wanted to speak to him.""Oh...hope it's nothing bad." She put down the knife she had been using and turned completely around, giving her friend a smile. "I don't need to give you the whole 'If you hurt him' speech, do I?"Martin shook his head and laughed. "No, you don't. I know Xander's history. He told me after...well, after we kissed but before we...anyway...I swear that I won't allow him to be hurt again.""Good," Fred said with a nod. "I'm glad I don't have to threaten to kick your ass because both of you are my friends, you know, and I was really confused about which one of you I was going to have to lay down the law with, and for a while, I thought I might have to threaten both of you, but it's just so much better if I don't have to with either of you."Martin stared at her in awe for a moment. "Do you have gills that allow you to breath when you do that?"Laughing, she picked up the hand towel on the counter next to her and tossed it at him.
Sitting the door behind him, Giles motioned for Xander to sit down. The young man did and started to jitter in the chair. "It's all right, Xander. I just wanted to have a chat with you about Martin," he explained as he sat on the edge of the desk. "Are you all right with all of this?"Xander gave him a wide-eyed look as his knee started jerking. "I, um, I...y'know, in high school people used to tease me about being gay. Larry even hit on me a few times. Do you know how scary he was? Big guy, cornering me in the lunchroom," he said with a sligh shudder.Giles nodded his head and crossed his arms. "I've been with a few men," he finally said, wanting to make the boy feel more at ease."Okay, that's either really creepy on the too much info meter or kinda weird. I can't decide which. But, um, you have a hot wife now and you dated Miss Calendar. You can't be gay," Xander said as his wriggled around in the chair."Yes, my wife is quite hot and I'd like you not to refer to her as such in front of her. She's pregnant and might use her crossbow on you," Giles said before shaking his head. "My point is, it doesn't matter who you're with as long as you're happy. Are you happy?"Xander grinned. "Yeah. I haven't been this happy since Anya," he said."And you're using the proper precautions?" "When did this become ninth grade health class?" Xander asked. Giles gave him a look. "Yes, we're using condoms." There was a slight pause and Xander sighed. "I feel bad sometimes. Anya hasn't been gone for that long and..."When he trailed off, Giles frowned a little. He moved off the desk and knelt in front of Xander. "Look, Xander, you can't stop living because she's gone. You take what you learnt from being with her, whatever that may be, and live your life. That's what I do with Jenny. I always thought I wasn't going to find someone then she came along. Granted she was taken away from me, but knowing I was capable of loving made me take the chance with Fred.""And she's hot.""Xander.""Sorry. I get it. No more moping. Enjoy the moment," he said with a grin.Giles stood and smiled. "We better go see what your boyfriend and my wife are up to," he said, leading Xander out of the study.When they got to the kitchen, Xander went over to Martin and took his hand as Giles went over to Fred and softly kissed her.
Putting the pears she had just chopped up into the bowl with the rest of the fruit salad, Fred glanced over at Martin. "So...what did you bring? Willow ask you guys to bring some more food because we have plenty here. We're probably going to have to make you all take home leftovers." She paused. "Oh, God, now I know I've grown up and turned into a wife."Martin shook his head and laughed. "Actually, no. This is for the 'Oh, God, now I know I've grown up and turned into a mother' reaction." He opened the box as she walked over to join him. "Clothes and toys for the newest addition to the Giles family. I...erm...think I might have overdone it, though.""Overdone it," Fred asked as she looked into the box, her eyes wide in amazement. "I was right - this child is probably going to be the most spoiled little girl in the world.""Girl? You and Giles are having a girl?""Umm...well, we're not sure, but...we sort of think so." She shrugged. "Guess we'll see. Anyway, thank you for all this. It was very sweet.""You're welcome," he said with a smile as she leaned up and kissed his cheek."This reminds me, though. The baby's going to be born in July, and I was planning to work as long as I can until then, but I might start pulling back a bit before. I want to stay home with the baby for a bit, but then go back at least part-time." She stopped realizing that she might be getting ahead of herself with all this, but she wanted them to be prepared, all things considered. "Anyway, we're going to have to work together to make sure the handovers go smoothly."Martin laughed and shook his head. "Don't worry, Fred. We'll get it worked out. Whenever you're ready to go on leave and whenever you're ready to come back, I'll make sure the lab's in one piece. Just like I did while you and Giles were on holiday.""Just don't go around kissing everyone who threatens to make a mess of the place, okay?" she teased."Nah...I save that for one very special guy," he said as Xander walked in with Rupert, his eyes lighting up.Fred leaned up into her husband's kiss. "Everything's almost ready for when they other's get here," she told him. "And did you see what Martin got us? I think we have some of the best friends in the world."Xander grinned. "I think we all do, Fred."
When Fred motioned toward the box, Giles walked over and looked inside. There was some toys in there (none as good as the toys he’d gotten) and some tiny clothes. He reached in and picked up a red onesie and held it against his chest. “Are you sure this is the right size?” he asked, looking at them. “It’s a bit tiny, don’t you think?”“Babies are that tiny when they’re born Giles. At least my niece and nephew were,” Martin pointed out before he popped a meatball into his mouth.Giles’ eyes went wide. “Are you sure?” he asked, looking at Martin. The other man nodded and Giles furrowed his brow. “First thing Monday morning we need to get some fencing materials,” he said, writing it down on the dry erase board they had in the kitchen.“Are you building a fence, Giles? I could help, y’know,” Xander said before he gave Molly a piece of fruit.“No,” Giles said, shaking his head. “If the baby is that small, it’ll be able to slip out between the bars of the crib and fall to the floor. Oh! We should probably get some sort of air mattress incase the baby does fall out of the crib. Air is safe. We breathe it everyday.” He stopped and thought for a moment.“No, air isn’t safe! It has chemicals in it and that’ll be bad for our child. Maybe some foam? No, she might be allergic to it. Feathers? No, she might choke on them.” He tapped the marker against his chin. “I’ll just add an air filter and feathers to the list.” He scribbled it down and thought for a moment.“How about bubble wrap? You can just wrap the baby up in that,” Xander said with a smirk.“Brilliant, Xander! I can line the floor of the baby’s nursery with it,” Giles said as he added it to the list.
When Rupert starting talking about getting fence materials, Fred was confused for a moment, wondering how he had made the leap from talking about the size of babies to that. Then as he began talking about using it to protect the crib, her eyes widened in disbelief.After a few moments, she didn't know whether to laugh at how adorable her husband was with his worry and swat him for being so silly with his worry. She was very definitely going get Xander for egging him on, though."Rupert, sweetie," she said, reaching over and putting her hand over the marker, shaking her head, her lips twitching, "we don't need all that. Cribs are made so babies can't fall through them, no matter how small they are. Our child will be fine, and she won't choke on the air or anything like that."Turning him to face her, she looked up at him, pressing a kiss to her fingers and then putting them to his lips."Everything is going to be all right, I promise," she told him with a gentle smile. Then she remembered something she had seen in some of the baby catologs she had been looking at since finding out they were expecting. "We can get those soft rail covers to put around the edge of the crib, though.""Well, at least we know that Giles is consistent," Martin told Xander softly. "Worries about his child the same way he worries about his wife."Hearing him, Fred looked over at him while she wrapped her arms around her husband to embrace him. "And I love him for it."
Giles looked down at Fred, noticing how her lips were twitching. He knew his wife well enough to know she was trying not to laugh at him. His mouth opened to protest but he let her speak first. "Oh. I-I thought perhaps she would be able to..." he stopped and gave her a sheepish look. He'd embarrassed himself in front of Martin and Xander. Giles just hoped Xander wouldn't tell the others."The padding sounds like a brilliant idea, love," he said as he wrapped his arms around her. Looking over at Martin, he smirked. "I have to be protective of my girls. Especially with blokes like Xander around."Xander smiled just as there was a knock on the front door. He volunteered to get it and came back with Buffy and Dawn in tow."Hey guys," Dawn said as she handed a box to Fred. "Things for the baby."Giles shook his head. "Our daughter isn't even born yet and she's already spoiled," he commented."A girl? Better hope she's not a Slayer or she doesn't date a vampire," Dawn said before adding, "I wonder if Spike will still be around when she gets older?"Giles groaned as Buffy glared at her sister. "Forget about padding for the crib. We need to arm her with a cross and stake," he sighed.
When Rupert blushed in embarrassment, Fred tightened her arms around him. "It's okay," she told him softly, knowing that he just had their daughter's safety at heart. "And you're right, we do have to watch out for guys like Xander. Never know what someone like him might do.""Hey, that's my boyfriend you're talking about," Martin said with a laugh, watching as Xander left the room to go answer the door."Then you should know better than any of us," Fred responded with a wink.When Dawn and Buffy came in with another box of baby things, her eyes widened in amazement. She couldn't believe how wonderful and generous everyone was being...and the baby wouldn't even be here for another seven months at least."We won't need to buy her anything at this rate," she said with a soft laugh, setting the box on the table next to the one Martin had brought. She looked over at Dawn when she mentioned hoping that their daughter wasn't a Slayer and felt her heart pound for a moment. She hadn't even thought about that possibility."I...I'm definitely all for the idea of teaching her how to fire a crossbow and fight with a sword," Fred agreed when Rupert mentioned a cross and stake, drawing up closer to her husband and resting her hand on her stomach."Hey, don't worry, if she's anything like her mother and father, she'll be one of the most resilient and smartest girls ever," Xander said."And if all else fails, we'll teach her how to blow things up with chemicals," Martin said with a wink. "Demons won't be able to get anywhere near her."
"I do believe our daughter will do quite well, love. With us guiding her, and Buffy and the others helping, all the vampires and demons will run the other way," Giles said as he softly kissed his wife's cheek. "How about we stop chatting about that and chat about something else? How was everyone's Christmas holiday?"He motioned for them to follow them to the parlor. Xander and Dawn carried the food in, and once it was on the coffee table, Buffy and Dawn sat down next to Xander and Martin while Giles pulled Fred down on the loveseat with him."I caught Dawnie making out with a boy under the mistletoe," Buffy said as Molly laid at her feet."Oh?" Giles and Xander both said as they both crossed their arms.Dawn brightly blushed. "It was one kiss," she muttered. "And, hey, he so wasn't a vampire like that other boy!""Ah, yes, I remember that night well. Buffy and I had to come get you. I still remember the pain of the bruised ribs I got," Giles said, looking at Dawn."And I remember the pain of that awful lecture you gave me when we got home," Dawn retorted. She sighed and flung her hands up in the air. "I'm never going to have a normal love life, am I?""No," Giles and Xander said."Well...Xander and Martin are dating!" Dawn said, hoping to pull the attention away from her."We know," Buffy said, just as someone rang the doorbell."I'll get it," Dawn announced as she got off the couch. "Hopefully it's Willow and Charlotte! I seriously need some backup."After Dawn left, Buffy turned to Fred and smiled. "You have to tell me - was Giles' legs pasty white or did he just skip the shorts and wear tweed the entire time on your trip?"
Fred nodded at her husband's comment, knowing that he was right. Between all of them, they had the resources to both protect and teach their daughter, and she knew that because of that, while she would no doubt worry, their little girl would be able to take care of whatever came her way.Even so, however, she was glad when the topic of conversation turned to other things as they all made themselves comfortable in the living room. She felt a bit sorry for poor Dawn, having to deal with the teasing and the knowledge that life would never be simple.As Dawn ran to answer the door, Fred looked over at Buffy, her eyes widening at her question. She couldn't help but think of how much time they had spent on the beach or in the water, naked. "He...well...Rupert has very nice legs, and...no...no tweed." She actually didn't think she had ever seen her husband wearing tweed the entire time she had known him. Braces, yes. Tweed, no. "We..uh...managed to get a good bit of sun while we were there if you can't tell.""Well, wasn't sure if it was just his face since he is wearing a sweater," Buffy said as Dawn came back in with Willow and Charlotte in tow."You were kissing a boy? How cute!" Willow was saying."I think I'm just going to crawl into the cupboard under your staircase until it's time to go home if that's okay with you guys," Dawn said. It was obvious that no one was going to cut her a break."Well, you could," Fred told her as she reached over and took a piece of carrot, "but then you wouldn't get the present we brough you back from New Zealand.""Present?" she said, a grin crossing her face."I think you just said the magic make-everything-okay word, Fred," Xander said with a laugh.
Giles grinned as Fred stammered, answering Buffy's question. When Willow, Charlotte, Willow and Dawn came into the parlor. Giles chuckled as Willow teased Dawn about kissing a boy. "Ah, yes, the way to Dawn's good graces is offer her a present. But, no presents until Lorne and Andrew get here," Giles told the younger Summers."I have something for the both of you. Well, more for Fred," Willow said, holding out a bag."Not more clothes and toys is it? We won't have any room for the crib," Giles said, shaking his head."Actually, it's some things to help her learn how to relax. It'll help with pregnancy pains and the labor," Willow explained just as the door bell rang again."I'll get it," Giles said. He stood from the sofa so Willow could sit down by Fred and chat with her. Going to the front door, he opened it to see Andrew and Lorne. "Hello you two.""Hi Mister Giles," Andrew said as he shrugged his jacket off and placed it on the coat rack. He went toward the parlor and Giles looked at Lorne and noticed he was holding a box."What's that?" he asked the demon."A karaoke for the baby. If she's anything like her dad, she'll be singing up a storm soon. Or screaming into it," Lorne said as he handed the box to Giles."Wonderful," Giles said as he followed Lorne toward the parlor.
When Willow held out the bag, Fred had been wondering what they were going to do with all these things for the baby until she said that it was her during the pregnancy and labor. Taking it, she opened it up, looking inside."There's a DVD for Yogo during Pregnancy, none of the pretzel stuff, just gentle stretching and breathing, things like that. Also, some natural herbs to help with anxiety and indigestion, and some candles that you can light to help you when you want to just lie back. Those are good with the yoga breathing." Willow smiled. "There's also a few other things in there.""Thank you so much, Willow," Fred said, hugging her friend. "This should be really helpful.""Was the morning sickness bad while you were gone.""It was more like middle-of-the-night sickness. My body got a bit confused about the time." She looked up as Rupert came in with Lorne and Andrew, noticing the look on his face and wondering what was wrong. He was holding a box in his hand. Another gift for the baby?"Hey, Freddles," Lorne said, leaning over and giving her a kiss. "How're you feeling? How was the trip?""I'm feeling all right, and the trip was great, thank you," she told him. She looked back toward her husband. "What's in the box?""A Karaoke," Lorne told her with a smile. Now Fred understood why Rupert looked the way he did."Ohhh! Can we play with that?" Dawn asked."Oh, please no...we've already heard each other sing, and that was enough to last me a lifetime," Buffy said."Never again," Xander agreed. "Not without many drinks, at least.""Hey, Fred, Rupert, where's your bar?" Martin asked with a wink before his boyfriend pushed him off the chair arm.
Giles was glad no one really wanted to sing. He didn't think he could handle that once again. Instead, he moved everyone to the dining room where they ate dinner, while talking about their Christmas holidays. It was nice to have a houseful of people, especially since it was people he liked and cared about.After dinner, all of them exchanged gifts in the parlor before all of them settled down. "Since Fred, Martin and Charlotte are all new, we should tell them about our New Year's Eve tradition," Xander said as he grinned at all of them."What tradition?" Buffy asked."Telling your most embarrassing moment from the last...eight years," he answered."We did that once! Doesn't make it a tradition," Willow pointed out."C'mon, it'll be fun! We should start with Giles," Xander grinned."No. We should start with you, and how you did a love spell once," Giles said, raising his eyebrows at Xander."You did a love spell?" Martin asked, looking over at Giles."Cordelia broke up with him on Valentine's Day so he had Amy do a love spell. It didn't work the way he wanted and all the girls in Sunnydale wanted him," Giles explained."And I was turned into a rat," Buffy muttered."And I almost killed him," Willow said."Hey! I learned my lesson when Angelus almost killed me and then Drusilla wanted to make me her pet," Xander said before looking at Willow. 'At least I didn't try to turn a guy into a girl like Wills did because of a love spell!""You did what?" Charlotte asked before laughing."I-I...I didn't know what I was doing," Willow said in defense.
"Oh, you knew what you were doing! You just didn't know why," Xander said with a grin. He looked over at Martin. "This guy had an enchanted jacket handed down from his brother. Made all the girls crazy about him."Martin raised his eyebrows. "And no one noticed that he was wearing it all the time then?""Nah...we had lots of weird stuff going on in Sunnydale. Who was gonna notice a jacket," Willow said.Charlotte was still laughing. "You were going to turn him into a girl.""Well, I like girls!" Willow said."Good thing too!" Charlotte shot back before leaning over to kiss her.Xander looked over at Fred. "What about you? Anything embarrassing from the last eight years?"Biting her lip, Fred shrugged. "I...well..." Most of the time during the last eight years had been spent in Pylea, and there hadn't been a lot of chances for embarrassing moments to happen, mostly because those sorts of things led either to punishment or death. "After I got back...and started coming out of my room, I started reading some of Wesley's books in the office, wanting to learn more about demons and magic and stuff because I wanted to help. And I asked Wesley to teach me one of the incantations in the book, so he taught me one that was supposed to light a nearby candle. Only...I sort of pronounced one of the words wrong...and I ended up setting the ficus on fire.""I didn't know Angel had a ficus," Willow said."Well, he doesn't now because Fred set it on fire!" Xander said with a laugh as she blushed and buried her head against her husband's shoulder.
Giles suddenly was glad he hadn't been in Sunnydale to see Willow, and the others swooning over a girl. He chuckled a little and then turned toward his wife as she told her story. When she finished, he slipped an arm around her. "It's all right, love," he said, kissing the top of her head. "Just remind me never to let you do any spells.""Giles! Be nice! You've done a lot of embarrassing things!" Buffy said as Willow and Xander nodded."Such as?""All I'm saying is boxers with hearts on them," Willow said with a small blush.Xander started to laugh. "I forgot about the G-man having heart boxers!" he said as he continued to laugh."I was trying to forget," Buffy said as she giggled.Giles shook his head and saw that Martion, Charlotte and Fred were expecting to find out about the boxers. "I got a pair of boxers as a gift. I went to the Magic Box the next day to work and well...""He was standing there, his zipper undone with heart boxers sticking out, with a box of jelly donuts in his hands!" Xander said as he started to laugh again."And they let me walk around most of the day like that until Buffy pointed it out," Giles muttered as he shook his head.