Author: Escargoat

Chapter (14/14)

Disclaimers in part 1

Rating PG-13

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Awkward was one word to describe the general feeling in the room. Uncomfortable was another. Incredibly strained and tense with insane amounts of disbelief and shock was the best way to put it, though.

"So, where do you guys want to start?" Buffy asked quietly from her perch on the hotel bed.

"Oh, I don't know, how about the whole, 'I'm going to boink Giles' thing?" Xander spoke first.

"I was going to tell you guys. Honest, just as soon as the rest of the Gileses left," Buffy said apologetically.

Robert shook his head, "I don't understand how they did not know. Your mother had conversations about it with Nancy."

"Yeah, well, we kind of lied to you, on purpose. I've only really been Giles' girlfriend for a couple days. He was just doing it to piss you off."

"You aren't engaged?" Grace actually sounded slightly hurt by the revelation.

"That would be a no."

"But, I heard you, at the vineyard. You and Rupert, you were doing things, on the floor, late at night," Robert rambled.

"Are you sure he isn't related to Willow? I'm pretty sure you don't ramble like that," Buffy asked Giles.

"I usually cover rambling with either an adorable stutter or long winded explanations," his whispered back.

"What I'd like to know is why you're marrying a man that has had sex with your mother," Arlene asked from where she was applying ice to her husband's head, who had woken up just as Travers was leaving.

"It was a spell. And really, if I was going to wig out over something, I'm thinking Ripper would cause me a whole lot more of Buffy worry."

Grace shook her head, "Ripper? I'm afraid I don't understand."

"Ah, well, Mother, when I was a bit younger, I had a small period of rebellion."

"What did you do, Rupert? Buy a leather jacket and play in a rock group?" George laughed at his brother.

"Actually, yes. In addition to raising demons and participating in orgies."

"Orgies? You mean you were, oh dear," Nancy spoke in shock.

Buffy shrugged, "Way past that now. No more 'Bad Magick-Hates-The-World-Ticking Time Bomb-Guy.'"

"He's got a tattoo, too," Anya added to see if she could get additional response.

Iris shook her head. "You do magic?"

"I dabbled a bit. In nothing that you want to deal with. Believe me, you should obey your Mum and do something normal with your life," Giles snapped into automatic lecture mode.

"Well, I for one, would like to congratulate Buffy and Giles on coming out, because we love them, and don't believe in secrets, and now everybody knows. And Xander agrees with me," Anya tagged on the end of her speech.

Rupert's lips twitched a bit. "Thank you, Anya."

Grace shook her head. "I'm not sure I'll ever truly understand you or your father or this crazy life you seem to have led, but I am happy for you and your Buffy. Though I don't know how you just started dating a couple of days ago. Dear boy, you looked quite ready to whisk her away to the nearest bed when I first met her."

"But, but you hated me. I remember the feeling was mutual, and you were being mean to Giles," Buffy reminded her.

"Oh, you are entirely correct, but my personal dislike of the situation had absolutely nothing to do with my eyesight," Grace responded, "No, in fact, I'm quite sure that I like things better this way, now that I know why my youngest is so strange. And Robert agrees with me."

"I do?" Robert responded.

Xander simply shook his head, "Man, just agree; it makes life easier."

"I think that Xander is right, about the agreeing, we should all just give our blessing and wish them happiness, because, well, they're our friends," Tara said quietly.

Willow smiled lovingly at her girlfriend and gave her a quick kiss. "I love you."

"Well, I don't agree with this! I don't agree one bit. This is disgusting and repulsive! And bloody strange! What kind of weird people are you?" George bellowed from where he was surrounded by his wife and sons.

"The family kind," Xander replied.

Joyce nodded. "I don't like this, but I do love my daughter, and there are worse men out in the world. If your brother makes her happy, Mr. Giles, then I really don't think that I have a right to object to this, and you don't either."

"You mean that?" Buffy asked hesitantly.

Joyce smiled at her daughter. "Of course I do, just don't tell me about anything that you do."

Happy tears started forming in Buffy's eyes and soon she was hugging her mother, then being group hugged by Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya.

Giles looked nervously at his family members. "Right then, perhaps we should make restitution to the hotel for the damages?"

Robert eyes the alternative that the Americans presented before him, "Yes, I quite think we should."

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Rupert Giles smiled at his parents as he set down his tea tray before them later that evening. It was odd that they had come so far in such a short time, but then again, miracles did seem to happen when Buffy was involved. Why else would he have been so willing to die for a girl who he had scarcely known for a few months?

"You're thinking about her," Robert commented over the rim of his tea cup.

"Hmm?" Giles responded distractedly.

"I think that means your observation was correct dear," Grace said as she grabbed her own cup.

"I suppose I did let my mind wander for a bit. It has been a trying day," Giles admitted.

"Would that be the almost getting killed part or the entire revelation that monsters do indeed exist, and that you got yourself fired from the organization built that fights them?" Grace asked.

"Pillocks, all of them. Wouldn't know what end of a stake to use if a vampire walked up to them with an instruction sheet," Giles defended himself.

Robert coughed. His son looked over and had the good manners to look sheepish.

"I suppose then, that you don't wish to hear of my conversation with Mr. Travers?" Robert asked.

"Quentin hung around afterwards?" Giles asked in a deceptively mild tone.

"Yes, and before you become quite so rabid, we had a nice little chat about him firing you."

"If you got yourself fired, I'm not letting you live with me. Ask George for that," Giles blurted out in a moment of blind panic.

"Rupert!" his mother admonished him.

"Sorry, I suppose that Buffy has, ah, affected my speaking habits. Do continue?"

Robert's lips twitched as he tried to suppress a smile. "Don't fret, I wouldn't dream of getting between you, Buffy, and your, ah, romantic relations."

Giles blushed and avoided stuttering by taking a bite out of a cookie.

"It seems that he was under the impression that you were a bad Watcher. I agree with him. You've failed every precept that the council set. The problem is you have a live and mostly mentally stable Slayer."

"Mostly?" Rupert bristled.

"Oh come now, you may love the girl, but those shoes could only be worn by someone who isn't quite sane," Robert pointed out.

Grace glared at her husband. "I like her shoes."

Giles stared at his mother. "Dear Lord, you and Buffy haven't bonded have you?"

"Oh, Rupert, don't worry. She only gave me her e-mail address so we could chat once and awhile. Maybe exchange the odd digital picture or two. I think I promised her that photo of you when you were nine pretending to be a grocer."

"Mother!"

"Or did I promise her those adorable pictures I have of you when you were two..." Grace smiled as Giles' face became ashen.

"Would the two of you allow me to finish?" Robert interrupted his wife's fun.

"What, of yes, please do," Giles responded thankful for a reprieve.

"What I was saying was that I agreed with him for his reasons for firing you. However, there seems to be a small problem with the Council's reasoning in this matter. Apparently they have forgotten that while there are many Watchers, Slayers are quite limited, and your Buffy is the only one who is not, shall we say, unstable?"

"And what did Travers have to say?"

"He blustered a bit. Yelled at me for being sentimental and for not raising you with a strict enough hand, and gave you your job back."

"Oh, yes, you could have been much harder on me. I'm sure that... Did you say he gave me back my job?"

"After I casually mentioned just how many friends I have on the board of directors, Quentin seemed quite ready to revise his opinion of your methods."

"I don't believe you. We've never really agreed on anything, and you don't care for Buffy," Giles responded in a shocked tone.

"Rupert, I don't care for Buffy. I don't really care for your methods, or your friends, but I am not a stupid man. Travers is. Your methods work with this Slayer, and she is the only Slayer that is currently able to perform her duties. Aside from all of that, you are my son, and I expect you to raise my grandchildren in a home somewhat larger than this bizarre flat you live in."

Giles blushed slightly at his father's backhanded compliment. Then spoke with a teasing tone, "Who mentioned grandchildren?"

"That would have been your dear Buffy," Grace replied, "When you and your father were off disposing of bodies, Joyce, Nancy and I finished the wedding plans and moved to helping Buffy pick out names for your children."

"Children?" Giles squeaked.

"Breathe deeply, Rupert. You'll live. And I won't hear a word about her being the Slayer, you allowed her to have a normal life when you were training here. It is time you reaped what you've sown," Robert put in smugly.

"But, she, I, we..."

Grace smiled and squeezed her husband's hand. "I believe that your son is slightly more articulate than you were when I told you I was pregnant."

"But, we can't!" he finally gasped out.

"That will be for you two to discuss. For your mother and I have decided never to cross your Buffy again. She is quite possibly the one person in this entire world who is more stubborn than you are, and I do not wish to see her angry."

"And for the record, dear you have our blessing to propose. Whenever that may be," Grace finished for her husband.

"Propose? Dear Lord, you people aren't my parents. You've been possessed by something."

"Rupert, we have been living with you and Buffy being engaged since this whole charade began. We're quite accustomed to the idea," Grace said as she gently patted her son's hand.

"I don't know what to say," he said, his eyes reflecting thankfulness for the first time in a great many years.

"Thank you is customary, I believe," his father said as he tried to sound unaffected by the change in his son's demeanor.

Giles simply smiled. "Thank you."

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The farewells that went on were as vast and as varied as the people there. Joyce and Nancy chatted amiably as Iris simply stood close by occasionally speaking with Willow or Tara. Robert spoke softly with Rupert. Buffy seemed to be plotting against her new honey with his mother. And George, the twins, and Arlene? They stood far away and pretended not to know the strange people nearby. They did, however, do a slight jump anytime that one of those "lesbian witches" got too close.

Anya and Xander had opted not to come, much to George's relief. He swore that each of Rupert's young friends was more irritating than the last.

Finally, the time came for them to depart. And final farewells were spoken.

Joyce and the others soon left leaving Buffy alone with Giles.

"Watcha thinking?"

"I'm thinking that this has been the best time I've ever spent with my family. And oddly enough, I owe that all to you. It was your idea that you come with, and it was you who challenged them. It was you who did all of this for me. And now you love me. I think I must be one of the most fortunate creatures on the planet."

"Giles, you live on the Hellmouth," Buffy reminded him.

"Ah, yes, how could I forget? Would you agree to me being the most fortunate creature on the Hellmouth then?"

"Nope, 'cause that's my title. Face it, you're coming in second."

"Hmmm, what about most fortunate man on the Hellmouth?"

"Oooh, got me there," Buffy teased as she stood on her tiptoes getting her face as close to his as possible.

He eyes her impishly. "Yes?"

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Smoochies. Now."

"Well, if you insist," he murmured before placing his lips tantalizingly over her own.

Buffy moaned when he parted from her. "Want more," she said dazedly.

"If you start asking for beer, I'm afraid I'll be in quite a conundrum," Giles replied as he grabbed her hand and began to drag her along to his car.

"Hey! Just because you're an addictive kisser doesn't mean that you get to make fun of my state of mind. Especially when you're the cause," she grumbled good naturedly.

He smiled fondly at her then let his face settle into a more serious expression. "I meant every word I said in there, you know."

Buffy nodded. "I know. I might not totally agree, but I know. And I love you for it."

"I love you too," he whispered as he gave her a hug.

Buffy gave him a light squeeze back. "Shall we go home then?"

Giles stepped back and smiled at her. "Let's shall."

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The End