This is by far the shortest thing I've ever written and it's made me see that I don't like the format.

Title: What Family Does

Author: Laura Sichrovsky

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Rating: PG or FRT

Pairing: None

Warnings: None that I can think of.

Season: Takes place between seasons seven and eight

Summary: Just some Giles musings

Spoilers: None really

Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own Buffy, Giles (Heh! I wish!), Sunnydale, or anything relating

to the show. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might want to talk

to someone about that. Joss Whedon owns all things Buffy and has not given me permission to use these characters

as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not him.

Author's Notes: I actually wrote this in response to a prompt contest on Still Grrr on LiveJournal. We were supposed to

write something that happened between seasons 7 and 8. Of course I had to write about my Giles. grin So,

here is what I think he was thinking. Thanks need to be given, and here is where they go. Thanks

to Joss for creating characters so fun to watch and to borrow for a bit. Thanks to Tony Head for making Giles

so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too remarkable not to fall for. To Janet, Laura (God save the

Queen!), Lisa, and Michelle for the emergency betas. I appreciate it! Thanks to my amazing husband who

not only doesn't get upset when my writing takes over, but who doesn't freak about the men who live in my

head. I love him so.

What Family Does

Rupert Giles stood, leaning against a brick pillar, looking out into the night. A part of him was surprised that the moon looked the same here as it did in Sunnydale, but he knew it was really shock that anything looked the same at all anymore. The world went on, people were born, people died, they went to work, purchased groceries, watched television, none of them knowing that anything had changed. And yet, nothing would ever be the same again.

Anya was dead. Sunnydale was gone. And the Chosen One, the one who alone had to fight the vampires and the forces of darkness, was no longer alone. She led an army of frightened young women, all Slayers, and all completely terrified. And as to him? He had no idea what his place in this new world was. He only hoped he would have one as he didn't think he could go back to being a civilian, pretending that things did not go bump in the night. He didn't want to even contemplate leaving his little family.

Giles turned, preparing to go into the hotel room he was sharing with Xander, when he heard a noise behind him. He turned to see Buffy.

"Weird, isn't it?" She said, seeming to know his thoughts. "Everything is just so normal. When we stopped at that rest stop this morning, I heard a family talking about their vacation plans. All I could think was how could anyone take a vacation at a time like this. Then I realized that for them, it isn't a time like this."

Giles nodded, looking at her, not trusting himself to speak.

"So," Buffy said, stepping closer to him. "Where do we go from here?"

"We?" Giles asked, hope flaring in his heart.

Buffy looked at him oddly.

"We. You. Me. Xander. Willow. Slayers. Where to?"

"I…I wasn't sure you'd want me along after…" Giles trailed off, unable to look at her.

"Giles," she moved closer and put her hand on his arm. "I'm not happy that you went behind my back. But then, I suppose I did that to you enough. We really need to stop that, don't we? Family should treat each other better than that."

Giles nodded, looking away, fighting back the tears that threatened to overwhelm him. He was exhausted, emotionally and physically; it was beginning to wear on him. He swallowed, looking up at the moon, his heart lighter than it had been in months.

"So," Buffy said, her hand still on his arm. "How do we figure out where to go?"

"The same way we always have, Buffy," Giles replied quietly. "We'll sit down with Willow and Xander and figure it out. As you say, it's what family does."

It was Buffy's turn to nod, her body relaxing as she shared the burden of leadership with him. They stood, close together, not talking, simply enjoying the moon and each other. The rest could wait until morning.

The End