Title: Christmas Present
Author: Laura Sichrovsky
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: PG or FRT
Warnings: None that I can think of.
Season: Takes place during season 4 I think.
Summary: Giles, Christmas, and presents.
Spoilers: Nothing, except possibly what kind of computer Willow has.
Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own Buffy, Giles (I would totally buy him if he came
up on E-bay.!), 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 wrote this for a Christmas list, the 12 Days of Rupert, on Live Journal. This was day seven. I could completely
see him being like this and I think he would feel this way about his little family. 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 Ann
for everything. I love you, dear! To Samuel for being Samuel. 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
Rupert closed his eyes and took a deep breath. This was all just too overwhelming; how could anyone expect him to figure it out? He opened his eyes and looked down, his brow furrowing as he read. He took another breath, feeling like growling in frustration. They both said the same thing; what was the difference?
"This one says it's for Windows," he said out loud. "And this one is for a Mac. What does that mean and which one does Willow have?"
"Can I help you find something?"
Rupert jumped, looking up to see a woman standing next to him. How had she snuck up on him without him noticing? He had a momentary worry that she might be a demon, but dismissed it; demons didn't usually wear name tags that said, "My name is Bethany. How may I help you?" He could only conclude that he must have been too focused on these stupid software boxes. He made a mental note to bring a cross with him the next time he went Christmas shopping; it was better to be on the safe side.
"I wish to purchase this software for a friend, but I don't know which one to get." He hoped he didn't look too inept.
"Does your friend have a Windows system or a Mac?"
"I…Well, how would I know?"
The woman looked at him for a moment and he blushed, feeling completely stupid. The woman blinked, but then she smiled.
"Well, what kind of computer does your friend have?"
"I…well…oh, it's a laptop."
"What does the laptop look like?
"Well, it's black."
"Does it have a picture of an apple on it?"
"Yes, yes it does." Rupert felt they might be getting somewhere. Maybe he could do this after all.
"That would be a Macintosh system. It's called Mac for short. Just remember the brand of apple by that name."
"So I would buy her the version for a Mac?"
"Exactly. See? Not so hard after all. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Not unless you know where I can locate an…" He paused, consulting his list. "MP3 player or a DVD of Stargate."
She smiled at him pleasantly and he relaxed a bit.
"Follow me, sir."
Shopping really wasn't Rupert's strong suit. He was definitely out of his element in a mall or a…what was it called? Oh yes, an electronics superstore. Why couldn't the children have requested something that he knew how to shop for, such as antique books or…well, that was pretty much what he knew how to shop for; but he was very good at it.
Forty minutes later, after a discussion about the merits of WMA compatibility and a side tour through the store's CD collection, Rupert stood in line waiting to check out. Bethany had been very helpful, even going so far as to direct him to a different store in the mall where he could get Buffy's present. But it still didn't make this experience any more pleasant.
He was waiting his turn, looking at his list when a thought occurred to him that stopped him, making him blink. No, shopping wasn't something Rupert enjoyed, but he actually had people to shop for. So many years he had been alone. So many years he hadn't given or received gifts for the holiday. Christmas had been just another day for him. He had worked, eaten alone, and secretly envied people who had a family to spend the day with.
And now, he was one of those people. He had a family to buy gifts for, people who cared enough to buy gifts for him. He had made a show of his indifference, sighing dramatically when Willow asked him for a gift list. But in all honesty he had been pleased the children cared enough to want to purchase things for him. They would even be over on Christmas afternoon to eat dinner with him.
As he stood in the long line, watching shoppers mill around him, he couldn't help but smile. He finally had what he would have never admitted that he always wanted. He actually had people to buy presents for and no matter how frustrating the shopping experience was, that fact made everything worth it. He would finish this ordeal, go home and wrap everything, put them under the Christmas tree the children had purchased for him, and plan out a traditional British Christmas dinner.
He went back to studying his list and making plans. He would have been surprised to realize that he was humming along to the Christmas carol playing over the store's speaker system. Later he would be amazed when he decided it had been a very good day after all.