I about to do something I have never done before. Some wonderful soul nominated me for a Shades of Gray award for my story Daddy's Little Girl.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, go vote for me. I am abjectly and shamelessly begging.
I am also not above using bribes. Name your price, writing wise that is. Money, forget it.
Here is the link to the site, http://awards.creative-musings.com/indexx.htm. Check out the catagories and the stories and vote. For me, PLEASE???
Here is the story, if you want to read it again before you go vote (for me, please? (whimper))
Title: Daddy's Little Girl
Rating: FRT - Just a couple of words, nothing you wouldn't hear on television.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to these characters and am making no profit from their use. This story is strictly for entertainment purposes.
First published : my live journal 7-21-2005
This story is in response to a Challenge from mrsdrake. Here are the challenge elements: I'd like to see a future fic where Giles is a father. He has a daughter, and he is a typical overprotective father. How does he react to:
The first bra
The first date
The first serious boyfriend (or girlfriend)
How does the other parent react to his over-protectiveness?
I nailed one and two, not sure about three. As with most of my stories, it took on a life of its' own. Most of this is exactly how I first envisioned it, but some parts snuck in.
Mrsdrake, I hope you enjoy this.
Daddy’s Little Girl
Rupert Giles awoke to the sound of his wife retching in the bathroom. This had happened yesterday morning as well, and he had wanted her to see a doctor. Buffy had brushed him off, saying that it was probably a 24-hour bug. She had gone back to bed for a couple of hours, but had been feeling better later on. They had agreed that it must have been the sushi they had eaten the evening before, even though it hadn’t bothered him. As he climbed out of bed he made up his mind that he was taking her to the doctor out at the training facilities whether she wanted to go or not.
Just as he reached the bathroom door it opened. He was startled to see Buffy crying. He picked her up and rushed her back to the bed. “Dear heart, what’s wrong? Are you in pain? Just lie still and I’ll call out to the school. The doctor will be here shortly.” He reached for the phone on the nightstand, but Buffy caught his arm to stop him.
“Look, its blue.” She was waving her hand at him.
Giles took her hand in his and examined it carefully. He couldn’t see anything wrong, and it certainly was not blue in any way.
Buffy gave a watery giggle. “Not my hand. The stick. It’s blue.” She shoved a small stick about the size of a Q-tip in his face.
Giles drew back until he could focus on the stick. Something about it was vaguely familiar. About half an inch from the tip was a small depression. In the depression was a blue plus sign. The light clicked in his brain. Television commercials. Pregnancy tests. Plus for yes. Blue for yes.
Giles sat down heavily, missing the edge of the bed, and landing on the floor with a thump. He blinked dazed eyes at the teary face looking down at him. “Buffy? Are you……are we……really?”
Tears dripped on him as she smiled and nodded. He surged up onto the bed and caught her in his arms. “Oh, my love.” He rocked her back and forth and Buffy felt the top of her head getting wet as he cried too.
Buffy had had a textbook pregnancy. It had been almost too textbook. Giles had followed Buffy’s progress chapter by chapter in “What to Expect When You're Expecting”. Mood swings, strange food cravings, second trimester sex drive, all right on schedule. Buffy was now in her seventh month and the doctor had scheduled an ultrasound. Not because she felt there were any problems, but just to be on the safe side. Buffy was the first known active Slayer to become pregnant. She was setting the benchmark for others.
That the doctors wanted to run all the various tests did try her patience at times, but she understood the reasons. At least an ultrasound was a normal test, and they would find out the sex of the baby. Giles was hoping that it was a boy. Not because of any chauvinistic need to carry on his family name. No, it was just that a boy would never be Called to be a Slayer. He hadn’t voiced his fears to Buffy, although he was sure that she must have considered the possibilities as well.
Giles stood next to the examination table and watched the tech smear the gel on Buffy’s stomach. She shivered and the tech chuckled. “Everyone complains about the cold,” she said.
“Haven’t you ever thought to warm it up first?” Buffy asked.
“Can’t. When it warms up it becomes too liquid. It doesn’t conduct the sound waves properly.”
Doctor Davis entered. “Are we ready for baby’s first picture?”
“I don’t know if WE are, but I sure am.” Buffy said in a grumpy tone.
The doctor winked at Giles and he winced as Buffy squeezed his hand. “Dear heart, please.”
“Sorry, don’t know my own strength.” She gave the doctor a saccharine sweet smile.
Doctor Davis paled slightly, and turned on the equipment. She began to run the wand over Buffy’s stomach. “There’s the head, two arms, two legs.” She paused. “The baby is lying on its side, so we’re seeing the profile.” She paused again as she moved the device around.
Giles watched, fascinated, as the baby shifted slightly and one hand came up to its mouth. “Look, it’s sucking its thumb.” He turned to Buffy and saw the ever-present tears begin. He released her hand to wipe the tear away and press a gentle kiss to her lips.
The doctor continued to move the wand around, then made a disgruntled sound and turned it the machine off. “The way the baby was curled up made it impossible to determine the sex. I’m sorry. We could do this again, if you really want to know, but as a general rule I don’t like to do a second ultrasound. Not unless there is a medical need for it. All current medical knowledge says that they pose no threat for the fetus, but I don’t like to take chances. Especially in your case. We don’t know enough about Slayers and pregnancies yet.”
Buffy and Giles exchanged glances. “It would have been nice to know, for clothes and things, but surprises are nice too. Another ultrasound isn’t necessary.” Buffy looked down at the messy gel melting on her skin. “Can I have something to clean this off?”
“Push, Buffy, push!”
“I am pushing, you quack!”
“Dearest, the doctor is only trying to help,” Giles said from his position behind her. He ran a damp cloth over her face, wiping away sweat.
“Don’t you ‘dearest’ me, you bastard. This is all your fault! You are never touching me again!” Buffy panted harshly as she strained to push the baby out. “NEVER AGAIN!! DO YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!”
“I’m sure the entire hospital can hear you. I am an insensitive bastard who will remain celibate for the remainder of my days. Push, love.” Giles wasn’t too worried about her threats. The doctor, as well as the pregnancy book, had warned him about the delivery. Actually, her language had been quite mild so far. He had expected to be threatened with castration. Doctor Davis said that one was a favorite.
Buffy turned her head and growled at him, baring her teeth in a grimace as another contraction hit. There was a snapping sound and one of the steel handgrips on the birthing bed broke under the pressure Buffy was exerting. She screamed.
“We have a baby!” Doctor Davis’ voice came from the foot of the bed. “It’s a girl.” She held the wet, wiggling, body up to show Buffy and Giles. The baby gave an indignant squeaking cry that gained in volume. “Good strong lungs.” She lowered the baby and gestured to Giles. “Ready to cut the cord, Daddy?”
Giles’ eyes misted over. Daddy. He was a daddy. He somehow managed to take the couple of steps over and take the scissors. His hand was shaking so much that Dr. Davis had to help him. One quick snip, and the baby was whisked over to a table to be examined.
A few minutes later the nurse brought her back, cleaned and wrapped in a fresh blanket. “One a scale of 1 to 10, she’s a solid 10.” She handed the fussing baby to Giles. “Say hello to Daddy, little one.”
Tears running down his face, Giles took the bundle in his arms. “Hello, love. We’ve been waiting for you.” At the sound of his voice the fussing ceased and tiny eyes opened. Giles drew in a startled breath. Eyes the same shade of green as his own stared back at him. He looked at the nurse, puzzled.
“Yes, normally newborns eyes are blue and they change in the first week or so, but occasionally a baby is born with its true eye color. Hers are quite striking.”
“Let me see her,” Buffy demanded. “I had to do all of the work. You just got to enjoy the fun part.” She sounded grumpy, but she was smiling. Giles handed her the baby. The tiny face looked solemnly back at her. Buffy smiled wider even as she started to cry again. “Look at that expression. And those eyes. She’s her Daddy’s little girl, that’s for sure.” Buffy grimaced and got a panic-stricken look on her face. “I’m having another contraction. It must be twins. You didn’t say anything about twins.” She hurriedly handed the baby back to Giles.
“It’s the afterbirth, Buffy. Remember I told you about how you would still have a few contractions to expel the placenta?”
Buffy relaxed. “Oh, right.” She grimaced again. “How long is this going to take?”
“Every woman is different, but it should only be a few minutes.” Dr. Davis looked over at Giles. “Why don’t you take that young lady out to meet her family? As soon as we have finished, we’ll get Buffy settled in her room and come for you.”
Giles looked over at Buffy, indecision clear on his face. “I promised to stay with Buffy throughout the delivery.”
Buffy groaned, then smiled weakly at him. “You did stay for the delivery. Now go show our daughter off to everyone while I do the icky part.” She blew him a kiss. “Go ahead. See you soon.”
“Go,” Buffy growled and the other hand brace was snapped off.
“Right.” Giles spun around and went out the door. He walked down the short hallway and paused just out of range of the lounge doorway. “That noisy lot,” he whispered to the baby, “is your Aunt Dawn, Aunt Willow, Uncle Xander and god knows how many Slayers. Brace yourself. They mean well, but they can be overwhelming.” Giles stepped into the lounge.
All sound ceased, almost as if someone had hit a ‘mute’ button. After a long moment the silence was broken. “Well?” Dawn asked.
“May I present, Miranda Joyce Tara Anya Giles.” Silence, then everyone began to yell and talk. Giles took an involuntary step back, clutching the baby protectively closer. He looked down to see if all the noise had upset her. She gazed back at him placidly. Seconds later he was engulfed by Dawn, Willow and Xander.
“Look at those eyes,” Dawn marveled. She gave Giles another hug. “You didn’t tell me you were going to name her after Mom.”
“And Tara,” Willow added, blinking back tears.
“And Anya,” Xander said huskily. “Thanks guys.”
“We gave her those names to honor their memories, but she has her own name as well. She is Miranda.”
There was a ‘poof’ of smoke, and a demon stood next to Giles. Everyone stood still for a few seconds, then the Slayers charged. “Stop!” Willow commanded and gestured. The girls were frozen. Willow turned to the demon. “D’Hoffryn, what are you doing here? No one chanted to summon you.”
D’Hoffryn acknowledged Willow with a nod in her direction, then looked at Giles. “May I see her?”
Giles looked at him for a long moment, then nodded, holding his arms out slightly. The demon took a couple of steps closer and peered at the baby. “She is a beauty, and a worthy namesake for Anyanka. I have something for you.” He reached into a pouch that he was carrying and handed an envelope to Giles.
“The last night in Sunnydale, Anya summoned me. I thought she would ask to work for me again, and I was prepared to let her. Instead she gave me this and asked me to give it to you in the event she didn’t survive. It’s the passwords to her bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. She intended it to be a nest egg for your child. Her precise words were, ‘I want you to give this to them if they ever come to their senses and have a baby.’”
Willow and Dawn giggled. D’Hoffryn slowly extended his hand and gently touched the baby’s forehead. He drew back, smiling. “I have another gift for you. I have the ability to sense power in humans, any kind of power. I can tell you this, whatever else life holds for her, she will not be a Slayer.”
There was a gasp from everyone in the room, and Xander muttered, “Thank God.”
Giles’ eyes misted with tears. “Thank you for telling me. Thank you so very much.”
D’Hoffryn nodded to Giles. He turned to Willow and said, “I’m glad you never took me up on my offer. You’d probably be doing my job now.” There was a ‘poof’ and he was gone.
Willow waved and released the Slayers. Everyone crowded around Giles, taking turns looking at the baby. He was beginning to wonder if something had gone wrong, when Dr. Davis appeared at his elbow. “Time to take this one to her mommy. You three” she indicated Dawn, Willow, and Xander, “can come and visit now. The rest of you will have to wait your turn.” The girls grumbled, but went to sit down. Dr. Davis led the others to Buffy’s room.
Buffy was sitting up in bed and as soon as she saw Giles she stretched out her arms. “My turn, you’ve held her enough for now.”
After he handed Miranda to Buffy, Giles opened the envelope. “Dear lord.”
“Miranda’s first birthday present, courtesy of Anya.” He continued to read the papers as the others explained about D’Hoffryn’s visit, including what he had said about Miranda not being a Slayer.
A couple of tears trickled down Buffy’s face. “Damn hormones.” She wiped them away. “So Miranda has a nest egg. How much was Anya able to save?”
“These papers say the account is currently worth 2.7 million dollars.”
There was silence in the room. Finally Xander gasped, “2.7 million dollars? Where did she get that kind of money?”
“The stock market. She was apparently quite good at choosing investments. The papers say that we need to submit Miranda's birth certificate to the bank and have the funds changed over to her name within a month of her birth, and that the funds will be paid out to her on her 25th birthday. If, for any reason, she doesn’t reach her 25th birthday, the monies will go to a list of charities that Anya provided. It further stipulates that if anything happens to both of us before she reaches that age, a trust fund will be set up to take care of her until she receives the money.”
Xander chuckled. “That’s my girl. Always looking at all the angles.”
“Yes.” Giles agreed, “nobody was better than Anya when it came to financial matters.”
As the group continued to marvel over the legacy, Miranda blinked her green eyes, staring over Giles’ shoulder at the spirit no one but she could see. Her very own guardian angel, a former demon named Anya.
Giles sat staring at the door where the sandy blonde pigtails had disappeared. He peered anxiously, straining for another sight of that precious face.
“Ru, honey, we should leave now.” Buffy’s voice was gently chiding.
“We can’t leave yet. She might get frightened and come looking for us.”
A soft, yet firm, hand cupped his check and turned his face away from its vigil. “There is no reason for her to be frightened. We brought her here and introduced her to her teacher last week, and all of her little friends from kindergarten are here too. It’s been fifteen minutes. If she were going to come looking for us, she would have by now.”
“The teacher has our number, the school has our number.” Buffy held up a cell phone. “See, I have the phone with me. They will be able to reach us if they need to. We should go.”
Giles sighed and glanced at his watch. “Oh, good lord, I’m late.” He looked back at the school doors. “Very well, I suppose you’re right.”
“You’re not late.” Giles looked at Buffy in surprise. She gave him a sexy smile. “I called in for both of us today.”
Giles frowned, puzzled. “Why?”
“Dawn is on her first assignment, Willow is in Devon, Xander is in L.A. cleaning up Andrew’s latest mess, and Miri will be here for the next six hours. That means that you and I can be alone, totally alone, at the flat for the first time in years.”
“I bought some strawberries and cream, a bottle of champagne, and some of that flavored massage oil that you really like. Are you interested, Mr. Giles?”
Giles leaned over and gave her a brief, but intense, kiss. “You have wonderful ideas, Mrs. Giles. I am very interested.” He started the car, and with one last look at the school doors, drove away.
“Daddy, Daddy, look what Mommy bought for me! Isn’t it pretty?” Miranda burst into the study, waving a cloth banner of some kind.
Giles looked up, blinking rapidly as he pulled his attention from the ancient text he was studying. He tried to focus on the cloth, but Miri was waving it around so excitedly that he couldn’t really see it. He caught her hand gently, and held the material still to examine it. Giles frowned slightly. That couldn’t be what he thought it was, could it?
Giles carefully eased his features into a smile. “What is it, sweetheart?”
Miri rolled her eyes. “Daddy! It’s a bra! ANYbody can see that! Isn’t it pretty? Look, it’s got lace, real lace. And it’s so soft. I can’t wait to show Sara. She’ll be so jealous, her’s are just cotton.” Miri tuned and ran out of the room.
Giles listened and heard her rushing up the stairs to her room. “Buffy!” he yelled.
Buffy strolled around the edge of the door. “You bellowed?”
“What are you doing, buying her a bra? She’s not old enough; she’s just a little girl. Besides, she doesn’t need to wear a bra, she doesn’t have breasts yet.”
“Ru, she’s 12 years old. You heard her; her best friend is already wearing a bra. She was feeling left out.”
“Oh, and if her best friend was wearing lipstick, you’d buy that for her too?”
“She already has lipstick.” At Giles’ shocked looked she amended, “Alright, it’s really just lip gloss, and more a sun screen than anything else, but she calls it lipstick.” Buffy gave her a serious look. “And I hate to burst your bubble, Daddy, but her breasts are beginning to bud.”
Giles’ mouth dropped open.
Buffy looked at him sympathetically. “She’s on the verge of womanhood, Ru. A first bra is a very important milestone in a young girls life.” She paused; not sure if she really wanted to tell him the rest, but he needed to know. “She started menstruating two months ago.”
“Menstruating? She’s still a little girl.” Giles repeated helplessly.
Buffy crossed the room and pulled him into her arms. “Not a little girl, not anymore. She’s a young woman now, physically capable of having babies. In some societies she’d be married already.”
“Married?” he yelped.
“In some societies, but not here. She hasn’t even been on her first date yet.”
Giles pulled back to look at her indignantly. “I should say not. She’s too young to date, she won’t want to go on a date for years.”
Buffy hid her smile against his chest. “What ever you say, Daddy.”
Buffy and Giles were sitting in the living room when Miri clattered down the stairs and rushed into the room. She was holding two outfits in her hands. “Which one do you think, Mom, the blue or the green?”
Giles glanced over at the clothes, frowning at the short skits. Buffy had worn some skimpy outfits to school, but really! Before he could comment, Buffy spoke.
“The green one. It matches your eyes, and the gray trim is more understated than the silver trim on the blue outfit. You want to shine, not your clothes.”
Miri nodded and turned, spotting the clock as she started from the room. “Oh, my gosh! Is it that late? He’ll be here in fifteen minutes.” She flew from the room and up the stairs.
Giles looked over at Buffy. “She isn’t really going to wear that in public, is she? That skirt was much too short.” His frown deepened. “And just what did she mean, he’ll be here in fifteen minutes? Who will be here and why?”
Buffy gazed back at him with an amused look. “Robbie will be here for their date.”
Giles straightened in his chair, outraged. “Date? DATE? She’s only 14, too young to go on a date. I forbid it!”
Buffy just continued to smile at him.
“No, don’t give me that look. I mean it; I’m putting my foot down. She is not leaving the house in a skirt that short and she is most certainly not going on a date.”
“No. You can’t talk me around. She’s not going.”
“Darling, if you’ll just let me explain. It’s not a DATE, date, it’s a group outing. Miri is just calling it a date because it makes her feel more grown up. Robbie’s parents are taking a few of his friend's ice skating for his 15th birthday. That was a skating outfit, that was why the skirt was so short. I discussed it with Robbie’s mother. She and Robbie’s dad are driving them and will stay there with them. Miri will be home by 9:30.”
Giles seemed to deflate slightly. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“Because Robbie, being a typical teenage boy, didn’t ask her until today. Thank goodness I still had some of my old skating outfits in storage, and they fit Miri. At the rate she’s growing, if this had happened six months from now, they’d be too small. She’s going to be tall, like her Daddy.”
Giles brooded silently, until the doorbell rang. He rose to answer it, but Miri came bounding down the stairs. “I’ve got it.” She opened the door. “Hi, Robbie. I’m ready to go.”
Giles moved up behind her and looked at the boy standing on the porch. The boy looked up at him and swallowed, hard. “Hello, Mr. Giles.” His voice cracked nervously.
Giles crossed his arms. “Hello, Robbie. I understand you’ll have Miri home by 9:30?”
Robbie nodded. “Yes, sir, 9:30.”
Giles turned to Miri and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “You look wonderful, love. Have a good evening.”
Miri beamed a thousand-watt smile. “Thanks, Daddy.” She went through the door and grabbed Robbie’s hand, pulling him across the porch and down the steps. “Come on, we don’t want to keep the others waiting.” Halfway down the sidewalk, she turned and gave Giles another smile.
In his mind he flashed back to her first day of school, when she had done the same thing on the way into the building. He wanted to run after her and bring her back into the house. It was too soon. She was growing up so fast.
Buffy pulled him back into the house and closed the door. “She’ll be fine, Ru. She has her cell if she needs to call us for anything.” Buffy put her arms around him and gave a gentle squeeze. “It’s time to start letting go, Daddy.”
Giles returned the hug and over her head blinked back his tears. “Never.” He cleared his throat and smiled down at her. “Alone at last, again. I suppose that you have plans for this evening?”
“I do. I plan to keep you occupied with lots and lots of sex.” Buffy wiggled her eyebrows at him. “Is that okay with you?”
Giles threw her over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry and charged up the stairs. In their bedroom he threw her onto the bed, following her down. He plundered her mouth and when they drew back to take a breath he said, “Sounds like a good plan to me.”
At 9:30 Miri let herself into the oddly quiet house. She locked the front door, went into the living room and turned out the lamps. At the bottom of the stairs she called, “Mom, Dad, I’m home.” She began to climb the stairs.
As she reached the top, the doorway to her parent's room opened, and her Mom came out. She was wearing a robe and her hair was all messed up. Miri was thinking that it was odd that they had gone to bed already, when she noticed the purplish bruise on her Mom’s neck. She groaned inwardly. Oh, god, they had been doing it again.
Buffy gave Miri a hug. “Did you have fun, sweetheart?”
Miri hugged her back, breathing in a strange smell. “Yeah, it was great. Thanks for letting me go, Mom.” She backed away, turned, hesitated, and turned back. “Um, Mom? What’s that smell?”
Buffy blushed bright red. “It’s, ah, it’s massage oil. You’re Dad’s shoulders were tense and I was giving him a massage.”
Miri gave her a look that was much more adult than anything Giles had ever seen. “I guess, in the future, whenever I go out on a date, you’ll be giving Daddy a massage to help relieve his tension?”
Buffy blushed brighter, but giggled softly. “Probably.”
“I love you, Mom. You are so cool about explaining things to me. You wouldn’t believe some of the things the other mom’s have been telling my friends.”
“Well, you know this is just between us, right? Your Father would have a heart attack if he knew half of the things we talk about,” Buffy said softly and glanced guiltily back at her bedroom door.
“I know. I love him too, but this is strictly girl talk.” She gave Buffy another hug and a kiss on her cheek. “Goodnight, Mom.”
“Goodnight, Miri.” Buffy re-entered her bedroom and chuckled softly at the sight that met her eyes. Giles was sitting up in the bed; the covers pulled up to his neck, his eyes panic-stricken. “Relax, she’s not coming in.” Buffy locked the door, slipped off the robe and got back into bed.
“What did she say?”
“She had a wonderful evening and will tell you all about it at breakfast tomorrow.”
“Was she curious about why we were in the bedroom?”
“I told her that you had a bad headache from stress at work and that we were relaxing in the hot tub. She said she was going to write in her journal and talk to Sara on the phone for a while. Ru, we’re her parents. The last thing she would consider would be that we were having sex. Trust me, I was her age once, I know how teenage girls think.”
Giles relaxed back onto the bed, secure in the knowledge that his daughter wasn’t aware of what had happened in her parents room.
Down the hall, Miri was on the phone with her friend Sara, telling her all about the hickey she had seen on her Mom when she came home.
Shortly before her 16th birthday, Miri had her first real date. An honest to gosh, just the two of them, no parents, date. Buffy had needed to work on Giles for two weeks before he would agree. The only reason he allowed it was that the boy was Robbie. Robbie was clearly intimidated by him and would never do anything that he thought would upset Mr. Giles.
Giles sat in the living room, anxiously watching the clock. Nothing Buffy had suggested had been able to lure him away. She finally gave up, put her clothes back on, and turned on the television. Giles had pretended to watch as well, keeping a constant eye on the time. At 10:00 on the dot, he heard steps crossing the porch. He pasted a smile on his face and waited for Miri to come in. And waited.
When five minutes had passed, and she still hadn’t come in, he rose to his feet and headed for the front door. Buffy rose to her feet to stop him.
“Ru, where are you going?”
“I’m going to see what’s keeping her.”
“They’re probably just saying goodnight. Sit down and leave them alone.”
“Just saying goodnight? It’s been more than five minutes. That’s bloody long enough.” He started for the door again, but stopped dead in his tracks. He growled.
Buffy looked around. Through a crack in the curtains she could see the young couple on the porch, kissing.
Giles started forward again. “That pillock will be sorry he touched my little girl.”
Buffy grabbed him, yanking him back into the living and shoving him down into his chair. “You will sit there and keep quiet. That is her first kiss; a very important thing for a young girl. She will come in here in a few minutes and she will want to tell me about it, so we will go to her room for some mom talk.” Giles started to get up and she pushed him back down. “I mean this Rupert. Keep quiet. Don’t spoil it for her.”
Giles looked up at her, stunned. “But, I.”
Buffy placed a finger across his lips. “Quiet. I will tell you all about it later.” The door started to open and she quickly sat down, giving Giles a frown. He settled back into his seat and looked at the television.
“Hi Mom, Dad.”
Buffy looked over at her in surprise. “Hello, is it ten o’clock already? We were so engrossed in the movie we didn’t realize. Did you have a good time?”
Miri blushed slightly. “Yeah, we had a nice time.” She looked over at Giles, worriedly. “Mom, could you break away from the movie for a few. I’d like to talk a bit, if that’s okay.”
“Not a problem, sweetheart, it’s on dvd. I can finish watching it anytime. Ru, you don’t mind if?” she made a gesture towards the stairs.
Giles made himself give a little start, as if he had been so involved in the movie he hadn’t been listening. “What? Oh, no, go ahead. I’ll be up shortly.” He gave Miri a genuine smile. “I’m glad you had a nice evening, love. Goodnight.”
Miri rushed across the room and leaned over to give him a kiss on the cheek. “Love you, Daddy. Goodnight.” Miri and Buffy exited the room. Giles stared blankly at the television screen listening to his wife and daughter chatter excitedly as they went up the stairs. Her first kiss. A tear rolled down his cheek.
It was three days before Miranda’s 17th birthday, and Giles was very nervous. Buffy had lost her virginity on her 17th birthday. Of course, Buffy had also become the Slayer on her 15th birthday, and was killed by the Master on her 16th, and neither of those things had happened to Miri, so there was no reason to suspect that the other would either.
He knew many people would think he was living in a dream world because he believed that she was still a virgin, but he knew that she still was. Buffy told him so. Buffy had made Miri promise that she would tell her when it happened, and the two were very close, so he was sure she would. Though, just maybe, Buffy was lying to him because she knew how upset he would be.
No. Buffy wouldn’t lie to him, not about that.
He began to pace the living room. He hadn’t liked the look of the young man who picked her up this evening. He was new, someone she hadn’t grown up with. The look in his eyes had reminded Giles too much of Spike. Giles had used his usual stare tactic, but the young man hadn’t been intimidated. He tried to solace himself with the knowledge that he had taught Miri how to defend herself. Not to mention the fact that she had inherited his ability to do magic. Willow had taught her several spells, teleportation being one of them. If the boy started bothering her, she could just pop home.
He continued to pace.
Buffy came into the room, carrying a couple laundry baskets. “Here, make yourself useful. Help me fold the laundry.”
Giles took one of the baskets and sat down. Looking at the clock again, he automatically began to fold the clothes. “They’re late.’
“Only a couple of minutes.”
“We hadn’t met that boy before tonight. We don’t know anything about him.”
“Miri can take care of herself. You saw to that. You trained her almost as much as you trained me at that age.”
Giles gave a little huff. “I didn’t need to train her as much. She learned faster, and she listened better too.” He picked a lace thong out of the laundry, holding it up for Buffy to see. “You’ve been shopping I see. When were you going to wear this for me?”
Buffy gave him an impish grin. “That’s not mine, that’s Miri’s.”
Giles gave a strangled sound and dropped the piece of lingerie as if it had burned him. “When did she start wearing things like that?” He gave Buffy a horrified look. “Do you mean to tell me she’s wearing something like that now? On her date with that boy that we don’t know?”
Buffy smiled and shrugged. “Maybe.”
She giggled, but before she could answer, Miri appeared between them. The buttons were torn off her blouse, and there was a bruise beginning to form on her right cheek. “Daddy,” she sobbed. Giles leapt to his feet, taking her into his arms.
“It’s alright, love, you’re safe.” He held her tightly, soothing her. When she stopped crying, he sat down on the couch, pulling her down next to him. Buffy had gone to the kitchen for an ice pack and Giles held it against her face. “What happened.”
“It was so sudden. He just came at me across the seat. He had me pinned down, his legs on my arms, so I couldn’t fight very well. He ripped my blouse open and hit me a couple of times, and I pretended to give in. He unzipped his pants and took it out, then let my arms go and told me to touch him, so I did. I grabbed it, squeezed him really hard and twisted. He screamed and I pulled my legs up and kicked him back against the door, then teleported home.”
Giles took her face in his hands, looking deep into her eyes. “You did the right thing. Now, show me where you left him.”
“Giles,” Buffy started, but stopped at his look.
Giles looked back at Miri. She closed her eyes for a moment concentrating on where they had been, then opened them, letting him see into her mind. He nodded, and brushed a quick kiss on her forehead.
“Ripper.” Miri looked at her mother in confusion at the use of that name, then glanced back at her father. She gasped silently. She had never seen that look on her father’s face before. Her parents exchanged a very private look. “Just don’t kill him,” her mother said. Her father nodded and vanished.
Giles appeared next to the car just as the boy climbed out of the other side. He was peering off into the darkness, yelling. “You can’t get far, you little bitch. You’re going to pay for what you did to me.”
“On the contrary,” the sound of Giles’ voice had the boy spinning around, his face slack with shock. “You are the one who is going to pay for trying to rape my daughter.”
The boy pulled himself together. “I don’t know how you got here, old man, but you had best leave before you get hurt. Nobody tried to rape anybody. It’s my word against her’s and my father is in Parliament. You’ll be laughed out of court, supposing it gets that far.”
Giles allowed Ripper to come through. “You listen to me, boy. We are going to settle this here and now. And believe me when I say I don’t give a rat’s arse who your father is. I control more power than he could ever imagine. You are going to pay for what you tried to do to my little girl, and what you have no doubt done to others.”
The boy rushed him and Giles proceeded to beat him to a pulp. As the boy lay moaning on the ground, Giles straightened his cuffs. “I promised my wife I wouldn’t kill you, so I’ll leave now. Come near my little girl again, and I won’t make that promise again. Are we clear?”
The boy nodded weakly, peering at him through eyes that we already swelling shut. Giles teleported home. The boy stared in disbelief when the older man vanished, then dragged himself to the car. He got in and called the police. When they arrived, he said that he had broken down and had been attacked by bikers. His father hadn’t believed him, but had not pressed the point. He knew that whatever had happened to his son had been well deserved.
Giles was trying to do paperwork while waiting for his next appointment, but his eyes kept going to the calendar on his desk. The date circled in red, two weeks away. Miranda’s 21st birthday. She would be coming home from college a few days before that and she was bringing someone home with her. Someone special that she wanted them to meet.
Her calls and e-mails had been filled with ‘Tony’ this and ‘Tony’ that for months now, and he was very much afraid that it was serious. He wondered just how serious. Buffy had never told him, so he could only assume that Miri had never…..But that was ridiculous. Young girls of this day and age didn’t make it to 21 without having sex. He was willing to bet it had been this Tony chap. She had never been as interested in anyone else.
The intercom buzzed. “Yes, Susan.”
“Your two o’clock appointment is here, Giles.”
“Send him in.”
A tall young man entered the room. He crossed and shook Giles’ hand. “Mr. Giles, I’m Anthony Davidson. Thank you for seeing me.”
Anthony. “Tony,” Giles murmured.
“Yes, Sir. I know that Miri was planning on introducing us in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to meet you first. I have something I would like to discuss with you.”
Giles waved him to a seat and looked him over. Dark, curly hair. Clear blue eyes. An open, honest face. His heart sank. “What did you wish to see me about.”
Tony swallowed hard and took a deep breath. “Sir, I would like your permission to marry your daughter.”
“I have no real say in the matter. Miri is of legal age. The choice is up to her.”
“No, Sir. Miri loves and respects you. She would never marry anyone you disapproved off.” He opened the briefcase he had brought with him. “Here is all the information on my family, as well as my personal information. My school records, my military records, letters of recommendation from my former CO and my current employer. I am willing to answer any questions you have now, or if you want time to study the packet, I have arranged to stay in London today and tomorrow. You can reach me at my hotel, where I will wait for your call.”
“I have only one question. Do you love my daughter?”
“Very much, Sir.”
“Then the choice is up to her. Her mother and I have raised her to follow her heart. I believe she will marry only someone she truly loves. If she chooses you, I will be glad to welcome you to our family.” Giles handed that package back to Tony. “I don’t need to see that. I look forward to meeting you again in two weeks.”
He stood and shook Tony’s hand. Tony looked at him for a long moment, nodded and left.
Giles sank back into his chair and stared into space for a long time. Finally he rose and walked slowly to the door. When he opened it, his secretary looked around in surprise. “Susan, cancel all of my appointments for the rest of the afternoon. I’m going home.” Not waiting for a response, Giles left.
Buffy arrived just minutes after he did. “Ru,” she called as she burst through the door, “what’s wrong. Susan called me and told me you left work. Are you sick?”
Giles was sitting on the couch, watching home movies. He looked at Buffy with such sadness in his eyes that she gasped. “Ru, what is it?” She knelt in front of him.
“Tony came to the office this afternoon. He asked my permission to marry Miri.”
Buffy slid onto his lap, encircling him in her arms. “Oh, Love, we knew this would happen, someday. She couldn’t be your little girl forever.”
“No matter what, she’ll always be my little girl.” They sat in silence for a few minutes, watching the video. Giles finally broke the silence. “He’s a good man. She’ll be happy with him.” Buffy’s arms tightened, but she didn’t speak.
For the rest of the afternoon, they sat in each other's arms and watched their little girl grow up.
Giles stood with Miranda in the vestibule of the church, waiting for her bridesmaid, Sara, to finish her walk down the aisle. “Daddy,” she said suddenly. “I know you will probably be uncomfortable with what I’m about to tell you, but I wanted you to know. Tony and I have never,” she blushed slightly, “I’ve never, ever. Mom always told me to wait until I was sure, to wait for love. When I was sure, I figured since I had waited this long, I could wait a little longer. Tony agreed.”
“It wouldn’t have mattered to me, to my love for you. I would be just as proud.”
“I know. I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you, Miranda Joyce Tara Anya Giles.” He lifted a corner of her veil and kissed her cheek. The music changed to the bridal march and he smoothed the veil down. Giles tucked her hand into the crook of his arm and walked his little girl to her love.
27 months later
Giles and Buffy looked up as Tony entered the waiting room, holding a tiny bundle in his arms.
“I would like to present, Melissa Buffy Dawn Willow Alexandra Davidson.”
Giles took the baby from his arms and stared down into vivid green eyes. Time seemed to stop and he remembered another baby. In the background he could hear the others exclaiming over the inclusion of their names. Buffy was protesting that they had used her’s. Giles brushed a kiss on the little forehead. “Hello, Melissa. Welcome to the world, grandpa’s little girl.”
Also, coming later this evening, Chapter 7 of Watching Atlantis. See you later.