Elliott - Chapter 6/8

Jun 23, 2020 11:12

On the third night of Elliott’s hospital stay, Giles told Xander that it was fine for him to go home…that he’d stay with Elliott that night. Elliott and Xander shared a quick glance and Elliott shook his head. Giles caught the exchange and sat down next to the bed, looking into Elliott’s eyes.

“What’s wrong, Elliott?”


Giles tilted his head slightly. “Then why don’t you want me to stay?”

Elliott sighed and reddened. “Because once I come home, things are going to be different and hectic. And…you and Mum need time alone. You’re both here all day during visiting hours…and I’m not alone at night.”

“Ah…” Giles smiled in understanding. “Elliott, you know that Buffy and I can - ”

“Whoa, Dad. I don’t need or want to hear about that okay?”

Giles furrowed his brow. “Hear about what?”

Xander chuckled from the other side of the room, causing Giles to glare at him. “Oh, uh…sorry.”

When Giles merely continued staring at him, Xander sighed and gestured vaguely. “Sex. He’s talking about sex.”

Giles’ glare suddenly turned to a look of confusion. Xander grinned at him and rubbed the back of his head.

“You and Buffy? Trying for a baby?” He glanced around the room before looking pointedly at the second bed. “This really isn’t the best place for that.”

Giles’ eyes widened slightly. “Bloody hell…”

“When I get home, you’re not going to have as much time to yourselves, Dad.” Elliott added softly.

Giles sighed and leaned back in his chair. “Buffy and I are more than capable of making time for - ”


Giles rolled his eyes. “Ourselves, I was going to say. Making time for ourselves.”

“I know. I just…look, I don’t want to cramp your style when I get home.”

“Cramp my style?” Giles turned his eyes back to Xander, who was blushing profusely.

“It’s not as bad as you’re thinking.”

“Oh?” Giles arched an eyebrow at him. “I’m thinking that you were discussing my sex life in front of my son and insinuating that Buffy and I wouldn’t be able to continue that aspect of our lives once Elliott comes home.”

“Well, that’s not exactly what happened. I didn’t say you wouldn’t be able to continue…just that you might have to not be as spontaneous or…unbridled.”


“Enthusiastic?” Xander clarified.

“I know what unbridled means, Xander.” Giles growled.

“I wasn’t talking to him about it.” Xander attempted to explain. “I was talking to Willow. He was asleep…I thought.”

Giles closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Once he had calmed down a little, he turned back to Elliott. “I can assure you, Elliott…you coming home will in no way ‘cramp my style’.”

Elliott nodded slowly. “I just want you and Mum to have some time to yourselves…alone…while you can. It’s not that I don’t want you here, Dad. It’s just…you guys need time for just you. And once I’m home, it’s not going to be that easy.”

Giles was quiet for a moment and then smiled softly. “Suddenly, I’m reminded once again that a twelve year old can be more mature than a near thirty-year old.”

“Hey!” Xander exclaimed, smiling when Giles glared at him again. “Yeah, I deserved that. I’m sorry, Giles…it really wasn’t intentional. And I really didn’t think he heard me.”

“Mm…” He glanced at the clock and then stood up. “No television past nine-thirty, Elliott.”

He leaned down and kissed the top of Elliott’s head before giving him a warm hug. “I love you, but you need not worry about me and Buffy in this way. Okay?”

“Okay, Dad.” He smiled up at him. “I love you too.”

Giles looked at Xander again and shook his head in mild frustration. “Be more careful, Xander. He’s only twelve.”

“Yeah, I’m sorry.”

Giles gave him a gentle nod, followed by a small smile. Xander smiled back, suddenly feeling much more at ease.

Xander made a mental note to talk to Willow about discussing the rest of the week’s night duties with Ethan. Whether Giles wanted to admit it or not, things would be different when Elliott went home.

* * *

Buffy lowered the book she was reading when she heard the front door open and close. She furrowed her brow in confusion when Giles walked into the bedroom and kicked his shoes off.

“Um…I thought you were staying with Elliott tonight.”

He pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it in the general direction of the hamper before unbuttoning his jeans. “Mm…as did I. However…Xander and Willow were discussing how our sex life will change when Elliott comes home…and Elliott has decided that you and I should spend as much time alone as we can…”

Her mouth dropped open and she tossed her book onto the bedside table. “What the fuck?”

He rolled his eyes, throwing his jeans and socks towards the hamper before slipping under the covers next to her. “They thought he was asleep. He very obviously wasn’t…and now he’s worried about cramping my style.”

She stared at him for a moment and then snorted a laugh. “Cramping your style? What does he know about your style?”

“Trust me…” He shook his head, light amusement showing in his eyes. “You don’t want to know.”

Buffy immediately thought back to the time when Xander had walked into the house without ringing the doorbell…to find Giles holding her against the bookshelf. They had both been still clothed, but she had been wearing a skirt and it had been very obvious that he was inside of her…and was quite happy about that fact.

Xander hadn’t stayed for very long…and wouldn’t look Giles in the eye for over a week.

“Jesus Christ, they weren’t talking about that time - ”

“No, nothing as specific as that.” Giles paused and then grinned. “But, that was an amazing night too…”

She nodded in agreement, leaning over him and kissing his lips. “So what were they talking about?”

“Oh…just how things will be different when Elliott comes home and I won’t be able to be spontaneous and unbridled…”

“Unbridled? He actually said unbridled?”


“Obviously he doesn’t know that we’re very capable of being spontaneous and unbridled…even when we have a house full of people.”

Giles’ eyes darkened slightly, remembering the previous New Years Eve party they hosted…and had disappeared from the festivities for a few moments.

“Obviously not.” He murmured, pulling her on top of him.

“What are you doing?” She whispered, grinning as his hands slipped under her nightshirt and massaged her thighs.

“Being spontaneous…”

She rocked her hips against him, biting her lip as he groaned.

“Let’s see if we can get this bridle off…” She said, pulling her shirt up over her head and dropping it to the side.

He grinned up at her before pulling her down for a kiss.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The week had gone by quickly, which had been totally unexpected by Giles. Elliott had been upbeat and playful…and picked up the use of crutches extremely well. In fact, he had cautioned Elliott more than once about going too fast in the hospital hallways. Those cautions had always resulted in a grin and a ‘yes, Dad’ which never failed to put a smile on Giles’ face.

Dr Naylor had come by every day, sometimes twice a day, to check on Elliott. On the day that Elliott was to be discharged, he pulled Buffy and Giles to the side and said he needed to have a discussion with them. Giles caught Ethan’s eye and gestured towards Elliott with a subtle nod of his head. Ethan smiled softly and pulled out of deck of cards.

They stepped out into the hallway and the doctor smiled at them. “He’s looking well…bright.”

Giles nodded slowly. “Yes, but you could’ve told us that in there in front of him.”

Buffy looked up at him sharply, but then looked back at the doctor when he sighed softly.

“The stump is healing nicely, no infection present. He’s coping extremely well with the crutches.”

Giles merely nodded again, staring at the doctor. Buffy sensed there was going to be a turn in the conversation soon and slipped her hand into Giles’.

“The scans we did yesterday…” Dr Naylor started, shaking his head. “The scans showed that one of the lesions in his liver has increased in size. It’s…a remarkable change.”

Giles squeezed Buffy’s hand, but said nothing. Buffy cleared her throat.

“So, what does that mean? I mean, I know that means the cancer is growing. But…what does that mean for Elliott?”

“I’d like to start chemo on Thursday, in conjunction with radiotherapy.”

Buffy’s eyes widened. “Both at the same time? And…what? I thought you said it was best to give him a couple of weeks and…”

Dr Naylor nodded softly as Buffy trailed off. “Unfortunately, the situation isn’t going to be conducive to our original plan. This isn’t the news I wanted to give you, but it’s important that we start this as soon as possible to give him the best chance. Especially considering the amount of growth in such a short amount of time.”

“Of course...” Giles said quietly. “But, this is something that we’ll obviously need to discuss with Elliott.”

“Absolutely, I wouldn’t have thought otherwise. I tend to speak with the parents before explaining changes with the patient. I am sorry that it wasn’t better news that I have to give.”

Giles nodded and took a deep breath before turning and walking back into the room. Elliott looked up at him, his bright smile fading as he lowered the cards in his hand.


Ethan picked up the cards and moved away from the bed. “I’ll, uh…”

“Stay.” Buffy said softly, glancing at him quickly.

Ethan nodded and sat down on the spare bed.

Elliott sighed heavily. “This is never good. Parents, doctor…no real smiles. What’s wrong?”

Giles sat down in the chair next to the bed as Buffy sat down on the edge of the bed. He regarded Elliott carefully and then rubbed the back of his neck.

“The cancer in your liver has grown.”

“Don’t sugarcoat it or anything…” Ethan mumbled to himself.

Elliott gave Ethan a very small smile. “He’s not supposed to. I made him promise he’d never do that.”

Ethan nodded, but didn’t look up…instead, focusing his gaze on the single card in his hand. Elliott turned his attention back to Giles.

“Okay, so what happens now?”

“Chemo and radiation needs to start on Thursday.”

Elliott’s eyes widened. “At the same time? I thought they had to be done one at a time?”

Dr Naylor cleared his throat. “Sometimes, having them together is the best option.”

“And this is one of those times?” Elliott asked, idly scratching his left thigh.

Buffy covered his hand with hers and nodded. “Yeah, it is.”

“What do you guys think?”

Giles looked into Elliott’s eyes and gave a soft nod. “I think the doctor’s right. I think it’s the best option we have at the moment. And I think that we’ll get through it.”

“What about school?”

Giles smiled and reached over, running his fingers through Elliott’s hair. “I’m fairly certain I can talk to your professors. We can do your schoolwork from home…on the days that you feel up to it. You will not be expected to do schoolwork if you’re unwell…you can catch up at a later date, if need be.”

“And work?”

“Charmichael is perfectly capable of running things for the time being. I’ll go in for a few days to wrap up a few things - have a couple of transitional meetings…and then I’ll be home until you’ve completed a full round of chemo, at the very least. However, saying that…why are you concerned about my work?”

Elliott stared at him incredulously. “Are you serious? Your work is our lives…everything you do is for everyone else. I don’t want to keep you from that - the world needs you, Dad.”

Ethan’s eyes darted to the doctor, who looked nonplussed about the conversation. Buffy smiled softly, watching the exchange between Elliott and Giles.

“My son needs me.” Giles whispered.

“What good is that going to do me in the event of an apocalypse?” Elliott responded seriously. “No one stops one of those like you do. You read the signs better than any Watcher ever has. You’re the Head of Council for a reason, Dad.”

Giles’ eyes glistened as he shook his head. “I’m in the midst of a personal apocalypse…and can do nothing.”

“Well, no. You’re the Watcher…not the doctor.” He gestured towards Dr Naylor, but kept his eyes locked with Giles’. “He’s the one that can do something about this…the medical side of it. No point in doing that if the world ends before he can do anything.”

“And suddenly I’m reminded why you’re at the top of your class.” Giles said after a moment’s hesitation.

“Yeah…I’m a Giles.” He smiled warmly, reaching out and curling his fingers in Giles’ sleeve.

“Maybe I can do half-days…in a couple of weeks, not now.”

Elliott nodded, his fingers moving towards a button on Giles’ shirt. Giles looked down, watching Elliott’s fingers toy with the button.

At that moment, Giles was very aware that even though Elliott was extremely mature and bright for his age…he was still only twelve years old. He moved closer to Elliott, allowing him to take the comfort he needed. He leaned over and placed a kiss on Elliott’s forehead.

“Half-days, Elliott.” He whispered, resting his cheek against the top Elliott’s head. “That’s all I can do right now.”

“That’ll do, Donkey.”

Giles smiled as he closed his eyes. “That’ll do.”

* * *

Giles pulled Elliott’s bag out of the back of the car, slinging the strap over his shoulder. He grabbed Ethan’s arm quickly as he started to walk off. Ethan turned to look at him, narrowing his eyes when Giles shook his head.

“I was just going to help him up the steps…”

“He needs to do this on his own, Ethan. If he needs help, he’ll ask for it.”

Ethan arched an eyebrow at him. “Like you’ve always asked for help when you’ve needed it?”

Giles chuckled softly. “I’ve taught him better than that.”

Ethan responded with a smile, which slowly faded as they walked towards the house together. Buffy walked up the steps with Elliott…close enough that she could grab him if needed, but giving him the space to do it himself.

“Everything seems to be escalating so quickly.”

Giles nodded, pausing for a moment. “Do you have any cigarettes on you?”

“Cigarettes…or a joint?”

Giles sighed. “Nevermind, actually…they’re both a bad idea right now.”

“You okay?” Ethan asked softly, placing his hand between Giles’ shoulder blades.

“I really don’t think I am.” He exhaled a shaky breath and cleared his throat. “When the doctor told us that it had grown…I just froze. I couldn’t say anything. My first thought wasn’t ‘this is just a bump in the road’…my first thought was ‘my god, we’re going to lose him’. That’s not the mindset I need to be in right now.”

“Of course it is.” Ethan said, lowering his hand and looking into Giles’ eyes. “You’re a parent who is being faced with something…no parent should ever have to go through this. Right now, you’re a Dad…not Head of Council, not part of the Dynamic Duo. You’re a Dad.”

Giles narrowed his eyes. “Dynamic Duo?”

“You and Buffy…Watcher and Slayer - the best pairing the organisation has seen.” When surprise shone in Giles’ eyes, Ethan shrugged a shoulder. “I listen, you know…not that I really had to be told. I’ve had first-hand experience for well over a decade.”

“Ah, I’m sorry, by the way.” Giles said, swiftly changing the subject. “I should have mentioned that Dr Naylor is well-versed in the Council and its dealings.”

“Yeah, that would’ve been good to know.” He chuckled, resuming their walk towards the house. “So…would it be unethical for me to ask Alan out for dinner or…something?”

“Completely.” Giles answered quickly, glancing at Ethan with a small smile. “Buffy and I went to this new Greek bistro the other night. I’d highly recommend it.”

Ethan pushed his hands into his pockets and grinned. “Thanks, Rip.”

* * *

Giles smiled as Elliott swallowed a mouthful of food and grinned at Buffy.

“Thank you, Mum. This is so much better than the food at the hospital.”

“Well, when my boy asks for baked ziti…he gets baked ziti.” She took a sip of her wine and cast a very quick glance at Giles before she looked back at Elliott. “So…how are you? Really? With what Dr Naylor told us today?”

Elliott shrugged a shoulder, stabbing several pieces of ziti onto his fork. “I don’t even know. Nervous? I don’t feel bad, you know? Like…sick. Even though people keep telling me I am. I feel off balance when I stand…” He laughed softly for a second, pausing when no one joined in. “Guys…you can’t be all serious about this all the time.”

“I’m scared, Elliott. I find it hard to laugh when I’m scared.” Giles offered, lifting his wine glass to his lips. “But, I’ll try…for you.”

“You get scared a lot though, right? I mean…not just about this.”

Giles nodded, taking a sip and then lowering his glass. “Of course, I do. When Buffy decided to take a step into semi-retirement as the Slayer, I was relieved more than anything else. Because each time she goes into battle, I’m terrified.”

He smiled softly at Buffy when he felt her foot gently stroke his leg.

“And then there’s always the brief stab of fear every time Ethan starts to say something - because I never know what’s going to come out of his mouth.”

Elliott barked a laugh as Ethan stared at Giles. “Yeah, see…that’s what we need. Jokes.”

“At my expense?” Ethan asked, pretending to be upset.

“Always.” Giles replied, shooting him a wink.

He turned his eyes back to Buffy, taking a sip of his wine as he stared into her eyes…her foot still stroking his leg. Seeing the desire flicker in his eyes, she smiled and removed her foot. She glanced at his lips, her finger idly gliding around the rim of her glass.

Ethan’s eyes darted between the two of them, then glanced at Elliott - who was blissfully unaware as to what was brewing and had refocused on his dinner. Ethan smiled as the skin behind Giles’ ear turned a light shade of pink. He cleared his throat softly and Giles slowly turned towards him, reluctantly breaking the gaze he was sharing with Buffy.

You two…need to stop that. Message received?

He grinned as they both turned their eyes to their own plates of food. Yes…message received.

Dinner was finished in comfortable banter between the four of them. The most relaxed the atmosphere had been in ages.

* * *

“Can we get a puppy?”

Giles stared at him. “I think a puppy is the last thing this house needs at the moment.”

Giles looked over at Buffy as Elliott sighed heavily. Buffy gave him a quick nod before watching Elliott push himself up and use his crutches to get himself over to the window that overlooked the backyard.

“But, perhaps we could look into rescuing a dog…one that’s out of puppydom…” Giles added softly, smiling as Elliott quickly looked over at him.


Giles stood up and made his way over to Elliott, standing next to him as he looked out the window. “Yeah, really. We’re not in a position to take care of and train a puppy. However…an older dog - maybe two years old or so? Plenty of dogs needing a family. Let’s get everything started…and once we figure out how you’re going to react to the treatment, we’ll see what finds us, okay?”

Elliott leaned against him. “Thanks, Dad.”

“And Mum…” Buffy interjected with a chuckle as she walked over to stand on the other side of Elliott.

He grinned at her, shifting his crutches so he could reach out to her. “Thanks, Mum.”

“What are you looking at?” Xander asked as he and Willow walked into the living room.

“The yard.” Giles answered helpfully.

Xander chuckled as Willow rolled her eyes. “So…what’s the what? Ethan said to come by after dinner…so, here we are. And not at all upset that we missed out on baked ziti.”

Buffy grinned and gestured towards the kitchen. “Saved you some.”

“And that’s why you’re my favourite Slayer.” Xander grinned back, dropping onto the smaller of the two lounges. “What’s going on?”

There was a pause in conversation as Buffy and Giles moved over to the other lounge and Elliott sat down next to Buffy. Willow arched an eyebrow as she sat next to Xander.

“Not curious…nope.”

Elliott blew out a breath and spoke quickly.

“The cancer is growing. Chemo and radiation are starting on Thursday.” He continued as Xander and Willow both stared at him, Willow’s mouth dropping open in shock. “And we may get a dog in a few weeks.”


“A dog would be nice to have. He could sleep in my room with me and go for walks…or hobbles…with me.”

“Hobbles?” Willow asked, her eyes glistening. “And I think Xander’s question dealt mainly with the first part of that announcement.”

“Yeah, I know. But, hey…dogs are exciting.” He smiled brightly and then sighed as he watched Willow’s eyes fill with tears. “Please don’t cry, Willow. It’s scary and everything, but…I have to do what I have to do.”

Xander put his arm around Willow, hugging her to him. “We just weren’t expecting to hear that, Ellis.”

Elliott smiled at the pet name that Xander used for him once in a while. “Yeah, I wasn’t either.”

Elliott rubbed his left thigh and sighed. Buffy stood up, gently ruffling Elliott’s hair before walking into the kitchen. Elliott shifted over next to Giles and leaned against him - his back against Giles’ chest.

“You okay?” Giles asked softly, curling his arm around him and letting his hand rest over his heart.

“Yeah, just uncomfortable.”

“And probably a little tired?” Willow added with a gentle smile.

“Mm-hm. Been a long day.” Elliott replied, glancing down at the stump. “Looks so weird…”

“I feel you.” Xander said. “Took me a long time to get used to only having one eye.”

Elliott looked up as Buffy walked back in with a glass of water and a couple of pills. He sat back up and smiled wearily at her.

“Thanks, Mum.”

She handed him the water and the pills, then ran her fingers through his hair. “You’re welcome, Ellie. You look tired.”

“I am…one of these to help me sleep?”

“No, only the pain meds and antibiotics. Do you need something for sleep?”

He took the pills that were given to him and then thought for a moment. “Yeah, maybe. My head won’t stop running around.”

“Do you want to talk?” Giles asked softly as Buffy went back for sleeping pills.

“No, not right now. I think I just want to sleep.”

“We’re here if you change your mind, right?”

Elliott smiled as he nodded, holding his hand out for the pill Buffy had come back with. “I know, Dad. I think I’m seriously just too tired to hold a conversation.”

“It’s been an eventful day.” Buffy said, dropping the pill into his hand.

“Yeah, you could say that.” Elliott chuckled sadly, popping the pill into his mouth. As he swallowed, he looked over at Xander and Willow. “You guys coming over tomorrow?”

“Oh…” Willow sat up straight and glanced at Buffy. “We thought you might need to rest up from being in the hospital.”

“I start treatment on Thursday. I have to go in for scans and test on Wednesday. That leaves tomorrow. I’d like to just maybe have an afternoon barbecue with my family and friends.” He looked at Giles. “Is that okay?”

“Of course it is. Would you like to invite Jack over?”

Elliott’s eyes brightened. “Can I?”

“Absolutely.” Buffy smiled and glanced at the clock. “I’ll give his parents a quick call and if they say okay, call Jack and ask him. Rupert can go by and pick him up tomorrow.”

Willow smiled, causing Giles to look at her curiously. “What?”

She reddened lightly and shrugged a shoulder. “It’s just been a while since I’ve heard her call you Rupert. It’s nice…like, really nice.”

Giles smiled and looked up at Buffy, who was standing there with the phone in her hand. “Yes. Yes, it is.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Giles opened his eyes when he reached out to pull Buffy closer to him, only to feel cool sheets. He sat up and looked around the room, yawning as he ran his fingers through his hair. Normally, he’d just lay back down and wait for her to come back…but, normally the sheets were still warm. This time they weren’t.

He opened the bedroom door, tying his robe closed as he stepped into the hallway. He glanced down the hall towards Elliott’s room, halfway expecting to see her standing in his doorway. But, she wasn’t. Furrowing his brow, he turned towards the living area.

He walked into the living room to find her sitting on the floor, a mug of tea in her hands as she stared into the fireplace that held no fire. He watched her for a moment before walking towards her and sitting down next to her.

She didn’t look at him, but leaned into him. He wrapped his arm around her and kissed the top of her head.

“There’s no fire, love.” He whispered.

“Nope.” She replied, snuggling closer to him. “Couldn’t be bothered.”

“Would you like me to start one?” He asked.

She shook her head, but said nothing. They were quiet for a few minutes, both staring at the empty fireplace. And then he broke the silence again.

“I’ve been thinking about something. I’d like your opinion on it.”

She pulled back enough to look up at him. “Okay. What’s up?”

“I’d like for us to adopt Elliott.”

Her eyes widened slightly. “What?”

“Maria died years ago. He has no memories of her. You’re the only mother he’s ever known.” He took the tea from her hands and took a sip, grimacing as the lukewarm liquid slid down his throat.

He placed the mug on the coffee table behind them and cleared his throat. “Peter is…Peter will…”

Buffy laced her fingers with his, silently encouraging him to continue. He smiled at her sadly and shrugged his shoulder.

“He’ll never be able to be a father to Elliott again. Hasn’t been able to be a father for the last eight years. I love him so much, Buffy. I couldn’t love him more if he actually were my son. He deserves to have a family…a proper family. A mother and father, siblings…” He swallowed and exhaled slowly. “He may not have much time left…or he may surprise everyone and beat this. But, at the end of the day…he deserves a family.”

“And you want my opinion?” She whispered.

He nodded, lifting his hand to brush the hair back from her face. “I want you to legally be his mother, Buffy. So, yes…I want your opinion.”

She smiled slowly. “I’ve thought of him as mine since a week after we got together…maybe even sooner than that. Who knows? I know that I love him. I know that I love you. And I think that Peter would be very okay with the situation, if he were able to understand what’s going on.”

“So…contact the lawyer? See what steps we need to take and then ask Elliott what he thinks about it?”

She nodded and leaned up to press a kiss against his jaw. “Contact the lawyer.”

“Are you okay?” When she tilted her head quizzically, he glanced towards the hallway. “The sheets were cold…you’ve been gone a while.”

“I’m used to things moving quickly. Our lives move quickly, everything in them. But, this…this is like supersonic speeds and…I’m scared that it’s moving so fast that we can’t hold on to it.”

He nodded in understanding, leaning into her and brushing his lips across hers. “Let’s go back to bed…and see if we can slow things down a little, okay?”

“Yeah…okay.” She gestured towards the fireplace. “Or…you can start a fire and we can slow things down here.”

When her eyes darted to her lips, he smiled. “I wasn’t actually talking about sex, but…I’m certainly not opposed. Saying that, we shouldn’t here…”


“Let’s go back to bed, love.”

“How about you start a fire. We sit here and snuggle, see where that leads…”

“You know exactly where that’s going to lead, Buffy. Else you wouldn’t have mentioned it.”

She licked her lips and then continued. “Let’s see where that leads…and then you can take me to bed before it goes too far.”

“Bloody hell…” With a whispered word and a gentle flourish of his hand, a fire began to flicker in the fireplace. He smiled as she sighed softly. “Before it goes too far…”

She nodded and placed her hand on the back of his neck, gently pulling him into a kiss.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The next afternoon, the Giles Household was full of activity. And for the first time in months, everyone seemed to be at ease. Surprising, considering what was just around the corner. Surprising, but…appreciated.

Ethan and Xander were currently arguing over the best way to cook meat on the barbecue…and both failing miserably at the task. Willow had laughed and pushed them both out of the way. Ethan had scowled at her before making his way over to Buffy and Giles, who were currently sitting on a blanket on the ground…watching Elliott and Jack as they had an animated conversation that they couldn’t hear.

Ethan dropped down onto the blanket with them and shook his head. “Red and the barbecue…”

Giles chuckled. “You were going to burn everything.”

Ethan glared at him and then looked over at Elliott and Jack. “This is good for him.”

“His idea.” Buffy said with a smile. “He knows what’s best for him.”

“So, tomorrow…”

Giles shook his head quickly. “This is a no cancer day, Ethan. He doesn’t want it being discussed. He just wants to be Elliott.”

Ethan nodded slowly and smiled. “So, you two…how are you doing? You know with the whole baby thing? How’s that going?”

“This is also a no talk about Buffy and Giles’ sex life day.” Buffy said with a grin.

Ethan sighed heavily. “Why do you think every conversation I start is going to end up talking about your sex life?”

Buffy stared at him. “Because it always does.”

“It always has.” Giles added, laughing loudly.

Ethan turned his eyes to Giles and smiled warmly. “That’s the first proper laugh I’ve heard from you in ages.”

Giles opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted by the ringing of the phone. He pushed himself up and ran inside. Ethan furrowed his brow as he watched him.

“Expecting a call?”

Buffy nodded slowly. “Yeah…lawyer.”

Ethan looked at her. “Lawyer? What’s going on?”

She bit her lip and glanced towards the house. “We want to adopt Elliott. He’s seeing what needs to be done…and then we’ll talk to Elliott to see if that’s something he’d want.”

“I think that’s something he’d very much want.” He replied with a bright smile before arching an eyebrow at her. “And…the baby-making?”

Buffy rolled her eyes and then smiled. “That’s going perfectly well…and that’s all you’re getting out of me.”

“You two are infuriating. There was a time when Rupert would tell me everything about…things.”

“And I’ve matured since then.” Giles replied, sitting down behind Buffy and pulling her back against his chest. “You know how babies are made, Ethan. Use your imagination.”

“Mm…infuriating.” Ethan mumbled.

Giles chuckled and smiled as Buffy looked around at him. He gave her a gentle nod and glanced over at Elliott. “Carson said it shouldn’t be an issue, considering the situation and assuming Elliott would want it.”

“He’ll say yes. You know he’ll say yes.” Ethan said, watching the two boys laugh in the distance. “It would just be a formality…you’re already his parents.”

Giles narrowed his eyes. “I was fairly certain I blocked you from reading my thoughts.”

Ethan turned towards him and rolled his eyes. “Buffy told me, you berk. The block is still active…not that I try anymore. Well, that often…”

When Giles stared at him, he shrugged a shoulder. “I like to knock on the door once in a while. No one answers.”

“You need a new hobby.” Buffy said, laughing softly.

“I won’t disagree.” Ethan replied, then grinned. “I’m having dinner with Alan on Friday. He could be hobbyish.”

Giles shook his head, slightly amused. “That might take your focus off of my sex life…”

“Ah, I doubt that, Rupe.” He grinned, standing up and gesturing towards the barbecue. “I think she’s burning it…”

They watched him walk away and Buffy shook her head in amusement. “Sometimes I wonder what it would’ve been like to have met you in the ‘70s.”

“I daresay we would’ve gotten into all sorts of mischief. But, I’m not sure I would’ve coped very well with the flirting between the two of you.”

Buffy’s eyes darted to his. “Giles…you know nothing happened there, right? I mean, at all…”

He lifted his hand to her cheek and smiled warmly. “I know, love. There’s nothing wrong with some playful flirting. Ethan’s a flirt, always has been.”

“Is it weird that I kinda like it when he flirts with you?”

“Mm-hm. I’ve always thought so.” He grinned, kissing her softly. “That’s not going to happen again. You understand that, yes?”

“Yeah…” She licked her lips as she gazed into his eyes. “But, sometimes I like to think about it. What it was like for you…”

“You, uh…you need to do two things right now, Buffy.” When she merely continued looking at him, he exhaled slowly. “You need to stop looking at me like that and you need to stop talking about that. Because…I’m dangerously close to taking you inside.”

“Spontaneous unbridled passion?”

“Fucking hell…” He murmured, glancing at her lips as his fingers lightly grazed her arm. “You have no idea.”

“We could - ”

“That would possibly be one of the most irresponsible things we could do right now. And you know it.”

She blew out a deep breath and nodded in agreement.

“You two okay?” Willow asked, holding out two bottles of water. “You looked…hot.”

Giles lowered his eyes as he took a bottle, Buffy grinned at Willow as she took the other. Willow gave her a wink.

“So…lunch is almost ready.” She paused and then knelt down next to them. “And I’m not sure if I’ve really said this, but…you two? You’re fucking adorable together - don’t ever lose this. The passion, the desire, the pure unadulterated love that the two of you have always had. Don’t fucking throw it away over something stupid…got it?”

Giles smiled, his eyes still focused on the bottle of water. Buffy nodded and took a long drink from her bottle.

“Understood, Will.”

“Good. Now…once you two have calmed yourselves, call the boys over…”

Giles blushed lightly, causing Willow to grin.

“Fucking adorable.” She mumbled as she stood back up.

* * *

Elliott had wanted to go with Xander and Willow to drop Jack back off at the dorms, but it was quite obvious that the day had taken a toll on him. Instead, he reluctantly agreed to stay home and call it an early night. Ethan had left not long after the others, understanding that Buffy and Giles had a few things to discuss with Elliott.

Elliott was stretched out on the sofa, his eyes closed. Giles regarded him closely.

“Are you alright, Elliott?”

“Yeah, I think I ate too much and my leg is really tired. I think maybe…I overdid it a bit?”

“Possibly.” Giles smiled as Buffy came in, carrying a tray laden with tea and biscuits. “But, a good day?”

“The best in a while.” Elliott replied, opening his eyes and looking at him. “Thank you guys.”

“You’re welcome.” Buffy said, placing the tray on the coffee table.

Elliott shifted carefully until he was sitting up and narrowed his eyes. “Talking biscuits…”

“Talking biscuits?” Giles asked, confusion in his tone.

“Yeah…you know, the biscuits you put out when you need to have a talk?” He pointed towards the soft, buttery biscuits on the tray. “Those only come out when you need to have a talk. What’s going on?”

“Nothing bad.” Buffy said, sitting down next to Giles. “At least, we don’t think so.”

They were all quiet for a few seconds. Then Elliott reached out and picked up one of the biscuits.

“Okay…out with it.”

Giles smiled and slipped his hand into Buffy’s. “We’d like to run something by you…obviously, you can say no…you can think about it…the choice is yours.”

“Okay…” Elliott took a bite of the biscuit. “Still not talking…”

Buffy chuckled softly. “We’ve been thinking and talking - and…well, we were wondering what you’d think about us adopting you.”

“Adopting me?”

Giles nodded slowly. “This isn’t a new thought for me, Elliott. I’ve wanted to adopt you for years…when it became obvious that Peter wasn’t going to recover.”

“You want to be my proper Mum and Dad? Like…proper?”

They both nodded and he smiled brightly. And then his smile faded.

“Does that mean that Dad won’t be my Dad anymore?”

“No. Well, legally, I suppose that’s correct. But, he’ll always be your Dad, Elliott.” Giles answered carefully.

“Can we go see him again before I say yes? Because…I want to say yes. But, I want him to know or…be told, at least.” His eyes glistened as he smiled at them. “I really want to be your son.”

Giles exhaled a breath and smiled.

Chapter 7: Transitions

nc17, elliott, b/g fanfic, frao

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