Callix: Chapter 3/4

Jul 23, 2021 15:29

Chapter Three

“Okay, so I understand portals…but, how do you keep it from collapsing on itself?”

Everyone turned to look at Xander, who was sitting on the floor and rolling a ball to Felix and Callum. He looked up and furrowed his brow.

“What? I know about portals. Do you know how many sci-fi shows use portals in their storylines?” He gave a crooked smile when Willow shook her head. “Plus, I’ve seen you guys do them more than once. I’ve just never seen one that would stay open without the creator close by to continue the manipulation.”

Giles smiled when the ball hit his foot. He playfully kicked it back to Callum before returning his attention to Xander.

“You’re putting a new window into a wall - what’s the most important step?”

“You have to frame it.” Xander answered automatically. “You don’t frame it properly, it’s going to leak and…”

Xander paused and tilted his head slightly. “You’re going to frame it?”

“For lack of a better term…yes.” Giles said, scratching the back of his head. “Willow can create the windows on either side with no issue, but the…framing…is quite a bit more complex.”

“Luckily we know someone who is really good at complexities.” Willow said with a grin.

“Who?” Anya asked, flipping through a magazine. She looked up to find everyone staring at her. “Oh, you mean Giles.”

She thought for a moment and then nodded absently and shrugged a shoulder. “Yeah, he’s a pretty complex guy…”

Xander directed a soft smile towards Anya, who had gone back to her magazine. Then he looked back at Giles. “So, you fashion a magical frame to hold the portal open?”

“For the most part, yes. Exactly, in fact.”

“But…what if it collapses?”

“Then I get someone to open another portal on our end.” Giles replied, smiling as he watched Felix crawl over towards him. “Which, I can do…but, I’d prefer not to have to go down that route. The Council tends to frown upon the ‘unnecessary use of magicks’.”

“So, portal creation is secret business, huh?”

“Yes, so let’s not divulge this information to members of the Council.” Giles nodded, his smile turning to a grin when Felix’s small hand gripped his knee and carefully pulled himself up. “You’re trying so hard to learn to walk, aren’t you, Fe? Don’t rush it, son…you’ll be running before you know it.”

Felix giggled, holding on to Giles’ knee as he bounced up and down.

Xander watched the two interact and wished, not for the first time, that he’d had that type of relationship with his own father. Or that…his father had had that type of relationship with him. His smile faded slightly as his thoughts churned, then he pulled himself back and cleared his throat.

“So, uh…how long does the portal need to stay open for?”

“For as long as we’re gone, ideally.”

Anya looked up and shook her head. “He’s asking how long you’re planning on being gone.”

Xander gave a crooked smile and shrugged his shoulders. “I kinda like spending time with these little guys…”

“Council rules state I can be away from my duties for no longer than three weeks without having an interim Watcher step in.”

Buffy looked over at him, something about the tone of his words struck her as odd. “Your duties? Or your Slayer?”

Giles sighed. “I’ve always hated the wording that was used. I questioned it vehemently during my studies. I was told that the Slayer was the main ‘duty’. I remember being sent out of the class for telling the professor that what he’d just said was possibly one of the most fucking disrespectful statements I’d heard in my life.”

Buffy smiled proudly.

Willow shook her head in amusement. “And they still assigned you to a Slayer?”

“Oh, I’m sure there were some politics in play there.”

“What do you mean?” Willow asked, glancing at Anya…who had just reached down to playfully ruffle Callum’s hair.

“Buffy was a Slayer who had been missed - fallen through the cracks…not trained properly from a stupidly young age.” He held Felix’s hand as the boy took a very shaky step towards Buffy. “A Watcher had been lost…they were expecting a repeat performance, I suspect.”

Anya stared at him. “They sent you here to die?”

“They very much misjudged our Buffy.” He replied with a smile. “But, saying that…it’s not as if it hasn’t nearly happened a few times.”

“But…that was their plan? What kind of fucked up organization did you pledge an oath to?”

“It wasn’t the organization.” Buffy interjected, earning a warning glance from Giles. “It was the politics of two people, one of whom no longer works for the Council and the other had a very hard fall from the pedestal he’d crawled upon.”

Before Anya, or anyone else, could question her, Buffy continued with a smile.

“That’s all I’m going to say about it. Well, except to say that while they thought it was a sure way to get rid of him…they actually were responsible for the strongest Watcher/Slayer bond ever recorded. So…jokes on them.”

Anya considered that for a moment, glancing at the two youngest Gileses. “You’re part of a Council legacy, right? I mean…you’re not the first Giles to be a Watcher…”

“I’m not sure I would say ‘legacy’, but…no I’m not the first Giles.” He replied, wondering where she was going with this conversation.

“And them?” She asked, turning her eyes back to Giles. “Will they go to the Council Academy too?”

“That will be their choice.” Giles said. “I will support them in what they decide, but I will not force them to become something other than what they want to become.”

Anya’s eyes widened slightly and suddenly Giles felt everyone’s eyes on him.

“Were you?” Willow asked softly.

“I handled it well, wouldn’t you say?” Giles replied with a smile.

He glanced at his watch and then looked at Buffy. “Would you like company on patrol?”

Buffy smiled warmly, picking Felix up when he yawned and rubbed his eyes. “Yours? Always.”

Giles nodded and met Willow’s eyes. “Would you mind watching the boys for a few hours? We’ll put them to bed before we leave…”

“Absolutely. They’re the easiest kids ever.”

Buffy snorted a laugh. “Yeah, okay.”

Willow grinned. “Well, I’m only dealing with them for a few hours now and then. So, they’re pretty easy when you look at it like that.”

Buffy kissed Felix’s cheek, a wave of love washing over her as she watched Giles pick Callum up and cuddle him protectively against his chest.

* * *

“You’re quiet. You okay?” Buffy asked, scanning the graves for any sign of disturbance.

“Hm?” He mumbled, then looked down at her. “Sorry?”

“You’re quiet. And not the kind of ‘company’ I was expecting when you asked if I wanted company on patrol.” She said with a gentle smile, stopping to look up at him. “You’ve slipped into deep thoughts land…never a good thing on patrol.”

“Oh, yes…quite right.” He chuckled, pulling his left hand out of his pocket. “Are you nervous?”

“Well, that’s a question that’s open to all kinds of interpretations. Nervous about what?”

“Taking the boys to England? Spending time with my mother? Getting married? Portals? Spending time with my mother?”

Her smile widened. “Are you nervous about me spending time with your mother?”

“What? No. Well, maybe…possibly.” He sighed heavily. “Since Stephen moved to Switzerland, I think she gets a bit lonely.”

“So, there’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask. Why was Stephen given a choice of whether he joined the council or not?”

“A couple of reasons. The first being that only the firstborn was ‘required’ to attend the Academy. Subsequent children were welcomed, of course, but they weren’t required. The second being…” He exhaled a deep breath. “He’s eight years younger than me. By the time it was getting close to my parents making that final decision, I’d already started my rebellion. Mum had seen for a few years prior to that what it was doing to me. She didn’t want Stephen to go through that as well. I think even if it had been required for all children to attend…she would have fought to keep him well away.”

“So…he goes into business and gets headhunted for a position in Switzerland.” She looked towards the sound of a rustle off to the left. “And you get stuck in Sunnydale, California.”

He followed her line of sight and then moved behind her as she took a couple of steps towards the sound. “I wouldn’t use the term ‘stuck’…”

“Not now, no. But, in the beginning? You so didn’t want to be here.” She paused and narrowed her eyes. “Rabbit…”

“Run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run run run…” Giles sang softly, smiling as she turned to look at him. “My not wanting to be here had nothing to do with you and everything to do with the situation. I knew why I was sent here - and I was determined to prove them wrong. But, nothing I’d been taught had prepared me for being your Watcher.”

“We showed them, huh?” She whispered, moving a step closer to him.

“Indeed.” He lifted his left hand, cradling her cheek in his palm. “And you showed me.”

“And what exactly did I show you, Mr Giles?”

“That together…we would both prove the entire Council wrong.” He replied, tilting his head down with an obvious intent to kiss her. “And that my life turned out perfectly for me…despite this not being what I wanted for myself when I was younger.”

“Making out in a cemetery at night is perfect for you?” She teased, tracing one of his belt loops with her finger.

“It’s a perk.” He murmured, then closed the gap and covered her mouth with his.

He kissed her slowly, sighing inwardly as she hooked her finger through his belt loop and pressed closer to him. When he felt the fingers of her right hand edge under the hem of the sweater he was wearing, he gently pulled from the kiss and exhaled shakily.

“We, uh…this shouldn’t continue…here.” He mumbled, obviously not wanting to stop kissing her.

“Probably not.” She agreed, licking her lips. “We could always talk about why you’re nervous about me spending time with your mother…”

He snorted a laugh, glancing around their surroundings. “Or…we could take a break, go for a coffee?”

“Are you worried about what I’ll say or what she might say?”

He laughed loudly at that, slipping his arm around her and resting his hand on her lower back. “Both. I’m genuinely terrified of both of you when it comes to words and what will come out of your mouths…”

“Does she have photos? Like…of you?” She waited until he looked at her before smiling. “You know…baby pictures and such?”

He stared at her for a moment, rolling his eyes as she continued.

“Please tell me she has the obligatory naked baby pics of you. Because…I need to see those!”

“Dear lord…what am I getting myself into?” He muttered, then gave her a wink. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

“You’ve seen mine…haven’t you?” When he arched an eyebrow at her, she sighed. “Ugh…fine. You can see mine. But you have to promise me that I can see yours!”

He grinned broadly. “That’s a discussion between you and my mother. I plan on being at least a quarter way through a bottle of something before I’m involved in that conversation.”

Her laugh echoed throughout the cemetery and the gate squeaked heavily as he pushed it open for her. He had a feeling that this trip to his home country was not going to be nearly as relaxing as he had initially hoped it would be.

His eyes sparkled with amusement as she continued talking, making lists of things she wanted to discuss with his mother. He’d allow it…because he was in no position to disallow it. Besides…there was no way he could stop it even if he wanted to.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

They all stood in front of the open linen closet, staring inside.

“It’s like Narnia…” Xander said, tilting his head to the right and narrowing his eyes. “There aren’t any lions or witches over there, are there?”

“Lions in the zoos, witches everywhere…and that’s not exactly a wardrobe, is it?” Giles replied with a chuckle.

“Why is it dark? Like…pitch black dark. It didn’t collapse on that end, did it?” Buffy asked, looking up at Giles.

“No.” He answered softly. “Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

Before she could say anything else, he stepped into the portal. The darkness lightened quickly and within a few seconds, he was standing next to her again.

“Portal’s in a closet?” Buffy asked in surprise.

“That’s a bedroom…” Anya said, peering through the portal. “You’re not going to be having sex in there are you?”

Giles rolled his eyes. “It’s one of the guest rooms, not one of the rooms we’ll be staying in.”

“One of the rooms?” Xander turned and looked at Giles. “Your Mom’s not making you guys sleep in separate rooms is she? Because…a bit too late for that.”

Buffy laughed and playfully shoved Xander. “A room for us, a room for the boys.”

“How many rooms are there?” Anya asked, ducking her head to look at the ceiling of the room on the other side of the portal.

“Enough to accommodate us.” Giles answered vaguely.

Buffy looked at Willow, her brow furrowed. “How did you get the portal to open in a closet in a bedroom in his mother’s house?”

“Oh…that took a lot of math and geo coordinates and triangulations.” She glanced at Giles and then laughed. “I got Giles to ask his Mom to place a specific stone in the middle of the closet…then I focused on that.”

“I would’ve believed the math thing, you know…” She said, grinning at Willow. “But, seriously though - if this thing collapses, you’ll be able to reopen it, right?”

Willow nodded enthusiastically. “Yep, but I really don’t think it’ll be an issue. The framework that Giles constructed is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Buffy stared at her as if she were speaking another language. “Okay, I’m going to let you geek out over that because I’m not going to get it. But, Giles is pretty amazing, so it stands to reason that he’d construct something amazing.”

“Aw…” Xander cooed teasingly, earning a glare from Giles. “Come on, Giles…even I see the cuteness there.”

Giles arched an eyebrow at him. “Cuteness?”

“Yeah, the way you two are so…”

“Abnormally gushy?” Anya interjected.

“Abnormally?” Willow asked, gesturing between Anya and Xander. “What about you two? You’re either threatening bodily harm or pretty much humping each other. And you call them abnormal? They’re adorable and respectful and…”

She paused as Anya merely stared at her. Then she shook her head in frustration before turning her attention back to Buffy and Giles.

“So…when are you guys heading out?”

“Because the travel time is going to be a killer.” Xander said with a chuckle. “Does jetlag apply to portals?”

“Mum is visiting her sister, as she does in September.” Giles responded to Willow, ignoring Xander’s question. “She’ll let us know when she’s home.”

Anya closed the linen closet door and looked at Willow. Before she could say anything, a cry sounded down the hall. Buffy exhaled a breath and looked at Giles. He smiled and gave her a nod. Xander laughed as Buffy and Giles quickly did a round of rock, paper, scissors - which Giles lost.

“Never pick ‘rock’ first, Giles. You’d think it’s the safe one, but it never is…”

Giles chuckled and took a step towards the boys’ room. When a second cry sounded, he grinned at Buffy. “Sounds like we’re both needed, love.”

“That’s one hungry, one needing a change…I’ll get the hungry one.” She said, walking down the hall with him.

“Why does she get the hungry one?” Xander said in a perplexed tone.

“Because she has the food?” Willow answered with a laugh.

Xander stared at her for a split-second and then understanding hit him. “Ohhhh…right.”

* * *

Buffy smiled, sitting on the sofa and feeding Callum as Giles changed Felix. Giles sang softly…words she recognized, but a tune she did not. That didn’t surprise her, he did that often - singing songs to his own tune. Felix babbled happily, focusing on his father. Giles smiled at his son as he started babbling along with the tune Giles was singing.

She looked down at Callum, not surprised to find him dozing. She sighed heavily, causing Giles to look over at her.

“What is it, love?”

“Comfort feed…not a hunger feed.” She glanced at the door and then lowered her voice. “When should we tell them?”

“Whenever you want. However, I vote for the day before - because they’re going to drive us crazy.” He chuckled, walking over to her. “Trade? I’ll change Cal while I’m at it.”

Felix reached out for his mother, grinning broadly. “Mumumumumumumum.”

“Hello, FeFe.” She narrowed her eyes in thought. “Yeah…that’s not the best nickname for you, is it?”

Giles snorted a laugh, carefully undressing Callum.

“Know what my first word was?”

He glanced over at her, his right hand on Callum’s chest to hold him still. “What?”

“Shoe.” She grinned as he laughed. “Mom said I was about six months old and she was getting me dressed and I kept saying shoe, over and over.”

“Fashionista from infancy.” He teased, turning his attention back to Callum.

“What was yours?”

“To be honest, I’ve no idea. You’d need to ask Mum that one.” He shot her a quick glance. “One to put on your list, I’ve no doubt.”

“It’s as if you know me, Rupert.” She gazed at Felix’s face and lovingly stroked his cheek as he closed his eyes. “They look so much like you.”

“Do they?” Giles paused in his task and studied Callum, who gave a deep yawn. “I see you.”

Buffy scoffed. “Where?”

“The eyebrows, cheekbones…the tiny little dimple on your chin.”

She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t have a dimple on my chin…”

He smiled warmly, picking Callum up and moving over to sit next to Buffy on the sofa. “You do. When you smile, you have this beautiful dimple appear…”

He reached up and ran his thumb over a spot on her chin.

“…right here. It has captivated me for years now.”

“Giles?” She whispered, looking into his eyes.


“We’re each holding a baby…and our friends are somewhere in the house.”

“Mm-hm…” He murmured, gazing into her eyes.

“This…” She exhaled a slow breath. “This isn’t a good time to be doing this.”

“Doing what?” He asked, his eyes darting to her lips for a second.

“Turning me on.”

“Kids back to bed…kick the friends out…” His eyes darkened a shade. “Because I’m two seconds away from saying and doing some things that aren’t for public consumption.”

“Jesus Christ, Rupert…”

The corner of his mouth quirked into a smile. “Kids or friends? Your choice.”

“You go out there like that and Anya is going to have a field day with you.” She placed her hand on his chest, leaning into him and placing a gentle kiss on his lips. “You put the boys back to bed…”

He nodded silently, shifting Callum so that he could take Felix from her.

“Meet you in the…?”

“At this point, I’d meet you in the hallway.”

She gave him a half-grin. “What’s gotten into you so suddenly?”

“You. You always get into me, darling.”

“I’ll come find you.” She said quickly, rushing towards the door. “Unless you find me first.”

“Go…” He said with a deep chuckle. “Tell them goodnight for me.”

She laughed softly and slipped out of the room, closing the door behind her. She found the others without much effort - they were all lounging on various pieces of furniture in the living room.

“So…I think we’re going to call it a night, okay?”

Willow and Xander looked at her curiously. Anya grinned widely.

Buffy pointed a finger at her, a smile in her eyes. “Before you start…don’t. Just channel your human qualities, say goodnight…”

Anya nodded in amusement. “Goodnight.”

As she stood up, she pulled Xander with her. “They want to have sex.”

Xander closed his eyes briefly. “Yeah, kinda got that, An. Didn’t need an explanation.”

Willow jumped up and grabbed her jacket. “Have a good night, Buff…see you tomorrow. We’ll lock the door on our way out.”

Buffy laughed as they all rushed down the hall towards the front door. Hearing the latch click, she turned and made her way back towards the bedroom…hoping that Giles had as much success getting the boys back to sleep as she did kicking their friends out of the house.

Just as she turned the corner, he stepped out of the boys’ room and closed the door. They shared a bright grin and within seconds, he had lifted her and pressed her back against the wall…her legs curling around his hips.

“Hallway, it is…” She whispered, pulling at his clothing.

“Well…it’s a place to start…” He replied with a grin.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two weeks later found them sitting in his mother’s living room, rain pattering against the window as they watched her play with her grandsons.

“I can’t believe how much they look like you, Rupert.” She said, gently ticking Felix’s stomach and Callum’s foot.

“That’s what I said, but he didn’t agree.” Buffy replied, taking a sip of her tea.

“They do have your cheekbones.”

Buffy and Giles shared a look and he shrugged a shoulder.

“Mrs Giles, I was wondering - ”

Giles’ mother laughed heartily. “Good heavens, Buffy. Please…call me Sophia.”

Sophia’s green eyes sparkled as she glanced at her son before meeting Buffy’s eyes. “And do I have some stories for you, my dear.”

“Good lord, Mum…”

“You really didn’t think I would let the chance pass me by, did you, Rupert?”

“Please tell me you have baby pictures.” Buffy said, grinning broadly as she placed her mug on the coffee table.

“Do I have baby pictures? Rupert was my firstborn…I made Richard buy a new camera specifically for documenting Rupert’s childhood.”

“Bloody hell…” Giles mumbled, pushing himself up.

“Hey, where’re you going?” Buffy asked, grabbing his hand.

“I told you…I was going to need to be a quarter way through a bottle of something in order to sit through this type of conversation…” He laughed and tilted his head towards the corner of the room. “So, I’m off to raid Dad’s liquor cabinet.”

“Ru…” Buffy started, pausing as he leaned down and brushed his lips across hers.

“Just joking, love. But, if you’re pulling out my baby pictures, I’m going to put the kettle on.”

Sophia watched her son leave the room and Buffy moved onto the floor next to her. “You’ve made him very happy, Buffy.”

“The feeling is very much mutual.” She replied, reaching over and slipping her finger into Callum’s hand. “They really do look like him, don’t they?”

“Oh, wait until I get the photo albums out.” Sophia grinned. Her grin faded slightly. “I only wish that Richard could have been here to meet them. He loved his boys so much, I can only imagine how much he would’ve loved these two.”

“He has your eyes.” Buffy said softly.

Sophia nodded. “My eyes, his father’s rebellious nature.”

Buffy furrowed her brow. “Rebellious? His father?”

“Oh, my…yes. It presented differently to Rupert’s, but it was most definitely there.” She drifted in thought for a moment and then tilted her head slightly to the left, the way Giles had a tendency to do. “They really are very identical, aren’t they? How do you tell them apart?”

“That’s a secret that we’ve told no one before.” Giles replied, walking back into the room.

“You’re not even going to tell me? Their Grandmother?”

Giles grinned and sat down on the other side of his mother. “Do you promise not to tell any embarrassing stories about me?”

“Absolutely not.”

Buffy laughed loudly and leaned over, pulling Callum’s right sock off. “Look at the bottom of his big toe…”

“A croissant-shaped birthmark?”

Giles smirked at his mother. “Of course, you’d say croissant and not crescent.”

“I’ll pick pastries over moons any day, son.”

Buffy watched the interaction between the two of them and felt a warmth in her heart. She sat back and listened as the two of them teased one another playfully. Suddenly, it was very clear that though Giles rarely spoke of his childhood, it had been filled with a great deal of love and affection.

Baby pictures could wait a while longer.

This entry was originally posted at However, you can comment here or there...I'm still around! :)

nc17, callix, b/g fanfic, frao, summer of giles

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