Green Card
By Gibberish

DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, please don't sue. They all (even Giles-sigh) belong to Joss Whedon, WB and Mutant Enemy.
RATING: R (mild)
SPOILERS: Through Helpless for sure, all of third season just to be safe.
SUMMARY: Green card challeng on WatcherGirls list, Giles loses Green Card, must mary Buffy. Poor guy. <G>
DISTRIBUTION: Solo and Abby- anyone else please just ask
AUTHOR: My sister-Gibberish, who will have her own computer by the end of July and be on all of these wonderful lists with me :)


Giles was seated at his desk in his office in the Library. Mechanically, he hung up the phone. He had no idea how long he sat there, a minute, an hour, two.

Xander found him staring at the wall. "Giles?" No response. "Giles, you okay?" Still no answer. "Giles?" He tried on more time. When he still didn't get an answer, he left the office. He went to the Library check out counter and picked up the phone and dialed. "Buffy. Look, you'd better get to the Library." Pause to listen. "Something's wrong with Giles." Pause. "I don't know." Pause. "No, I don't think he's hurt. He's just staring at the wall." Pause. "I tried. He wouldn't answer me." Pause. "Alright. Bye." He disconnected the phone and dialed again. "Willow."

Buffy made it to the Library in record time. She rushed in to find Xander standing in the doorway to the office. "Anything?" She asked as she moved past him in to the office.

"He just keeps staring at the wall." Xander told her worried. Buffy moved to stand in front of Giles. "Giles?" She said softly. "Come on, Giles. What is it?" No response. "Giles, you're scaring me." She touched his cheek. He finally looked at her, but with unfocused eyes. "Giles, what happened?"

Giles looked at Buffy, "Buffy, what are you doing here?" "Checking on you." Buffy told him. "Tell me what happened." Giles couldn't meet her eyes. "I'm afraid that I have to leave Buffy." He told her.

"Leave?" Buffy echoed. "Why? Where are you going?" She paused and then said in a small voice, "You can't leave me."

Her voice tore through him like a knife. "I have no choice. " Giles said. "I'm being deported. Without the Council's support, my Green Card has been revoked."

"What does that mean?" Xander asked.

"The Council knows that I won't leave B ... That I won't leave." Giles explained. "So, they have arranged for me to be forced from the country."

"How can they do that?" Buffy asked.

"The Council is made up of very powerful people." Wesley told her from behind Xander. He looked at Giles, regret clearly on his face. "I'm sorry. I I didn't know."

Giles nodded at him but his focus, as always, was Buffy. "Buffy..."

"They can't do this." Buffy stated as if it would fix everything.

"They already have." Giles told her. "I have one week to leave the country voluntarily."

"And if you don't?" Xander asked.

"I'll be arrested." Giles said simply. He looked Buffy. "I'll find a way back. I promise."

"How?" Buffy asked sadly.

Giles couldn't answer.

An hour later, the whole Gang had gathered at the Library. Willow and Oz were working the computer. Wesley and Cordelia were having a quiet argument in the stacks. Xander was sitting at the table waiting for divine intervention and Buffy and Giles were in his office.

"Okay." Willow said loudly to get everyone's attention. They all made their way to stand around the computer. She didn't look thrilled.Giles looked at them, truly touched at how hard they were trying. Not to save the world. Or even just Sunnydale. For him.

"What did you find out?" Buffy asked.

"He doesn't have a whole lot of options." Willow said. "He could try to convince Immigration that no one else could do his job as well."

"He's a librarian." Cordelia pointed out.

"But a good one." Oz commented.

"Thank you Oz." Giles said. "But Cordelia is right."

"He could try to claim political asylum." Willow said next.

"From England?" Wesley exclaimed. No one else commented.

"Or," Willow went on. "You could marry an American citizen."

"I thought that only happened on TV." Xander commented. He looked at Giles. "So, who's the lucky lady?"

"Don't be ridiculous." Giles said.

"Why not? The Council is." Buffy said.

"It's not a bad idea." Cordelia said. Everyone looked at her. "What? Does anyone have a better idea?" Silence. "Uh-huh. That's what I thought."

"Precisely whom am I supposed to marry?" Giles asked.

"Do I have to think of everything?" Cordelia said. "Don't you know any women?"

"Perhaps I should ask Miss Newman, the History teacher." Giles said acidly. "Do you realize what you're saying?"

"You'd have to convince Immigration that it was real." Willow said. "Can you think of anyone that might be willing to help."

"What about Buffy's Mom?" Cordelia asked. "She knows you. And now that she knows what's going on..."

Giles didn't let her finish. "Out of the question." He said emphatically.

Buffy looked at him oddly. "What's wrong with my Mom?" She asked.

"Don't you think that your Mother deserves more than a sham of a marriage with a man that didn't love her?" Giles asked in return without answering.

"It would be temporary." Willow pointed out.

"It would put her in more danger than she's already in." Giles said. "I won't do that."

Buffy moved away from them and listened to them argue. They threw out names to Giles as if it were that simple. She looked at Giles. She could just see the personal ad - Attractive British gentleman seeks wife. Experience with Vampires a must. Must not mind the constant company of young blonde with stake. - Should get tons of responses.

Buffy realized that if weren't for her it wouldn't matter. He wasn't her Watcher anymore; he didn't have to stay. He could go home, have a real life. But, he wouldn't leave her. Watcher or not. The years together had connected them in way that no one else could truly understand. Not even the Scooby Gang. If Buffy asked, her Mom would probably do it. She hate it, she'd resent Giles even more than she already did. It wouldn't be fair to either of them. Buffy knew that she couldn't lose Giles. She knew the only way to keep him there. "I'll do it." She said as she rejoined the group.

They all looked at her.

"You'll do what?" Giles asked, even though he knew what she was going to say.

"I'll marry you." Buffy stated calmly. She was met with a moment of stunned silence. But just a moment.

"Out of the question." Wesley stated.

"Why?" Buffy asked.

"You're the Slayer." Wesley pointed out needlessly.

"Gee. Thanks for the update Wes." Buffy said. She looked at Giles and waited.

"Buffy, you don't know what you're saying." Giles said carefully.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence." Buffy returned.

"Buffy, it's very sweet of you, but I can't let you do that." Giles said softly.

"Let?" Buffy asked.

"You know exactly what I mean." Giles said to her. "You're only eighteen years old. Your whole life is ahead of you."

"My whole life is right here Giles." Buffy pointed out. "Sunnydale. Fighting the Hellmouth until the Hellmouth wins." She said bluntly. "You don't have to stay."

"Yes, I do." Giles said and gave her an affectionate look.

Buffy smiled. "I don't want to try to do this without you. I don't think I could. If marrying you is the only way to keep you, then I'll do it."

"How flattering." Giles said, but he almost smiled. "But do you really know what that would entail? Immigration wouldn't be easily fooled."

"I know." Buffy told him seriously.

"Buffy, it could be years before Giles is granted citizenship." Willow pointed out.

"Doesn't matter." Buffy said without hesitation.

"It does matter," Giles told her. "Do you understand what you would be giving up?" He asked.

"What would you be giving up?" Buffy asked in return. "What have you already given up for me?"

"Come with me." Giles told her. He took her by the hand and led her into his office. He closed the door and turned to face her. "Buffy this isn't a game. This your life."

"That's right it's my life." Buffy responded. "You don't get it do you? What about your life? I need you Giles, but I wouldn't blame you if you grabbed your ticket home and ran."

Giles looked at her tenderly, touched. "I am home Buffy I don't want to leave. But I don't want you to give up your chances at a real relationship."

"Chances?" Buffy asked. "You mean slim and none. I don't think college guys are going to respond well to my being late for a date, or just plain not showing, because I had to stop and slay a Vampire. Or something worse. I don't think a real relationship is in the cards for me."

Giles looked at her quietly. He understood how she felt, he felt the same. But she's so young. "What about your Mother?"

"I don't need her permission." Buffy told him. "But I think she'd understand."

"We would be required to live together." Giles pointed out.

"Spend most of my time at your place anyway." Buffy commented unfazed.

"Besides, I like your place."

"The officials at Immigration will be asking personal questions." Giles told her. "Assuming an intimacy."

"So, I'll tell them you're great in bed." Buffy said with a wicked grin and a blush.

Giles blushed as well. "Buffy." He admonished. "You're not taking this seriously."

"We'll talk Giles. But I think we know each other pretty well at this point." Buffy told him. "Probably better than most married couples. Well, except for the sex part." Another blush.

"Are you sure, Buffy?" Giles asked. "Because despite all my protesting, I really don't know what else to do." He reached out and touched her cheek. "You really are quite remarkable. Do you know that?"

"No, I'm not. I'm selfish." Buffy told him. "I don't want you to go."

******

Out in the Library, it was quiet. The silence was finally broken by Wesley. "Do you think he's talking her out of it?"

"Why should he?" Cordelia asked in return. "She's why he's staying."

"Cordie." Xander said.

"Well, it's true." Cordelia stated. "Everything in Giles' life revolves around Buffy. Especially since Angel killed Ms. Calender."

"Who? What?" Wesley asked confused.

"Geez Cordelia, take out an ad." Xander said with sarcasm.

"Who was Ms. Calender?" Wesley asked.

Cordelia looked sheepish. She knew that she'd blundered, something that she didn't normally acknowledge. "Sorry." Wesley was looking from one to the other.

Willow finally told him, "She was a teacher here. She and Giles..." Her words trailed off and she felt Oz take her hand.

"Giles loved her." Xander finished for her. "Angel killed her."

"Oh." Wesley said. He looked at Cordelia. He would hate to lose her. He took her hand.

Buffy and Giles came out of the office. Everyone looked at them expectantly.

Buffy looked from one expectant face to another. "So, who's coming to the wedding?"

The only person to smile was Oz and it was a small smile. "Oh God. What will the Council say?" Wesley nearly wailed.

Buffy walked inside her house. It was time to face her Mom. Giles had wanted to face her together but Buffy had talked him out of it. She'd face her Mom alone. Now, she wished she hadn't. Joyce was sitting at the dining room table, papers strewn about.

"Mom." Buffy said to get her attention.

Joyce looked up at her daughter and smiled. "Hi Honey." She indicated the paperwork. "The Gallery had a really good month."

"That's great." Buffy told her. "Can we talk?" Buffy asked as she sat at the table.

"Is something wrong?" Joyce asked.

"No. Not really." Buffy said. She braced her shoulders and just said it. "Mom, I'm getting married."

"What?" Joyce asked, sure she didn't hear her daughter right. "Did you say married?" Buffy nodded.

"To whom?" Joyce asked. "Is Angel back?"

A shadow crossed Buffy's face. "No. Angel isn't ... It isn't Angel."

Joyce had a moment of relief, and then she realized that she didn't have a clue as to who else it could be. "I didn't know that you'd been seeing anyone." She said, her voice a little hurt. She didn't know what else to say. "You're only eighteen."

"I know it's a shock." Buffy said. "It was kind of a shock to me too. But I really want you to be okay with this."

"I don't know what to think." Joyce said honestly. "Who is he? What's he like?" She asked.

"He's really smart." Buffy told her. "Honest. I can depend on him. I do depend on him. He knows I'm the Slayer."

"Who is he Buffy?" Joyce asked again.

"Did I mention that he's older?" Buffy asked, stalling.

"How much older?" Joyce asked.

"He's a wonderful guy." Buffy said.

"Buffy. Who is it?" Joyce asked firmly.

Buffy looked at her a moment. "It's Giles." She said.

"Giles?" Joyce echoed blankly. Then it hit her. "Rupert Giles?"

"That's the one." Buffy said.

"You can't be serious." Joyce said. "He's more than twice your age."

"So?" Buffy said.

Joyce took a calming breath. "Are you telling me that you and Mr. Giles ...?" She couldn't finish the sentence.

"No." Buffy assured her. "Mom, they're going to make him leave. The only way he can stay is to marry an American citizen." She explained about the Council and the Green Card.

"But, why you?" Joyce asked.

"Why not me?" Buffy asked in return. "Mom, I'm the reason all this is happening. The Council wants him away from me."

"Did you ever think that the Council could be right?" Joyce asked.

"They're not right!" Buffy stated adamantly. "I need Giles. I'm more than just the Slayer to him. I'm Buffy."

"What about love?" Joyce asked gently.

"I love Giles and I know he loves me." Buffy said. At her Mom's shocked look, she went on. "Not like that." She shrugged. "I can't explain it, even to myself, but it's there."

Joyce knew her daughter's determined face. She wouldn't be able to change her mind. And she wouldn't lose her again. She thought it was a mistake, but she'd support her. "What are you going to tell your Father?" She asked.

Buffy bit her lip; "I can't really lie to him. But I can't tell him the truth either." She looked at her Mom. "Can I?"

Joyce shook her head. "Are you sure this is the only way?" "It'll be alright Mom." Buffy assured her. "It's Giles."

An hour later found Joyce at Giles' door. Giles opened the door, surprised to find Joyce there. "Hello." He said as he opened the door wider for her to enter. "Um. C-come in." He cursed his stutter.

Joyce walked past him, feeling awkward. He closed the door. "Would you like some tea?" Giles asked, then cursed himself again. This time for inanity.

"No. Thank you." Joyce responded.

"I take it that you've spoken with Buffy." Giles said. He indicated the couch. "Please, sit down."

Joyce sat on the edge of the couch, as Giles took the chair. "Yes. We talked."

"I imagine that you're confused." Giles commented. "And probably quite angry."

"No. I'm not angry." Joyce said to his surprise. "I'm not happy, but I'm not angry." She sighed. "I honestly don't know what to think. Buffy explained about Immigration and the Council. She told me how much she needs you. She even told me that it was her idea. What she didn't explain is why you agreed." She looked at him expectantly.

Giles couldn't quite meet her eyes. "Buffy can be quite persuasive."

Joyce just raised her brows at him. "Did you know that I wasn't Buffy's first Watcher?"

"No." Joyce said, surprised by the change of subject.

"His name was Merrick and he worked with Buffy while she was still in LA" Giles told her. "I knew him. He was a good man. When the Council learned that Buffy was moving to Sunnydale, I was sent to replace him. After knowing Buffy for only a few weeks, I understood why Merrick gave his life to save hers. She's special. Even among Slayers, she is quite ... Unique."

"I've always thought so." Joyce commented, unsure of where this was headed.

"Buffy doesn't see it." Giles went on. "She's quite unaware of her own specialness." He looked at Joyce. "I promised her that I would never leave her. I can't leave her."

Joyce stared at him in shock. "My God. You're in love with her." Giles was silent.

"Does she know?" Joyce asked.

"I rather doubt it." Giles said.

"Is that why you went along with this?" Joyce asked.

"Actually, it's why I tried to talk her out of it." Giles responded.

"Let me guess," Joyce said dryly. "She wouldn't listen." They share a moment of understanding.

"What are you going to do?" Joyce asked. "Are you going to tell her?"

"I don't know how." Giles told her. "She deserves so much." He sighed.

"All I can tell you is that more than anything, I want Buffy to be happy." He watched Joyce bite her lip, and for just a second she reminded him of Buffy. Joyce was having a mental debate. She decided to tell him. "She loves you." His eyes shot to hers. "I don't know if it's the same, she couldn't explain. Even to herself. But I do know that she would do anything for you."

"Thank you." Giles replied touched. That couldn't have been easy for her. "You must think me a foolish old man."

"There is nothing foolish about loving my daughter." Joyce stated. "I still don't know if this is a good idea. But I'll help any way I can."

******

It took three days to get everything together. They decided to not go formal. Buffy wore a white, gauzy summer dress and Giles wore a nice gray suit. The Gang was there; Willow, Oz, Xander, Cordelia and Wesley. Buffy's Mother and Father. Hank was, of course shocked, but he handled it well. And Immigration was there, watching closely.

Buffy and Giles played the happy couple well. They knew each other well enough to pull it off. They even managed to have a little fun. The bridal kiss was handled with a minimum of awkwardness. With Immigration looking on, Giles bent down and gently kissed Buffy. He almost lost his nerve, but Buffy looked up at him and smiled. He touched his lips to shers and felt it to his soul.

Buffy's eyes closed, surprised by the sweetness of the kiss. He pulled away and she opened her eyes to find him smiling down at her.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," the Minister said. "Mr. and Mrs. Rupert Giles." After the hugs and kisses, and handshakes, They adjourned to Joyce's for a very small Reception.

At Joyce's house, the cake has been cut, the toasts have been made and the bouquet thrown (To Willow). Now, everyone was just talking. Buffy had disappeared for the moment, so Hank decided it was a good time to speak with his new son-in-law. They went in to the kitchen. Once alone though, Hank didn't know where to begin.

"You must be terribly shocked." Giles commented.

"Shocked?" Hank said. "That's one word for it." He agreed. "Buffy's always talked about you. Ever since they moved here. 'Giles said this, Giles said that'. It got so that I finally asked Joyce about it. She said, 'Don't worry Hank. All the kids are fond of him.' " Hank gave Giles a hard look. "Have you been involved with her all this time?"

"Of course not. " Giles told him. "She was a student. We became friends. I've always known that she was special, but it's only been recently that things ... changed"

"I need to know." Hank told him. "Is Buffy pregnant?"

Giles started coughing as if choking. "No." He managed to get out. "We haven't ... That is ... We decided to wait." Giles said. Lord he'd rather be facing Immigration. Or a Vampire.

"Then why has everything been so rushed?" Hank asked.

"Because I couldn't stand the thought of losing him." Buffy said from the doorway, her cheeks bright pink. She looked at Giles, "I'm sorry."

"No need to be." Giles told her. "He's your Father. It would be strange if he weren't concerned."

"How would you lose him?" Hank asked.

"Dad. Mom told you about the problem with his Green Card." Buffy told him. "If he'd been sent back to England, I might never have seen him again."

"But Buffy ... " Hank began.

"No, Dad." Buffy said stopping him. She looked at Giles. "Could you give us a minute?"

"Of course." Giles said in understanding and relief. He touched her shoulder on his way out of the kitchen.

Once he was gone, Hank began again. "Buffy, I just don't understand."

"I know you don't. And I'm sorry." Buffy said.

"He's older than I am Buffy." Hank said, concerned.

"Isn't it more important that he's a good man? That he cares about me?" Buffy asked. "Who he is, not how old he is."

Hank Summers looked at his daughter. So serious. "Do you know that you looked just like that when you born?" He asked.

Buffy looked at him blankly. "Huh?"

"Well, except that you were smaller." Hank said with a smile. "And bald." His smile broadened when she rolled her eyes. "You looked at me with those wide, beautiful eyes of yours. You looked so serious. And you didn't cry. All the poking and prodding the doctors and nurses did and you didn't cry. You just looked at them. As if you were concerned with more important things." He took her hand. "You're right. It is more important that he's good to you. That he makes you happy. That's what I want for you."

Buffy smiled at him. "I love you Daddy."

Hank hugged his little girl to him. "I love you too, Sweetheart."

In the living room, Giles made his way to Willow and Oz on the couch. Out the window, he saw a dark, nondescript car parked across the street.

"They've been there a while now." Oz told him.

"Splendid." Giles responded dryly.

"What did Buffy's Dad want?" Willow asked.

"He wanted to know if Buffy and I had been carrying on while she was still in school." Giles told them. "Then, he asked if she were pregnant." Oz held back a laugh and Willow looked at him wide eyed.

"What did you tell him?" Willow asked, still wide eyed.

Giles looked at her, "I told him 'no'." He said. "I suppose I should have expected it. He hasn't a clue as to Buffy's duty. He doesn't know who she really is."

Oz watched as Buffy and her Dad came out of the kitchen. "He may not know that she's the Slayer. But I think he knows who she is."

Giles stood and walked over to them. "Everything all right?" He asked Buffy.

Buffy nodded and smiled, "Fine."

Hank looked at Giles. "My daughter thinks a lot of you."

"I think quite a bit of her as well." Giles responded.

"Take good care of her." Hank said in mild warning as put his hand out.

Giles took his hand and shook it. "The very best of care," He assured him. He looked at Buffy. "We should be going."

"Where are you going for your honeymoon?" Hank asked.

"Actually, we haven't gotten around to planning one." Giles told him.

"Then, what's the hurry?" Hank asked. Then he remembered what the other man had said about them having waited. "Never mind."

******

    Buffy watched Giles as he drove to his place - Their place. Something was bothering him. "Okay Giles." She said. "Give."

     "Give?" Giles echoed. "Give what?"

    "What's wrong?" Buffy asked.

    Giles looked in the rearview mirror. "I suppose I wasn't expecting Immigration to be watching quite so closely." He told her.

    "You mean those guys behind us?" Buffy asked. "I'm not so sure they are with Immigration."

    "What do you mean?" Giles asked.

    "Those aren't the same guys from the wedding." Buffy told him.

    "They aren't?" Giles said.

    "Nope." Buffy told him. "So my question is, who are they?"

    "Well, just because they aren't the same men, how can you be sure they aren't with Immigration?" Giles asked.

    "It's a feeling." Was all Buffy said.

    Giles had learned over the years not to question Buffy's feelings too much. Not only did it make her angry, but also they generally proved correct. They reached home and Giles took her hand as they walked to the door. Giles unlocked the door and opened it. Then he surprised Buffy by taking her up in to his arms as he carried her over the threshold.

    Giles looked down at her laugh of surprise. "You never know who might be watching." He told her as he closed the door with his foot. He gently set her down. "Welcome Home Buffy."

    Buffy looked around. It looked the same as always, but somehow, it felt different.

    Giles had originally been determined to sleep on the couch. Buffy, however, decided that it was ridiculous. After everything they had been through together, surely they could trust each other to share a bed. Besides, Immigration had warned that they would visit anytime, day or night. Giles knew that he had given in too readily, but he was quickly losing all his resolve where Buffy was concerned.

    Buffy was upstairs unpacking. Giles had made room in the dresser and the closet for her clothes. He had even cleared out the floor of the closet for her chest of supplies.

    When she finished with one suitcase, she put it down and picked up the second and put it on the bed. The rest of her things she would get over time. Some things would stay at her Mom's.

    Buffy opened the suitcase and found a note on top of what appeared to be a slinky nightie. She smiled, the note said - Ha ha, Willow - Buffy held up the nightie. Cordie must have helped her pick it out.

   Suddenly Buffy's eyes widened. Through the nightie she could see Giles in the bedroom doorway as he stared back at her in surprise.

    She wadded the nightie up and put it behind her back. "Willow's idea of a joke." She said lamely.

    Giles could only stare. When he'd first seen the nightie, he'd done a foolish thing. He'd pictured Buffy in it. Now, he couldn't erase the image.

    "Giles," Buffy said. "It's just a joke."

    "Yes, a joke." Giles said, his thoughts not quite focused. "Willow's idea of humor certainly has ... Matured."

    Buffy suddenly laughed. "Just be glad that *you* didn't have any luggage sitting around. Who knows what you might have found."

    Giles nearly shud dered at the thought. "Quite." He said and turned and walked away. The image of Buffy in the nightie just a blink away.

    They faced away from each other that night as they laid in the bed. Each awake and unwilling to let the other know. After a while they both drifted in to restless sleep.

    Giles dreams consisted of Buffy and the nightie. Then Buffy and no nightie.

    Buffy's dreams were much less pleasant. She dreamed that Immigration was taking Giles away.

    She woke up once, disoriented. She felt weighted down and realized that in his sleep, Giles had flung an arm around her. He was on his side, facing her. She was on her back, his arm just below her breasts. Not wanting to wake him, she left his arm where it was. After her dreams, she found it comforting. She turned her head and looked at his face in the darkness. She couldn't lose him. As she drifted back in to sleep, her hands moved to hold his arm to her.

    The next morning, Giles woke to find him and Buffy lying spoon fashion. His arm was around her and she clutched it to her and held it between her breasts. For just a moment he allowed himself to enjoy holding her to him.

    He knew that he needed to move before she woke up and found him aroused. He wasn't surprised by his condition; he'd had very vivid dreams about her. However, he didn't want to shock or frighten her. As he tried to disentangle his arm, she stirred. She gripped his hand tighter to her breasts and wiggled her backside back against him. His body moved instinctively against her and he had to bite his lip to prevent a groan of pleasure. Bloody hell.

    When Buffy awoke, sometime later, she was oddly restless. Giles was already up. She could hear the shower running.

    A week went by and they settled into a routine. Giles was always up before her and out of bed. And usually, by the time she had showered, breakfast was waiting for her.

    The first surprise visit from Immigration came when they had been married ten days.

    Giles was fixing lunch and Buffy was upstairs when he heard the knock at
the door.

    Giles answered the door and found Dennis Walker, their assigned caseworker, standing there. Giles didn't care for him, Buffy hated him. She said he reminded her of Snyder. Giles had to agree.

    Giles gestured for Walker to enter and he did so. Giles closed the door and sent Walker in to the living room. Then he went to the bottom of the stairs and called up, "Buffy."

    "Yeah." Buffy called back.

    "Mr. Walker is here." He told her. Although he couldn't hear her, he knew that she was swearing. After a moment she came downstairs. When Buffy reached the bottom of the stairs, she took Giles hand and they walked into the living room and faced Walker together.
.
    Walker decided to speak with them separately first and began with Buffy.

    He asked her personal question after personal question. First about herself and then about Giles.

    When he finished, Buffy walked into the kitchen for Giles. She felt defiled. "I really don't like him." She said to Giles, a look of revulsion on her face. "It's your turn."

    Giles held her to him for just a moment before he went out to face Walker himself.

    One thing he and Buffy had going for them was that they knew each other well.

    Giles found himself quite uncomfortable with the personal questions. The ones about himself were bad enough, but the ones about Buffy made him want to hit Walker. He even wondered for a moment if the man were a pervert. When Walker asked Buffy's bra size, he nearly did hit him. Oddly enough though, Giles knew the answer.

    Then, it was over and they were questioned together.

    "So, tell me Miss Summers," Walker said in a sly tone. "What exactly do you see in Mr. Giles?"

    Giles looked away and he missed the way Buffy's eyes had narrowed. "Do you know anything about love Mr. Walker?" Buffy asked calmly, but with an edge. "Do you know what it's like to know that someone cares about you more that he cares about himself? To know that without him a part of you, deep inside, would shrivel up and die."

    Giles looked at her with new eyes. If he hadn't already loved her, he would have fallen right then.

    Buffy leaned towards Walker menacingly. "And it's Mrs. Giles."

    Walker looked at this brave young woman. Was it possible? Did she love him? Damn the Council, he had his orders. Rupert Giles must leave. Walker took his own leave much more subdued than when he'd arrived.

    Once he was gone, Giles turned to Buffy. "Are you alright?"

    Buffy walked over to where Giles stood by the door and smiled up at him,     "I'm fine." She told him. Giles looked down at her upturned face. She was looking up at him with an expression that he had never seen before. "Buffy, what you said..."

    "Is true." Buffy finished for him. "Without you, my world would fall apart." She shrugged and gave him a confused smile. "I'm not quite sure what all that means just yet. But if I figure it out, I'll be sure to let you know." She reached up and kissed his cheek, the tenderness in the look he was giving her, over whelming. What did it all mean? "I have to think." She told him.

    Giles nodded his head and watched her go upstairs. Afraid to hope, unable not to.

******

    Buffy thought long and hard that day but when she and Giles had gone to bed that night, she still wasn't sure of anything.

    Then came the nightmare. The same over and over again. She was standing in the doorway and Giles had just gotten out of his car, parked on the street. Suddenly the blue car that's been watching them went racing towards him. Each time, she woke up before it hit him. Each time, she'd reach over to reassure herself that he was still there, beside her and all right.

    She drifted back to sleep about 5:30am. This time it was different. This time the car hit him - "Giles!" She screamed and ran towards him.

    As usual, Giles woke before Buffy. He looked at her; she'd had a restless night. Several times during the night he'd woke up and felt Buffy's hand over his heart.

    As had become his custom, he got out of bed before she awoke. His condition, every morning, being something that he didn't want her to know about. Even if it was due to her, knowing that she was there, in bed, next to him. Several times, he'd awoke and found himself pressed against her. Giles gathered his clothes and headed for the bathroom. He knew he wouldn't be able to hide it from her forever, but he was determined to try. He had just removed his pajama top when he heard her scream his name. Giles ran, shirtless, back to the bedroom and found Buffy sitting up in the bed. Tears ran down her cheeks, As he could see no threat, he concluded that she must have had a nightmare. He sat on the bed next to her and faced her. "Buffy?" She looked at him blankly for a second then threw herself in to his arms. His own arms automatically went around her as well. "You all right?" He asked.

    "Oh God Giles. I saw you ... I thought you were ... And then you weren't here." Buffy told him, nearly hysterical.

    Giles rubbed his hands up and down her back in a comforting gesture. At least, he hoped it was comforted her, it sure as hell wasn't comforting him. "It's all right now." He said soothingly. "It was just a nightmare." He felt her bury her face in his neck and felt her tears. Tears for him.

    "It was so real." Buffy mumbled in to his throat. "I thought I'd lost you."

    "Well, you haven't." Giles assured her. "I'm afraid that you're stuck with me."

    Buffy pulled away slightly, just enough to see his face. His hands cupped her face as his thumbs swiped her tears. Her hand rested on his chest. "You promise?" She asked.

    "I promise." He assured her. Her upturned face, her wide beautiful eyes awash with tears, the feel of her cool hands on his chest. Giles knew he was lost. Unable to resist, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers. He kissed her lightly. When she didn't pull away, he did. He looked into her eyes and saw confusion. But he also saw something else. Something he hadn't thought possible. Awareness.

    Giles leaned towards her again, slowly, gave her time to pull away if she wished. But instead of pulling away, she leaned towards him. He felt her sigh against his mouth as she responded to him. Her hands curled into fists against his chest. He took that as a good sign and deepened the kiss. He moved one hand to her hair and the other around her waist and pulled her flush up against him.

    Without breaking the kiss, Buffy moved to her knees. She moved her hands to the back of his head and held him to her. Her weight toppled them backward on the bed; she landed half on top of him. Both breathing heavy, they looked at each other.

    "Buffy. What are we doing?" Giles asked her, giving her one more chance.

    Buffy looked down at him, wonder and desire in her green eyes. "I don't know about you, but I'm floating."

    Giles closed his eyes, stunned by her words. He opened them slowly, afraid that she would be gone. She's still there. "Oh Buffy." One hand moved up the back of her thigh and slid under her nightshirt to her bottom. His eyes never leaving hers, his hand squeezed the soft flesh.

    Buffy's eyes closed and she move instinctively towards him. "Giles." She opened her eyes and looked at him languidly. Then, she surprised them both when she straddled him. She felt him as he strained against the fabric of his pajamas. Her eyes widened. "Is that a stake in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" Buffy asked wickedly to cover her nervousness.

    "I don't have pockets." Giles told her. "And I am so very glad to see you."

    "Show me." Buffy said as she bent down to kiss him. "Love me Giles."

    "I do." Giles assured her. He rolled them over so that he was on top. "So very much." He took her mouth in a kiss that curled her toes. And his.

    An hour later, clothes strewn about, they were laying in bed cuddled up. Buffy's head rested just below his shoulder and her fingers traced designs on his chest. Giles rested his head against the top of her head; his arms around her and one hand caressed her hip. Neither said a word for quite a while.

    Buffy finally broke the comfortable silence. "Who'd a thunk?" She commented with a grin.

    Giles smiled and kissed the top of her head. "Quite." He agreed.

    "It was incredible." She told him.

    Giles closed his eyes a moment in relief. "I was leaning towards wildly fantastic, myself.

    Buffy sat up and looked him. "I can't believe this is happening." She said.

    "Are you sorry?" Giles asked seriously.

    Buffy shook her head. "How could I be sorry? I'm married to a man that is everything a girl could want. Plus, you cook. And you make love like ... Did they teach you that at Oxford? Or was it part of your Watcher training?" Buffy asked, her eyes twinkled.

    Giles laughed. "Hardly."

    "And I love him. What more could I possibly want?" She told him. "What about you? Are you sorry?" She asked.

    "It's not possible for me to be any happier than I am right at this moment." Giles told her. "I love you Buffy. I have for a while now. I never thought that you could reciprocate ..."

    Buffy put a hand to his mouth to stop his words. Then, her mouth replaced her hand. She pressed against him and her hands moved over his body. Giles was amazed at how quickly his body responded to hers again so quickly. He didn't question it though, he just enjoyed it.

    For three days the couple lived in relative bliss. They didn't hide their relationship but neither did they flaunt it. Then, they found out that Immigration was questioning their friends.

    Wesley was in his Hotel room. The same one that he has been in since he arrived in Sunnydale. Walker was with him.

    "I don't agree with the Council's decision." Wesley told him. "Separating them is wrong."

    "Actually, I agree with you." Walker said. "But the Council has made its decision."

    "I know them Mr. Walker." Wesley said. "Their relationship is more complex than you can imagine."

    "They love each other." Walker said summing it up.

    "More than that." Wesley said. "They belong together. They are a part of each other."

    "The question is, what can we do?" Walker asked. "We can't defy the Council."

    "Why not?" Wesley returned. "If you ask me they need defying. They've been too long locked away, oblivious to what's around them."

    "The Council won't just change its decision." Walker pointed out.

    "To hell with them." Wesley declared. "It's wrong and we both know it. They should not be allowed to do this."

    "There isn't anything we can do." Walker said nervously.

    "We shall see." Wesley said.

    The next day, Wesley showed up at the Giles'. It was the first time, since they had been married that he had arrived without Cordelia. Buffy answered the door. "Hey Wes, come on in." She opened the door wider so that he could enter.

    Wesley entered; his face set in grim lines. "Where is Giles?" He asked.

    "He's not here." Buffy told him. "He went to the Library to see if an order of books had arrived. He should be back anytime." She didn't like the look on his face. "What is it?"

    "I have a friend that works for the Council." He told her. "The Council has decided Giles *will* be removed. By force if necessary."

    "Can they do that?" She asked, the remembered Faith. "Why?" She asked. "Why does this matter so much to them? What are they so afraid of?"

    "The Council isn't used to being defied Buffy." Wesley said.

    "The Council isn't human anymore Wes." Buffy said.

    "I am beginning to realize that." Wesley responded.

    Buffy heard the familiar sound of Giles' car. "There he is now." She went to open the door and looked out. This was too much like her nightmare. "Giles!" She yelled and started running before he was even out of the car. She saw the blue car.

    Giles saw her running, fear on her face. He looked around and saw the blue car headed for him. He jumped on to the hood of his car just before it raced past and narrowly missed him.

    When Giles got his feet on the ground again he was nearly knocked down by Buffy as she threw herself in to his arms.

    Buffy threw her arms around as if she'd never let go. "Are you all right?" Wesley asked as reached them.

    Buffy turned to glare at him. "They weren't trying to force him back. They were trying to kill him."

    Wesley was at loss. "You can't believe that the Council is..."

    "What else should I believe?" She asked harshly.

    Wesley looked confused. Afraid that she was right. "Buffy, I ... "

    "Would someone please tell me what is going on?" Giles asked.

******

    An hour later found Buffy considerably calmer if no less angry. She knew deep inside, that it was the Council. She just didn't know why, or how to fight them. She was in the kitchen; she'd needed a few minutes alone.

    In the living room, Giles and Wesley were still talking. "I believe that Buffy is correct, Wesley." Giles said. "It is the Council."

    "But why?" Wesley asked. "What could they possibly gain by killing you?" But even as he said it, he knew that they were right.

    "Control over Buffy." Giles speculated. "That's what they want. They must believe that I have control over her."

    Wesley started to make a snide remark but realized that Giles did have control over Buffy, just not the kind that the Council must believe.

    "I need to ask something of you Wesley." Giles said. "If something does happen to me, don't let Buffy go after the Council."

    "How am I supposed to stop her?" Wesley asked, terrified by the prospect.

    "Willow, Joyce, Xander, Oz, even Cordelia. They can help you." Giles told him. "Call Angel if you must."

    That sentence told Wesley just how serious the older man was. "I shall endeavor to do my best." Wesley told him, though he doubted that his best would deter Buffy.

    There was knock at the door. Giles went to answer it, but Wesley stopped him.

    "Best let me." Wesley said, then went to answer the door. It was Willow, Xander and Oz.

    "Buffy called." Willow stated simply as she and the others filed in. It always amazed him how loyal these young people were. Buffy needed them and there they were. No matter what the risk. He closed the door. Buffy walked back in from the kitchen.

    Xander looked from one to another. "So, what do we do?" He asked.

    "The Council has to have a weakness." Buffy said. She moved to stand by Giles.

    "It does." Wesley said and looked at Buffy. "You."

    Giles looked at Wesley. "I'm afraid that I don't follow."

    "Well, to put it bluntly." Wesley said, obviously not comfortable doing so. "Everything has been centered on you. They even tried to ... " He looked at Buffy then back to Giles. "...kill you. But they have done nothing to, or about, Buffy."

    "You're right." Giles said thoughtfully. "Rather odd considering how expendable the Slayer has always been to the Council." Then, he looked at Buffy stricken.

    Buffy patted Giles hand. "It's okay. I already figured that out. A Slayer dies, another is called. I doubt they even remember our names." Neither Giles nor Wesley responded to that.

    "Okay, Buffy's the weakness." Xander said. "How do we use that? I mean, do they think she's just too cute to kill?"

    Without thought, Giles turned to glare at Xander. He saw Xander actually take a step back. Then he felt Buffy's hand on his arm. He looked down at her upturned face. 'Just Xander.' He could almost hear her say. He took a calming breath and turned to apologize.

    "My God." Wesley said reverently as he looked at Buffy. "That has to be it."

    Buffy looked uncomfortable. "What?"

    Wesley looked at Giles. "The prophecy that every Watcher knows but the Council forbids it being mentioned."

    Giles looked at him as if he were daft. "What are you..." Realization dawned. He looked poleaxed. "The rebirth of the First Slayer." He said in a hushed tone.

    "What are you talking about?" Buffy asked. "First Slayer?"

    Giles walked away from her a few steps, then turned and faced her. "It's not really a prophecy so much as a legend. The First Slayer was born of magic. Ancient Magic long lost. It was said that she would return one day."

    "When the most ancient evils again walked the Earth." Wesley took up the tale. "She would be needed to face them."

    "I've never heard that part." Giles commented.

    "Oh yes." Wesley enthused. "I ... "

    Buffy interrupted in a quiet voice. "You mean like the First Evil?" She asked looking at Giles.

    "Well, yes." Wesley asked unaware of the odd under currents.

    "Could it be?" Giles asked as he looked at Buffy in wonder. Her face now tinged with fear.

    "First Evil?" Xander asked. "Why does that sound familiar?"

    "Buffy faced it last Christmas." Willow reminded him.

    "Oh yeah that thing ... " Xander began.

    "You faced the First Evil?" Wesley asked Buffy. He turned to Giles. "She faced *the* First Evil and I wasn't told?"

    "It was in the diaries." Giles told him. "The Council knew."

    "No one mentioned it to me." Wesley complained. Then he realized what it meant. He looked at Buffy in awe.

    Buffy realized that they all were, even Giles. "Don't look at me like that." Her voice a harsh whisper. "I'm Buffy."

    Giles walked back over to her and wrapped his arms around her. She buried her face in his chest. He put his hands on her cheeks and tilted her face up. He swiped her tears. "It's alright." He told her.

    "I don't want to be a legend." Buffy told him. "It's hard enough living up to Slayer expectations."

    "I know." Giles said. He kissed her lightly, uncaring that the others are there. Then he hugged her to him again.

    Willow, Xander and Wesley looked at them in openmouthed shock. Oz was not quite smiling.

    After Giles had sent the younger people into the kitchen, he looked at Wesley. "Do you know anything more about this legend?" He asked."I don't even know if there is anymore." Wesley told him. "Perhaps the Codex." Wesley suggested.

    "I don't remember seeing anything." Giles said. "Still, it wouldn't hurt to look again."

    In the kitchen, Oz handed Buffy a glass of water. She smiled her thanks. Willow and Xander were looking at her as if she were an alien life form. Buffy wasn't sure which had thrown them more, the First Slayer thing, or the fact that Giles had kissed and she'd let him. She looked at Oz, he didn't seem fazed or surprised.

    "What do we do now?" Oz asked.

    Buffy took a sip of water. "I don't know. I can't believe this is happening. Everything Giles has done for them."

    "It'll be okay Buffy." Willow said. "We'll figure something out."

    Buffy looked at them. "Why are they doing this to him?"

    "Because they can't do it to you." Xander stated.

    "There has to be more to it than that." Buffy said.

******

    More than a week went by with Buffy and Giles hardly ever leaving home. Except to patrol. And if it weren't for family and friends living there she wouldn't have bothered. She worried about Giles. Things had been quiet since the incident with car, but they didn't expect it to last.

    Early Sunday afternoon they just couldn't take being cooped up anymore and decided to take a walk. They walked hand in hand and ambled to the Park. As they walked past a small group of children, their ball rolled into the street. Without thought, Giles released Buffy's hand and went after it. The car came out of no where. Buffy saw the car headed for Giles. She ran and pushed him out of the way, but she wasn't fast enough to get herself out of the way as well. The part of her mind not consumed with pain heard the children scream. She was aware of Giles as he knelt beside her. He said her name over and over. She wanted to answer, but she couldn't.

    She teetered in and out of consciousness on the way to the hospital. Once there, they wouldn't let Giles stay with her.

    Giles barely had the presence of mind to call Joyce. Then Willow, knowing that she would take it from there.

    It seemed like an eternity before Joyce arrived. She saw Giles and rushed over to him. "Have you heard anything?" She asked.

    "Won't let me see her." Giles told her. "My fault. My fault." He said over and over.

    Joyce sat next to him, took his hand and prayed.

    Willow, Oz and Xander joined them only a minute later. Five minutes after that, Wesley and Cordelia arrived.

    They waited for an hour, the quietest hour this group had probably ever seen together.

    Finally, a nurse found them. "Mr. Giles?" She said to the group. They all looked at her with fear in their eyes.

    "Yes." Giles said as he and Joyce stood.

    "Your wife has been taken to a room." The nurse told him. "The doctor will join you there as soon as he can."

    "Where?" Giles asked.

    "I'll show you." She told him. The others stood to follow as well. "I'm sorry, only family."

    "But..." Willow began.

    "Doctors orders." She told them. "I'm sorry." She said again.

    "Is she okay?" Xander asked.

    "The doctor ... " She began.

    "Damn it woman." Giles nearly growled. "Answer the question."

    The nurse nodded in understanding. "I understand that she's holding her own, but that she isn't out of danger yet. She hasn't woken up."

    Giles closed his eyes in pain for a moment. When he opened them he looked at Willow. "We'll let you know as soon as we've spoken with the doctor."

    Willow nodded.

    Giles and Joyce followed the nurse.

    Buffy couldn't seem to open her eyes. Or were they open and she just couldn't see. She felt physically detached. The doctor, Dr. Lane, had talked to her while he examined her. Just in case she could hear him, he'd told her. According to him, she was lucky. Ha. They'd given her painkillers. The only thing broken was her wrist, but she had deep bruises all over. And a severe concussion. At least she hadn't fractured her skull. Her Mom always said that she had a hard head. She heard the door open.

    "Buffy." Giles said as he walked in. He stopped short at the sight of her. She looked small and pale. An IV tube was attached to her right forearm. Her left hand and wrist were in a temporary cast. A stark white bandage wrapped around her head. He heard Joyce gasp. He wanted to cry. "God Buffy, I'm sorry."

    <Not your fault. > Buffy wanted to say but couldn't force the words out. No sound. <Giles. >

    "You can't blame yourself." Joyce told him. "Buffy wouldn't want that."

    <Thanks Mom. >

    "I should have gone." Giles said anguished.

    "Buffy doesn't agree." Joyce said. "She needs you here."

    They both turned at the sound of the door. A man in a lab coat came in. The doctor.

    "I'm Dr. Lane." He introduced himself. "Are you Mr. Giles?"

    "Yes." Giles told him. "This is Buffy's Mother."

    Dr. Lane shook both of their hands. Then he moved to give Buffy another quick check. He checked her pupils. When he finished, he faced Giles again. "Your wife has a severe head trauma."

    "Will she be all right?" Giles asked fearful.

    "All signs indicate that she's already on the road to recovery." Dr. Lane told them. "She has remarkable recuperative abilities. In an hour, she's improved more that most people do in a day."

    "Oh thank God." Joyce said fervently.

    "Our next biggest concern." Dr. Lane began. "Mr. Giles are you aware of your wife's condition?" He asked.

    "Condition?" Giles echoed blankly. "I don't know what..." His words trailed off. The fear that had begun to ease had returned full force.

    "I thought not." Dr. Lane said. "This early it would be difficult to spot unless you were looking for it carefully.

    "What is it?" Giles asked as he felt Joyce's nails dig into his hand.

    "She's pregnant." Dr. Lane told him.

    Giles looked at him blankly. Not comprehending.

    "Pregnant?" Joyce said. "Buffy's going to have a baby?"

    "In approximately eight months." Dr. Lane said.

    <Baby? >

    "I ... I need to sit down." Giles said as he dropped into the chair next to Buffy's bed.

    <Baby? >

    "Is the baby all right?" Joyce asked concerned.

    "As far as we can tell, the baby's fine." Dr. Lane assured her. "Our Chief of Obstetrics will be in to see her as soon as she wakes."

    "A baby." Giles said softly. He gently touched her soft cheek. "You never cease to amaze me."

    "I understand that there is quite a crowd waiting to see this young lady." Dr. Lane said. "As long as they're quiet, I don't see any reason that they can't see her for a short time. But she does need a lot of rest."

    "Thank you." Joyce barely managed to get out past the lump in her throat.

    Giles just looked at Buffy tenderly.

    Dr. Lane smiled and left.

    Joyce leaned down and kissed her daughter on the cheek. She moved behind Giles and put a hand on his shoulder. "I'll get the others." She left the room, not even sure that he heard her.

    Giles gently took the hand connected to the IV. His other hand went to sit gently on her stomach. "I'll make it right." He told her.

    Joyce made her way to the others. They all looked at her. "She's going to be all right." She told them. "Um ... The doctor is amazed at her recuperative abilities." A tear ran down her cheek and she swiped it away with a shaking hand. Reaction was beginning to set in. "You can see her now, but she needs her rest." After they'd gone, Joyce Summers sat down and cried.

    It was a very somber group that quietly entered Buffy's hospital room. Willow reached for Oz's hand with an in drawn breath when she saw Buffy. Xander stopped in his tracks at the sight of her. "Oh God." Cordelia said shocked.

    Not even when she had collapsed from the flu had Buffy looked this ... still. The bruises stood out against pale skin and white sheets. Wesley could hardly bare to look at her. Or Giles, as he sat next to her. The Council had done this. It was unforgivable.

    Giles looked at Wesley coldly. "Tell the Council that if they attempt to come near us again that I will find them. They will pay."

    "Giles." Willow said shocked.

    Giles eyes never left Wesley's. "I don't know what issues they have and I don't care anymore. Tell them." He instructed.

    "It's not Wesley's fault." Cordelia pointed out.

    "I don't blame Wesley." Giles said. "But he's still in contact with them." Giles looked back at Buffy.

    "I am sorry Giles." Wesley told him.

    "I know. I know that you've tried to help." Giles said. "But they could have killed her. They were after me, but they got her."

    "If the Council believes that she is the First Slayer..." Wesley started.

    "It doesn't matter." Giles said angrily.

    "She will never be free of them." Wesley continued. "The world ... "

    "I don't care!" Giles said harshly. "Buffy is a Slayer no more." Stunned silence.

    "You, of all people, know that it isn't that simple." Wesley said. "I wish it were."

    "The Council had better make it that bloody simple." Giles responded.

    "Giles." Willow interjected. "Buffy has never been the Slayer for the Council."

    "I know." Giles returned.

    "I understand how you must feel..." Wesley began to say.

    Even Cordelia was shaking her head at him.

    "Understand?!" Giles questioned. He stood and faced Wesley. "How could you possibly understand how I feel?" He pointed to Buffy. "The woman I love is lying in a hospital bed because she tried to protect me." Giles dropped back in to the chair as if drained. "I ...I can't. ... She's going to have a baby."

    "Whose?" Cordelia asked.

    Giles looked at her. "Mine."

    "Ewww." Cordelia responded.

    "Cordelia." Wesley admonished firmly.

    "Sorry." Cordelia muttered.

    "Buffy's pregnant?" Willow asked.

    Giles actually smiled. "Amazing isn't it? She'll make a wonderful mother."

    "Does the child of a Slayer become a Slayer?" Oz asked. "If it's a girl."

    Giles and Wesley looked at each other. It was Wesley that answered. "There is no frame of reference."

    "A Slayer's never had a baby before?" Willow asked surprised.

    "Not that has ever been recorded." Wesley said as he looked at Buffy. "They never survive the pregnancy."

    "Why?" Cordelia asked with her usual tact.

    "She becomes awkward. Unable to properly defend herself." Wesley told her. All of them.

    "Then, we'll have to defend her." Xander said, speaking for the first time since entering the room.

    The five of them moved to stand protectively around the bed. Willow stood next to Giles and put a hand on his shoulder. Next to her stood Oz with her other hand. Wesley and Cordelia stood at the foot of the bed. Xander stood alone opposite Giles. But not for long. Joyce, who had returned unnoticed and had listened, moved and stood next to him. Only Giles saw the tear slip from Buffy's closed eyes.

******

    The Gang had been sent back to the waiting area. They didn't notice the older man that walked past them, down the hall towards Buffy's room. Of course, they wouldn't recognize him. But, Wesley did. Wesley stood, and ignored Cordelia and the curious looks of the others. He followed Quentin Travers down the hall.

    From inside, he could hear the raised voices of the two men. So intent on each other, that they never noticed that he entered the room as well.

    "I warned you that caring for the Slayer would lead to harm." Travers said. "Look at what you've caused."

    "What I've caused?" Giles echoed in disbelief. "This is the Council's responsibility." 

    "You should have left when you were told." Travers told him. "None of this would have happened."

    "Buffy's right." Giles said sadly. "I'll bet you can't remember their names. Does it make it easier for you? Nameless, faceless warriors sent to die. Makes it simple, doesn't it? Well, she has a name. It's Buffy Giles. Now you look at her face." Giles forced Travers to look at Buffy. "Look at her lovely face." Giles looked at her as well. "You did that to her. Live with it."

    "You will not leave her." Travers said as he looked back to Giles, his face a blank mask. "Then she will be removed from you."

    "You can't do that." Giles said, his voice didn't sound as sure as would have hoped.

    "Can't I?" Travers asked, a challenge in his expression.

    "No." Wesley said firmly. "You can't." Travers and Giles both looked at him surprised. But Wesley was focused on Travers. "She already carries the child." He did look at Giles then and explained. "I found out more about the prophecy." He looked back to Travers. "The Council isn't behind this, not really. You are. You set things in motion after her birthday. You saw how close they were, how much they cared for each other. How long have you known about the prophecy?" He asked Travers.

    "Long enough to know that I won't let it come to pass." Travers told him.

    "Why was I sent here?" Wesley asked.

    "You're young and inexperienced." Travers answered.

    Wesley walked up to him. "I may not be the Watcher that Buffy wants. And I know that I am not the Watcher that Buffy needs. But, at this moment, I am the Watcher assigned to her and I find that I have an extremely strong urge to throttle you for endangering my Slayer." The words were said quite calmly, but the glint in his eyes was something the other two men had never seen before. "So I suggest that you leave them alone before you have two very pissed off former Watchers on your hands and at your throat."

    "Don't forget the seriously pissed off Slayer." Buffy said as she tried to sit up.

    "Buffy." Giles said and rushed to her side.

    Travers tried to use the distraction to slip out the door but Wesley halted him with a right cross. Travers hit the floor. Wesley grabbed his right hand. "Ow, ow, ow."

    The door opened and hit Travers inert form. Xander popped his head around the door. He saw Wesley holding his hand, an unconscious guy on the floor and Buffy and Giles looking at each other. He looked at Buffy.

    "You're awake." He looked behind him. "She's awake." Xander walked in. He was followed by Willow, Oz and Cordelia. They surround the bed. Finally asked, "Who's the old guy on the floor?"

    "That's the guy that nearly got Mom and me killed." Buffy told them. "The creep that Giles fired."

    "He's also the one behind the attacks on Buffy and I." Giles added.

    "How did you figure it out?" Willow asked.

    "We didn't." Giles said. "Wesley did."

    "Wesley is also the one that knocked him flat." Buffy looked at Wesley and watched him flush. "Thank you."

    Wesley looked at the close knit group. Cordelia was beaming at him. Xander, Willow and Oz were looking at him shocked. And Buffy and Giles were back to looking at each other.

    Giles looked back to Wesley. " What is the rest of the prophecy?"

    "Well," Wesley began, a bit awkwardly. "It took a while to put the all the pieces together. But as near as I can tell, the Slayer reborn would have a child. A child of a Slayer and a Watcher. A great force against darkness. A darkness that everyone had assumed to demon in nature. But, what Travers knew was that it meant human darkness as well. Greed, hatred. ... And power hungry members of the Council."

    "I say, next full moon we throw him in with Oz." Xander said.

    "He shall have to face the Council tribunal." Wesley explained. He looked at Buffy. "The entire Council isn't corrupt. Quentin had convinced them of many things." He looked at Giles. "Did you know that he lobbied to be her Watcher when Merrick was killed?"

    "No." Giles responded, Surprised.

    "Apparently he was quite ...irked that the Council chose you." Wesley said.

    "Why did they?" Giles asked. "Choose me, I mean."

    "Lord Charles recommended you highly." Wesley told him. "His voice always carried a lot of weight in Council. He knew you. Knew that you wouldn't let her fight alone. After losing Merrick, he knew that Buffy would need someone that would care."

    "How do you know all this?" Giles asked.

    "Oh, I've known that part for years." Wesley said. "Lord Charles was my great-uncle."

    "A Lord." Cordelia sighed.

    "Down Cordie." Xander said absently.

    "As for the rest ... " Wesley continued. "I've been making a lot of phone calls. It seems that everyone knew a piece of the legend. But for some reason, no one has ever tried to put all of the pieces together before. Except Travers." He looked at Buffy. "You should be quite safe now."

    "What about the prophecy?" Buffy asked. "Will they try to take the baby?"   

    "Oh, I don't think so." Wesley assured her. "By the time the baby arrives, the Council will have cleaned this mess up. And who better to teach a child destined to save the world than the people that do it on a daily basis."

    "You sound so sure." Giles commented.

    "Oh, I am." Wesley said. "You see, I've been in touch with Lord Charles goddaughter."

    "Should I know who that is?" Giles asked, curious about Wesley's grin. Wesley smiled. "You might have heard of her. Her name is Elizabeth." With that pronouncement, Wesley went over and hauled Travers to his feet. All the while humming "God Save the Queen". He took Travers through the door. They all watched him go, their mouths opened in shock.

******

EPILOGUE

    It had been more than twenty months since that frightful time, when Buffy had been hospitalized and Travers stopped.

    Buffy and Giles had a bought a house not far from Joyce's. Giles had left his job at the high school and began teaching Antiquities at UC Sunnydale. Where Buffy and Willow were still taking classes. Although Buffy had cut back her schedule and would graduate in six years instead of four. They were all in the backyard of the Giles' home. Buffy, Giles, Willow and Oz. Even Cordelia and Wesley were there, though no longer together. Joyce and Hank were there, together. Becoming grandparents together had rekindled the spark between them. Hank now split his time between Sunnydale and LA. And the reason they were all there. The first birthday of Joy Anne Giles. Buffy leaned against her husband as they watched their daughter stuff cake in her face. Buffy smiled secretively, then leaned up and whispered in her husband's ear.

    Giles looked down at his wife, shock plainly on his face. Uncaring of the people that milled about the backyard, he didn't think to keep his voice down. "What do you mean, you're pregnant again?"

END