With Arms Wide Open
Title: With Arms Wide Open
Disclaimer: If they belonged to me there would never have been a Riley!
Rating: PG-13ish. If you watch the show you can read this.
Spoilers: None that I know of, but I'll say end of season 4 to be safe.
Summary: What do Buffy/Giles, a guitar, Teletubbies, and Alley MacBeal all have in common? Read it and find out!
Distribution: If you want it please take it!
Timeline: Season 5
Feedback: This is my first time, so be gentle!
Buffy moved toward Giles apartment with one thing on her mind. One thing that carried with it hundreds of emotions. Joy, fear, happiness, dread, love, anxiety, and more fear. Buffy was feeling all of these in bucket fulls, but mostly the fear was hitting her hard! It's not everyday a girl finds out that she's pregnant. Okay, maybe it does happen everyday, but not to her. <It looks like today was my day. >
<God, what am I gonna do?!!? I never thought that anything like this would ever happen to me! I never thought I would ever be able to have children. EVER! > <Wow! I'm going to have a baby! A baby! B-A-B-Y baby! >
Buffy we know you can spell!
<Sorry, but this is incredible! There's a little person inside of me! Oh my god! How am I going to tell Giles? We-we've only been dating for 6 months! We've never actually talked about moving in together let alone children or marriage. >
<Marriage? Where did that come from? Do I want to marry Giles? Well…Duh…of course I do if the big dope would ever ask me! And just why hasn't he asked me? Oh yeah, because you've only been dating for 6 months! God what if he doesn't want that kind of commitment? Having a child and a wife is a lot to take on! If Giles doesn't want to marry me I can deal with that, but what about our baby? I can understand him not wanting a wife, but if he doesn't want to take on the responsibility of a child I'll just die! I can't raise a kid without him. How many times have I read about girls whose boyfriends have left them once they found out that they were pregnant? Damn that Cosmo! >
<I really can't do this without him. It's not like I have anyone else to go to for help. Xander and Willow have lives of their own. I know they would help, but it's not the same. Anya…Oh yeah I can really see that happening! Oh god that's scary! I'd rather have Spike baby-sit! My dad would never speak to me again once I mention the part about the father being a 45 year-old ex-teacher of mine. Yeah he can change diapers from his jail cell. And Mom. Mom doesn't even know that we're dating! Oh no I'm here! Should I open the door? >
<I can't! >
Open the door.
<But what if he doesn't want it? I don't think I could handle that! >
Open the door and find out.
Open the damn door!
<All right! God who are you anyway? >
With a deep breath Buffy opened the door. This certainly wasn't going to be easy for her and probably not for Giles either. She entered the apartment trying to remain calm, which was a considerably difficult task because her stomach was turning flip-flops on her. She couldn't help but wonder if that was due to nerves or the little person growing inside of her.
"Giles." She called out somewhat hesitantly when she didn't see him. Just as she spoke he emerged from the hallway and greeted her with a kiss before scurrying up the steps leading to the loft.
Buffy moved around the couch to where she could see him in his bedroom. Well, it was more like their bedroom. She slept there almost every night. He was busy changing out of the suit he wore to work at the museum and into the outfit he was going to wear to sing at the Espresso Pump.
Getting a job at the museum was working wonders for Giles. He could see her whenever he wanted to due to the convenience of the museum's location on campus. They would often take lunches together or go to the park between breaks and classes. The job at the museum was in fact a great thing. He could continue to sing at night, which Buffy loved to watch. She hadn't missed a show in over 6 months. Besides, it gave him something to occupy his time with besides her. Not to mention they paid Giles very well, not that he actually needed the money. Buffy had come to find out that Giles was a closet rich kid. Shhh, don't tell anyone!
"So how was your day Buffy," Giles asked casually. The question seemed to take her by surprise, but she managed to answer. "Uh…um…fine! And yours? Your…um…day. How was it?"
He came back down the stairs looking at her quizzically, dressed in somewhat baggy black khakis, matching belt, tight black shirt, and silver hoop earring. "Uneventful. Are you all right?"
"F-fine! What could be wrong?" He noted her odd tone and demeanor, but Giles just shook his head and made his way to find a glass in the kitchen when he started to speak again. "Buffy, I was wondering if you would want to take a trip in a few weeks? I thought that we could maybe take a nice romantic vacation to the mountains when the semester is over. We could drive there and rent a cabin. Just the two of us. I thought we could go skiing during the day and spend our nights in front of the fireplace." He let the insinuation set in and looked at her with the biggest smile on his face before continuing, "How does that sound?"
"No umm yeah that uh…sounds great Rupert." She didn't look or sound nearly as thrilled as he had hoped, so he pushed for her to continue. "But…" It was now or never Buffy.
"But I…God this hard. I have something to tell you."
Giles waited, arms crossed for her to continue. When she didn't he had to push her to speak again. "Which is?"
"Which is that I went to the doctor today because I thought I was getting the flu or something and…"
"And?" At this point Giles didn't seem calmly excited like he had a minute ago. Now he seemed worried and concerned.
"And I don't have the flu. Uh…Giles. Rupert I'm pregnant!"
"What?!" He couldn't have heard her correctly.
"I'm pregnant," she restated slowly biting her bottom lip, waiting for Giles to speak.
"How could this have happened?!!" His tone was a lot harsher than she would have liked.
"Well, I'm guessing it has something to do with us not being able to keep our clothes on…"
"Buffy…I know that its just…we-we've always been careful. We always used condoms and besides…I th-thought that you were taking birth control."
"I was. I mean I am…I was."
Giles looked upset. This wasn't going the way Buffy had planned, not that she had actually planned anything, but if she had it wouldn't have been this. This was what she had been dreading from the moment she had left the doctors office and for the life of her she didn’t know how to handle this. The worst part was that she couldn't read his face. Usually she could just look at him and tell what he was thinking, but right now she hadn't the faintest idea. She just looked at him intensely, trying to figure him out. The only indication she had of his feelings was his tone of voice. Harsh, accusatory, and slightly resentful. Not the way she envisioned the man she loved to sound after finding out that she was having his baby.
"Giles what are you feeling?"
She almost cried when he didn't answer her. The silence from him was killing her, adding to her already growing fear and the wretched ache in her chest.
"Giles just…God just say something!!"
As he opened his mouth to speak the phone rang, which he answered quicker than he normally would have. "Hello. Hi Willow. Yes I am singing tonight. 6 o'clock. Yes you can bring Tara. No, it doesn't bother me. Yes I'm quite sure. Oh…Xander's bringing Anya again? Could you please tell her that it is not a custom to throw one's underwear on the stage? Yes that was rather embarrassing last time. Buffy's coming. She said she would. No um everything is fine. Good-bye Willow."
He hadn't looked at her once during the conversation and now as his gaze feel upon her she could hardly bare it. The look on his face told her that she wasn't going to like what he was about to say. She held her breath in anticipation of his words.
"Willow just wanted to know what time the show was."
"She wanted to warn me about Anya and…she wanted to know if you were coming."
Buffy just looked at him blankly. His casual tone was frightening her. It was almost as if he had never heard her say that she was pregnant. She stood there waiting for him to say something about their baby, but he didn't. The silence was more than killing her now. At this point she not only wanted, but she mentally and physically needed him to speak. When he didn't the silence became too much for her to handle and she had to find an excuse to leave the apartment.
"Yeah! You know th-the Espresso Pump is going to be packed tonight and I have some class stuff to do…so I should go, so I can get there early." With that she scrambled out of the apartment utterly distraught, not even stopping when he called her name. She just continued on her path to nowhere, which was exactly where she wanted to be at this moment.
Buffy couldn't stop the tears form cascading down her face. Without a word Giles had managed to hurt her more than she had ever thought possible.
<How could he do that to me? First he acts like it's my fault that I got pregnant with his birth control remarks and then he acts like nothing happened! What the hell is wrong with him? The least I expected from him was to say, "A baby," either really disgusted, completely surprised, or in awe. He didn't even do that! Doesn't he know how much I need him? Doesn't he know how scary this is for me? I am going to be a mother! Good-bye Buffy the Vampire Slayer and hello Buffy the Teletubby Slayer! God do I want this baby! I want to have our child so much, but not alone! I need Rupert with me to see him sleeping, to change diapers, to give him his first bath, watch him walk and play, and to teach him to be like Rupert. >
<Him? I guess I want you to be a boy. I love Rupert so much! I thought that he would want children! I thought that he would be happy about this. Well so much for hoping! I was so stupid to think that he would just say, "That's great let's get married today." Stupid, stupid, stupid! >
"This is all my fault!"
"This is all my fault," Giles said aloud in his now empty apartment. <You don't know what to say, so you just keep your bloody mouth shut! God now Buffy is probably crying herself into oblivion because you're such a bloody prat! She probably thinks that you are going to abandon her. It would certainly coincide with the trends of her previous boyfriends. I love her. I love her so very much! She is my soul, my partner! I want to marry her so much. If I were to ask her now she would believe that I am only doing what is proper because of the baby. >
<The baby?! A baby!! This is absolutely astonishing! Buffy is having a baby…and it's mine! My baby! Our baby! I am going to be a father! Why the hell didn't I say any of this to Buffy? Oh yeah because you were scared and didn't want to let her know it. I just…UGH! Damn phone! >
"Hello!!" Giles practically spat out the word.
"Wooh. Hey G-man! What's up?"
"Oh, hello Xander."
"Listen I wanted to bring Anya tonight…Don't worry. I know she threw her underwear at you last time, but it really wasn't her fault. She had just seen one of those Behind the Music Specials and she thought that's what you were supposed to do."
"It's all right Xander. Is that all you wanted?"
"Actually no. Will called and said you sounded weird. She wanted me to see what's up."
"So, what's up? Trouble in Buffyland," Xander asked teasingly.
Giles spoke slowly, "Yes…actually…well she's…"
"Lemme guess, you forgot an anniversary or some stupid date, so what did you forget?"
"Anya scares me so much when I forget anything that I am always checking my calend…"
"She's pregnant Xander."
"Wow. I guess you did forget something! Uhm…congratulations?"
"Congratulations indeed. I'm…happy albeit surprised."
"So what's the catch? Where's the prob?"
"I…didn't tell Buffy this. I acted like a bloody pillock when she told me. I wouldn't even talk to her about the baby."
"Why the hell not," Xander's temper had been flared upon hearing of Giles treatment of Buffy.
"I was afraid Xander! I didn't know how to tell her what I was feeling simply because I didn't know what I was feeling." Giles wasn't trying to justify his actions, but rather trying to explain them.
"But you're sure now?"
"Are you gonna marry her?"
"I planned to ask her on that vacation to the mountains, but if I ask her now I don't think she will believe I'm serious."
"Tell her that."
"I don't know how."
"Tell her how you feel the way you tell everyone else how you're feeling."
"Thank you Xander."
"Hey, no prob. Good luck Giles!"
With that they hung up leaving Giles to form his plan.
The Espresso Pump was completely packed. Buffy was glad that she got there early, so she could sit down. Giles had become quite popular with the college crowd. One night a few months back some frat guys had brought their girlfriends in for coffee while Giles was playing. The girls became unsurprisingly intrigued by his voice and after experiencing the effect it had on their girlfriends, the guys started telling their buds that it was "a good way to score." Ever since then dozens of students flocked to the Espresso Pump when he was performing. Buffy had become quite accustomed to standing in a room crowded full of love struck college boys listening to Giles sing, but after what she had been through today she would have literally killed for a chair.
Buffy had spent most of her time that day wandering through the park. She did a lot of crying, a lot of self-deprecating, a lot of hoping, and a lot of smiling. The feeling of being upset about her pregnancy and angry with Giles didn't last very long. Buffy sat on a bench watching a mother play with her children. Buffy quickly imagined herself as the mother and a smile emerged on her face. A man, Buffy assumed to be the father, walked up to the woman, plopped down on the ground next to her and proceeded to tickle the oldest boy as his two younger siblings looked on. The woman laughed so hard at her lover and son that she laid down on the ground, one hand covering her mouth and the other going to her belly. That was when Buffy noticed that she was pregnant. At that moment Buffy could clearly see herself and Giles a few years down the road spending an afternoon in the park with their young children.
The image created a feeling of utter happiness deep down inside of her. Two little boys who would grow up to look just like Giles. They would have his eyes, his height, his charming good looks, and a cultured accent that comes and goes. Then there would be the girls. Strong and caring with Buffy's beauty and shortness and the unique green eyes of both parents. Buffy had everything in the picture she presented to herself. Sitting her at the Espresso Pump she realized that there was one key factor in the equation that just wasn't, well factoring.
Giles was the father and husband of-the-year in the pretty little picture she painted, but a pesky thing called reality was nagging at her. His earlier actions had shown a complete lack of acceptance for their current "situation." <Ughhhh! > Her brain was starting to hurt from all of this strenuous thinking.
When Willow and Tara entered the Espresso Pump they managed to spot Buffy through the crowd sitting at a table with her head resting in her hands. The view of Buffy's face was half obstructed by her hands, but from what they could see of her expression looked pained.
"Oh my god, is she all right," Tara asked Willow more than a little concerned. "Yeah…," Willow replied, but didn't sound too sure of herself. "Well…Giles said everything was fine," Willow took a deep breath, "but he didn't sound fine. I had Xander talk to him. When he gets here maybe he can shed some light on Buffy in Frownland."
They approached carefully so as not to startle Buffy. "Hey Buff! Is everything okay," Willow asked as she sat down. Buffy looked up at her friend tiredly and forced a smile. "Yeah Will everything's fine…except…well that I'm pre-uh..I uh have a major headache."
"And you came to hear Giles sing anyway? Buffy that is so sweet," Tara remarked wistfully.
"Yeah that's me! I always stand by my man." <If only he would stand by me right now. > Willow would have laughed if not for the stricken look on Buffy's face. "Buffy are you sure you're all right? Did anything happen between you and Giles?"
<Yeah Will, about 3 weeks ago! You see we were making love on the beach on a quilt by a fire underneath the stars. God it was the most amazing birthday I've ever had! It was intense and incredibly romantic and just…WOW! We just got so caught up in each other that we forgot about a few little things called condoms and went ahead and had our night of passion without them. Maybe Giles thought it would be a nice present to impregnate me, but now he won't speak to me. >
"Nope! Nothing happened except the headache."
They sat there chatting about nothing in particular for about 20 minutes until Xander arrived with Anya. In those 20 minutes Buffy hardly spoke. That was what ultimately drove Willow to take Xander aside for questioning.
"What is going on with Buffy and Giles," Willow demanded heatedly.
"Buffy didn't tell you?"
"She told me she had a headache, but what's really going on?"
Xander wasn't quite sure how to or not to explain the situation to Willow. If Buffy hadn't told her, then she obviously didn't want to tell her until she had time to discuss it with Giles. "Will, Giles and Buffy just have a … dispute that they have to talk about. Once they work it out I have a feeling that thing's are going to be great. No, I won't elaborate. That's all you're getting from me."
Willow put on her resolve face, but Xander rushed to Anya's side at the table as quickly as he could. <Damn he's getting good. > Willow returned to her spot at the table determined to find out Buffy's secret before the night was over.
In the 45 minutes that Buffy had been sitting here she had to endure Willow's interrogating, Xander oddly changing the subject every time Willow asked a question, and Anya and Tara looking at each other dumbfounded. Buffy was at the point where she wanted to strangle all of them. The sight of Giles walking on stage caused Buffy a great deal of relief because now her friends would shut up.
As Giles started to play his guitar, however, Buffy's relief faded away to a feeling of loss. Every show for the past 6 months Giles had kissed her beforehand out of superstition and smiled at her through almost every song. Tonight he didn't kiss her, smile at her, or even look at her more than once. As she listened to him belt out such tunes as House of the Rising Sun by the Animals, Fleetwood Mac's Landslide and Silver Springs, along with modern rock hits such as Metallica's Hero of the Day and Nothing Else Matters, Buffy desperately hoped he wasn't trying to send her a message. Most of the songs contained lyrics that were somber and of the independence vibe. <Independence is not something I'm hoping that he wants right now. >
In fact it was while in the middle of the song I Walk Alone that Buffy wondered if the day could possibly get any worse.
"Hi honey," came the voice of Joyce Summers as she pulled up a chair next to Buffy.
"Mom!! Wh-what are you doing here?"
"I was passing by on my way home and noticed that Mr. Giles was playing, so I thought that I would stop in to see. My friends from work say he is very good and you never stop talking about him, so I thought I would see what all the fuss is about."
"Oh," Buffy remarked weakly. "Well the show's pretty much over and you should go because you have to be up early for work tomorrow."
"Tomorrow's Saturday Buffy."
"Are you trying to get rid of me," Joyce asked teasingly.
"NO, I just …no," Buffy laughed weakly.
Giles looked up from his guitar to see Buffy squirming in her seat next to none other than Joyce Summers, which was with no doubt the reason for her squirming.
It was time for the last song, the moment he had been waiting for was finally here and it was going to be considerably more difficult with Buffy's mother, who hadn't a clue as to their relationship, sitting right there. Giles could see Xander shooting him looks and realized that it was now or never.
Buffy turned her attention from her mother back to Giles when she heard him address the audience.
"Good evening everyone! The last song tonight actually has a lot of meaning to me." Giles could see everyone's eyes transfixed on him, but tried to focus on Buffy as he continued. "You see, this afternoon my girlfriend told me something very important. Actually I think it is probably the most important and scary thing a guy can hear from his girlfriend."
The knowing groans that came from both the male and some female audience members coupled with the grin on Xander's face made Giles laugh. "Anyway, I didn't say anything to her because I was scared and I didn't really know what I was supposed to or wanted to say. Well, a friend of mine told me to tell her the way I tell everyone else. The way I tell people things the most effectively is with music, so this last song is for my girlfriend whom I love very much!"
With that declaration Giles took a seat on the stool to start strumming his guitar. Almost all eyes turned to Buffy. It was common knowledge on campus that Buffy and Giles were a pretty hot item. The one pair of eyes who were looking at her for an entirely different reason was her mother's. Joyce was looking at Buffy questionably, "I didn't know Mr. Giles had a girlfriend! Which one is she?"
Buffy didn't reply, she just listened to the song Giles had begun to play, waiting for him to start singing.
Well I just heard, the news today It seems my life is going to change I closed my eyes, begin to pray Then tears of joy stream down my face
With arms wide open Under the sunlight Welcome to this place I'll show you everything With arms wide open
Well I don't know if I'm ready To be the man I have to be I'll take a breath, take her by my side We stand in awe, we've created life
With arms wide open Under the sunlight Welcome to this place I'll show you everything With arms wide open Now everything has changed I'll show you love I'll show you everything With arms wide open
If I had just one wish Only one demand I hope he's not like me I hope he understands That he can take this life And hold it by the hand And he can greet the world With arms wide open
Under the sunlight Welcome to this place I'll show you everything…
As Giles broke off into the second chorus Buffy sat at the table crying tears of joy. She was so happy and so moved that she couldn't form a coherent thought.
Willow had comprehension dawn on her when Giles sang the words, "We stand in awe, we've created life." She turned to Xander to confirm her suspicion. When he shook his head "yes" Willow turned a smiling face to Buffy and kissed her on the cheek.
The entire audience watched as Giles set down his guitar and walked over to the table occupied by a crying Buffy and their friends. Willow was the most noticeable, fore she was grinning like a fool.
Giles knelt down in front of Buffy, looked straight into her eyes and brushed away her tears. Taking her hands in his, Giles said the most incredible thing anyone had ever said to her. "Buffy, I love you more than anything… so much that I could never describe it. Will you marry me and be mine forever? Don't say no because you already own my heart, body, and soul."
Buffy threw herself into Giles arms, crying a fresh batch of tears. The crowd erupted into cheers when they kissed. With a room full of enthusiastic spectators there was only one thing Buffy could say. "YES!"
Joyce who had watched the entire incident shocked had a few things she was itching to say herself. "Huh?!!!"
All the time Buffy spent watching Alley MacBeal led her to believe that the only people who had theme songs were those with serious issues. That night served to change her mind. With Arms Wide Open did in fact become their theme song. They danced to it at their wedding, made love by it on their honeymoon, and Rupert even sang it to Buffy while she held their firstborn son, Lucas Aidan Giles, in the delivery room. The tradition started with Lucas. Grace Ebony Summers, Thatcher Riordan, and Ava Elizabeth Giles were all welcomed to the world With Arms Wide Open. Buffy was blessed with gifts that no other slayer ever had. She learned to take nothing for granted and to treat everyday as a gift. Each day for her was truly a gift and together her and Rupert taught Lucas, Grace, Thatcher, and Ava to take their lives by the hand and greet the world with arms wide open.
Note: The song With Arms Wide Open is performed by Creed and can be found on the CD Human Clay.