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04 June 2009 @ 11:13 pm
By Sunrise [BtVS; Giles/Jenny, Xander/Anya, misc.]  
TITLE: By Sunrise
CHAPTER 1
FANDOM: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
PAIRING: Giles/Jenny, Xander/Anya, hints of Oz/Willow
SPOILERS: Through season four
RATING: PG-13
SUMMARY: Numerous stars rained down over Sunnydale as the town slept.


*****

"This feels weird," Willow commented, wrinkling her nose and staring out the window.

Buffy, from her own bedroom, smiled and tossed a glance out her window. "What? Being home for the holidays? We did it with Thanksgiving, remember?"

"No, I mean... spending Christmas without Oz."

Buffy just blinked a few times in succession before reminding her friend, "You're Jewish, Will."

"I know, but... just the whole 'spirit-of-the-season,' 'deck-the-halls' thing that's going on all over the place seems kinda empty without Oz."

"I know what you mean."

"Awww. Angel?"

"Not really. I was thinking about my dad." Buffy sighed and flopped backward on her bed, legs dangling over the edge. "I miss those Christmases from when I was little. Y'know, when I had both parents? Or before they stopped loving each other, anyway. Whenever they talk now, it always turns into an argument. More often than not, over me. Or around me. Or in front of me. Or... all three sometimes." She wrinkled her nose. "I just kinda wish I could remember what it was like when they were happy."

"I'm sorry." After a pause, Willow's next comment seemed to come out of thin air. "I wish it would snow."

Buffy chuckled. "What?"

"Remember when we had those flurries last year? I'd never really seen snow before, so... it was pretty exciting. I wish I could see it again."

"You do realize we live in California, right Will?"

"Yeah, but... it'd be nice."

"Yeah."

"Buffy?" a voice called up from downstairs. "Are you still on the phone? I need to call your father to discuss arrangements for Christmas!"

She rolled her eyes. "Gotta go," she sighed. "Another argument must commence."

"I'm sorry, Buffy. Hey, call me tomorrow, okay?"

"Yeah, sure." After hanging up with her friend, Buffy called out to her mother that the phone was free, before she rolled onto her stomach on her bed and folded her arms across the comforter, leaning her chin on them and peering out the window. Not long after she'd relinquished the phone, her mother's raised voice could be heard coming from downstairs, predictably in the midst of another argument with her father.

Buffy sighed and continued to stare out at the night sky, wishing she could remember what it was like when her parents were still in love.

And from several blocks away, Willow was finishing brushing her hair and setting the brush down on her vanity table, near a picture of her and Oz. She smiled sadly at the image: the two of them, happy together, laughing about something or perhaps nothing at all. Gently, she set the framed photo face-down on the vanity table before going to the window, leaning on the sill and peering out at the night sky, remembering those snow flurries of a year ago and wishing to one day see something as wonderous once again.

**

"I can't believe you! I just cannot believe you!"

Xander threw his hands up in the air and let them fall back to the comforter, shaking his head as he leaned back against the wall in bed. "What? You asked me a question and told me you wanted me to answer 'yes' or 'no.' I did. So what are you so upset about?"

"It was the wrong answer!"

"You asked me if this was just about sex, Anya!" He shrugged and gestured to her clothes, which were tossed haphazardly in the corner of his room. "After you just storm in here, tear your clothes off, and insist that we, in your words, 'sex out our issues,' how was I supposed to answer that question?!"

Anya folded her arms across her chest before stomping over to her clothes, starting to pull her shirt on. "You were supposed to say, 'No, Anya. This is not just about sex. It's far beyond that. We have so much more to offer each other than just sex.'"

He rolled his eyes. "Well I'm sorry. Next time tell me when I'm going to need my Anya-to-English dictionary and I'll be able to pass these little pop quizzes!"

"God, you are so infuriating!"

"Yeah, well... ditto! And stuff." He folded his arms across his chest, half-pouting and half-frowning.

She huffed and yanked the shirt back over her head, tossing it at him. "If I was feeling at all devilish right now, you'd be in big trouble, mister!"

Xander just watched her cat crawl in a rather aggressive, angry manner back onto the bed. "Right, I can see that. So if you're not feeling devilish, then how are you feeling?"

"Right now, Xander, you're making me feel sexually vindictive. So let's go." She reached under the covers and all but tore off his boxers, flinging them to the other side of the room. She held up a finger. "But no kissing!"

"Fine," he tilted his head in accordance. "No foreplay."

"Fine. But we're still going to talk."

"Ugh." He threw his head back in agony and forlornly tossed a glance toward his half-window, wishing and hoping that someday, sometime... Anya would just shut up.

**

Giles finished off what was left of his now-cold tea and set the cup back on its saucer before folding his book closed at the bookmarked page. Then, he rose and brought his teacup into the kitchen, rinsing it out thoroughly before leaving it to dry, turning the lights out in both the kitchen and living room before he headed upstairs. He didn't bother to turn on the lights, the moonlight bright enough to guide him, and he set his book on his nightstand on the off-chance he wanted to start his day with a bit of reading.

After stripping down to his undershirt and boxers, laying his clothes over a nearby chair, he lifted the covers and climbed into bed on one side. He shifted beneath the sheets, trying to find a comfortable spot to settle in for the night, and he turned to face the empty side of the bed, eyes crinkling in sadness as he watched the moonlight bounce off the vacant, untouched pillowcase. He reached out, gently gliding the back of his hand across the pillowcase... knowing that it would have been her side of the bed had she not been so tragically ripped from his grasp at the hands of Angelus.

His hand swept down then, over the empty side of the bed, and Giles fought the emotion rising in his throat while he wished he could have just one more moment with her. To see her face, her smile... to touch her again, to hear the melody of her voice and to tell her what she meant to him -- still meant, rather. When he started to feel himself well up, he forced his eyes closed and turned away, commanding himself to sleep.

And outside, numerous stars rained down over Sunnydale as the town slept.


*****

When morning broke, Xander was stirred awake by his alarm clock and the voice of the local radio station's weather man, yammering on and on about some meteor shower that had occurred overnight. Xander scrubbed a hand over his face sleepily and bound one arm tighter around Anya, who was still fast asleep on his chest. He heard her sigh in her sleep and he found himself smiling, rather liking her in those moments -- specifically, when she wasn't yelling at him. So with eyes closed, he kissed her forehead and said good morning, but all he received in return were mumbles.

Frowning, he leaned back as Anya lifted her head off his chest and as she did, he yelled out and jumped back, falling out of bed with the momentum. Clutching the sheets around himself, he stared at her open-mouthed and wide-eyed, unable to do anything but point at her face. Anya, panicking, touched her face and tried to figure out what he was trying to tell her. Wordlessly, still unable to form anything coherent, he handed her a mirror.

In her reflection, she saw that her mouth was gone. And she let out a muffled scream.

**

Willow woke up gradually, no alarm yanking her from her dreams but rather the gentle, warm rays of the sun. She stretched leisurely and groaned with the movement, glancing at the clock and noting that it was still early. She flung the covers off herself and slowly sat up, dangling her feet over the side of the bed and stepping into her slippers. After walking to her vanity table and running the brush quickly through her hair, she yawned and turned toward the window. When she glanced outside, she nearly did a double-take and ran to the window, leaning outside and sticking her hand out palm-up.

Snow was just barely starting to fall, in large glittering flakes, from an otherwise-cloudless sky. Confused by the sudden turn of events but still able to feel that childlike, snow-induced glee bubbling within her, Willow took off down the stairs and ran outside in her pajamas and slippers. The weather was warm and balmy but the snow cooled her skin as she spun around in it, arms spread and giggles bursting forth from her lips.

**

The alarm roused Buffy from slumber and, frowning in her sleep, she grumbled and reached out, slapping the sleep button before rolling onto her other side, snuggling deeper into the blankets. Just before she started to drift off again, the scent of her mother's blueberry pancakes wafted up from downstairs, mingled with the scent of bacon. So Buffy forced herself to sit up, letting her growling stomach lead the way as she got out of bed, pulled her robe on and belted it shut, stepping into her fuzzy slippers.

As she made her way down the stairs, voices could clearly be heard from the kitchen and she took a deep breath, hoping it wasn't another new robot-slash-boyfriend of her mother's. She was so not in the mood to kill anyone today. As she got nearer to the kitchen, the sound of warm laughter and mugs clinking together filled her ears. And upon stepping into the kitchen, her eyes widened at one of the people seated at the breakfast bar.

"Daddy?"

He grinned. "Morning, Princess!" He gestured to all of the food before smiling at her mother. "Your mom and I thought you might like a nice, big home-made breakfast for your first morning back. How's that sound?"

A slow grin started to spread across Buffy's face as she watched her parents smile at one another, before she ran over to her father and threw her arms around him, hugging him tight. "Sounds great, Dad."

**

A loud, obnoxious beeping noise was what woke Giles and he frowned in his sleep, muttering, "...the bloody hell," before reaching behind his nightstand and yanking the alarm plug from the wall socket, all the while cursing himself for forgetting it was the weekend and he had no reason to set it.

Then, he snuggled deeper into the warmth he'd been nestled against, the familiar scent of herbal shampoo and citrus lotion lulling him into an almost-dreamlike state. He nuzzled into that herbal scent, cool silky hair tickling his nose, and his arms tightened around the body against him as he let out a contented sigh. Smiling in his sleep, he thanked the powers above for allowing him to linger in this wonderful dream, as the body slowly shifted in his arms... turned to face him.

Giles slowly opened his eyes, and when he came face-to-face with a pair of warm browns staring back at him, he shot upward in bed, the shock and awe dripping from his whispered tone...

"Jenny!"




TBC


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Uther Pendragon's Loyal Wench: giles - music manfirthgal on June 5th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
This is a neat idea! I really enjoyed this. Your strongest point was definitely the Giles/Jenny, and to be honest, I'd be perfectly content if this story was focused solely around them, but I think that's just because I am so Giles focused, I don't know. But you write him beautifully, and ooooh how I felt his longing and pain in the first Giles section, and his contentment in the second section. I also really love your take on Xander/Anya. Too often fics make Xander so annoyingly condescending to Anya that I can't stand it, but I think you nailed their dynamic wonderfully. Loved this!
a.: giles; happinessregalish on June 5th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you so so much! It means a lot that you took the time to read this.

Your strongest point was definitely the Giles/Jenny, and to be honest, I'd be perfectly content if this story was focused solely around them, but I think that's just because I am so Giles focused, I don't know. Honestly, my original intent was to focus it purely on Giles and Jenny, but I thought I should at least attempt to branch out a bit. So, what this will actually end up being is Giles/Jenny with the kids acting as the backdrop/comedy relief/plot devices. If that makes sense, lol.

I also really love your take on Xander/Anya. Thank you!! I love their dynamic. Anya, herself, just cracks me up; I love her.

I really appreciate your feedback on this, and I do hope you'll continue reading! I plan on having more ready to go very soon. ♥♥