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05 June 2009 @ 10:09 pm
By Sunrise [BtVS; Giles/Jenny, Xander/Anya, misc.]  
TITLE: By Sunrise
CHAPTER 2
FANDOM: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
PAIRING: Giles/Jenny, Xander/Anya
SPOILERS: Through season four
RATING: PG-13
SUMMARY: "I think we need to talk to Giles about all this. Maybe he'll know what's going on. Or at least how to help set everything right again."


*****

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!"

Jenny stared at him wearing a similar expression of shock, and searched his eyes back and forth with her own while clutching the sheet to her collarbone, tucking it under her bare arms. "Rupert! What... what am I..."

"You're dead," he murmured, still unable to believe the sight in front of him.

"Yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking," she nodded, then furrowed her brows. "Except... I'm... not, now?"

After another moment of searching each other's eyes, he reached for her; he gently cupped her face in his hands and, while his thumbs stroked her cheekbones, he tilted her head this way and that, searching for bruising where Angelus had administered the final blow that took her away from him... searching for one miniscule indicator of death still looming. But there was nothing. Her skin was full of color... unmarred and flawless. His fingertips danced across her collarbone before his palm rested just below it on the left side of her body... and a surprised, strangled sob burst forth from his lips.

"Jenny..." He blinked back the emotion in his eyes, lifting them to hers. "Your heart. It's... it's beating."

She blinked back the tears in her own eyes, a chuckle emerging clogged with emotion. "I can feel it." Then, she shook her head, while he cupped the side of her neck, her hand rising to gently touch his wrist. "But how... why?"

He chuckled. "Does it matter?"

Slowly, a grin spread across her full lips. "No."

"You're here. You're in front of me. You're alive and your heart's beating. Not to mention..." For the first time, it seemed, he noticed what she was wearing -- or lack thereof, as he finished his train of thought. "You seem to be naked in my bed."

Jenny glanced down at herself, still clutching the sheet to her collarbone. "Oh. Yeah." Looking up at him, she shrugged, a coquettish little smirk -- the one he had so deeply missed for so long -- tugging apart her lips. "I guess they don't let you keep the clothes when they send you back."

Giles leaned into her, pressing his forehead against hers as he leaned her back against the pillows, smirking right back at her. "Which is hardly something I would complain about."

The two of them spent the next few hours tangled up in each other.


*****

The kitchen was shrouded in silence save for the occasional silverware-on-porcelain sound coming from Buffy's general direction, and audible sips of coffee from the adults flanking her on each side. Buffy swept another spoonful of scrambled eggs into her mouth, slipper-clad feet swinging childishly under the table as she glanced between her parents, who were otherwise occupied making moony faces at each other. She raised her eyebrows. "Sooo... what's goin' on? Is this some new aspect of divorce I'm not familiar with?"

Joyce smiled at her warmly. "Oh honey, no. Divorce is a silly notion anyway. Your father has come over to discuss a... possible reconciliation."

The fork clattered to her plate, startling both parents. "What? Well that's... that's pretty cool." Her eyes flitted between the two of them once more, noting they were back to exchanging lovesick glances. "Um... so... is Dad moving back in?"

Hank patted her hand. "We're not sure yet, Pumpkin," he told her, exchanging another glance with Joyce. "We're just going to... see how things go. Take it one step at a time. We don't want to botch up our second chance, after all."

Joyce smiled, eyes practically twinkling, and she reached her hand across the table palm-up as she agreed, "We most certainly don't."

He took her hand and they continued to gaze lovingly into each other's eyes with Buffy glancing warily, but happily, between them. When the phone began to ring, neither of them moved, nor did they break their stare. Once it reached the third ring, Buffy exhaled a somewhat uneasy chuckle. "I guess I'll get it. You're... busy." Making a face, she got up from the table and all but ran for the phone, suddenly needing to get away from all the love and happiness. "'Lo?"

"Buffy! Go look outside! Look!" Willow practically shrieked giddily in her ear.

"Whoa, calm down, Will. Is the ice cream guy making the rounds again?"

"No... you'll see!"

Buffy frowned but did as her best friend instructed and moved to the window in the kitchen, moving the curtains aside. When she saw the light coating of snow on the ground and the gently-falling flakes in the air, her eyebrows flew up toward her hairline. "Uh..."

"Yeah, my thoughts exactly, but... but look how pretty!"

"Did the weather man say anything about sudden random snow showers? Because I don't remember that part."

"Do you watch the news?"

"Well..." She frowned, lips pouting slightly. "No, but... if I did, I'm pretty sure I'd remember something like snow in the forecast."

"Oh Hank, would you look at that? It's snowing!" Joyce suddenly commented, leaning around Buffy to peek outside.

Before long, both adults had joined her at the kitchen window and Buffy watched as her father wrapped an arm around her mother's shoulders, kissing her temple. "How does a walk in the snow sound?"

"Hmmm, sounds wonderful," she smiled. Joyce then tilted her head at her daughter. "Buffy? Would you like to join us?"

"Uh..." She breathed a smile. "No, thanks. You guys go ahead."

Hank shrugged. "Your loss." He reached for their coats then, handing one off to Joyce. "C'mon honey, we'll hold hands."

As her mother giggled and the two of them headed off, Buffy rolled her eyes and turned back to the window, the wall phone still pressed to her ear. "Thank God they're gone, that was too weird."

"Buffy, what's going on? Was that your dad I heard?"

"Yeah. Y'know how lastnight I was talking about how I couldn't remember what it was like when they loved each other?"

"Yeah..."

"Yeah well, I think I must've blacked it out or something on purpose." She scrunched her nose. "It's traumatizing. They're all... sweet, and... happy, and... it's just weird."

"Aww. Well I think it's nice! And-and... you deserve to have both of your parents! I think it'll be good. Maybe it'll raise your spirits, having both of them under one roof."

"I dunno about that, but it's definitely raising my breakfast." She pressed a hand against her churning stomach, and was just about to speak again when the call waiting beeped. "Hey Will? Can you hang on a sec?" After receiving an okay from Willow, she clicked over to the other line. "Hello?"

After a moment of silence, all she was able to make out were various shrieking sounds and grumbles, but all of it was muffled, as if the person were mumbling. She made a face. "Uh... hello?"

"Hey, Buff! It's Xander. Sorry about that."

"Xander, what was that? Some kind of animal or something?"

"Huh? Oh, that was just Anya. So... yeah." After a beat, he suddenly exclaimed, "Ow!" and Buffy rolled her eyes, practically able to see the fight already taking place between Xander and Anya.

"What's up, Xand? I've got Willow on the other line."

"Right. Uh... something really weird happened lastnight."

Buffy groaned. "Is this another creepy sex story? Because I hear enough of those from Anya. In full detail. Which reminds me, you have got to tell her to stop doing that. That girl needs an inner filter."

"Well, she's actually the reason I called. She, um... she can't talk."

"What, like laryngitis?"

"No, like she physically does not have the right parts to talk."

Buffy just made a face, staring blankly out the window, practically able to sense Xander's exaggerated eye roll on the other end of the line.

"She has no mouth! She is completely mouthless."

"What?!"

"Yeah. Anya, my girlfriend? One mouth shy of a whole face."

"Wow. Well... yeah, that definitely is weird." She shook her head, biting down gently on her thumbnail as she glanced out the window at the snow. "I mean I woke up to my parents suddenly contemplating getting back together, then Willow says it's snowing, and--"

"Uh yeah, Buff? I've got a former-demon girlfriend whose mouth suddenly went AWOL. Pretty sure I win this one."

"Right. Yeah, you definitely do."

"I don't get it. I mean... sure, lastnight I kinda hoped she'd eventually shut up, but that was more along the lines of, y'know... closing her mouth. Not losing it all together. I still liked having it around for kissing and stuff."

She rolled her eyes, pointedly ignoring Xander. And after a moment's thought, she told him, "I think we need to talk to Giles about all this. Maybe he'll know what's going on. Or at least how to help set everything right again."

"No, I just tried calling. His phone's off the hook."

"It is?" Buffy's stomach dropped at the thought of something awful happening to her former Watcher at the same time their 'wishes' of sorts were being granted. "Alright, uh... grab Anya and meet me and Willow at Giles' place in an hour. Okay?"

"You got it." Before she was about to click back to her other best friend, his voice rang out once more. "Oh, and Buffy?"

"Yeah?"

"Do you have an extra pair of boots by any chance? Anya only has sandals and says she needs boots because of the snow."

She furrowed her brow. "How did she tell you that if she doesn't have a mouth?"

"She threw my work boots at me."

Buffy sighed, rolling her eyes and promising to bring an extra pair of boots before bidding Xander goodbye and clicking back to the other line. "Will?"

"Yeah?"

"Can you swing by and pick me up? You, me, Xander and Anya are gonna meet at Giles' place in an hour. Something weird is definitely going on."

"Was that Xander? What's weird with him?" It barely took a beat before she amended, "Well... I mean aside from the usual."

"I'll explain on the way. Can you just come over?"

"Sure! On my way."

And as soon as she hung up, Buffy started to pace back and forth, worrying about the impact of their wishes... and what had become of her former Watcher.


*****

Precisely one hour later, the four of them met outside Giles' apartment, Buffy in the lead as she raised a fist to knock. After the first minute of receiving no response, each of them began to look around. "Any windows broken?" Buffy asked of Willow.

"No. Is the door unlocked, maybe?"

She tried the handle. "Nope," she huffed, and tried knocking again, a bit harder this time.

Finally, after what felt like hours, they heard the door unlatch before Giles pulled it open, clad in a dark blue bath robe over long striped pajama pants. "Oh. Hullo. H-how are you lot doing this morning?"

Buffy just stared at him sternly through her lashes, arms folded across her chest. "Oversleep again?" she asked wryly, hoping against hope that was why he had taken so long to answer the door.

"What? N-no. No." Distraction laced his tone and he raked a hand through his quite-tousled hair, a sleepy look in his eyes as he gestured them in, eyeing the snow suspiciously a moment before closing the door. "It seems you've... caught me on a very strange day."

"Yeah, well, we've been having a pretty strange day ourselves," Buffy sighed, still eyeing him warily.

A noise in the kitchen caught their attention, and that was when all four of them looked over to see someone moving around in the kitchen -- a very female someone -- with her back to them, wearing one of Giles' shirts. Buffy quirked an eyebrow at Giles, instantly recalling the last time she'd caught him... 'entertaining a guest.' "Aren't you gonna introduce us to your, uh... friend?"

"I, um..." It appeared he was fighting not to smile as he reached a hand out toward the person in the kitchen, silently beckoning their attention. "I don't think I need to."

And when she came around the corner, Buffy, Willow and Xander all wore matching expressions of shock: eyes wide as saucers, eyebrows at their highest points on their foreheads. Willow's voice, an octave higher than usual, addressed her. "Miss Calendar?!"

Jenny, who'd been carrying with her two cups of tea, handed both off to Giles before waving at the children. "Hi, kids."

"Dammit!" Xander exclaimed, suddenly upset. When everyone turned to look at him, he threw a hand up, gesturing to Giles before it fell back to his side. "Giles wins! Dead love-of-your-life suddenly not-so-dead anymore? Always wins."

Giles tilted his head at the young man, quirking a curious brow, before they all turned their attention back to Jenny. Willow moved quickly toward her and threw her arms around her, the force of her hug practically knocking the petite woman over. "Is it really you?"

Jenny smiled, running a maternal hand through Willow's hair. "I think so." She pulled back with a warm smile, squeezing her hands gently.

"But why? How?"

Giles jumped in, handing Jenny's cup of tea back to her once Willow had completely relinquished hold on her. "Uh, w-we're not certain, exactly." He nodded toward in Anya's direction, gesturing toward the scarf covering her mouth. "What, um..." he trailed off, watching her reach for it.

Sheepishly, Anya averted her eyes and peeled the scarf down, exposing the bare skin where her mouth once was. Giles' eyes widened at the sight, and Jenny gasped... the sound of which drew Xander's attention. He stared at her blankly a moment before realization hit. "Oh! Right." Then, he gestured from Anya to Jenny, and back again. "Anya, Miss Calendar. Miss Calendar, Anya."

Jenny attempted a smile as she shook the young girl's hand, still startled slightly by the sight of her missing mouth. "Nice, um... nice to meet you."

Anya echoed the sentiments in a heartfelt mumble, which just caused Jenny's eyebrows to furrow before she tentatively smiled again. Xander leaned toward her, nodding toward Anya as he informed her lowly, "She used to be a vengeance demon," and nodded when Jenny did. Then, he turned and repeated the gesture with Anya, nodding in Jenny's direction. "She used to be dead."

Giles rolled his eyes. "Yes, thank you Xander. Now that we've all, ehm... exchanged pleasantries, why don't we get to talking?" He gestured to the living room, where the kids settled in before he turned to Jenny, smiling when she stretched up to kiss him.

"Gonna go change into a pair of your sweats and a tee shirt," she told him, glancing down at her attire. "I should probably be wearing something other than just your button-up shirt."

"You're probably right. And I take that to mean that my robe isn't exactly the appropriate ensemble for a discussion with the children."

She giggled and pecked his lips again. "No."

He nodded and turned to the kids. "We'll be down in a moment, we just need to change."

"There isn't gonna be any hanky-panky, is there?" Xander teased with a grin, then sobered up to an almost sad expression. "Because frankly, that would leave me feeling a tad insecure." Off Buffy's look, he shrugged. "What? It's so weird that I'd feel emasculated if Giles got more play than me? He's so old!"

Giles raised his eyebrows. "Beg pardon?"

Xander just stared blankly a moment. "Uh... old... -er. Older. Than me. But, uh..." His tone brightened, as if trying to cheer him up, "Younger! Than some countries!"

With another roll of his eyes, Giles ushered a smirking Jenny up the stairs, following her only after shooting Xander a scathing look.




TBC


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Uther Pendragon's Loyal Wench: giles buffy - with xander in hallfirthgal on June 9th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Aww, I loved this! Especially the Buffy/Giles exchange, which... I shouldn't read subtext into because this isn't a Buffy/Giles story, but, you know, I can't help myself. And oh how I love happy-and-in-love Giles. And the Giles/Xander exchange at the end had me laughing. Loved it!
a.: giles/jenny; and then we kissregalish on June 11th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
Especially the Buffy/Giles exchange, which... I shouldn't read subtext into because this isn't a Buffy/Giles story Awwww. I'll try not to be bummed, LOL, because you're right - definitely not a Buffy/Giles fic in any way, shape or form; I actually did my best to avoid any kind of subtext since I want the focus to go to Giles/Jenny (I'll have to try harder next chapter, lol!) - but I'm thinking you could probably find B/G subtext in a ball of lint, haha.

HAPPY-IN-LOVE GILES IS SO DARLING. And I've always adored his interactions with Xander, so I def had to pay homage to it :D :D

More to come soooooon! (as soon as I stop being lazy, of course - stay tuned!)
Uther Pendragon's Loyal Wench: giles buffy - look of lovefirthgal on June 11th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
but I'm thinking you could probably find B/G subtext in a ball of lint, haha

THIS IS TRUE. Psh, all they have to do is say "hi" to each other and I will be like, "!!! THEY'RE IN LOOOOVE!" So, trust me, you didn't do anything wrong! The fact that I found subtext in their little bit is just ME being ME and you capturing their interaction perfectly.
i'll be your dipping sauce bitch: --not a disney dream--inthegiggleloop on June 25th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC)
I really love this.
a.: giles/jenny; i've got youregalish on June 25th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it; I hope to have the third installment ready soon. :)
sheshyre_catsheshyre_cat on August 30th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
Aaaaaand another story I only found now, what the heck's wrong with me? I used to be the freak that knew every piece of Jenny out there...

Anyway, it still is great to find things I didn't already knew by heart. So, again you wrote a brilliant beginning of another Jenny/Giles story. My favorite line was from Xander this time. "She used to be dead." *chuckles*

I know you're busy with Twosome but did you write the third installment yet? *blinks puppy dog eyes*

I loved the idea with the stars making every wish come true and I'm really curious on how you want to fix things (like Anya). Huh... I just hope fixing things doesn't mean taking Jenny away again...
a.: jenny; vulnerabilityregalish on November 24th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Gah. I SO fail for just finding this now. BUT-

I am so glad you enjoyed this installment, and the premise. I haven't had time yet to do the third installment; and actually I'm a teensy bit disheartened because ALL of the notes I had for this story, which basically outlined the entire plot, were lost completely when my last computer crashed. So, I now am tasked with having to go back and trying to recreate dialogue I had written in for later parts.

I really hope to get going on this at some point in the near future, though! For now, definitely keep an eye on Twosome. Got lots of more in store for alt-season three :D