Title: All The Relatives
Rating: Pg-13 ish
Warnings: None unless you don’t like the idea of Giles’ family not being really nice
Summary: Giles has to go to a family reunion, and he takes Buffy with him. Sort of AU pre-season 5. Riley is already gone. Everything else is pretty much the same.
Disclaimer: I don’t own. Joss, WB, FX, Fox, Mutant Enemy, etc ,etc own. I’m making no money off of this. I don’t own the characters, nor am I acting as an agent on behalf of the afore mentioned entities. I am merely using their characters for my own amusement.
There was a soft cursing sound coming from the general vicinity of Giles’ refrigerator as Buffy strode into his place without knocking. As Buffy crept closer, she could indeed hear the sounds of an irritated Giles. The kind of sounds that usually made her cringe as they were generally directed at her when she had done something incredibly stupid and irritating.
Of course, Buffy had not done anything irritating, that she knew of, lately, so she crept ever closer. Giles had everything out of his refrigerator and was furiously scrubbing out his vegetable drawer.
“You, know Giles, even I know that veggies rot when you don’t use them. I don’t think that your fridge deserves to die for that,” Buffy commented over his shoulder.
“What?” Giles turned around from his hunched over position. “Buffy, I didn’t hear you come in.”
“Yeah, well you were kind of busy threatening your kitchen appliances with evil torture to notice me.”
“Ah,” was Giles’ only comment.
Buffy stood there and stared at him. He stared back.
“Sooooo, what did it do to piss you off? Did your jellied kidneys or whatever spoil?” Buffy said after a bit.
Giles sighed. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Why not?” Buffy pouted.
“Because, I just don’t want to,” Giles snapped.
“But, I thought we were like friends or partners or something. Shouldn’t you tell me? It always helps to talk to friends. Unless, of course, this has something to do with me, in which case maybe you should talk to Xander or Willow ‘cause you might not want to talk to me.”
Giles smiled briefly at Buffy’s attempt at empathy. “It doesn’t have anything to do with you directly, Buffy.”
“But indirectly?” Buffy queried.
“In a way, yes.” Giles replied.
“So? Tell Buffy.”
“My family is having a reunion,” Giles mumbled.
Buffy looked at him in shock. “You have family members that are living?”
“No, I have three zombies and ten vampires in my family. Of course they are living.”
“Hey, it isn’t my fault that you never mentioned them,” Buffy retorted.
“You never asked,” Giles shot back.
“Well, talking about your relatives doesn’t require asking. Xander, Willow and I freely gave away that kind of info. Anyway, why is that causing you to viciously attack your fridge?”
Giles took his glasses off and played a bit with them before he answered.
“My family situation is very difficult. My father married my mother on impulse after they had been dating for only a few weeks. She did not know about watcher or slayers or vampires. When my father tried to explain the situation to her, she became hysterical and accused him of trying to get out of the marriage. Eventually they reconciled, but Mother steadfastly refused to believe in any sort of mystical powers, so father basically hid what he did from her.”
Buffy frowned. “How could she not believe it?”
“I’m not exactly certain. Her willingness to disbelieve stretched farther than most; I assume. In any case, my brother George was born about a year after they were married.”
“Wait a sec, you have a brother?” Buffy asked in shock.
“A brother and a sister, actually, I happen to be the baby of the family,” Giles responded.
“The baby Giles?” Buffy smiled teasingly.
Giles simply ignored her and continued with his short story. “Neither my brother nor my sister tested to be a potential watcher…”
“They test for watcherness?” Buffy interrupted.
“Yes, they do. Now let me tell the story. My father did not want to end our particular line of watchers with himself, so he talked my mother into having another child which turned out to be me. Of course, my mother had enough on her hands with two children, and my father basically wanted me just to continue on his legacy,” Giles continued.
Buffy frowned. “No wonder you aren’t happy to see them.”
“Ah, but it gets better. Obviously, I did test for a watcher, and my father’s frustrations with my childhood grocer dreams aside, I grew up fairly well. That is, of course, until the day that the council decided to give my father a potential to take care of and train.”
“I take it that your mother didn’t like the idea,” Buffy stated.
“She loathed it. She accused him of having an affair with her. My brother and sister took mother’s side. I, of course, took father’s side and tried to explain it to them, but all of them were quite upset with me. Mother left and took my sister with her. George was already in college as he was twenty. Nancy, my sister, was seventeen, and I was the ripe age of sixteen. My mother and siblings refused to talk to me after they left.”
Buffy’s face contorted in anger. “You should have loosed a vampire on them and then seen how fast their tune changed.”
Giles smiled faintly at Buffy’s protective speech. “Really Buffy, I don’t think killing my family members by vampire would have solved anything. In any case, you have a fair idea of what happened afterwards. My Ripper days need not be explained and after that, I dragged myself back to the council where my father had rather harsh words to say to me. Basically, he told me that he never wanted to speak to such a disgrace again and that I would never be worthy of the Slayer.”
Buffy snorted. “Shows how much he knew. Was he shocked when he found out about your assignment to me?”
“Actually, he doesn’t know. He took a research assignment to observe in another dimension. When he came back, he apparently bumped into my mother, and they have reconciled which gave them the idea to reconcile with poor, old Rupert.”
“Hence the angry appliance slayage?” Buffy asked.
“Yes. I honestly don’t know what to do. My mother never wanted me in the first place. My father saw me as a tool and was quite disappointed in me. My brother always felt himself superior, and my sister was fond of me, but she did cut ties with me. I don’t really care to see them, but I’m afraid that I cannot avoid it.”
“I don’t suppose you could tape a note to the door that says ‘Go away’?” Buffy jested.
Giles shook his head. “I’m afraid not. What is worse is that they are bringing their families along. And what am I? A lonely, old Watcher,” Giles looked away as he got as close as he ever did to sulking.
“Hey, I resent that. I’m your family. Why don’t take me along? Or better yet, you could take the gang with.” Buffy said in a fit of inspiration.
“I’m not entirely certain that would be a good idea,” Giles replied.
Buffy dismissed him with a wave of her hand. “Of course it is a good idea. Think how envious your brother is going to be when fit and buff Giles strides in with all of his hip and cool friends.”
“Or, he could just think I’m an asinine twit going through a midlife crisis,” Giles rejoined.
Buffy shook her head in disagreement. “I don’t think so. Come on Giles, you’re like really fit for your age. Beheading vamps and beating up creepy crawling things.”
“Getting hit on my head every other day,” Giles reminded her bitterly.
“You mean to tell me that your family wouldn’t be shocked and mildly pissed if I showed up on your arm?”
“I just don’t think that… What?” Giles asked not certain about what he had just heard.
“Well, you can’t go to one of these things dateless. And I’m fairly certain that Willow would be with Tara, and Xander would want to be with Anya. Who were you planning on taking? Spike?”
“Buffy,” Giles began, “You are my slayer.”
“So? Nobody knows that. Not even your dad knows that I’m the Slayer from what you’ve told me.”
“Although the thought does sound appealing, I don’t think that it is a good idea. A man my age running around with people your age doesn’t exactly reflect well.”
Buffy sighed in exasperation. “Well, what about taking me? Or don’t you think I’m good date material? I get it. Riley was right. I’m totally un-date-able. I’m the road kill of dates. One look at Buffy and the dates turn into toxic waste zones.”
“No, that’s fine Giles. Really, I understand,” Buffy said as she started out of his kitchen.
Giles looked up at his ceiling and exhaled before speaking, “Buffy, I’d love to have you come with me.”
“Really?” Buffy squeaked in excitement.
Giles smiled, “Yes.”
Suddenly, he found himself in a hug.
“Thank you Giles,” Buffy said with her face against his chest.
They stood there for a second, neither one particularly hurried to let go. Giles had just let his mind wander to how he should hug Buffy more often when a muffled voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Giles, where exactly is this reunion being held?”
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