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Title: A Very Special Christmas part 1/?
Author: Michelle
Date: April 2004
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Summary: It’s Christmas Eve in Sunnydale. What could possibly go wrong?
Disclaimer: These are not my characters. They belong to Joss, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB & Mutant Enemy. This is purely for fun.
Spoilers: This story takes place in season four, but I did use some elements from season five.
Distribution: If you want it, you can have it. Just tell me where to find it.
Feedback: I love it, want it, and need it.
Website: http://www.geocities.com/dragonlover_4ever

Author’s note 1: This is a sequel to Band Cookies and Unexpected Guests but can be read as a stand alone. Those stories can be read here: http://www.geocities.com/dragonlover_4ever/band_cookies01.html http://www.geocities.com/dragonlover_4ever/unexpected_guests.html

Author’s note 2: Buffy and Giles are married and are expecting their first child. Buffy is close to her due date. Giles has already bought the Magic Box. Faith never went bad, and Wesley is her Watcher. Oz has left, and Willow and Tara are together. Edward is Giles' father. Also, there’s no Riley. I use single quotes to denote thoughts.

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Buffy laughed as Dawn pinned Rupert to the mat once more. “Buffy, this is not funny ” Rupert said.

“Sure it is,” Buffy insisted between fits of laughter. “Besides, it was your idea to teach Dawn self defense.”

Dawn stood and held her hand out to him. “Need some help?”

“I am quite capable of getting up on my own,” Giles grumbled. Buffy continued laughing.

“Whatever.”

Rupert stood, wincing. “You are making excellent progress, Dawn.”

“Well, I’ve been getting tips from someone else.”

“Who?”

“I’ve been sparring with her,” Faith said as she and Wesley entered the training room at the back of the Magic Box. “Hey, G. Wes and I are going on patrol.”

Dawn ran to them. “Can I go? I won’t get in the way. I promise.”

Wesley spoke up. “I don’t know, Dawn.”

“Come on, guys. I need some practical experience.” She pleaded with Buffy. “Please,” she begged.

“I was about her age when I started patrolling. Maybe we should let her go.”

“I’ll go along,” Rupert offered. He turned to Dawn. “I’d like to see how you fare on patrol.”

“Don’t worry about me,” Buffy said as she started to push herself to her feet. “I’ll get a ride to Mom’s from Anya and Xander.”

Rupert rushed to her side. “Buffy, you don’t need to get up.” He sat next to her and kissed the top of her head. “I’ll see you at your mum’s later.” He leaned down and gave her belly a kiss. “You, too.” He looked back up at his wife. “Anya will be closing the shop soon. Rest until she’s ready to leave.”

Buffy nodded. “I’ll see you later.”

He kissed her again and murmured “I love you” to her and the baby before leaving with the others.

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As Buffy watched Anya preparing to close up the shop, she heard the bell above the door ring. Anya turned toward the sound. “Welcome to the Magic Box. What can I give you in exchange for your money?”

“I’m not here to make a purchase. I dropped in to see Buffy.”

Buffy smiled at the sound of the familiar British voice. “Edward, I thought you said you couldn’t be here for the holidays.”

“I called in a few favors.” Edward met her partway as she waddled over to greet him. “I couldn’t miss spending Christmas with you, Rupert and my soon to be grandchild..” He gave her a big hug.

“How are you?” Buffy asked as he let go.

“Good. How are you and the baby?”

“We’re good. After the first trimester, the morning sickness went away. Mostly. It’s been good, but I’m tired of being big as a house. I can’t do any slayer stuff.” She noticed the woman standing behind Edward. “God, I’m sorry. Here I am rambling on, and you haven’t been able to introduce us to your friend.”

“Buffy, this is Kathryn.” Edward put his arm around Kathryn’s waist as he introduced her. “Kathryn, this is Buffy. Behind the counter is Anya, and Xander is sitting at the table.”

Xander smiled and waved. Anya was preoccupied with counting her money.

“It’s good to meet you, Buffy. Edward talks about you and Rupert all the time.”

“Hey,” Xander interjected when he heard her voice. “You’re not British.”

“No, I’m from L.A. originally. I moved to Sunnydale a few years ago.” Kathryn turned her attention back to Buffy. “So, Buffy, when is the baby due?”

“Not for a couple of weeks, but I feel like I could pop any day now.”

“Where is Rupert?” Edward inquired. “I can’t imagine he wouldn’t want to share Christmas Eve with you.”

“He’s out patrolling with Dawn, Faith and Wesley. I’ll see him at my mom’s later. We’re all having dinner there tonight. Why don’t you come along. It’ll be a nice surprise for him.”

“I’d like that. Thank you.” Edward turned to Kathryn. “If it’s all right with you?”

Kathryn didn’t get a chance to answer as the phone rang. Anya, being closest to it, answered it. “Magic Box, how may I help you purchase our merchandise?” Anya paused. “Oh, Buffy, it’s for you.”

“Hello.”

“Buffy, it’s Angel. Are you all right?”

“I’m fine, Angel. What’s wrong?”

“Cordelia had a vision about you. We were worried.”

“About me? What kind of vision?” Buffy asked as she fidgeted with the phone cord.

“Vampires, lots of them. She said a few will come at first, then a lot more later. Buffy, they’re coming after you. The demon community thinks you’re going to be especially vulnerable tonight.”

“When you say a lot, how many are we talking about? Fifteen? Twenty?” She tried to keep the panic out of her voice.

“No. Cordelia saw hundreds. Buffy, I’m sorry. I thought you should know.” Buffy barely heard him. The color drained from her face. Her mouth moved, but no sound came out.

Edward had been watching and listening. He was prepared when Buffy started to drop the phone and staggered back. Supporting her with an arm around her waist, he caught the phone before it fell and gave it to Xander. Xander assured Angel that Buffy was okay and asked him what was wrong.

Edward helped Buffy sit down and knelt in front of her. “Buffy, are you all right?” She didn’t answer, but leaned her head against his chest and began to cry. He put his arms around her and watched as Xander hung up the phone.

Xander looked pale. “Guys, we’ve got a big problem.”

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continued in part 2
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