Title: Wrong Baby 1/1
Author's Note: Feedback Please!
Disclaimer: Joss and the WB own all that you know and love, I merely own the situations that they find themselves in. (And the others that they associate with from my imagination.)
Spoiler: Everything up to Band Candy and Amends.
Timeline: After Band Candy and before Amends.
Summary: A month after the Band Candy incident, Giles confronts Joyce about what they did on the night they ate the band candy.
Joyce smiled as she talked into the phone."Of course it's no problem. I'm taking off from the gallery starting this weekend, so it's perfect timing, Celeste. No problem at all. When do you think that you'll be able to drop off Jamie? On Friday night? We'll be ready. And don't you worry a thing. Bye."
Buffy looked at her mother curiously as she entered the sunny kitchen."And what was that about?"
Joyce turned to smile brightly at her daughter."You remember Celeste Harrison, my old college roommate that got married three years ago? Well, Celeste's husband is away on business and her mother can't come and watch over her son. Celeste is having another baby, and she has to got into the hospital for a few days and wants us to watch over her son. He's about four months."
Buffy gaped at her mother."What? You want to spend your time off watching over a baby? Is this a mid-life crisis sort of thing?"
Joyce gave her daughter an admonishing look."No, not a mid-life crisis sort of thing. Just something that I can do, honey. For a friend."
"There's something else isn't there,"Buffy scowled suspiciously at her mother. "There has to be. No one watches a baby on their week off from work and thinks it's fun. I mean, you're not getting paid for doing it and you're too old to care for having another one. So what's the gig?"
Joyce threw her hands up, exasperated."I admit it! It's all an evil plot for me to go out there and get impregnated! Just so that I can give \par you something to think about! I want to go out there and seduce some man so that you can become the Chosen Baby-sitter instead of the Slayer!"
"Mom!"Buffy shouted, horrified."You're not supposed to think so Melrose! You're a mom, not Amanda!"
Joyce rolled her eyes as she placed her hands on her daughter's shoulders."I'm sorry, honey. I'll try to remember that I'm a Mom and not a sultry siren of the night."
"Good, 'cause you know about that AIDS thing and all that out there. And just imagining you and Giles out the factory was enough to give me the wiggins,"Buffy groused as she stuck her head into the refrigerator. Thus missing the quick blush on her mother's face. She turned with a can of soda in hand."So what's with the baby-sitting gig, Mom?"
"Occasionally I get these strange urges to take care of a baby. Or a child. I think it's called maternal instinct syndrome. Usually happens when their child is just about old enough to go to college, I think,"Joyce said as she took the can from her daughter's hands."No soda, water."
Buffy rolled her eyes."I wanted the soda."
"No,"Joyce answered serenely.
Buffy sighed then leaned back against the counter."Fine then. About the baby. No other ulterior motive then. I get the point. But Mom? Please don't mention anything about getting impregnated. Brings forth disturbing images in my mind."
"Brings forth? Since when did you use that phrase?"Joyce said amused."I never heard you say that before."
Buffy covered her eyes and sighed."Spending way too much time around Giles again. Need to use some teen words, stat."
"Let's start by walking around the medical building first, and then head towards the mall,"Joyce laughed as she pointed to the calender."We have to go drop by the dentist's first for your appointment, then I need to see if we can rent some baby stuff for the week."
"Dentist?"Buffy nearly shouted, horrified." Dentist? I was just at the dentist about six months ago!"
Amused, Joyce looked at her daughter."Buffy, you know that you have to visit dentist every six months."
"But Mom! No cavities! See?"Buffy said as she opened her mouth wide."Great teeth! Lotsa milk! Plenty of calcium!"
"Buffy...no arguements,"Joyce warned. She pointed to the doorway."Go change... then we can hit the mall. After renting baby equipment. Think of it as earning the right to be in the mall."
Buffy sulked at her mother."Tis so unfair. Earning the right to go to the mall. Going to the dentist. Getting baby stuff. I am *so* unlucky."
"You're lucky that the dentist is in the same mall as the supermarket and baby store, else it'd be a really long Saturday for you,"Joyce commented as she pointed to the clock wall."You have about twenty minutes to get ready."
"I just hope that no one gets the wrong ideas when we get the baby stuff,"Buffy grumbled as she bounded out the kitchen."I hate Saturday."
Giles sighed with relief as he looked around his apartment. It was as clean as it was going to get, considering how much books and papers he had stashed around his flat. Thank heavens that Saturday chore was done.It was time, as his stomach started grumbling, to get something to eat.
His smile fell when all he saw was an empty milk container, three grapes, withered carrots. And a box of Chinese take out. Three weeks old. Sighing, he took out the grapes. "I guess the next stop is the market."
"Now, honey, remember to not bite the nice dentist's hand,"Joyce teased as she parked the car in the lot. "Or else no lollipops for you."
Finally looking away from the window, Buffy rolled her eyes."Mom, I hadn't bitten the dentist's hand since I as five."
"Seven, but who's counting? Though I never understood why you bit him the last time,"Joyce corrected as she walked out of the car.
"I sneezed,"Buffy said blandly. Then she eyed the ominous looking medical building."Can't we do this, oh, I don't know, maybe in the next century?"
Joyce managed to give her daughter a maternal frown."And have your teeth looking like those vamps like you kill? Not a chance, honey. I'll walk you in, and if you promise to not bolt, I'll make lasagna tonight."
Buffy thought so hard about it, she scowled."Add in getting the chunky chocolate pecan ice cream as a treat after my time in the chair, then we'll have a deal."
"My daughter the future cavity queen,"Joyce sighed."Done. I'll hit the supermarket after I stop by. Then we hit the baby place and bookstore."
Buffy lifted her eyebrow."And when do we hit the mall? I'm pretty sure that my being in the torture chair won't take that long."
"After we hit the baby place,"Joyce promised as she took her daughter's hand and lead her into the building.
As Giles got out of his car, he spotted two familiar blondes not more than a hundred feet away from him, then quickly squelched the urge to get back into his car and drive away. He dealt with Buffy everyday, but he had yet to see Joyce face to face after that... incident with Ethan's candy. And to be quite frank, he had no idea of what to say to Joyce when he thought about it, other than the question, "Do you want to repeat what we did on my living room floor, on my bed, against my wall and the police car?"
He was torn between desiring to forget that the whole thing happened and desperately wanting it to happen again. Quite the dilemma for a Watcher. A dilemma he was trying not to face just at this moment.
He noted that both Buffy and Joyce had entered the medical building, and sighed with relief."Well, at least there's no chance of me meeting Joyce just yet. Coward that I am. Now, on to the shopping before they get out of the building."
Joyce shook her head in wonder as she left the dentist's office. How was it that her daughter could, according to Mr.Giles, face a nest of vampires without batting an eye, yet she's near tears when she has to go to the dentist. She stifled the urge to go back into that office and hold her daughter's hand.
Speaking of Ripper, ah, Mr.Giles... it was becoming easier to think of him as that, how was she going to face him? It was nearly a month after they had...sex because of the candy, and they had yet to meet each other in person. What could she say to the man?
"Oh, don't think about it, Joyce. It's only a check up and you have to get a lot done before Monday hits. So...on with the grocery shopping.Maybe then the bookstore. And then to New Additions."
Joyce sighed as she started rolling her cart and looking at her grocery list then looked around the entrance of the store, and began to hear a clock ticking and the theme to "Superman" in her mind. "Let's see, one list with fifteen plus items versus the forty minutes of a non-trouble Buffy in the dentist's chair. Will I get all the groceries on the list in time? Will Buffy bite the dentist again? Will I ever learn to stop talking to myself in the grocery store? Hell, first stop, fruit. Oh, wonderful. Spinach and pickles are on sale..."
Giles sighed as he turned the corner as he finished getting his meats. He already got the most important items on his list, his fruit and tea. Now for the next important item, his morning cereal. Did this store even have porridge?
Joyce smiled with satisfaction as she looked at her shopping cart. Not bad for a twenty minute marathon in the supermarket, and she had even managed to get more vegetables than expected and didn't even forget the bread. She looked at the magazines around the cashier's line and spotted an interesting title."Hey, must be my lucky day. Something I can actually read without laughing."
Giles grimaced as he looked into his shopping cart. How had he managed to pick up so many items? Especially when he had a list. Oh well, might as well pay for everything now. He shook his head as he bumped into another cart by accident."Hey!"
"Oh, so sorry, madam. Ah, Joyce,"Giles stammered as he looked at the slightly shocked face that appeared from behind one of those condensed version books that the market was always trying to pawn off on the unsuspecting public."Hello."
"Rip-erm, ah, Mr.Giles, how are you,"Joyce greeted as her face flushed slightly. She quickly looked down at his cart. Typical single male food standards, plus fruit."I see that you're doing some grocery shopping."
Joyce cringed inwardly at her stupid remark as Giles nodded his head vigorously. "Oh, yes. I can see that you've been doing a lot of shopping as well. Still have to do some more. Ah, what are you reading? Something good?"
"This? Just a passing interest for the moment,"Joyce said as she quickly put the book on its rack again."So...how are you?"
Giles was about to reply when the cashier shouted,"Next!"
"Sorry, got to go,"Joyce smiled apologetically as she started to place her items on the cashier's conveyer belt."It was, ah, nice seeing you."
"And you. Good day,"Giles said as he quickly moved over to the next food aisle. Then sighed with relief."Well, that went well, I think. At least I didn't ask if she liked candy."
Joyce loaded the bags of groceries quickly on to her cart, and quickly walked towards her car. And started to load them in. She had less than twenty minutes to rent the baby furniture and get some baby books. She had better hurry, especially if she didn't want to meet Rip-ah, Mr.Giles again. She was *not* about to meet him until she was ready.
Giles glanced over to where Joyce was parked, and quickly walked the other way. Just his luck that he was parked over by her other side, and that he had to pass her to get to his car. He did *not* want to make small conversation with her again until he was ready. He quickly headed towards his favorite hang out. Might as well see what new trinkets that Cecil was able to get him.
Joyce looked quickly around and saw no indication of Buffy's watcher. She sighed in relief, then walked briskly towards the bookstore. She had less than thirteen minutes to get some books before Buffy started screaming bloody murder and staked the dentist.
"Hello, how may I help you?"asked the salesman as soon as she entered the store. Joyce smiled at the man as she eyed the store. It was bright, homey, and there was a faint scent of new books in the air.
"Yes, can you tell me where the child care books are?"Joyce asked as she approached the man."Ah, Cecil?"
"Right this way,"Cecil said as he lead her briskly towards the back. Giles poked his head out from an aisle of books and watched Joyce's and Cecil's retreating backs, his mouth wide open.
"Child care books?"Giles repeated to himself."Why on earth would Joyce need child care books?"
Before he could ponder the question, Giles saw Cecil and Joyce head back towards the front. And then quickly ducked back into his aisle. He stayed there until he heard the door shut again. His mind was still whirling the question in his mind when Cecil came up to him."Did you find what you were looking for, Rupert?"
Giles shook his head, then looked at the books in his hands and stared blankly at them. What was it he was reading? Giles looked up at Cecil's face, and noted the curious look. He forced a smile."Ah, I seem to have these volumes at home, but I don't have this one. Can you ring this up for me?"
"Sure,"Cecil said as he took the volume and headed towards the cash register.
Giles cleared his throat."Um, Cecil? That woman that just left here with all those, ah, books-"
"Which one? The pretty blonde one that just left with those three childcare books just now?"Cecil asked absently him absently."What about her? Credit or cash?"
"Ah, credit,"Giles said as he handed Cecil his credit card."She just bought some child care books?"
Cecil looked at Rupert curiously."Yes. So if you're interested in getting her number, it's probably too late, man. If a woman's buying child care books, there's probably a bun in the oven already. When a man buys them, you know there's one. Here sign this. You okay? Looking a little pale."
"Oh, ah, yes. I'm fine,"Giles stammered. He grabbed the pen and signed."Thank you. I, ah, have to go. Now. Good day."
"Hey, Rupe! Don't forget your book and grocery bags,"Cecil called out."They're right here! You sure that you're all kosher?"
Giles made a strangled sound as he ran out the door with his packages. Cecil shook his head."What a strange man..."
Giles ran out of the bookstore and searched the parking lot. Joyce's car was still parked, but there was no sign of Joyce. His blue hazel eyes then fell on a store across from him. New Additions. He started to walk forcefully towards it when he saw Joyce walk out of the store, smiling. Then walked towards the medical building, look at the directory and enter it.
He ran towards the building as fast as his packages would allow him when he heard his name being called. He turned to see Ms.Barton, the advanced English Literature teacher call him."Ah, hello, Ms.Barton. How are you?"
"I'm fine, Mr.Giles. I thought it was you. I wanted to ask you something about several of the books in the library,"Ms.Barton started.
Mr.Giles cringed inwardly. Normally, he was quite happy to answer questions about his library, right now he was wishing that the Hellmouth would open and swallow her whole. He shifted his packages again."Ah, I am sorry, Ms. Barton. I am in a bit of a hurry,. Are you sure that this can not wait until-"
*rip* Giles looked down and saw his groceries spill out on to the pavement.'Oh, bloody hell..."
Ms. Barton winced as she knelt down to help pick up the poor man's groceries."Oh, dear, Mr.Giles! I am so sorry! I wasn't aware- here, let me help you!"
By the time Ms.Barton helped Giles gather up all the fallen groceries, Joyce's car was gone.
Joyce gave her daughter an annoyed glance."I suppose that you had a reason for doing that to the poor man."
Buffy crossed her arms and pouted."He should have warned me first."
"It was not a big deal, honey,"Joyce said as she rolled her eyes."All it was-"
"Was a torture session of poor Buffy. I was the one in the torture chair,"Buffy said as she sat defensively in her seat. She glared at her mother."You could have told me what might happen!"
The light was red so that Joyce could fully face her daughter."Buffy, it was merely a check up for you! There was no reason for you to bite his fingers so hard that you broke them! He was only trying to get an x-ray of your teeth!"
Buffy scowled at her mother."Can we go shopping now? So need a break from all this horror that is my life!"
Giles sighed as he entered his apartment. He mechanically put his groceries away as his mind reviewed what he just discovered.
Joyce bought childcaring books. That in itself was innocent, but she was also reading one while on line at the market. 'Just something a passing interest' she had said as she put it away. He face was flushed, and she avoided looking at him.
He put away his carrots. Then as further evidence, he noticed that there was an awful amount of pickles, spinach and ice cream in her shopping cart. Pregnant women were supposed to eat an abundant amount of those things, he had heard. Especially the pickles and the ice cream.
'If a woman's buying child care books, there's probably a bun in the oven already.' Cecil had said when he asked him about the books that Joyce bought. A bun in the oven. A bun in the oven....
Joyce was then walking from New Additions, the baby furniture store. Smiling. Looking radiant. Giles stopped his hand as his jaw dropped when it all just hit him. "Oh, my Lord...Joyce is having my baby!"
He then promptly dropped the gallon of orange juice on his foot.
Buffy giggled as she made faces at little Jamie. The baby watched her, then giggled back."So you're Jamie! Peek-a-Boo!"
Jamie gurgled at Buffy. Joyce looked at her friend."I think that Buffy's found a new friend, Celeste."
Celeste chuckled."I'm sure that she did. He's a good baby, and I brought extra provisions: diapers, bottles, milk, formula, clothes. I wish I could take him to the hospital with me, but-"
"Celeste, he'll be fine here. And you'll be fine there,"Joyce soothed as she placed her hands on Celeste's shoulders."I mean with all the testing that they have to do on you now that you're pregnant again, they're just trying to make sure that you have a happy and healthy baby."
Celeste sniffed."Yeah. Just hormones again. It's just that I've waited so long for Jamie, and now I've got another one, it's just-"
"I know,"Joyce said as she looked at her daughter make funny faces at little Jamie, who was now gurgling at Buffy's antics again."Come on, let's grab some milk."
"I cannot believe that you were able to rent all this stuff for Jamie,"Celeste said as she followed Joyce into the kitchen."It's lucky that you knew the owners of that store, Joyce."
Joyce shrugged."Helps to know who is who at the Shop-Keepers Association. Now tell me about this move to Idaho. I have cousins there, you know..."
Giles waited outside the school halls for Buffy. He had thought about this rationally, everything he had was based on circumstantial evidence. He had no hard proof that Joyce was pregnant. With his baby.
So he planned to ferret out the information from Buffy, then confront Joyce with the truth. All he had to do was make sure he caught Buffy before first period. To find out if Joyce really was pregnant. With his baby.
That is not to say that it wasn't possible. After all, they had made love on his carpet, on his bed, against the wall and on the police car. Four times was more than enough to get her pregnant. And all of those times were without protection.
Giles breathed deeply as he closed his eyes. He had driven by Joyce's house several times on Sunday, but the car was never there. And the answering machine was on for most of Saturday night. When he finally broke down, and called the gallery, he was told that Joyce had the next few days off. To settle some personal business.
To settle some personal business. That sounded ominious. Joyce wasn't planning to get an abortion, was she? No, she wouldn't, else why would she be getting child care books and baby furniture? No, no, she was planning to keep the baby. If there was one. Which there was.
"Mr.Giles!"called out Principal Snyder."May I have a word with you?"
Giles groaned inwardly as he walked towards the little pissant, and saw Buffy enter the school from the other entrance with Willow and Xander. Bloody hell.
Forcing himself to keep busy as he waited for Buffy to report in for her free period, Giles shelved books. Cleaned the tables. Dusted the computer. Wiped the library counter. And he did it all over again. By eleven thirty, he started to straighten the mess under the library counter. All while thinking of names and nursey schools for the baby he was sure Joyce was not pregnant with.
Walking towards the library, Buffy laughed as she related her weird weekend to Willow. "And then we spent the whole day in the park with Jaime. He was just so cute, Will. He liked the swings, and loved when I went fast down the slide. Too bad that he's moving to Idaho. I'd like Jaime to visit more which is a weird thing to say, I think. Isn't it? I mean I'm not supposed to be wanting a baby to stay just so I can play with him, am I?"
The two girls entered the library. Buffy sighed as she put her books down on the library counter."I mean, Mom having a baby is different from me wanting one around, isn't it?"
Willow looked at her friend curiously."So when's the move to Idaho?"
"Idaho!?! Ow!"yelped a voice from behind the library counter. Giles came up, rubbing his head as he tried to glare at Buffy."Bloody hell! Your motehr's having a baby?"
Buffy looked at her watcher with amusement."Knocking in the work there, aren't you Giles?"
"Just answer the question,"Giles snapped. Buffy looked at him in askance."Please."
"Have. We have a baby,"Buffy said slowly."Why?"
His mind reeling, Giles simply glared at her."Because I would appreciate this sort of news, Buffy. That's why!"
Giles stomped off to his office and grabbed his jacket before Buffy and Willow could move. He was nearly out the door when he looked at Buffy again."And you are not moving to Idaho!"
Buffy and Willow watched as Giles stomped out the doors. Willow looked at Buffy, absolutely bewildered."What was that about? Why does he think \par that you're moving to Idaho?"