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protecting_you: New arrivals, new appearances

"You never needed to thank me, love," Giles told his wife with a smile as he stood up and walked across the room to join her. "The gift of our son was thanks enough. I was just glad I could be there to help you. I was so worried that I wouldn't be there at all, much less to see his birth."

He gave her a kiss then pulled back and smiled when Wesley called him "Da". Reaching up his hooked his little finger around his son's small one. Then he looked over at Fred and chuckled at her father-son comment. "And he looks just like you when he's sleeping," he told her as they headed upstairs. "Yes, I have watched you when you sleep."

When they entered the room, Giles stood back, letting Fred introduce Wesley to the small baby in Willow's arms. He had to laugh at the way his eleven-month-old son was already quite the flirt. He didn't blame Oz for his paternal instincts kicking in. He had a feeling Wesley was going to be quite the handful when he got older, especially if his own teenage years were anything to go by.

"You may need two sticks," Giles told Oz as he stepped forward and sat down on the bed. He looked down at the baby, seeing the shock of red hair peaking out from underneath the blanket. Of course, she couldn't have been anything but a redhead, given her parentage. "She's beautiful, Willow."

He looked up at the young woman he had watched grow from a gawky, uncertain, shy teenager into the beautiful young adult before him and smiled. Willow was a mother. A mother and a self-assured witch who had come so far.

"You've done so well," he told her softly, reaching out and touching Willow's cheek briefly. "I'm so proud of you."

"Thank you." Willow looked down at her daughter for a moment, and Giles could tell that she was remembering the other Tara, the one who had meant so much to her. "I wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for you, you know."

Giles smiled softly before looking over at his wife. "Neither would I."


Rupert Giles

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September 2006