Buffy smiled and downed her final vial. She held it up, feeling an odd mix of emotions washing over her. She, Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer, the girl who wasn’t supposed to live much past eighteen, was trying to have a baby. With a vampire. Her life was perfect.
She gently placed the empty vial alongside the other ones, and examined herself in the mirror. What would she look like in a couple of months? Would her boobs get bigger? He stomach surely would, but what about the rest of her body? She’d read a bunch of things, but still…well, she wasn’t pregnant yet. And she should really remedy that.
Her hair was straight and flowing, longer than she’d ever had it before. Her make up was light, though her eyes were darker and alluring, and her clothes…well, those were designed to make Spike jump her bones as soon as he saw her. She adjusted her lacy bra and smiled. This was going to be fun! Buffy sashayed out of the bathroom and went in search of her mate.
She stalked through their three-bedroom apartment, grateful that they no longer had any potentially embarrassing/scaring parental moments. Buffy had walked in on her mom and Giles once and that had been it. She’d picked out the first suitable apartment and that had been the end of that…though there was something about the whole incident that made her think it had been engineered. But that was the paranoid part of her thinking, and right now she had a mate to seduce.
She found Spike on the couch reading some old, dusty book that smelled a bit musty. She grinned and struck a pose in the doorframe.
“Hello lover-boy.” Everything in Spike was suddenly focused 100% on the woman behind him. He could smell her arousal and hear the want in her voice. He slowly turned his head, a small growl escaping his lips.
Buffy smirked. Spike’s blue eyes were already fading into gold when he looked at her, a testament to how quickly she could make him lose control. She felt powerful, extremely sexy, and hella turned on. Spike’s eyes burned a trail on her skin, lingering on the red-and-black ensemble that covered his favorite parts of her. Like the predator he was, he slowly unfurled himself from the couch, his movements smooth and controlled, an almost careless languidity to them.
A wall of want/lust/love slammed into her through their bond, and she whimpered. There was a fire burning merrily away in her abdomen that only he could stop. Spike’s predatory smile wasn’t helping either. Her mouth watered when he shed his shirt, the muscles rippling under his pale skin. He grinned at the lascivious look she was giving him. Gods he loved this woman.
He finally covered the ground that separated them, pausing to revel in the heat her body gave off. He inhaled, enjoying the scent of his mate’s arousal. It was a heady, musky scent that held the promise of naughty things to come. His arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her flush against him.
“I love you,” he whispered, before capturing her lips in a searing, demanding kiss. Buffy’s hands were on his pants, poised to release his poor, trapped cock when a pounding on the door echoed through the room.
“You’re fuckin’ kidding me!” Buffy snarled, glaring balefully in the general direction of their hated front door.
“Ignore it,” Spike commanded, lifting her up and pressing her against the wall. She moaned, feeling the bulge in his jeans rubbing against her.
But the pounding refused to stop or go away, and whoever was at the door suddenly discovered the doorbell. With a curse, Spike dropped Buffy on her feet and hobbled to the door, nearly tearing the annoying chunk of wood off its hinges.
“This had better be bloody fucking important!” A dumbfounded Giles stared in growing horror at the enraged master vampire before him, who was looking thoroughly…mussed. Yes, mussed was an appropriate word. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, the top buttons of his jeans were open, and his normally impeccable hair was sticking every which way. And he was giving the watcher the Death Glare usually reserved for Angel.
“E-e-e-emergency,” Giles spluttered, trying to ignore what Spike—and by extension, Buffy—had been doing.
Spike leveled a Piercing Look at his fellow Englishman and decided he could live…this time. Giles began fidgeting under Spike’s stare, his hands itching to take off his glasses.
“Fine.” Spike growled, slamming the door in Giles’ face. The watcher was too busy being relieved that he’d left to care about Spike’s rudeness.
Spike and Buffy made it out in ten minutes, neither of them in a particularly happy mood. Giles stayed as far away from Buffy’s sword as he could, convinced she’d use it to decapitate him…though Spike’s axe wasn’t an appealing alternative.
“What do I get to kill?” she asked with deadly anger in her voice. Every line of her body radiated frustrated ire.
“A-a-a-a group of m-magick practitioners. Willow and I have ascertained that they are trying to reverse a spell, something the Powers have in place, though we haven’t quite managed to find out what. But their counterspell involves the sacrificing of virgins, and with the amount of power they’re tapping into, were they to succeed, the results could be—“
“Apocalyptic, yeah yeah. I have the limited edition mug.”
Buffy and Spike killed the virgin-sacrificing demons in record time as Giles escorted the six terrified virgins to safety and (hopefully) to get laid; the 3:3 male to female ratio worked in their favor. Spike looked over at his mate, holding a bloody axe, her chest heaving, and he knew he had to have her. NOW. He tossed the sword aside—he didn’t even remember switching weapons—and stalked towards her.
He pushed her up against a crypt, his demon reveling in her scent, smelling her heady blood where someone had nicked her. He growled when she pushed back, stumbling back and dragging her with him. They fell to the ground, Buffy on top of him, their kisses demanding and rough; their need was immediate and couldn’t be put off. They pushed aside the clothes that kept them from one another frantically. With a sigh, Spike felt himself enveloped by Buffy’s scorching heat, the warm depths of his mate heavenly and peaceful. He rolled them over, their love and need surging through the bond and growing with every pass it made.
Buffy arched her back, reveling in the feelings and emotions her mate produced in her. She felt herself reaching the precipice, and opened herself to him fully. And she was in him, and he was in her, and she had no idea where one stopped and the other began. She felt the walls of her quim pulsing around her hard, throbbing member; she saw herself through Spike’s eyes, her face mired in ecstasy. She felt his deep, unyielding love for her, and soothed the raw places within him; she felt him completely, just as she knew he felt everything she was. They were one, together; there were no secrets in this place. She screamed in pleasure when they lunged for Buffy’s throat, feeling the seductiveness of the bite, her body’s answer to the deep pulls of blood. With a strangled cry, they came together; a gentle hint of red threaded through their vision, a sign that the magical fertility potion was doing its work.
Their orgasmic bliss was cut short as a wall of power struck them, flinging the lovers into a nearby crypt. A warlock with his head half cut off staggered drunkenly towards the fallen couple. Buffy watched, stunned and unable to move, as he raised his hand to hurl another remnant of the power the group had summoned at them. But before he managed to release it, he collapsed, and the energy turned back on its holder. The warlock died screaming.
Spike’s vision was blurry, but nothing could blunt the stench of burning flesh. He was never more thankful that he was a vampire and therefore didn’t have anything to throw up. Buffy wasn’t as lucky.
“No more sex in the cemetery,” she muttered darkly, her eyes bugging a little. This was not the romantic night of baby-makin’ love she’d envisioned.
“Let’s get you home kitten…and I’ll make up for it.” Despite the nauseous stench, Buffy found she could still muster up a leer.
Buffy woke up with a small gasp, her mate’s tongue doing deliciously naughty things to her body. Spike nipped her clit and Buffy’s hips surged off the bed.
“What was that, pet?” an amused, cocky voice asked. Buffy looked down, her heart jumping when he gave her that boyish smirk. His hair was tousled, and he looked so sinfully innocent resting between her thighs.
“I want you.” Her words couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a command. Her arousal increased when he growled lowly, the vibrations moving though her, his blue eyes tinged with amber. He crawled up her body, intent obvious in his body, a promise in his eyes.
“Buffy, stop fidgeting,” Joyce commanded off handedly. Jason threw a bowl on the ground a grinned maniacally, his blue eyes twinkling. Joyce smiled fondly at her mischievous son. He’d have his father’s charm that was sure. With a small laugh, Joyce picked up the offending piece of dinner ware.
“I don’t like waiting,” Buffy pouted, folding her hands across her chest.
“God, you and Spike boink like bunnies on Viagra. You’re so pregnant!” Dawn exclaimed, fishing some ice cream out of the fridge. Buffy stuck her tongue out at her little sister’s back while Joyce pointedly ignored her feuding daughters. There were some things about her eldest she just was not ready to discuss openly.
“Joyce I…oh, Buffy. You’re here. I take it last night’s clean up was not too…distasteful?” Giles asked. Buffy glared at her watcher, imaging a perfectly thrown stake nailing him to the wall so she could slowly flay all the skin off his body.
“It was GREAT. Just SUPER. Much more ENJOYABLE than what we WERE doing.” Giles reached up to take off his glasses, realized he was already cleaning said glasses, paused, and then thought sod it, my Slayer daughter is talking about having sex with her vampire mate I damn well have a right to clean my bloody glasses. Dawn snickered, Joyce pleasantly ignored the continued implications of the conversation, and Jason threw his fork to the ground with a happy gurgle.
Buffy was pulled out of her sulk when a wave of sickness washed through the claim. She doubled over, clutching her stomach.
“I have to go, something’s wrong with Spike!” Everyone was looking at her with concern.
“A-are you sure?” Giles asked, replacing his thoroughly cleaned glasses.
“He—“ Buffy doubled over again, her vision blurry and head spinning. A wave of intense heat made her feel like her body was on fire. Joyce took stock of the situation and marshaled her troops.
“Giles, feed Jason and make sure Dawn does her homework. I’m going to drive Buffy back to her apartment to check on Spike.”
Spike was curled on the bed feeling like death warmed over a giant bonfire. His stomach was not a happy camper; he felt nauseous and his skin was hot, two sensations he was no longer accustomed to…unless he was buried inside Buffy’s warm depth. Another wave of nausea flooded him and he ratcheted. Another thing he wasn’t used to: the thought of his beautiful mate making him sick. His stomach rolled rebelliously and he moaned pitifully. This would be much, much easier if he actually had something to throw up.
“Spike!” Buffy’s voice was his only solace amidst the pain. He couldn’t speak, only grunt around the intense pain holding his body hostage. This sucked. “Oh God, Spike!” Buffy’s hands were all over him, feeling his head. He leaned into her touch, her hands cool and soothing. Cool? When was Buffy cool to him?
“Mom, he’s burning up! He’s got body heat! He shouldn’t have body heat! What can we do? He-he-he-he—“
“Buffy, calm down.” Joyce’s cool hands caressed his heated skin. “I want you to go soak a couple of towels and bring them here.” Buffy nodded, but she couldn’t seem to take her eyes off of Spike. “Buffy, go.” With Joyce’s prodding, Buffy was up in a flash, disappearing into the bathroom. Keeping her hands on Spike so she could monitor his temperature, Joyce reached for the bedside phone and dialed a familiar number.
“Tara? I need you to get over to Buffy’s apartment immediately. Spike’s sick.”
Willow glanced up at the stairs as she placed her sixth plate of cookies on the table beside the others. Tara had rushed over after receiving a call from Joyce…that had been this morning. Eventually, all of the Scoobies had ended up at Spike and Buffy’s apartment, including Christopher and Jason. Anya was cooing over the children, and Xander was marshalling the take out. But there hadn’t been much of an update from upstairs for a couple of hours.
“You think he’ll be OK?” Dawn’s tremulous voice asked. Willow gave the young girl what she hoped was a reassuring smile.
“He’ll be fine. I mean, how many times has Buffy tried to kill him? She way scarier than some silly flu.” Dawn didn’t look at all convinced, but before she could ask Willow any more questions, footsteps echoing down the stairs had everyone on their feet. An exhausted looking Tara came down first, followed by Joyce who was supporting her strained looking daughter.
“Xander, would you get something for Buffy and Tara to eat?” Joyce asked sternly, her look explicitly stating that there would be no inundation of questions. Xander nodded solemnly and started piling Chinese food on a plate. With a kiss for her eldest, Joyce disappeared back upstairs to watch over Spike with Giles.
“Is…is he OK?” Dawn asked. Buffy sighed and opened her arms, wrapping her little sister in a tight hug.
“What happened?” Willow asked with wide eyes.
“I don’t know,” Tara mumbled, rubbing her bleary eyes. She’d spent the day doing healing spell after healing spell, but none of them worked for long. All she really had was Buffy’s reassurance that it (whatever it was) was getting better. “Giles and I…we think whatever the Warlock hit him with last night is causing this.”
“But didn’t Buffy get hit too?” Xander asked, placing two full plates in front of the exhausted women.
“Can’t figure that one out. Maybe it’s because I’m not dead.” Buffy unenthusiastically shoveled some food in her mouth.
“I just hope it didn’t hurt the baby,” Anya said with a smile. Buffy froze, her hand half way to her mouth, her eyes wide. Her chin began trembling, and her eyes watered. Dawn’s eyes widened. Oh no. Of all the things for Anya to say…
“Buffy…” A single, fat tear leaked out of watery emerald eyes. “Buffy!” A rib-cracking sob wracked the slayer’s frame. And that was it. Buffy started crying in earnest, her emotions finally catching up with her and compounded by her newly realized fear that her maybe-non-existent baby had been hurt.
“No no no, Buffy, I’m sure it will be fine!” Willow rushed over to try and calm her friend down. She gently rocked Buffy back and forth, whispering reassurances and trying everything she knew to get her friend to calm down.
That’s how Giles found them, huddled around a nearly hysterical Buffy who had used the past five minutes to convince herself that her as-of-yet unconfirmed baby and mate were near death. Anya had ushered the children out of the room, Xander was hovering around the women looking totally helpless.
“Buffy?” he ventured, cringing when his voice came out as a half-hearted whisper. “Ahem…BUFFY!” That, perhaps, was a bit too forceful. But at least Buffy was looking (glaring) at him (along with the rest of the room.)
“Spike’s awake and would like to see you.” He felt a brief breeze a caught a blur of blond as Buffy vaulted up the stairs.
Buffy saw the last of her friends out the door and closed it with a weary sigh. Spike’s body temperature was still higher than normal, but at least he was coherent and he’d managed to get and keep some blood down. All she wanted to do was go upstairs and cuddle with her mate and have everything perfect in the morning.
She stopped in the doorway and smiled. He was curled on the bed with Maverick, the skinny little Persian kitten they’d liberated from a poker game when Buffy couldn’t bear to see the slightly crazy but absolutely adorable kitten eaten. Spike had grumbled the whole way home, dropping the creature in the kitchen before stomping noisily up stairs. But he’d been a goner when the kitten had let out a pitiful mewl. They’d turned around to see him with his front paws on the first step, stretched to his full height, staring at them with large green eyes that begged them not to leave him downstairs. Before she knew what had happen, Spike swooped down and cradled the tiny creature in his arms, a purr reverberating through his chest and into the content cat who responded with a purr of his own. They’d been fairly inseparable since. It wasn’t uncommon for Buffy to get home and find her two boys on the couch, Maverick perched on Spike’s chest, rumbling away.
Buffy smiled at the picture and slipped in behind Spike, molding her body against his back. She felt a deep rumble of contentment start in his chest and smiled. She squirmed a bit, caught between the need to be close to her sick love and the increased warmth of the bed; Spike’s body was still generating its own heat, and it felt a little odd after sleeping with a heat-absorbing body for so long. But he’d be alright by the morning. He had to be.
“Isn’t there someone we could see? Like a doctor or something?”
“Yeah, but vampires can get sick. I mean, look at you! You’re all with the body heat right now!” Buffy pouted playfully, but her worry was genuine. It had been nearly two weeks since the incident, and Spike’s body was still generating heat. Not quite as much as a normal human’s, but enough that it was noticeable, and he was still having trouble keeping down his blood on the now rare occasions he wanted to eat. All of that equaled trouble to Buffy.
“Luv,” Spike said with exasperated patience, “I’ll be fine. Red says it’s just the residue of the spell…and that was pretty powerful stuff, yeah? Fifteen horny warlocks and virgin sacrifices? Soddin’ heat-creatin’ paradise.” Buffy wrinkled her nose in that adorable way of hers.
“That made absolutely no sense!”
“Sure it did. Your puerile brain just can’t handle it.” Spike dropped a kiss on her nose. In reality, he was nervous about the after effects of this spell. It wasn’t just the lack of appetite; there were other things going on in his body that he hadn’t told her about...like the annoying feeling that he’d swear was the impulse to go to the bathroom. But he didn’t want to worry Buffy; these things would pass and she didn’t need the extra worry.
“Puerile? How very William of you!” Spike growled and tackled the laughing imp to the ground. He smothered her protests with a kiss, which quickly became heated. He felt himself start to swell, his body reacting to Buffy’s presence. God, he could snog his slayer for the rest of his life and never get tired.
“Spumphik!” Buffy’s hands pushed at his chest, but he really didn’t want to let go of her lips. She started squirming under him, which wasn’t helping things either. He ground his erection into her, feeling and smelling her reaction to him. “Shpihke! Spike!” She only got the word out when Spike’s mouth left to explore the silky skin of her neck.
“Appointment!” she gasped. He nibbled on her collar bone, salving the sharp nips with his tongue just the way Buffy liked it. “Magick Box!” He nuzzled her clothed breasts, wondering if she’d be mad if he ripped this shirt to shreds too. “Now!” Spike found himself upside down on the other side of the room.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered darkly.
“You won’t be able to swear in front of Junior,” Buffy said mock-sternly. Spike’s eyes lit up and he smiled at her, that innocent boyish grin that was filled with hope and love and all the goodness in the world. He did a summersault onto his feet, bouncing and ready to go.
“Magick Box. Now!” he commanded. Giggling like school children, they darted out of the house.
“Hello welcome to the—nonpaying customers do not get my friendly capitalist greeting.” Anya nodded and went back to counting receipts. Buffy and Spike simply rolled their eyes and continued to the back table, where the remnants of a spell were scattered across the top.
“Ah, Buffy! Good, you’re here. We just completed the spell. Here’s the crystal.” Giles handed a clear quartz crystal to his Slayer with a small smile. Buffy simply stared at it. This…this was it. It was suddenly real, this whole baby thing. What if she wasn’t cut out to be a mother? She killed things for a living…she was CALLED to kill things. She brought death, not life. This was…
“You’ll be bloody brilliant, luv,” Spike whispered in her ear. She smiled and relaxed into her mate, enjoying his arms around her. She felt peace and sincerity through the claim; he believed in her. And that’s all she needed. His hand covered hers around the crystal.
“It’ll turn green,” Giles murmured, not wanting to break their moment. “The words ‘show me’ will activate the spell.” With a nod to Spike, Giles left them to their discovery.
Buffy turned her head, seeking Spike’s lips with her own. She smiled at him, a warm look filled with promise and love.
“No matter what, I love you.” His answering grin and the emotions visible in his beautiful blue eyes took her breath away. Even after all this time, and everything they’d been through, he still humbled her with his passion. Spike’s hand covered Buffy’s small ones.
“Show me,” she whispered at the crystal, her eyes locked with Spike’s. It warmed in her hands, but she couldn't bring herself to look. Spike pressed a kiss on her neck, below her ear, whispering words of encouragement. Slowly, they both moved their hands and stared. Tears stung Buffy’s eyes. She couldn’t tear herself away from the spelled crystal in front of her.
Spike’s eyes were also suspiciously moist as he met his mate’s wet gaze.
“We’re not naming it Fargo,” Buffy said with finality. With a loud, happy laugh, Spike scooped the love of his unlife into his arms and spun her around, trying to contain the happiness that wanted to burst from his chest.
“I’m going to be a grandmother!” Joyce crowed, practically glowing. She cuddled her baby boy to her chest, murmuring to him about his soon-to-be-born niece or nephew. Buffy smiled tolerantly at her mother, who had spent the better part of ten minutes sobbing joyfully on Buffy’s shoulder.
“C-congratulations, Buffy,” Giles said sincerely, enveloping his daughter in a hug; he’d long since given up not thinking of her as such, and their relationship had improved for it.
“Thanks, Giles,” Buffy said with uncharacteristic shyness. It meant the world to her that everyone was here, celebrating her pregnancy. Everyone except for Spike, who’d disappeared after a few hearty slaps on the back from Xander. She could feel him lurking around, a sent a quick burst of affection to him through their bond. His answering wave of love and tenderness brought tears to her eyes.
“Buffy? Are you alright?” Willow asked. Buffy quickly wiped her eyes and smiled at her friend.
“Yeah. Pregnancy hormones or something,” she assured the redhead, who nodded sagely.
“Buffy, can you let Spike know his blood’s ready?” Joyce’s voice called out to them. Buffy relayed the message to her mate, wherever he was lurking.
“So, are you totally excited or way wigged?” Willow asked with a giggle.
“Kinda both?” Buffy admitted.
“T-t-that’s OK. It’s normal to be nervous,” Tara volunteered with a shy smile. Buffy grinned and pulled the shy Wiccan into a big bear hug; she was pregnant and could blame it all on hormones! The scent she associated with Spike overpowered Tara’s smell and she opened her eyes to meet his smiling baby blues. Spike sipped his blood, his eyes never leaving his slayer’s. He was going to be a father!
“So,” Buffy said with a grin, pulling away, “what do we—“ She stopped abruptly as Spike slammed his cup down and sprinted out of the room. Buffy was after him in a couple of seconds, watching in horror as Spike ratcheted in the bathroom.
“Spike? Spike! Are you OK? Do you need a doctor? Should I call an ambulance?” She rubbed his back soothingly as his body shuddered and heaved.
“Buffy? Buffy? What’s wrong?” Buffy looked up to see the Scoobies clustered around the door way, peering in curiously. Shaking her head, she slammed the door and turned her attention back to her sick mate. Spike was leaning against the back wall, eyes closed.
“Talk to me, Spike,” Buff pleaded, stroking his arm.
“’s nothing, pet,” the vampire assured. He cracked open one eye, trying to tamp his recoiling stomach down. “Jus…been a bit unsettled since last night. The blood just didn’t taste right. Like…sharp and metallic. Copper. Could’ve spoiled.” It was a weak excuse, and they both knew it.
“Spike…” Buffy murmured, her eyes pleading. She couldn't lose him. Not now. Not ever. She let her uncertainty and fear flow through the bond. It was a somewhat down and dirty trick, but she’d be damned if her child was going to grow up hearing stories about a father that had been too stubborn to get help.
“Make ya a deal, luv. Doc you’re seein’ tomorrow does general practice as well. We can have a check up together.” Buffy searched his eyes and saw only sincerity.
“You promise?” she asked, her face set in what could only be a cross between Resolve and Hope
“Promise you and the Mini-Bit,” Spike swore, placing his hand over Buffy’s belly. The smile that graced his golden goddess’s face was enough to make the promise worth it a thousand times over.
Buffy clutched Spike’s hand, trying to calm her racing heart. She hated doctors. A lot. Not even the gynecologist was exempt. Though the different demons scattered around the office were, weirdly enough, making her feel a little more comfortable. Demons were way easier to deal with than doctors.
“It’s going to be fine, luv,” Spike’s long-suffering voice broke through her thoughts. “Really…promise…” Buffy frowned at the uncharacteristic strain she could hear.
“Oh! Oh God! Sorry, I’m spazzo girl, and I…” Buffy stared mournfully at Spike’s slightly mangled hand.
“Think I prefer you breakin’ m’nose,” Spike mumbled, gingerly shaking the injured appendage. A loud sniff made him look at his love, whose eyes were large and filling with tears. “Oh, kitten, was just kidding.” Spike gathered the tearful slayer in his arms. If she was going to be like this for the next nine months…
“Ms. Summers?” a nurse called out.
“Show time, pet.” Spike smiled at her, wiping away the tears that had made their way down her face. She graced him with a small smile, allowing him to pull her up and towards the back rooms.
“Ms. Summers? I’m Sheila, your nurse. How are you feeling?” Buffy eyed the smiling woman with the violet eyes distrustfully
“Aroga’nack demon, luv. Peaceful, and very good at healing.” Sheila—what kind of name was that for a demon?—smiled reassuringly at her.
“Yeppers! Now, if you’d just hop right up here, I’m going to take some blood so we can verify your pregnancy and make sure there aren’t any other nasties floating around in there…but you’re the slayer so this is mostly a formality.” Sheila busies herself by arranging all of her blood-taking paraphernalia, which Buffy tried to ignore. For someone who was covered in blood and gore most every night, needles still made her queasy. But Sheila just keep nattering on. “It’s such an honor to meet you, by the way. You’re something of a legend, and not just here on the hellmouth!” Buffy perked up at that.
“Yeah?” she asked with curiosity. Spike smirked to himself; Buffy did have something of a vain streak to her. But as the only useful Slayer in existence, he felt she deserved it from time to time. She’d had any semblance of normalcy taken from her at a young age, a little flattery was hardly a fair trade. And it was a good thing he’d called the clinic to tell them about Buffy’s little needle…dislike before they’d arrived.
“Oh, of course! It’s not every slayer that defeats the Master, brings a hell god to her knees, and has such a record as you. You’re pretty famous! AND mated to an Aurelius master vampire? Pretty big on the demon prestige scale there. All done!” Buffy looked down in surprise as Sheila capped the blood vials and pressed some gauze into her arm. Buffy watched as the efficient nurse labeled everything and started making notations on her chart. “And I see here that you want us to do a work up on you, Mr. Spike.”
“You have to take his blood, too,” Buffy said petulantly. Spike took a moment to glare at Buffy. So maybe Buffy wasn’t the only one who wasn’t overly fond of needles.
“Luv,” he ground out, “I’m a vampire. S’not my blood.”
“I had to do it, you have to too!” Buffy said stubbornly, folding her arms over her chest. Spike opened his mouth to argue, but Sheila cut them off.
“Blood tests won’t tell us much unless there’s something magickal directly affecting his blood, which is a possibility and can’t hurt.” Sheila’s huge grin didn’t falter under the force of Spike’s scowl. When Buffy batted her emerald eyes at him, Spike grudgingly held out his arm and let Sheila poke and prod at him. “Aa-all done! I’m going to get these to the lab, and the doctor should be in as soon as the results come though.”
Buffy thanked the grinning demon-nurse, sharing a woman’s look over Spike’s head, and then burrowed into her mate’s arms.
“Dirty pool there, slayer,” Spike grumped. He felt her smile against his chest.
“I shouldn’t have to suffer alone!” she protested, giggling when Spike growled at her. He tilted her head up and captured her lips in a kiss. The kiss deepened, their tongues tangling with each other, rediscovering the sensitive spots that made them moan. They were so wrapped up in each other that they failed to hear the knock on the door, or the door open, or the polite cough. Rose smiled at the oblivious couple; she’d heard stories about the slayer and her vampire mate, but to actually see them was just too cute! Two of the most fearsome warriors in the world were making out on her exam table like a couple of hormone-filled teenagers. Filling her lungs, she coughed again…*LOUDLY* The startled couple jumped apart.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Rose Smith,” she said with a smothered laugh. “Buffy and Spike, right?” The two disheveled blonds nodded silently, trying to find their voices. The vampire regained his equilibrium first, sending the doctor a charming smile. Oh, this one was a looker!
“Thanks for seeing us so soon, pet.” Rose just arched an eyebrow at the vampire’s suave seductiveness, and shared an amused look with the Slayer. She was a pretty little thing, so tiny to hold so much power. But in her time serving the demon community, she’d seen some equally deceptive things…and some very weird ones, of which this one barely even ranked. Well. Maybe it ranked a little.
“Right. So, Spike…may I call you Spike?” In her experience, the few vampires that came through here didn’t stand much on human titles for respect. At the vampire’s nod, she continued, “Could you detail your symptoms for me?” Spike looked a bit taken aback, but soon shook it off.
“Ah, after the spell had some nausea, felt all hot, passed out somewhere there. Temperature’s still up, blood doesn't taste like it should, doesn’t sit well. Been having…” he trailed off and glanced at Buffy, “been havin’ these, ah, human…urges.” He was suddenly the intense focus of two women.
“What kind of urges?” the doctor asked, all business. Buffy’s eyes asked the same question, but with a lot more anger and accusation.
“Ah, like, wanting to eat food and, um, feels like…at least I think it’s…I haven’t been alive in years, this isn’t—“
“Spike!” Buffy warned him. She was pretty pissed that he hadn’t told her any of this, and she was so going to kick his ass when they got out of here.
“Feels like I gotta *ahem* gotothebathroom.” If he could have blushed, he’d have been bright red. He ducked his head and stared firmly at the ground. Buffy’s tiny hand slipped into his, and he squeezed it reassuringly. They watched as Dr. Rose scribbled down notes on her pad.
“That’s all I needed to know. Spike, I’m going to schedule you for a follow up in three months.”
“Three months?!” Buffy exclaimed. She was starting to reevaluate this doctor. Perhaps they needed a second opinion. “What are we supposed to do for the next three months?!”
“Well, I’d imagine what most expectant couples do,” Dr. Rose said blithely. “Build a nursery, buy some baby clothes, throw a shower, make sure Spike doesn’t get too stressed. Oh, and make sure you take your prenatal vitamins. The likelihood of this pregnancy progressing normally is highly unlikely. You may experience faster development in some stages and prolonged gestation in others; this is all purely speculation on my part, but…” Rose trailed off as she realized neither of the expectant parents were really paying attention to her.
“You mean…I’m really pregnant?” Buffy said with awe. Her hand fluttered over her stomach, and Spike’s rose to cover it. They shared a look that only expectant parents can muster.
“No.” Freezing water was dumped over Buffy’s happy baby thoughts, and she was brought forcefully to reality.
“What do you mean NO?” the Slayer asked menacingly.
“You’re not pregnant. Spike is.”
Spike stared at the doctor in shock. There was no bloody, buggerin’ way he’d heard that right. His entire body was numb, and his brain was stuck in something sticky.
“You…you STOLE MY BABY!” His astonished gaze turned to his glowering mate.
“What?” He was surprised he could even get that much out of his uncooperative mouth.
“You’re pregnant! Why are you pregnant? I’M supposed to be pregnant, with the gifts and the hormones and the-the-the BABY! You’re stealing my thunder!” Buffy’s eyes welled up with tears, and Spike’s first impulse was to go and comfort her…until he remembered that he was the bloody pregnant MALE.
“You’re off yer rocker if you think I WANT this! I’m a soddin’ Master Vampire! I don’t…give birth! I don’t carry little brats around for nine months and then pop ‘em out with a by-yer-leave! There is no FUCKING way I’m keeping this…this…THING in me! You take it out right now!” Rose looked skeptically amused at his outburst, and started to say something.
“Did you just call our child a brat? And a thing?” The Slayer’s deadly voice chilled the room. Buffy’s green eyes were narrowed into slits, her ire and anger focused on the man in front of her. The man who, for all intents and purposes, had robbed her of her motherhood. A smart man would have seen the warning signs and backed down; an idiot (read: Xander) would have missed them and carried blithely on, bumbling into pot hole after pot hole, though tempered with an air of innocence; but Spike was neither of these.
“So it’s our child now, is it? And before it was ‘my baby, my thunder, me, me BLOODY me!’” Spike’s high-pitched valley-girl accent made Buffy’s blood boil. She wanted to kill something. Badly. But that was just fine, because Spike wanted a fight. “Well, it doesn’t get to be YOU anymore because I’M the one who’s…” He stopped abruptly as the reality of the situation hit him. His eyes widened, and his unnecessary breath came faster. He was soddin’ PREGNANT. There was a baby, a tiny little life, what growing inside of him…a cold, dead, MALE master vampire. This was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG. He wasn’t cut out for this sort of thing! He was fucking MALE. He had a penis (a rather large, very nice looking one at that), which excused him from doing anything as messy as childbirth. And what was going to happen to his washboard abs?
The next thing Spike knew, he woke up on the examining table, uncomfortable crinkly paper loud in his ears. There was something cold and wet against the back of his neck.
“Shwat?” he mumbled. His tongue was thick and not cooperating.
“Oh baby! You shouldn’t overexert yourself, not in your delicate condition. He’s OK, right? And the baby, the baby’s OK? It didn’t get hurt when he fell?”
“No, no, they’re both fine. Just…let’s not make it a habit, yeah?”
“Bloody hell!” Spike went considerably whiter than was normal, even for a vampire.
“Oh no! Baby, come on Spike, don’t faint on me!”
“Faint?!” Spike’s eyes turned amber as he glared at the concerned woman hovering over him. “I’m a Master Vampire, I don’t bloody faint!” Buffy suppressed a grin.
“Of course you don’t, my big manly pregnant vampire.” Spike glowered at her, his lower lip pushing out in what looked suspiciously like a pout.
“Call the Wiccans, we’re putting Junior back where he belongs.”
“She,” Buffy corrected absently, already rooting around her purse for her phone.
“Whoa whoa whoa,” Rose interrupted. “That embryo isn’t going anywhere. Not for a good six months at least!”
“WHAT?” Under any other circumstance, Buffy would have found the high-pitched panicky noise coming out of her mate’s mouth amusing.
“Your baby is at a very crucial stage of its development; its brain stem and nervous system and heart are all developing. Doing something as traumatic as magickally transferring it from one parent to another…it’s a very bad idea. If the slightest thing goes wrong—the spellcaster’s concentration wavers for an instant, there’s some different herb mixed in with the right one, any number of things, your baby could die. Buffy’s body also isn’t ready to accept a developing fetus. The risk at trying this now is huge.”
Welcome to the Hellmouth, Buffy thought sarcastically. This was just…exactly what she’d come to expect. Of course someone else would end up pregnant with her child. Though it could have been someone much worse than Spike.
So I’m bad now, huh? The evil vampire again. Buffy jumped guiltily. Even now she forgot about the bond.
That’s not what I mean and you know it. Spike’s mental sigh reverberated in her brain.
I know, luv. This isn’t exactly easy for me, either. I’m not exactly happy to be preggers. Buffy’s mental giggle turned into full-fledged physical laughter that had Rose staring at them like her two super patients may just be a touch psychotic. What? Spike asked, affronted.
I knocked you up! Buffy laughed harder as Spike’s initial ire gave way to bemusement, and he was soon laughing along with her. Rose was hovering in the background, wondering what exactly she was missing and if she should leave. Buffy grasped the sides of Spike’s face in her hands and said mock-seriously, “I promise I won’t run off; I’ll support you and the baby. I won’t be a statistic or a stereotype. I’m going to do right by you.”
The blond duo burst into gales of laughter, sagging into each other’s arms. They could do this. They had each other, and they’d survived weirder. (OK, maybe not, but sometimes you needed to lie to yourself about these things. And chalk it all up to the hellmouth.)
“You two alright?” Rose hedged, her nervousness dissipating. In retrospect, hysterical laughter was a pretty benign way to react when you found out your husband was pregnant with your child. And preferable to the ways the supercharged couple could have reacted.
“I think we’ll be OK,” Buffy said, settling her hand into her mate’s. “Is there anything we need?”
“Spike’s going to need prenatal vitamins, they’re all in this pamphlet here. You’ll need regular checkups, which you can schedule with my receptionist. I have some special balm that will help with the stretch marks—“
“STRETCH MARKS?” Both women shared amused looks. “Wait, no. No, I’m…this is…my masculinity will never recover.” Buffy sidled up to him and fastened her lips around his ear.
“When we get home, I promise to remind you just how manly you really are!” Rose looked pointedly away when Spike’s eyes glazed over, his mind wandering over other things.
“Right!” his voice squeaked a bit as he pulled himself back to reality. “What else do we need to know?” He slipped his hand into Buffy’s back pocket, squeezing her toned ass. Didn’t expectant mothers get uber horny?
“Well, the, what did you call them, human urges? You’ve been feeling are most likely your body accommodating the new…life within you. They should subside when everything’s settled down. You’ll most likely continue emitting body heat for the duration. As I said, this cream will help with the stretching. If you’re going to transfer the fetus to Buffy for the third trimester, I have access to something that will ease the transition.” She glanced at her clients, who took a moment to share a silent communication before nodding at her.
“It’s a bad idea to just introduce the fetus willy-nilly into a body that hasn’t recently been pregnant. The hormones and changes in the body can actually put Buffy’s life in danger, as well as the child’s. But there are several demon species who propagate this way, and I’m going to prescribe you these pills and this tea. You’ll have to come here to get them since they’re not exactly FDA approved. Take one every day, and by the time the third trimester comes around, it shouldn’t be a big deal; they’ll just put Buffy’s body in sync with yours, Spike. Think of it like sympathy pangs for the entire pregnancy. The tea is just a supplement, drink it at least once a week, though more won’t really hurt. Any questions?”
“A million,” Spike muttered, not even reacting when Buffy slapped him upside his head.
“We’ll call you if anything comes up,” Buffy assured her. Rose shook Spike’s hand, and escorted the slightly freaked-put couple out. This was going to be one interesting pregnancy.
Spike’s grip was bordering on uncomfortable as they approached her mother’s house. Buffy had called a Scooby meeting tonight, opting to go with the whole rip the band-aid fast mentality.
“This is ridiculous,” Spike muttered, staring up at the steps. He hadn’t been this apprehensive about walking into this house since he’d come to break the news to Joyce that he and Buffy were moving in together. He’d made Buffy and Dawn hide all the sharp and heavy objects first.
“We can only put it off for so long, honey. Eventually, you’re going to start showing, and we’ll have to go shopping for maternity clothes…”
“Sod off you barmy bint,” he snapped.
“One day you will tell me what that means!” Buffy exclaimed, stomping her foot. Spike glanced at her from the corner of his eyes.
“Might as well do it while I’m pregnant. Can’t kill someone with child,” he mumbled, pulling Buffy up the stairs with him.
“What does THAT mean? Are you calling me a bad British word? Is it something I’m going to have to kick your—MOMMY!” Buffy’s smile was wider than normal, a sure indicator that she was hiding something. Joyce folded her arms over her chest and sent a suspicious look towards her daughter and son-in-law.
“Everyone’s waiting to hear how your appointment went.” When Buffy’s smile faltered, Joyce felt her heart clench. They’d both been through so much; they didn’t need anything else to burden their relationship.
“We’d…*I’d* like to do this once if we can take this indoors, Mum.” Joyce nodded, squashing down the desire to ask questions. She settled herself next to Giles, taking comfort in his presence. If her daughter was going to deliver the news she feared, she was going to need it.
“Buffy! How’s the appointment go? When do you get your first ultrasound? Are you going to find out the sex? Or are you going to wait and be surprised? I mean, it’d be great either way, though it can make buying balloons difficult, so I could just buy one of each, oh! Oh! Maybe a double-sided one with “It’s a girl” on one side and “It’s a boy” on the other!” Buffy smiled nervously at the redhead as she ran of breath.
“Yeah…about that…” The room seemed to still, everyone silent and unmoving, their eyes wide and questioning. She felt Spike tense beside her. “I’m not…exactly…pregnant. Per say.” The attention in the room subtly shifted to Willow.
“Th-that’s impossible! I did the spell. I did it right! I promise! Tara was there, she saw. I-I-I can do it again! I can do it better! I won’t mess up this time I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to put you through that can you ever forgive me I have a new cookie recipe that I think you’ll absolutely love—“
“Willow!” The startled wicth came to a grinding halt. “Your spell worked fine. You didn’t mess up.” Willow’s forehead scrunched.
“I don’t understand.”
“It worked. Spike and I were both touching the crystal when it turned green. Only…I’m not pregnant.” The dumbfounded expression remained on the redhead’s face. Everyone was staring at the duo, eyes jumping back and forth between them. And then Xander started laughing.
“Oh, this is rich! Thank you, Powers, someone up there likes me!”
“Xander?” Willow ventured, “What are you talking about?”
“Spike! He’s having a baby!” And the boy proceeded to fall off the couch in a fit of laughter that made his slightly squishy belly shake.
Surprisingly—or, you know, NOT considering everything the Scoobies had lived through and that this WAS the helllmouth—everyone just took Spiek’s pregnancy in stride. For once, Xander had the upper hand, taking pokes at Spike’s masculinity with gleeful abandon. Spike glowered at him, then smiled sweetly, making everyone nervous. He then encouraged Xander to make all the jokes he could, since the boy only had six months, whereas Spike had the rest of Xander’s poncy life. Joyce had retaliated on Xander’s behalf, dragging the unsuspecting vampire away to tell him everything he had to look forward to for the next sixth months in graphic detail. Buffy didn’t now that vampires could turn green until that day; point of fact, neither had Giles. He’d asked her to remind him to write it down in his watcher’s diaries.
It had taken some time, but both Spike and Buffy had reached a sort of zen acceptance of their situation. It helped that Joyce and Dawn had rounded up the rest of the team and told them in no uncertain terms that there was to be no negativity from anyone, and no using Spike as a lab rat—this was said with all eyes studiously avoiding Willow except for Joyce and Dawn’s piercing stares. Willow had concluded that Buffy wasn’t the only slayer in the Summers family. But the Scooby gang seemed to take the talk to heart.
They even went so far as to throw Spike a surprise baby shower. He’d tried to play it off, letting Buffy unwrap half the gifts, but she’d sensed his pleasure and happiness at being accepted. The first trimester went off without much of a hitch, the new couple wrapped up in preparing themselves for their rather unusual pregnancy and new child. So wrapped up, that they missed the glowing eyes that mapped their every move.
The Messenger slipped silently into the room, body bent in supplication. Time passed, unheeded, as The Messenger waited for the High One to speak.
“Report,” came the command, dismissive and bored.
“We have watched the Slayer, highness. She is not with child.” Pottery smashed the wall near the Messenger’s head, but the Messenger merely remained subservient; the High One held power over the life and death of all. This was the Way, and none could change that.
“The augurs do not lie! The child of a vampire and slayer has been conceived. You will fins this child! You must find my vessel! Your head is not payment enough if you do not!” The Messenger bowed deeply. If the High One said the child existed, it was so; and it would be found, for if it were not, a head was indeed a small price to pay for such a failure.
“Spike!” Buffy yelled. She giggled as he hauled her up the stairs, singly determined in his goal. “Spike!”
“What?” he snapped, before pushing his mate against the wall and kissing her breathless. He wanted her. Now.
“I swear you’re going to break me! You can’t possibly be horny again! We just did it!” His pout turned into a sly, wicked grin, and Buffy blushed as she remembered going to the restroom in the cozy little diner they’d gone to, only to be followed by her extremely horny vampire. They’d been presented with the check upon their exit by an amused waiter who was trying to look stern-faced in the shadow of her manager.
He’d passed out of the morning sickness stage and right into the horny as hell part without blinking an eye. Buffy had come home from shopping one day and hadn’t left their bed for a good thirty-four hours after that. Luckily for Spike, Buffy’s little body-preparing pill regime had given her similar ‘symptoms,’ so they were basically two overly horny super-humans with A LOT of stamina. Needless to say, no one saw them much and there wasn’t much slaying going on.
“But pe-et!” he winged. “I’m pregnant!” Buffy exploded into laughter; three months on and that was still funny. She pushed him against the door, sliding her key in the lock.
“Oh yeah?” He nodded vehemently, his innocent school boy look firmly in place. “Well in that case—I’m still sore.” He pouted again, looking so sadly dejected that Buffy felt her heart break a little, even through she knew it was a ruse. “But we can do other things.” His crystal blue eyes lit up, and he grinned, opening the door and yanking her over the threshold.
Neither one of them noticed the dark figure slinking off into the night.
“Highness.” Violet eyes opened, unfocused with sleep and indulgence. “Highness—we have found the child. The vampire carries it.” The Messenger bowed deeply as the High One rose; to interrupt the slumber of the Chosen was to risk death, but orders were orders, regardless of consequence.
“The vampire? All the better! Bring him to me—I will have my vessel at the dawning of the new moon!” The Messenger bowed, and left to carry out the tasks set down.
“I am not leaving this soddin’ house ever again,” Spike declared vehemently. Buffy stifled a giggle and looped her arms around his waist, her hands framing the little bump that had Spike in such a tizzy this morning.
“Baby, you’re beautiful. You glow.” Spike growled at her, his eyes fixated on what he was now calling the Death of his Killer Abs. He turned sideways, trying to gauge just how much his belly had expanded.
“Sod off, Slayer. ‘m not in the mood.” Spike glared at the little bump reflected at him, taunting him. His figure would NEVER recover.
“I want you.” Buffy’s hot breath on his ear and heated words made another part of him swell to life. His eyes darkened and his chest tightened. Buffy ran her hands down her mate’s body, starting at his collar bone, traveling down his muscled pecs, running lovingly over their child and then tucking themselves into his pants. Spike watched as his skin jumped where Buffy’s invisible hands roved, watched as those hands shifted the cloth of his pants. He’d done it to her many times before, but this was the first time he’d been on the other end of the experience. He’d have to remember to thank Glinda and Red for the thoughtful gift.
Buffy’s hand reached down, caressing his sensitive member. He closed his eyes with a sigh and sunk into her, enjoying the release she offered.
“Spike,” she whispered seductively, nibbling on his ear. She kissed her way down his neck, her hands diving further into his pants. He reached around and grabbed her tight little ass, bringing her flush against him. With one last glance at the mirror, seeing the effects of her invisible hands, he walked them backwards towards the bed.
He was all prepared for a nice, casual bought of love making, a little pre-bed time sex to get his day started off right. Until Buffy growled in his ear and bit down against her mark—hard. Then it was game over. He spun around, his demon at the forefront, demanding its mate. When he was in this state, with his heightened senses, he was even more aware of their child. He could feel the tentative heartbeat playing counterpoint against his own, could smell the change in his own scent. He could also smell the richness in Buffy’s scent as her body prepared itself for their child. A part of him (that he would never admit to having, at least not to anyone other than-maybe-Buffy) didn’t want to let the baby go.
He inhaled Buffy’s enriched scent, and his mouth watered at the thought of tasting her hormone-rich blood. She tasted like the Spring of Life, her already potent slayer’s blood enriched.
“God pet, the things you do to me.” He kissed her hungrily, relishing the feel and sound of her blouse giving way as he ripped it in half. He palmed her breasts, his hands exploring the supple, silky flesh exposed to the air. He growled in warning when Buffy tore away from him, only to feel his shirt give way under her own assault. He looked down and his bare chest, and back at his smirking love.
“I liked that shirt.” She raised an eyebrow at him and laid back, exposing herself to him. “Like you better.” He settled his length over her, pressing her into the mattress. They kissed hungrily, tearing at their pants, removing all of the barriers that kept them separate. Spike sunk into Buffy’s welcoming depths with a growl. She met him thrust for thrust, their eyes locked. Buffy clenched around Spike, sighing at the feel of him sliding within her, hitting her sweet spot and the tip of him brushing against her womb. When she was right on the edge, she flipped them over, his hands resting on her hips as she started riding him. She gasped, feeling the first warm wave build in her belly.
“Spike!” she gasped. The sound of his name, breathless and aroused, broke the last of Spike’s self control. He vamped, his eyes glowing gold. He increased the pace of his thrusts, slamming into Buffy’s willing body with abandon. Her eyes closed, and she gasped again, the beginning of her climax rolling through her. Spike sat up, changing the angle within her, and felt her quim pulsing around him.
With controlled precision, he buried his fangs into his mate’s neck, savoring the taste of her. Buffy came hard and long, her body quivering as Spike took long pulls of her blood. Her orgasm faded, only for another to crash over her as Spike continued to feed. She had a goofy, tired smile on her face as he laid her back, laving the bite marks with his tongue. She felt warm and fuzzy and yay. She giggled when he started purring and nuzzling into her breast.
“My Slayer,” he murmured sleepily.
“My vampire,” she giggled, a little loopy from the blood loss. But it was the only way Spike could get any blood in him, due to the baby, and really it felt very, very nice. With the power of her blood, he only needed to feed every few days. They lay there, wrapped up in each other, content and happy.
“I told you—‘m not leaving the house!” Spike folded his arms across his chest and fixed Buffy with his most stubborn look. He could handle this whole male-pregnancy thing, but there was no way in hell he was going to advertise it to the world.
“Spike, you have to! We need to see the doctor? Remember? Regular check ups to make sure everything’s OK?” Spike shook his head, looking decidedly temper tantrumy.
“No.” Buffy rolled her eyes. This was so ridiculous.
“Baby,” she said cajolingly, smiling her best ‘I’m-a-cheerleader-do-what-I-want’ look. “Don’t you want to make sure our baby’s OK? And hey…maybe Doctor Rose can get her out a little earlier.” Spike looked at Buffy suspiciously. She was totally playing him. He knew it. She knew it. Hell, she even knew that he knew that she knew that he knew. But there was absolutely NOTHING he could do about it, and she knew that too.
“Fine. But I’m sprinting everywhere and NOT waiting in the soddin’ waiting room!”
“OK baby. We’ll go straight to the room. Promise.”
“Well, I have good news!” Dr. Rose announced. “Your baby is a little ahead of normal development…I think we may be able to get a pretty decent ultrasound picture. Of course, it helps that we have some enhanced equipment; you’ll get a much better image than regular ultrasounds.”
“But it’s safe for the bitty, yeah?” Spike asked with concern.
“Perfectly,” Rose assured the nervous dad. She set up the machines, and pour contact gel over Spike’s stomach.
“Oi! That’s cold!” His objections trialed off as the first image of their child appeared on the screen. The two parents-to-be were transfixed. They couldn’t take their eyes off the little, tiny life on the screen.
“That’s…” Buffy whispered, squeezing Spike’s hand.
“That’s your very healthy, very good looking baby,” Dr. Rose confirmed. “Everything looks absolutely perfect.” She held the sounding rod against Spike’s belly a while long, letting the couple bask in their baby-ness.
“Thank you,” Buffy whispered tearfully when Rose had finished.
“You are most welcome,” the kindly doctor responded. “Now, I have the transference spell. I understand you have a wiccan friend who you’d like to do the transfer; I want to get it to her now so she can get used to it. Those pills seem to be doing a fine job, Buffy; if it weren’t for fear of your child, you could safely be implanted today. Keep with the program. And I’ll see you both in a month for another check up. Nothing to be alarmed about, I just want to monitor your child’s progress closely considering the…unique nature of the pregnancy.”
“Thanks, Doc. You’re a peach,” Spike said with a sexy grin. Even though the guy was pregnant, Rose couldn’t help the slight flush that ran through her body.
Spike made sure his long duster was wrapped around him before the exited the building, hand-in-hand with the love of his existence. They didn’t speak, just basked in the miracle that was their baby. Spike was overcome with a sudden, pressing feeling to tell Buffy exactly what he felt. He pulled her to a stop, turning her to face him.
“Buffy. Luv. I jus…I…I love you. You’re the best thing that’s every happened to me. I never thought you could love me. But you…you accept me, demon and monster. You make me feel like a man, like I’m worth somethin’. No one’s ever done that. You’re—“
But the end never came. Buffy was staring, misty-eyed, at the spot where Spike used to be, and was no longer.
“You’re fuckin’ KIDDING ME!” Buffy yelled, incensed. NO ONE interrupted her mate’s heartfelt confessions! Oh, someone was going DOWN.
The Messenger bowed in supplication, stretched over the alter. What a great honor, sacrificing one’s life to bring the High One’s vessel to fruition! Green eyes slid closed in ecstasy as the chancing grew in volume, knowing that honor and greatness was being brought upon the Mishligathianoian House in Service of the High One.
The High One caught the sacrificial blood in a chalice, combining it with the special mixture of herbs that had been prepared for this very ritual. The blonde vampire lay bound in the middle of the room, still unconscious. The vessel was here, almost ready for the High One. They just needed to speed a few things along…
The High One cut his palm, mixing in his royal blood, sealing the mixture. It flared with other worldly light, the spell taking full effect. With the humming in the background, the mixture was carefully spread over the vampire’s slightly distended stomach, looking vibrant against his pale skin. The remnants were poured down the unconscious man’s throat.
“Behold, my vessel!” the High One intoned. The chanting increased in volume, coming faster and more urgent. The ointment started glowing, and something rippled within the vampire.
“Where is he?” Buffy growled. Giles looked at his charge, safely on the other side of the room. He could have sworn her eyes were glowing and she was growling. Willow was so freaked out that she’d set fire to two Sunnydale maps with failed locator spells before Tara had taken over, for the safety of them all.
“Buffy, I’m sure we’ll find him in due course.” Glittering green eyes bored into him.
“Giles is right, honey,” Joyce’s soothing voice broke through. Suddenly, the Slayer vanished and a teary expectant mother was simultaneously threatening vengeance with a creativity that had Anya perking up and shaking with fear and going through a list of increasingly scary scenarios.
“He could be hurt! What about the baby? Oh, I’m going to pull out everyone of their hairs—one at a time! I'm going to—“
“I found him!” Tara burst into the room, slightly breathless. “He’s in the high school.”
“Naturally,” Buffy muttered darkly, before grabbing a rather hefty axe and striding out into the night.
He was never drinking again. A troll had taken up residence in his brain and was currently building a ten-story mansion. He opened his eyes but quickly shut them again as the world spun and his stomach rolled. His stomach…that felt really very weird. Actually, something was pressing rather harshly against most of his internal organs; laying on his back was really painful. It was a good thing none of those organs were necessary anymore. Squashing down his nausea, Spike opened his eyes.
Holy. Buggerin’. Fuck.
Spike stared at his stomach in disbelief. It was HUGE. So much for his abs. This had to be a spell. And spells on babies were bad. His vision turned red at the thought of anyone harming his child. Head were going to roll. Almost as soon as the killing rage had engulfed him, the life inside of him moved. Spike’s mouth was open in a perfect O. Was that…? Sure enough, something brushed against him, a feather touch against the inside of his stomach. He smiled, and then winced as the baby landed a blow against one of his kidneys. Definitely Buffy’s child.
“Ah, he is awake!” The voice echoed through the cavernous location. Spike berated himself for getting caught up in his child and not assessing his surroundings. He was in a large space, tied down by…his brow crinkled. Floss? He was almost mummified by hundred of tiny ropes staked to the floor. What the hell was going on? He felt something tug against his sleeve and bit back an astonished laugh.
“I am the High One. Exalt in my presence, and feel honored that you are the bearer of my vessel. The world will tremble before me!”
“You must be joking.”
Buffy burst through the school doors, determination in every line of her body. Whoever stole her mate and baby was in BIG trouble.
“Buffy! Wait!” Xander called out. But there was no stopping her. She was a woman with a mission. She swept the first floor, ending up in the library, but found nothing.
“Buffy, do calm down, we—“
“Find Spike,” she commanded. Giles sighed; talking to Buffy in this state would be an effort in futility.
“I-I-I can do it,” Tara said. She concentrated. A glowing ball appeared in her hand, floating a couple of inches above the palm of her hand. “Find Spike.” It zipped away, zooming down the hall, Buffy hot on its tail.
It sped down the hall, into the basement, winding through the maze that was the basement—who the hell built this place?—and through a closed door. Buffy regarded it briefly, before bursting in, brandishing her axe.
“Spike, I’m…” Buffy froze, taking in the scene before her.
“’allo, luv. Here to join in the fun?”
Spike ogled the little purple thing in front of him. It looked like a tye-died smurf on acid, with glowing violet eyes and a covered in a bright read cloak, with yellow and green trim. Someone needed to introduce it to a fashion magazine…or at least complementary colors. Oh, and it stood about five inches tall. He was living Gulliver’s Travels.
A small pebble struck Spike on the cheek.
“Humble yourself before the High One!” The deep, rumbling voice coming from a five-inch-tall purple demon with orange Mohawks was just too much. He started laughing, uprooting ‘The High One’ from his perch and sending the pompous ass tumbling to the floor. This sent the ‘High One’ and its mini-creature minions into a mêlée. They started poking him with tiny pointy sticks. He vamped out and snapped at them, tired of these games.
With a growl, he pulled himself up, easily upending the small ropes that bound him. Well, he actually rolled up. Trying to navigate his suddenly bulky belly was not easy. He staggered to his feet, looking down and the tiny, dancing things hopping around in outrage and demanding he bow in supplication to the High One and make amends. Spike looked at the ‘High One’ in question and, quite deliberately, sent it flying across the room into the wall. The dancing purple people all froze, and as one began wailing in outrage. Their unnaturally deep voices were giving Spike a headache, and if the movement in his belly was any indication, baby didn’t like it either.
“How about we take care of this, eh Bitty?” He took the kick against his stomach as agreement and began putting his Docs to good use.
Spike was taking perverse delight in stomping each and every one of them into the ground when Buffy burst into the room, eyes blazing and axe swinging. He took a moment to admire his blazing, beautiful mate.
“’allo, luv. Here to join in the fun?”
He smirked at her slack-jawed expression.
“What…” He could see that she was having trouble wrapping her head around the situation. “THESE things kidnapped you???”
“Yep,” Spike growled, taking out two of the annoying buggers.
“But…how? They’re like…tiny.” She shrank daintily away from a group of the creatures now brandishing tiny pointy needles at her.
“Magic doesn’t take size into account, pet. ‘sall relative. A sacrifice is a sacrifice. ”
The Scoobies chose that moment to come in for support, geared for battle.
“Oh, Ghlomeshgahs!” Anya exclaimed with mild interest, daintily avoiding a little puddle of purple goo.
“Awe, they’re cute!” Xander exclaimed reaching down to pet one. He was rewarded by being stabbed in the hand.
“Anya, what are you talking about?” Giles asked
“Ghlomeshgahs. They’re vicious little creatures, quite blood thirsty and bent on world domination; only they’re a bit small, so they’re constantly looking for ways to get bigger. They used to be smaller than that, but they invaded and took over a fae colony once upon a time. Oh, and they don’t reproduce by having sex, which is a complete waste of time.”
They all turned their attention back to the ugly purple/orange creatures.
“Well, I feel a lot better about doing this then,” Buffy muttered darkly as she stepped on a group of protesting minidemons. Spike laughed and booted another handful into the wall. He was aiming for another group when a small twinge brought him up short. What was that?
Xander was baseball-batting a few of the rapidly dwindling creatures, who were starting to scatter and run for the hills (so to speak) when the twinge came again, a little bit stronger and a good deal more painful. He sucked in his breath and clutched at his stomach. God, what WAS that?? Another pain followed, again stronger, and he had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out.
“Spike?” Tara’s concerned voice asked. “You OK?” Spike tried to speak, but another wave of crippling pain hit him.
“What the bleedin’ fuck!” he gasped out. Tara put her hand over Spike’s stomach, her eyes widening as she felt the rippling of the muscle underneath.
“Oh no.” She was arrested by Spike’s demanding, and slightly scared, blue eyes.
“What? What’s wrong? Is the baby…”
“You’re in labor!”
“I’m WHAT?” Spike demanded. When they’d discussed the whole Spike-is-pregnant thing, Buffy had agreed to the labor part. HE was not supposed to be anywhere NEAR pregnant during that part. Another crippling contraction ripped through him.
“Breath Spike, breath,” Tara soothed, rubbing circles on his back. He could feel the muscles in his body trying to push the baby…only there was no where to push. They needed to get the baby out of Spike, in one way or another, very soon. A pained cry from the vampire in question drew Buffy’s attention.
“Spike?! What’s wrong…oh. My. God.” For the first time, Buffy really noticed Spike’s hugely distended belly. “What the hell happened?”
“They sped up the gestation. Spike’s in labor.” Tara sent out calming thoughts to her friends. “Spike, you need to calm down; you’re only speeding up the labor.” Tara coached Spike into deep calming breaths. “We need to get the baby out of him, quickly!”
“I’ll call Willow,” Giles said, quickly taking charge of the situation. “Buffy, Tara, start helping Spike outside. Anya, Xander, can you clean up here? Good. Let’s go.”
Spike and Buffy were too wrapped up in one another to notice the goings on of everyone else.
You’re OK, baby. We’ll be fine, the baby will be fine… Spike accepted the reassurance in Buffy’s words, even though he knew they were mostly to make herself feel better. He sent back love, reassurance, tinged just a bit with fear. He felt Buffy’s bright, blinding love envelop him, just as another contraction ripped through him. They shared the pain, experiencing it together. Buffy gasped, feeling her muscles contract around an imaginary baby.
“Buffy? Are you alright?” Giles asked with concern. She nodded her head, fighting back the pain.
“I…I think I’m going into labor too!” A new sense of urgency filled them, and they picked up their pace, Giles walking close to Buffy to offer support should she need it. His phone rang, and he tried to stay balance as he juggled Buffy and the blasted contraption.
“It’s Willow…I-I think I’ve got everything ready, we’re at Buffy’s.”
“We’ll be there as soon as possible, Buffy and Spike are in labor, we’ll need to do this immediately.”
“Wait…they’re BOTH in labor? How—“
“We don’t have time for this right now Willow!” Giles snapped irritably.
“Oh, right. I’m…I’m rambling. Ok. We’ll be here…waiting.” Giles snapped the phone shut. They climbed into the car, Buffy nestling Spike’s head in her lap. Giles and Tara sat in the front, Tara turned and monitoring the couple. Spike and Buffy were wrapped in each other, their bond free flowing and open. They felt as one, Buffy’s body contracting at the same time as Spike’s; but underneath the pain and stress of labor was their love and concern for each other and the child they were trying to bring into the world.
They allowed themselves to be led into the house by Tara and Giles. Joyce took over caring for her laboring children, while Giles and Tara checked Willow’s preparations.
“So it’s going to take all three of us; one to ground Buffy, one to ground Spike, and one to safeguard the child from one to the other.”
“As the other male, I should probably ground Spike. I think Tara should guard the child.”
“M-m-me?” Tara asked.
“You are the most suited to the task. Your nurturing nature will provide the best protection for the baby.” Willow squashed the flair of jealousy she felt; she was the most powerful, she should be protecting the baby. But the rational side of her agreed with Giles, so she simply nodded her assent. They reviewed the spell, rechecked all of the components, and went to get Spike and Buffy.
“S-so it shouldn’t take too long. We have everything set up, just like the Doctor ordered.”
The mated couple nodded, and slowly began moving towards the dining room. All of the furniture and carpeting had been removed. Etched on the floor were two circles, sharing a small part of their curvature, enclosed within a larger circle. Magickal symbols adorned every inch of the exposed floor. Green life candles sat at the cardinal points of the interior circles, while yellow protection and healing candles protected the outer circle that bound them all together.
Willow and Giles helped Buffy and Spike lay in the center of their respective circles, their hands clasped over a white unity candle. Buffy fought down her apprehension, focusing on Spike and his constant flow of information coming through the bond.
“We’re going to start the ceremony; Willow and I are going to anchor you. Tara is going to guide the baby from Spike to Buffy. Don’t break contact.” Buffy nodded, catching Spike’s gaze. In that moment, she knew that everything was going to be OK. She smiled at him and squeezed his hand.
Giles and Willow started chanting, a gentle, rolling sound that built like a summer breeze. It washed over them, and they could feel the gentle white magic pressing against the edge of their bond. Their labor slowed, and finally stopped, chanted into stillness. Spike felt a warmth beginning in his belly, the sense that something was coming loose, but he didn’t break his eye contact with Buffy.
Tara gazed in awe as the faint green light swirled about Spike’s stomach. She could faintly see the outline of the baby in the nimbus light, and was awed with the trust being placed with her. She gathered herself and gently expanded her senses to create a bubble around the shimmering light. She could feel the presence of the child, sense its awareness. Laughter, light and guilelessly childish, echoed in her mind. With infinite care, she lifted the swirling mass of colors and ever so gently maneuvered it through the circle to Buffy’s waiting form.
Spike felt a sudden sense of loss and knew that his child, his son or daughter, was no longer a part of him. He’d become too used to having another life within him, small as the child had been for the last three months. His grip on Buffy’s hand tightened as he realized that this meant his child was incredibly vulnerable, out in the open without any protection but Tara.
But Tara was good protection to have. She gingerly lowered the glowing ball of life. She felt Buffy’s energy pull at the child, the rightness of their two energies surging through her. She let go, watching in awe as the green swirl of colors merged with Buffy’s bright golden aura, mother welcoming her child.
Buffy gasped as she felt warm and cold all at once, but she felt…complete. A weight settled into her, and when she looked down at her formerly lithe form, she gasped. Her stomach was huge! It was still swirling with incandescent light, and Buffy could swear she saw the outline of her child deep within the hypnotic colors. She felt a tug at her hand, and spared a glance at Spike who was currently completely focused on her stomach, a soft smile gracing his lips.
The chanting which had colored the background began to fade away, the green light fading with it. She gasped delightedly as the baby moved within her, getting used to his new surroundings. Love, intense and unconditional, flowed through her and spilled over into the bond. Spike sent his answering love, deep and unstoppable, back to her.
The three spellcasters looked away, a bit uncomfortable witnessing such an intense emotional moment. Giles broke away, padding silently to the door to let the rest of the group in.
Joyce teared up seeing her daughter pregnant for the first time. She felt Dawn slip her arms around her waist, and drew her youngest into a hug. Worry niggled at the back of her mind, wondering whether the spell that had been cast on Spike had hurt her grandchild…but now wasn’t the time to ask those questions. There wasn’t anything they could feasibly do about it at the moment.
Buffy raised her hand and caressed her stomach reverently. Her shirt no longer fit, and it was a very good thing she’d been wearing loose pants with an elastic waist—and she wouldn't trade this moment for the world. A shadow hovered at the corner of her vision, and she looked over to see her mother and sister watching her, tears in their eyes. She reached for her mom with her free hand, and smiled at her sister. Her family came together, sharing in the closeness of the moment.
The rest of the Scoobies gathered around, feeling closer than they had in a long time. Taking in them all, Buffy’s eyes finally fell, once again, on her mate.
“YOU BASTARD!” Buffy yelled as a contraction ripped her in half. It hurt. A lot. A lot more than ten minutes ago. She tensed as another one started to build, and felt something give in Spike’s hand. Good. Bastard deserved it.
She rode out that last one and turned angry green eyes on her mate. Spike’s blue eyes were wide with pain, and he cowered under Buffy’s angry gaze. A brassed off pregnant slayer was a scary thing to behold. The bones in his hand crunched again when another one of the splitting contractions surged through his mate.
“Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!” Buffy had never felt anything like this before. Her little precious baby wasn’t precious anymore. A woman had to have written that Alien movie Xander loved to watch so much, because only a woman would understand what it felt like to have a living parasite trying to claw its way out of your belly. “Get it out get it out get it out!”
Joyce rubbed her daughter’s back soothingly, trying to calm her down.
“I’m going to call the doctor!” Dawn announced, scurrying into the other room, Buffy’s cries echoing in her ears. She was way too young for childbirth.
“I’m going to push, am I supposed to push? It hurts, Mommy!” Buffy was clinging to her mother, blubbering and generally being a wuss about the entire childbirth. Joyce was in turns amused and concerned for her eldest daughter. There was so much uncertainty surrounding this pregnancy and birth, Joyce was actually surprised with how well Buffy was holding up. She’d been pregnant for a good five minutes before being launched into the late stages of labor. Even for a slayer, that was asking a lot.
“Don’t push yet, just let it flow through you,” Joyce murmured, running her hands through Buffy’s head.
“Don’t push? But I’m supposed to push! They tell you to push! There’s this whole Lamaze thing that’s all about push—ah!” Buffy doubled over, wincing with the force of the contractions. Tara shared a concerned look with Joyce; the contractions were irregular and very strong.
“You don’t need to push until the very last part,” Joyce explained, keeping eye contact with Tara. “This part is just about getting your body ready.”
“I’m ready! I’m all with the ready!” Buffy sucked in some much needed breaths, dreading the next contraction. She was suddenly aware of her mate behind her, nuzzling into her neck and sending her soothing vibes of love and tenderness through their bond. Buffy gratefully relaxed back into him, savoring the feelings that seeped through her at his touch.
Spike closed his eyes and turned his considerable concentration solely to his mate. He knew something about childbirth, and the tension and worry coming through the bond were not of the good. He concentrated on relaxing her, trying to allow her body time to regulate itself and regulate her contractions. He insinuated himself in her mind, touching all of the spots that radiated calm and love. Slowly, one by one, their muscles relaxed together. He shared in Buffy’s pain, effectively halving it, and his mere presence bolstered the slayer’s resolve. The contractions slowed a little, regulating themselves as the slayer and her mate gave themselves over to the inexorable pull of labor. He felt her silent, unneeded thanks, acknowledging it with a smile.
Joyce watched the couple with concern in her eyes, still tense even after Buffy’s contractions began slowing down and evening out. Once she ascertained that everything was alright, checking with Tara for confirmation, she and Spike guided Buffy around the room, allowing gravity to give what aid it could. They worked in tandem, keeping Buffy calm and giving her support though her contractions, allowing her body to take the necessary steps and prepare itself for child birth. Tara was still a little worried; Buffy’s contractions were scarcely three minutes a part; that was a pretty advanced state of labor to just throw one’s body into.
It took Rose twenty minutes to reach the Summer’s residence, speeding the entire way. The message Buffy’s sister had left her was hysterical and garbled. She was let into the house by a pale, scared-looking boy, whom she promptly forgot about upon seeing Buffy, hugely pregnant and obviously in labor. So maybe the message hadn’t been quite that garbled.
“What the hell happened?” she exclaimed incredulously. So much for her professional decorum.
“Tiny demons, spells, labor. Lots of painful labor,” Buffy ground out, tensing as her body tried to push the life within her out. It snapped Rose out of her stupor and into Doctor mode. She checked Buffy’s pulse, got caught up on her contraction history (and a brief run down of everything that had occurred that night), checked Buffy’s cervix and listened to the baby’s heart rate.
“You’re almost fully dilated; couple more inches to go, it won’t take long if things progress as they have. The baby’s heart rate is a little elevated, but nothing abnormal. So as soon as your contractions speed up…we’ll be delivering your baby.” Buffy simply nodded, too tired to talk. She was starting to wish for a couple of Polgara demons instead of this whole life-giving deal.
While Buffy was busy getting up to full dilation, Rose was marshalling the troops. She sent Tara and Joyce to clean and prepare the upstairs bathroom and fetch some fresh towels. Giles was off boiling some water on Rose’s order, and Dawn was hovering nervously when Buffy announced her readiness.
“Spike!” Buffy shrieked as an extra painful contraction seared through her. It was the Mack Daddy of all contractions, putting everything she’d just been through to utter and complete shame. “SPIKE!” Another caught her unawares, only a few seconds after her last one. She tried to catch her breath, but the fucking pains in her stomach wouldn’t go away. Spike was saying something, but she didn’t want to hear it. So she turned and growled at him.
“Rose!” Spike yelled. He’d briefly considered being super aroused by Buffy’s growl, but then she’d done it again as soon as those thoughts had filtered through their extremely open bond and he’d decided not to go there. He winced as another contraction ripped through them, though he knew without a doubt that he wasn’t feeling anything close to what Buffy was. He coaxed Buffy into a crouch, keeping her from falling over.
Rose quickly assessed the situation. Buffy was at full dilation and her contractions were right on top of each other. Time to move to the bathroom. Joyce followed as Spike slowly helped Buffy up the stairs, getting detailed instructions from Doctor Rose.
“Alright, Spike, lift her into the bathtub. Good. Buffy, you’re going to want to crouch down. Hold onto the railing and the side, Spike’s going to support your back.” Rose climbed into the other side of the tub, easing the loose skirt Buffy was wearing off of her hips. “From here on, you need to push, alright?”
Dawn winced as another scream reverberated through the house. Buffy had been up there for over an hour. Xander and Willow had taken the little kids to “get some ice cream,” though the trip wasn’t JUST for Jason and Christopher. Dawn glanced over Anya and Giles, who seemed cool as cucumbers. She resumed her pacing, flinching when Buffy screamed something her mother was definitely going to rebuke her for later, followed by some very creative threats that could only have been directed at Spike.
“Think Buffy will finally dump Spike for this?” Xander asked with fake hope. Giles and Dawn leveled him with unimpressed (and unamused) looks. “What? It was a joke…” Giles just sighed and cleaned his glasses while Dawn capitalized on the opportunity to practice her Death Glare on her not-brother.
“You are such an ass sometimes,” Dawn growled. To be fair, Xander didn’t exactly deserve her ire (this time), but she needed to be mad at someone, and he won. “Really, why can’t you just grow up and—do you hear that?”
Both men regarded the middle Summer’s child warily. Dawn was scary when she was like this. The men were faced with a choice—to answer or not to answer.
“What?” Giles ventured, deciding to brave Dawn’s wrath. Not answering could bring just as much retribution as answering, so they were fairly screwed either way.
“Silence.” They all paused to assess that, yes, it was eerily silent in the house right now. And then the loud, unmistakable cry of a newborn filled the air. “Oh my god!”
Dawn raced up the stairs, the two men hot on her heels. They were just in time to see Spike carry an exhausted Buffy into her old room. Joyce followed, carrying…
“Anne Kendra Pratt-Summers,” Joyce announced softly, looking into the face of her first grandchild.
Buffy gazed at her daughter with delight on her face. Anne giggled happily, her pudgy arms and legs flailing. Buffy stifled her own giggled as her mate, William the Bloody, Slayer of Slayers, pulled faces at a newborn and acted as if her laughter was the most precious thing in the world.
Buffy’s gaze snapped to his, her eyes misty at the sheer volume of truth behind his words.
“I love you,” she whispered, feeling for the first time like those words lacked meaning and power. But the expression that lit Spike’s face was worth it.
“I love you too.” He kissed her, sweet and tender, like a couple of innocent middle schoolers who had just stolen their first kiss. Anne reminded them they were far from innocent, grabbing one finger from each of her parents. They marveled at their little miracle; after all that mucking about, she’d still turned out perfect. “While I love the Bitty, let’s take precautions that I don’t end up pregnant next time, yeah?”
“Next time?” Buffy growled, her tone low and deadly.
Epilogue/Prologue: The Next Time
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! What the HELL made me do this again?!”
“Breathe, luv. You’re almost there.” Spike held Buffy’s hand as she struggled to give birth to their second child.
“Spike!” The vampire gripped his mate’s hand, flinching as she struggled to push the new life into the world.
“How’s it going here?” Xander asked, popping his head in the door, his son in his arms looking on curiously.
“Get OUT Xander!” Buffy yelled.
“Ooookay. Chris, let’s just go back downstairs and leave Aunt Buffy to her…thing.”
“Thing?! MY CHILD IS NOT A THING ALEXANDER HARRIS!” Spike cringed as her voice hit higher decibels than his hearing could safely handle. Another contraction sent her screaming as she pressed down, using her slayer muscles to push.
Giles held his sleeping granddaughter in his arms, listening to the sounds of his daughter giving birth. Jason and Christopher were on the sofa, fast asleep while Anya watched over them. It had been a long and hard pregnancy, but Buffy and Spike had borne it all. They’d been through a lot, those two, and it seemed their trials were not over yet.
He stood and walked to the window, looking out at the abandoned streets of Sunnydale. He wished this child had been born under better circumstances, without the threat of the First hounding their every step. There was a battle coming, one they might not win, and one that should not be overshadowing the birth of any child.
Anne shifted and started fussing, looking around for her parents. Giles tried to calm her, but to no avail.
“Let me.” Anya plucked the squirming toddler out of Giles’ arms, talking softly to her. Anne soon settled down, her intelligent blue eyes gazing towards the stairs which led to her parents. Anne was a precocious two-year-old, who walked with a fearlessness she got from her mother and got into trouble like only her father could. The daughter of two superbeings.
Another yell drifted down to them, waking Jason, who stood up and demanded his father. Giles picked up his son, something that still amazed him, and held him close. Everything was going to be alright.
The wail of a newborn child was music to her ears, after so many hours of labor. Spike pressed the crying child into Buffy’s arms, caressing the damp head and pressing a kiss on his mate’s head.
“Our son is beautiful,” he whispered, his voice thick with emotion. Buffy laughed, a breathless sound, looking from her mate to her new son. She could already see Spike’s razor cheekbones in her child.
Willow, Tara, and Joyce quietly escaped the room, leaving the new parents to their child, eager to share their news. Willow was practically bouncing when she made it into the den.
“Well?” Xander asked expectantly.
“It’s a boy!” Willow exploded, unable to contain herself. Joyce simply smiled at the redhead’s effusiveness, and went over to retrieve her son. She laid a kiss on Giles’ lips, relaxing into his embrace as she watched the younger generation celebrate the new life amongst them. Even among death and burgeoning chaos, there was still something to celebrate.
Upstairs, Buffy and Spike were admiring the newest addition to their family, and arguing over names.
“We are not naming him Lazarus,” Buffy said with finality, grinning at her cheeky mate.
“How about Cadmus?” Spike suggested.
“With hopes that one day we can be together in the Elysian Fields, happy for eternity.”
Buffy gasped when she saw the First in her form, holding the lifeless body of a child. She clutched her own to her breast, as if she could protect he fragile life in her arms.
“What a happy picture there, the little family, safe in their house. So they think. Safety is such a fleeting thing…” The sound of glass breaking and shouting rang out from downstairs, soon followed by the sounds of fighting. “Enjoy what’s left of your time together.” The First flew at them, transforming into a grotesque vision of a beaten Buffy, the child now recognizable as Anne, and was gone.
Spike pulled Buffy to face him, looking into her eyes.
“You know I love you,” he said, willing her to really look at him.
“You said you never leave me,” Buffy gasped, pressing her forehead against his.
“I will always come back to you,” he swore, kissing her. The sounds of fighting, the Potentials yelling, Giles organizing everyone, faded into the background. For the moment, there was them, and only them. Their moment was interrupted when one of the First’s eyeless minions crashed through the window. Buffy used her body to protect her baby’s head, while Spike began pummeling anything he could get his hands on. Buffy backhanded one of them into the wall, finally making it out into the hall. They raced downstairs, Spike launching himself into the fray. Buffy’s heart stopped momentarily, seeing Jason, Chris, and Anne huddled under a table while the potentials and adults formed a protective circle around them.
Spike went wild, the blood lust rising in him at the thought of anyone hurting his family. The fight was over in minutes, black bodies littering the floor. Miraculously, only one potential had been seriously hurt. He turned to where Buffy was soothing Anne and introducing her to her new little brother.
“We end this tonight,” he said quietly, deadly, to Giles.
“Yes. We do,” he agreed, watching Joyce clean and bandage a small cut on Jason’s forehead.
Spike moved over to his small family, determined to enjoy these few precious seconds with his children and mate.
A solitary figure stood at the edge of what used to be Sunnydale, staring into the deep crater, a single tear making its way down her cheek. She felt so empty, the reassuring pressure of her mate’s mind no longer there just…emptiness. She managed a tiny smile when a small hand slipped into hers. She looked down at her daughter, blue eyes shining up at her, and then to her son, watching her and looking so much like Spike.
“Hello, William,” she whispered, her tears flowing freely, “let me tell you about your Dad…he saved the world. A lot. And he's coming back to us. Somehow. ”
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