Rated – R
Summary- The monks gave Buffy and Spike one night of fake memories. That would have been enough to change their lives. But when you add a glowing key in the form of an unborn baby, well . . . things wouldn’t just change, they would be turned completely upside-down
Disclaimer- Joss Whedon owns Spike’s eyebrow scar, his bleached hair, his crystal blue eyes, his manly arms, his muscular chest, his tight . . . *cough* Too bad isn’t it? But a girl can dream, right?
Spoilers- Starts during Out of My Mind. The entire Season 5, although I changed it tremendously to suit my own purpose
Later Buffy would contemplate why she had gone to Spike in the first place. I mean, she had a totally decent boyfriend who could satisfy her needs anytime she wished. But he never had stamina like this. Or filled her this completely. She’d never felt this euphoric before.
Arrrgh. Oh, he could hit her in just the right place. He gave her so much pleasure that it hurt. He was an expert. Why Drusilla would choose Angelus over him was beyond her.
Buffy met his thrusts hungrily. She needed more. She was dying, but oh it was so sweet. Her walls began to quake. Her head fell back as the explosion washed over her. He came right after her.
She fell back against the stone floor, breathing hard. It took awhile for her legs to work. When they did she sprung up in search of her clothes. She dressed, not looking at him. He didn’t speak the entire time. Fully covered, Buffy ran away in shame.
2 Months Ago
The monks did not take into account that supposedly Buffy hated Spike. All they knew was that the slayer and vampire were strong, and therefore the best candidates to protect. The beast was close and they had very little time. The key had to be saved, no matter what the cost.
Two of these monks raced around the corner of a corridor. They both held religious items, such as books, candles, and incense. The slower one stumbled and fell. Some incense slipped from his clutch. His companion slowed, helping him up. Then they continued their flight down the candlelit Czech monastery.
The men burst through a set of large wooden doors. They turned and quickly slammed them shut, before bolting them by sliding a large beam across.
“It’s coming. It’s going to kill us!” one of the monks shouted in a panic.
“Our lives aren’t important. We have to protect the key,” the second monk reasoned.
This statement seemed to remind the frightened individual why he was there. He nodded.
They rushed to the center of the room. Another man, with authority, joined them. All three knelt on the cold stone floor. A ring of lit candles surrounded the group.
“Help me perform the ritual,” commanded the senior monk.
They extended their arms and began to chant. A crash could be heard over the ancient words. The door jiggled on their hinges. The younger monks glanced back uncertainly.
“Concentrate. Concentrate,” said the elder.
A gust of wind swirled through the chamber as the ritual reached its peak. The crossbeam over the door splintered. A flash of light formed in the circle. It faded just before the door gave away.
The knocking noise grew louder as Buffy walked. She rounded a corner to come face-to-face with Riley. He kept punching the rock wall, oblivious to her presence.
He looked tired and sweaty. Blood coated his knuckles.
“You know, this doesn’t even hurt,” he remarked.
She gaped. “You’re hand is bleeding.”
“Don’t feel a thing.”
Buffy grabbed his arm to stop him. “This stops now. I’m taking you to that doctor,” she demanded.
“The one from the government, you mean? Like the ones who did this to me in the first place?”
“He’s the only one who understands what’s wrong with you, who can help.”
Riley looked at her with wide eyes. “What’s wrong with me? Buffy, I’ve never felt this powerful. Most people would kill to feel this way.”
“It’s killing you. Your body isn’t built for this kind of strength.”
As the sentence died his legs gave out. She caught him before he fell.
* * *
“Buffy. I swear I was just thinking of you. I wanted to tell you the great news. My head's all clear now. No more bug-zapper in my noggin,” Spike said with pride.
“That means I get to kill you,” she replied.
He smirked. “That means you get to try.”
The slayer punched Spike in the face. She repeated the action a few more times. He stumbled back into the operating table. He used his vampiric muscles to jump up onto the table. He grinned down at Buffy.
“At long last.”
He leapt down on top of her. He pinned her down and lowered his head to her neck. He shifted, his teeth elongating. Just before they slid into her creamy throat he hollered in pain. Buffy shoved him away. He landed next to the doctor.
The doctor looked terrified. Spike gave him an accused glare.
The vampire got up and checked the container that his chip supposedly had been placed into. He lifted out a coin.
“I-I told you I couldn’t do it,” the doctor stammered.
Buffy crawled over to her unconscious boyfriend. “Doctor, we need you now!”
Spike pulled Harmony away. He grabbed his coat on the way out.
“Hold on, Riley. Please.”
* * *
Buffy stared off into space. The doctor’s words didn’t register.
“I’m sorry. It doesn’t matter how soon you could have brought him in. If he had any chance at all it would have had to be days ago.”
Buffy didn’t want to hear it. So she didn’t.
* * *
In Spike’s dream he relived his night with Buffy. Their coupling had been wild and violent. But it was slow and tender in his mind.
When he went over the edge he cried out. “Buffy, I love you! God, I love you so much!”
Spike awoke with a start. He sat bolt upright. Horror spread across his features.
“No. Please no,” he pleaded.
* * *
Buffy didn’t come out of her room for days. She curled up under the blankets, hardly moving. The people who cared for her were very worried, especially her mother. Joyce carried food up to her, but Buffy took no more than a few bites. She feared that her daughter was wasting away.
Her friends came to see her. Nobody could get her to say a full sentence. She barely looked at them.
Then, on the sixth night something snapped. She dressed and crept down to the front door. She stepped out into the chilly air.
“What are you doing here?” she demanded.
Spike came out of the shadows. He tossed his lit cigarette. It landed at the trunk of the tree that stood by the road.
“Heard what happened to your soldier boy. Condolences.” His voice gave away that he really wasn’t sorry at all.
She stared at him with hard eyes.
“You never answered my question,” she said.
“Oh. Well, your house happens to be between . . . Parts and other parts of this town. I was just passing through.”
“Liar. I’ve felt you for over two hours.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Guess I’m caught.”
“I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but please leave.” She turned away.
A frown marred his face. In all reality he had been gazing up at her window, worried. Rumor had it that she hadn’t shown up for patrol in almost a week.
“Buffy, he was just a boy. Did he mean that much to you?”
She spun back around. Fury flared in her eyes. “How dare you! You know nothing about him!” She punched him in the nose. That wasn’t enough. She kept punching him. She punched him over and over until he was on the ground. Still she kept it up. She mutilated his face, blacking his eye.
Spike felt her pain. He lay immobile below her. Even if the chip had somehow malfunctioned he would have let her take it all out on him. He loved her, damnit. He loved her against his will. He had tried to stop it, but it consumed him.
That’s right, baby. Let it all out.
Finally Buffy collapsed on top of him. She sobbed. His arm uncontrollably wrapped around her.
Yep, Riley’s dead. Not that I hate him, but he needed to be out of the picture. I don’t think anyone’s that upset.
Somebody asked about the timeline. They were confused about when Buffy and Spike slept together. It never happened. That was the fake memory the monks created. Buffy and Spike remember it happening whenever the monks did their ritual, which was two months ago. That time would have been sometime before season 5, in the summer.
The vampire tossed Buffy into the ‘Keep Out’ sign. She grunted form the impact. She ducked, avoiding the fist that swung her way. Her foe was huge, resembling a biker, leather and all.
“I’ve always wanted to kill a slayer,” the vampire said.
Buffy guessed that that must not have been long. He couldn’t be older than a couple years turned.
“I’ve always wanted piano lessons. We don’t always get what we want,” Buffy informed. Actually, most of the time, she silently added.
She accompanied her words with a few blows. He retaliated with a large punch that sent her reeling.
“Uh,” she moaned, suddenly feeling sick.
The vampire charged. She knew that she had to keep it together. She whipped out a stake. Before the vamp could react she thrust it into his heart. He burst into a cloud of dust.
Buffy doubled over and clutched her stomach. She tucked her stake away.
A man emerged. He held a flashlight and wore a night watchman uniform. Buffy turned her head away as his beam shone in her eyes.
“Miss, if you're looking for one of those rave parties, I'm afraid
you're late. Chased a bunch of kids out of here last night,” he told her.
Buffy straightened. “Oh. Right. Darn. My fellow ravers will be so disappointed.”
“If it were my decision I’d let you do whatever you want. It isn’t like anyone is using the place. But they just don’t pay me enough to argue with the boss.”
Buffy held up her hands in surrender. “Already gone.” She turned to leave.
“Oh, hey, hold it miss!”
Buffy spun back around. The man held out a yellow glowing ball.
“Take . . . whatever this is with you.”
Buffy took the orb. She gazed at it, perplexed.
“Glow balls, huh? I don’t get your generation. What is it with that thing?”
She didn’t get a chance to answer. That was when she leaned over and heaved up her dinner onto the grass.
* * *
“I’m worried about you, Buffy,” Joyce said.
Buffy was curled up on the couch. An afghan was wrapped around her, and Buffy clutched it to her chin. She hadn’t gotten sick in a very long time. She didn’t remember it being this unbearable. It felt like she might turn inside out.
“Mom, I just have the flue or something,” Buffy said.
Her mother reached out and felt her forehead. “You aren’t warm.”
“I’ll be fine by tomorrow. My slayer antibodies are kickin in as we speak.”
A sigh escaped Joyce. “I hope so, honey. You were just up and about, and now . . .”
A pang stabbed at Buffy’s chest. Riley’s death still felt raw. There must have been something she could have done. If only she had moved faster.
“I’ll be fine. All I need is some TLC.”
Her mother was a pro at the tender loving care. She fixed the slayer some chicken noodle soup and made her lay down. It actually was nice for a change. It had been a long while since Buffy had fallen into the cared for daughter role.
In the morning Buffy felt better. That was until lunch time. She had barely consumed half her burger when her stomach began to churn. She had to push her plate away and rush upstairs to the bathroom. She lay back down in bed. She tossed and turned, uncomfortable. The glowing ball on her nightstand caught her eye. She sat up.
Could that be the cause of her suffering? Her symptoms had showed up last night around that factory.
Buffy managed to make her way to the Magic Box. She stepped in to be greeted by a very frightening sight. Giles stood there in a very pointy sorcerer hat. She blinked at it. Giles’s smile faded. He quickly shrugged out of the costume, embarrassed.
She glanced around. The store was empty.
“When do you open?”
“Since nine this morning actually.” He glanced at his watch. “Still not to worry. No, I’ve got feelings about this place. Magic’s a small niche market but well, think about it. Sunnydale, monsters, supply and demand. They’ll be lining up around the block in no time.”
Buffy nodded. “Yeah. You’ll be making money hand over fist.” Her words hit her with puzzlement. She held her hand over her fist. “Which I guess is a good thing,”
Her former watcher watched her with concern. “You all right? You seem a little distracted.”
A sigh escaped her. She fell into a chair near the round table, which was located in the center of the shop.
“I’ve been a little sick. I have no idea what the deal is,” she told him.
“How sick? Have you seen a doctor?”
“No. I think it’s just a bug.” She paused. “Well, it might not be. I started feeling bad when I found this glowy ball thing.”
Just then Willow bounded inside. She grinned.
“Giles, where’s your hat and cloak!?” she exclaimed. “Oooo, nute eyes! Wow, Buffy, come look at this stuff!” Willow held up a jar filled with weird slimy things. Buffy looked away, feeling even more nauseous.
“Actually, I have a little Scooby-centric deal to deal with first,” Buffy said. “I found this glowing ball. I left it in my room because it might be dangerous. I’ve been throwing up right after contact with it. I don’t want it to affect any of you.”
Willow came over, interested. Giles furrowed his brow, deep in thought.
“Can you describe it?” Giles pressed.
“Well, it’s . . . shiny?”
He frowned. “Is that all?”
“Pretty much.” She made hand movements to indicate how big it was. “Yay large, kinda textured. I found it near an abandoned factory. I vote that I go back out tonight.”
“Are you sure? If you feel unwell . . .”
“Nah, I can’t just sit at home. If this ball is causing my sickness it must be stopped.”
“Don’t worry, Buffy, we’ll research,” Willow said, reassuringly.
Buffy stood up. “Thanks, Will, I appreciate it. I think I’m going to head back and report to Mom. She wasn’t too thrilled about me venturing out.”
With that Buffy left.
At home, Buffy took a nap. She felt lazy, since she was normally so active during the day. A couple hours later she was awakened by the phone ringing. She groaned and ignored it. There was a knock at her door.
“Buffy, Mr. Giles is on the phone. It sounds important,” her mother said.
Buffy got up to talk.
“Giles, did you find anything?”
“Sorry, not yet. I do have something useful, though. It was Anya who thought of it actually. It is a spell called tirer la couture.”
“Rotate many foodstuffs?” Buffy guessed.
“Pull the curtain back,” he corrected.
Well, she never claimed that language was her specialty.
“It will reveal any magical essences at work. Every spell has a trace signature,” Giles went on.
“Thank you, Giles.”
“I’ll have Willow send it over to you.”
A short while later Willow arrived with the spell book, along with the ingredients needed. Buffy locked her door and set up rather quickly. She lit incense and poured some colored sand around her counterclockwise into a circle. Then she sat cross-legged. She closed her eyes and fell into a trance.
Breathe in, breathe out. In, out. She paid attention to every puff of air. A pull made her open her eyes. The room was grainy and dream-like. She picked herself up and headed out. She slowly descended the stairs.
Joyce glanced up form near the front door. She slipped into her coat.
“Will you be all right if I go out for awhile?”
Dazed, Buffy nodded. She became transfixed by a photo on the wall.
“Are you sure you’re feeling better? You seem a little out of it . . . Buffy?”
Buffy looked over. “I’m fine. You go out. Have a good time.”
“You’re so grown up.” Joyce reached out and touched Buffy’s cheek. She smiled and then exited outside.
Buffy focused back on the family portrait. It kept flickering. One second it would show Joyce and her, another Spike, her, and . . . a baby! Buffy gripped the banister. She gave out and sunk to the step below.
* * *
She didn’t know how long she remained in her stupor. The world was back to normal. She kept checking the picture. It had stopped switching. Still, she couldn’t get over what she had seen. She knew she hadn’t imagined it.
The phone rang. Buffy went to answer it. She was glad that it was Giles. She could hear loud voices over the line.
“Buffy? I’m glad I caught you. I think we might have underestimated what we’re dealing with,” the shop keeper said.
She held the phone tighter. “Go on.”
“The orb is called the Dagon Sphere. Its history goes back centuries.”
“What’s it do?”
“It’s a protective device, made to ward off primordial evil.”
Buffy let out a breath. “So it isn’t making me sick?”
“I would think not. But whatever it is supposedly warding off could be.”
“Any word on what that might be?”
“Unfortunately no. All I could uncover was that it repelled that which cannot be named. Do be careful. Anything that cannot be named is either greatly worshipped or feared- maybe both. Have you completed your trance?”
Buffy took a quick peek at the photo. Her mother and she were displayed in a loving embrace. The Spike and her one, complete with offspring flashed in her mind. They had seemed very happy. How could that be? It was Spike!
“That’s the thing . . .” She hesitated. Could she really tell Giles that she had seen a family photo with ‘Spike’ of all people? Frankly she was ashamed and scared.
“Nothing, it didn’t work,” she quickly said. She smashed the phone back in its cradle.
* * *
The factory wasn’t so abandoned as everyone thought. Buffy was surprised to find one fashionably lacking woman. Well, by the way she was able to throw her into a cement wall she wasn’t any ordinary woman.
Buffy tried to fight back but the bitch grabbed her arms. The permed freak then proceeded to wrench them downward. Buffy let out a cry. She had to do something fast. She slammed back her head.
The woman seemed shocked. “You hit me! What are you, crazy?”
Buffy continued her assault. She hit and kicked in a frenzy.
“You can’t go around hitting and kicking people!”
Buffy ignored her. The woman grabbed hold of her and slammed her into the wall once again.
“I just noticed something,” the woman said. “You have super powers.” She picked Buffy up by the throat. “Can you fly?”
She was flung across the room. Buffy realized two things. One: she had to get out of there. Two: she had to save the really thrashed monk. Buffy’s eyes shifted to the glass window. The woman, or whatever she was, noticed what she was about to do. She was too late.
Buffy dragged the monk along with her. They crashed through the window and tumbled to the ground. She helped the monk up and they ran.
“Please, stop!” the monk pleaded.
“No, we have to keep going,” Buffy reasoned.
The monk’s legs gave out at the fence. He slumped against it.
“My journey is done I think.”
“Don’t get metaphory on me. We’re going.” She reached for him again but he pulled away.
He gazed up at her with large eyes. “You must . . . the key. You must protect the key.”
“Okay, the key. We’ll protect the key. Just far, far away from here.”
“Many will die if you don’t keep it safe.”
That caught her attention. “How? What is it?”
“A portal. It opens the door.”
“The dagon sphere?”
He shook his head. “No. For centuries the abomination found us. We had to hide the key, gave it form, molded it to flesh.” He paused. “And sent it to you.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. Things fell into place. Her hand automatically roamed to her stomach.
“You planted that thing ‘in’ me!”
“We knew the slayer would protect.”
“Whose is it? Is it Riley’s? Or . . . Spike’s?” she demanded.
The man smiled. “The vampire is strong. He will help protect.”
“That’s not an answer.” Her hands formed into fists.
“We built memories. Two warriors were united to form the vessel.”
“Unbuild them! This is my life!” Tears streamed down her face.
The monk fell into a coughing fit. She knew that he would soon fade away.
“It’s not my baby,” she whispered.
“She doesn’t know that,” the monk said.
She? Oh God!
“I didn’t ask for this. I don’t even know . . . what is it . . . she?”
Pleased, the monk said, “Human. Now human. And helpless. Please, she’s an innocent in this. She needs you.”
The monk’s eyes closed. He exhaled his last breath.
Buffy crumpled to the cold ground and sobbed.
Buffy was pregnant with Spike’s spawn. No, that wasn’t right. She was magically impregnated with a mystical key that hadn’t come into being by a sexual means at all. So, it wasn’t Spike’s kid technically, or hers for that matter. But the monk said it had been transformed into a human. Did that mean that they used Spike and her DNA to create it?
Her mind swam from the confusion. She couldn’t decide if she should hate what was inside her or love it. A baby. If only it were that simple. She had dreamed of being a mother, yet disregarded it after being chosen. A real daughter she could love, but a portal . . . Human now, the monk had said. Was it a baby? Was it hers? Her life was never simple, but this was outrageous.
What would Spike think about all this? She shut her eyes. He was soul-less, a killer only kept in check by a piece of metal. She couldn’t trust him. The baby might not have been created in the natural way but she still felt responsible for it. The monk had been correct, it was an innocent after all. She had been a good choice. She’d protect it. And that meant keeping it away from vampires, even chipped ones.
Shutting the blinds that night and slipping into bed, Buffy made a decision. One thing was for sure; she couldn’t tell anyone that the child might be part ‘Spike’. She knew that she couldn’t keep her pregnancy a secret forever, but she could bend the truth. The baby wouldn’t be Spike’s, it’d be Riley’s.
* * *
It was confirmed the next day at the doctors. Buffy was definitely pregnant. Now the next step was to deal with it. That was the hard part.
Buffy walked down the hospital corridor. She clutched a bottle of prenatal vitamins. Her brain was still having trouble registering that this was all real. She wasn’t paying attention to the world around her. All of a sudden a gurney came out of nowhere. The patient sat up and struggled to escape his restraints. Buffy’s eyes widened. She knew the guy. He was the night watchman she had seen two nights ago.
“I don't belong here. I have important instructions. Fascists!” the night watchman cried.
The nurse fought to keep the man down. Buffy went over to help. She pushed the patient down so that the nurse could tighten the straps.
“You know, not to be rampantly sexist in the workplace, but you’ve got some serious muscles for a girl,” the nurse said.
“I uh . . .”
“Radioactive spider bite?”
Buffy forced a smile. “How’d you guess?”
“I’m Ben, a doctor. . . well, almost.”
She could tell that he was interested in her. Too bad she was knocked up.
“Buffy Summers. Pleased to meet you.” God, she sounded so cheery.
The night watchman seized Buffy’s arm. His eyes were large and full of madness.
“They make no difference!” the man declared.
“I’ve met this guy, he’s not crazy,” Buffy told Ben.
Obviously Ben didn’t believe her. “If you say so.”
“They come at you through your family!” the man ranted on.
“My family? What do you mean?” She couldn’t help but wonder if there was some kind of credence to his ravings.
Ben turned toward an orderly. “Get him to Exam One. Now would be nice.”
The gurney wheeled away and the man let go of Buffy’s arm. The bottle slipped from her fingers. Ben bent down to retrieve it.
“I’m really sorry about that. Here.” He glanced at the label before Buffy could stop him. “Oh, you’re pregnant?”
She snatched the pills away, humiliated.
“I’m sorry if I sound so surprised,” Ben said. “I’m actually pretty embarrassed. I was even going to ask you out for a drink, but seeing as you’re taken. . . “
“I’m not ‘taken’!” Buffy spat.
“I admire you then. It takes courage to raise a baby on your own.”
Buffy hurried away.
* * *
Buffy had to make decisions, very important decisions. For starters she made up her mind to move back home. She needed her mother. Joyce wouldn’t be happy about this, but she’d support her anyway. Her friends were nice enough to help transport all of her things from the dorm. They gave her a few looks of worry, but she ignored them. She wasn’t ready to tell them. Not that she would ever truly be ready.
That night she went out on patrol. She knew that she shouldn’t in her condition, but it wasn’t like she could blow it off. There was a new big bad, after all.
She roamed through the graves, gripping her wooden stake. The moon shown in the sky, clear and almost full, illuminating her way. It was pretty slow that night. She allowed herself to get wrapped up in her thoughts, grappling yet again with her situation. She was so lost in them that she didn’t notice the vampire that charged out of the shadows. He knocked into her with great impact. Her weapon went flying and she hit the ground hard.
Buffy struggled against the vamp on top of her. His face was wild, fangs snapping at her. The only thing she could process was that she couldn’t get the thing off her. Oh God, was this it? I failed, she thought. I’m so sorry, baby. I wasn’t a good candidate in the end.
The vampire was suddenly gone. She lay there, gasping for air. She heard kicks and punches nearby. It took a moment for her to gather herself. When she did she saw that it was Spike. He ripped the other vampire’s head off. Dust exploded in the air.
Spike came over to her and offered a hand. Buffy stared up at him blankly. She got up, pushing his hand away. He huffed at that.
“Better be more careful, slayer. That vamp woulda had himself a right good day,” Spike said.
“I don’t need your help!” she exclaimed.
He had saved her. Why? They were supposed to be enemies.
Laughter spilled from Spike. “Oh, right. You sayin you would’ve come out on top in the end?”
Buffy gathered her fallen stake. She didn’t respond.
“You know, you could be a little more grateful.” He pointed at her. “I just saved your ass and you know it!”
She tucked her stake away. “If that’s what your ego wants to think.”
He shook his head. “You are something, you know it? You can find someone else to fight your battles.”
Her eyes sparked with electricity. “I don’t need someone else to fight my battles!”
She’d be fine. All she needed was to keep herself focused. She had been stupid to let herself get distracted. But what about two months from now? Four? She did have a problem. But Spike was not the solution to it.
Buffy turned around to stalk off. She got a few feet before she stumbled. Strong arms caught her before she lost her balance. She didn’t fight them, although she knew she should. They remained in place for who knows how long. She could feel his icy, unnecessary, breath on her neck. He was too close. Why was he breathing so hard?
All of a sudden he went rigid.
“Were you aware, pet, that you got yourself a bun in the oven?”
The slayer pried herself from his grip. She backed away. Instinct had her. She hugged her middle, sheltering it from this monster.
She couldn’t read his features. He wouldn’t look directly at her. “Tin soldier left a souvenir, huh?”
She put even more space between them. “Stay away from me and my daughter, Spike!”
Buffy fled the scene. She never saw Spike’s cold eyes turn dark with heartache.
You gotta feel sorry for both of them. I know this isn’t playing out to be fluffy Spuffy love, but there are enough happy baby fics out there. Do you really want another one? Besides, if you know me, you know I always get to the lovin in the end.
I’m pregnant. Two simple words. It should have been easy to spit them out. Instead Buffy was finding it as difficult to do as when she sent Angel through the spinning vortex of Acathla.
All day she trailed behind her mother. Joyce gave her curious looks now and then. Buffy could understand. She hadn’t spent this much time with her mother since . . . Well, a long time. Buffy had hardly come back home to visit. She was always at the dorm, with the gang, or going out to hunt demons. Now that life had turned devastatingly distraught all Buffy wanted to do was climb into Joyce’s lap and regress into a dependant child.
“What’s that?” Buffy questioned, spotting the papers her mother was scanning.
“Honey, are you all right?” Joyce asked.
Buffy took a seat next to her at the dining room table. “Sure, Mom. Why?”
Joyce shook her head. “Oh, I don’t know. It’s just I’ve seen you more today than in the past month.”
“Is there anything wrong with some mother-daughter bonding action?”
Joyce smiled. She patted her daughter’s hand. “No, of course not. Let me look over these papers for the gallery first, okay?”
“Oh. Sure. I’ll just . . . go do something else for a few.”
Buffy stood up.
“I really do want to see you, Buffy. If it wasn’t for this paperwork . . .”
Buffy forced a smile. “I know.”
She hurried upstairs and to her room. She shut the door and then leaned against it for support. She took a few deep breaths. She was glad her mom had sent her away. It would give her time to contemplate how to break the news.
I’m pregnant. Two simple words, but no easy way to say them.
Buffy moved to her bed. She lifted the pastel bedspread and crawled underneath it. The heavy comforter snuggly wrapped around her small frame; she closed her eyes and let herself disappear in it.
Someone up there had it in for him. Not that he blamed them. He was William the Bloody after all, scourge of thousands. He deserved this afflicted torture. He knew it, but he still wished there was some way to make the pain go away.
Spike downed the last of his Jack Daniels. Bugger, there was not enough to put him in a stupor. His mind was too active. He stared into the clear, empty bottle.
He remembered how smooth her skin had felt. Sweat covered her, and his fingers traveled over the slick surface, taking in its heat. She burned. Her heart had beat loud and fierce. It pounded in his ears, mingling with her heavy breath. Her eyes lost focus as her head fell back. She cried out and her muscles quivered around him. All for him, because of him. The thought of her with another . . . doing ‘those’ things with another. . . And a baby. Fuck. She’d never be his. Captain Cardboard was a part of her now, always would be, no way around it.
Spike tightened his grip on the bottle. It shattered from the pressure. The glass flew. Blood slid down his palm. He snickered humorlessly.
He wished there was some way to make the pain go away. To do away with his love, to do away with ‘her’.
* * *
Buffy stalked though the cemetery. She wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. She still hadn’t told her mother the unexpected news. She couldn’t find the opportune moment for it. She fought to stay focused, reminding herself about what happened last time she had patrolled.
She moved through the graves, hugging herself. She opened up her senses for demon activity. It wasn’t long before she felt something nearby. She prepared herself for the attack.
The vampire emerged. He looked like a Kiss reject, makeup and all.
“Are you trying to cover up something? Major acne?”
She offered a few kicks.
“You know, they have cream for that. Or, does that not work on dead things?”
The vampire snarled in displeasure. He punched her in the face. She dodged out of his way when he went for another one. She wasn’t fast enough to avoid the foot that plunged into her abdomen, though. Her eyes went wide as she staggered backwards. Oh God!
The vamp chuckled. “I’ve heard much about you, little sister. All lies. You’re not that tough.”
Buffy’s features hardened. She battled with the nausea building in her stomach. She whipped out her stake. Now was the time. She thrust the wood into his heart before he could react.
“Think again,” she commented as he disintegrated in the air.
She let out a breath. She dropped the stake to clutch her middle. It hurt. Tears built up in her eyes. What if . . . ? She had to get help. The hospital wasn’t far away. She could make it.
* * *
The doctor didn’t seem worried. Why wasn’t he worried? This was her baby at risk.
“Calm down, Buffy,” Dr. Grant soothed.
“But he kicked me! He came out of nowhere. He wanted . . . uh . . . to rob me, yeah!”
“I’m sure your baby is fine, Ms. Summers. I’ve examined you fully and the injury seems superficial. But if you are worried I could do a sonogram.”
Buffy rested her head back on the examining table. “Is that where there are pictures on the TV?”
The doctor smiled. “Yes. It is a simple procedure. Sound waves are used in order to capture an image of the womb. It would be a sure way of making sure everything is ship shape.”
Buffy nodded. “Please do it.”
“All right, Buffy. Now just relax.” He set up a few things. “Prepare yourself, this might be cold.”
Exposing her belly, the doctor squirted a small amount of gel. He spread it around. Buffy watched the screen expectantly. A picture was formed. She squinted, trying to make something out. She became disappointed when she couldn’t form anything coherent in what she saw.
The doctor must have seen her difficulty. “Do you want me to point out your baby?” he asked.
He pointed to a tiny dot on the screen. “That’s it.”
“There?” she questioned with skepticism.
“Yes,” the doctor replied and laughed. “Don’t feel bad. It takes a professional in order to point it out. It is very small at this stage.”
Buffy hardly heard. She had become transfixed right after he pointed out her baby. A small smile formed on her lips. There really was a baby in her. The reality of it all hadn’t really hit her until now. She was going to be a mother. It didn’t matter if it hadn’t been created naturally. The baby was hers now. The monk was right. They had given her a beautiful gift. And she loved it. She loved the tiny creature within her. She knew she had from the very start, but hadn’t let herself realize it until now.
“Everything is fine. The heartbeat is strong. I have no reason to believe there will be any abnormalities,” Dr. Grant stated.
Buffy blinked away accumulated wetness. “Thank you.”
* * *
Buffy left the doctor with a new perspective. She was no longer ashamed with her pregnancy. She kept glancing down at the blurry pictures that had been printed out for her. Her thumb slid across its surface. She felt lightheaded with wonder. She would do everything in her power to keep her baby safe. Everything. Even if that meant collaborating forces with an evil bleached blond fiend. She wasn’t strong enough to beat this new big bad. Her condition was only going to degrade with time. If she couldn’t prevent a mere vampire from kicking her in the stomach there was no way she could pound . . . whatever that permed freak bitch was.
She reached Spike’s crypt without a further confrontation. She was thankful for that. She entered civically, without crashing her way in. The place was dark except for the flickering glow of the television. Spike whipped his head around.
“Oi, you,” he said in indifference.
“Yeah, me. Can, uh, you shut that off? I want to speak with you,” she said, gesturing to the program. It was some black and white detective movie.
Spike rose. The movement was so fluid. She couldn’t help but compare him to a feline. His physic was so strong, sleek, and lean. A flash of herself pressed against such physic came to mind. She blinked, realizing he had muted the television and was now glaring at her.
“What do you want?” he demanded.
She spotted his left hand. It was marred with dried blood. She opened her mouth to ask what happened but then thought better of it. She shifted her gaze to his face.
She sighed. “I need your help.”
Spike took out a cigarette. He quickly lit it and blew smoke at her. “So ‘now’ you need my help? Thought you were good enough on your own.”
Buffy coughed and pushed the smoke away with her hands. She grabbed the stick out of his hand and smashed it under her shoe. “No smoking!”
He shook his head. “Oh, right. Your condition.”
She fiddled with her hands. “Look, this isn’t easy for me.” She paused. “I’ve always been strong enough on my own. I’m the slayer, ya know? But I can’t do this alone. Please, help me. Go with me on patrol until after she’s born.”
His jaw twitched.
“I’ll pay you!” she added. She searched his eyes pleadingly.
He laughed. She just stared.
“Get out,” he said.
She gaped. “What?”
He pointed toward the door. “Leave before I toss you out.”
“Spike . . .? “ Her eyes began to sting. Oh, geez, she had been crying a lot lately. Hormones?
“Oh balls, woman. Turn off the waterworks. Look, you’ve got enough help without bringing me into the mix. I’ve seen the whelp and Red out. They’ve done just fine.”
“Not against this. There is something new in town. Something powerful. I went up against her and almost didn’t get away.”
He shut his eyes. “Call up the poof. I’m sure he’d be here in a heartbeat.”
There was a moment of silence.
“I don’t want to bring him into this.” She couldn’t deal with her ex right now. What would he think? It would be too humiliating to be pregnant with another man’s child while around him. No, she couldn’t bear it.
“You’ll figure something out,” Spike said coldly. “Best of luck.”
Lies. He didn’t care at all.
“Just for your information, I’m not at your bloody beck and call. I’ve got my own place now, don’t need to be mixed up with your lot. Got things to do. Evil, vampiric things.”
She nodded. “I understand.”
Without another words buffy turned and left.
God Damn It! Spike swore. He was at the end of his bloody rope. This was too much. He couldn’t stand to be around her. It tore him up inside. He could feel it in her. Just as he could sense death, he could sense life. Not only that, the fluttering beat of the added tiny heart closed in around him.
Something had to be done. He had to get rid of this pain. There had to be a way. There was no way that he could go seven months with this.
He could leave town. He’d pack his bags and storm out of this fucking town. He’d find Dru again. She could cure him of this disease. Together they’d find a way to turn him back into a real vampire again.
Wait. He shouldn’t have to leave. He could stay here if he wanted. He wasn’t going to let a little girl lead his unlife.
Spike stormed over to a metal trunk. He searched through its contents. His hand brought up his prize, a double barreled shotgun. He smirked after loading with two rounds.
Two hours of brain blasts and then the pain would be over. He’d make it all go away.
* * *
“Mom, can we talk?”
They had just finished dinner. Empty plates sat in front of them, the red hint of lasagna lingering.
Joyce smiled. “Sure. Do you want dessert? I made brownies.”
Buffy reached over to halt her mother from rising. “Mom, we really should talk.”
Joyce relaxed. Her complete concentration went to her daughter. She frowned. “Drugs?”
Joyce put a hand to her chest. “Thank god. Is Angelus back?”
“No. Mom, relax.”
“Okay, I think I better stop guessing. Just tell me.”
This was it.
“Mom, I’m pregnant.”
It took a moment for Joyce to grasp the sentence. Buffy waited for the explosion. Instead Joyce replied in a calm manner.
“Whose is it?”
Buffy’s green eyes widened. “How can you ask that?”
The bomb hit. “Well, I don’t know, Buffy. Everytime I think I know what is going on with you I get struck. First it was Angel and then the slayer thing. And now you’re pregnant!”
Buffy looked down at her hands. “I’m not a whore.”
“I didn’t . . .” Joyce sighed. “So it’s Riley’s?”
Buffy swallowed. “Yeah.”
Joyce nodded sadly. “Didn’t you use protection?”
“We got caught up in the moment once.” She met her mom’s eyes. “Once.”
It was a lie. Buffy had always been firm about protection. Riley had no problem with it. They got in the habit of always having some on hand.
“I can’t believe you would be so irresponsible,” Joyce snapped.
Buffy gripped the edge of the table. “I’m sorry.”
“Well the damage is done. So, what are you going to do about it?”
“I’m not getting rid of it!”
“I didn’t mean that. I meant . . . Are you planning on getting a job? Are you staying in college?”
“I . . . I haven’t thought that far ahead.”
“Well you better start! How far along are you?” Joyce asked.
“A little over two months,” Buffy said.
“Seven months may seem like a long time but it’s not. It will come sooner than you think.”
Joyce stared at her with disappointment. She stood up.
“Excuse me, I’m going to bed.”
Buffy sat there numbly. Well, it was over. She had known it would be bad. Somehow it felt worse then she anticipated. Mommy, I’m sorry.
* * *
Spike stalked purposely toward the Summers residence. He stepped through the shadows and into the light from the back porch. She sat hunched on the bottom step. He aimed the gun at her head. His finger hovered over the trigger.
You can do it, mate. One quick motion and it’ll be done. He cocked the gun.
Buffy raised her head. She looked at him through blurry vision.
“What do you want now?” she asked.
His finger trembled. He took in her devastated face. She was a mess of tears. His rage vanished at the sight of her suffering. He lowered the gun to his side.
He tilted his head to take her in. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she said.
“Is there something I can do?”
She simply stared up at him in confusion. He settled next to her on the step. She let him. He hesitantly reached out and awkwardly patted her on the back.
He was a fool to think he could be anything but love’s bitch. There was something in him that just broke over the opposite sex. There was no fighting it. The pain was there and there was doing away with it. He’d stick by her side. He’d protect her with his unlife. He loved her with all he had. And against his choice he seemed to love the bit as well. It was a part of her after all.
He retracted his hand. They both stared out into the night in silence.
Long part for you, guys. And I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. : )
Willow plopped down on Buffy’s bed. She had on a goofy grin.
“This is just like old times. I was thinking we could stay up late and watch tear-jerker movies. I brought that Carey Grant one with the Empire State Building. And don’t you have Sleepless in Seattle?”
“Will-“ Buffy interjected.
“Or Moulin Rouge. But can we skip the end? I don’t know if I can take it. I packed some snacks too. Do you like Cheetos? Wait, you love cheese.”
“Huh, what!?” Willow’s lips zipped closed.
The slayer took in a breath. “Wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get a word in there. Excited much?”
Sheepishly, Willow said, “Sorry. It’s just, ya know, me and you with the slumber party. It seems like we haven’t had any one-on-one in a long time. I miss you.”
Buffy smiled. “Miss you too, Wills.”
She hated to crumble Willow’s glee over the girlie movie veg-out. It sounded fun. Although at the rate she’d been crying as of late, she would probably end up flooding the house. But best friend bonding time wasn’t why she had asked Willow over.
Willow is a very understanding individual, she reminded herself. This should be a piece of cake. It’s Xander and Giles I should be concerned about. Oh, and I was so okay with the gay thing. She kind of has the obligation to accept this.
“Your mother seemed a little on edge. Is she all right?” Willow commented.
Buffy moved to sit next to her friend. She grabbed Mr. Gordo the pig and clutched him to her chest. She took a deep breath and faced Willow.
“Uh, Willow . . . I actually brought you over here to talk.”
“Oh.” The red-head straightened, looking attentive. “Go ahead, my ears are ready.”
Buffy caught her gaze wandering. She forced them back on target. Willow waited expectantly.
“A lot of things sure have changed since high school, huh?” Buffy blurted. She could have slapped herself. Where had that come from?
Nodding, Willow agreed. “Way. Hello, gay here. And Xander with Anya.” She rolled her eyes. “Giles actually owns his own store. And you . . .”
Buffy shifted. “Yeah, about me . . . I’m pregnant.”
“Huh?” Willow blinked.
“You know. With child. Expecting.”
Willow put a hand over her mouth. “Oh God. That’s awful.”
Awful? Buffy fingered Mr. Gordo’s ear. She didn’t know how to respond.
“Buffy? I didn’t mean it the way it came out. Babies aren’t awful. They’re cute and cuddly. I only said it was awful because of Riley being gone. Poor baby won’t have a daddy. That’s just sad.”
Buffy shut her eyes. She wished things were different. She wished the father really was Riley and he was alive. She felt like she let her child down somehow by being a single parent.
You wouldn’t have to be. Where did that thought come from? It was totally irrational. She couldn’t let Spike know the truth. He was good enough as a back-up fighter but she could never trust him further.
“You’re not mad?” Buffy questioned.
“No, why would I be?”
“I don’t know. I won’t be able to up and leave for the Bronze anymore.”
“Oh, that’s all right. I get loads of benefits to make up for it. I’ll be Aunt Willow and get baby hugs and kisses. And the spoiling, that’s always fun.” Willow’s eyes twinkled. She reached out a hand. “Can I feel?”
Buffy snorted. “There’s nothing to feel yet.”
Buffy lifted her pajama top. Willow’s warm palm sprayed across her flat stomach. The witch shut her eyes in concentration. A few minutes later she opened them again and beamed.
“I can feel her. She may be small but she has a powerful aura. Bright and green. Shiney.”
“Wow,” Buffy whispered. She touched the spot Willow had vacated.
“Tara taught me how to read people. You can learn a lot from it. Green means peace.”
Maybe Buffy was crazy but she could just about see what Willow described.
“You’re going to be a great mom,” Willow said.
Willow took her hand. “Yep. And I’m here for you, to babysit or whatever.”
“Thanks, Wills.” She squeezed her hand back. “What do ya say about getting on those movies?”
Willow hopped up. “I’ll grab the snacks. You collect the videos.”
* * *
Next on the list . . . Giles or Xander? Neither sounded appealing. She supposed she should go for Xander. Giles would be scary. He had that fatherly authority figure going on. Frankly she wasn’t sure how Xander would react. He’d probably be all fish-mouthed over it. Yeah, she’d try Xander. Or should she get the worst over with first? She’d just go to the Magic Box and see who was around. Whoever she ran into first would be the lucky guy.
When she stepped inside she had the immediate urge to backtrack. She regretted her decision. Xander ‘and’ Giles were there. The whole gang was actually. Willow and Tara sat at the table, only a stack of books dividing them. Xander straddled a chair and tapped his fingers on the table top. Giles scanned his book collection. Anya stood near the register, writing something down on a piece of paper.
Willow smiled warmly in greeting. “Hey, Buffy.”
Tara glanced at her girlfriend and then smiled as well.
The watcher glared over at Xander. “Would you please stop that infuriating tapping?”
Xander halted his hand. “Sorry. Can’t help it. I’m bored.”
Giles tossed a heavy volume into Xander’s lap. Dust went flying. “Make yourself useful.”
Buffy slumped in the chair between Xander and Willow. “What are we researching?”
“The beastie,” Xander said. “We’ve been going around in dizzy circles here for hours.”
Glancing shyly up, Tara said, “Maybe she isn’t in the books.”
“What do you mean?” Willow asked.
“I mean, what if she's not a demon or sorceress or spirit or whatever these books cover? What if she's something else altogether?”
Giles stepped over with interest. “Something new you mean?”
“She was like nothing I’ve ever come across before, that’s for sure,” Buffy said. She smiled over at Giles. “Can I name her? You know, like if you find a comet or bug in the jungle?”
Tara shook her head. “No, I mean something old. Something so old that it pre-dates the written word.”
“The Dagon Sphere!” Willow declared excitedly. Buffy could practically detect the light bulb over her head. “You said it repelled . . .”
“That which cannot be named,” Giles muttered. He removed his glasses.
A perplexed expression formed on Xander’s face. He glanced over at Buffy. She shrugged. Why was he looking at her? She was never brainy-girl.
He slammed his book shut and pushed it toward the center of the table. “Well, if it means I don’t have to read anymore . . . then whoo with a big hoo.”
Buffy smiled. She was surprised that she could be so cheery under circumstances. She got to her feet. Might as well get this over with before she lost her nerve. She realized that there were people all over the store.
“Can we go in the back?”
“Yes, yes of course,” Giles replied.
Everyone stood up, curious. Willow met Buffy’s gaze. She saw support and understanding in her friend’s eyes.
They assembled near the pommel horse. Buffy’s heart thundered in her chest. How could she say this? Maybe if she said it in a certain way it wouldn’t be so bad. She could give a long introduction about how things happened against people’s control. Or . . .
“Buffy? Buffy?” Giles touched her shoulder. She jumped, coming out of her reverie. “You wanted to speak with us about something?”
“Yeah, I . . .” She could feel herself begin to shake. She clung to the exercise equipment in front of her. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t handle Giles’s disapproval along with her mother’s.
Willow came over to Buffy’s side. “Guys, I know what Buffy has to say. What she is going to tell you is hard and so you should try to be understanding.”
Good ol’ Will. She could always rely on her.
“Dear lord,” Giles murmured. “Do get out with it then. This prologue is perturbing instead of preparing me.”
Without looking at them, Buffy said, “I’m pregnant.” Her eyes slid upward to gage their reactions.
Tara, of course, seemed sympathetic. Xander’s complexion had gone white. Giles . . . She should be referring to him as Ripper. She had never seen his features so hard and cold.
Xander laughed. The sound echoed through the room. “Giles, you really need to get a couch back here. Times like these, you have to have a place to sit down.”
“Wow, Buffy,” Tara said. “This must be difficult for you. Is it R-Riley’s?”
The slayer nodded. “Yeah.”
Silence suffocated Buffy. Say something, she silently begged Giles. Please.
His eyes had darkened. They stared holes into her. “How could you be so irresponsible? At a time like this!”
She crossed her arms. “You think this was my choice!? That I planned this!?”
“You are the slayer,” he growled. “You have responsibilities. This thing not only affects you but the whole world. Countless people may die because of your rashness. This is why past slayers didn’t have mates. There was a slayer in the seventies who had a child. She let the duty for her son outweigh her duty as the slayer. It killed her.”
“Well, maybe I was irresponsible. But that doesn’t change the fact that it happened. You don’t have to be happy about it, but I need you to accept it. I can’t do this on my own. Please.”
Just then Anya stormed in. She waved a piece of paper in her hand. “Hey!”
“Ahn, could you come back in a few? We’re kind of dealing with something,” Xander told his girlfriend.
“Giles, you sold someone a Khul’s amulet and Sobekian bloodstone. Are you stupid or something? Everybody knows you don’t put a Khul’s amulet and Sobekian bloodstone together. Bad news.”
“Oh no,” Willow said. “Sobekites were an ancient Egyptian cult, heavy into dark magic.”
“And the Khul's amulet, wasn't that a transmogrification conduit?” Tara questioned.
“Their leader Khul had great mystic power. He forged an amulet with transmogrifying crystal,” Anya said.
“Transmogrifying is changing a living thing into a different thing,” Willow informed.
“It was her,” Buffy said. “How could you not know?”
“She came in like an ordinary customer. . . She’s creating a monster,” Giles whispered.
“What for? What does it do?” Buffy asked.
“Research?” Willow suggested.
“You guys work on it, I’ll go kill it.” Buffy went over and snatched a large knife off the wall.
“Buffy?” Giles protested. “What do you think you are doing!?”
Willow’s eyes went wide. “You can’t!
“She creamed you last time,” Xander agreed.
“I can’t just sit here. I have to do something,” Buffy said. She addressed Giles. “And to answer your question; I’m going to do my duty. Isn’t that what you want?”
Buffy stomped off.
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