"Buffy, since everything is under control, I think I'm going to head home," Joyce said, breaking into the playful bantering between the Slayer and the vampire.
"‘K, Mom," Buffy replied, taking the sonogram photo from Spike and handing it to her mother. "I'm gonna go check on Faith and Angel, then do a quick sweep before I come home."
"You are not," Spike told her. "You are going home with your mum where you belong."
Buffy arched a brow at him. "Oh really?"
"I'm not going to let you go out there and get yourself and the baby killed," Spike continued, oblivious to the fact that he was making the pregnant Slayer mad.
"And who's gonna stop me? You?" Buffy said snidely. Joyce took this as her cue to quickly, but silently, leave.
"Slayer, see reason here," Spike said. "You're obviously ready to pop at any bloody moment. You shouldn't be out doing...anything! You should be at home with your feet up or something."
"Since when do you care what I do?" Buffy said. "And what about Drusilla? Wasn't there some spell you wanted..."
"Sod the spell," he replied. "If she wants to think I've gone soft...well, her loss."
"Spike, you've always been soft," she said with a wicked grin.
Spike scowled at her. "Very amusing, pet. You're still not going."
"Am too," Buffy stated, sliding on a sweatshirt and her coat.
"Over my dead body."
"Good, you agree," Buffy said. "You're already dead. Bye."
As she started to go, Spike grabbed her arm and wheeled her to face him. "Slayer, why are you so insistent about going and getting you both hurt or killed?!" he growled at her.
"Why the hell do you care?" Buffy replied. "I thought it was your main goal in life to end mine."
"Because I...," he trailed off with a frown. "Well, I..."
"See?" she said. "You don't have a reason. Now, let me go."
Spike dropped her arm and watched as she stormed out of the library. "Bloody hell, why do I care anyway? She's the enemy, you sod," he grumbled to himself. "So what if she gets herself or the baby killed. That's just one less Slayer on the planet to muck up my unlife."
He stomped into the office and grabbed his no-longer-hot chocolate. "I don't care," he stated loudly.
The silence of the library mocked him.
"Bloody hell," he swore, putting the mug down. Then he went after her.
"Hey ugly!" Buffy called to a vampire as she joined Angel and Faith, who were still fighting at what the brunette Slayer dubbed ‘the vault.' "Catch!" She flicked a stake at him as the word left her mouth. It traveled end-over-end and landed expertly in the vampire's heart.
"Hey B, what took ya so long?" Faith asked as she grabbed a vampiress by the hair and flung her against a wall of a mausoleum. "Did that hottie give you some lip...service?"
"Faith!" Buffy scowled as she blocked an attacker's punch. "I do not want Spike to kiss me."
"Kiss you?" Angel said as he fought two vampires at once.
"Sweetie, he's done a lot more than that already," Faith commented in a patronizing tone.
"What?!" Angel said.
"Can we not talk now?" Buffy said. "I'm trying..." She staked another vampire. "To slay vampires."
"You're trying to get yourself bloody killed!" Spike growled as he approached the fighting group. A vampire went after him and he threw a quick punch, knocking the attacker to the ground.
"Spike, go away," Buffy told him as she started fighting yet another vampire. Spike went up next to her, snatched the stake from her hand and plunged it in her opponent's heart.
"You're done," he stated, dropping the stake to the ground.
"What the hell do you thing you're -- Spike!" Buffy squeaked as the blond vampire swung her up into his arms. "Put me down, you overgrown bat!"
Spike arched his scarred brow at her insult as he started out of the cemetery. "I'm taking you home."
"Since when did you become the boss of me?" Buffy grumbled, holding onto his neck because she didn't want to be dropped.
"Since you started doing bloody idiotic things while you're expecting," he replied.
"Later, B!" Faith yelled to the retreating bottle-blonds. "I want a full lip report next time I see ya!"
Buffy blushed and she heard Angel start to curse. She looked over Spike's shoulder and saw the ensouled vampire wanted to come after her, but couldn't. "Spike, Angel's gonna kill you." Spike snorted in reply. "You aren't planning on putting me down anytime soon, are you?"
Buffy sighed. "Didn't think so," she said, then decided she may as well be comfortable and laid her head on his shoulder. "I don't get you."
"What's that, luv?" Spike asked in response to her soft statement. The cold December night was clear and quiet as he carried her down the street. Despite her being pregnant, she was still light to him and, for some odd reason he couldn't name, she felt right in his arms.
"Never mind," she said. "You do know that because of your caveman routine, Angel's going to be ticked."
"Like I care about what that wanker thinks," he said. "And when did he become all soul-having again anyway?"
"Willow re-cursed him before I sent him to Hell," Buffy answered sadly. "Then he reappeared out of nowhere a couple months ago."
"You sent Angel to Hell?" Spike said in amazement. Then, with sadness, he added, "Cor, I'm sorry you had to do that, luv. It must have been hard."
"The hardest thing I've ever had to do," she replied quietly.
Spike held her a little closer. "I'm so sorry, Slayer."
"It's ok," she said. "He's back with his soul intact, the world didn't end, I came home, and my life is pretty good considering I'm seven months pregnant and a high school senior."
"Seven months, eh?" Spike said. "There's, what, two more left?"
"Yeah," she sighed. "Then it's ‘Hello, Mommy.'"
"And hello Dad," he added, turning onto her street. She stiffened slightly in his arms, making him frown. "Where is dear old daddy anyway? Shouldn't he be protestin' up a storm with your slaying?"
"He, uh...that is...well," Buffy stammered. "The-the, er, father doesn't know he's, um, going to be a dad."
"How could the father not...oh," Spike said. "You didn't tell him."
"No, I didn't," she replied, her voice extremely soft.
"Don't you think you should?" Spike asked as he headed up the front walk to her house. "If it were me, I'd sure as hell want to know, just so I could keep you in the bloody house and not...out..." He stopped walking as his sentence trailed off. They were in front of the steps leading up to Buffy's front door. The porch light flickered before it burned out completely, leaving them in the darkness of the night.
"Did you say you were seven months along, Slayer?" he asked quietly, his tone betraying no hint of what he was thinking. Buffy refused to raise her head from his shoulder as she nodded. She was holding her breath, waiting for the explosion that was certain to come.
Turning, Spike sat on the steps with Buffy now on his lap. "Buffy, look at me," he said, his tone unchanging. Slowly, Buffy raised her head and met his steady, blue gaze. Absently, she noted he used her given name, but she was too nervous to really care. "Who's the father?"
"He's your baby, Spike," Buffy replied, her voice barely above a whisper. "You're the father."
Spike closed his eyes and swallowed heavily. He then took a deep, unneeded breath and let it out slowly. When he reopened his eyes, he stared at her with a mixture of pain, happiness and anger in his eyes. "You never would have told me, would you." It was a statement, not a question.
She shook her head before dropping it. "I'm sorry."
"We're naming him William. William Joseph."
Buffy's head shot back up in surprise. "What?"
"You heard me," Spike said, his expression unchanging.
"Don't I get any say in-"
Buffy glared at him. "You use that word a lot, you know that?"
"Get use to it, Slayer," he told her. "Because between now and when my baby comes, you are not doing anything remotely dangerous."
"Don't take that high-handed, British tone with me," she said, her eyes glinting.
"I'll take more than just that tone to you if you defy me," Spike growled.
"Ooh, you make me so mad," Buffy growled right back. "I should have staked you a long time ago."
"Que cera cera, pet," he replied with a smirk. She scowled at him and he chuckled.
"You have got to be the biggest, most impossible, most annoying, most insolent, most indescri-"
Buffy was abruptly cut off when Spike leaned forward and kissed her.
"Wh-what was that for?" Buffy asked a few breathless moments later.
"You're cute when pregnant and angry," Spike replied with a wink. "Plus, it shut you up."
"I'm going to shut you up," she growled. "With my fist." Spike laughed in reply and she scowled at him. "Spike, go away."
"Not gonna happen, pet," he said, calming down. "I'm back to stay."
She groaned and hit her head on his shoulder. "I swear, someone is playing a joke with my life."
"Hey, wasn't that my line?"
"Knew I heard it somewhere," she mumbled into his coat.
"Come on, pet. Let's get you inside," he said, rising to his feet with her still in his arms. He carried her into the house with little trouble, taking her up to her bedroom, which made her frown.
"How do you know where my room is?" Buffy asked.
"Um...," Spike trailed off. "Ancient Chinese secret."
She raised her head and looked at him. "If you weren't dead, I'd think you were blushing."
"Yeah, right. The day I blush..."
"‘Watts, wait...'" She giggled at his surprised look. "I take it you've seen that movie, too."
"Numerous times, " he replied as he set her down on her bed. He then proceeded to unlace her gym shoes and remove them. "Pet, why weren't you going to tell me?"
"Spike, you're a vampire. I didn't think you'd care," Buffy answered.
"Then you don't know me very well," Spike muttered as he took off her socks.
"Getting to know the demons who try to kill you on an intimate basis is not in the handbook, Spike," she said. "Neither is sleeping with them and then having their child, but that's not the point."
"Slayer, put a cork in it," he said, shoving the winter coat off of her arms. He then grabbed the hem of her sweatshirt and yanked it over her head.
"Since when did I become your Undress-Me Doll?" Buffy asked, her hair sticking up from the static.
"Yeah, Spike, when was it?"
Both Buffy and Spike's heads whipped towards the window to see Angel sitting outside on the roof, braced against the open window's sill. "God, Angel, you scared me," Buffy said, putting a hand to her chest.
"Sorry," Angel apologized.
"What are you doing here?" Spike growled at him.
"I should be asking you the same thing, Spike," Angel said. They both glared at each other, the tension growing more and more palpable, until Buffy intervened.
"Alright, you two. One of my Mom's rules is no bloodshed in the house," Buffy stated. "Now, Angel, was there something you needed?"
"No," Angel replied. His gaze softened when he looked at her. "I just wanted to check on you. Make sure you're ok."
"I'm fine," Buffy reassured him. "You go ahead home. I'll see you tomorrow afternoon for our workout."
Angel nodded, glared once more at Spike, then hopped off the roof. "Wanker," Spike muttered stomping over to the window and slamming it shut. He turned the lock with a savage twist, then pulled the curtains. "Probably was hoping for a show from my Slayer, the bloody peepin' tom."
"Spike, what are you babbling about?" Buffy asked.
"Huh?" Spike said, turning to face her. "Nothing, pet." He looked back at the newly drawn shades with a frown. "What's this about seein' that git tomorrow?"
"For Tai Chi," she said. "We do it together. Then afterwards he gives me a full-body massage."
Spike whipped his head around to stare at her. "Like bloody hell he's gonna lay his hands on you!"
Buffy started to laugh. "You sound like you're jealous."
"If you want a massage, you arsk me," he growled. "That prick better not lay a finger on you, or I'll rip it off and shove it up his hole."
"That's gross," she said, watching him as he started to pace. "God, what is up with you? You're acting all wiggy."
"I just don't want him touching you, that's all," he said. "No telling where those hands of his have been."
"Spike, go away."
"No," Spike stated. "I'm stayin' right here to make sure ‘e don't come back."
Buffy closed her eyes and fell backwards onto the pillows with a fake cry. "Somebody please make him go away so I can have some peace." Spike ignored her as he shed his duster, then kicked off his shoes. He then climbed onto the bed next to her and propped his head on his hand, causing her to open her eyes and glare up at him. "What are you doing in my bed?"
Spike studied her swollen belly, then reached out his hand and gently laid it on her. The baby kicked his hand and he grinned. "That's just so...neat."
She sighed and closed her eyes again. "Wake me when the nightmare that is my life is over, please." He chuckled and began rubbing small circles with his hand. "Um, Spike?"
"If I ask really nicely, will you leave?"
"That's what I thought you'd say," she sighed. She felt sleep calling to her from all the excitement and Spike's soothing movements with his hand. "I have a stake with your name on it, buster, if you try anything," she said, trying to stay awake.
"I know you do, pet," Spike replied, a small smile on his face as he looked down at hers. He bent his head and lightly kissed her on the forehead. "Sleep, luv. I'll be good."
"You've never been good in your life," she mumbled before the pull of sleep became too strong.
"Just you watch, Buffy," he said softly as her breathing evened out. "I'll be more than good as the father to our child."
Buffy's alarm went off and she slapped the snooze bar, then flicked the on/off button once to reset the alarm for the next morning, all without thought. Slowly opening her eyes, she stretched her arms above her head and froze. She wasn't alone.
Turning her head, she found herself face-to-face with a sleeping Spike. He was on his side, his head laying on his left arm, his other hand still resting on her swollen stomach.
She looked past him briefly to note that the shades and curtains were adequately keeping the sun out, then returned her eyes to him. "‘You're kinda cute when your mouth doesn't get in the way,'" she quoted softly, then gently moved his hand so she could get out of bed.
"Morning, Mom," Buffy greeted half an hour later as she entered the kitchen. She snagged an English Muffin from the bag on the counter and popped it in the toaster. "Guess who decided to set up camp in my bedroom?"
Joyce hid her grin, having heard the two bottle blond's bickering when they came in the previous night. "Who?" she asked innocently.
"Spike, the annoying bloodsucker," Buffy said. She poured herself a glass of juice and downed it in five, large gulps. "To bad my shades are too good, or I could have just vacuumed him up this morning."
"That's not a very nice thing to say about my grandbaby's father," Joyce told her, not bothering to hide her smile this time as Buffy scowled at her. "Have you told him yet?"
"Yeah, he knows," Buffy answered sullenly. She removed the English Muffin from the toaster and laved it with jelly, then took a bite and chewed thoughtfully before saying, "I'm not sure if he likes the news or not. One minute he's all protective, the next he's growling at me for who knows what reason."
"Buffy, that's a common symptom among men called ‘being male,'" Joyce said. "I think you're old enough now to depart my statement of womanly wisdom to you about them."
"And what's that, Mom?" Buffy asked.
"Men are strange."
"He knows," Buffy said at lunch time.
"He does?" Willow said. "Was he mad?"
"I don't know," the Slayer replied truthfully as she ate. "I think he was hurt that I wasn't going to tell him. Really hurt."
"Well, Spike always did seem to be the sensitive type," Willow commented. Buffy gave her a skeptical look. "He did. You know -- Drusilla?"
"True," Buffy said. "He made that deal with me to stop Angel because he was super-jealous and upset by Drusilla's actions with my ex-honey."
"Maybe he has a little bit of soul still in him," Willow suggested.
"Actually, I found out from Giles that vampires without souls still have all their feelings from when they were human, but their bad side is brought to the forefront when vamped," Buffy told her best friend. At Willow's look, she added, " I know, big word for Buffy. I've been hanging around Giles too much."
"Wait, why would Giles tell you that?" Willow asked. "Doesn't that information just make your job harder?"
"I asked because of Angel," Buffy answered. "As for the other question, vampires are still demons who kill people and need to be stopped, just like humans who kill people need to be stopped."
"What about vampires who kill people who are the father to your baby?" Willow said as she stood, spotting Cordelia exiting the school. "I have to talk to Cordy. See you later in the library?"
"Yeah," Buffy replied, not really listening. "Later." She sat their thinking about Willow's question as the redhead walked away.
"Hey Cordy," Willow said as she walked up to the tall brunette.
"Hi Willow," Cordelia greeted with a smile. "Have you seen Xander? I need to tell him what to wear tonight."
"No, I haven't seen him," Willow replied. "But there's something I need to talk to you about that includes him..."
"I don't think he's going to be leaving, mmm, anytime soon," Buffy said later that afternoon at the mansion. She was laying on Angel's bed with her eyes closed, enjoying the felling of his hands. "He's got it in his, oh that feels good, thick head that he needs to pro-mmm-tect me and the baby."
Angel set down her left foot and picked up her right, then continued the massage. "Spike's right, much as I hate to say it," he told her. "You shouldn't be slaying. It's too dangerous."
Buffy raised her head and opened one eye to effectively glare at him. "Don't start." Angel sighed. She took that as compliance, and put her head back on the pillow.
"What I want to know is why he cares at all," Angel finally broke the silence as he moved up to her calves. "It's not like the baby is his responsibility." Buffy winced visibly and she felt Angel's hands stop. "Buffy, it's not his responsibility, right?" he said.
The dark-haired vampire stood abruptly and stalked across the bedroom to the far wall. Hands clenched into fists, he forced himself to calm down before asking, "When?"
"After the ghosts," Buffy replied quietly, pushing herself to a sitting position. She plucked at an invisible thread on the blanket next to her. "I had found out you guys were here at the mansion and I came to...to kill you."
"But instead you fucked Spike!" Angel yelled, spinning to face her, his yellow eyes blazing.
Buffy winced, keeping her head down. "It wasn't...I mean, I didn't..."
"Spit it out, Buffy," Angel growled. "Tell me why you would have sex with Spike," he spat the name, "under my own roof."
"Maybe because you were trying to kill me," Buffy started, her head coming up to glare at him as her anger grew. "Maybe because the ghosts brought your soul back for just a moment. Maybe because you were fucking Drusilla. Maybe because your actions with her hurt Spike and you knew it. Maybe because he knew exactly how I felt because he was feeling the same way over losing the person he loved!"
Buffy was on her feet, stalking over to the souled vampire to poke him in the chest with each sentence. "You have no right to dictate who I chose to make love to! And I wanted to make love with Spike! We both wanted it and it was wonderful! And it was just what we both needed to survive until you could be stopped!"
Angel's human mask had dropped over his features through her tirade and he stared at her in shame. Dropping his eyes after a moment, he mumbled, "I'm sorry."
"Well, you should be," Buffy said, walking away from him, her arms cradling her belly. She sat down on the edge of the bed. She sniffed and wiped a hand across her eyes before she continued. "I never expected to get pregnant. You said that vampires couldn't have children."
"I didn't know we could," Angel replied quietly, not moving from his spot.
"I never expected him to come back, either," she said, her voice thick with tears. "He told me he'd take Drusilla and leave and never come back. Now he's here and he knows and I don't know what to do."
She was crying fully now, and Angel went over and sat next to her on the bed, pulling her into his arms. "Shh, it's ok, Buffy," he murmured comfortingly. "I'm not mad at you. I was only surprised, that's all."
"I know," Buffy whispered between tears. "I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to be hurt. Especially because you are hurting enough over what happened those six months your soul was gone and what happened to you in Hell."
Angel rubbed small circles on her back, his chin resting on the top of her head. His eyes were full of sadness and pain as he continued whispering comforting words to her.
"Angel, what am I going to do?" Buffy asked quietly, sniffling as the tears slowed. "Spike is not you. He doesn't have a soul. He still kills people. It's my duty to stake him, whether he's my baby's father or not. But..."
"But you don't want to because he's the baby's father," Angel finished for her. Then he added with understanding, "In the back of your mind, as long as you felt Spike was alive and happy somewhere, your baby would always have a father -- even if they never met."
"Yeah," Buffy replied, wiping her face with her hand. "Why did he have to come back?"
"Fate," Angel said as she straightened and looked up at him. He brushed a stray tear off her cheek with his thumb. "Or really bad luck."
"Very funny, Deadboy," Buffy growled playfully, pulling herself back together. "Are we still going to class tonight?"
"Of course," he replied. "I'll pick you up after patrol, as usual. Faith wants me to do a double check of the vault with her, then I'm free."
"Ok," she said, standing. "I'm going to head home now and take a long bath. Well, if Mom is home to get me out again, that is."
Angel chuckled. "I'd hate to show up at eight and find you've turned into a giant prune."
"Spike," Angel said as he gestured with his hand to Faith. "Just the idiot I wanted to see."
"What do you want?" Spike asked, watching as Faith circled around behind him.
"We have a problem," Angel told him. "And it goes beyond you having sex with my woman."
Spike snorted. "She wasn't your woman then and she isn't now." He turned slightly so he could keep his eye on the second Slayer. "At least, she didn't act like your woman when she cried out my name as she came, her hot, tight body wrapped around me." Angel growled and the blond vampire smirked. "What's wrong, mate? Jealous?"
"Soul-boy, who got into B's pants ain't the point," Faith said. "I have places to be, vampires to kill, so can we move storytime along?"
Angel looked past Spike and nodded at Faith, making Spike's grin widen. "Whipped by another Slayer, eh?"
"Spike, shut up," Angel told him. "We need to talk about Buffy."
"What about her?" Spike asked warily.
"If you're going to stay in Sunnydale, you're going to have to stop hunting," Angel said.
"Yeah, right," Spike scoffed.
"Angel is right, Blondie," Faith said. "B doesn't want you dust because of the tyke, but she will off you if you continue feeding from people. Capice?"
"I'm not feeding from bloody livestock," Spike growled.
"It's either that, or leave," Angel stated.
"You could always go to Willy's," Faith suggested. "He's got Chateau le Human in stock. And some pretty damn good scotch."
"Think about it, Spike," Angel said, gesturing to Faith. Without another word, the two brunettes left.
"What happened?" Xander groaned as he returned to consciousness.
"Um, Spike, yeah. He wanted me to do that, er, love spell. So, he kidnaped us," Willow lied, sitting next to Xander on the bed in the old, burned-out factory. "How are you feeling? Do you need to barf?"
"My head hurts," Xander replied, rubbing his forehead. He tried to sit up, but felt woozy. "Ok, not moving anytime soon. Tell me our options of getting out of this one, Wills."
"Well, I figure either...I do the spell and he kills us or I don't do the spell and he kills us," Willow said.
"Give me a third."
"He's drunk again. Maybe he'll forget about us and we starve to death," she replied. "That's the best one."
Xander tried to sit up again and Willow caught him before he fell backwards, bringing her face-to- face with him. "We shouldn't," she said as their eyes met.
"Exemption for impending death situation," Xander replied, then pulled her down for a kiss.
They broke off when they heard a gasp. "Oh god," Cordelia said, bringing a hand up to her mouth.
"Cordelia," Xander said, staring at his girlfriend standing in front of the bed.
"Oh god, Oz," Willow said when she saw her boyfriend next to Cordelia.
"We need to get out of here," Oz told them, his face unchanged at what he witnessed.
Cordelia turned and ran up the stairs out of the basement. Xander scrambled from the bed and took off after her. "Cordy, wait!"
When they were gone, Willow met Oz's eyes and felt her own filling with tears. "Oz, I'm so sorry. It's not what you think..."
"I know," Oz interrupted, moving until he was standing directly in front of her. "Cordelia told me everything on our way over. Her car broke down," he added to her unasked question.
"Oh," Willow said. "But still, everything inside of me feels so bad that I hurt you. I never imagine anything could feel this horrible."
"Willow," Oz said, framing her face with his hands. "Do you love Xander?"
"No," she answered immediately. "I don't even know why-"
"Because you've been friends forever. Because you loved him for almost as long. Because you were curious. Because I haven't marked you as mine and mine alone," Oz told her. "But that's about to change."
Willow's eyes widened just before he claimed her mouth in a searing kiss. Then everything disappeared but the sensations.
"Cordy, wait," Xander said, panting slightly as he caught up with her.
"Xander, whatever you have to say, save it," Cordelia spat. "I'm not interested." She stormed away from him, then stopped and stomped back. "You jerk! How could you! I am sick of you fawning all over other girls! First Buffy, now Willow! What is wrong with you?!"
"I don't know!" Xander yelled back. He grit his teeth, then repeated more calmly, "I don't know."
"Tell me, Xander. Did you like kissing her or did you like the idea of doing something you weren't suppose to be doing?" Cordelia asked.
Xander paused and thought about it. "Actually, neither of them," he replied. "Not that kissing Willow was bad, she just wasn't you." He gave her a pained, but goofy grin. "She didn't fight with me before, during or after."
"But why?" Cordelia said, getting to the heart of her plan with Willow, made after the redhead told her what had been happening between the old friends.
"Because I don't want to lose her," Xander confessed quietly, shoving his hands in his pockets and ducking his head. "Call me a hypocrite, but seeing her spend all her time with Oz made me feel like she was abandoning me. She's my best friend, Cordy. She has been all my life. I don't know what to do without knowing she'll always be there for me."
Cordelia's face softened. "Xander, she's not going anywhere just because she has Oz," she told him. "She's not leaving you even if she goes to Harvard or some other school that's not here. She's only finding love for herself because you found love."
Xander's head shot up and he met her gaze. "You...you love me?"
Cordelia nodded. "Of course, lame brain. I wouldn't be with you otherwise or tried so hard to keep you. You dress terribly."
A large smile broke across Xander's face. "And you still have no tact, but I don't mind." He offered her his arm and led her to Oz's van. "So, um, how much groveling do you want me to do, oh great wise woman?"
"First of all, dinner at a big, fancy restaurant," Cordelia told him. She gave him a small grin. "When you can afford it." She opened the rear door and climbed in. "Second, flowers. And chocolate. I like both."
Xander climbed in the van next to her. "And third?" he asked.
"Kissing," she replied. "Lots and lots of kissing."
"I think that can be easily arranged," he told her, then pulled the van doors shut.
"Mom, I'm leaving," Buffy called as she stood by the open front door.
"Where are you going, Slayer?" Spike asked as he came out of the darkness of the living room, startling her.
"Spike! You jerk, you scared me," Buffy said, her hand pressed over her pounding heart.
"Tisk, tisk," Spike said. "I shouldn't be able to sneak up on you like that." She glared at him, then turned to go. "You didn't say where you were going, pet."
"You're right, I didn't," she replied. Angel honked the horn a second time. "Angel is waiting. Don't eat my Mom, or I will boil you alive."
Spike followed her out of the house, closing the front door behind him. He prevented her from opening the passenger door on the Blazer and scowled at his sire through the closed windows. "You're not going anywhere with the great poof unless you tell me where. You're carrying my baby and I have a say in where you go with him."
Buffy arched her brow at his outburst, then grinned. "You're right. I am carrying your baby." She turned and opened the back door of the car. "Hop in, Daddy."
Spike eyed her warily, just as he did Angel an hour earlier, then got in the car. Angel glared at him over the seat, but said nothing as Buffy climbed in the passenger side. "All set," the blond Slayer cheerfully said, giving Angel a wink.
Angel caught on and grinned. "This should be fun," he commented to her as he put the car in drive.
"Oh yeah," she agreed, buckling her seat belt. She turned and said sweetly over her shoulder, "Buckle up, Spike. I wouldn't want you hurt in an accident."
Spike stood somewhat dumbfounded in the doorway as he looked in the large, carpeted classroom filled with pregnant women and several men. Buffy happily exchanged greetings with everyone, as did Angel, before the Slayer grabbed his arm and dragged him into the room.
"Guys, guess who's back from his dance tour?" she said loudly to the occupants of the room. All conversation died down as everyone turned to stare at him. "This is Spike, ballet dancer extraordinaire and my baby's father."
Angel had to put his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing out loud at the expression on Spike's face. The others in the class started asking questions immediately about the story Buffy had told when they first joined the Lamaze class. He could see the confusion and a healthy dose of fear in his childe's eyes and he let loose a chuckle.
Buffy looked over at Angel and winked. "He's a little shy," she told her friends and classmates, breaking into their questions. She slid her arm around Spike's waist under his duster. "And he doesn't like to brag...much." She reached down and goosed him under the coat, causing him to make a funny noise.
Spike glared down at Buffy, who gave him an innocent smile. "Baby or not, you are dead," he hissed at her so the others wouldn't hear.
"Promises, promises," Buffy replied, then gave him an air kiss. The instructor called the class to order and she led him to her usual spot on the floor. Angel took a seat in one of the chairs set up along the perimeter of the room and sat back to watch the show.
"It looks like we have a newcomer to class," the instructor, Jackie, said. "Buffy, will you do the official honors."
"Sure," Buffy grinned. "Like I said, this is Spike." She leaned her head on the blond vampire's shoulder. "He just got back into town after a very long tour with his dance troupe. You should have seen the look on his face when he saw me." The class chuckled. "But that didn't deter him from some of those activities in the brochures."
Spike frowned as the class all out laughed at her comment. He didn't know if he should be insulted or not. Buffy nudged him and he looked down at her. She gestured with her head to say something. "Um, hello."
"Hi, Spike," the class said as one, inciting more fits of laughter. Spike mentally groaned and then started to picture all the things he was going to do to the Slayer when they got home.
"Alright, you guys, settle down," Jackie said. "Since Spike has joined us, why don't we review the basics. Everyone take your positions, please."
Men and women started to help their pregnant partners to sit on the floor and Angel chuckled as he watched Spike try to aid Buffy. She was making it as difficult as possible for the blond vampire. "This is better than cable," Angel said quietly to himself.
"Spike, take off your coat," Buffy told Spike after he had finally gotten her onto the floor. She shrugged out of her own jacket and gave it to him. "Give them to Angel."
Spike took the proffered jacket and practically stalked over to his sire. When he saw the laughter in Angel's face, he growled, "Shut up, you pillock." Thrusting Buffy's coat at Angel, he took off his duster and tossed it on the chair next to the dark-haired vampire. "Stay out of my pockets," Spike said, then went to rejoin Buffy.
The class went by in a blur for Spike. He had pretty much given up hope of understanding his role as coach. "It's just a bunch of bloody breathing," he muttered. "Anyone can do that."
"Except for you," Buffy said with a giggle. He scowled at her as he helped her to her feet.
"That was entertaining," Angel commented with a smirk as he rose from his seat. He handed Buffy her jacket, knowing the Slayer wouldn't want assistance putting it on.
"Sod off," Spike grumbled, putting on his own duster.
"Aw, did Spikey not have fun?" Buffy asked. He glared at her. "Hey, you're the one who insisted on knowing where I was going. Besides, as you pointed out, you're the baby's father." She turned to Angel and smiled up at him. "Ice cream?"
"As always," Angel said, offering her his arm. She took it and they left the classroom together, a angry blond vampire trailing behind them.
But the anger was more from Buffy's arm linked with Angel's than the class.
Spike was staring sullenly off into the night as Buffy and Angel chatted while eating ice cream. He was peeved that they were so chummy, though for the life of him, he couldn't figure out why. Digging out a cigarette from the depths of his pockets, he lit it and inhaled deeply.
Buffy stopped talking suddenly and glared at him. With a frown, he exhaled the smoke away from the table, holding the cigarette down by his side, all purposeful actions. "What?"
"Nothing," Buffy replied, her glare turning to a puzzled look. She had been about to yell at him about second hand smoke and pregnancy, but when she saw him doing things so she wouldn't breathe that smoke in made her confused. Spike grumbled something unintelligible and went back to staring off into the night.
"When is your next doctor's appointment?" Angel asked, returning to the conversation he'd been having with Buffy.
"Thursday evening," Buffy replied. "Giles is suppose to drive me this time. I think he just wants to see the baby on the monitor for his research on vampire-Slayer hybrid babies."
Spike turned his head and frowned at her. "The Watcher is doing what?"
"Research on me and the baby," Buffy answered. "There's nothing out there in bookland that he can find on a hybrid."
"A hybrid?" Spike scowled. "He's my son, not a bloody science project. You tell your Watcher to bugger off."
"I will not," she scowled back.
Spike glared at her and a silent battle of wills went on for several moments before he growled, "I will take you to his appointment and then I'll tell your Watcher to-"
"Hi guys!" Willow greeted cheerfully on Oz's arm, interrupting the blond vampire. Cordelia and Xander came up to the table carrying drinks for the other couple. "How was Lamaze class?"
A smile spread across Buffy's face and Angel chuckled. "Why don't you ask Spike?" Buffy replied, scooting her chair closer to the blond vampire so the others could pull up seats.
"You went to Lamaze class, Spike?" Willow said in amazement. Spike grumbled again and shot a glare at Buffy as everyone sat down.
"He was pretty good, too," Buffy complimented, giving Spike a wink. "Even though it's only breathing." She turned back to Willow and took in her best friend's excited air. "So, what have you guys been doing?"
Willow blushed scarlet and buried her face on Oz's shoulder, while Xander and Cordelia exchanged private smiles. "Not much," Xander replied. "Just hanging out."
Buffy studied each of her friends, then looked at Angel, who shrugged.
"Is this a private shindig, or can anyone join?" Faith asked as she came up behind Buffy.
"Hey Faith," Buffy greeted. "How was patrol?" The blond Slayer looked around the crowded table, then grinned mischievously. With as much grace and quickness a pregnant woman can have, she slid out of her chair and sat on Spike's lap. "Have a seat, Pete," she told Faith.
Spike dropped his cigarette and wrapped his arms around Buffy in instant reaction so she wouldn't fall off. His face reflected complete surprise and she giggled.
"Thanks, B," Faith said, sitting in the abandoned chair. "And patrol was boring. None of Trick's goons were running around. It sucks."
"Do you think he's planning something?" Willow asked, her color returning to normal.
"God, I hope not," Cordelia said. "I have a spa appointment this week, plus a dinner to go to at the Country Club, which means I have to dress Xander."
"Don't you just love her priorities?" Xander teased.
"I guess I could ask Willy," Buffy said. "I'll go over there tomorrow after school."
"No, you won't," Spike said clearly, his tone dead-serious.
Suddenly, everyone wanted to be somewhere else. "Bye, Buffy, " Willow said as she and Oz stood with Xander and Cordelia. "Call me."
"See ya in school," Xander added. The four quickly walked away.
"Later, B," Faith said as she stood. "Come on, Soul-boy. Give me a ride in that fancy truck of yours."
Angel stood as well, having been on the receiving end of the pregnant Slayer's anger. "Goodnight, Buffy," he said, then left with Faith.
Buffy watched as all he friends vanished in less than thirty seconds and burst out laughing. "Did you...did you...," she tried to say as tears of laughter streamed down her cheeks.
Spike gave her a strange look. "Slayer, are you ok?" he asked in confusion.
Her laughter increased when she looked at him and she was having trouble breathing. Spike tightened his arms around her as she shook, her own arms wrapping around her stomach. "Oh god," she gasped. "I can't breathe."
The vampire's expression changed to one of worry and he shifted in his chair in order to pull her closer to him. "What's wrong? Do I need to take you to the infirmary?" he said, preparing to stand.
"What?" Buffy giggled. "No, I'm fine. It's just so funny!"
"You lost me, pet," Spike said.
"Not too hard to do," she teased, calming down. At his scowl, she let out a final giggle, then said, "They all ran out of here so fast. They're afraid of me."
"Why would they be afraid of you?" he asked, still confused.
"Have you ever been around a pregnant woman, Spike?"
"Not really," he answered.
"Well, I'll explain it to you in small words so you can understand," Buffy said with a grin. "I have lots of mood swings. I fought my way out of Hell with ease because I got pissed off."
Spike still had no clue what she was talking about, but he humored her. "Got it."
She rolled her eyes and wiggled, trying to get more comfortable. Then her eyes widened when she felt the distinct effects of her moments. She met his gaze and flushed. "Um, sorry. Though why you would think I'm desirable looking like this is beyond me."
"Slayer, you're always desirable to me," Spike replied in a low voice.
"Er, th-thanks," she said, blushing a deeper shade of pink. She was now having difficulty breathing for an entirely different reason. She wanted to blame it all on her wacky hormones, but then she'd only be half right.
"Come on, luv," Spike said quietly. "Let's go home."
"God, my back hurts," Buffy complained as they arrived back at her house. She put both her hands on her lower back and began kneading her muscles. "Being pregnant sucks."
"So does being a vampire," Spike joked. Buffy groaned at his pathetic pun as they headed up the walk. "Do you want me to rub your back for you?" he asked.
"That would be wonderful," she replied, opening the door. Joyce was coming down the stairs as they entered. "Hi, Mom."
"Hi, honey. Hello, Spike," Joyce greeted. "How was class?"
"Fun," Buffy replied. "Spike played coach."
"Really?" Joyce said. "Is this a permanent change?"
Buffy glanced at Spike, then shrugged. "I don't know. Angel's been doing this with me for-"
"I want to do it," Spike interrupted, a scowl on his face at the mention of his sire. "The poof can take a walk."
"What if I don't want you there?" Buffy said, narrowing her eyes at him.
"Tough," he replied. "That's my baby you're carrying and I'm going to be your bloody coach."
Joyce stifled her laughter as they bickered until Buffy threw up her arms in frustration and stormed up the stairs. Then she smiled at Spike and asked, "You do know that, as Buffy's coach, you are in the delivery room with her, right?"
"Yeah," Spike answered, not really hearing her. He was staring up the stairs, anxious to follow the Slayer, although he couldn't explain why.
Joyce noticed his distraction and shook her head. "She likes the vanilla scented lotion. It's in the bathroom on the sink." Heading for the kitchen, she paused when she heard him ascend the stairs. "I can't believe I'm playing match-maker for my daughter with a vampire," she said to herself.
Spike stopped at the bathroom and picked up the lotion, then knocked on Buffy's open door. "Slayer, do you still want that back rub?"
Buffy was sitting on the edge of her bed, attempting to reach her shoes when he asked the question, and she looked at him in disbelief. "I don't get you," she said, repeating the statement she made when he carried her home from the vault.
He shrugged and entered the bedroom, shutting the door behind him. He set the lotion down on the dresser and shed his duster, tossing it over the desk chair. He then smirked as she continued to try to get to her shoes. "I hope you don't get any bigger, Slayer, or you won't be able to see your feet at all."
"Shut up," Buffy told him. He chuckled and walked over to her, pulling the obstinate shoes off along with her socks. He grabbed the hem of her sweater and yanked it over her head before she could stop him. "Spike!"
Spike froze, the blue fuzzy sweater in his hands, as his gaze landed on her. He had thought she'd be wearing another sports top, not the white, lacy bra that barely held her heavy breasts. He could see her dark areolas through the material, her golden skin in pleasing contrast to the whiteness of the bra. Her stomach was protruding, hard and rounded, completing the picture. "Cor, you're beautiful," he whispered.
Buffy blushed and snatched the sweater from him, holding it in front of her. "Pervert," she said, although her voice was trembling rather than angry.
He reached out and gently straightened one strap, causing her to inhale sharply at the contact. He swallowed heavily and took a step away, then cleared his throat. "Can you lay on your stomach?" he asked, moving over to the dresser to get the lotion and some control. He adjusted his painful erection beneath his jeans, trying to will it away, but the image he'd just witnessed was burned into his mind.
"No," she replied, her heart racing. "I can lay on my side, though."
"Go ahead," he instructed. He waited facing the other way until he heard her stop moving on the bed. Then he turned, lotion in hand, and had to fight to keep from groaning out loud. She was still clutching the sweater against her chest, laying on her side, the smooth expanse of her back catching his eye. He should never have come back to Sunnydale.
Moving behind her, he sat on the bed and kicked off his shoes, then turned so he could easily access her lower back. Opening the lotion, he poured some into his hand, then set it on the night stand. After rubbing his palms together, he gently began rubbing the muscles above the waistline of her pants.
"That feels nice," Buffy said quietly, closing her eyes and giving into the relaxing sensations. Spike continued all the way up her back, kneading her muscles with his strong, never-tiring hands. She sighed, content despite that the vampire behind her was suppose to be her enemy. "Can I keep you?"
Spike chuckled at her sighed question. He bent over and whispered in her ear, "You can keep me as long as you want, luv." Then he straightened and continued to work his magic on her back.