Banner made by banner_grab
The Beginning (March 2004) – Willa at One Month – Hello, Beautiful
He’s missed her whole beginning, if you don’t count conception. Her Mama’s missed monthlies, morning sickness and mood swings. Middle of the night trips for greasy cheeseburgers and fries, fettuccini carbonara, ice cream sundaes or fried doughnuts.
Never saw the gentle swelling of breasts and belly ripening with new life, the swollen ankles, varicose veins, full-term waddle or the red faced sweaty screaming push from the womb.
He is holding her in his arms in Angel’s suite. He marvels at her innocence and the peaceful glow she’s brought to her Mama. He’s found out she’s his by blood, and that’s…
He’s missed so much already, if you don’t count conception. Finding out she was pregnant with his child, her eleven a.m. sharp pukefest, listening to her cry, shriek and laugh within five minutes’ time. They never got to share her cravings for pizza with marshmallow sauce or spicy chicken wings dipped in melted cheddar.
Never saw her fat and clumsy, though he’d probably have loved her with some meat on her bones. Never held his hand to her belly, felt the baby kick or heard her heartbeat. Missed her entry into the world.
But he’s holding her now, and that’s…
Willa at Two Months (April 2004) – Getting to Know You
They’ve been together for a month now, each day more joyful than the next. Everyone’s gotten together and gifted the new family with a small house in Santa Barbara. In deference to Spike’s “sun allergy” there’s a screened-in porch running around the entire structure.
Buffy watches her vampire from the door, not wanting to intrude on Papa/daughter time. He’s lying on a chaise, Willa reclining in the well of his bent legs. He talks, she coos and gurgles. He vamps out, she smiles and reaches up to pat his face. No fear for their girl.
Much needed family bonding time.
Willa at Three Months (May 2004) – Tossing and Turning
It’s four in the morning when the bleary eyed couple untangle their entwined limbs to run into Willa’s bedroom. They find her face down, bobbing her little face into the mattress, crying bitterly.
“Spike, didn’t you put her down on her back?
“’Course I did, pet. S’what that Brazelton bloke says is best for the mite.”
After cuddling, diaper changing and nursing, they place Willa on her back in the crib. Within moments, she’s rocked herself onto her tummy and starts to cry. Each time they right her, she flips back.
It is going to be a long, sleepless night.
Willa at Four Months (June 2004) – Papa’s Girl
They’re entertaining tonight. Xander and Willow come to see their ‘niece.’ No overt hostilities between Spike and the others doesn’t mean sweetness and light. When the man’s “Come to Uncle Xander” is met with wails of terror, there’s a glint in the vampire’s eyes when he steps over and says “Come to Papa, sweeting,” and she raises her arms and sweetly smiles.
Strapped into her high chair, Willa’s the center of attention. Anything that falls into the tray is fair game for hands and mouth. Baby spoon, human fingers – it’s all the same.
Buffy wants to check for tiny fangs.
Willa at Five Months (July 2004) – He Said, She Said
“She did not.”
“I assure you, pet - if I say she called me Papa, then she did.”
“She’s too young to even say the ‘pa’ sound. See? The chapter for five months says she should be saying ‘Mama’ first.”
Picking up his daughter, Spike points to himself and asks, “Who am I, poppet?”
With her chubby little fist, she smacks her daddy on the nose, delightedly shrieking “Papa!” loud and clear.
Laughing, Buffy acquiesces. “I give, Spike. She said ‘Papa’.”
Rubbing his nose, he says, “She may be daddy’s girl, but she takes right after her Mama.”
Willa at Six Months (August 2004) – Monkey See, Monkey Try
The day is glorious, and their little family is enjoying a picnic lunch on the floor of the screened porch. Willa is showing off her new skill – sitting all alone, no pillows to prop her up.
All is fine until the mailman approaches, and at his cheery “Hello, little one” she topples to the blanket, crying in fear.
Of course, Papa beats Mama to their sobbing youngster – shushing and cooing. She quiets, then makes the funniest little faces – straining and turning beet red.
Mama figures it out – she is trying to go gameface, just like Papa does, when she falls.
Willa at Seven Months (September 2004) – The Queen of Cups
Dawn comes for a visit, bearing gifts as always. “Here you go, Willa-Milla. A nice prezzie from your Auntie Dawn for no reason whatsoever. Just love you, sweetie.”
The little girl is fascinated with the set of brightly colored nesting cups, and has them spread out over the floor in no time. She holds several in her hands, before trying to put them back in order again.
Mama, Papa and Auntie gather on the floor, watching and laughing as Willa picks up each cup, offers it, then giggles as she snatches it away and nestles it in its proper place.
Willa at Eight Months (October 2004) – Halloween Magic
It’s Halloween, and to Buffy’s utter surprise, Spike insists on dressing up his little sweetheart. They find an adorable white fluffy bunnysuit and take loads of pictures. When Spike not so secretly places one in an envelope, inscribed with “For Uncle Xander, in honor of Auntie Anya” on the back, Buffy has to stifle the sobs that accompany her overwhelming adoration for her...
They don’t go Trick-or-Treating, as Willa’s far too young, but there’s a little party for the local children at a nearby pre-school that evening, and the sight of her attempting to crawl in her costume is enchanting.
Willa at Nine Months (November 2004) – Thanksgiving, Minus Bears and Arrows
Whatever joy possessed Buffy at her daughter’s learning to crawl vanishes as she pulls her away from the hot stove again. Preparing Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for friends and family is not easy with a little one constantly underfoot.
Papa to the rescue, of course – entertaining his darling for the rest of the afternoon. When he greets Xander at the door, she flies into her Uncle’s arms – the two men finally giving in to their budding friendship.
Thoughts of Thanksgiving past in the minds of all, but the only rope this year binds the turkey that Spike carves.
Willa at Ten Months (December 2004) – Little Monster
Spoiled. The word sets Spike’s fangs on edge when applied to his daughter. How could anyone imply their precious Willa is spoiled? The stupid bint in Toys-R-Us is lucky he no longer kills humans.
She stands up in the shopping cart, pointing to everything that she wants. She doesn’t fuss when Mama places her in Santa’s lap for her first Christmas portrait. Waiting on line however, taxes the last of her reserves, and she wails, desperately tired.
When the annoying woman stops berating her parents, Willa calms, raising both hands like claws and growls. Spike and Buffy howl with laughter.
Willa at Eleven Months (January 2005) – Plans for the Future.
New Year’s Eve is family time – just the three of them. When little legs tire from climbing and crawling all day, Willa snuggles into her Mama’s lap to sleep.
“Buffy, what are we to each other? Willa’s parents, and…?”
“You know, past finding you again, I never gave it thought. I love you.”
“Yeah, you do. Enough to marry me?” He holds out a small jeweler’s box, a replica of his skull ring with ruby eyes nestling in the grey velvet.
Sniffling as he places the ring on her finger, she says, “You’ve made me the happiest woman on earth.”
Willa at Twelve Months (February 2005) – The Birthday Curse
She’s inherited it from her mother – it’s the only explanation. It’s February 13th, Willa’s first birthday. Are they celebrating in high style as they’ve planned – surrounded by family and friends? No, instead they’re huddling around a pediatric isolette, their baby fighting for breath.
“It’s croup,” is the diagnosis. “Nothing serious.”
Spike is frantic. In his time, babies died from it. He growls at the doctors and snipes at his fiancée. He falls asleep in a chair at her bedside, head bowed.
Awakens to the sound of laughter – Buffy and Willa playing Peek-a-Boo. The crisis is over. Her birthday – their present.
Willa at Thirteen Months (March 2005) – Sweet Dreams
“C’mon, pet – time for all little demons to take a bath.”
“No!” She stamps her little foot, hands on her hips – an eerie miniature of her Auntie Dawn.
For all his vampiric speed, Papa Spike cannot catch his naked daughter running around the house.
“What’s the matter, Spike? You getting slow in your old age?” Buffy scoops up their wiggling daughter and deposits her in a nice warm tub.
“No!” she shrieks, giggling as Mama tickles her in the soapy water.
Clean and dressed for bed, she waves bye-bye, says “Night,” to her parents, and crawls into her bed.