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Late, late, late to the party but it's still Monday, so I'm posting
Pieces of Me's latest chapter.

Enjoy, and feel free to comment, as always.

Rapidly running out of the stockpile of written chapters. This move has
put the muse in traction for the time being.

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Spike had given up all thoughts of ever being a family man in 1880, when Dru turned him. Consequently, he was having a hard time trying to wrap his lobes around the possibility that Daniel could be his kid.

And the icing on the cake of this impossibility was that the Slayer – Buffy – was the mother! He thought back to her earlier words:

“But we’ve never… and even if we did ever… you can’t make babies!”

They most certainly had. Just not in the time frame needed for the boy’s conception. They hadn’t begun to fuck until after her resurrection. So how in the hell…

“Oh those bloody bastards!”

Both Buffy and Mrs. Cardboard (who looked ready to bolt) stopped talking and stared at him.

“We know the Initiative was fond of its demon experiments,” he stated, turning to the soldier’s wife. “Do you know what kinds of ‘material’ they took to study?”

Samantha paled. “I - I knew they were heavily into genetics, so they took blood, I’d assume… but they were looking at what would make a super-soldier, not… not…”

“Apparently they took the making part back to infancy,” Spike completed her thought.

“Oh god,” Buffy groaned, looking decidedly green. She turned to Spike. “But wouldn’t they have needed your… cooperation? To get your…?”

“I was drugged to the eyeballs a good chunk of the time; who knows how cooperative I was. The real question is… how did they get hold of your…”

“My eggs,” Buffy said softly, her hand moving self-consciously to her abdomen.

“Were you there, pet?” Spike asked, trying not to spook her. “Did they ever get you alone? Lose time? Anything that might explain this?”

“I only went there once – just a visit. I got a tour with Riley and Professor Walsh,” she said, looking thoughtful. “Riley was always there. In fact, we went out on patrol afterwards – I really needed to kill something.”

Spike stopped pacing, having an epiphany. “Did you bleed?”

“What?”

“Simple question, Slayer. Did. You. Bleed?”

“Oh. Oh!” Buffy caught his meaning. “Riley managed to clean me up after the surprise attack. He said I would be a walking dinner advertisement, otherwise.”

“What did he do with the bloody cloth?” Spike prompted.

“He put it in his pocket. There weren’t any trash cans around,” Buffy said, rolling her eyes as if he’d asked a stupid question.

“‘It’s always about the blood’” Spike recited, shaking his head at the duplicity of the berk. Your blood – my jizz… two sets of DNA, one genetically engineered baby.”

Tears poured down Sam’s cheeks. “This is all conjecture,” she said, holding tightly to Daniel, who had started to fidget in her grasp. “We can’t know for sure.” She looked about helplessly, tears continuing to fall unabated. “You can’t take him,” she cried. “You can’t possibly think of caring for a baby in a crypt.”

“Oh, Sam,” Buffy soothed, putting her arms around the woman’s shoulders. “Don’t get ahead of things. First of all, it’s probably not true. Second of all, the life of a Slayer isn’t really conducive to raising a baby – I’ve never even thought about living long enough to conceive one, much less care for one.”

“Before you sign away all parental responsibility, Slayer,” Spike interjected, “please remember that there’s another side to this equation. If they really did revive my little swimmers, that child is as much mine as yours.”

Buffy’s nervous laughter rang out in the crypt. “And just what kind of a father do you think you’d be, Spike? You’re a vampire. You live in a dank, dirty crypt. You can’t even go out in the sun!”

“I’m not talkin’ about raising the bit on my own, you know. You have a perfectly child-friendly house, a built-in babysitter in Niblet, and friends who would probably do anything for you if you only asked.”

“Until they found out the baby’s father is the vampire they detest,” Buffy shot back. “And Giles would implode!”

“I can’t stand this anymore,” Sam cried, the pain in her voice clearly evident. “I have to leave, get back to the base. There must be records of Daniel’s birth. There has to be a logical explanation.”

Buffy went over to the distraught woman, who flinched at Buffy’s approach and moved Daniel out of her reach.

Spike saw his Slayer flinch as well at the slight, but she persevered.

“You need to be careful around Riley,” she said, withdrawing from where she wasn’t wanted. “If you try and confront him –”

“Do you think I’m an idiot? That I’d go back to him by myself with my baby in tow?” Sam stood, tall and proud. “I might have been naïve when he swept me off my feet, and I might still have love in my heart for my family… but the next time I speak with my husband, I’ll be better informed. And I won’t have Daniel with me.

“I’m sorry, Buffy… Spike. I really am. I know you haven’t done anything to create this situation but right now I can’t be here. I can’t look at you and Daniel, and be comfortable.”

“How the bloody hell do you think we feel?” Spike snarled, suddenly desperate for a fag but unwilling to light up with the baby nearby.

“Sam, what are you going to do?” Buffy’s panicked expression matched Spike’s. “You can’t possibly think of going back to Riley.”

Sam looked around the crypt, picked up her baby bag and started for the door. She turned around, hesitating. “I don’t know what to do,” she cried, obviously torn between staying and going. “Taking Daniel with me probably isn’t a good idea, but…”

Spike walked up to her, hands out to show he meant no harm. “It would just be temporary,” he said softly, looking at the little boy with affection. “And I can guarantee you won’t find a safer pair of bodyguards to keep him out of harm’s way.”

Buffy nodded her agreement. “We won’t stay here, of course. As Spike pointed out, I have a perfectly suitable house where Daniel will be warm and comfortable, and surrounded by people who will watch over him.”

“As long as they don’t suspect who his parents might actually be,” Spike muttered under his breath.

“I – I don’t know how long I’ll be gone,” Sam dithered. “There aren’t enough diapers, and I didn’t bring actual food.”

“It doesn’t matter, Sam,” Buffy soothed. “I promise someone will go out for diapers, and we’ll make sure he’s fed and put to sleep in a safe place.”

“And we will give him back to you when you return,” Spike insisted, knowing the source of Sam’s true distrust.

“Even if he’s yours?” Sam asked, not believing.

“We’ve got a long way to go before coming to that conclusion,” Buffy said with determination in her voice. “Let’s find out what we can first, and we’ll worry about everything else later.”

“Fine,” Sam finally allowed, handing Daniel off to Buffy reluctantly. “Mommy loves you, Daniel,” she said, nuzzling into his neck. “Don’t you ever forget.”

Without looking back, she walked - head held high - out of the crypt.

*****

Buffy’s relatively calm demeanor shattered no more than five minutes after Sam left the crypt. Putting Daniel down on a blanket she’d pulled out of Sam’s bag and surrounding him with his own toys, she moved to the other end of the room and let loose.

“They violated me!” she yelled, throwing Spike’s armchair across the room. “They violated US! They took parts of our bodies without our permission and somehow managed to create a new little life without our say so!

“And if that wasn’t bad enough,” she continued, looking for something else she could throw, “they kept that little boy locked up in their lab and did god knows what to him. What kind of life is that for a child? Did they do to him what they did to you?” Buffy asked, stopping in front of Spike. “Did they poke him with needles? Did they freeze him? Burn him? Did they fucking cut him to see how fast he would heal?

“Slayer!” Spike said, sharply. “Enough. We don’t have any answers and even if we did, what’s done is done. I’m guessin’ that Mrs. Soldier will try and suss out what happened. She loves the little nipper. I’ve a feelin’ I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of her fury when all is said and done.”

“Are you saying that I wouldn’t be able to love that little boy?” Buffy’s pupils were blown wide in fury, and Spike backed up a step. “That I wouldn’t love my son? Our son, apparently, until proven otherwise.” Turning on him, she yelled, “And what about you? Would you lo… oh god, look who I’m asking!”

“If you think that I can’t love, pet, you’re barking mad,” Spike snarled. “You should know better than anyone the depth of love I’m capable of feeling – even if you don’t want to acknowledge it.”

Buffy stopped, the answering tirade stuck in her throat. She didn’t want to admit it - she’d been taught the impossibility of soulless demons being capable of love - and yet, Spike had proven time and again that he was, indeed, capable of that emotion.

He’d shown it with Drusilla when they’d first come to town. According to her sister, he’d shown it to Dawn the entire time Buffy’d been dead and gone. In fact, he’d been trying to show it to her before her death and resurrection.

“I-I’m sorry,” Buffy said quietly, all fire and rage dissipating for the moment. “It seems all my vampire knowledge is being brought into question today; the inability to have children, the inability to love. What am I gonna find out next? Vampires don’t really combust in the sun?”

“I know it’s confusing, pet,” Spike said, righting his ratty chair and gesturing for her to sit down. “Let’s just take the boy to your house, and wait for some answers. Maybe have one of the witches do a spell to prevent anyone coming in with ill-intentions.”

“We’re gonna tear ourselves apart just sitting here,” Buffy agreed. “And Daniel will be much more comfy at home.”

“Then off we go, kitten. Time’s-a-wasting.”