additions to our family - a pair of adorkable three month old kittens. We have our first
war wounds, and my phone wire was the first to fall prey to the aptly named Buffy.
With my mood considerably lightened, I'm posting the latest chapter of All in the Family
for your perusal.
As always, of course, encouragement and comments are welcomed and appreciated.
Buffy (the Wire Slayer) and Jeter (the Yankees ex-shortstop)
Tigger (the Grumpy), who we are trying to get to appreciate the new babies
Buffy sat up in bed, stretched, and attempted to take a deep breath. There, the subtle but telltale signs of impending nausea. But still, it had to be addressed.
Willow was already up and in the process of getting dressed. “Morning, Buff,” she chirped, entirely too perky for Buffy’s taste.
However, it was now or never.
“Morning, Will,” she said, eying the redhead with caution. “Can you sit for a minute?”
“Sure, no worries. Oh! It took me a while to process, but I meant to ask if you’re feeling okay?”
“Yeah, well, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“I didn’t do anything else, I swear,” Willow said defensively. “No spells or anything.”
Buffy almost laughed at Willow’s vehemence, but managed to restrain herself. “No, no – I wasn’t going to accuse you of any witchy shenanigans. But there is something wrong with me.”
“Nothing that involves growing a tail or scales in unmentionable places?”
This time Buffy did laugh. “No, doofus, but… I’ve been having puke-attacks from out of the blue.”
The concern in her friend’s eyes focused as she scanned her from head to toe. “When did it start? Do you think it was something you ate?”
“Actually, it started at that silly little picnic Riley surprised me with a couple of days ago.”
“Oh! He was so excited about the prospect of dating you… even asking me about what things you liked. I told him you really liked cheese,” Willow confided, as if it was some state secret.
“Ordinarily I do love cheese, and the Havarti promised to yield all sorts of creamy goodness in my mouth, but no sooner had it touched my tongue, than my stomach tried to climb out of my throat.”
“Poor, Buffy – deprived of cheesy goodness,” Willow clucked sympathetically.
“And then again, later, at the Bronze,” Buffy added. “Oh, also when Spike escaped from Giles’ place.” She gently rubbed her tummy, thinking hard for any other upheavals. “And just after you broke the ‘My Will Be Done’ spell – though I could attribute that to having kissed Spike, so…”
“No other symptoms?”
“Just a bit of light-headedness and a queasy tummy. And of course, the upchucking.”
“No headaches, no fevers, no chills?” At Buffy’s upraised eyebrow, she said, “What? I’m just being thorough.”
“I get it,” Buffy said. “And it’s not like it’s all the time. Just every now and then. Oh, and one more ‘then’ – remember I told you about explaining to Riley about the whole ‘engagement’ to Spike thingie? After he left, I almost lost it again.”
“Well, something is obviously not right… Uh, I just had a thought,” Willow said, looking cagey. “Is it possible that you could be – you know – pregnant?”
“Pregnant?” Buffy exploded with laughter. Of all the things she could have suggested, pregnancy ranked lowest on the plausibility list. “I haven’t been with anyone since Parker, and I’ve had my period since then.”
Willow gave her the stink eye, clearly not loving having her theory shot down. “But the symptoms fit.”
“Oh come on, Wills. The only eligible male I’ve even seen since then is Angel, and that was only for a few minutes. Neither hanky nor panky ensued. Not to mention the not-possibleness of him fathering children in the first place.”
“Well, maybe it’s a hellmouthy thing?” Willow tried, not letting her theory go. “It could be a mystical pregnancy.”
“It could be a boring ol’ virus,” Buffy countered.
“Well, you could always go see a doctor… thought they wouldn’t have a clue as to any supernatural goings on.” Willow shrugged her shoulders and added, “But I think it’s worth at least ruling out hellmouth-y pregnancy shenanigans.”
Buffy rolled her eyes, but had to agree – off to the drugstore it was.
First morning’s urine, the box said. Does that mean before or after I go to bed at the butt-crack of dawn? Buffy shrugged, and figured that six in the morning was as close to first thing as she was going to get. She sat down on the toilet, opened the box and unwrapped one of the two tests.
Place in urine stream, then wait for results. Sounded simple enough, even for her poor, tired brain. One pee later, and Buffy placed the test on the wrapper, checking the time. At 6:13 – one way or the other she’d have an answer.
Buffy took the test back to her dorm room and paced back and forth. Pregnant? Impossible, she was sure. For all the sex she’d had in her lifetime, she could still be called “Buffy the Chaste” with a straight face. Then again, Willow was right – this was the Hellmouth. A mystical pregnancy would be just the sort of thing it would cook up to screw with her life.
Shaking her head, Buffy checked the time again. Only 6:12. One more minute. She had to tamp down the urge to grab the test and watch it second-by-second to see the results. But that would surely lead to madness, she reasoned, so she stayed her feet for the remaining time.
When the clock finally showed 6:13, Buffy took a deep breath, retrieved the test and scanned the directions for reading the results. One line – not pregnant; two lines – pregnant.
Forcing her eyes towards the test, Buffy gasped. No second line! Nada! Nothing!!! She wasn’t pregnant! What a blessed relief. She reread the directions on the box, just to make sure. Pitching the box into her bag, she whispered to the ether, “Thank god. Bullet dodged.”
But her odd sense of foreboding begged to differ.
Now, if anyone accused him of brooding, he’d beat them six ways from Sunday… But nevertheless, here he was, sitting on a tombstone, a half-filled bottle of JD in one hand. And he couldn’t get the bloody Slayer out of his mind; hadn’t been able to think of anyone else since the witchlet’s botched-spell-induced travesty of an engagement.
He, William the Bloody, the Slayer of Slayers (the sobriquet he’d earned in life-or-death combat with her Slayer predecessors) had spent hours making moon-eyes and snogging the vapid little chit.
It made no sense. Even as that milksop William Pratt, he’d had a very specific type. As a human, he’d fallen hard for Cecily Addams; a graceful, fair-skinned brunette. Then came his black goddess, Drusilla, who had personified his tastes: tall and slender, complexion as white as milk, straight dark hair a shimmering curtain that fell about his face when they were…
No need to remind himself of someone else he couldn’t have.
But Slutty the Vampire Layer – she didn’t tickle his fancy. She was a little bit of a thing. Her nose was funny and her mouth was too big for her face. Her skin was sun-kissed bronze, for hell’s sake. Not to mention those bloody shampoo commercial bottle-blonde tresses of hers.
Spike sighed. He was doomed, because despite being purportedly totally uninterested in the bint, he could apparently recall all of her attributes at will.
Her nubile little body – just past the baby-fat stage. Two plump little handfuls for breasts, that more often than not, didn’t see the insides of a brassiere. A curvy little heart-shaped arse…
Who the hell was he bloody kidding?
For a handful of hours, he’d had everything he ever wanted: someone he loved, and someone who loved him back. Yeah, they’d still fought over everything, right down to the stupidity of their names, but that was part of the attraction. A couple wasn’t supposed to mirror each other. (Not that vampires had any use for mirrors).
A good relationship, in his opinion, was more of a yin-yang situation: each person filled in the needs of the other – like puzzle pieces.
Once that thought came into his head, he frowned. Whatever Drusilla had asked of him, Spike had gone out of his way to achieve. What he needed was always secondary, and almost never reciprocated.
But he loved her. Had loved her since he’d first risen.
Yet Buffy had been the one to love him back. Well, until the spell had broken, and she was overwhelmed with disgust at the mere thought of his lips sullying hers. Meanwhile, it was all he could do to show his own horror at their intimacy.
Spike upended the bottle of Jack and downed the remainder in a single swallow, throwing the bottle against another tombstone with all his might. There was something nicely satisfying about the glass breaking and falling to the ground in a million little pieces.
He really was a first-class ponce, he admitted to himself. Gone and done the one thing that crossed the lines of good and evil – an unforgiveable betrayal of everything he was.
He’d had fallen hard for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“Hells bells, but this takes the bloody cake,” he muttered, shaking his head and suffering the consequences when the cemetery began to spin. “Of all the idiotic things I’ve done in my unlife, falling for the beacon of light itself, takes the fucking cake.”
With a shrug of his shoulders, he gave in to the inevitable. “Always been led by your heart, you plonker,” he said, pounding his fist against his chest. “Cost you your mortal life the first time, and the bitch wasn’t worth my pain.”
“Now Drusilla – my ripe, wicked plum – she was something else. At least she wanted me. For over a hundred years she led me around by my nose and I did anything she asked of me. More than, even; changed into her bloody lap dog and accepted the barest scraps she’d feed me when her interest wandered.
“But it was love,” he insisted to himself. “At least love as Dru understood it, the poor, delusional woman that she was.”
“Now, it’s the Slayer’s turn. Little Buffy, scarcely more than a child. At least she’s reached her second decade,” he mused, pacing back and forth. “Not like good old Angelus, who loved ’em young ’cause they hurt so easily.”
“This is not gonna end well,” Spike said, throwing his hands in the air in surrender. “Doesn’t mean I’m gonna throw in the towel, though… Just gotta be smart about it,” he said, just as he tripped over something and landed face-first on the ground. Too drunk to bother getting up he promptly passed out.