a three cat household. Guess it's as good a time as any to post fic.
As always, comments and encouragement are always welcomed and appreciated.
Two weeks. It had been two weeks of puking. Two weeks of Willow researching about Hellmouth energy and mystical cancer. Two weeks of wondering if today was the day she should either consult Giles or make an appointment at the student health clinic. Two long weeks of queasiness and lingering questions.
Which is why, when she found herself home alone at Revello Drive doing laundry (and with time to spare between wash cycles)… she reached into her bag, pulled out the second test and headed for the bathroom.
She didn’t know how she knew, but know she did; that little plastic stick on the counter was going to change things forever.
And she was immediately sorry her mom was at work; she could’ve used the support right now. But it was fitting really, when the big moments come, the Slayer is always alone. She should have learned that lesson by now.
“Enough!” Buffy huffed to the ceiling. Girding her proverbial loins, she grabbed the test and looked at it – and found exactly what she feared. She was, indeed, pregnant.
She sat down heavily on the toilet and dropped her head into her hands. Mother. When she heard the word, the only image in her mind was Joyce Summers. She, Buffy Summers had a mother. Now it seemed as if she was going to be a mother.
That is, if she decided she wanted to be a mother. She did have options available and an abortion would certainly solve the issue. The thing was, with so much death surrounding her as the Slayer, the desire to kindle potential new human life was oddly instant and almost overwhelming. If it was human. Which, being here on the Hellmouth, was definitely questionable.
And who in the hell was the father? Unless someone had come in through her window while she slept and raped her – without her waking up, which was implausible – she honestly didn’t have a single, solitary clue.
For a fleeting second, she wished (not aloud, of course) that she could have contracted mystical cancer.
Enough! For fuck’s sake, he was a bloody vampire, not some trembling, barely-out-of-school ponce. He was furious with himself (not to mention still a little hung-over from his two-week drunken binge), but it was time to sac-up and face things head on.
Yes, the Slayer’s hearty disgust at the spell’s ending had stung, but he was used to rejection (both before being turned and after). He’d unlive. Hiding in his crypt was no way to deal.
And he wasn’t going to confine himself to his (Well, Rupert’s) lair for fear she’d be offended at the very sight of him.
Buffy startled at the sound of her back door slamming open and was immediately assaulted by the smell of burning fabric.
Spike stood in the middle of her kitchen, swatting out the smoldering areas on his person, while stomping out the small flames on the blanket on her floor.
“You do remember you’re a vampire?” she asked incredulously.
“I go where I want and I do as I please,” said vampire snarked back.
“What in the hell are you doing here, Spike?”
“Got something to say,” he replied, his expression somewhat closed for a change – and unreadable.
“So you decided to play peek-a-boo with Mr. Sunshine to see me?”
“Look, Slayer,” Spike began, “it’s been two weeks since we were forced into that unforgiveable shit-show of an engagement by your best mate.”
“It wasn’t…” Buffy started to say before his actual words sank into her brain. “That’s right. No fault of our own,” she echoed his sentiment.
“So why the bloody hell have you been hiding like a coward?”
“Me?” she cried. “You haven’t made yourself exactly available, either.”
“Truth be told,” he admitted, “was afraid you’d be gunning for me, stake in hand – your sullied virtue fluttering behind you.”
“Virtue fluttering? What are you, ancient?” she barked, before realizing what she’d just said. “Wait, you are. Old, that is. Nobody’s virtue flutters these days, Spike.”
“So you haven’t been avoidin’ me?”
“No more than you’ve been avoiding me.”
And that was as close as she got to admitting Spike had been a no-fly zone. One look at the vampire told her he was probably admitting his avoidance, as well.
“Well, that settles nothing,” she muttered under her breath as she sat down on a kitchen chair.
“Could just settle everything,” Spike replied, joining her on the mattress. “Could go on as before. Seemed to work nicely.”
“You mean just conveniently ‘forget’ the spell stuff?” Buffy asked, feeling hopeful for the first time since this morning’s discovery.
Spike turned his attention to her, and just before he said what was on his mind, his nostrils flared. With a cock of his head, he asked, “You visit an old mate recently, Slayer?”
“I’m askin’ if you’ve seen a mutual acquaintance of ours lately.”
“You really have to stop with the vampire smelly thing – it’s disgusting.”
“No more disgusting than the pong coming off you… what with smelling like Peaches and all.”
“Peaches? I smell like fruit?”
“No, you silly chit,” Spike replied. “Peaches – Angelus… Angel, if you insist on separating the two.”
Buffy was dumbfounded… and confused. How could he know? “I-I saw Angel a couple of weeks ago, after I stopped in to see my father,” she said. “But that was… I mean… I’ve showered, a lot since then, and all we did was hug once or twice. I can’t smell like him,” she reasoned.
“Nevertheless, I’m getting’ the distinct odor of the Great Forehead,” he insisted. “Although… it’s a little off, I’ll admit.”
“What are you going on about?” Buffy was getting a little nervous. Spike was actually drawing in lungfuls of air… and now he leaned in closer.
“Don’t worry, Slayer. ’M not gonna bite,” he murmured into her ear. “Not without an engraved invitation.”
“When pigs fly,” came her terse reply.
“Oink, oink,” he laughed, before resuming his smell-a-thon. “You smell different,” he concluded as he sat back further away from her.
Oh crap – he knows!
“Slayer! What’s wrong?” Spike demanded, loud enough that it probably wasn’t the first time he’d asked. She must’ve zoned out.
“I-I’m fine,” she stammered.
“No, you’re not,” he insisted. “You’re green, like you’re gonna toss your cookies yet again,” he said in alarm, jumping quickly across the room.
At Spike’s outward appraisal of her inner state of unwellness, she jumped up and made a bee-line for the toilet. And lost what little she had in her stomach from last night.
“Well, well, well,” Spike drawled from outside the bathroom door, his eyes trailing to the pregnancy test sitting on the sink. “Guess that explains all the heavin’ you’ve been doing lately.”
Buffy said nothing, just tossed the offending plastic tester into the trashcan and withdrew into herself as she settled on the floor next to the toilet.
“Question is,” Spike continued, “just who is the sprog’s da?”
“So, who managed to get you up the duff?”
Her pained voice and the emerging tears seemed to stop Spike’s line of inquiry.
He bent down and helped Buffy to her feet. “It’s not a hard question, pet,” he said softly, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“But that’s just it!” Buffy wailed. The dam had broken and she couldn’t hold back the waterworks. “I don’t know who, or how. Or even when!” she cried. “There was Parker, but he used a condom, and that’s the last man I was with. The timing would be all wrong!”
She glanced over at him and realized she’d actually done it: she’d finally rendered Spike speechless.
And then he did the strangest thing. He reached out – somewhat awkwardly – and patted her shoulder. No words of comfort, or understanding… No trite platitudes. Just support.
Buffy didn’t know what to make of it. She didn’t have to worry too long – verbal Spike made his reappearance a moment later.
“What are you going to do ’bout it?”
“I need to tell Mom. Have you ever seen a woman do the ‘how could you’ and ‘yay, grandchildren’ dances at the same time?”
“Think I’d pay good money to see it, pet.” Spike said quietly. And a small tender smile graced his face – a look Buffy had definitely never seen on him before.
“The only other person who knows what’s going on with me is Willow. And quite honestly? I don’t think I can deal with her level of perky ‘it’ll-be-all-rightness’ just now.”
“You sure the witchlet has nothin’ to do with your condition?”
“It’s not like I haven’t given that a thought – or two,” Buffy admitted, “but why on earth would Willow want me pregnant?”
“Maybe she was tryin’ to help with your homework or summat,” Spike offered, snark fully back in place. “We know from personal experience how spot-on her spells can be.”
Buffy couldn’t help but remember snuggling and smooching with Spike on Giles’ armchair, and shuddered. “Yeah, her track record isn’t all that great, but I really don’t think she’s involved here.”
Spike simply shrugged, non-verbal again.
Gathering up her courage, Buffy asked, “Would you mind staying until my mom comes home?”
“You’re joking, right?”
“A-am I that hard to be around?” she asked, lip wibbling and tears reforming in her eyes. “If this is what being pregnant does to me, I wouldn’t want to be around me either.”
“A couple of tears don’t frighten me,” Spike snorted, toeing the floor like a little kid. “Spent plenty of time ’round Dru in one snit or another.”
“So you’ll stay, then?” Buffy asked, hopefully.
Spike nodded, and leaned back against the counter. “For as long as you need, pet.”