Buffy told Giles she was expecting. Expecting – hoping, praying – he'd be happy for her, but all she got was a, "Oh? You're sure?"

"I'm sure," she confirmed. "Did a test right after Spike realized."

Giles took off his glasses and was busily cleaning them when he suddenly stopped, mid-movement, "You say Spike realized?"

"Oh, yeah, that's the other thing. He still has super hearing. Or slightly diminished super hearing. Picked up on the heartbeat."

Slipping his glasses back on Giles sighed and looked contemplative.

"What?" Buffy asked, her hopes dashed.

"I…" he began. "I'm not sure this is good."

Defensively Buffy's hand shot to her stomach, "What do you mean?"

"Well, what with Spike being part demon – we don't know-"

"Whoa, hold on a minute!" she interrupted, "He's human now. That's how this happened. Vampires can't exactly… y'know? You said his left over enhanced abilities were no big deal."

"Well, they aren't, exactly – for him. But when you bring another life into the equation, we simply don't know how it could end up.

Buffy shook her head and slumped further into her chair, "I'm not following."

Upon seeing her start to get upset, Giles sat down beside her, placing a hand reassuringly on her forearm before explaining, "When Spike was a vampire he was a demon, with elements of a man."

"Yes," said Buffy, "I know this. And?"

"And," he continued, "When he became a human, as best as I've been able to figure, he became a man with elements of a demon. That's why he retained some of his abilities, albeit to a lesser extent in most cases. But, the point is, it's still part of him."

"So, you're saying what?"

"What I'm saying, Buffy, is that in all likelihood your child – if you decide to proceed with the pregnancy – is going to be part demon. And we can't be sure how that could manifest."

Buffy stood up. She had a look of disgust on her face. "If… If?!"

"I know this is a shock, but you really should have all the facts before you-"

"You," she interrupted him again - her voice was getting higher and higher - "You think I could kill my baby? Spike's baby? My mom's grandchild?!"

"Buffy, I didn't mean to-"

"No!" she yelled. "I can't talk about this. I feel sick. I need to get out."

Running to the door she swung it wide open and ran into Spike in the hall, who had been making his way to the apartment. Collapsing into his arms, in fits of tears, Spike took a tight hold of her before looking up at her watcher who'd followed her out and was now standing in the doorway looking guilty.

"Buffy, sweetheart, it's okay. It'll be okay," he soothed, before snapping at the older man, "What the hell have you said now?!"

Giles began to answer, but Buffy lifted her head from Spike's chest and demanded he stop.

"I can't hear it again. Spike, just take me home, please? I… I'll tell you - I'll tell you later."

"Sure thing, pet, of course," he said, in as sweet a voice he could muster while giving her watcher his most pissed off look. Hand in hand they turned and walked away from him, but right before they reached the elevator Buffy turned back around, "Don't tell Dawn, okay? I'll break the news myself."

"Buffy, I'm sorry," said Giles, but she held up her hand to silence him.

"Save it," she said.

It took Buffy a long time to calm down, but once she lost the anger it was replaced with fear.

"What if he's right?" she asked her mate, hating the words as she said them. "What if this pregnancy won't be good. Oh god, what if we made things worse, with the claim, and the tattoos?!"

Spike didn't answer her – knowing full well there was no way he could give her certainties, much less convince her of them even if he could – instead he presented her with a tiny stuffed animal.

"They didn't have any pig ones. Know your last one got all burnt up in the hellmouth."

"You wanted to replace Mr Gordo?" she asked, incredulous.

"Well, yeah, it meant a lot to you. Only a small thing for me to do."

"No," she said, shaking her head, "It means a lot." Then she smiled through her tears, adding, "If the demon underworld could see you now."

"You think I give a toss what the demon underworld thinks of me?" he asked, defensively.

"Yes," she replied.

"Right, well. Okay, maybe I do," he admitted, with a smirk, which she returned briefly, before her face fell again.

"You'll be with me, no matter what?"

"Know I will, pet. Every day. Couldn't shake me off even if you wanted to."

Burying her head against his shoulder she whispered, "That's a lot more reassuring than it used to be."

Spike woke up to find Buffy fully dressed trying to sneak out of their bedroom.

"You're a lot less good at that than you used to be," he commented, snagging her arm and dragging her back towards him. "Where you off to, Slayer?"

She hung her head a little. "I was gonna go for round two with Giles. Kinda wanted to do it alone."

He sat up at that, and his eyes narrowed. "Why?"

"Because I'm gonna try and be calm and not have the conversation end up with one of us making a dramatic exit that ends with me whimpering like a sap. I know you'd have my back, and I totally want that, but I also know he's gonna say more things I don't like, and I don't want you losing it and beating him up – tempting as it's been, lately."

Spike considered that for a moment. "You've been thinking about this a while," he said, finally. "You get any rest?"

She shook her head, "Can't, really, until this is done. Unresolved tension is so not good for me."

"Not gonna talk you outta this then?" he asked.


"Right, then. I'll drive you over. Wait in the car. How's that?"

She smiled, said, "That's perfect," and leaned down to kiss him.

Giles offered Buffy tea when she arrived.

"No," she replied, "We can't keep beating around the bush and pretending that things are okay. That we are okay. Haven't been for a long time, have we?"

He shook his head, hesitantly.

"There was always some apocalypse or other to keep us from having this out. So go for it, no more distractions, I've had enough."

"What is it you want me to say, Buffy?"

"I want you to tell me about all the apprehensions you have about Spike, so I can tell you you're wrong. I want you to see things from my side. See how much I love him, and need him and this baby, and I want you to finally understand and let go of those reasons. To stand behind me, like old times."

Suddenly tears appeared in her eyes. "I wanna be able to trust you, Giles. Fully. I wanna be able to forgive you."

"Buffy," he said, going to embrace her, but she pulled back and held up a hand.

"No. No comforting until this is done. Please. Please just let this be done."

The Watcher nodded, and got right to it.

"I think what you and Spike are doing is very fast. Six months ago you were moving on, then you got together, moved in, got married, even claimed each other and now you want to have a child?"

"We didn't plan this child, Giles. But, yes, I do want it. Before you go complaining about us only being together six months let me remind you that you keeping secrets is one of the reasons we weren't together earlier. Isn't this what you want for me? To have a family? Isn't that what a real father-figure would want? Is that even what you still are?"

"I don't know," he answered, truthfully. "I want to be, but…"

Buffy cut him off, "What you said to me was really shitty. Please tell me you understand that?"

"I didn't mean to upset you."

Buffy shook her head, "That's not what I asked."

Giles was silent, so she continued.

"You've done a lot for me, over the years. Loved and supported me in ways a lot of kids growing up with a single parent never get to experience. But you've let me down, so badly, so many times, that I don't know what we are anymore. I mean, where did that support go? When did you stop trusting my judgment? When I was fighting hard to save my sister from a hell god? When you tried to take Spike out of my life? When you didn't bother to tell me he was alive, or that apocalypses are happening all around in case I might get involved?"

With a sigh Giles said, "Everything I did I did out of good intentions, trying to keep you safe."

"I know that," she admitted, "I do know you had good intentions, but… ever heard the phrase 'Good intentions pave the way to hell'?"


"Angel left me, because he thought it was the right thing for me. He didn't ask me; didn't consider how much it would hurt me. You've done just the same. That was Willow's problem too – trying to pull me back from death without taking time to consider how it might affect me. Well I'm pretty sure I could go the rest of my life without people making decisions on my behalf. Can you be just open and honest with me – tell me what you think, and still stand by my side if I choose to go against your opinion? I mean, I have been wrong before, and I will be again, but these things are my choices. I felt the claim was right, and I feel my baby is right, too. Of course I do."

She shook her head once more, trying to not cry again. "I've been blessed. Oh, OH, like the Goddess woman said. Except Spike thinks we'd already conceived by that point. But surely if there was something wrong she'd have said something, right? Warned us?"

With a final shake of her head she cut off from her digression. "It doesn't matter. I'm having this baby, no matter what. The question is if you are gonna be a part of my life or not."

The watcher contemplated her words for a long time, cleaning his glasses several times in the process, but Buffy waited for his response, refusing to say anything else until he'd sworn his allegiance to her.

It was taking too long, she began to pace, but after a while Giles reached out to stop her. Locked eye to eye he said, "I'm grateful for being given the chance. You're right, about how I've treated you. I'm-"

"Forgiven," said Buffy suddenly, cutting him off, before launching herself into his arms. "Not gonna do this again, okay?"

"Agreed," he said, with a tear in his eye.

To be continued...