When the emergency call came through to Spike's cell, with the news that Buffy had fainted he was able to hurry back to her building in seconds – having not got far in the opposite direction. Even by then, though, she'd already begun to come round.
He was concerned, of course, but she shrugged it off as nothing.
"You're over doing it," Spike concluded, much to their joint displeasure. Then the Slayer's manager walked over, and suggested she take the rest of the day off.
The drive home was silent, as Spike's mind thought about how quickly things had changed. Still heavily aware of the scent from their recent union all over the interior of the vehicle, he no longer reveled in it.
"You need to take it easy," he said, suddenly. "I'll stop coming to see you midday."
"No!" Buffy protested. "I mean, yes to the taking it easy, but no to you not coming."
Her poor choice of words didn't even cause a smirk. Things really had changed.
"Look," he reasoned, "Clearly the intensity of what we're doing is wearing you out."
"So, what are you saying? We should stop having sex until I give birth?!"
Spike was silent.
"Oh my God! That better not be what you're saying!"
Again he said nothing, and then he hit him in the arm and demanded his attention, "Spike, answer me, please!"
Finally throwing a glance her way as he pulled into the car lot behind their building he pleaded, "Buffy, if it's too much."
"No," she said again, with a shake of her head, "There's no problem with us. I'm fine. You said there was nothing we couldn't do. Page 36, remember?!"
He contemplated that for a moment, then said, "The book talks about normal couples, yeah? It says sex during pregnancy is fine – for them. I just assumed, with us being extra strong or whatever, we could do more, but… but I guess I was wrong. Your body knows your limits, Slayer, and yours is saying loud and clear that we're over doing it."
Buffy was then silent for a while, contemplating his words, as he got out and made his way to her side, opened the door and lifted her out in his arms.
"I'm not some damsel in distress," she said, with a pout, as she relaxed against him and rested her head on his bicep.
"Don't I bloody know it," he replied, "Bet that arm'll be bruised later where you hit it."
Buffy smiled a little despite herself, then she sighed and rubbed her belly saying, "I still think you're wrong. But I don't wanna risk hurting her."
Spike nodded, but looked anything but pleased. "So, no sex," he said.
"Less sex," Buffy corrected. "We'll be gentle."
He was tempted to argue, but decided to leave it for a bit, not liking the thought of restricting their intimacy anymore than she did.
Once back in their apartment the ex-vampire ran Buffy a bubble bath. She was relaxing into it when a thought struck her and she sat up again, "Won't Giles be wondering where you are?"
Spike shook his head and shrugged off his duster, before rolling up his sleeves to wash the Slayer's back.
She continued, "He'll put up with more than most, because it's us, but not going back without explaining? He's not gonna be happy." She frowned, "I so don't want any more tension there. We need the money."
"I know, I know. I'll call him when you're tucked up, okay? It'll be fine."
"Okay," she agreed, sinking down once more, before sitting right back up again with another idea.
"Bloody hell, woman. You're supposed to be relaxing!" Spike chided.
"Sorry," she said, "It's just… Call Dawn, too, okay?"
He raised an eyebrow, "Why?"
One final time Buffy laid back against his hands, which had given up on washing her back and had begun to massage it instead. "I've been meaning to do the big sister catch up thing in forever. Won't take much energy. Invite her over and after I nap we'll have the talk."
"Which talk is that, luv? The 'Why have you suddenly got another pair of bite marks?' one? Or the, 'How come Mr Watcher man was grumpy for two days everytime I mentioned your name?' Oh, or, 'What exactly did happen that time my dear brother-in-law freaked out and almost bit my head off?'. That one, huh, pet?"
The Slayer glared at him – or, she tried to, but his hands found a sensitive spot just below her shoulder and she ended up groaning as he kneaded it instead.
"Like I said," she finally replied, "Catch up long overdue. But I was thinking the main topic should be about her plans to immigrate."
"Right," said Spike.
"You really think I've been neglecting her?"
He shook his head, "Not neglect, no. She's practically an adult, for pity's sake. But she'll have questions."
"Yeah," Buffy grimaced. "My sister, always with the tough questions."
Later, as expected, the two Summers girls finally did talk, and it was decided upon to move back stateside.
To be continued...