Title: Babies Are A Good Thing
Author: Mrs Muir
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, UPN or Fox. All original characters and places are mine.
Authors Note: This is the second in the 'Baby' series. The first was 'Baby Did A Bad Thing" which can be found on my site, www.angelfire.com/folk/whenbuffysmiles. It is an adult fiction that cannot be archived on this site. But this story can be read as a stand alone fiction.
Prologue – The Missing Pieces
December 26, 2006 – 2:00 am
I sit on the bathroom floor with my face buried in a towel. It is to muffle the sounds of my sobs so that Spike won't hear me. I couldn't explain to him why I am crying. He would just look at me wondering why it would hurt. It was the unspoken agreement between us when I came back. No children. No marriage. Just us being together. He's a vampire and I am a Slayer. It is not in our destinies to be normal. My head understands this. My heart and my body don't realize that I am not supposed to want this. And I ache.
If fate intervened to give us a child, I know that Spike would love that child more than anything. When it comes to the children in the family he is gentle and giving. Letting them sit on his lap. Playing games with them. He hugs them when they are hurt. Or just rocks them when they need it. My heart wants to shatter every time I see this. And it makes me want a child of our own even more. But he doesn't. The comments are always there. The little ones about not having to deal with the responsibilities of day to day care and the ones about being able to send them home at the end of the day. And I just laugh it off while I am being ripped in two.
This month I was a little over a week a late. The pregnancy test is hidden in our room. I was going to use it in the morning. Hoping that I would be able to give him another Christmas present but I woke just a short while ago with cramps. The blood reminding me that I am just not meant to be a mother. That somehow I am not worthy enough of bringing a new life into the world.
The tears are subsiding as I stand up. As I look into the mirror at my face I see the lines that are there already. They are hardly distinguishable but still visible at the corners of my eyes. Reminding me that I am getting older and that time is slowly slipping away. After I rinse my face in cool water I make my way downstairs.
There is comfort in walking through our home that in a way has become our baby. We spent almost three years putting her back together. Room by room we worked together. In the end it is a crazy mixture of modern and Victorian elegance. But it works for us. I make myself a cup of hot cinnamon tea as I sit at the kitchen table. Piled on the other end are some of the presents we brought home tonight. We celebrated Christmas at Giles's house this year. Everybody was there making it a noisy mixture of fun and chaos.
I reach for our present from Dawn. It was a scrapbook that she had made of our lives. She made one for each of us so that we would all remember what is important. The cover is of soft brown leather with gold etching saying 'The Scoobie Families". I run my hand over the front tracing the markings with my fingers. We have all changed so much in the last four years that it is hard to believe that we are the same people that we started out to be.
At the front of the book is a picture of Giles and his wife, Kate, on their wedding day. Dr. Kate McGowan had been the ER doctor to patch Xander up when he was shot. It had taken only one look at Giles for her to fall in love. He took his time returning the feelings afraid of the past repeating itself. That she wouldn't be able to handle the reality of his life. Or that she would become a casualty of it. But Kate was the one to break down his barriers first then relieved him of his worries by announcing that she had a side line practice. A practice that catered to demons that fought on the side of good.
They married only a few weeks after they had both came clean on their hidden lives. Time was too precious to waste was their motto as the wedding was put together. The only real challenge they faced was that Kate's son, Josh, was the boy that Dawn had fallen for. The marriage threw two hormonal infatuated teenagers into the same house. Spike and Xander had a long talk with Josh threatening him with bodily harm if anything happened with Dawn. He promised and as far as we know he kept his promise. It was Thanksgiving when Giles announced that Kate was pregnant. An accidental mix up of her menopausal body but once discovered a joyous welcome to their family. Dawn is so excited about being able to be the big sister for a change.
I move on to the page for Xander and Anya. There is no official wedding photo just a snapshot from a disposable camera. They were married in the hospital while Xander recuperated. It had been a time of realizations as they had almost lost everything. Even though they still had a lot to work on they wanted to do it together instead of apart. After counseling and compromises their marriage today is strong and always their first priority even more so than their two children. Aidan William was born exactly nine months after his parent's wedding. Their daughter, Jessica Anne, came along a little over a year ago. Beneath the photo of the couple is a family portrait. They make a beautiful perfect family. The American Dream with the house and the minivan.
Willow and Tara with a photo of their son, Jacob Alexander, is on the next page. They bought a house together when Willow had graduated from college two years ago. It was an announcement that they were now adults and moving forward in their lives as a committed couple. Willow accepted a teaching position at the high school while continuing her education at night. Tara opened a 'school' adjacent to the Magic Box. The Magic Light has classes in magic practices, yoga and I teach self defense there a few times a week. The two businesses refer customers to the other creating plenty of profits for Tara and Anya. Shortly after their careers were established Willow and Tara announced that Tara was going to have a child conceived through a carefully selected sperm donor. I try very hard not to be bitter as I look at another perfect family in the making.
Even Dawn is married now. I laugh as I stare at her wedding picture. Josh and her standing with an Elvis impersonator that was present when they eloped in Las Vegas. Josh had kept his word until her eighteenth birthday when he took her away to be married. By the time we had all woken up that morning the deed was already done. They are blissfully happy together living in married housing on campus.
I flip the book back to the beginning to the page after Giles and Kate. To the page designated for Spike and I. There is only one photo there. An 8x10 portrait of us that Dawn insisted we have done. There is no room on our page for children's pictures or a wedding photo. Even they know that we are just 'together'. The price to be paid for a relationship that cannot be open to people outside of our circle and is still sometimes not fully accepted by those within. It is the price that is to be paid for loving a demon that has committed a multitude of sins against humanity. No matter what he does to redeem himself it will always be hidden just below the surface of his self. And it will always exact its price of shame against our love.
Slamming the book shut before I begin to cry again I stand to walk away. My tea in hand I begin to wander through our house. But I know where I am headed. His sanctuary is the place that is solely his in this world of ours. I rarely enter into his study knowing that this place is intensely private for him. He would never deny me access. As he has never denied me access to any part of his life, heart and soul. It is mine for the taking but I don't because his love for me has always been stronger than my love for him. We both know it though we have never talked about it. His essence is stronger than mine. His intensity and passion for life more for being dead than mine could ever be. I have been to the other side and know that it is better than here. It is only through him that I found my center and a desire to live in this world again.
I run my hand over the chair that he sits in to read than I move to curl up into it. The afghan is pulled over me so that I can smell him on the yarn. After sipping at my now cold tea I look toward the organized mess of his desk. His first book 'The Madness Of A Vampire' went to the top of the best seller list and stayed there for months. It was made more popular by his mysterious public persona. We have shared many laughs over the rumors of him being an actual vampire. What would his public do if they knew the truth? That the life detailed is actual fact and not the runaway imagination of an ordinary man.
He is now in the middle of writing his second book. 'The Pleasure of the Bite' is a love story of his vampire for an ordinary girl. I have yet to read it because I am afraid of the truth of his feelings and emotions for life and us. He still scares me when he comes to look for me sometimes just needing to know that I have not left him. All that love for me and I wonder what I did to deserve such devotion from a creature as extraordinary as him.
It is almost dawn before I stir from this place that brings me peace. In our bedroom he is still sleeping with his hand on my side of the bed. I hesitate in the door to watch him sleep for a moment. His face is ethereal in the near darkness reminding me of his immortality. As my body ages his will still be the same. I know that his heart is mine no matter what the changes but I fear that part of our future. He will be wasted taking care of an old woman as she becomes incapacitated with time. The beauty and agility of youth will always be his and he deserves the same in return.
The bed sinks a little as I crawl in beside him. My fingertips trace the plains of his sculptured face stirring him from his sleep.
"Can't sleep, love?" His voice heavy with sleep growls in my ear. I look into the clarity of his eyes and shake my head. To speak now would only bring the tears that have been hovering all night just below the surface. His hand reaches out to pull me close as I willingly move into the protection of his body.
He holds me to him running cool hands over me as he whispers to me of his love. I roll onto my back pulling him on top of me. I whisper to him just to hold me. To keep me safe while I fall asleep. I can feel his confusion at my words but he does as I ask. Lying here beneath his body I know that I am loved and safe. Sleep tickles at my tired body and before I succumb I tell him that I love him.