A/N: Well, here it is, the long awaited sequel to Family Ties. It starts a few weeks after Faith's journal entry and from there, the dates will be listed because it will cover a five-month period before the final battle as Faith foresaw in her slayer dream.

Severed Ties

Prologue

Bless This Child

May 22nd, 1983

"Push, Mary, push," Doctor Stephens urged the woman on the table. It had been this way for the past three hours for Mary Jansen and her soon-to-be son or daughter. She listened to the distant voice encourage her. She barely had the strength to break through the fog of pain interfering with her other senses. Never had she thought anything would hurt as much as losing her husband, Joe, four months ago but the agony that cascaded through her lower regions temporarily numbed that heartrending memory.

"You're doing fine, Mary," her younger sister, Jackie, encouraged. The short woman held Mary's hand, never once complaining of the tightening grip of her laboring sister. "Come, sweetie, we're almost there. Almost there," she cooed while her free hand stroked Mary's thick mane of black hair affectionately.

"Come on," Mary grunted, trying to push forward the small city that seemed to have taken residence within her womb. "Come on!" She screamed as the pain intensified, ripping through her and for an instant, Mary thought it would kill her. That was until she heard the distant cry of life somewhere in the room. She glanced around with sleepy eyes, noting that Doctor Stephens was holding something before her gaze drifted to her sister. The tears pouring from her sister's eyes at first alarmed Mary until Jackie met her gaze and smiled.

"It's a boy, Mary," she sobbed with tears of joy, "it's a boy."

Mary reached a hand up to brush the tears away from her sister's cheeks, returning the smile. "A boy…a boy…" and then everything went black and Mary succumbed to stringent embrace of unconsciousness.

*&*

"There's Mommy. Say hi to Mommy," a familiar voice cut through the nothingness that surrounded Mary. Slowly, she opened her eyes, immediately blinking back the sudden glare from the lights before her eyes adjusted.

She scanned the room briefly before fixing her gaze on the beaming brown skinned woman to her right. Save for the woman's perky nose and short, dark hair, she was very close to being Mary's twin. Mary stared into her sister's green eyes, smiling at the love and adoration that shone from them. This 'little person' as Mary jokingly called her younger sibling was the only reason she had survived the past four months after Joe had been killed in the line of duty. They had been best friends, one another's "diaries" for the last nineteen years, ever since Jackie was old enough to talk and it had only solidified as they got older. Jackie was a perfect opposite to Mary's shy yet fiery demeanor; there to light her older sister's fuse when needed and, at the same time, acting as Mary's rational frame of mind when the older sister's emotions bubbled over.

Thankful for all her sister had been to her, Mary smiled at Jackie and reached her hand out when a telltale whimper escaped from the bundle in Jackie's arms.

"Oh baby, you want Mommy, don't you?" Jackie cooed and Mary's eyes were alit with shock. "Baby boy's hungwie, isn't he. Well Auntie Jackie doesn't have the foods, baby boy. That's Mommy over there that has that," and with that, Jackie stood and handed the baby over to her older sister.

Mary carefully took possession of the mewling child, marveling at the bronze glow of the infant's skin. Not infant, she reminded herself, my son.

"Our son," she whispered as the child stared up at her with his chocolate brown eyes, the same eyes that his father possessed.

The child bit into his fist and cried when the limb gave him no sustenance. Wasting no more time, Mary lifted the hospital gown enough to expose her bare breast and brought her son to her chest. He immediately attacked the bare nipple and both women laughed.

"Somebody's hungry," Mary cooed as the baby suckled her teat aggressively. "So," she said after a few minutes of watching her son in amazement, "how long was I out?"

"Few hours," Jackie said, brushing a strand of hair out of her sister's face. "Doctors said you were just exhausted. They were astonished that you recovered so quickly."

"So, where's Doctor Stephens at now?"

"He stepped out for a few."

"And let me guess, you talked him into letting the little guy here stay with you?"

"What can I say?" Jackie fanned herself mockingly. "I guess I just have a way with people."

"That you do, lil' sis," Mary said before turning her attention back to her son.

"So," Jackie said as her nephew drifted off into sleep, "have you thought of a name for him?"

"Cedrik."

"Cedrik? But wasn't Joe's middle name…"

"I know. But I like Cedrik better. It's close to the original but far enough away for him to make his own name. And that he will. My Cedrik Tobias. Cedrik Tobias Jansen."

"Tobias?"

"It means 'God is good'. And he has to be to give me such a special gift." They both looked at the now sleeping infant before Jackie spoke, her voice filled with emotion.

"Joe would be so proud of you."

"Yeah, he would," Mary replied before brushing a kiss across her son's brow. "You're gonna make your father so proud, Ced. You're gonna make him so proud."

Just a little insight to the first few chapters. I'll give the names but you guys will have to draw your own conclusions as to what will happen.

***Chapter One---Two of A Kind

***Chapter Two---Still I Rise

***Chapter Three---Slayer Dreams All Around

***Chapter Four---Summers Mornings

***Chapter Five---The Gathering

I don't know what the update calendar will be for this but I do have the first 14-15 chapters mapped out so all I have to do is fill out the ideas with words. I'm really excited about this fic and really believe that it will be even better than the first one.