Disclaimer: I don't own BtVS.
A/N: This is my first time attempting to write a multi-chaptered fic please let me if it's a good idea and if I should continue it or not.
Xander distantly heard the doorbell ring. He looked at his watch it was nearly 10:30. He wanted to sleep but maybe it was Buffy or Willow and they needed him. He reluctantly left his bed and started up the stairs. He got to the door and opened it no one was there. Huh, he went to go back in when he saw something out the corner of his eye he turned back around and looked down to a sight he would never forget as long as he lived. There was a baby sleeping in a blanket on his porch there was a note in an envelope next the baby. Xander felt cold hard fear having a baby left on your porch didn't bode well.
You know I'm no good with words but I gotta explain. I was pregnant when Buffy stabbed me and inch more to the left and she would have killed the baby too. I was about 6 months into it when I switched bodies with Buffy. Part of me did it to get back at her, another part of me wanted her life, her nice mother, nice cookie cutter house and best of all not being 18, a high school drop out and pregnant. She was born a week ago so I haven't been to a hospital or had a birth certificate for her.
I'm not sure if she's yours or not I wasn't exactly no virgin but if she's not or you can't stomach raising my daughter, can you please find her a good home?
He stared at the letter in shock then back to the sleeping infant. A baby. Faith had been pregnant? She hadn't looked pregnant and even if she was she herself said she might not be his. He was 18 too and while he may have graduated he barely did it. He hadn't found any place yet to work permanently and he was having trouble as it was giving his parents rent. Now she was dropping a baby that may or may not be his on his doorstep and pretty much saying you deal with it!
He sighed and folded up the letter and put it into his pocket while he stared at the baby. The blanket the baby was wrapped in was black. The baby had little wisps of black hair sprouting from her head. He wanted to run, run far away from this responsibility but he couldn't because that's what Faith had done. Ran away and left a helpless little baby on the doorstep of one of the possible father's she had. He found himself moving toward the baby even though something inside of him was shouting.
"What are you doing!" It was still screaming that question as he picked her up from the porch, barely remembering in time from movies that you had to support a baby's head. The last time he had held a baby had been when he had held Jesse's niece when he had been 15. Xander wasn't sure what to do but his body decided to go back to his room. He turned the light off automatically after he went past them and soon was in the basement. He wasn't sure what to do after that so he ended just holding her and being shocked by the entire situation, his brain not being able to function- until she started crying. That snapped him out of his thoughts real quick.
"No, no, no. no...sh...sh..."he tried to quiet her. She had to stop because if she woke up his Dad things could get bad really quick. How did people get their children to stay quiet? He tried to remember something from TV but nothing was coming to mind.
"You have to be quiet," he pleaded and that when he heard someone coming down the stairs. He knew that gait, he knew who it was and he winced and turned around having his back to the stairs.
"What is this racket?!" his father shouted and Xander kept his back turned to him hoping that he would just go away.
"You answer me when I ask you a question!" his father shouted and shoved at his back. Xander put the baby on the bed to protect her. He turned around and looked at his face even though he didn't want to. His dad was looking at the baby who was still screaming with shock, and anger written all over his face.
"What is this?!"
"It's a baby." His father's fist swung at him and hit him in the face. Xander was glad he hadn't been holding her because with a hit like that he might have dropped her.
"I know it's a baby! What's it doing here!"
"She might be my daughter."
"You knocked some girl up?!"
"I had no idea until tonight and she might not even be mine."
"I let you stay here even though you are worthless, you've gone through several jobs in a few weeks. I'm not putting up with a baby. It was bad enough when you were one. They scream, they cry and I have a job and I need sleep. So get that baby out of here, and take your worthless carcass with it."
"But dad-" Xander tried to get him to reconsider.
"Out! The both of you! If you're not out by tomorrow I'm calling the police!" he shouted then left the room. Xander sunk onto the bed a few feet away from the baby. Was it even possible that he could look after a baby when he had no place to keep her and no way to feed her? He picked her up from the bed, his nerves were even more frazzled than they were before but he started rocking her and she seemed not to cry as loud though she was still crying. He kept at it rocking her and trying to get her to calm down. She fell asleep again in a few minutes and Xander felt so relieved
He looked at the baby again, she was so tiny. Xander moved the blanket out a bit so he could look at her more. Her hair was very short, he lifted up his hand, hesitated then touched her face. It was so soft.
She was so tiny. He looked at her eyes and saw they were the same color as Faith's. Could he raise Faith's daughter? He didn't know anything at this moment... except that they had to leave here before his father came back. He got up from the bed and rooted around in his closet until he found some bags then proceeded to stuff as much as he could into the bags, looking every few minutes at the baby to make sure that she was still asleep.
When he packed everything that he could, he realized that in order to get his bags out he was going to have to leave the baby here alone for a moment. He needed to make sure it was safe first. If Xander saw any sign of his father he would leave without his bags because whether or not she was his child or whether or not he was going to raise her he wasn't going to put the baby in any danger. So he made his way quietly out of his room and stepped very quietly down the hall to his parent's bedroom. He listened very closely and heard the light snoring of his Mom and the much more heavy and eerie snoring of his Father. He made his way quietly back his bedroom and checked again to make sure the baby was still asleep which she was.
He took all of his bags, even though they were heavy, he didn't want to make more than one trip. Xander made his ways slowly down up the stairs. The house was dark, but he had grown up there and from the many times at the beginning of the month when his parents forgot to pay the electric bill he knew his way around the house at night. The stairs were a little difficult because he had 6 bags and had to focus on hitting the stairs when he couldn't really see them very well, even if it wasn't night. He decided though he would turn on the stair and hall light though when he was holding the baby.
He made his way up to the main level and managed to maneuver himself out of the house. He set the bags down on the sidewalk in front the house and looked at the house for a moment. He had grown up in this house and while a good part of it hadn't been a pleasant experience some of it had. He wouldn't be allowed to come back here again. As he made his way back down the stairs he still thought about it. He walked into the basement again and all thoughts about the house were pushed aside when he saw the baby again the fears, anxieties and questions coming back with a vengeance.
He grabbed the tiny infant from off the bed and put her in his arms as he looked around the basement to make sure he didn't forget anything. Xander never wanted to come back here, not after what his father said and it reminded him this was no place to raise a child...if he was going to raise her. He still wasn't sure about that. He took the infant up the stairs and to the curb where his bags were waiting.
Where would they go it was the middle of the night? The college dorms where Buffy and Willow were at were too far to walk and none of them had cars. How would he get anywhere anyways? He had 6 bags and had to carry the baby. He had no cell phone and he wasn't going back in the house.
He looked across the street to Mr. and Mrs. Andrews' house. They were nice people. They had 3 young kids and they were the only people who ever reported his parents for child abuse. Of course, Sunnydale police believed his dad when he said he didn't do anything and they never even asked Xander. Sunnydale police at their finest. He looked at his watch it was 11:30, late, especially for a family with young kids.
But he didn't know what else to do. If his father saw him in the house he would probably hurt him and the baby too. He wasn't particularly close to any of his other neighbors, so they probably wouldn't answer their door at this time of night to him. Even if he did go and wake up the Andrews he didn't know who he would call.
Someone with a car. Someone who had room for him to stay for the night and someone preferably with experience with children. Then it came to him Mrs. Summers. Since Buffy was in college, her room would be open or rather Dawn's old room since she decided she wanted Buffy's old room. She had a car ,experience with children and while Giles might let him stay with him he didn't really want to let him know that he might be a father just yet. also as far as he knew Giles had no experience with children.
He left his bags where they were and hoped that in the time it took him to cross the street and hopefully call Joyce that no one would steal them. He crossed the street and starting to feeling really bad that he was going to wake them up. The porch light wasn't on but he could see the circle of light where the doorbell was. He knocked instead lightly on the door part of him hoping they wouldn't hear it, the other part knew if they didn't he'd had to call from his house which wasn't safe. He waited a few minutes then wondered if he should knock again but louder, ring the doorbell or brave his house. When he heard some footsteps coming to the door. The door didn't open for a few seconds, then there was Mrs. Andrews standing there. She was a few inches shorter than him dressed in blue pajamas she had light brown hair and was looking at him sleepily.
"Yes, Mrs. Andrews can I use your phone?"
"It 11:30 at night."
"I know I'm sorry for waking you up." That was when she turned on the porch light and saw him and the baby.
"What happened?" she asked more awake and concerned.
"Can I use your phone?" She moved aside and let him in. He was thankful that he wouldn't have to go back there.
"Xander, why do you have a baby?" she asked after she closed the door after him.
"That's a long story Mrs. Andrews." she nodded and didn't press further, she merely started walking further into her house and Xander guessed he was probably supposed to follow her. He followed her past a living room and into a hall which led into the kitchen. He followed her to a phone, he looked at the handset and the baby in his arms.
"Let me hold the baby," Mrs. Andrews said seeming to understand his predicament. He moved the still sleeping baby into Mrs. Andrews arms. He picked up the handset and dialed Mrs. Summers number before he lost his nerve. He waited while the phone rang, and rang and then suddenly it was picked up.
"Hello," came Mrs. Summers sleepy voice. Xander hesitated, it was late and what if she said no?
"Hello," came Mrs. Summers sleepy voice again, this time with more annoyance. He cleared his throat.
"Hello, Mrs. Summer's."
"Xander." The annoyance was gone out of her voice replaced with worry. "Are you okay? Is Buffy okay?"
"I'm fine, and as far as I know so is Buffy," Xander sighed," Okay, maybe I'm not so fine. Faith..." Maybe he should have called Giles. Mrs. Summers really didn't like Faith how would she react to him coming over with her offspring or the fact that they had slept together.
"You know maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I'll call Giles, sorry to bother you," he almost clicked the receiver when Mrs. Summer's exclaimed.
"Xander, wait!" Xander hesitated. "Xander are you there?"
"Yeah, I'm here."
"What about Faith?"
"You're not going to like it."
"When it comes to Faith I rarely do but I'm strong and I can handle it. Tell me what's going on?"
"Faith dropped off her daughter, who might also be my daughter. My dad kicked me out of the house and we have nowhere to stay for the night." He heard her sharp intake of breath.
"That's bad." Xander didn't say anything, he didn't feel like he could ask her anymore.
"Where are you?"
"You know maybe I should just call Giles."
"Xander you may have chosen a poor partner for such... activities but I'm not going have you and a perfectly innocent child sleep on the street and I doubt Giles had even taken care of an infant for very long. Now tell me where you are so I can come and get you." her tone left no room for argument and Xander felt glad.
"In front of my house."
"Alright I'll be there in a few minutes. Okay?"
"Thanks, Mrs. Summers I promise It'll only be for one night."
"We'll discuss that when I get there. Bye," she said before Xander could ask what that meant. Xander put down the receiver and turned around. Mrs. Andrews had heard everything.
"They kicked you out," she stated. Xander nodded.
"Technically my dad but you know my Mom."
"I'm so sorry Xander and now having to be a father at such a young age. I mean if we had any extra room I'd let you stay here."
"I know you would Mrs. Andrews." he said with a smile and he picked the baby girl out her hands.
"Is the person picking you up a good person?"
"Don't worry, Mrs. Summers is nothing like my family. She's loving she's a lot like you."
"Well if living with her doesn't work out and you can't go live anywhere else we'll make room for you here."
"Thanks, Mrs. Andrews. I better go outside and wait for her she'll be here soon. "
"Wait just a second.." She ran upstairs and Xander waiting looking at the baby again trying to see if any part of her looked like him. She came back soon with her arms full of clothes. She put them in a large plastic bag.
"Here take these with you."
"What are they?"
"Old baby clothes you need them much more than I do some of them are probably still too big but she'll grow into them."
"Thank you, Mrs. Andrews, thank you for everything," she smiled a weary smile. "Do you need any help?"
"No thank you've already been more helpful than I could have imagined. " He maneuvered the bag to hang on his arms and he held the baby with his hands he started walking out and Mrs. Andrews followed him to the door and held it open for him. He felt her watching him as he made his way back over to his lawn and mentally counted the suitcases and found they were all still there. Xander waited only a short while before Joyce drove up and stopped the car. She got out and stared at the scene for a minute or two while Xander stared at her. She was still in her pajamas she hadn't even run a comb through her hair. Then she stepped forward and asked concerned.
"Xander what happened to your face?" Xander touched his face and winced he had forgotten about his face the inner pain had masked his outer pain.
"Nothing, met a vampire, he didn't much like my face." Xander lied she nodded seeming at least to pretend that that was the case.
"All right I'll grab your bags, you just get settled in the back."
"That's okay Mrs. Summers I can grab them."
"With what hands?" she looked pointedly at the baby he was holding. Before he could respond she grabbed a few of his bags and headed for the trunk of her car. He looked at the car and didn't know if he could even open the door with a baby in his hands so he just watched as Joyce put his bags and then came back to him. She seemed to notice and open the passenger's side door , he sat in the car and stared out of the windshield. He jumped when the door of his side closed, he hadn't realized that hadn't closed it. He looked and saw as Mrs. Summers opened her car door and sat down and closed her door. She started the car and started driving, Xander didn't know what to say to her there were so many things he wanted to say but he wasn't sure what to say.
"Thanks..for doing this," Xander said slowly. Mrs. Summers flashed him a tired smile before looking back at the road. "I really really appreciate this," he said lamely and he stared out of the window again. After about a minute of silence, Mrs. Summers glanced over at him and said.
"You're going to need a car seat."
"No kidding and a crib, and diapers, and formula , more clothes and toys and only about a thousand other things."
"Sorry Mrs. Summers, I didn't mean to sound snarky. I'm practically a kid myself. This time, yesterday I was still living in my parent's house. I'm just not sure how this is all going to work out"
"No parent ever does."
"Yeah, but I don't even know if she is mine..." Xander cut himself off complaining about this to the one person who could help him just seemed wrong. He instead looked out of the window again and realized that they weren't going to the Summer's house.
"Where are we going?"
"To the market. She's going to wake up soon and you're going to need formula, a bottle, and diapers. Tomorrow we can go shopping for everything else you need when I get back from work." She pulled into the parking lot minutes later. He waited for Mrs. Summers to come around still not quite sure how to open the door with the baby in his hands. When she did, he wasn't sure how to get out of the car with the baby even tough it was minutes ago he couldn't remember how he had gotten in the car with the baby.
"Do you need me to hold her?" Xander jumped a bit he had forgotten Mrs. Summer's was there, he nodded and she took the baby out of his arms. Xander managed to stand up and close his door and Mrs. Summers handed the baby back to him. He followed her slowly walking and holding the baby he went about 10 feet when Mrs. Summers said.
"You know maybe I should hold her." Xander nodded, he didn't know what he was doing and if they were going to get in the store soon she would probably have to carry her. Mrs. Summers transferred her back into her arms. Xander followed her again this time much faster, he anxiously watched her as they made their way to the store.
"Grab a cart," she said. Xander grabbed one and followed her. He knew this store, he had gone here often in his life. Sunnydale was a small town and didn't have very many stores but it felt like it was his first time, he couldn't remember for the life of him where the baby stuff was so it was a good thing that Mrs. Summers took off in a direction so that he could just follow her. In what seemed like no time there they were in the baby aisle. He stared at everything, at all the things he would need for her and maybe couldn't afford. For the first time he didn't think about him wanting her, he thought if maybe she would be better off with someone else someone who had the money to take care of her. To give her a mom and a dad. He looked at her face, her innocent little face and wondered could he really rise her? Should he raise her?
"Xander," Xander shook himself out of his thoughts and looked at Mrs. Summers.
"You going to need diapers, wipes, a bottle, formula, a pacifier, everything else can wait til tomorrow. Xander looked at the diapers stupidly, he knew he supposed to pick one but it just seemed so hard to do so.
"Xander..." he jumped again he looked at Mrs. Summers. She looked tired, it was late at night and she had work in the morning. Xander, on the other hand, was unemployed, just another spot on his record. He focused more on the diapers and found one of the cheaper ones with her age group and put it in the cart. He did the same with the bottle ,pacifier, and formula. He drove his cart up to the cash register. The cashier was looking at him then she was looking at something that made her smile.
"She's so cute." she gushed. The cashier was around his age, probably a few years older since he didn't know who she was, just sort of knew her face. She was brunette and had hazel eyes she was kind of cute- not that he was really thinking of that right now. He was more worried about the baby and feeling the sleep deprivation. He put all his items on the belt and watched as the cashier took her eyes off the baby and started scanning the items. He looked at the register and swallowed, the formula and diapers wouldn't last very long. He would have to buy them often and they were expensive, not to mention all the other things he would have to buy for her. He was unemployed how could he possibly hope to afford to take care of her? He numbly reached into his wallet. Despite the fact that he had a few jobs, he hadn't really saved much. He had paid the rent and had blown most of the rest on food. He, however, had enough to pay for this today but how was he going to pay for the rest? He handed the cashier the money and she gave him his change, when she was finished her attention was back on the baby.
"She's so cute. What's her name?" He stared at the cashier, she had no idea how much her innocent question had taken a toll on him. He had absolutely no idea. He was sure it hadn't been in the letter Faith had given him. What was the little girls name? He didn't know and unless he planned to keep her he couldn't really give him a name and he wasn't sure if he was. So all he was able to say was,
"I...I ...don't know." The girl looked confused but said nothing.
"I haven't named her yet," he said after that.
"Oh." like that made it better. He nodded numbly, pushed the cart past the register, grabbed his bags and put them back into the cart. He made his way back to the car much faster than he made the trip in, he wanted away from this place. He parked the cart in the cart return and made his way back to the car. Mrs. Summers was there a few moments later. She took his bags and handed him the baby back. Xander's attention was again drawn to the baby. She was still asleep which was a small miracle. She had no name. It bothered him a lot that she had no name. He absently heard Mrs. Summers bustling around but most of his attention was on the girl in his arms. How could he even be thinking of taking care of her? He was irresponsible. It was obvious in the variety of jobs of jobs he had in the last few months and even before that he was just irresponsible.
"Xander," Xander looked up to see Mrs. Summers holding open the passenger's side door. He moved forward and sat with the baby and saw Mrs. Summers close the door. He had no idea what he would be doing if Mrs. Summers hadn't come to his rescue tonight. He heard another door close and the car start up.
His thoughts were occupied by the baby and if he was ready for such a thing all the way back to Mrs. Summers house. The car stopped and he looked up they were at the Summers' residence. He had been here many times in the last 2 years to hang out with Buffy, part of him wished that was why he was here today. His door opened and he handed the baby to Mrs. Summers again for some reason it was harder to stand up with the baby than it was to sit down with her. He stood up and Mrs. Summers put her back into his arms. She went to the trunk and grabbed the shopping bags, then closed the trunk and came back over to him.
"Leave your bags in the trunk, we can get them tomorrow when we're more rested." Xander nodded. The baby had been asleep for the last hour and who knows how much more she had slept. She was probably going to up soon and he wanted some rest before that happened. Mrs. Summers walked towards the front door and Xander followed her slowly but faster than in the parking lot because he knew the area more and there wasn't a possibility of cars coming since they were on a sidewalk.
He made his way into the Summer's residence and she shut the door behind her. She looked very tired Xander noted, again he felt so bad for being a burden on her and for keeping her awake when she had to work in the morning, still she smiled and for Xander it just reinforced how special she was and how lucky Buffy was to have a mother like her.
"You two can stay in Dawn's old room. I might have an old crib around in the attic, just wait in Dawn's old room and I'll be back in a moment." Xander nodded and Joyce headed up the stairs. He headed up them after her going much slower than in the parking lot. They were stairs, he wasn't sure how to deal with them but he made his way slowly up them and into Dawn's old room. Xander sat down on the bed and stared at the still sleeping baby closed eyes. What if he was her father? What if the baby he was holding was his own flesh and blood? Could he just give her away? Should he keep her if he couldn't afford to give her everything she needed?
"What do you think baby? Would I make a good father or am I kidding myself?" The baby said, of course, said nothing back and just continued to sleep. He heard someone walk into the room. He looked up to see Mrs. Summers lugging something into the room.
"Sorry I don't have a crib I did, however, find a playpen and that will have to do for tonight."
"Better than anything I would have at home." He tried not to think about home.
"I can do that," he offered.
"No, it's okay, I already got it here." She started setting it up and Xander just felt so useless. A few minutes later she turned it up right side up and put the padding back in it.
"It's ready," she smiled. When he didn't immediately stand up she just took the infant from him, laid her down in the playpen and covered her up with a blanket.
"It's Dawn's. I found it in the attic with the playpen," she said. "I better go get some sleep." she smiled tiredly again and went to leave. He said,
"Thank you, Mrs. Summers." She looked back at him and continued to smile tiredly then left the room.
He got into bed and closed his eyes. He was mentally and physically exhausted he started drifting off to sleep when-
"Waah! Waah! Waah!" he opened his eyes blurrily. What was that? crying? He looked up and saw her crying in her crib. It took a few seconds for his brain to start functioning and telling him who the baby was. He started getting up slowly from the bed then remembered where he was and that Mrs. Summers and Dawn were still sleeping. Xander got out bed and to the playpen as fast as he could after that.
He wasn't sure what to do or what was wrong all he had was what he'd seen on TV- The parent taking the child out the crib and rocking the child to sleep on their body. So he was going to try it. However five minutes later and no stoppage to crying later he was starting to get frustrated. He was tired mentally and psychically and the baby wasn't quieting, and then he starting worrying about Mrs. Summers.
"Come on Mrs. Summer is a nice lady who has to go to work tomorrow so please stop crying so she can sleep." He kept on rocking her but she wouldn't stop. He felt something on his shoulder and turned around suddenly. It was Mrs. Summers. He felt so bad, she was nice enough to take them both in, and here was his incompetence keeping her up.
"I know nothing about kids," he said apologetically.
"Well it's been awhile but I may still remember a thing or two about it. Let me try." He handed her over.
"I'm so sorry she woke you up Mrs. Summers."
"It's fine Xander at least she's a baby not one of the awful songs Dawn listen to.." He still felt guilty. He looked to the hall and was glad that Dawn wasn't up. Of course, he remembered that Buffy had said that Dawn slept like the dead. The baby quieted down after a few minutes and Mrs. Summers put her back into the play pen.
"Thank you, Mrs. Summers I have no idea what I would have done without you." Mrs. Summers just smiled at him tiredly and made her way back to her room. Xander collapsed back on his bed exhausted.