Prologue

August 25, 2007 7:25 AM

"Good morning, baby. How are you? Are you being good for Daddy?" Spike cooed to Buffy's stomach while she ran her fingers through his still sleep tousled hair.

"I don't think Wills Jr. is listening too well," Buffy joked.

Spike's eyebrows met in a scowl directed at his wife. "Wills Jr. is not going to be his name."

"We have lots of time to discuss the baby's name," she laughed as she bent down to kiss him.

Meeting her halfway their lips fused in a mutual need to share their happiness with the other. Spike dropped to his knees and pulled her forward until she was pressed against him. Desire raced through them as their tongues wrapped around the other.

"Mmm, we need to stop," Buffy panted even as her lips joined his again. His hands slipped under her tank top kneading the small of her back when there was a knock on the back door.

"Damn," Spike cursed as he rose to see who was here that early in the morning. "It had better be important," he muttered as he pulled the door open.

"Good morning. I hope I'm not disturbing you." Giles politely said in greetings.

"No, of course not. Come in," Spike replied cordially.

Buffy darted over to them with a huge smile, "Can I tell him? Spike, can I tell him?"

Pulling her close to him he nodded his consent but before she did Giles turned and sat at the table. He looked up at them with a serious expression gracing his countenance.

"Did you hear from Max about the arraignments?"

Buffy's face fell as Giles totally ignored that she wanted to tell him good news.

"Yes, they all went through. So, they will stand trial soon." She snapped. "Giles, what's going on?"

It was obvious that Giles was stalling about something and it was something that wasn't going to make them happy.

"I know about the baby, Buffy. I'm sorry that I have to ruin the happy news." He pulled his glasses off and began to wipe them as the couple came to sit with him at the table.

"Does everybody know about this child before me?" The expectant mother complained as she threw her hands up in the air.

"You're a Slayer. It's caused some mystic stir and the Council called me earlier about it." Giles explained. "And because of it they have chosen a new Slayer."

"Well, they would have to anyway since Faith died. Right?" Spike commented.  "So, when she does get to Sunnydale?"

This was one of the hardest things that the Watcher had ever had to do to his Slayer. This was even worse than his betrayal on her eighteenth birthday or suggesting they destroy Dawn to protect the world.  He sighed as he forced himself to look back at her and reached across the table to take her hand.

"She's already here." His voice was low and filled with grief. It took only a moment for Buffy to read between the lines.

"No, no, you all can not have my daughter. No, get out of here and tell them to go to hell." She yelled at him as she pushed away from the table.

"Giles, you can't be serious." Spike asked in disbelief. Raven was still fourteen and totally unprepared for that life.

"I'm afraid that I am. They have chosen her because of the two of you."

"What do you mean?" Buffy was backed up against the counter her arms wrapped her herself. It seemed there never stopped being a reason to cry. Their lives were finally settling down after the arrests of the Soldiers responsible for the murders. She was pregnant and the children were feeling secure in their place in spite of it. Now, Giles just walked in here with a decision made by men she hated halfway around the world that would totally turn their world upside down again.

"You two have changed history. There are effects being felt by your union all over the world. Demons are beginning to want their voices heard in the communities in which they live. Never before has a Slayer made it to her late twenties much less gotten married or had babies.  They feel that a Slayer surrounded by family and friends and a support group has a better chance of surviving."

"Duh," Buffy scathingly mocked him.

"Buffy, I'm sorry. It's already done. She's been infused with the power. It's time to tell her and start training. You two of course are going to be her trainers while I am technically her Watcher."

"Well, gee, we wouldn't want you out of a job, now would we?" Spike commented. "Never mind the fact that you want us to put our daughter's life on the line just because they decided. Well, it's not going to happen. Go tell them to choose someone else."

"Daddy, are you all talking about me?" Raven asked as she stepped into the kitchen.

"Raven, go back upstairs. This is between Buffy and me and Giles."

"No, you all are talking about me. I'm supposed to be like Mummy?   A Slayer?" Raven asked cautiously. Spike had told her that eavesdropping wouldn't give you what you wanted but even as agitated as her parents were, the idea of being a Slayer excited her. In the two short months she had been here she had gone from hating Buffy for it to respecting her position. The respect and loyalty that her mother held made her proud. She had watched Buffy train and spar with Spike and the control and strength of her body was something to marvel at.

"No, you are not going to be a Slayer." Buffy firmly insisted while looking at Giles. How dare he come in here and tell her that Raven was to be the next sacrificial lamb on the Council's plate? She honestly felt that it was their way of getting back at her for never listening to them and not respecting their tyrannical and old-fashioned ways. It was a way for them to exact revenge against her by enforcing their will on her innocent child.

"Buffy, it's already done." Giles reminded her.

"Then the Slayer line ends." Spike said. Fear was his most prominent emotion at the moment. The thought of Buffy and Raven both on the line terrified him. Faith's death had not only taken away another friend but had tormented him with memories of losing Buffy. The thought of losing Raven was not something he could even contemplate.

"Raven, you were told to go upstairs, now go," Buffy commanded.

The new Slayer ignored her mother's voice and made her way toward the world weary Watcher.

"You were saying that things have changed. The world is changing. What difference is this going to make to a Slayer?"

"She has to change with it. Be aware of the difference between demons who are good and those that are still pure evil and need to be destroyed and have the wisdom to know that difference and act accordingly. She will be the one to bridge the gap between humans and the demon world. And to help bring the changes about that the world will need to cope in the years to come. Her job is no longer just about killing the monsters but about bringing life to creatures that deserve the best that the world has to offer."

The teenager hung her head for a moment watching her foot move back and forth as she contemplated the role that was offered her. If she didn't want it then she just needed to say to her parents and they would protect her from this calling. It was that easy to run from it. Her mind went over the things that she had seen in the last few months that had made her older and wiser than her short years should be. She thought of her parents dying for being in love, of Faith dying innocently by a bullet meant for her new mother, of Buffy and Spike's fight to be together. She remembered the stories she was told of Spike regaining his soul to be a better person and of Angel's fight to keep his. There was Clem, Sean, and Cordelia's choice to be a demon, and Connor born of two vampires and her little brother that would eventually look to her for the right way to go.

Looking up she studied Spike and then Buffy and replayed the words they had told her that this was where she was meant to be and now she knew that this was why she had ended up in California instead of returning to the village of her mother's birth.

Knowing this was going to tear Buffy to shreds she walked over to her and took both of her hands in her own.

"I want this. This is why I am here. With you and Daddy and the others here I'm not afraid of it. To end the Slayer line now would leave the world unprotected and unprepared for what is coming. I want to make a difference. Please?"

Buffy looked into the earnest face of her oldest child and knew in her heart that this was meant to be. Life always had its way of weaving fates when you were looking the other way. She pulled Raven against her and wept for the child that had slowly started to disappear the night her parent's died and was now gone forever.

With resignation Spike gave Giles one last look of disgust before pulling his Slayers into his arms.

"So, you think you can kick my ass now, Princess?" Spike joked and grinned when Raven and Buffy laughed.  'Life is about to become really interesting.' He thought as he pulled them back into his arms. He squeezed his girls a little tighter as he realized that a new journey was just beginning for them.

TBC