A/N: Sorry for the long, overdue wait. Life is a bugger sometimes as well as writer's block...darn it! Thank you for the reviews and just to let you know, this isn't going to be a long story. Maybe 10 chapters tops unless more readers seem interested in it. ;)
Remember this is a sequel to my one chapter fic, 'Out of the Blue'. So you're not confused, you should probably read that story first.
Disclaimer: I have to say this cause I can't afford a lawsuit but all my characters in this story? They're not really mine. (Except the baby) They belong to some genius mind by the name of Joss Whedon and all the companies that had a part of bringing us 2 terrific shows. I'll miss watching them. Thank God for DVD's! Oh and Star Trek characters not mine either...using them for my benefit as well.
Andrew was walking swiftly down the hallway when Spike turned the corner and they collided knocking the boy completely flat on his backside.
"Uh, sorry 'bout that, Andy. Why in such a hurry?" Spike reached down to give him a hand up.
"Oh, well, I was just coming to find you, actually. Buffy kicked me out and..."
"What'd you do?" Spike growled, gearing it more to teasingly scare the boy into submission. He knew how annoying the chap could be at times — well, most of those times. And Buffy's tolerance for annoying people? Not so much with the high threshold.
"Nothing," the boy squeaked. "It was an accident. I woke up AJ from her nap and Buffy kicked me out of the room. All I was doing was playing cards with Dawn and out of the blue, she says, "You know, Captain Picard is so much better than Captain Archer."
He did a fairly precise impression of his nibblet and that actually scared Spike a bit.
"And I was like "nuh-uh, Jon could kick Jean Luc's pasty, bald head into the next generation if he wanted to" and Dawn said..."
Spike held up a hand with a severe snap to halt the boy's animated ranting, and Andrew cowered from what he believed was going to be a smack down.
"Alright, alright. I get it already, really. You do realize she was just egging you on, right? Cause she learned that from the best." Spike placed his hand over his chest and beamed with pride at having taught his Bit over a drawn out summer the basics of annoying wit.
Andrew smiled mischievously and nodded his head up and down slowly as if finally seeing the light. "Ahhh, cunning aggravation; a must have for proper deployment of your foes. I get her now; a beautiful mind to go along with the beautiful face."
Spike crossed his arms over his chest with indignance and glared at the strange boy with a tilt of the head. "She's not your type, so stay away from her, you hear?"
"I...but I'm not...what I meant..." Andrew stuttered frantically. Spike quickly jumped in with a reprieve.
"So, Buffy kicked you out?"
"Yeah, said I was getting too loud. AJ woke up all in a huff and she blamed me. I tried to explain that her sister started it all but she wouldn't listen. Told me to go bother someone else. And here I thought we were finally connecting, finally getting over the past and working as a team."
"Don't take it so hard, kid. You gotta realize Buffy's been through a lot this past year and m'sure being a mother is not always easy. 'sides, women, hormones? Gets a bit edgy sometimes, gotta cover your ghoulies and step aside, let them bitch and moan. Nod your head every now and then, a few affirmative grunts and you'll still be getting some...uh, not that you'll be getting any from..."
"Uhhh...OK, I'll file that away for further consideration." Andrew looked away out of either boredom or embarrassment and didn't see Spike roll his eyes and shake his head.
"You said you were lookin' for me?"
"Oh, yeah." The young man yanked on the strap that crossed over his chest to reveal a black bag dangling on the other end. Spike watched as he pulled out a video camera and cord and handed it over to the vampire. "Thought you might like to watch this sometime. You just need to plug it into a regular VCR or TV."
As he passed it over, he stole a glance at his watch. "Oh, gotta go. They're showing all five episodes of Star Wars on cable in five minutes. I have to be prepared for the third one when it's released in theaters."
"You better go then, don't wanna miss a minute of it, you know?" Spike's wide eyed look had Andrew wondering until he smiled at the clever vamp.
"Oh, that's some of that wittiness you were explaining before." Andrew deduced.
"No, that's just sarcasm; perfected that, too."
"OK, then. Bye." Andrew turned sharply and ran down the hall.
Spike stood in utter amazement at the retreating form of the human he had been "bunk mates" with over a span of a few months amongst a slew of others of course, mostly teenaged birds. He realized it had been a while since he, himself had been completely human, but that boy left him puzzled and dumbfounded every time. Sighing and shaking his head in a moment of clarity on his part, he gave into the notion that the boy was always going to be in a world of his own, with his own little characters and his own little settings and props.
Spike shrugged his shoulders and turned to double back, deciding to take a detour to pass the time elsewhere before heading to Buffy's suite. If she was in a pissy mood, he would rather wait to visit with all three of his girls until the irritation dissipated. He would just hop on over to Lorne's media room and try to hook up the video camera as best he could, see what the lad deemed interesting for him to watch.
Thankfully, a technician was in the room when Spike arrived and politely stepped in when Spike, who continually berated and cursed at the electronic device the whole time, came close to breaking said equipment into millions of teeny tiny pieces of plastic and wiring. Cautiously, the specialist courteously asked if he could help the vampire with his problem. The irritated vamp thrust the camera and cord into the hands of the man and sulked.
"Technology is not one of my strong suits...I know how to plug a cord into the wall but that's about it."
"You'll learn with time. Everyone does."
"Yeah, but not everyone's been 'round 125 years. Guess I just had other things to do than to learn how to run 20th century gadgets."
"Uh...certainly, I'm sure." In not even half a minute, the man had the camera plugged in, the TV on and ready to go. Spike mumbled a contrite thanks before the man turned to leave.
His eyes glued to the flickering TV, he bent over and pulled an ordinary chair to within a foot of the screen and slid casually into it. Buffy and Dawn were sitting on a couch, going through a box, pulling out what appeared to be baby things: clothes, toys, cloth nappies and such. He was transfixed by the sight of his slayer, though a bit gaunt in the face, her hair mussed and darker than usual, the roundness of her belly that protruded in front of her made her extremely beautiful. That was what had him mesmerized.
The camera zoomed in closer as Buffy pulled a dainty dress out of the container and both his girls cooed and awed over it. Buffy continued to hold the delicate outfit up in front of her while Dawn pulled more items out. Spike watched as she lay the dress across her extended belly and looked down at it, every once in a while a sniffle escaping from her.
Her little sister must have noticed the change in her because she stopped her perusal of baby stuff and looked at the slayer.
"Buffy, what's wrong?" The younger Summers implored of her older sis.
Spike heard the big intake of breath but wasn't prepared for the crescendoing sob that followed. His Buffy was hurting, if not physically, then somewhere deep inside she was aching. Over what, he wasn't sure but it was killing him to see her so depressed. He watched his nibblet wrap her loving arms around big sis to comfort her and he wished he could have been the one doing the consoling.
"I'm fine, I'm fine. Just the baby making me act all kinds of weepy." He watched Buffy as she rubbed her belly, as if she was comforting the little one growing inside her as well. "Just feeling puffy and sore and blotchy and...Andrew, will you shut that damn thing off or we'll find out just how a video camera operates from the inside out. Dawnie, make him shut it off before I have to put a world of hurt on him. I'm not responsible for my actions in this condition, you know?" The picture went black for an instant.
Spike had to chuckle. That was his Buffy, always with the threats. No wonder he had loved her so...still loved her. That would never change whether she ever returned his affections or not; it would forever be a constant in his life no matter how far his immortality took him.
He heard heavy breathing as the next scene on the telly faded in. The shot panned across to show all the Scoobs including Buffy. A very pregnant Buffy apparently in labor, waddling around her apartment panting like a dog while the others rushed to and fro gathering her necessities she would need in the hospital. Spike watched as Buffy evilly eyed a filming Andrew, one hand on her tummy, the other holding on to objects around the flat to keep her steady as she walked the room. As she passed by the front door, Spike glimpsed a very pale Xander, eyes tightly screwed shut, and mouth moving. He could faintly make out some kind of psychobabble mantra coming from the whelp.
"I'm in control — I'm in control — I'm driving the car — I'm driving the car."
Red sped past and dropped a suitcase by Xander's feet as Dawn walked calmly into the picture, phone cradled by her ear. Suddenly, Buffy growled an inhuman snarl and instantly she was stalking towards the kid behind the camera, a woman on a mission. Spike distinctly heard a terrified yelp before the camera went dead.
The blonde vamp felt a surge of anger rise from deep within him. He could have been there through the whole thing...well at least the last half of the pregnancy part including the labor and delivery. His fear and ignorance kept him rooted in LA the whole time though and he was mentally kicking himself for being such a bloody stupid git.
His inner berating was suddenly cut short by all the wailing babies filtering through the TV speakers. Spike slowly glanced up to the screen and it was filled with baby boys and baby girls in white bassinets with little color coordinated stocking caps sitting on their miniature heads. He wished he could tell which little one was Anjoy and as if reading his mind, Andrew had singled out one baby in particular as he zoomed in on her. The only baby out of the scattering to be lying in her bassinet content and peaceful while the others carried on a symphony of howls and yowls around her.
Nurses worked a miracle as they fluttered around the tiny babes and somehow they all calmed to peaceful whimpers. As the two medical workers moved out of the picture, Spike watched as Anjoy's face hardened and a yell the size of Mt. Everest erupted from the tiny tot.
Spike chuckled, clearly amused by the whole act. "That's my girl...standout from the rest of the group, let your presence be known...it's all about you, baby. The loudest out of the lot...now who does that remind me of?" He smirked proudly at the moment.
Andrew flipped the camera to his own face and began a narration of events that happened beforehand and up to the delivery of his child. Spike listened intently and was shocked afterwards that the boy's camera was still intact. Slayer strength was one thing, but mix that with a slayer in intense labor and you better remain at a safe get-a-way distance. Kudos for Andrew; he must be a smart enough lad after all and Spike laughed at the notion.
The following film clips were daily counts of everyone's interaction with the newest addition to the household. Spike felt delight at being able to survey everything he had missed. The anger that he had felt before slowly drained away from him and he now knew it was indeed a privilege to be able to relive all that he thought he had missed out on. He now believed in his ability at being a good dad and he felt pride and honor. He would not disappoint his daughter or her mother he was sure of that. He would live up to his name, William: the protector. His soul was rejoicing as the picture on the telly flickered and grew dark.
Andrew, the little devious bastard, had snuck in on Buffy in a private moment. Apparently the slayer had no idea that the boy was anywhere near her. Spike leaned towards the screen and listened attentively.
"...and he would have loved you so much. The "Big Bad" would have melted at the sight of you. But don't fret, baby. I know he is watching over us, protecting us, loving us still, holding us in his arms. I've missed him so, but having you here brings a little bit of him back to my waiting arms. I can hold you and know I am holding him as well."
Spike heard Buffy's fervent whispers to their daughter, heard the sniffling and knew she was weeping throughout the private conversation. His unbeating heart cracked a bit and he felt livid towards himself once more as he watched Buffy scoop the sleeping Anjoy up into her arms and held her to her chest.
"Yes, he'll always be here with us, baby." The screen went dark and remained black as Spike's chin fell to his chest, sitting forward in his chair, arms sitting across each leg, a rollercoaster of emotions flowing through his mind.
He knew what he had to do and do it he would as he sat up with a new determination, inhaled a deep breath and slapped his hands on his legs. "Come on, Will my boy. We got a lot of catching up to do. We should be able to accomplish this fatherhood role."
Spike unplugged Andrew's equipment and enthusiastically headed out of the room, marching with vigor down the corridor to the lift.
"ANDREW!" Spike bellowed upon entering the lounge. The boy jumped a good foot off the couch and turned in mid air to face the raging vamp.
"What'd I do now?" His voice was barely a squeak.
Spike thrust the camera into the kid's chest and stood his ground, glaring at him. Suddenly a smile like none Andrew had ever seen from the Scourge of Europe spread across his face. Andrew was terrified and wished he had brought his cross or his holy water or better yet his stake, his cross and his holy water. His body tensed when the bleached blonde reached out quickly, grabbed him ferociously and fiercely pulled him into a...hug?
"Thanks...for sharing your..."documentary" with me." Spike released the confused boy, still beaming.
Spike nodded once and not so gently slapped the kid on the arm. "Gotta go see my girls...lots of catching up to do."
Spike jubilantly twirled away and marched back towards the door.
"Uh, Spike?" Spike halted and turned sideways to look at Andrew.
"This is your copy. I made it for you last night." The boy nervously fumbled about trying to eject the tape, still feeling slightly confused at his favorite vamp's passionate display of gratitude.
Spike smiled again and swaggered back to the kid's outstretched arm.
"Thanks again. You're not so bad, you know, for an extraordinarily annoying trekkie and geeky twit. Your heart's in the right place and don't let anyone tell you otherwise or else you can send them to me with well wishes."
In a flash the vampire was out the door.
"Thanks," Andrew whispered, a look of pure bliss spreading across his face as he stared at the empty doorway. Now he understood his unadulterated infatuation with the creature of the night known as William the Bloody. Spike was wicked cool in his unabashed honesty and Andrew so wanted to be his protégé.
A stretch of hallway took Spike directly to where he wanted to be as his pace slowed up and he paused in front of Buffy's suite door. A barrage of questions jumbled about in his head: should he just come out and tell Buffy what his intentions were, how he still felt about her without really knowing how she felt about him? Sure she seemed like she cared about him, which is exactly what she had sprung on him before, a long while back during a strained and hectic year in a town once known as Sunnydale. He also understood that she had missed him but for what reasons, he still was not sure.
If truth be told, he wasn't in the mood to be shot down again, when he was so close to letting it slip about his unwavering feelings for the slayer, not when his newly found relationship with AJ was at stake. However he didn't want Buffy to not know how much he wanted to be a part of his daughter's life as well as his daughter's mother's life. He sighed with a huff as he severely placed his right hand on his hip, the other rubbing the bridge of his nose with sheer annoyance. He had come to a conclusion: he was afraid; bloody, stupid git.
He sighed again for dramatic effect. Personally, there was no room in his mind for vacillations anymore and he raised his arm and watched as his knuckles rapped soundly on the door. It flew open quickly and Dawn stood there, finger placed over her lips to shush the visitor standing on the other side. Spike nodded as he silently slithered in and saw Buffy instantly, stretched out on the couch, their daughter asleep on her mother's chest.
Dawn whispered, "They both fell asleep about the same time, I didn't want to wake Buffy."
Spike nodded again before moving to stand in front of them as Dawn brought out a blanket and handed it to him. He covered the napping pair, mother and daughter, and sat on the edge of the coffee table. He sat and he watched, content in the fact of just being there, in the same room with all of his girls, surrounded by warmth. He felt light, he felt needed, he felt worthy.
As he leaned forward to stroke first Buffy's cheek then Anjoy's, a sense of some preordained, mystic junction point came to light in his cleared mind. The trouble now, would he be able to follow through and voice his feelings without looking and sounding like a complete prat? He was positive he would soon know.
To be continued...