Title: Trouble Believing
Author: Sandy S.
Rating: mild R
Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss, of course!
Summary: Spuffy kinkathon assignment written for evenstarestel who wanted:
-non-angsty
-miracle!baby fic
-post-NFA
-an island
Author's Notes: I didn't pick either of the islands listed, but with the help of tiana, I discovered the islands used in the story. And yep, they're real islands.Thanks also for bouncing ideas around with me, dear! Information on pregnancy was obtained atAlso, special thanks to buffyx for organizing the ficathon! evenstarestel, I hope you enjoy the story!

Trouble Believing

The light breeze from the ocean lifts the ends of my hair and kisses my cheeks. Blanket slung over my arm, I step into the sand from the deck, relishing the soft texture of the sand between my bare toes. My eyes are entranced by the light of the full moon bouncing off the tips of the waves that are rolling onto the shore, and I am drawn to the water as a unicorn to a virgin.

I laugh to myself. So much for the pretty words. I'm far from being a virgin. In fact, I'm a giant step away from virginity in so many areas of my life. . . except for one. . . the one I'm going to share with Spike tonight.

Spreading the blanket far enough from the water to avoid getting wet, I lounge on the ground with my legs straight out before and my arms behind me. I close my eyes and listen for him.

Hearing nothing but the sound of the ocean, I lose myself in thoughts.

I left him in the cabin. . . our shelter from the vast wildness of the island. There are other cabins on the island but the closest is at least a hundred yards east of us. When I sunbathed today, I spotted a cluster of people in the distance, but I didn't bother approaching them. After all, this is the first vacation Spike and I've had since. . . well, since ever.

I found out Spike was alive about a year ago after he, Angel, Gunn, and Illyria barely fought back the forces of darkness sent out by the senior partners of Wolfram and Hart. Willow felt the disturbance in the world before I heard word from the Slayer team in Los Angeles. Then, Andrew confessed that Spike was more than dust.

And I dropped everything. . . my duties to the Slayers and Dawn. . . and my plan to trap and eradicate the Immortal in Italy. I helped nurse all of them back to health. And I even met Angel's new girlfriend, Nina as well as his son, Connor. Spike was a little uncertain about my intentions at first, but I made a point to spend extra time with him. I think he was convinced when I kissed him in front of Giles who'd come to California to drag me back to my obligations. Needless to say, Spike went with me back to Europe. . . and Italy.

The first time we made love, we both cried.

We didn't have much time for immersing ourselves in our relationship, so we started working together again. We hit a few bumps along the way, but we've made our situation work for almost two years. Not sure where we're going, but with the current status, we'll be heading in a whole new direction in the not so distant future.

Now, Spike thinks that the time away from our worldly duties will do us good, and he surprised me with a trip to the Seychelles, islands a thousand miles from Africa in the Indian Ocean. So far, the retreat has been amazing. . . with a private cabin on La Dique and stretches of white beaches. I almost have trouble believing we're actually here.

Abruptly, my senses are consumed, and I'm startled out of my reverie. "Hey." His voice rides the sound of the waves into my ear. His arm surrounds my shoulders, and he's at my side, pulling me onto his lap on the blanket.

"Oh!" I push my hands against his bare thighs that are warm from the shower. Bending my head to kiss his bicep, I inhale the fresh soap scent. My body automatically reacts to his presence, and heat spreads over my mid-section. "You've certainly improved the odor level around here."

He buries his face in my loose hair and returns my kiss with one on my head. "And you smell delicious. . . like the ocean."

"And mermaids?"

"And mermaids."

"What do mermaids smell like?" I wonder, turning my head to glance over my shoulder at him.

"Let me think for a minute." Spike nuzzles my cheek, sending tingles straight down my spine to my hips. "Seaweed, salt, and a little bit of a shrimp-y scent."

"Hey!" I pinch the top of his right thigh through the cotton black pants he's wearing. He shifts me on his lap, and suddenly, I'm aware of how much he wants me.

"What? You wanted to know!" he teases me. His hands rove over my waist and toward the base of my pelvis, sending me squirming with desire.

Not yet ready to succumb to his ministrations, I make a bold move and bring my leg around and pull a one eighty to look at him. His blue eyes are almost bright in the light of the moon, and I have to force myself not to kiss him.

First, I have to tell him.

Without a word, I consider him. . . us for a moment. We've come so far. I can hardly fathom how different we are from the people we were almost a decade ago, and I marvel at the sequence of events that led to this point. I ask myself that if one of those events hadn't occurred, would we be here together now?

Somehow, I know that we wouldn't.

And that makes my heart tug with anxiety. I realize how very much I love him. . . not just for what he has done in the past to earn my trust and belief in him but for what he is right now.

"What are you thinking?" he asks, eyes searching my features. His fingertips brush a stray blond wave out of my face, and I lean into his touch.

I inhale, having lost my nerve. "Nothing."

He raises one eyebrow. "Uh huh."

"What?" I'm feeling a bit defensive.

"I know better."

"What do you mean?" I'm innocent now.

"I've said this a million. . . I know that when you get all quiet like, you have something on your mind, pet." He tilts his head when I glance down and tries to get back in the line of my sight.

"Something's happened."

Instantly, he's alarmed. "What is it?"

I made him a promise that if something big was going on between us, that I'd tell him immediately.

Guess I've sort of broken that promise.

But because I did for a good reason. . .

Hell with it. I make myself lock eyes with him and announce, "We're having a baby."

His mouth drops open, and he stares at me for the longest time without moving a muscle or saying a word.

Butterflies do somersaults in my stomach. So far, I've had no morning sickness. Don't want to toss my cookies now. I punch him in the arm. "Say something!"

He blinks. "Um."

Now my eyebrows are up, and anger is starting to emerge from my anxiety. "I tell you that you're going to be a daddy and all you can say is 'Um'?"

His eyes spark with something akin to amusement. . . and disbelief. "No, I meant. . . how?"

I can't resist the sarcasm, "Let's see." I tap my finger on my chin. "I think you and I. . ." Stroking his erection, I grin. ". . . might have had something to do with it."

He groans softly and manages, "Vampire, love. Equals undead. Equals no possibility of having kids."

"And yet. . ." I lean back and lightly touch my still flat stomach.

"Mine?"

I nod and feel sad that even after we're firmly established as a couple, Spike still questions his place in my life. "You know I couldn't be with anyone else."

Staring at my abdomen, he changes gears, "When?"

"About six weeks ago." He waits for me to continue, so I do, "I never miss a period. I've been late a few times but never missed one completely. I can't believe you didn't notice." Spike always notices when I was bleeding. "Bought a test at the drugstore. Took it. It came out positive. So, I went to Giles."

Hurt flashes over his face. "Giles?"

I sigh. He wonders why I've avoided telling him until now. "Because I wanted to make sure there were no ancient prophecies or mystical curses that I needed to be aware of. . . that would lead me to have to. . ."

"Abort?"

A lump forms in my throat. I can't bring myself to verbally acknowledge Spike, so I nod again.

"So, what did Rupert find?" His question comes out harsh, clipped.

I swallow my uncertainty and report, "On the surface. . . nothing. He's consulting other sources to make certain though. He conducted a few tests, too. I wanted to make sure everything was okay before I told you."

Spike's tone softens. "So he did a bit of mojo, did he?"

"Yeah." I offer Spike a tentative smile. "The baby's a normal, healthy six-week-old little human. His or her heart is beating now, and the umbilical cord is starting to form." Spike gives me a look. "Yes, I read some stuff online about pregnancy."

A genuine smile breaks over Spike's face, and relief floods over me. "So, I'm going to be a father?"

"Yes, Daddy."

"Oh my go. . ." He rolls me onto my back on the blanket, and I don't even care that my head lands in the sand.

Spike lifts my shirt and presses his ear to my bare stomach. His un-styled curls tickle my skin.

I laugh. "What are you doing?"

"Trying to hear the heartbeat with my enhanced vampire hearing."

"How's that working out for you?"

"Not so good. Your heart's too loud for one." He gestures toward the water. "And with the ocean and all. It's like putting my ear to a bloody seashell."

I caress his shoulder. "Well, technically, the heart's not loud enough for anyone to hear yet."

"Oh."

"Baby's only a couple of millimeters long."

He plants a gentle kiss on my belly button. "I'll take good care of you and your mum," he addresses my stomach.

"Don't think baby can hear you yet either."

"Oh." He lifts up from me and flops on his back next to me. "Tell me more about what happens next, love." His nose is an inch from mine. "I want to know everything."

I've never seen him quite so happy. "Well, for one, the ears and brain start forming around ten weeks."

"So the little one can hear us then?"

"Not for a while. . . not til like four months or so." I pause. "My body is going to start changing. . . a lot."

Spike can't take his eyes from me. "At the risk of sounding cliché, you're beautiful no matter what."

"And I might get very cranky."

"Pfff. I've handled cranky Buffy before."

I take a deep breath. So far so good. Now for my next caveat: "And I'm going to keep working."

That little tidbit sends Spike up on one elbow. "Um. You won't be slaying."

I match his stance. "Um. Yes, I will! This is my body, and I think. . . know I can handle it."

"I'm the father. And I think I have a say in the matter. What if some demon-sort kicks you in the stomach?"

"Very doubtful. I've been slaying for. . . um. . . ten years or so, and I'm pretty sure I know how to handle myself and protect my stomach."

"Seems to me, I recall a time when a vamp got to your stomach with your own stake."

I glare at him. "That has never happened again."

"And I won't let you take that chance."

Over the sound of the ocean, a scream pierces the night air.

xxxxx

At the scream, Spike and I sit up simultaneously. I'm on my feet in an instant and race across the sand, ignoring the stars flashing in my eyes from standing too quickly.

I ignore Spike's call after me and spy a handful of shadowy figures in the distance. One figure with obviously long hair struggles with two others. She shrieks again. Pulling a mini-stake out of my pocket, I palm the tiny weapon. Not sure if they're vampire, demon or human, but the bit of wood is sharp. My heart pounds in my chest, and I'm filled with the familiar and glorious rush of helping someone.

"Hey!" I shout when I'm almost on top of them. "What are you doing?"

One of the unidentified figures jerks the arm of the female captive and glances up. For a second, the moonlight illuminates his face, revealing a bumpy forehead and golden eyes. I knew it.

I smile. "Even on my vacation, I have to kick someone's ass. What's up with that?"

Spike halts beside me. "Let me get this, love."

I don't remove my eyes from the vampires. "I don't need you to coddle me. I'm pregnant, not an invalid."

"Listen. Keeping you and the little one safe is important to me. I won't let you put yourself or the baby in danger."

I plant my hands on my hips and shoot daggers at him with my eyes. "And I won't be told what to do. I can take care of myself."

He steps forward until he's in my face. "That's always your bloody problem."

"Hey!" The teenage girl interrupts our argument. "Aren't you supposed to be rescuing me?"

"Oh, right," Spike acknowledges.

We leap into attack mode, but first, I have to have the last word, "We'll finish this discussion later."

"Fine." Spike jerks one of the vampires off of the girl, blocks a blow to his head, and slips his own stake into the vampire's ribcage.

I duck a kick by the other vamp and land a blow on his knee, shattering his kneecap and causing him to crumple to the ground. I lunge forward, roll him over with my left hand, and plunge the stake with my right.

Dust settles over the sand, and we step back from the fight.

The young girl smiles at us. . . and then, her forehead transforms. "Suckers."

Several other figures drift up from behind her. . . more vampires.

"I thought that was too easy," Spike grumbles.

"We found you," she says simply, focusing on me.

I just want to go curl up with Spike in our cabin. . . after we finish our argument. Damn it. "So? You did. You know how many Slayers there are in the world? Not too hard to find one nowadays."

"But we wanted to find you. . . the Slayer pregnant with a vampire's child. It was foretold."

"Wait a cotton pickin' minute," Spike interjects. "You mean to tell me that these guys knew before I did that I'm a father?"

I ignore Spike, "How was it foretold?"

"We have a seer," the vampire girl says, the breeze blowing her long, tangled hair around her. "She told us of the baby."

"Oh, a seer." I cross my arms. "Let's see. I got a question for you. So, what's so wonderful about having my child?"

Her eyes focus on my stomach. "I want to raise the baby. I was pregnant when I was turned. The child died. I require a replacement. A child born of a vampire and a Slayer would be worthy."

"You know, this may come as something of a shock, but this. . ." I gesture with my stake, ". . .shtick has be done before."

She seems confused. "What do you mean?"

"There was a child born of two vampires. You really need to read up on your prophecies and not just trust every seer who stumbles across your path."

"Huh?"

Nerves singing in anticipation of another fight, I nod, signaling Spike. "Let's go."

xxxxx

"So glad our cabin comes complete with this rather large tub." I settle back in Spike's arms, relishing the warm water covering my skin.

The bathroom is dim, and the tub is lined with cream-colored pillar candles and the seashells we picked up on the beach on our first evening on the island.

"It was a request," Spike whispers in my ear, blowing at the damp curls over my ears.

I set my hands atop his knuckles and lace my fingers through his. "Good request." I lean my head back onto his shoulder. "Ahh. Good for tired muscles."

He nips at the skin on my shoulder. "We need to finish our talk from earlier."

"Why?" I whine. I know perfectly well that we have to talk, but I don't want to think about anything important in the bathtub. Baths are meant for forgetting about your problems. . . not ruminating about them.

"Because I think it's important, especially in light of what just happened on the beach."

I giggle. "We dusted a bunch of vamps, including that creepy girl."

"Yes, we did."

I squirm because I know Spike's not letting me get out of the tub until we deal with stuff. I peer up at his serious expression. "Does it help that next week, this plug thing forms that seals off the uterus to protect the baby? My body's gonna form a protective sea of amniotic fluid that seals off the baby in his or her own little bubble. . . like a shell. See. The baby will have his or her own little seashell protection."

"That's the biggest pile of. . . Shell, my ass."

I sigh. "Fine. You're right. I'll cut down on the slaying. . . but I won't stop working."

"In the office?"

Giles will love that. "In the office."

"There will be more, you know." Spike picks up the soap, and I sit forward so that he can wash my back and his front.

"More what?" I grab the soap from him to wash my legs and his.

"More like the group we just fought."

Why can't we just have a normal life? Oh, right. No one has a normal life. "I know. We'll deal with it when we get back home. The baby will be as safe as any baby can be. If something majorly apocalyptic occurs, we'll handle it. And I mean, Connor turned out fine and look at all the stuff he survived." Spike gives me a look, so I add, "And we won't let anything that bad happen to our child. For now, at least we set up the magic shield Giles sent with us. Nothing will be getting into this cabin. Nothing can get me."

He tickles my ribs and kisses my neck. "Except me."

"Oooh," I breathe.

Gathering up my legs, I spin in the water so that I'm on my knees in front of him. I run my fingers over his shoulders and down his firm chest to his abdomen. "You know I did lots of research on that website thing."

He hisses with desire at my touch and then, "When, pray, did you do all this research, love?"

I kiss the soft spot at the base of his neck and murmur, "While you were sleeping."

"I'm going to be a dad!" he says out of nowhere as if he just realized.

"Yes." I can't quite believe the miracle either, and I have to say "yes" to remind myself, too.

He pulls me forward then, covering my lips with his own, and he kisses me with so much passion that I feel as if I might float to the ceiling. And then, I taste them, the salty droplets spilling over his cheeks.

I draw back a bit. "Why are you crying?" I ask, already knowing the answer.

He studies me, blue eyes liquid with emotion. "You know, Buffy, every day I have with you, I can't believe it. I wake up everyday thinking that maybe you might go today. And when you stay. . . when you're still there, I can't believe it. And now. . . now there's a baby. . . our baby." He pauses. "Think I'll be a good dad?"

"The best," I reassure him, slicking back his wet curls and wiping his cheeks. I don't tell him but half the time, I can't believe he's with me.

"I can't wait to tell everyone." He sets his hand on my hip and tugs possessively. The water splashes over the edge of the tub. "I can't wait to tell Angel."

"Hey now. If I have to be extra good during this pregnancy so do you."

He grins at me. "What do you mean?"

"That means no unnecessary fighting with my exes."

"Fine," he growls, squeezing my bottom. I catch myself on his chest. "What did this website say about. . . ?"

"It wasn't that kind of website!" I gasp as his fingers find sensitive. . .slick. . . warm places.

"I know that. . . ." He groans as I return the favor. "What I mean is. . ."

I press my body to his and guide him as to what I want him to do next. Nibbling his earlobe, I murmur, "It's safe."

He makes sure he has my attention then. Touching my stomach with reverence, he says, "And that's the way I'll always make sure he or she will stay."

And as we begin making love, I believe him.

The end.