A/N : Since the idea and inspiration was there, and the readers wanted it, here's the sequel to Sweet Child Of Mine - part two in a trilogy, if all goes according to plan :-)
Title : Live & Let Die Sweet Child Of Mine - Book 2
Rating : PG-13
Summary : AU BtVS S6 / AtS S3. Buffy and Spike are happily living together and bringing up baby Annaliese who so far has shown no signs of being anything but normal. Then one night, some old and new faces show up in Sunnydale, and everything changes...
Disclaimer : All recognisable characters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel the Series belong to Joss Whedon, and not to me. Annaliese is my own invention and therefore belongs to me.
Buffy sighed as she pulled back the covers and swung her legs out of the bed. A quick check of the clock told her in was almost two in the morning, a time when she'd much prefer to be asleep. Still, it wasn't really anybody's fault that her night's sleep had been disturbed. There was just no way on Earth she could blame the poor defenceless child who's noise had disturbed her.
"I'm coming, Annaliese" she called softly as she pulled on her dressing gown and slipped through the adjoining door to the nursery, "Hey, sweetie, what's wrong?" she asked as she let down the side of the crib and lifted the small child out.
Almost instantly, Annaliese ceased her noise, as she got just what she wanted.
"All you wanted was a hug, huh?" Buffy smiled at the baby in the dim light of the room, "I can relate" she sighed as she glanced over at the bed on the opposite side of the room.
What had once been Dawn's bedroom was now half nursery, half Spike's room. It hadn't been as weird as Buffy thought it might be having the vampire and his newborn child move into Revello Drive. Willow and Tara had taken to aunt-hood like ducks to water and adored taking their turn at feeding and changing and baby-sitting between their classes and shifts at work.
Buffy herself had been thrust into the mother role. Though nobody mentioned that she seemed to be fast becoming Annaliese's new Mom, she knew that was what the average person would think if they saw her with the baby. She did everything a mother would do for a child, and her and Spike got along so well these days. It was definitely easier for her having him so close by, it made things less awkward when it came to dreams and memories of Dawnie.
Less and less, Buffy noticed her own lonliess. Since her mothers death and then Dawn's she'd constantly felt like two huge holes had been made in her life. It had started to seem like they would never be filled, and yet here were Annaliese and Spike. They were of course completely different people and played completely different parts in her life, but Buffy was so glad to have them around.
"Daddy should be home soon" she told the baby in her arms as she walked over to the window and looked out at the star studded sky, "Must be a tough night for the slayage" she said, silently praying that it was as simple as that. Spike could handle himself just as well as she could, it was why they took turns to patrol most of the time, though the gang helped out too. It always worried Buffy so much when Spike went out alone that maybe this time he wouldn't come back.
She'd lost just about everybody she ever allowed herself to love. Not that the Slayer was about to say she loved Spike, that was impossible, or at least that's what she told herself most of the time. There were definite feelings in her heart for him though, feelings that Buffy was having trouble identifying in any real way.
It was kind of strange to think it, but she did love Annaliese. In all honesty, Buffy had a hard time believing that anybody could not love the tiny innocent child, even when she started crying in the middle of the night, depriving her make-shift family of much needed sleep. It didn't matter that she was borne of two evil vampires, she was a human being with a soul, and a cuteness that could melt the heart of just about anybody who saw her.
Despite their better judgement, Buffy knew the whole gang loved the child. From Uncle Xander and Aunt Anya, to Uncle Giles. The males in the group had particular trouble accepting Spike into the Scooby gang, and he and his baby into their lives in such a big way. He was the Evil Dead as far as Xander was concerned and his having a child didn't change that, but there was simply no way he could hate baby Annaliese. The fact of her had come back to bite him in the ass though, as the presence of a child in his and Anya's lives had led her down a road he'd rather not travel right now. She'd gotten terribly broody these past few weeks and just days after Xander had announced he and his girlfriend were in fact engaged, Anya was quick to mention that when they were married she wanted a baby as soon as possible.
Her husband-to-be had gone ashen with shock and Buffy had seriously wondered if he was going to pass out for a while there. Now the pair were knee deep in wedding magazines everytime the gang saw them, and somehow the occasional Mother and Baby magazine got mixed up in there too.
Then there was Giles. He wasn't thrilled about Spike and Annaliese moving into Revello Drive and he made that very clear from the beginning. Now, just a few weeks later he seemed to have warmed to the idea somewhat, though Buffy knew he researched tirelessly night and day trying to find out exactly who or what the child might be destined to be. To this end he had left Sunnydale and gone back to England. He had called it a vacation at first but had later told Buffy the truth of the matter. He had contacted a covern he knew back in the mother country and it seemed they may know something about the miracle birth and what it all meant. He had been convinced by the Slayer to tell the whole gang the truth about his trip, including Spike, after all the vampire had a right to know what was going on with his own child.
Buffy was almost as stunned by Spike's natural parenting skills as she was by her own. Though she'd been forced to play mother, father, and sister combined to Dawn when the rest of their family went away, the Slayer found it was a wholly different affair caring for a baby than for a young teen. Still she was surprised by how well she recalled the skills she'd learnt only in fake memories of her sister as an infant. What she and Spike didn't know they figured out between them. It was clear from the warmth in his eyes and the constant smile he always had for her that he loved his baby daughter more than anything else in the world.
Though she felt terrible about it, sometimes Buffy got a little jealous of their bond. Spike had told her more than once that he loved her, and she'd never yet been able to say it back. Now she was starting to wonder if she might feel these things for him, and the irony of the situation was he hadn't mentioned his own feelings for her since the day Annaliese was born. There were times when he looked at her a certain way, said something that might be interpreted as more than it was, but it was just a handful of moments and Buffy tried not to fixate too much on them.
A quiet click of the door downstairs caught the Slayer's attention and she listened carefully as Spike moved through the house, and up the stairs to where she was.
"Buffy" he seemed surprised to find her in his room, especially since Annaliese was silently sleeping and not in need of attention. Still, he didn't mind at all. His two girls, the two people he loved more than anyone else in the whole world, standing before him in a shaft of pale moonlight, both so beautiful, he'd be quite content to just stand there watching them for hours, and his heart broke a little when reality reminded him the happy little family he dreamt of was not quite as simple as he wished.
"Hey" the blonde whispered, "Rough patrol?" she checked, noticing even in the half-light that he looked a little done over.
"I've had worse" Spike shrugged as he crept into the room and stood up close beside her, making Buffy shiver slightly though she wasn't sure why. Maybe it was all the things she'd stood here thinking of tonight, all the almost-moments and the feelings she might be having for the chipped vampire who's child she held in her arms right now.
"She's fine now" she said, as the proud father looked down on Annaliese, "Just needed a hug is all"
"Sorry, luv, I should've been back before now" Spike apologised, "You don't need your sleep disturbing like this"
"It's no big" Buffy shook her head, "You know I don't mind" she said as she moved over towards the crib and gently lowered the sleeping baby back down into it. Standing beside the child's bed, she watched Annaliese wriggle in her sleep and then settle once again, it brought a smile to her lips that she was hardly aware of.
"Y'know you're bloody brilliant with her" Spike said as he came to stand beside her once again, "She couldn't ask for a better... well, woman in her life" he amended when Buffy's eyes shot up to meet his, looking troubled. She knew what he was going to say as well as he did. Mother.
No matter how much she cared for Annaliese or Spike, no matter how well she looked after the child or how much she came to feel for either of them, Buffy could not be Annaliese's true mother. Drusilla had carried the baby for nine months and though she hadn't exactly given birth in a traditional sense, Annaliese was her daughter, hers and Spike's, not Buffy's at all. The Slayer wasn't sure why but it almost hurt to be reminded of that, despite the fact Spike was trying to pay her a compliment.
"I should get back to bed" she said awkwardly, moving to walk past him. Spike knew he'd hurt her, however inadvertently and was determined she shouldn't leave until he had a chance to apologise.
"Buffy" he said her name a little too loudly, grabbing her wrist as she tried to go past him. She turned back, eyes meeting his for a moment as Annaliese sounded as if she were stirring again.
"In here" the Slayer said in a whisper, head tilting back towards the door that led to her own room. She walked over and opened it, ushering Spike through before following and closing it silently behind herself.
"Buffy, I'm sorry, luv" he said, allowing himself a little more volume now they were a fair distance away from his sleeping child and with a door between them, "I didn't mean to..."
"It's fine" she lied, unable to look at him properly, "I'm just tired, I guess, things are a little crazy lately, and with Giles away and everything..." she sighed, putting her face in her hands. She just felt so mixed up, more so lately than before, and having Spike around wasn't helping all that much, especially when she was so tired and he was looking so good...
"Hey, come on, Slayer" he said gently, moving her hands away from her face. She hadn't realised he'd got that close until he was right there, "I shouldn't expect you to do so much for the little one and all"
"It's not about her" she admitted, looking away, until Spike's fingers beneath her chin forced her to face him again.
"Then what is it, pet?" he asked her softly, "Is it Dawnie?"
"No" she shook her head, her answer barely audible, "It's..." she thought seriously about confessing all, telling him the real reason for her confusion and admitting that the feelings she told him about before were getting stronger all the time, "I don't know where to start" she realised aloud, his hand still at her face, the other holding her at her waist pulling her closer still and making Buffy overly aware of her state of undress.
"How about we start here" Spike suggested, making his meaning plain as he put his lips to hers and kissed her. He was pleasantly surprised when she didn't even pull away nevermind physically attack him as she definitely would've done just a few short months ago. Over time, especially since he'd moved into the house with Annaliese, things had improved immensely between himself and Buffy. She'd been the one to kiss him the night the baby was born, but had made it quite clear it didn't mean she felt anything like true love for him. The thing was they'd been getting along so well and there were times when she'd say things, or look at him a certain way. The way they were with each other sometimes, he'd call it flirting but told himself that was presumptuous.
Tonight, out on patrol, he'd got into a serious fight. There was actually a moment when he thought that was it, his existence would end right then and there. Though he fought tooth and nail to survive, knowing he had his child to get home to, and Buffy too, Spike felt almost as if it'd be okay if he was dusted tonight. He'd come a long way in his unlife, he could almost go from here with no regrets, after all the Slayer and her gang would bring up Annaliese in his absence and keep her safe from anything that would threaten her life. The only problem was Spike could never let himself be truly at peace whilst he was skirting round the issue of him and the Slayer like a bloody nancy boy! Things between them needed to be sorted. either they were going to be together or they weren't, no more of this bloody in-between half-way crap. He'd planned to say all this too her of course, not tonight but tomorrow when the Wiccas went off to school or work and left him and Buffy alone. He was finally going to have it out with her, explain to her he couldn't go on like this, give her the ultimatum, and pray for the result he longed for. That plan had gone to hell now of course but he wasn't at all bothered as Buffy responsed to his kiss, her arms wrapped around his neck and holding him just as close as he held her.
For a few moments the world went away, nothing mattered but the two of them and what they felt for each other. Something had happened, something had changed, and they both knew it. Unfortunately it seemed they were destined not to work it out tonight as a loud banging on the front door caused them to jump apart. Annaliese began to howl and Spike could hear Willow and Tara could asking each other what was going on in frightened whispers. Her head still spinning from the lack of oxygen and exhilaration of Spike's kiss, Buffy staggered out onto the landing where she met her friends.
"You guys go to Annaliese" she told them, going into full Slayer mode, "Spike and I will check out the front door"
Willow and Tara nodded, as did Spike as he followed Buffy to the stairs, their little moment together forced to one side as they prepared to be battle ready. A sword and an axe sat against the wall in the hallway, just for such an occasion as this and the blond pair took one each as the frantic banging on the door continued.
A silent look passed between Buffy and Spike to say they were both ready before he flung open the door. Neither of them could believe the sight that met their eyes or take in the words that were being said.
"Buffy" Angel looked between the two, a little confused by the sight of Spike, "I need your help" he admitted, as the bundle in his arms wriggled and cried, "This is Connor, my son"
To Be Continued...