Chapter 15

Still laughing Conner and Murphy picked up their chairs and sat down at the table. "You wanna give us the bad news?" Faith asked. Slayer dreams tended to be nothing but trouble, so she was expecting the same for her godfathers.

The twins froze as they realized that every set of eyes in the room was on them. "Well, it's not so much bad news for you as it is for us," Conner tried to explain.

"What's wrong with you?" Murphy interrupted, looking at Buffy's pale face.

Conner smacked him, and said in Gaelic, "Don't ya remember how Mrs. Anderson looked while she was carryin'? Poor woman couldn't keep anything down for near on a year."

"Leave off!" Murphy cried, in the same language. Neither of them noticed their father, (and Daniel) taking a second, longer look at Buffy before the Duke shook his head. A pregnant Slayer was nothing he wanted to be around. His own Annabelle had been a real horror when she had been carrying the boys. Them coming near on two months early and being in hospital for near on another month hadn't helped, especially after Murphy had come so close to dying.

Faith stood up and before the punch that Murphy was throwing at his brother could connect, had both of the twins by their collars and was shaking them. "Don't you two dare start! You want to beat the crap out of each other again; you do it in the gym, not in the library! Some of these books are too old to survive your shit and we need them!"

"This is going to be worse than I thought," Murphy told Conner, changing to German this time.

"Worse than that; there's no alcohol allowed. It's a school with young'ins." Conner nodded to the high school students around the table.

"There's always the Pit for that boys," Il Duce reminded them in English. "I'm guessin' that we're to be stayin' here for a while then?"

"Aye," the twins replied in the same language as Faith let them loose long enough to sit down again. "We're gonna be translators for the new Slayers 'til the teachers that speak the languages we know get hired," Conner went on to explain. "Thank the good Lord that we're still to be doing our job as well. I don't think I could stand to stay here and be fucking useless in the fight."

"I'll have the start of a who's who and they did what list for you boys by morning," Smecker said. "But just to start you off right, you might want to look into the Russian mob around here. Xander had to take down three enforcers tonight when they tried to beat on him to convince the guy he buys pizza from to hand over protection money." Murphy threw a grin at Conner. The Russian mafia would always be a bit of a favorite for them. It was because of those bastards that they had gotten their start as Saints.

"That's it?" Faith asked, frowning. "The PTB's actually sent you a vision to tell you to translate for us? Visions are for serious shit, not little crap like that."

"Well, there was one other, little thing," Conner admitted slowly. Murphy might not have caught on to why Rocco had wished them luck, but having seen Faith go head to head both with Spike in practice and earlier tonight at the Pit, he was not looking forward to passing on the message to Buffy that she was on maternity leave.

"What!" Faith asked exasperated. She had her hands on her hips and was glaring at the twins, willing them to get on with it.

"Buffy's on maternity leave," Murphy piped up. Conner cursed, reached up and grabbed his brother's collar, dragging Murphy down and under the table. Now he had to save his idiot twin from a pissed off Slayer if the look on Buffy's face was any indication.

"What!" Buffy growled as she got up from her chair and began stalking the brothers.

"Hey, why didn't they tell you?" Faith asked, getting between Buffy and the twins. That gave them enough time to get some distance between them and Buffy. "You get the dreams more than I do."

"They did, I just wasn't sure what was going on. Cryptic much?" she reminded her sister Slayer. "Besides, I didn't think we were going to be going up against a lot of demons, just this wanna-be goddess."

"Wanna-be goddess with a group of magic users she's controlling somehow," Giles said sternly, standing up and joining Faith in confronting his Slayer. Giles' typical stance; hands on hips and leaning slightly over her, actually gave Buffy a warm glow. It had been a while since she'd gotten a Giles' rant, although she really didn't think she deserved it this time. It wasn't like she'd be in any real danger helping to take out Nit and her Jaffa. She was in more than good enough shape to take out anything one of them could throw at her, although she wasn't stupid enough to think that anyone but Willow stood a chance against Nit's priestesses.

Willow had been the one to figure out that they and the two young girls had been kidnapped because they were all magic users. According to Daniel, the magic users Nit was gathering were most likely being used to recreate her priesthood. Those ancient priestesses had always been virgins, sworn to use their magic for their goddess, and that was only just the beginning of her women's cult. Nit's Jaffa had also been female, although they had not been required to be virgins. According to Nit's rules, males were the lowest of the low, and to have been touched by one was a mark of shame.

"Not to mention her Jaffa and whatever men she'll have under her control," O'Neill pointed out. He and Jack also joined the group standing around Buffy.

"All it takes is just one hit in the wrong place," Jack reminded her. He and O'Neill knew they tended to over react to threats to children because of their son Charlie's death, but they didn't try to reign themselves in right now. This was too important.

"She's not going to have real Jaffa, just whoever she's turned into Jaffa," Buffy tried to point out reasonably. "Seeing as how I can wipe the floor with your average real Jaffa and at least come out on top with T'ealc, I really don't see the problem." Out of the corner of her eye she could see Conner dragging Murphy out the library door. It wouldn't help. She'd get the twit for just blurting that out in front of everyone and leaving her to deal with the fallout.

"Ok, I'll give you that one," Faith admitted. They had learned that Nit did have some humans she called Jaffa from the demons that they had questioned earlier. "The demons we took care of tonight weren't the only ones she's got though! Jack's right, all it takes is one hit and the baby's in trouble." Faith hated to point that out, but she didn't want her sister Slayer to be in that sort of situation. That guilt factor had to be worse than what she dealt with from her trip to the dark side.

Buffy looked grim, but admitted, "I hadn't counted on her hooking up with the local demons. We haven't been here long enough to teach them what crosses the line and what doesn't yet."

John came in to the library in time to see Conner drag Murphy off and to hear the conversation the others were having with Buffy. He was wiping his hands with a rag when he walked up to her and said, "Buffy."

Buffy turned around and waved him off before he could get out another word. She saw the look in his eyes, the terror of losing another member of his family. "Don't worry, the demons she has shifted the balance. I'm not going." She just couldn't do that to him.

"Does that mean you intend to keep going out on patrol?" John asked. He was torn between ordering her to stay home to protect the baby and knowing that as a Slayer there were some things that she could not stay away from.

Buffy sighed. She could see how John was struggling with himself not to try and wrap her up in cotton. "That depends on how things go. From what we figured out last time, there's a good chance I'm going to go on a slaying rampage or something to make sure the baby's protected, but if I don't get the super model bump, I'll be way too awkward to do the job. We'll have to see how it goes."

John nodded while Giles pulled his glasses off and chewed on the ear piece, an indication that his mind was going a mile a minute. "Keep working with the Junior Slayers," he said. "They can provide an additional layer of protection for you while still making sure that you get enough action to satisfy your instincts. I'd suggest making sure that you get at least one fledgling and play with it instead of taking on Spike. We don't want you to accidentally stake him simply because, well,"

"Because I'm hormonal," Buffy finished for him.

Giles smiled slightly and nodded. "At least you won't be dealing with this alone." He paused. "I hadn't quite figured out how to tell anyone this yet, but you aren't the only one expecting." He hadn't been sure how Buffy would take the news. He hadn't expected that it would be Dawn who started yelling first.

"You knocked up Grandma? I'm going to get an aunt or another uncle!" She stormed up to him. "You are such dead meat! That's dangerous at her age!" She would have continued her rant, but Buffy came to his rescue, picking up Dawn and taking her out of the library. He wasn't foolish enough to think that he'd gotten away clean though. Buffy had shot him a look over her shoulder as she left. He was going to be nothing but one big bruise by the time she was done with him, although she'd blame it on needing to train. She'd use his own orders against him too, seeing as he had just told her she couldn't take Spike on anymore. Well he was used to such abuse, and if they were lucky it meant that Buffy had forgotten all about Murphy's blunt announcement.

"We need to get back to Nit and her followers. John did you get an estimate of how many demons she has as allies and what breeds they are?" Il Duce asked.

"It's the usual; vampires, a good portion of sea and fresh water demons which looks to be routine for this area seeing as how we're on Lake Erie, some dark magic users I think might be demons but I'm not sure as our informants never saw under their robes, and some elemental types – earth in the form of rock, water in the form of drowned sailors, wind in the form of dust devils, and fire in the form of salamanders. Fortunately she doesn't have many of the elementals," John reported.

"Hey, elementals are fun. Slade, you up for a ride?" Johnny Blaze asked his fellow Ghost Rider.

"Yep, that mist shit shouldn't affect us when we're riding. There's nothing there but flame and bone. As long as we've got something that can take the suckers out, we should be fine," the old man, who was a lot older than he looked, replied.

"Then let's find something that can take out an elemental other than you guys' powers," Willow said, going over to the stacks for more books.

"Water demons," Tara murmured as she took went to look up what they had on the subject.

"T, go and show the younger girls what weaknesses there are in a Jaffa," Colonel O'Neill ordered. They all separated and got down to figuring out what they'd need to take care of the threat to the new Hellmouth.