In Harm's Way

In Harm's Way

Epilogue

Buffy had always liked Christmastime, but this had to be the best one she'd ever had. Her living room was filled with the people she cared about and a huge Christmas tree that took up one corner. Spike had insisted it would fit. She smiled as she thought about the work that it had taken to get the thing through the door. Then, he had to saw off the top before they could even stand it up. It looked beautiful now, decorated festively with colored lights and shiny red ornaments.

She watched Spike from across the room, sitting in an armchair with their four-month-old son in his lap. He sighed and patiently held the baby up in a sitting position so he could see the goings on. Spike was so good with him and while she could tell that he really wanted everyone out of his house, he was also happy to show off his son.

Billy was such a good baby. Although, he was a little concerned with all the people in the room, his big blue eyes were wide, trying to take it all in. He'd had a nap while they ate, but he was wide-awake now. Spike caught her eye and smiled as he ruffled Billy's thick blond curls.

No one doubted who his father was now. Spike's hair was naturally curly, and while it was light brown in color when he didn't bleach it, he'd told Buffy that he had been a towhead when he was a small child. Plus, there was no mistaking those high cheekbones, even with the chubby bit of baby fat padding them.

It made her heart swell with joy to see how proud Spike was of their little guy. Before they knew the sex of the baby, he'd talked of wanting a little girl and she'd asked about carrying on his name with a boy. He'd shrugged and said he didn't have one to pass on now and that the baby would have to have her last name. He argued that girls were sweeter and that he seemed to get along with them better than males.

But Spike had had nothing to worry about; Billy adored his daddy and was just as happy in his arms as hers. She'd insisted on calling him William, so that he would have one of his father's names. Spike had first said no to that. He had been flattered that she wanted to do it and said that it didn't matter to him, but one word from Joyce about how cute Billy Summers sounded and he'd agreed.

Her mom was in the kitchen with Anya, doing the clean up. Clem had cooked the meal, so Joyce thought it was only right that she help to clean up. Clem sat on a dining room chair next to his girlfriend who hadn't been too sure about coming, but once she realized that they weren't demon-haters, she had relaxed. Spike had been so relieved when they'd gotten back together two months before Billy was born. He would never have kicked Clem out, but now that he had a family, he wanted them to have the house to themselves.

To fit enough chairs in the room for the gift exchange, they'd had to take the coffee table out. Spike had told Buffy to spare no expense when it came to getting presents for everyone and she'd had a blast doing the shopping while Spike stayed home with Billy. The room was now clean and all the gifts put away in rooms or in cars, except for a few toys scattered around for Billy.

He'd been passed around the room all day. Even Giles had held him, which he did rarely, because he was so worried that he drop him or make him cry. Out of all her friends, Buffy was sure that Billy liked Wesley the best. He took Billy from Spike again and sat back down next to Willow, where the demon hunter started in right away making goofy faces and silly sounds.

Joyce came up behind Buffy and hugged her.

"Isn't that the most beautiful sound in the world?" she told Buffy, as the room fell silent to listen to Billy's hearty giggles.

"Yes, it is."

When the doorbell rang, Buffy excused herself to get it. Little Anabella and her dad were at the door.

"Hi," she said. "Merry Christmas."

"I have a pwsent for Billy."

"I hope we're not a bother, but she couldn't wait any longer to give it to him," said Eric.

"Just a minute," Buffy said, hoping that she wasn't appearing to be rude.

She closed the door and let Clem know that they had clueless visitors. Clem grabbed Rita's hand and took her down to the basement. Buffy went back to the door and let Eric and Anabella in. Eric stared at her for a minute, and Buffy quickly apologized for shutting the door on them. As they entered the room, they exchanged pleasant greetings all around. Then, Buffy took Billy from Wesley and sat down on the smaller couch near Spike, so that Anabella could bring her present over.

"Can you help him unwrap it?" Spike asked her.

The little girl's eyes lit up as she tore the paper off. "It's Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. He bounces."

Billy swatted at the box while Spike worked to get it open.

"He likes it!" Anabella said with a giggle.

"Look under the tree, Poppet. I think you'll find something there for you."

Joyce offered Eric a drink, but he turned it down, saying that they couldn't stay for too long. He'd left his mom and her new boyfriend alone and he joked that they needed a chaperon. Anabella squealed with delight when she opened her gift.

"Look, Daddy! A doll that looks like me," she said in awe, a big smile on her face.

Buffy was relieved that she liked it. She'd gone to Carol and asked for a few good pictures and had sent away to an internet company that made special dolls that looked like the girl they were made for. They stayed and visited for a little while longer, but Anabella was eager to go home and play with her new toy.

After the neighbors left, Clem and Rita came up and said their goodbyes, Clem promising to come by next Tuesday for the poker night that Spike hosted in their basement every other week. Xander, Anya, Giles and Wesley were part of the usual group of players. Anya couldn't pass up the opportunity to win money and she really took to the game of poker. Willow and Buffy were in charge of watching Billy and keeping the refreshments coming. It gave them a chance catch up since Buffy was no longer going to school and Willow spent her weekends in L.A.

Buffy walked out with Willow and Wesley next. They had to get an early start, because they were driving back to L.A. where Willow had plans to stay for the rest of the Christmas break. At first, Buffy had no idea how they were going to make their relationship work, but they were both organized and inventive people, and she had to admit, they made a cute couple.

And a little later, when Billy fell asleep in Joyce's arms, Anya and Xander left as well. Buffy stood at the door and waved as they got into their car. Anya continued to ask Xander for a baby, but Xander kept putting her off. He'd taken Willow and Buffy off to the side earlier in the day and showed them an engagement ring. Xander was planning to propose to Anya at midnight on New Year's Eve. Buffy thought that it was a great idea, even if Anya was a little strange. She'd kind of grown on them and she really was a part of the group. Being as happy as she was, Buffy was so glad that Xander was happy, too.

The last to leave was Giles. He shook Spike's hand and thanked him for hosting a lovely Christmas, then admonished them both not to forget about patrolling.

Over the last summer, when Spike had done most of the patrolling, Giles had grudgingly admitted that he'd done a great job and that he could be trusted. Little by little, Spike started consulting with Giles and soon it was like old times at the Scooby meetings. The whole gang did research together and everyone was involved with planning strategy when a new big bad came on the scene.

Giles started calling them the Slayers. Plural. Which really bugged Spike. Giles would grin and she knew he felt great satisfaction that he was able to bug Spike just a little bit, given the fact that Spike was so good at bugging the watcher.

"The demons don't take a holiday for Christmas," he told them as he left.

They went up the stairs to get changed and passed Joyce coming down.

"Billy will be asleep for quite some time. He's worn out," she told them. "I'll go down and watch some Christmas specials."

Joyce was the usual babysitter for when they patrolled. She had a nursery set up at her house and most of the time, she watched him there. When they were done with keeping Sunnydale safe, they'd let themselves in and take Billy back to their place, but they'd decided to have Joyce stay over tonight, because she was spending the day with them already.

"Thanks, Mom. We're going to get changed into patrol clothes."

As soon as she closed the door to their room, Spike took Buffy into his arms and kissed her.

"I've wanted to do that for hours," he told her, guiding her to the bed and unbuttoning her blouse. "We have time before we have to leave, don't we?"

"I believe we have a few minutes."

It never got old for them. Every night was an exciting adventure, but usually they did battle in the cemeteries, working up a load of sexual tension, then they'd come home and get Billy set up in his room. They'd shower together and then end up in bed.

"We're deviating from the schedule here," Buffy said playfully as she helped him out of his new jeans.

"I know, love," he whispered in her ear with a deep, lust-filled voice. "It's Christmas and we are allowed to have dessert first, aren't we?"

The demons had been out in full force and they didn't make it back to the house until three in the morning. Joyce was sitting up on the couch with a wide-awake Billy in her lap.

"I think the day's activities have put his schedule out of whack," she told them, handing the baby to Spike. "I just fed him eight ounces of formula and changed him, but I don't think he's going to sleep any time soon."

"I'm sorry he kept you awake," Spike told her, smiling and rubbing noses with the baby.

"It was no big deal. I don't have to work tomorrow so I can sleep in. Besides, I didn't get enough time with him today with so many others wanting to hold him."

Billy waved his arms in excitement and babbled; he was so happy to see his dad.

"Come on, son; let's give your grandmum a break."

Buffy followed Spike up the stairs and waved at Billy who smiled back at her from over Spike's shoulder. They stopped at Billy's bedroom, but changed their minds and decided to let him sleep with them. They each took turns watching him while the other one showered and then they climbed into bed with Billy between them.

They gazed at each other over Billy's head and smiled when he squealed for no apparent reason.

"You know, Billy, you have the prettiest mom in the whole world and you're going to have a hard time finding a lady of your own who is as amazing as your mother."

"Stop," Buffy told him.

"She's modest, too. Now your old dad, he isn't so modest. Stick with me kid and I'll teach you all there is to know about women," Spike told him while smirking at Buffy.

She sat up and kissed both her men goodnight and then turned over. Slayers didn't need much sleep, but indestructible vampires needed less. That had come in handy for late-night feedings and Spike had never complained about having to get up to get Billy. She smiled as she thought about how many diapers Spike had changed.

One day, not too long ago, he'd been changing Billy and even with his super reflexes he couldn't dodge out of the way fast enough when the baby peed. She'd barely been able to take over because she'd been laughing so hard. He'd glared at her and told her that the night he drove into Sunnydale, he'd been the Big Bad, intent on wreaking havoc, and he couldn't understand how he had ended up changing diapers instead. He chalked it up to something that would never change. He'd always be love's bitch.

"I love you," she told him, snuggling into her pillow.

He reached over the baby and rubbed her back.

"I love you, too, pet."

A/N: This is it. I apologize for not posting the epilogue in a timely fashion. When I posted it to all the archives, I somehow forgot this one. If you enjoyed this story, you might like some of the others that I have written. No two stories are alike and some I could not or did not post here. To find a complete collection of my stories, you would need to find me on my livejournal. In my profile I give a link to it. All my stories are listed on the left hand column. I'm also into photoshop and I play with making icons/banners/manips.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to read this story and who left a review. I'd appreciate it if you left a review of this epilogue and let me know if you enjoyed the story and even if you didn't, it's okay to tell me that, too. :) Make my day and leave a review.

I had three of the neatest people beta'ing my story. Mabel Marsters and Slaymesoftly are award winning authors with many of their own stories and Tanit is just an incredible person with an eagle eye for typos and grammar mistakes who is also a great encouragement during the writing process. Thank you ladies for all the time, help and effort you put in to this story.

I have plans for more Spuffy fan fiction in the near future, but I am currently writing original fiction and hope to be published. All of Novemember will be spent on Nanowrimo.