ONE YEAR LATER

One year after the final battle Buffy, Spike and Angel live together. A perfect family?

Thanks to my wonderful beta Reddygirl for encouragement and help.
Timeline: Post-NFA Disclaimer: not mine, helas...

"Why on earth we are doing it?" Spike growled as he was putting the candle into the cake.
Buffy smiled.

"To celebrate the anniversary of your victory over Wolfram and Hart. Besides, Liam turns one year old. And because I want to spend this evening with the men I love."

"It's all about him - isn't it?"

"Come on Spike! Are you jealous of a BABY?"

"He grasps your breasts every time he sits on your lap."

"It's purely instinctive gesture."

"He tried to bite your finger when you fed him."

"He was hungry."

"That true?"

Buffy made a quick step forward and shut Spike up with a kiss.

"Better now?"

Instead of answering Spike started to unbutton her blouse. Last button was undone when they heard a demanding cry from the nursery.

"Little bugger hates me," Spike sighed.

"He loves you,"Buffy countered. "But he got used to eating according to a time-table."

Spike smooched her on her cheek and reluctantly let her go.

"Once a poof - forever a poof"
While Buffy was dressing up Liam for his first anniversary party, Spike mused about the intricacies of fate. If anybody would have said to him a year ago that he'd be living together with Buffy and Angel in a nice Roman flat three blocks from Vatican, he'd have snapped the joker's neck. OK, maybe he wouldn't. Maybe he would have grinned (a perfectly manly grin - and to hell with what some perv might think). But he'd never believe it could really happen.

***********

After the mess was over and the dragon was slain (much to Illyria's disappoinment) and the army of darkness sent to hell, Spike was about to invite Angel to the nearest bar. He had already opened his mouth when a heavenly light from above wrapped Angel into a cocoon. When Spike finally managed to close his mouth, he caught a glimpse of Angel's agonized face, and a moment later he disappeared under the layers of white. Spike and Illyria tried to reach for Angel but an unseen barrier cut him off the outside world.

The cocoon started shrinking in size.

"It's some cosmic powers", said Illyria after many unsuccessful attempts to break the barrier. "It's bigger than us".

Spike could never accept the idea that cosmic powers could be bigger than him. Never had, never would. But when the magic light faded and he saw a newborn infant on the ground, he was shattered.

''The shanshu. Thank God it wasn't me".

***********

Feeding Liam from a bottle, Buffy watched his hands closely. She noticed his habit of grasping her breasts every time he had the occasion, but she hadn't known Spike payed attention to such innocent displays of childish affection. She gently pushed the baby's hand away when he tried to put it where he shoudn't.

"Aha! You saw it too? He's just a sexual maniac!"

Buffy sighed in exasperation.

"He just needs reassurance. A zone of comfort. You can feed him yourself - the reaction will be the same."

"You wanna say he'll be harassing me the way he's harassing you?"

"Not harassing, silly. He'll show you his love."

"No way. I look into those impertinent eyes of his and see a grim challenge: "Just wait until I'll be strong enough to use my stake".

"I'll never let him have a stake."

"Why?"

"I don't want him to be sucked into the world of darkness. He'll go to Harward or Yale and will be a brilliant advocate for the helpless"
"A bloodsucker."

"Not funny."

"I never intended... Look!"

Buffy looked. As little Liam started to drowse, his hand found it's way to Spike's nipple, visible under the fabric of the T-shirt.

"Next time I'll feed the wanker in my duster," he promised.

While Spike was putting little Liam in his bed, Buffy mused about the intricacies of fate. If anybody would have said to her a year ago that she'd be living together with Spike and Angel in a nice Roman flat three blocks from the Vatican, she'd have hit the joker in the nose. OK, maybe she wouldn't. Maybe she'd even sigh wistfully (and totally chastely, no matter what some pervs might think). But she'd never believe it could really happen.

*
The phone call from Giles was very strange. "Buffy, first of all, don't worry. It's over and it's relatively OK. At least those who you care about are alive. Or undead. I mean - don't get psyched out..."

At the very same moment the doorbell rang, Dawn opened and Buffy saw Spike with a baby in his arms. She heard Spike's words "Dawn, hold the little tosser" - then there was darkness and then she found out she was lying on the couch while Dawn was slapping her cheeks.

"Wh-what happened?"

"You fainted. You saw Spike with Angel and fainted."

"I didn't see Angel... Where's Spike?"

"He's feeding Angel."

"He - what?!"

"Buffy, Angel turned into a baby".

Buffy cast a glance at Spike who sat across the room in a chair with a baby in his lap. This is my life, she thought. Why am I not especially surprised?

"There was a prophecy about a vampire with a soul..." Spike shrugged. "Thank God, it wasn't me!"

Buffy looked at Spike sceptically.

"You can't turn into a baby, Spike. You already are a baby. Why didn't you tell me you were alive?"

"Didn't want to spoil your shiny new life."

"See? Like I said. You're a silly baby."

*********

"We need baby earplugs."

Buffy stretched languidly - warm, satisfied, sleepy - and curled around Spike.

"Great idea, Spike. We should give him earplugs as a birthday present so he can swallow them."

He frowned.

"I'm an idiot. They could close his windpipe."

"We need to figure out something else."

"Whar about sound-proof doors? "

"And walls. And floor. Because every time somebody stays for the night, they give us a lot of embarassed looks in the morning."

Spike grinned, kissed Buffy neck and tongued her earlobe. But when she' was on the verge of getting him under her and riding him he smiled apologetically and crawled out of the bed.

"Where are you going"
"I'll just check on him. "

"Put on your trousers, you perv!"

"Jealous, love?"

He entered the nursery trying to make as little noise as possible. Much to his surprise he found out the baby's eyes were open.

"Spying on us, you little wanker?"

Baby smiled and blinked.

"Come on, mate, sleep. Its late. Mommy and daddy have important things to do."

"Da-a... da- "

Spike's eyes widened. Baby smiled again and suddenly Spike felt some suspicious moisture that started to accumulate in the corners of his eyes.

He looked around. With no Buffy in sight he bowed down the cradle and kissed Liam on the cheek.

"He called me "dad", he proudly announced back in the bedroom.

"Are you sure he didn't say "Spike"? giggled Buffy.

"Nah. Clean slate. He doesn't remember anything"
Buffy breathed a relief.

"Thank God. Come to think of it, it would be quite a weird situation - making love when your ex-lover sleeps in the next room..."

For a moment Spike was petrified. Then he realised she was talking about herself.

"Yes, love. I wish I could imagine."

The end