Title: Ready or Not

Author: Rachel

Pairings: Spike/Faith

Disclaimer: Joss owns everyone, I own nothing. I'm simply taking them out to play with. Distribution: Ask first, I'll probably say yes.

Rating: PG13

Spoilers: Post Chosen/NFA, about five years into the future.

Notes: Written in February in place of me doing homework. Stands alone, but may have more added.

Feedback: Is loved and much appreciated :)

Summary: Of all the things he was expecting when he moved to New York, this was not one of them.

There were a lot of things that he wasn't expecting when he moved to New York. Some of it was the little ways his newfound humanity had thrown him for a loop. Last time he had lived in the city, he hadn't had circulation, and therefore, had no idea how fucking cold it was. He hadn't felt cold in a century or so, it was refreshing at first, then it was just bloody annoying. There were some nicer things; he has missed the pace of a real city, and he had never walked anywhere outside of London past sunrise, so nearly all the sensory experiences people take for granted everyday, he savored. The nightlife was different too, the demons and vampires were definitely grittier, more grab 'n snack and less world-domination, which was refreshing in its own way.

There still other things, bigger things. Running into her his fourth week in town, in a random bar at 2:36 in the morning, while he was nursing a bruised ego and cut on his temple. It didn't matter that he still healed faster than any human, it bloody hurt.. Supposedly, he was supposed to be informed of Slayers working in and around the city, so as to avoid accidently offing one another, but she was never much for rules and warnings, he realized. He hadn't expected, when he sat down next to her, that she would order two glasses of champagne, warm. And could the bartender please open the bottle in front of them? He can say he knew they wouldn't stay in the bar long enough to have their strange request filled.

It didn't take them long to get back to his rather spacious apartment. ("see what old money can get ya?"). Sooner rather than later, clothes were going, moans were being shouting and the walls bloody rattled. He hadn't expected it to be some of the best fuckin' sex had ever had, unlife included, and he certainly never thought sex as a human could be anywhere near that amazing. He had expected her to leave the next morning, but he had not expected to find his wound having been cleaned and bandaged in his sleep.

He didn't expect to see her again, so it took him by surprised when he found her again while doing a graveyard patrol three days later. This time they managed to do some talking before their clothes came off and he found she was just "hangin' out, seeing where life takes me." She, like Buffy, didn't have to have a particular assignment if she didn't want one. She was just floating in the universe looking for a good kill and a warm bed. From there, it was less surprising, though certainly not planned, when they fell into a pattern of meeting, fighting and fucking. It didn't take him long to realize he has a hunting partner, one with better natural instinct, if not as much as experience, as him. She would wander upon him every few nights, until they figured out each others patrolling patterns, then the meetings because less incidental. But it wasn't until one morning, two months later, when he woke up and she was still lying there behind him, that he realized he had a girlfriend as well.

He hadn't planned on that one, nor had he planned on liking it as well as he did. Slowly her things invaded his place, first cute things, like her bra and panties, then little things, like a toothbrush and hair ties, then big things, like sweaters and shoes. Suddenly, her things were his closet, cabinet and shower, and it had gone from being his place, to their place, and her place no longer existed.

But that wasn't the only thing. When they had first started out, he was in the middle of starting up a business, which was actually based on what Peaches had in L.A., but never ever, EVER in a thousand drunken Christmas dinners would ever admit to that. She, of all bloody people, helped him set up. He realized she'd actually done more for the Council in London than just kill things, she knew a thing or two about keeping clients and cases straight and watching where the money went, whereas his filing system has really been more of several random stacks of shit he was going to get to. So she took his stacks of paper and actually got his business up and running... except now it was their business, not just his.

And once they became successful, in terms of what they did anyway, she had to start taking cases herself, so she hired this bloody punk kid to run the desk. He, admittedly, knew a thing or two about demons and ghouls as part an American branch of a Watcher's Training Program, but decided to go to grad school instead, so he worked for them for some extra while writing his thesis. All this was bloody well and good, except he CLEARLY has a thing for his girl and she bloody indulged it too! Flirting over fuckin' billing statements or some shit. She always insisted that he read waaaaay too much into it, that it was utterly harmless and besides, whose bed was she in every night? So the whelp stayed, because on top of everything else, he was whipped too.

And suddenly, they were nearly three years into a relationship he hadn't even planned on starting. This wasn't what he was expecting when he moved to New York, but really, he has come to expect the unexpected.

But still, in a life with her, something were just going to catch him off guard, like this. When he first met her, she would have never called him for this. Hell, a year ago, she probably wouldn't have. She would have handled it on her own, and maybe told him if she ever felt it was relevant. He would have accepted it, he would have been angry as fuck, but he would have accepted it. Because that was Faith, because she was always five-by-five, because he knew that was part of the deal when he fell in love with her. But a year ago, they didn't even know this could happen. They had only discussed it, in passing at that, very recently. And as he walked through the clinic doors, because she had *called* him and *asked* him to be there, he couldn't help but think about how bloody much his life had changed.


She flinched as the needle pierced her skin. She shouldn't have, lord knows had felt worse, but she was nervous. The nurse's seemed to sense it and smile up at her. She looked over at the doctor reviewing her chart, waiting for her speak. She did have her own Council proved doctor in the city, cause Slayer physiology doesn't exactly work in normal ways. But she wasn't ready for the Council, and ultimately the rest her family, to know yet. She loved them, she honestly did, and after years, she finally felt accepted. But she needed to figure out how fuck she was going to deal with this on her own first.

Except she wasn't on her own. She called him. She wasn't sure when, at what point in this or in their relationship, she had made that decision. All she knew was that he needed to be here, to be part of this, because it was right, because they were in this together... because she scared.

"Faith..." said the doctor as she perused her file. She seemed kind, but pragmatic, the kind of woman who has seen one too many hard-luck cases come through the door. "Would this be your first pregnancy?"

"Yes," she said. It was her first. In the past, she had always been so careful, because life was short and so were her relationships. She had no plans on every being tied down, not with a husband or kids or any of that white picket fence bullshit B had wanted so much, but now...

"And is the father in the picture?" the doctor asked.

"Yeah, he's should be here–" A knock on the door interrupted her.

"Faith?" she heard him muffled through the door.

"Yeah, Spike, I'm in here." At the doctor's skeptical look, she shrugged with her free arm. "Old nickname from when we were younger." She wasn't sure his appearance did anything to ease the doctor. The jeans were more blue than black these days, but the black t-shirt and boots had pretty much stuck around. The bleached blond left after he realized how hard it was to keep up with when his hair actually grew, so it was back to its natural shade of chestnut brown, still slicked back with more product than he'd ever admit to. He still had the scar on one eyebrow, those sharp, angular cheek bones and the aura of a man that let everyone around him know he knew a thing or two about danger.

But it all melted away the moment he saw her. He walked over to her free side, gently pulling her into him, and kissing the top of head. She sighed, melting into his touch, because it was easier now, because she wasn't alone anymore, she had him with her.

God, how much they had changed.

As soon as he eased up, he turned to the doctor and held out a had. "I'm William, pleased to meet you."

She took it, trying to hide her surprise at his manners and accent. "Dr. Evans, likewise."

"All done," said the nurse as she took the needle out of Faith's arm.

"We'll run the lab and let you know the results." She gave Faith a comforting squeeze on the leg as she and the nurse left the room.

After the door shut, the room filled with an ironically pregnant pause which Faith couldn't seem to figure out how to begin filling. Luckily, Spike was never much for awkward silences.

"So... how long have you...?"

"About 2 and half weeks," she said, and Spike nodded.

"Yeah, that seems about right." he agreed.

"How would you know?"

"We've been together for three years, woman, you don't think I know when you're on the rag?" he exclaim and she let out a laugh. Actually, if she ever looked at his office calendar, which she wouldn't because she was convinced the room was a pocket hell dimension, she would know he marked the expected date. He started after their fourth month of dating, when she threw a dagger into his wall after he ate the last Reeses out of the candy bowl. After that, he vowed to never make that mistake again, and de finally found a place on his wall for his new oil painting.

"Look..." she started softly, taking a long pause, looking down at her hands and then back up to him. "I'm not expecting anything from you. I... You know my dad spilt when I was little, and I guess I just don't expect you to hang around for this. I don't expect any guy to, this was never in the plan." Though, she admitted to herself, her plans of life had been vague at best since she hadn't ever really figured on living this long. And the plans she did have, had become increasingly irrelevant to her current life..

Spike's emotions ran from shocked, to anger, to outrage, to disbelief before he finally answered. "Woman, we had lived together for years, we share a bed, we hunt, we shag, which is how we got here in the bloody first place. I steal your toast in the morning, there's a horny 13-year old working behind the front desk and there are tampons in the bathroom. TAMPONS! What makes you think a kid would scare me away now?"

She wanted to laugh, she honestly did, he was so sweet and crazy, and pointed in a way that made sense, even if it was only in their reality. But she didn't, she sighed again, looking back down at her hands.

"Will," she started, she knew he was being serious. He still remembered the first time she called him that, when they were lying in behind one night, and she rolled over to him and said his name. Then commented how the names Will and Faith, kind of went together in an odd sort of way, like them. It used to shock him when she said it, no one had called him that in nearly a hundred years, and even though it was the name he used on the bills and bank accounts, it was different hearing it. Now, he was almost used to it, and readily answered to one name as easily at the other.

"So what were we going to do then?" he asked.

She shrugged, she hadn't really thought this through. Babies had never been part of the plan, first the deadbeat Dad, then the early death sentence via Slayer, she never thought she'd get far enough in life to even need to consider this. She used to make fun of Buffy for thinking about this shit, like they weren't gonna die before they were twenty. And when she and Angel had hopped on the baby train, she practically laughed. But now that it was in front of her, that it was possible...

She felt his hand slip into hers, and squeezed and it finally hit her that he said "we" not "you", that from the phone call till right now, he never said anything about leaving. Not once did he treat his like it was hers to deal with alone. It was theirs to face as a couple... as parents. She looked up into his clear blue eyes. The eyes that watched her in throws of pleasure. The eyes she has stupidly bared her soul to, more than once, but who never made fun of her. Her longest relationship, the man who has never left her. The father of her child.

"Faith, I'm not leaving you."

Tears welled up in her eyes, and she made a note to blame them on hormones as she threw her arms around his neck and he held her, whispering softly in her ear. She couldn't take it at face value, she was too broken for that. But she knew, somewhere, that he was telling the absolute truth, and that they were having this baby.