Meeting the Dads: Luke Danes
Summary: Buffy just hoped the baby didn't have his fashion sense. Part of 'Who's Your Baby's Daddy?' series.
A/N: In response to Challenge 3064: conception by conspiracy *non-stargate* by shelli.
A/N2: Thanks to my betas: zigpal and JediKnight.
A/N3: Okay, this will be pre-series for Gilmore Girls and I am giving Luke a very AU background. You'll see what I mean, and hopefully will like why I did it.
Warning: Non-fuzzy type feelings for Maggie, Riley and the Initiative…duh!!
Rating: FR15 for language and talk of sex, of course, she's pregnant after all.
Pairing: Basically a Buffy/Giles friendship. Anything else is up to you, the reviewers – within reason of course.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Gilmore Girls characters belong to the WB. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
**Short phrase that is spoken in French that I feel no need to find out the translation of. You can use your imagination or knowledge to fill in the gaps.**
Independence Inn, Stars Hollow
Buffy looked at her Watcher tucked into the bed with an expression of sympathy. "Will you be okay here while I check out Luke Danes?"
Sick and not happy about it, Giles growled, "I will be fine! It's just a simple stomach bug. Are you sure you don't want me to come along?" he inquired.
She shook her head with a grin, "Nah, you just enjoy this version of morning sickness. If I run into any trouble, I'll let you know," she promised.
"You are enjoying my suffering far too much, young lady!" he snapped without any anger.
Still, Buffy looked contrite. She remembered how caring he had been – and still was when he was able – as she spent her time draped over a toilet seat or garbage can. Fortunately, it seemed to be getting better now. "I'm sorry; you're right. How 'bout I see if the kitchen can send up some toast and tea? Maybe some chicken soup later on?" she offered.
Giles smiled weakly. "That sounds wonderful." As she went to the door, he called out to her, "Buffy…please be careful. I don't like you going to see this man without me."
"Relax, Watcher-mine. I may be a prego, but I am still the Slayer. I'll call if I won't be back in a couple hours," Buffy promised.
He let out the breath he was holding and nodded. "Thank you."
Buffy quickly made her way back to the bed and kissed his cheek and brushed his hair back from his forehead. "You just rest, 'k? I'll see you soon."
As she approached the front desk, Buffy overheard Sookie trying to convince Michel to try one of her dishes. After she gave up and went back to the kitchen, he started griping about how many extra calories that would be and why can't Lorelai keep Sookie away from him?
Buffy made her presence known and smile at the surly Frenchman. Remembering enough of the language from her time as a noblewoman a few Halloweens ago, she flirted in French, **"I can't believe you are worried about a couple extra calories. Why, you must burn off more than that just fighting off the women – and some men, too, I bet – when you go out at night. Or maybe you don't want to fight them off?"** she asked with a salacious wink.
Michel blushed and responded in English, "I suppose just a taste couldn't hurt." He smiled at Buffy and sauntered into the kitchen, leaving a slack-jawed Lorelai staring after him. Her glance flitted back from the kitchen door to Buffy, then repeated a couple more times.
Finally she found her voice and managed to gasp out, "What did you say to him to get him to help Sookie?"
Smirking, Buffy said, "Ehh, I just flirted and said he must need extra energy to fight off all his admirers – both female and male. You know, that old saying about attracting more flies with honey. Although I never got that. Why would you want to attract flies? Personally, I'd try to keep them far, far away. Sorry, I'm babbling now."
"No problem, you have a good point; I hate flies too. So, now that you've managed to charm Michel into helping Sookie, how can I help you?" Lorelai asked with a smile.
"Well, a couple things actually. First, my friend in room 12, Rupert Giles, is not feeling well and I was hoping to get some tea and toast up to the room. Then maybe some chicken soup later," Buffy requested.
Lorelai made a note to bring to her chef and looked back up. "Easily done. I'll have Sookie make him a tray and have someone take it up. What else?"
At that moment, Buffy's stomach growled her answer, "I, on the other hand, am starving and craving a big ol' burger. Is there anywhere – non-fast foody – that is any good at making them?" Afraid that she might be insulting the lady, she rushed on, "Oh, this isn't a slight against your cook or anything. I loved dinner and breakfast here! I just have to find someone and thought it would be helpful to actually leave the inn at some point to do that."
Smiling, the inn manager leaned over the desk conspiratorially and spoke softly, "Well, when I'm not eating Sookie's cooking, my favorite place to go is Luke's Diner. It's near the town square. Just look for the place that looks like a hardware store. Don't ask."
Buffy's eyes widened in surprise and she blurted out, "That wouldn't be Luke Danes, would it?"
It was Lorelai's turn to be surprised now. "You know him?"
She shook her head, "Not at all, but he's actually the person I have to talk to."
"He's not in any trouble, is he? I'm asking because he's a friend," Lorelai said with a frown creasing her face.
Thinking fast, Buffy came up with a plausible – yet truthful – story. "Nope. A mutual acquaintance gave me his name. So I thought I'd look him up while I was in the area."
Lorelai nodded her head slowly. "Oh…good. Wait! If you had Sookie's breakfast – and enjoyed it – how are you starving now?" she asked, realizing that breakfast couldn't have been that long ago for the young blonde.
Buffy blushed that she had been caught. "I'd love to say it's because I'm eating for two, but the truth is that I have a super high metabolism. To keep from freaking people out, I've learned to eat a lot of smaller meals. It's worked too. Up until this trip, Giles had no clue how much I ate," she rambled on.
Lorelai laughed, thinking of Luke's face when this tiny little thing showed up looking for food like a Gilmore. "I know how that is. Do me a favor? Order a really big meal and tell me Luke's reaction. Better yet, see if someone can take a picture. Shucks! I suppose since you're pregnant, you aren't drinking coffee?" Buffy gave her a strange look and shook her head. "Too bad, it'd be worth money for you to order that as well. He'd probably think we were long lost twins…fraternal of course."
"I can't promise the picture, but I'll do my best to remember his reaction for you," Buffy promised with a smile.
"Great! If things weren't so busy here, I'd be tempted to go with you to watch from the front row," Lorelai said wistfully. As if the phone heard her, it started ringing and it was a vendor needing to speak with her about something. Buffy waved her goodbye and left.
Given the beautiful weather, Buffy decided it would be nice to walk into Stars Hollow to find the diner. Since she wasn't slaying – much – anymore, she needed a way to burn off her extra energy. Fortunately, the pregnancy took a lot of that so she didn't feel the overwhelming antsy-ness that she normally did when she hadn't fought in a long time.
Stars Hollow was a smaller town than Sunnydale, and was not even close to feeling Hellmouthy. Buffy stopped on a bridge that overlooked a lake and took a deep breath. Despite the circumstances, some of these visits felt almost vacationy to her and she soaked up every second she could of the normalcy.
As she drew closer to the diner, she decided that 'normalcy' was maybe the wrong word to use for this town. Nothing had set off her spidey sense, but some of the conversations she overheard were too funny. She bit her lip to keep from laughing at them. Then there were a few comments about who the pretty blonde could be. Course, she wouldn't have heard most of these talks without her Slayer hearing, so she pretended that she didn't hear them.
Buffy stepped into the diner, hearing the bells jingle their greeting. A guy in a flannel shirt barked out to take an open seat as he made his rounds with the coffee; apparently the bells were the most welcoming she could expect. She made her way to the end of the counter and sat down in a way that let her look over the rest of the room. She didn't even notice that she was searching for potential threats and exits – it was just second nature to her now.
Luke was finishing up the morning rush when he heard the door open again, admitting a young, blonde tourist. He gave his usual 'welcome' and told her to find a place. Then he finished refilling everyone's coffee. As he set the pot down, he noticed her scanning the room. What was strange about it was it reminded him of his time with the 82nd Airborne about ten years back. That special alertness about the soldiers.
He made his way over to her and asked, "What can I get you?"
Buffy quickly glanced at the menu as she started, "As much as I'd like to say some of that heavenly smelling coffee over there, I'll have to stick with some milk for now. Then could I have two burgers with everything and fries…oh, and some onion rings, too! That should do it."
Narrowing his eyes, Luke demanded, "Did Lorelai Gilmore send you in here?"
She looked thoughtful for a second and asked, "That's the lady over at the Independence Inn, right?" He nodded. "Actually, she did say that you make great burgers."
"Seriously, how much of that do you really want?" he asked, ready to scratch off half the order.
"All of it. Don't worry, if I'm still hungry, I'll just order more later," Buffy replied, half-joking/half-serious.
Luke ripped the sheet off the pad. "Fine. It's your money." He huffed off to place her order as she smiled behind her hand. This had to be Luke.
A few minutes later, he came back with her food and milk. He stood there for a few seconds while he watched her take a bite of her burger, then said, "You can't possibly eat all this; it'd kill you."
"Never! This food is totally of the good!" she exclaimed after taking a sip of her milk to wash the food down.
Luke just shook his head in bewilderment as Miss Patty called for him. He went back to work, but looked over at the petite woman steadily working her way through the mound of food. Even though she looked nothing like Lorelai, he could swear they were related somehow. Although, he had never seen Lorelai eat quite like this woman did. By the time she finished all the food in front of her, the diner had pretty much cleared out.
Buffy yelled across the counter where he was going through the receipts, "Hey, flannel guy? Can you come here?"
He walked over to her and replied, "Name's Luke."
She nodded. "Yeah, I figured, but wasn't 100% sure."
"What can I do for you? And please, don't ask for any more food," Luke pleaded, feeling sick just at the thought of how much the small woman ate.
Buffy smiled mischievously. "Don't worry, I'm good for a little bit. Actually, I needed to talk to you. Privately would be best, though." She saw the look on his face and explained, "It's not diner stuff. More personal, I guess."
Luke stared at her for a second, remembering his impression of her earlier. Finally, he decided that he might as well get it over with. "Uh, sure. I guess that we can go to the storeroom to talk. Caesar! Watch the diner, I have to talk to someone!" he yelled to the cook. He walked to the doorframe and stretched out his hand to indicate where they were going. Buffy stood and made her way to the back room.
After the door closed, Buffy smiled and held out her hand in greeting. "By the way, I'm Buffy Summers."
He took her hand and shook it. "Luke Danes, but I guess you already know that. What's this about?" He got two boxes for them to sit on.
She suddenly looked nervous and started fidgeting. "Well, there's no easy way to ease into this, so I'll just tell you. About three months ago, I was hurt and woke up in this infirmary. The person in charge, Maggie Walsh--"
Luke stood up and shouted, "Get out!"
Buffy blinked in surprise at his anger. "What?"
He glared at her. "If you are here about anything to do with that woman, I don't want to hear it!"
To his surprise, she just laughed. "Wow, she really does manage to win people over with her personality. Don't worry, I'm not a fan of hers either. Not that it matters much anymore now that she's dead."
Feeling sheepish for overreacting, Luke re-took his seat. "Oh. I'm sorry for yelling at you. It's just she doesn't bring back fond memories for me."
Buffy shrugged off the apology before asking, "I get that. Can I ask why?"
Luke refused to meet her eyes and muttered, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
She snorted, "You'd be surprised what I would believe." She studied him for a few seconds and her eyes widened. "You know, don't you?"
"Know what?" he asked carefully, watching her face intently now.
"About the stuff of nightmares. How?" she asked. Seeing that he was still wary about saying anything, she clarified, "Vampires, demons, all the oogly-booglies."
Luke let out a sigh of relief that she did know what he was talking about. "Well, actually we only heard of vampires. The other stuff is real too?" he asked in surprise.
Buffy nodded, "Uh-huh. So how did you find out?"
Luke stood up as he considered whether to answer her or not. But this was his first chance to talk to someone about this since it happened who wouldn't put him in a padded cell. He didn't care about the non-disclosure statement he signed; they violated him and his fellow soldiers so he had no loyalty to them anymore. "When I joined the Army about 10 years ago, someone came to my unit and asked me to join an elite group of fighters. Turns out they were talking about going against vampires."
"So the Initiative was around for that long?" Buffy inquired, almost to herself.
Luke nodded, "Yeah, it's been around even longer than that. So how did you get mixed up with her? You don't look the military type to me," he remarked, giving her a cursory glance.
Buffy shuddered at the thought. "God, no. I was one of the ones responsible for shutting the group down."
"Good!" he declared with a hint of bitterness.
She caught his anger and wanted to know what caused it. She had a feeling that he'd feel even angrier once she told her story about the pregnancy. "What happened?"
Luke started pacing as he spoke, "We were told to kill or capture as many vampires as we could. We were told the ones being captured were for scientific purposes so they could discover better ways to get rid of them. Turns out they were also looking for a way to control them to turn them into an army." He heard her snort of derision and smiled.
Then he sat back down and ran his hands through his hair, knocking his hat off in the process. "But the final straw for me was when I started feeling different. Turns out they were experimenting on us too. When my dad got sick, I used it as an excuse not to re-up. They gave me the usual warning about keeping my mouth shut, but I figured what did it matter? No one would believe a word I said anyway." Luke looked at her with confusion in his eyes. "So if you shut them down, why are you here?"
Now it was Buffy's turn to stand up and give her side. "The fact that you knew what was really going on, I can give you the real story instead of the edited version. Those experiments that you talked about? Well, they kept those going and figured how to get them to work. In addition, they came up with a couple other ways to create their super-soldiers. One was to Frankenstein a monster together from the spare parts of various demons, humans and tied it up with a computer to run it; he was named Adam. Adam is what killed Walsh. That's why the Initiative was shut down."
Luke shook his head, still clearly unsure of what that had to do with this woman. "But how did you have anything to do with it?"
Buffy considered how to answer him. Then she got an idea and asked, "All those years ago, did any of the vampires you dealt with talk about someone called 'the Slayer'?"
He nodded, "Sure. Some scary vampire hunter or something. Walsh and the higher-ups didn't believe them."
She smiled at him. "Just call me 'scary vamp hunter'. I'm the Slayer."
Luke stared at her in shock. "How? You're so small!"
Somehow knowing that he wasn't trying to offend her, Buffy replied easily, "Magick. Tell me, between you and me, who would you think the vamps would go after first? For an easy meal, that is," she clarified.
"Um, you," he answered without hesitation.
Buffy grinned again. "So, I'm the perfect bait. And a lonnnnng time ago, someone or something got the brilliant idea to use that to their advantage and made the first of a long line of Slayers. I'm the latest. Well, actually, there's someone newer, but she's not making with the slaying right now. They used magick to give us girls some added bonuses, like speed, strength, healing, cryptic dreams."
Luke nodded thoughtfully. "Okay, so what happened with the Initiative?"
Buffy started looking at the food on the shelves, not enjoying this trip down memory lane. "I started college last fall and met this cute TA. We began dating and after some weird stuff went down in town, we both found out that we fought demons. Me, because I'm the Slayer and him, because he was part of the Initiative. He told his superior – and my professor – Maggie Walsh about my secret identity. When I didn't stop asking questions about what they were doing, she tried to kill me by sending me on a 'recon' with a faulty gun, then trapped me in a tunnel with two very nasty demons."
"After I beat them, she must have gotten a little scared by my warning and tried to activate her Frankenstein, Adam. What she failed to realize was that she created the perfect killing machine, only it was uncontrollable. She quickly learned that when the he killed her. He decided to start production of more hybrids like himself and that's when me and my friends stepped in to kill him. Once we finished with him, the higher-ups decided that the program was a bust and shut it down," she stopped to take a breath.
Luke used the opportunity to pose a question, "What does this have to do with me then? I haven't been a part of it for almost a decade."
"Well, actually…you were sorta a part of it about three months ago or so," Buffy said, looking at her hands.
"I don't understand," he said.
She blushed for some reason before explaining, "A couple days before the incident in the tunnels, I woke up in the infirmary after a run-in with a nasty demon. They claimed that they had taken care of me. Their definition of 'taking care' and mine are apparently two completely different things. See, theirs includes taking some guy's 'donation' and inseminating me with it."
Fighting the sick feeling coming over him, Luke whispered, "I take it that I'm 'some guy'?"
Buffy wanted to assure him of something but didn't know what. "I honestly don't know. All I know is that you were on the list of candidates."
"So you're pregnant," he stated the obvious.
She nodded, "Yup. I'm going around to visit the guys on the list to see what kind of men they put on there."
Still reeling from the idea that she might be pregnant with his child, Luke managed to get out, "Are you going to keep the baby?"
Buffy sat back down before she answered him, "I haven't told anyone this, but as soon as I heard the father was human, I knew in my heart that I couldn't have an abortion. First of all, as a Slayer, we are supposed to protect all human life."
Luke interrupted, "Excuse me, you thought that this might not be a human baby?"
She gave him a look that he didn't want to decipher. "I was worried about it, given the nature of the Initiative's other brilliant ideas."
Now he felt doubly ill. "Good point. What's your other reason for not being able to have an abortion?" he quickly asked in an effort to get away from that mental image.
She bit her lip, then confessed, "This may sound selfish of me, but I'm afraid that this will be my only chance to have a baby and I don't want to give it up."
Luke looked up, worried at the tone of her voice. "Why would it be your only chance?"
She fought to control the tears. Damn pregnancy hormones! "Because Slayers don't live very long. In fact, I'm probably one of the older ones. You have to remember what we fight. And generally, the Slayer fights alone. I'm just different in that I have friends and a Watcher who won't let me."
Buffy smiled. "He's my trainer and guide. But more than that, he's one of my best friends. In fact, he's the only one besides my mother that knows I'm pregnant. I'll tell my other friends once we find out who the father is."
"You can find that out during pregnancy?" Luke was surprised yet again, something that was becoming almost a habit during this talk.
"We can using magick. That reminds me, I'll need something of yours for the spell. It doesn't need to be anything drastic. I've got a bunch of business cards from the others," she explained so he wasn't worried that she wanted his blood or anything.
"Magick?" He felt sort of stupid asking all these lame questions, but he was totally out of his depth with all this.
Buffy gave him a rueful smile. "Oh yeah, magick is real, too. Forgot to mention that earlier."
All of a sudden, a thought came to Luke's mind and before he could stop it, he blurted out, "How old are you?"
Not sure of why he was asking, she figured it didn't matter if she told him. "Nineteen. I became the Slayer when I was fifteen. I told you it was a crappy system," she said quickly before he could interrupt.
Luke stood back up and started pacing again. "What about now? You can't be fighting vampires and demons while you're pregnant!"
"My friends are covering the slaying while I'm gone. We'll work something out when I get back," she said seemingly unconcerned.
Coming to a decision, Luke offered impulsively, "Do you need help? I'm not excited about getting back into that life, but you shouldn't risk yourself or the baby."
Buffy blinked back her surprise. "I really appreciate the offer, but you have a diner to run here and friends that would worry if you just picked up and left for several months."
"They'd have to get used to it anyway if the baby turned out to be mine," he replied dismissively.
"What do you mean?" she asked in shock.
Luke knelt back down in front of where she was sitting. "I want to be part of my child's life. If that means moving to where you are, then that's what I'll do. Unless I can talk you into moving here?" he suggested hopefully.
Buffy smiled at the offer. "As much as I'd love that, my place is on the Hellmouth." When he gave her a questioning look, she quickly explained what it was.
"Okay, so I'd have to move there then," he decided, already starting to think of this child as his.
"You would really do that?" She was surprised by this. Although, maybe not so much anymore. There were a couple of the guys that struck her as being like this man. He was just the only one to declare it so openly. She figured it had something to do with the fact that he knew the whole story.
Luke sat back on his crate while he tried to explain, "Family is very important to me. My dad was the reason I even joined the Army in the first place. Well, partly at least. The rest was because of a bad breakup."
Buffy nodded her understanding, "I know that feeling all too well."
"The TA?" he guessed.
She chuckled. "To name one. Fortunately, we had never gotten to that part of our relationship, so I didn't even have to wonder if the baby was his," she said, deciding to keep the story about Faith private for now.
Feeling uncomfortable talking about sex with her, Luke asked, "Right. So what now?"
Buffy remembered seeing something out on the counter and decided to see how much she could shock this man with her eating habits. "Well, now I'd love some of that delicious looking pie, along with some chamomile tea."
"You can't be serious! Are you sure you're not related to Lorelai Gilmore in some way?" he asked incredulously.
She smiled brightly at him. "She said you'd think that. Between the pregnancy and being the Slayer, my needed calorie intake for the day is pretty steep."
Luke just shook his head and gave her a hand standing up. At least she asked for tea.
They talked some more while she finished her desert. She even convinced him to eat a piece with her so she wouldn't feel uncomfortable. When they made their goodbyes, she gave him the card with her contact info on it and took his.
Luke watched her walk back toward the inn before taking out his wallet to put the card away. As he did so, the old horoscope slid out of its place. He stared at it for a moment, then turned his gaze on Buffy's card. With a thoughtful expression, he placed them both back in the wallet, wondering what his future might hold.
A/N: This is another crossover I never planned to do for this series since I couldn't figure out how Luke could be a part of it. So I just had to change his history to make it possible.