Title: Epilogue - Prophesy Girl Revisited (New Life- final chapter)

Author: Nimue

Rating: PG-13

Feedback: Yes, please

Thank yous: Thanks to Elizabeth, my wonderful beta. And I cannot thank those of you who have read this story enough for your time, interest and feedback. Please feel free to contact me with opinions, ideas, feedback and the like. I can only hope that you enjoyed reading this even half as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, Fox... Just Borrowing.

Summary: It is a month later. How are the new parents coping? Giles comes back to town to deliver some news to Buffy and Spike.

Prophesy Girl Revisited

"Ah! Buffy, what did you feed this girl?" Spike called in disgust, fanning this face with one hand. He managed to pull the diaper off, clean the little wriggling girl up and redress her without heaving. It was getting easier.

"What are you whining about?" Buffy asked, coming into Emma's room, shrugging a cardigan onto her shoulders.

"I think that stuff's toxic," Spike commented, picking up the baby under her arms and pulling her against his chest. Buffy had to smile.

"So, you're saying I'm toxic?" Buffy asked, fiddling with Emma's clothes, pulling them down and stretching onto her toes to kiss the little girl's head.

"Are to me," he answered, pulling Buffy to him with his free hand and kissing her softly. Her knees went weak at even the slightest brush against her.

"All that nasty anti-big bad toxin," she whispered against his lips.

"Horrible stuff," Spike commented, kissing her again. He heard the door open downstairs, not that that was unusual at Grand Central Station West.

"Buffy, Giles is here!" Dawn screeched.

"Be right down!" Buffy called back.

"So why'd the old man come all the way back again?" Spike asked as Buffy took Emma back gently.

" He said it was face to face kinda stuff," Buffy answered starting for the door.

To Spike, that couldn't be good. Giles had left for England at the request of the Council only a week after Emma was born. It was now close to a month since he had left and he calls out of the blue one day and shows up the next? Spike did not like the gnawing feeling at the base of his skull.

"You coming?" Buffy asked, standing in the hallway.

"Yeah," he answered, hesitantly, then following her out the door.


"Giles!" Buffy bubbled as she reached the bottom step. The Watcher looked harried and a bit jet lagged, but managed a decent smile for his charge. She looks wonderful, he thought. Slayer healing seemed to work on every level. Not only was she back to normal size, at least the size when they met, not the sickly gauntness that stuck to her after her resurrection, but her eyes sparkled and her skin glowed and her hair was longer and shiny.

She was beautiful inside and out.

"Buffy," he whispered, hugging her gently. "Hello again, Emma," he continued, leaning down and kissing the baby's forehead.

"Watcher," Spike said from the stairs. The gnawing was getting louder in his head.

"Hello, Spike," Giles said, extending his hand. Spike looked at him for a moment, then shook politely.

"Well, my time is a bit limited, so shall we sit and talk?" the Watcher said, clutching the handle of a tattered, brown briefcase between his hands.

'Sure. Sit," Buffy replied, walking into the living room. Dawn was stretched out on the floor doing homework. She'd been doing a lot more of that since Spike came back. Dawn didn't get away with much. He had the authority that Buffy had lacked. Not to say they never clashed, but Spike had become the master of teenage compromise and Dawn had met her match.

Buffy settled on the couch with Emma and Spike slid in next to her. Giles pulled a dining room chair to the opposite side of the coffee table, directly across from the pair.

"So, to what do we owe the special visit?" Spike asked, his mistrust of the situation evident in his tone.

"Well," Giles began,"as you know, the Council called me back regarding the file that Jenny had been working on when...."

"Yeah," Buffy interrupted, avoiding making him say it aloud. "So, what's up?"

Emma began to fuss and make small noises, wriggling around in Buffy's arms. She rocked the baby almost imperceptibly. Giles pulled out a stack of papers from the briefcase and set them neatly on the table in front of Buffy. She tried to lean forward to inspect them, but Emma burst into a wailing cry.

"Nibs?" Spike said, taking the baby and freeing Buffy to look at the stack.

"Got it," Dawn replied, popping up and heading to the kitchen. Spike distracted Emma by tickling her mercilessly until she was a gurgling plaything on his lap.

"Can I get the Cliff Notes?" Buffy asked, glancing over at the little girl now happily lying on Spike's legs. He seemed to have that calming effect on all the Summer's girls.

"Maybe just the highlights, Rupert," Spike said, never looking up from the little girl. Dawn bounced back in with a bottle and Spike coerced it into the baby's mouth like he had been doing it all his life.

"I would like to say there is good news and bad news, but I really can't," Giles stated. "Mostly because it is all in your perception."

"Get to the point, much?" Buffy quipped, smiling and leaning forward, her elbows pressed to her knees.

"Right," Giles said. " A little background. This file is wildly speculative. Much of it is simply conjecture. Very little can be categorized as prophesy. Jenny seemed to have started in the middle. The text itself is ancient, written in an extinct African dialect that resembles later European runes..."

"Never liked History, " Buffy interrupted, all business. "What is it about?"

"Curious bout that myself," Spiked chimed in, stroking Emma's cheeks as she happily chowed down. The girl had her mother's appetite.

"The 'highlights', right. Well, the important part is that the first Slayer was called as a result of the first Vampire's attempt at colonization of a small African village. That much we had suspected. But what we had *not* known is that they were connected."

"Connected, how?" Buffy asked.

"Remember, Buffy, this is countless centuries ago. The connection is not spelled out either. Prophesies are always somewhat of a riddle. But it was a blood tie. The text describes them as if they were two sides of the same person. The same soul divided in two. It seems open to interpretation. We could take it literally, or possibly assume they were siblings, even twins."

"That's a little....gross," Buffy said, looking over at Spike.

"Centuries ago," Giles repeated. "To continue, the lines then diverged radically. The Vampires becoming more and more dark and demonic. The Slayers becoming more and more nobel and light."

"I'm nobel and light," Buffy beamed, pushing Spike's knee. He rolled his eyes at her.

"Oh, *please*," Dawn chimed from the floor across the room.

"Do your homework," Buffy snapped cheerfully. At least she didn't make me leave the room, Dawn thought.

"The prophesy then states that there would come a Slayer, who, through her own death, would learn to accept the darkness and even embrace it."

"Oh," Buffy whispered. Spike smirked at her. "So, they knew I would die? Not to mention come back?"

"Seems to be the case," Giles answered. "It goes on to say that there would come a Vampire who's heart moved him toward the light. One who would betray his breed and who's devotion would bring him back to life."

"Who's light now, Pet?" Spike commented, tossing a towel over his shoulder and lifting the baby. He had long ago learned not to wear the duster around Emma. Leather and babies - never the twain shall meet.

"In the middle, they would meet," Giles continued, " and they would be chosen to bring Peace into the world. The lines again converge in a child born of the Slayer, fathered by the Vampire. And that child shall be Peace."

"Emma?" Buffy muttered, suddenly not feeling so amused by the prophetic riddles. "No, not this."

Giles swallowed. "The child is a Chosen One."

"Slayer?" Buffy asked, her face feeling tight. Her eyes beginning to burn.

"No," Giles answered. "The girl will bring peace between the worlds, unite man and beast. End the wars. Link monster and man...."

"The Peacemaker," Spike said, under his breath.

"The Peace....Spike you saw her too?" Buffy had refused to discuss what had happened to her in hell. They had never spoken of the that night again.

"Yes, Pet," he answered. "She helped me escape from..."

"Me too," Buffy interrupted.

"She's Emma? Emma's her?" Spike asked, completely confused as to why it hadn't occurred to him before.

"Yes... to both," Giles replied.

"So, is she human? Or is she demon?" Buffy asked, trying to grapple with the concept in her tired mind.

"Neither, really. Or both." Buffy looked at her Watcher in utter confusion. "She is human in form, but in function... we don't know exactly. We haven't quite..."

"Go on," Spike said, his eyes beginning to burn holes in Giles' mind.

"We haven't figured it out."

"Is there more that you *do* know?" Spike asked, his anger beginning to rise.

"And the Slayer will be her protector, the Vampire her champion, and together they will lead her to her destiny."

Buffy sat back hard on the couch. Spike grabbed her hand and squeezed it. "Is that all you know?" Buffy muttered.

"There is much more," Giles responded, "but we haven't finished translating." He paused for a long while. "There will be... people... demons... who would never see her succeed," Giles said, pulling off his glasses and wiping them in that familiar, nervous gesture.

"Do we know *who*?" Spike asked, one hand in Buffy's, the other on Emma's back.

"Not yet."

"Well, I suggest you find out," Spike snapped, defensively.

Giles twitched, thinking about firing back, but looked at them for a moment. He would have felt the same way had it been Buffy. Urgency. Fear. "I assure you, I will."

"So, what do we do?" Buffy asked, a tear escaping. She brushed it away in frustration.

"All I can say is to protect her. Which is what you would do anyway. She's your daughter. Raise her," Giles answered.

"Will you help us.." Buffy began, starting to cry in earnest, " help us figure out who... when... " she asked, lifting the baby from Spike and clutching the child close to her chest. Spike pulled Buffy back against his chest, wrapping his arms around her shoulders.

"Of course, Buffy," Giles answered, "but I have to go back to England. I don't trust the Council to do this correctly." Spike nodded, sharing his distrust. "But I do have a little positive news," Giles continued, placing the papers back into the briefcase.

"What's that?" Spike asked, holding Buffy closer. Any news right now was liable to send her over the edge.

"The Council has decided to let me remain Buffy's watcher. In my absence, Spike, I imagine..."

"Right," Spike answered, nodding.

"However, I have tried to convince the Council to provide Buffy with a stipend as she is the only Slayer to have reached adulthood..."

"The big proverbial *but*?" Buffy remarked.

"They declined."

"Not really good news," Buffy muttered.

"However, considering the importance, in certain circles, of Emma, they *have* agreed to pay you both as Emma's protectors. Fairly handsomely, I might add." Spike raised an eyebrow.

"The Council. Pay me? Ha!" Spike laughed.

"You are doing them a service," Giles responded, dropping an envelope on the coffee table.

"You did this?" Buffy asked. Giles did not respond. "Thank you."

Giles, nodded, standing. " I have to go."

"Now?" Buffy asked, pulling away from Spike and standing. Spike stood behind her, his hands on her hips. He felt as if she might topple down from carrying the world around on her shoulders.

"The information I have is very sensitive. I left the Council without notice. It is best if no one knows this. At least, the fewer the better. The threat could be right under our noses." Buffy was shaking now. Spike moved in closer behind her until her back was pressed hard to his chest.

" I can't... I can't do this. I can't watch her go through this..." Buffy sputtered, the tears starting again.

"I'm afraid there's no choice," Giles replied, his eyes dropping to the floor. "You, of all people, should understand that."

"It doesn't make it any easier," Buffy replied, fear and anger creeping into her voice. " And it's not like I've been relieved of duty to do this."

" I know, Buffy," Giles responded quietly.

"You're not alone, Pet," Spike whispered, leaning his head down so that his mouth was next to her ear. He brushed the hair from her face. "Can't change it. You know that. We'll just have to do out jobs. Live our lives. It'll be alright."

Buffy spun, looking up at Spike with wet and fearful eyes. "This is *not* alright," she cried. "Look at what it did to me. What it did to my family, my friends. That's not alright. People... things... will try to kill our daughter. You're OK with that?"

Spike clenched his fists. He wanted to lash back. To verbally punch her for even imagining that he thought any of it was OK. That he was content knowing his little girl was someone's prey. But it wasn't anger in Buffy's voice, in her face. It was fear. Spike took a deep breath and let his hands uncurl. "No, Love. It's not right. It's not fair. Not to you, nor to Emma, nor to me, nor Giles, nor Niblet. But it *is*, Pet. So we, all of us, protect her. Do you honestly think I would let anything happen to my little girl?" He was stroking Emma's head softly. "Honestly, Buffy?"

Buffy shook her head. Tears still streaming down her cheeks. "Do you think you would let anything happen to her?' he asked. She shook her head again. "Right, then," Spike continued," we just have to make it alright. Letting it be a sodding train wreck would be the real crime against her." Buffy was silent. His eyes were making her dizzy.

"Buffy, try to see the positive in this," Giles said. Buffy turned back to face him. "When she is older, it won't be her job to fight, but rather to stop the fighting. To orchestrate peace. She will render Slayers unnecessary and you can rest. Emma is the one that can make all of the unpleasantries just... stop."

" I would fight until I died to save her from this," Buffy snarled.

" I know," Giles answered. "But we must accept it and most importantly, you must let her be a child. I know it will be hard, but in your zeal to protect her, don't forget she is a little girl."

"I know," Buffy said, clutching the child closer. Emma was sleeping soundly against Buffy's chest. Dawn came over, wrapping her arms around her sister.

"I'll help," she said quietly. Spike squeezed Dawn's shoulder, tenderly.

"I'd best be off," Giles said, looking sadly at Buffy. He touched her arm and turned to go.

"Watcher?" Spike called, tailing him to the door. "Walk to the car?"

"Of course."

"Goodbye Buffy, Dawn, Emma," the Watcher said softly.

"Bye," Dawn replied. Buffy nodded, silent.


"You sure bout all this, mate?" Spike asked as they strolled down the walk.

"Well, as sure as prophesy ever is."

"Have you told us everything?" Spike asked. He never would trust the Council, although Giles was a decent bloke.

"Everything I know."

Spike was quiet. They had reached the car. "Promise me something, Rupert"

Giles looked at the Vampire for a second and saw Buffy's fears echoing in his blue eyes. "What is that?"

"That you'll figure this out, or find someone who can. I need to know more. I need to know who wants her..."

"I promise," Giles answered. "I won't rest until I do."

"Nor will I," Spike replied, shutting the door behind the Watcher.

Spike stood, watching, until the car disappeared around the corner, then headed back up the walkway to the house. Buffy stood in the doorway, the porch light making her look like a Seraphim to Spike. He walked to her and studied her face for what felt like eternity. Spike took her free hand, toying with her fingers. "You know you're not alone."

"I know," she answered, convincingly.

"You know that I love you," Spike said, coming closer. The baby was still tight against her chest. "Always."

"Every day," she whispered.

"Every day," he repeated. "We'll make do."

"I know."

"Trust me?"




The blue sedan clicked silent, stopping a few houses down from the Revello drive address. He had watched the Vampire and the Councilman talking at the car. The red glow of his cigarette brightened as he inhaled, then blew a plume of dark smoke out the cracked driver window.

The Vampire had walked to the house with such purpose. Ah, the Slayer. Pretty little thing. Don't blame the demon for being so traitorous in going after that. The sandy haired man in the grey silk suit took another long drag, watching the tenderness with which the Vampire touched her. The sweet, soft expression on the Slayer's face.

Then he saw *her*.

The vinyl of the car seat crackled as the sandy haired man leaned forward, squinting at the scene on the porch. Encircled by the pair was a tiny baby girl.

The prize.

Let the games begin....

End book two