Bumpverse Schmoop Fics

Prompt: animal rescueMedium: Fic

Summary: Spike and Buffy get to know the neighbors and incidentally find out one of them needs staking.

Where's the Humane Society When You Need Them?

"Oh look, Spike! Aren't they beautiful?" Buffy pointed at the horses grazing quietly in the field. Now that Spike could go out in the daylight, their rambling walks offered more interesting things to look at than had their nocturnal hunts.

"Not bad," he agreed, hundred-year-old memories of what did and did not constitute a beautiful horse worming their way forward. "I think this is the stud farm for one of the more successful racing stables. Considering what those mares probably sold for originally, they should be beautiful."

"You mean they're race horses?" Buffy's eyes were full of excitement.

"Most of 'em probably were for a while. The sires, for sure. Those babies they're carryin' will all get a shot at it, I expect."

"I remember my mom and dad taking me to the races one time when we lived in LA. I didn't really understand what was going on, but I loved watching the horses go whooshing by us."

"Could take you to the races, here, if you'd like," he said, dipping his head as if expecting her to ask if he'd lost his mind.

"Would you? Really? Could we do that?"

He pulled her into a tight hug. "Can do whatever we bloody well please, love. I'm human – more or less," he added, squeezing her hard enough to demonstrate the strength in his new body. "And you've got lots of other slayers out there fighting the good fight for you. We are who we are, but that doesn't mean we can't sneak away for a day of fun now and again."

"Have I mentioned how glad I am to have you back?" Buffy squeezed him in return, earning a small "oof" from him.

"I don't think you've mentioned it today..." He nibbled on her neck and slid his hands under her jacket to stroke the skin he found there.

"Stop it!" she giggled. "It's daylight. People can see us."

"Let 'em watch. We're pretty to look at." He wiggled his eyebrows at her in a mock-serious leer.

"Let's not and say we did," she said, pushing him away gently enough to assure him that she was saying "not now" rather than "no".

"Spoil sport," he snorted, letting her go. "Let's finish our walk, then. Got plans for you later."

After a lazy afternoon spent reminding each other of how happy they were that Spike was back, they ate a meal at the local pub and then began a quick patrol. Even though the town was probably one of the safest places in England – what with squads of young slayers always out looking for something evil to practice on – the outlying areas still had the occasional visits from vampires looking for new territory, or the rarer and rarer demon looking for the reward for killing Buffy. It didn't make for particularly dangerous or busy nights, but it was enough to keep them in practice... and to remind them of another life when the night was their time.

On the way home from an uneventful patrol of the surrounding area, they paused by the field where they'd seen the horses earlier. It was empty now, to Buffy's disappointment, but Spike assured her the mares were probably in their stalls for the evening.

"Doubt they'd leave them out here out of sight all night. They'll be back out first thing in the morning after they've had their breakfast."

"Can we come back and see them tomorrow?"

"We can do whatever you like tomorrow, love. Although I think we've got classes to teach in the morning. Maybe in the afternoon?" Spike vowed silently to find the farm manager and renew his acquaintance. Ghost Spike had, on a rare occasion when he'd been out without Buffy, saved the man from a possible robbery and beating the previous year. With luck, he'd recognize human Spike as the mysterious man who had appeared out of nowhere and put the rout to his attackers.

It was only a few weeks later that they followed their instincts to a nearby town where there had been a lot of unexplained disappearances.

"I'm thinking demon," Buffy said, swinging her sword. "I mean, don't you think? Cats, dogs, pigs?"

"Got to admit, pet, can't imagine a self-respecting vamp feeding off animals when there are people around. But they've gone missing too, haven't they?"

"Yeah. But if it's a big demon, maybe he isn't fussy. Pigs – people, same thing."

Spike made a face. "Not as I recall," he said, ducking the inevitable punch for reminding her of his former life style. He laughed and danced out of reach.

"Wanna bet on it? If it's a demon, I win. If it's a vampire, you win."

"Stakes?"

"I've got them," she said, waving hers around. "And the sword."

"I meant, Slayer, what are we betting for? What are the stakes of the wager?"

"Oh. I knew that..."

A snort was Spike's only reply, and they walked in silence for a minute.

"Okay, smartass. If I win, you have to do whatever I want when we get home. And if you win, I have to do whatever you want. How about that?"

"Considering we're likely to be wanting the same things... Brilliant!"

"See? And you think I'm dumb."

He had her wrapped in his arms before she'd even finished speaking. "I think no such thing, and you bloody well know it!"

"Sheesh! Touchy much?" She wiggled around until she had her own arms around his waist. "I really was kidding that time, you big goof. Don't be a... a... git!" She beamed, proud of her correct use of his version of the English language.

He laughed at her obvious pride and hugged her tightly. "Have I mentioned how much I love you?"

"Not since this morning. Wanna tell me again?"

A scream interrupted his reply and they broke apart to run toward the sound. A tall, angry vampire raised his head and glared at the interruption. He was dressed in a tuxedo and cape, and had bent his victim over his arm dramatically. He snarled at them to leave, holding the terrified girl by one arm when they just stood there gaping at him.

"Don't you know who I am?" he lisped. "You should run while you have the chance."

"Um," Buffy looked at Spike and tried to keep a straight face. "You're Christopher Lee?"

"No, pet," Spike said with a smirk. "He's clearly George Hamilton."

"Hmm, I think the cape is kinda Bella Lugosi, don't you?"

When they'd finished laughing at his haughty assurance that he was "the one and only Dracula" they spent a few minutes arguing over which one of them was going to dust him. Which allowed him to push his intended victim at them and run for his lair.

While Spike made sure the frightened, but unharmed girl made it safely back to a lighted area, Buffy took off after the escaping vampire. His lair turned out to be the ruins of an old castle set on the side of small hill at the edge of town. The ruins were spread out and full of shadows where the beams from the full moon weren't able to reach.

When Spike caught up with her, Buffy was walking through the roofless ruins singing, "Come out, come out, wherever you are, Dracky baby."

"How's that working out for you, Slayer?"

He could hear, if not see, the pout. "He's hiding somewhere. I know he's here, I can feel him."

Spike frowned. "Think I can sense something too," he murmured. "If it's that strong, maybe he's older than we think—" He broke off as something landed on his back and sank its teeth into his shoulder. "Sonovabitch!" he yelled, flinging the creature over his head and into one of the dilapidated stonewalls. He stalked towards what appeared to be a small demon, fully intending to rip its head off.

"Wait, Spike!" Buffy came hurrying up. "It looks like it's a... monkey?"

"I don't care if it's King-bloody-Kong. Little bastard bit me, he's done for."

The small monkey had recovered from its encounter with the wall and was snarling at them furiously, its eyes glowing yellow and its fangs exposed.

"It's a monkey vampire!" Buffy shuddered, before leaning forward and driving her stake through its chest. "Who does that?"

"Same kind of idiot turns cats and dogs," Spike said. "Heads up, pet."

The vamped cat that leapt off the wall at them turned out to be more trouble than the slavering Rottweiler, which Spike quickly disposed of by breaking its neck, leaving it to be staked later when he had pulled the scratching, biting cat off a furious Buffy.

"If I end up with scars on my face, this guy is going to take a long time to die..." she was saying, holding the cat at arm's length so that Spike could stake it. Which proved difficult as it was small and never stopped wriggling and clawing.

"Dammit, Slayer, hold the thing still, will you?"

"You want it held any way than by the scruff of the neck, you hold it!" she snapped back, waving it around like an animated stuffed animal.

"This is one of those times I wish I still had my fangs," he growled, grabbing the cat's tail and holding it still long enough to run the stake through its body. As the dust fell to the floor, he pulled Buffy into the moonlight and tried to see how badly she'd been cut up.

"I'm all right," she said with a grateful smile. "They're just scratches. I'll wash them out when I get home and they'll be gone by tomorrow." She glared at the dusty spot on the floor. "And if they aren't, I'm coming back to dust that flea trap all over again."

"Speaking of dusting..."

They turned to see what sort of animal might be coming after them next, almost relieved to find several garden-variety vampires emerging from the shadows. None of the new arrivals appeared to be the would-be Dracula that Buffy had chased into the castle, and she looked at Spike and sighed.

"This guy just doesn't want to face us, does he?" she muttered, falling automatically into a back-to-back fighting stance with Spike.

"Got to say, that's a pretty Drac thing to do – sending minions to do his fighting for him. Vamp's done his homework."

"Whoopee, he's a student of history. Can we make him dusty soon? I really want to get home some time tonight."

The approaching vampires were treading carefully, being fully aware of the near-by Slayer school and the fact that pretty girls who willingly went into ruined buildings in the dark probably had good reason not to be worried. However, none of them were aware that this particular slayer had a male partner who was not only the first male slayer of record, but also a former member of the Scourge of Europe who had defeated two slayers himself. They concentrated their attack on what they took to be the weakest opponent.

Two piles of dust later, the remaining vampires were rethinking their plan while Spike was verbally encouraging them to try again.

"Is that all you've got? Bring it on, wankers. It's been awhile since I had a good fight."

Buffy had quickly disposed of the two vampires facing her, going on the attack herself when it was obvious they were afraid to come close to her. She glanced at Spike, who was easily subduing the two remaining minions, allowing them to fight back just enough to keep them from running away.

"While you're playing, I'm going to go find Mr Wannabe," Buffy said as she moved off in the direction from which all the attacks had come. A snuffling noise and a soft whicker sent her peering into a yard that was open to the night sky, but surrounded by crumbling stonewalls.

"What!" Buffy's outraged shriek brought Spike running, his two former playmates now part of the dust on the floor.

"Buffy?" He stopped, his gaze following her trembling arm as she pointed into the pen. Huddled in one corner were two obviously pregnant mares and one nervous-looking gelding.

"You don't suppose...?"

"No, pet. I don't think so. I think they're livestock. His own private bloodbank, I'd guess. Probably how the others started out too."

"I am soooo done with this guy." She whirled and ran back into the ruins, extending her senses until she could feel which direction to take. By the time Spike caught up to her, she was punching the self-styled Prince of Darkness up one side of an interior courtyard and down the other. She was so intent on punishing him for his animal abuse that she almost forgot to quip.

When she had reduced him to an unconscious figure on the floor, she pulled out her stake and plunged it through his chest. She watched with satisfaction as he crumbled to dust just like any other vampire.

"Huh! He can't even make one comeback from being staked. Dracula, my ass," she said, kicking the dust to scatter it around the dirt floor.

"No gypsy tricks," Spike agreed. "Job well done, pet. Minions all gone, self-styled master in the dirt where he belongs, all that's left is to get the horses safely home."

"How are we going to do that?" Buffy had worked her way back to the open yard and was cooing at the three horses clustered in one corner of the pen. "We don't have anything to lead them with."

"I s'pect, if we just open the gate, they'll find their own way back pretty fast." He thought about the two country lanes that would have to be crossed. "But, if you're worried about them, I'd say we leave them here and pop in to the farm in the morning to tell John where they are."

"You think they'll be all right? Maybe we should just stay..."

Spike rolled his eyes. "We did for the things that were living off them, Slayer. They'll be fine till the morning." Buffy ignored him and began prowling through the ruins. "Hey! What are you doing? I thought you wanted to get home? Where, I'd like to remind you, as the winner, I get to do whatever I want..."

Buffy gestured from the entrance to a room that he hadn't seen yet. "Do we have to be at home for that?" she asked, her voice full of promise. "Cause it looks like old Wannabe fixed up a bedroom that Drac could have lived in."

Spike followed her beckoning hand into a small room dominated by a four-poster bed draped in soft linens. The room looked surprisingly clean. More as if its owner wanted to show it off rather than use it.

He cast an eye up at the open ceiling, saying, "That wanker had a lot more faith in canopies that I would have. That thing wouldn't keep off enough sun to—"

"Here," Buffy said from a dark corner. "He stayed here in the daytime." A low opening in the wall led down a few stone steps and into a small cave carved into the side of the hill. Spike grabbed a candle from the table near the bed and quickly lit it before following Buffy down the steps. He held it up and they could see that this was where the vampires had spent their days. Make-shift beds, a chair and blood stains on the floor were all that was left of their presence.

"So, I guess the bedroom was just for show?"

"Probably," Spike agreed. "Something to make him seem special and keep the minions in their place." He pointed into the dark cavern. "But underneath it all, he was just another crypt-dwelling vamp. No class at all."

Buffy brushed past him on her way out of the depressing room. "Oh? Unlike another crypt-dwelling vampire I can think of?"

"Didn't always live in a crypt," he muttered. "And mine was fixed up."

"It was," she said, her expression soft in the candlelight. She took the candle from him and set it back on the table. "It was very special."

Somewhat mollified, Spike ran a hand down her cheek. "Would have given you something better if I'd thought—"

"If you'd had any reason to think I'd have appreciated it. I know," she whispered, leaning into his hand. "You gave me everything you could, given the circumstances. I've never faulted you for it. It may have taken me a while to notice all the things you did to make me more comfortable there, but I did notice... eventually."

"Loved you," he said softly. "Would have given you the world if you'd let me."

"I know that now. If I could make it up to you..."

In a quick mood shift, he picked her up and carried her to the bed. "Well, let's see if you can. I believe I'm entitled to some complete obedience for a while, Miss It-has-to-be-a-demon?"

"Oh that's right. What do you want me to do? This? Or how about..." her voice dropped to a whisper as she ran one hand down to the growing bulge in his pants, "this?"

Spike flopped down on his back, arms and legs spread. "Want you to use your imagination," he said with a leer. "What do you think I'll like?"

Buffy stood up and began, very slowly, to take off her clothing. "I think you'll probably like me naked," she said, doing a slow, provocative striptease as she moved in and out of the candle's small circle of light.

"Good guess," he said hoarsely, shifting uncomfortably on the bed. "What else you got?"

"I've got all night," she said with a grin. She moved to the foot of the bed and began to crawl up the length of it. Spike's eyes were riveted on her breasts as they moved with every new arm placement. When she reached the head, she shifted so that she was over him, still on her hands and knees. With a growl that sounded much like his old, vampire self, he reached up and took one nipple in his mouth, pulling her down closed with both hands.

Buffy's giggle trailed off to a moan as he rolled them over and began suckling in earnest.

"Thought you wanted me to use my imagination," she gasped, arching into him.

"Changed my mind. I'll use mine and you have to cooperate."

"What if," she murmured as he stopped long enough to start shedding his own clothes, "I want to do more than cooperate? What if I want to participate?"

"I'm a reasonable man," he assured her as he covered her with his now naked body. "We'll work something out."

And they did. Several times.

The End

Prompt: Cuddling while sick

Summary: Shortly after Spike has returned he catches a cold...

Ah Choo!

"I thought you loved me..."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "I do love you. But you're being such a baby about this."

"I could be dying, and you're mocking."

"You're not dying. You have a cold! A regular old, ordinary, everybody-gets-them cold."

"I think it's at least the flu," he sniveled, reaching for the tissues. "Maybe even pneumonia." He glared at her through bloodshot eyes. "I remember colds. They never made me this sick when I was human the first time."

"You weren't a... a whatever you are now, then. I've explained this to you at least three times... It's the whole superpowers/slayer thing. We don't get sick often, but when we do, the body goes all out to fight it. Higher fevers, deeper coughs, runnier noses, worse headaches... but it all goes away in a couple of days, so it evens out." She paused and frowned. "Unless your formerly souled, now evil boyfriend is trying to kill you and you can't even fight without falling down..." Buffy's voice trailed off as she remembered a time years ago when she'd been sick and trying to function on aspirin and antihistamines. "Okay, you probably do feel really, really bad, but—"

"I have a fever!"

"Spike, it's only a 100 degrees. Even if you were a normal human, that wouldn't be much of a fever. For a slayer, it's normal. We're hotter than other people."

"Not interested in talking about how sexy you are just now, Buffy. Ah... ah... choo!" Spike scrambled for the tissues again, blowing his already red nose and throwing the used tissue on the floor.

Buffy shook her head. "Oh for... Here - take this stuff." She handed him a bottle of aspirin, a bottle of cough syrup, and a spoon. She stepped closer and placed a cup of hot tea with lemon and honey on the bedside table. "Now, take your meds, drink your tea, lie down, get some sleep and you'll be all better by... by... ah... ah... oh no!... choo!"

"So, we're going to be all better by tomorrow. Is that right, love?" Spike nuzzled the side of her neck, but without his usual enthusiasm.

Buffy groaned. "Yes, tomorrow... next day at the latest." She snuggled into his side. "I don't feel good. I want you to hold me."

"Still think we should call somebody. We could die here and no one will know."

"We're not going to die. Trust me—I've been through this before. We aren't going to die." She sneezed and grabbed the tissues. "We might wish we had, though..." She squeezed her eyes shut and added her tissue to the rapidly growing pile on the floor. "I want to cuddle."

"Will that require me to move my head or open my eyes?"

"Shouldn't."

"Good, then. Here we go. One cuddle coming up." He put one arm around her shivering body and pulled her closer.

"We'll laugh about this later - when we feel better," Buffy mumbled. "About how both of us just laid in bed moaning and sneezing—" She shook with a bout of furious coughing, groaning when she finally was able to stop and breathe normally.

"At least we've got each other," he said, pulling her back into his chest now that she had stopped coughing. "Would be worse to be laying here all sick and alone..."

"Please tell me that is not your hand going where I think it's going..."

"Bloody well better be my hand! Who else's would it be?" When she didn't respond, he continued. "I'm just trying to take your mind off how bad you feel."

"You can't seriously feel like..."

"Well," he coughed, more from embarrassment than the virus, "I don't, actually. Not really. Not," he hastened to add, "that I couldn't if you wanted to. I'd be up for it just like that!" He tried to snap his fingers but was too weak.

"I don't want to," she assured him, giving him a pained smile. "But if you do, I guess I could..."

"Wouldn't ask it of you, love," he said quickly with more relief in his voice than he'd planned. "Just a cuddle, then."

"Just a cuddle," she murmured. "Have I mentioned how much I love you?"

"Not up to our usual argument about who loves who the most," he said into her hair. "But if I was, I'd say 'Not as much as I love you'."

"Good thing you're not up to it then..." Buffy yawned and closed her eyes. Spike quickly joined her in restorative sleep that left them both waking up much improved – which called for a more vigorous variety of cuddling...

The End

Prompt: Wedding

Summary: Buffy thinks it should be official.

A Bumpy Wedding

"So, I've been thinking..."

"Always dangerous." Spike grinned and ducked the half-hearted punch she threw at his head.

"Jackass," she said, struggling to hide her smile.

"The bigger an arse I am, the more you love me. Admit it, Buffy. You wouldn't have me any other way." He pulled her over to his side of the bed and nuzzled her neck in a way that, even without his former senses, he could tell made her heart rate go up.

"That is sooo not true," she argued feebly, squirming around until she was pressed up against him. "Stop that," she murmured. "I have something important to say."

"Nothing's so important it can't wait until we—"

"I want you to marry me."

"Except maybe that." He bolted upright and stared down at her. "Do you mean it?"

"Of course I mean it!" She sat up and rubbed the small bulge in her normally flat abdomen. "Don't you think we should be married?"

"Really haven't allowed myself to think about it, love. Would be a dream come true, I'll admit, but I..."

Buffy smiled at him and shook her head. "I forgot to say insecure jackass, didn't I?"

"I am. When it comes to you, I am. I'm grateful for everything you give me. Wouldn't ever ask for more."

"After all we've... you still don't believe I love you?" Her eyes clouded and her face fell. "After all this?" She waved her arm to include the life they'd built together since his return several months ago.

Spike clutched her to his chest, burying his head in her hair. "Of course I do, love. You've proven it over and over again. But loving me and wanting to be stuck with me for the rest of your life..." He felt rather than heard her annoyed huff and raised his head to look her in the eye. "I'm a wanker. I'm sorry. Of course I want to marry you. Nothing I'd like better than to know that you and the bump are mine in the eyes of the law."

Buffy immediately jumped into planning mode. "Well, it'll have to be a quiet wedding – mostly because everybody in town thinks you already are my husband and we don't want to confuse them. We'll have to call it a... a... housewarming party! Or a party to celebrate your return from being 'lost in the wilds of South America'. Or something. Maybe Dawn will have some ideas. She's sneaky like that."

He looked momentarily wistful. "I expect you're right about not doing it up too much. What with having already told everyone that I'm your long-lost husband. Would love to have done the whole church thing, though. Hate for you to miss having that special day too."

Buffy chewed her lip for a minute, trying not to be distracted by the way his hand was creeping up her leg. "I've got it!" she blurted just as his hand reached its intended destination and jerked away in surprise.

"I almost had it," he grumbled, beginning his slow approach again. "What is it you think you've got?"

"How we can do it," she said with an eye roll. "We can say that because I thought you were dead for so long, and because you didn't know if you were going to live to see me again, we're renewing our vows. It's perfect! We'll have a real wedding, and everybody except the ones who really know us will think we're just re-doing something we've done before."

"I'm going to be married to a brilliant woman," Spike said, rolling over to pin her to the bed. "Bloody brilliant, you are. And beautiful, and sexy, and..." He lost his ability to speak when Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his mouth down to meet hers.

"So, what do you guys think? Will it work?" Buffy looked from Giles to Willow and Dawn and back to Giles.

"I don't see why not," he said with a sigh. "Although, in the interest of keeping Spike's return a secret from Wolfram and Hart, I suggest you skip the newspaper announcements and big church wedding. The fewer townspeople know about this, the better."

Buffy's lip started to come out, but Willow quickly interrupted the impending argument. "There's a cute little chapel here on the school grounds," she said, nudging Dawn under the table.

"Oh, yeah! I forgot all about that little chapel. It would look beautiful all decorated up and... and weddingny."

"Weddingny?"

"You know, flowers, ribbons, stuff like that."

"There you are, Buffy. A church wedding, flowers from your own garden?" Giles gave her an inquiring look and she immediately began to nod.

"Oh, yes! I have tons of flowers now." Her proud expression faded somewhat as she continued in a mumble, "Some of them I even planted myself." She hated to admit how much of the lovely garden around the house was due to Spike's knowledge and hard work, but she didn't try to steal the credit.

"Okay, then." Willow beamed. "We're going to have a wedding!"

"Does this dress make me look fat?"

Spike gaped at Buffy as though she had lost her mind. This is why the groom is never supposed to see the bride before the wedding. "You can't seriously expect me to answer a question like that the day before we're to be married!"

"Does that mean it does and you're afraid to say so?"

"It means," he said, pulling her down onto his lap, "that you look like a fine healthy woman in the flush of pregnancy."

"You don't think the empire waistline hides my bump?"

"I love your bump. Don't know why you're so set on hiding it."

"Oh, I don't know. There's just something about walking down the aisle with the reason for the marriage sticking out in front of me that I don't find all that appealing..."

Spike stood up, placing her gently on her feet before moving away. "So that's why we're getting married, is it? To make an honest woman of you?"

"What? No!" She took in his expressionless face and sighed. "No, that's not it. But if the bump is visible, that's what it will look like. Do you want everybody to think I'm only marrying you because you knocked me up? "

"Maybe they'll think it's the only reason I'm marrying you," he muttered in a feeble attempt to save face.

Buffy rolled her eyes and sighed.

"Right, cause nothing says 'I'm being forced into this' better than refusing to stay in Heaven when you get a chance to go there."

"Wasn't Heaven. No Buffy – no happy Spike," he said with a pout.

Buffy moved closer to him and grabbed his lower lip in her teeth. "Gonna get that lip..."

"That's my line," he purred, pulling her closer and turning it into a real kiss. "I said that every time you lost an argument when planning our first wedding.

"Are we arguing? I thought we were just discussing if I'm going to look fat in this dress?"

He threw his hands up in the air and stepped away. "And here we go again..."

Buffy stared at herself in the full-length mirror brought into the chapel's anteroom for just that use.

"Don't say it," Dawn warned in a voice that indicated just how much she did not want to hear anything else about Buffy's barely noticeable weight gain. "Just stand up straight and everybody will be so busy wondering where those boobs came from that they'll never notice anything else."

Buffy turned sideways and admired her chest. "They are bigger, aren't they?" she said with mild surprise. "I thought Spike was kidding."

"Spike never kids about breasts," Dawn replied, rolling her eyes. "Now, come here and let's get this veil on."

Willow popped back into the room just in time to help with the veil, her eyes getting misty as she settled it onto Buffy's head.

"You look beautiful," she said with a sniffle. "Like a princess in a fairy tale. Spike's going to—"

"Spike's probably going to cry," Dawn said, with the sureness of someone who had first-hand knowledge of the former vampire's weaknesses.

From the other side of the door, the sounds of an organ drifted in.

"Oops! Time for us to go," Willow said, tugging Dawn out the door with her. They left the door open so that Giles could enter. He paused to smile, his own eyes turning misty.

"You look lovely, Buffy." She peered at him intently, noting the shiny eyes behind his glasses.

Are all the men in my life going to cry today? Maybe Xander will hold it together...

Without commenting on his imminent tears, she took his arm and nodded at him. "Thank you, Giles. You're looking quite spiffy yourself. Let's go knock 'em dead... or, you know, some less unfortunate expression..."

"Perhaps we could settle for stunned?"

"That works. One stunning, coming up."

She smiled up at him and they walked slowly to the back of the church. At a nod from, Julie, the self-appointed wedding planner, they began the slow march to where Spike was waiting for them. His eyes never left Buffy as she and Giles neared the altar. When Giles placed Buffy's hand in Spike's, he said, "I'm trusting you to take care of her, William."

Spike nodded solemnly. "Always have tried to," he said. "Not planning to stop now."

Buffy looked back and forth between and bit her tongue on the "You do know I could kick both your butts, right?" that trembled there. Somewhere in the back of her brain Joyce Summers was smiling and whispering, "It's just their way of saying they love you, Buffy. Let it go."

She gave Giles an impulsive kiss on his cheek, then turned with Spike to face the coven member who was also an ordained minister. The older woman beamed at the two handsome people in front of her and said, "All right, then. Let's celebrate a wedding!"

Twenty minutes later, Spike and Buffy were clinging to each other in a kiss that soon had the audience clearing their throats and coughing. Flushing bright red, Buffy pulled back and smiled up at Spike. As predicted, his eyes were brimming with unshed tears and Buffy found her own eyes getting blurry.

"We're married," she whispered, blinking rapidly.

"We are that," he replied, swiping a hand across his face. "Now let's get out of here and show these people how to throw a party." He gave her his arm, which she took and moved gracefully down the aisle at his side. Murmured good wishes and congratulations followed them down the aisle and out of the church into the bright summer sunshine.

The End

Prompt: pregnancy, first sonagram

Summary: Just what it says. Buffy's pregnant and have her first sonagram.

Is It a Bitty-Buffy?

"I don't care as long as it's healthy, scary-smart, good-looking, athletic and human."

The doctor gave Buffy a look, then shook his head. "I don't even want to know," he muttered, wondering once again why he'd agreed to fill in for the clinic's normal Ob-Gyn consultant.

"She's kidding, Doc," Spike said, patting Buffy's rounded stomach. "She doesn't really care how smart the sprout is, as long as it's normal."

The doctor stopped fussing with his machine long enough to give Spike a glare. "Somehow I don't find that as reassuring as you meant it to be, Mr. Summers," he said. He turned a professional smile on Buffy and said, "Let's see what we have here, shall we?"

He ran the untra-sound paddle around Buffy's slick skin, nodding as he located her uterus and the curled up fetus. In spite of his discomfort caring for this strange woman and her even stranger husband, he couldn't resist a warm smile.

"There she is," he said quietly.

"She?"

The doctor moved the paddle around, trying to get as many views as he could. "Well, it's in pretty good position for us to see a penis if there were one, but there doesn't seem to be. That makes it very likely that she's a girl. He shifted to one side and allowed Spike to get a better view of the monitor.

Spike peered intently at the screen before breaking into a soft smile. "I think it's a girl, love. We're going to have a bitty-Buffy."

"Are you sure?" Buffy's question was addressed to the doctor.

"I'm as sure as one can be from a picture. What I'm sure about is that the baby appears to be developing normally, is the correct size for the age, has all the appropriate body parts in the correct numbers, and is active and growing. If you are extremely concerned about anything, we can do an amniocentesis in another week or two. That would also provide you with certainty as to the sex. However, given your youth, good health and track record of having produced a normal, healthy child before, I would not recommend it. The risk is very small, but it does exist."

"Not putting needles into my girl's belly," Spike grumbled before Buffy could speak. She gave him a glare, then turned back to the doctor.

"Maybe we could do another ultra sound? Later?"

"You could. You'll have to explore that option with your regular physician. But it would certainly be a good alternative to an otherwise unnecessary invasive test."

While they were speaking, the nurse had wiped the gel from Buffy's belly, allowing her to pull the waistband of her sweat pants up and come to a sitting position.

"Okay," she said. "If I decide I just can't stand not knowing, I'll talk to Dr. Greene about doing another sonogram in a month or so." She slipped off the examination table and put her shoes on. "Thank you, Doctor."

Spike shook the doctor's hand, mumbling his own thanks as the man left the room. He turned to look at Buffy.

"You'd think I was still a ghost... or a vampire, the way he was looking at me," he said, his indignation only partially faked.

Buffy shook her head and laughed, poking him in the arm. "It's not like you go out of your way to be unintimidating you big fake," she said. "You know you love it -– you can pretend you're still the Big Bad."

"You know me too well, love," he grinned, holding the door for her and following her out of the clinic.

"I do," she said with great satisfaction. "Well enough to know that you want a girl so you can spoil her rotten and scare off all her boyfriends some day."

"Is that so wrong?" he murmured in her ear, pulling her close. "To want another Buffy in my life?"

"So you can be bullied by two women, instead of just the one you're used to?"

"I prefer to think of it as gracefully accepting your guidance – not letting you bully me."

"Yeah, whatever. She's going to wrap you around her little finger and you know it."

"Wouldn't have it any other way, my love."

The End

Prompt: kidfic - bedtime

Summary: Spike reads a bedtime story.

Get to the Good Part, Daddy!

"Come on, Spike. Use some of that famous stamina and get up and see what your son is crying about."

Buffy rolled over, one hand holding her large stomach protectively, and batted her eyelashes at him.

"He's crying because we've spoiled him rotten and he thinks he should be in here with us," he grumbled, sitting up and glaring at the pajama bottoms lying at the end of the bed. He grabbed them as though planning to rip them apart, then sighed and pulled them on. "Feel like a right ponce in these things," he muttered, standing up and narrowing his eyes at her barely concealed smile. "Laugh it up, Slayer, you'll get yours."

"I've already got mine," she giggled, rubbing her round stomach. "And you have to get used to wearing pajamas before she gets here. There are a some things she just doesn't need to know about her daddy."

Shaking his head and unable to hide the smile the sight of her pregnant body always brought to his face, he walked out of the room and down the hall to where a smaller version of him was sitting up in his toddler bed. Tears streaked the child's cheeks, drying quickly when Spike entered the room and switched on the soft light near the bed.

"What's this, then?" he said, ruffling his son's hair. "You know what we've told you about getting a big-boy bed – means you have to be big enough to sleep in it by yourself."

Without replying, Billy moved over and raised still-damp but hopeful eyes to his father. He patted the space he'd made and asked, "Tell me a story, Daddy? Please?"

With a sigh that lacked sincerity and just made Billy smile, Spike maneuvered himself around the slats that kept Billy from falling out during the night. He settled back against the headboard and put one arm around his son.

"Right, then, Sir William. What is it you want to hear?"

"Tell me about when you and Uncle Xan-Xan came to rescue Mommy and me and you got to blow up a whole big building!" Billy's hands flew up in the air, almost hitting Spike in the face, as he demonstrated his vision of how the London offices of Wolfram and Hart suffered for having tried to imprison two-thirds of the Pratt family. Spike laughed as he ducked a tiny fist and tried to shush him.

"Your mum's not too keen on you hearin' any more about that than you already have, you know," he whispered. "If you want to hear about it, you're going to have to be very quiet..."

"I can be quiet, Daddy," he whispered back. "I'm a good quieter."

"Alright then, there were these bad, bad men - and a few women - and they kidnapped your mum—"

"Why didn't you stop them, Daddy?" His wide-eyed innocence as he asked his question made Spike's gut clench.

"Wish I had, luv. Trust me, I wish I had. But they shot Daddy with tranqu— stuff that made me fall asleep before I could stop myself. So then I had to play catch-up for a bit. Find out where your mum was taken... figure out how to get in..."

"And Uncle Xan-Xan helped you! "

Spike grinned as he understood where Billy had been receiving his information. "He did, and so did everybody else you know - your Auntie Willow, Granpa Giles, everybody helped. Those nasty buggers didn't have a chance. We tracked 'em down, broke the wards, kicked their arses—"

"You said 'arse'," Billy giggled. Spike flinched, grateful that Buffy wasn't there to catch him using two of her "never in front of the kids" words in the middle of a bedtime story.

"Yeah, you don't need to be telling your mum about that either..."

"And then you and Uncle Xan-Xan blew it up!"

"Well, Auntie Faith and I had to get your mum – and you – out first. Which we did and then—"

"And then you blew it all up!" Once again little fists were thrown into the air and Spike was forced to give in to what was obviously the important part of the story.

"And then we blew up. Turned into a big pile of evil rubble, we did."

Going from excitement to sleepy in the bat of an eye, Billy snuggled into his father's side, murmuring, "And then I was born..."

Spike stroked the golden head and watched as his son's eyes drifted closed and his face went slack. "And then you were born," he whispered, leaning down to drop a kiss upon the head. "Making your mum and me very, very happy..."

The End

Prompt: Spring holiday/festival

Summary: Set in the Bumpverse. Spike gets his first taste of an American Easter tradition.

The Easter What?

"Daddy, you're mixing the colors! And not in a pwetty way."

"Vampires don't go in much for Easter-egg dyeing, love. Maybe your mother should be doing this."

"Daddy, you pwoooomisssed."

"Yeah, Daddy," Buffy said, bending over and whispering in his ear. "You promised me, too, remember? Last night? When you said you'd do anything if I..."

"How was I to know I was promising to spend the day trying to keep the purple from running into the yellow, and—Bloody hell!" He glared at the brownish mess he'd just made on the countertop.

"Language!" she hissed, smacking him on the back of his head.

"Wanwuage, Daddy," Joy said, with a stern glare that made her small face look frighteningly like her mother's.

"No fair ganging up on me, now," he protested. "Billy-boy, aren't you going to help your poor old dad out here?"

"In all fairness, Father, you were mixing up the colors," his son said apologetically.

Spike and Buffy exchanged glances, and stared at their oldest child.

"I'm going to take him out of that nancy-boy school," Spike muttered, not for the first time. "They're turning him into a little... a little..."

"William Pratt?" Buffy offered with a giggle. She now knew much more about Spike's life the first time he was human, and she wasn't above teasing him about it.

"Ha, bloody, ha, Slayer."

Sensing that Spike was reaching the end of his normally boundless patience with his children, Buffy relented and used her hip to push him off his stool. "Why don't you go outside and see if you can figure out where the Easter Bunny is likely to hide them?" she said. "I'll take over here for a while."

"I love you!" He kissed her on the cheek and dashed out the kitchen door before either child could voice a complaint.

"You owe me," Buffy muttered, staring at the cups of colorful dye and the two dozen eggs remaining to be dipped.

"No. I will not wear bunny ears while I hide the bloody eggs! I don't care what you promise me, or what you... oh, like that, love..."

"Can we go find our eggs now? Huh, can we, huh?" Joy was bouncing up and down by the kitchen door and insisting she'd seen the ears of a very large rabbit just visible through the high window.

"It's 'may we go find our eggs'," William said primly, then ran to the door to stretch up as high as he could, trying to spot the rabbit.

Buffy rolled her eyes at her oldest, wondering how long he was going to pretend that he was as gently raised as the other boys at his school. Telling herself it was just a stage brought on by the adjustment to being around other children, she smiled indulgently and ruffled his hair.

"I think Joy's a little young to be having her grammar corrected, don't you?" she said, softening her words with a kiss on his cheek. "Yours wasn't all that great at her age, either."

"But I'm in real school now," he said, frowning. " And she's just in pre-school. I want to share what I'm learning with her."

"That's very thoughtful of you, son," Spike said, entering silently from the hallway and signaling Buffy with his eyes that the eggs were safely hidden. "But your sis will be learning the same things you are when she's old enough. No need to rush it."

"Exactly," Buffy said, taking down two gaily decorated baskets. "Let's concentrate on finding all those eggs the Easter Bunny hid, and worry about proper grammar later. 'k?"

Billy snatched his basket from her and immediately reverted to his usual enthusiastic self.

"I'll bet I find more than you do!" he shouted, yanking open the door and leaping into the yard. Joy was only a few steps behind, her own basket swinging off her arm and she headed for the nearest bush. Their shouts of discovery, and brief spats over who spotted what first drifted back to where their parents sat on the porch steps.

"Did you ever think...?"

"Not in a million years, pet. Not in my wildest, most delusional dreams."

"Me neither. You, me, our two normal children. It's just per—"

"You know if you finish that sentence, love, the world will probably end tomorrow."

She gave a soft laugh. "Yeah, probably so. Or, at best, we'll have to go running off to prevent it."

" 's what I'm saying."

Buffy leaned against him and sighed her contentment. "I guess I'll have to settle for thinking it, then."

"Just don't think too loud, Slayer," he said, dropping a kiss on her head and putting his arm around her.

The End