|In Harm's Way by dawnofme|
|Chapter #30 - 29. What Would Buffy Do?|
|Betas: Mable Marsters, Tanit and Slaymesoftly|
In Harm's Way
Chapter Twenty-Nine: What What Buffy Do?
There were advantages to having an older car. The newer models had those blasted consoles in the middle, but his beloved Desoto had one very long seat; perfect for snuggling while driving. Even though he had the radio off, he was in road trip heaven. The windows were down, a nice bit of fresh air flowed through the car, and he had an arm around Buffy. Better than that, she was resting her hand on his knee and was leaning against him, staring out the window at the road ahead of them with a ghost of a smile on her face.
In all his century-plus existence, he hadn't experienced anything that topped this night. He glanced at Buffy and quickly kissed the top of her head. She was in love with him. She'd searched for him and got her friends to drive her to Los Angeles because she was worried about him and couldn't wait to tell him how she felt. It had been a long two days, thinking that she'd only been paying attention to him for the Gem, and he was never so glad to be wrong in his life. He looked down at her now and unable to help himself, he kissed the top of her head, again.
“Are you comfortable, luv?”
“Uh-huh,” was her sleepy reply.
He smiled and concentrated on the road again. He had to be careful now that he had precious cargo inside.
There had been quite a bit of chaos when the others learned that Buffy was pregnant. Wesley had grilled Willow about the book that mentioned Amara the Vampire, while Xander had been skeptical. Spike could tell that he was mostly hurt that Buffy had told Willow, but not him. Angel had taken out a broom and started cleaning up the mess, which caused Cordelia to stop with her catty remarks and rush to help him.
Spike could see the future there. Little Miss Cheerleader had the beginnings of a crush on the broody one. He hoped that she'd make a play for him soon. Anything to keep him occupied and out of Buffy's business. Angel refused to even look at any of them, but concentrated on his housekeeping, so the party quickly moved upstairs, with Cordy staying behind to comfort him.
They’d left soon after. Willow had Wesley's phone number in her pocket and she'd promised to fax him the pages from the book so that he could see them for himself. Buffy had encouraged Willow and Xander to go ahead and start the trip back without them after she saw the condition of the inside of Spike's car. He didn't feel any shame about the empty bottles or the mess. He'd been miserable and the last thing he'd cared about was how tidy his car was, but Buffy wanted to stop somewhere and clean it out.
As late as it was, the highway was nearly empty and he took his time, actually going the speed limit and savoring these quiet moments with her. Once they got to Sunnydale, there would be things that had to be done. Joyce and Giles did not know about the baby yet; he cringed, thinking about how that would go.
He still wasn't sure what to make of it all. Could the Gem really allow him to father children? He grinned. It did seem likely, but he wanted to see the book that Willow had. Spike wasn't ready to really think about what it meant that a baby was on the way, so he focused instead on the amazing fact that Buffy could feel any kind of love for him.
It was nearing five-thirty in the morning when they drove into Sunnydale. Buffy sat up and rubbed her eyes.
“Where should I take you?” he asked, hoping that she'd say his place.
“Can we go to Midridge Lookout?”
He smiled at her. “I'd love to take you there, love, but with the windows not blacked out, it wouldn't be safe for me. The sun will be coming up soon and I'll need to take cover.”
“Not if you're wearing this,” she said, pulling the chain out from under her shirt.
He tingled with anticipation, seeing the Gem dangling on that chain.
“Really?” he asked.
He navigated the winding road and found a turnabout to park the car in. They walked a short distance until they arrived at their spot, just as the sky behind the hills on the other side of town was turning purple. His inner warning bells went off, telling him to get underground .
“I'm starting to get nervous, pet,” he said as he eyed the ring still hanging from the chain between her breasts.
She quickly took off the chain and undid the clasp, then took his hand and slipped the Gem of Amara back on his finger. He closed his eyes and let the warmth wash over him, then he showed her the mood ring and together, they watched it go from dark grey to bluish green .
“I think that belongs to me,” Buffy said.
Spike took the mood ring off and slipped it on for her. Staring at their entwined hands, he smiled, then glanced up and met her soft, affectionate eyes. He leaned in for a kiss; she tilted her head up, closing her eyes. There was nothing better in the world than having her relaxed and pliant in his arms. His heart soared, knowing there wasn't an ounce of resistance in her. He took his time, gently moving his lips over hers and softly caressing her body.
Hooking her fingers in the belt loops of his jeans , she rested her head on his shoulder and sighed as he continued to run his hands over her back. After another contented sigh, she said, “This is amazing. I never thought...”
“I know, pet. If someone told me, six months ago, when I was still in South America, that I'd be here with you, I would have never believed it.”
Buffy straightened and gazed at him with haunted eyes.
“I almost staked you.”
“It's what you do,” he said with a shrug. “You thought I killed a man.”
“But you didn't,” she said in awe. “I mean, I've seen you stake other vampires and kill tons of demons, but I never thought you'd ever save a human life.”
Brushing a stray lock of her hair behind her ear, he said, “I didn't do it out of the goodness of my heart. In fact, I was on my way to find you when I saw them in that alley. I passed them by, but then I thought 'what would Buffy do ?' and I went back and staked the vampire.”
She laughed softly and said, “I'm not Jesus.”
“No, but you're a goddess to me; and maybe I don't have a soul, but I'd do anything for the woman I love. I hope that's enough, because I couldn't care less about humans.”
“It is enough.” She smiled at him. “Should I get you a WWBD bracelet?”
“I'd wear it,” he said in all seriousness.
“But I'm not so sure that you don't care for all humans. Look at how good you are with Anabella.”
Buffy put her hand on her stomach and he covered her hand. Her stomach was still perfectly flat and toned, since she was only three months along. It just didn't seem real, but it was exciting at the same time.
“I'm making you a promise right now. Even if it turns out that the sprog is not mine, I'll care for it and protect it with my life.”
“I know you will,” Buffy said softly. “But, I'm very sure that it's yours. I've had slayer dreams about it. Some of them are crazy, involving the Maury Povich show.”
With a chuckle, he said, “That's one show you'll never get me to go on.”
“See, that proves they are slayer dreams, because every time I have one, they have to shove you out on stage.”
“I'm going to be a father,” Spike said with a touch of wonder in his voice. “You're going to be a mother.”
“It's hard to believe.”
When Buffy giggled, he asked, “What's so funny?”
“My ICU nurse thought that you were my boyfriend and when she told me I was pregnant, she said that the baby would be beautiful.”
“It will be,” he said, puffing up with pride. “With a combination of both our good looks and strength, plus my incredible charm, our child will be very popular.”
With a laugh, she told him, “That's a long way away. Let's get through having the baby before we start thinking about it going off to school.”
With the sky turning pink, they faced the hills hand in hand and watched. After a few minutes, he let go and rested an arm around her shoulders. She put her arm around his waist and pulled him closer. Once the sun had cleared the hill, they turned to face each other and he kissed her again.
“The last time we saw a sunrise together, we conceived this baby,” Buffy said, gazing into his eyes.
She kissed him while pulling his shirt from his pants, getting her hands under it to touch him. The kiss turned urgent with need until he broke it off, but cupped one of her breasts, rubbing her nipple through the material of her shirt.
“Well, we can't break tradition,” Spike stated. “Too bad my lair is torn up.”
“The back seat of your car is very large and it looks comfy,” she said hopefully.
He let go of her and frowned. “I will not shag the mother of my unborn child in the back seat of a car .”
“It could be fun.” Buffy shrugged.
“You need to be in a soft bed, cherished and made love to.”
“I'm pregnant, not sick . I won't break.”
“Maybe not, but I'm going to take care of you and make sure that you are treated like a queen.” The smile that she gave him as she caressed his cheek had him wanting to make love to her right away. “Come back to my house with me.”
“We'll get you something to eat – something healthy -- and then I'm going to make love to you and hold you while you sleep.”
“That sounds perfect.”
He took her hand in his and guided them back to the car. Once they were on the road again, he said, “And later, we'll call your mother and invite her over for dinner so we can tell her together.”
“I have no idea how she's going to take this,” Buffy said, looking over at him with her hand pressed against her forehead.
“Well, we'll just have to make sure there are no weapons within reach. Especially axes .”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
“Spike!” Buffy called out, entering the house.
She'd felt like such a slacker, staying in bed instead of going to her afternoon classes, but she’d forced herself to leave Spike to go back to her dorm room to get a change of clothes. Her mom would be arriving in a few minutes and she wanted to look nice. She took a deep whiff and sighed. The house smelled divine.
When they told Clem their good news and that her mother would be over for dinner, he offered to cook the meal for them. He told Buffy that he could cook anything and that all she had to do was put a menu together and he'd get it done.
Spike agreed with her that they should go all out with this dinner and make her mom's favorite Greek dishes. They were going to start out with spanakopita for an appetizer, then kleftiko for the main course and end with baklava.
“I thought I heard you,” Spike said, coming from the kitchen. He rushed to her and swept her up into a hug that ended with a swift but passionate kiss. “I've missed you.”
“I've only been gone for an hour.”
She stepped back and gave him a thorough looking over. His duster was gone and he was wearing the blue shirt again.
“Do I pass inspection?”
“Of course. My mother likes you already. I don't think you needed to dress to impress.”
Nervously pulling on his left ear, he said, “We'll have to see how much she likes me after we tell her that I've been shagging you and that I've got you up the duff .”
Buffy hit him on the shoulder.
“Don't say it like that!”
“I'll let you do the talking,” Spike said.
She stopped giggling when Clem came into the living room.
“Well, everything's ready and keeping warm in the oven. You'll just have to dish it all out.”
Buffy smiled fondly at the demon and gave him a quick hug. “I'm so sorry that you can't eat with us tonight.”
“We figure one shock at a time might be best,” Spike added.
“Hey, no problem. Besides, now that I was able to wrestle my computer away from my ex, I've got to go catch up with my internet friends. I plan to spend the night in my room, chatting.” He smiled at them. “I'm just going to make me a plate of that kleftiko and grab a couple of brewskies and then I'll be out of your way for the rest of the night.”
The doorbell rang, just as Clem disappeared upstairs. Buffy and Spike stared at each other for a brief moment before he went to answer the door.
“Good evening, Joyce. I'm so glad you could come.”
“Thank you for inviting me. I've come straight from the gallery. You won't believe the day I've had, but I'm looking forward to spending time with my daughter.” She paused, smiled and asked, “Is that lamb I smell?”
“Hi, Mom.” She gave her a hug. “And yes, were having kleftiko.”
Joyce narrowed her eyes and looked at Buffy sideways. “My favorite dish? Why?”
Buffy stammered. They'd planned to tell her during dessert.
“It's ready now, if you're hungry,” Spike said, guiding Joyce to the dining room.
Buffy mouthed a thank you to Spike and rushed off to the kitchen.
Joyce sat down in the chair that Spike pulled out for her and took in her surroundings. “This is a very nice home, Spike.”
“Thank you. I'm starting to get really attached to it. I have a six month agreement, but I'm hoping they'll sell to me.”
“That would mean that we'd be permanent neighbors. Do vampires usually live in houses ?”
“No,” Buffy answered for him as she set the appetizers on the table. “Most vampires live underground, but Spike has the Gem of Amara and he functions like a human, so it's only right that he should live in an actual home.”
They moved on to the main course and Spike asked Joyce about her work.
“It's been a little crazy over there. I have a new employee who is not working out well, and I don't know what to do with her.”
As her mother continued talking about the gallery, Buffy watched Spike. Their eyes met and they shared a brief smile, but he quickly went back to being attentive to her mom. Soon her mom wound down about work.
“This lamb is just perfect. Did you cook it, Spike?”
“Oh, um, no. My housemate did.”
“A roommate? How come he's not joining us tonight?”
“He had a prior engagement.”
“Is he Greek?”
Spike chuckled. “No, he just spends a lot of time watching the Food Network and loves to cook.”
“Well, thank him for me, please.”
Spike took a deep breath and stood. “I'll go get coffee and dessert.”
Buffy watched him go and then glanced down at her plate. She tried to think of a topic to start with her mom, but her brain wouldn't function. Even her palms were starting to sweat and that never happened.
“So, how's school?”
“It's good. It looks like I'm going to pass all my courses, even though I missed a lot of lectures.”
“That's great. And have you been dating?”
Spike walked in, raised an eyebrow at Buffy, gently set the desserts down and quickly left again .
Joyce watched him go and then fixed Buffy with a knowing stare. “Or are you and Spike exclusive?”
“Um. We're exclusive, but how did you know?”
“Let me think,” she started, but was interrupted when Spike came back with the coffee. After he poured for her, she continued. “Spike invites me to have dinner with him and you, but the last time we talked about him, you were furious with me for inviting him to stay at my house. And there's the fact that the two of you can’t keep your eyes off each other.”
Spike cleared his throat. “And how do you feel about this?”
“Would it matter how I felt?” Joyce fixed him with a stern look.
Buffy cringed, but Spike stared back at her without flinching and said, “I'm very much in love with your daughter, and while I desperately want you to be OK with that, I won't let anyone stand in the way of us being together.”
Buffy relaxed when her mother smiled at him and said, “Now that's exactly the answer I wanted to hear. Buffy is a very stubborn girl. She could never respect a pushover, and quite frankly, she'd bulldoze over one.”
“Honey, you know it's true,” Joyce said, patting her hand. “I think Spike is a good match for you.” Then she glared at him again. “But if I hear that you are treating her badly, you'll have me to answer to.”
Buffy took a deep breath and, refusing to look at Spike for fear that she'd chicken out, she said, “There's something else I have to tell you.”
“What?” Joyce said through a mouthful of baklava.
“I'm pregnant .”
Joyce coughed and reached for her coffee. “Say that again?”
“I'm going to have a baby. And I know it seems impossible, but Spike is the father.”
Her mother's eyes got even wider and she turned her head to look at Spike. “How could you?”
“No, Mom. I...I... Trust me, it's my fault. And normally, vampires can't father children, but we didn't know that when he wears that ring, he can.”
Joyce put her fork down and brought both hands to her chest. Buffy held her breath. Joyce shook her head slightly.
“I don't understand.”
“It's a long story, but Buffy is not at fault,” Spike said, scowling at Buffy. “Even though I didn't know I could father children, I still should have kept my hands to myself.”
Despite the tense situation, Buffy snorted and said, “You were very reluctant and I practically forced you.”
“What!” Joyce glared at Buffy now.
“Don't listen to her, Joyce. She was under a love spell and couldn't help herself.”
“Are you under a spell now?” Joyce asked, alarmed.
Buffy shook her head.
“I'm sorry if this is a disappointment , Mom.”
The older woman held up her hand to silence them both, but she didn't look at them. An agonizing sixty seconds passed and then Joyce stood up, a smile lighting up her face.
“There's going to be a baby? I'm going to be a grandma? ”
They stood together and nodded. They both came to her when she motioned for them and they all shared a hug. When they parted, Joyce asked, “What are you going to do about school?”
“The baby is due at the end of August, so I'll be able to finish this year out. Spike and I talked about it, and I'm going to take the first semester of next year off and go back in January.”
Spike was just as relieved as Buffy was that Joyce was taking the news so well.
“I plan to support Buffy through all of this and be there for them both.”
“I can't tell you how glad I am to hear that, Spike,” Joyce said, giving him another hug.