Betas: Mabel_Marsters, Tanit, and Slaymesoftly
In Harm's Way
Chapter Thirty: Always
Buffy let go of Spike's hand before she entered Giles' condo. With much trepidation she'd agreed to let Spike be the one to tell Giles the news that they were together and about the baby. She knew Spike was going to enjoy it way too much and that he'd probably say some majorly dumb things, but she was more nervous about telling Giles than she had been about telling her mom.
It was easier to let Spike do it.
Surprised to see Xander sitting on a dining room chair with Anya in his lap and Willow sitting on the couch, she half-heartedly waved at them. Xander and Willow already knew the news, and by the goofy smile on Anya's face, Buffy could tell that Xander had told her. Buffy frowned. There was no reason for them to be present and she really didn't want them to witness the whole thing.
There were greetings all around and then Willow waved them over to sit with her. She had the book about Amara in her lap. Giles sat in his chair, looking very angry.
“You got a smaller cast,” Buffy said, trying to lighten his mood.
Giles stood up, ignoring Buffy, and glared at Spike.
“Now that we're all here, shall we get this meeting started? And I must say, I don't appreciate being called to a meeting in my own home by a vampire.”
Turning to Spike with her mouth slightly open, Buffy said, “You called a Scooby meeting for this?”
Spike nodded and got to his feet, but Giles spoke up before the vampire could talk.
“I see that you got the ring back. Is that what this meeting is about? Because if you've come here with demands, you are sorely mistaken to think we will just stand by and allow you free rein.”
“Do you want the book now?” Willow asked Spike.
“Not yet.” The vampire fixed his gaze on Giles. “I have a few demands first. I suggest you sit down.”
When Giles continued to stand, Spike raised a brow at Buffy and smirked, turning his gaze on Giles. Anya shifted in Xander's lap and watched with avid curiosity.
“Demand the first. Buffy will be taking a long vacation from her duties until, say, the end of September.”
Buffy made a noise of protest, but he wouldn't look at her.
“What!” Giles said. “You expect me to let this hellmouth go to the demons because you say so?”
“Actually, G-man, I think that might be a good idea,” Xander said. “Though you do have a point about leaving the hellmouth unprotected.” He looked at Spike. “Someone has to do it.”
“Buffy doesn't need anyone to take her place. She is the Slayer.” Giles was frowning in confusion now.
“Which leads me to demand the second. I'm taking over this town for the time being and you are going to sit back and stay quiet about it.”
“I will not!”
“Suit yourself, if you want to be difficult, but you are looking at Sunnydale's newest demon slayer and you'd better stay out of my way.”
Xander laughed. “Spike the Vampire Slayer. That sounds strange, but since you've already started with the saving of humans, I guess it works.”
“Demon slayer,” Spike growled.
“Spike, I can't let you do my job,” Buffy said when she got over her shock. “I can do it. I'll just have to be more careful.”
Willow set the book in Buffy's lap. “I think you'd better tell Giles your news now, before his head explodes.”
“Yes, do,” Giles said, trying to contain his anger.
“Let me do the honors. I've been looking forward to this all day.” Spike took the book from Buffy, grinning and looking very pleased with himself.
Buffy wanted to talk about the patrolling some more, but she leaned back on the couch and gave up for now. Later, when they were alone, she'd talk some sense into him. At least get him to see that they could work together, because while she agreed that the baby's safety was the top priority, she couldn't see herself sitting out for that long.
“Break it to him gently,” she pleaded with Spike and bit her lip.
He tilted his head at her, his eyes sparkling with mischief. “Evil, remember? Gotta let me have my fun.”
Spike turned to Giles. “You may want to sit down now.”
“Seriously,” Xander added. “You are not going to believe this.”
“Get on with it.” Giles scowled at them all, but he slowly went back to his seat.
“OK, here's the thing. Buffy and I are a couple.” Giles eyes got big, but Spike hurried on. “She hasn't been faking it, and from what Buffy has told me, you know this already. But there's more. Buffy is pregnant and I am the father.”
Giles stammered and stuttered then fixed Buffy with an angry glare. “This is a very poor idea of a practical joke and I am not amused.”
“I am,” Anya said, standing up to stretch.
“They’re not joking, Giles,” Willow said cheerfully, jumping up from her spot on the couch, taking the book from Spike and going to the watcher. “Let me show you something.”
She opened the book and quickly showed him the passage.
“Even if he could father children,” Giles argued, “he would have had to—with Buffy.”
Buffy couldn't stand the look of disappointment on Giles' face. No matter how difficult he had been the last few weeks, he was more than just a watcher to her. He was family.
“That's right, Rupert. Now you're getting it.”
“Buffy, tell me this is all some kind of sick joke.”
She shook her head, trying to hold back tears. “It's the truth. I'm in love with Spike, and I'm going to have his baby.”
“This is better than anything on Passions,” Anya said with excitement.
“Ahn, not now.”
“What?” she asked Xander, but he just shook his head at her.
“Just because this book says that a vampire was rumored to have had children, doesn't make it so,” Giles said, grasping at straws.
As Willow sat back down, she said, “Well, I faxed the pages to Wesley and he agrees with my conclusions.”
“You've spoken to Wesley about this?” Giles asked. “Am I the last person to find out?”
“Pretty much,” Spike answered.
“I only told my mother last night,” Buffy offered, feeling bad for her watcher. “And Xander and the gang in L.A. found out by accident when they overheard Spike's reaction to the news.”
“I wish you'd all leave now,” Giles said, sounding very tired. “I'm going to need some time to think about this.”
“What is there to think about?” Spike growled. “Nothing you can do will change it.”
“There is the Council to think about, and I need to consult my books on what the procedure is when a slayer gets pregnant. It's happened before—though I'm sure this is the first case where a vampire was involved.”
“We can leave now?” Anya asked hopefully. “It is Friday and that's date night. Before Spike called, we had plans to go to the Bronze.”
“Go ahead,” Giles said, absently turning the pages of the book in his lap.
Xander's keys jingled as he walked. He turned back before he opened the door. “Willow, are you still coming with us?”
The witch leapt to her feet. “Yes! In all the excitement, I forgot that I'm meeting someone there tonight.”
“You have a date?” Buffy asked, and when Willow nodded with a small smile, she followed up. “With who?”
“Why don't you guys come along and find out?”
Buffy was torn. She thought she should stay and talk to Giles and get him to understand how she could love Spike. She glanced at Spike with a silent question, asking him what he wanted to do.
“Anya's right. It is date night. The Bronze could be fun as long as you don't make me dance to that shite they play there.”
Giles looked up from his book and glared at them both. “Please, go.”
Spike held his hand out and helped Buffy up from the couch. She glanced back at her watcher as they went through the door and stopped.
“Can you wait for me in the car? I need to talk to Giles alone for a minute.”
Spike nodded and ran a hand over her hair. “Sure, love. Don't take too long.”
She noticed Willow, Xander and Anya standing together a little ways off.
“You guys go on ahead. Spike and I will catch up in a few minutes.”
Buffy went back inside and gently closed the door. Her heart sank when Giles wouldn't even look up from the book. Sitting back down on the couch, she waited patiently for him to acknowledge her. When he finally did, she took a deep breath and said, “I know it's going to take some time for this news to settle in, but I want you to know, I didn't set out to fall in love with another vampire and certainly not Spike.”
“That doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would,” Giles told her while he cleaned his glasses and set them back on his face. “I've known it for a while now, but hadn't wanted to face up to it. But a baby?”
She tried her best to explain to him how that came about, without going into too many details. After she finished, Giles sighed and rested his head against the chair. With his eyes closed, he said, “This is just so unexpected. I need a little time.” He stared at her again. “The plain fact of the matter is that you are an adult and you can do as you please. It’s just difficult for me because you aren’t just another slayer for me to guide and watch over. Over the years, I've come to admire you and care for you like a daughter. I want more for you. I want you to be happy.”
“I am,” she told him firmly. “I'm terrified about being a mother and I'm going to need a lot of help with that, but I'm truly happy with Spike.”
“I just don't see how that could be possible.”
“Spike is different. He may not have a soul, but he marches to a different beat. I've known that from the first time I saw him with Drusilla, but with the spells and other things, I've gotten to know the real him. The part of him that he hides below the surface of the monster. I'm not excusing what he's done in the past, but I'm a killer too. I kill demons all the time. He used to kill to eat; I kill to protect the innocent.”
Buffy paused and watched Giles. He was listening intently and she appreciated that fact that he respected her enough to care what she said. She just didn't know if she could get across how she felt.
“He's good to me. I mean, I'm a little frustrated with how overprotective he's being about the baby, but look at how he’s willing to take over my patrols.”
“True, that was a surprise. And he really did save that man's life. I inquired over at the hospital and the man is already at home, having made a full recovery.”
“See. He did that for me; that's gotta be something in his favor. Not only is he not feeding on them, but he's willing to save them from other demons.”
“There is that, but I'm going to reserve my judgment for the time being. You mean too much to me to just let things be. However, I won't stand in your way.”
“Thank you, Giles.”
Buffy got up and leaned over to give him a quick hug. Knowing that such things made him uncomfortable, she didn't kiss him on the cheek like she wanted to.
“He's waiting for me in the car.”
“Right. I'll give you a call when I know what's to be done about the Council of Watchers and about the patrolling. I don't know if I quite like the idea of leaving the fate of humanity in the hands of a soulless demon.”
She smiled. “Spike is stubborn. He's going to patrol no matter what you say.”
“I'm sure he will,” Giles said dryly. “But we may have other options and if there are some, I'll be looking to employ them.”
The Bronze was in full Friday night swing with a live band and wall-to-wall people. Spike gripped Buffy's hand so that they wouldn't get separated and searched for her friends. Even though he’d agreed to come, he didn't want to be here, making nice with her friends. They'd been surprisingly accepting of him, and he didn't think they were bad people, but he just wasn't the sociable kind. He would rather be alone with Buffy.
He was glad that he had the Gem of Amara. Without it, the heartbeats and blood-filled vessels around him would have been difficult to resist. He knew he had enough self-control to refrain from even the smallest of snacks, but he would’ve been even more on edge than he was now.
“There they are,” Buffy said over the noise, pointing to a table in the corner, where Xander was standing up and waving them over.
“Hey guys, we saved you a seat,” he told them when they walked up.
“Thanks,” Buffy said.
Spike sat down beside her and noticed that Willow kept staring in the direction of the entrance.
“Your new boy not here yet?” he asked.
“No. But he should be soon.”
“You want something to drink?” he said, leaning into Buffy. “Orange juice, club soda, a bottle of water?”
“Orange juice, please,” she told him with a smile.
With the lot of them staring at him, he stood up and reached in his pocket.
“How about the rest of you? I'm buying.”
They all smiled at him and gave him orders. He started towards the bar, mumbling to himself about being a ponce. Xander caught up to him.
“I'll help carry the drinks back.”
Spike just nodded and kept going. They gave their order and while they waited, Xander kept glancing at him.
“Either tell me what’s going on in that bird brain of yours or stop gawking at me like an idiot.”
“I'm just wondering how you can afford to rent a house and pay for all our drinks when you don't have a job.”
“This Gem wasn't the only treasure that we took out of that crypt. I've got enough to live on for all of Buffy's lifetime.”
“Wow. I guess you'll be buying us lots of rounds in the years to come, and you've just become my new best friend.”
Spike glared at Xander as the boy slapped him on the back.
“I've got a best friend. And she's having my baby.”
“Man, that's gotta be weird for you. You have to be the oldest dad in the world.”
“As soon as I told Anya about the baby, she started going on about wanting to have one, too, but I'm definitely not ready for that responsibility. Plus, I don't have unlimited access to cash like you do.”
“Well, if you ever had kids, Anya would be the oldest woman to have a baby.”
Their drinks were set down and Spike paid the man, which was another thing that he'd have to get used to. Normally he took what he wanted.
They were just setting the drinks on the table when Willow stood up.
“I'll be right back. He's here,” she said, barely containing her excitement.
Spike watched the group all strain to see who it was, and he couldn't help but turn and look. The crowd was too thick, though, and they all lost sight of her.
“Did she tell you who it was?” Xander asked Buffy.
“No. But to be fair to Willow, I haven't been around much,” Buffy answered, reaching for Spike's hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. “But the last couple of times that I've been at the dorm, when she's been there, she's been on the phone with someone.”
Spike felt like groaning when Willow walked up with her date. He'd just gotten away from a watcher and didn't want to spend his evening with another one. Wesley could call himself an ex-watcher and a demon hunter now, but there was no way to eradicate that watcher training from him. The way he walked, the goofy grin and the God-awful clothes screamed Watcher.
“Wesley?” Spike heard Xander whisper to Anya.
Anya smiled at her boyfriend and shrugged. “I don't know who he is, but he's kind of cute.”
Greetings happened all around, and Wesley offered to buy everyone a drink.
“No thanks,” Xander said. “Spike's buying tonight.”
Wes sat down.
“In that case, I'll have a Dos Equis.”
Spike glared at Xander but got up and went to the bar. He came back with the beer and another orange juice for Buffy. The band announced that they were taking a break and the disc jockey came out to take over. When the music started, Anya stood up and pulled on Xander.
“I want to dance.”
“Oh,” Wesley said, smiling at the group. “I love dancing. Come on, Willow, let's go out there and show them how it's done.”
Willow shared an amused look with Buffy and stood up. “OK, but I'm not that good. I just kind of move around.”
Buffy watched her friends step onto the dance floor and then smiled at Spike.
“Do you want to dance?” he asked her. “I'm pretty much useless when it comes to dancing to fast songs, but I'll stand on the dance floor and ogle you while you dance.”
She rolled her eyes, but stood up. “Come on.”
When they got on to the dance floor, Buffy laughed and pointed at Wesley.
“You can't be any worse than that.”
The man had cleared a space with his odd, jerky movements and even Willow couldn't help but laugh. He seemed oblivious to the people around him and was having a great time.
Buffy started dancing, hoping that Spike would join her, but he just fixed her with a hot look and watched. It was amazing to her how just a look from him could turn her on. She made a game of teasing him, moving her hips and bending low to give him a clear view down her top. The look on his face encouraged her to keep it up until the song ended.
A slow song came on next. Spike grabbed her to him and pressed against her. They moved together, forgetting that they were on the dance floor with twenty other couples. Spike stopped moving and leaned in to give her a feather-soft kiss, but she wanted more. She couldn't look at his smoldering blue eyes a second longer or she'd make a fool out of herself by dragging Spike out of the building. She rested her head on his shoulder and relaxed in his tight embrace.
When the song ended, he asked, “Are you ready to go home?”
“Oh, yeah.” She looked around for her friends who were already making their way back to the table. “Let's say goodbye first.”
When she told her friends that she was leaving, Willow jumped up and asked her to go to the bathroom with her. Spike was not happy about having to wait. When he pouted, his lower lip jutting out slightly, she almost told Willow no, but she knew that Willow wanted to talk about Wesley and she couldn't pass up hearing the four-one-one on that.
As they walked away with Anya coming along, Xander said, “What is it about girls and going to the bathroom in numbers?”
The bathroom was crowded but they managed to find a little corner to squeeze into.
“So, Wesley, huh?” Buffy said.
“We've been talking on the phone about Amara and we just seemed to click,” Willow said.
“I think he's hot,” Anya said.
“Thank you, Anya. I agree,” Willow said, smiling at the ex-demon.
“But a long distance relationship?” Buffy asked.
“I don't know what's stranger,” Willow said, sarcastically, “dating a vampire or a normal guy who lives two and a half hours away.”
Anya laughed. “She's got you there.”
“I know. You're both right.” Buffy smiled at them. “I'm happy for you, Willow. Wes is a nice guy. A little dorky and he can't dance worth a hill of beans, but my guy won't dance at all to fast songs, so--”
“Xander dances,” Anya said, proud of her boyfriend.
“Yes, he does. And he does it well.” Buffy told her. “Spike is probably getting impatient, so I guess I'll see you guys later.”
“Why are you guys leaving so early?” Willow said.
“I hear that pregnant women need more org--”
“Time to go!” Buffy said, cutting Anya off and turning to leave, she said over her shoulder, “Have fun you guys. I know I will.”
Buffy was still smiling when she got back to the table and said her goodbyes to the guys. Spike opened the door for her and followed her out. He grabbed her arms and gave her a hard kiss.
“God, it's been too long since I kissed you.”
“You kissed me on the dance floor.”
“That was a kiss you could give a sister. But this is a real kiss.”
He wrapped his arms around her and soon, she was panting for want of air and from being so aroused. It was amazing what he could do with that tongue of his. Her thoughts drifted to the other things he could do with his tongue.
“Let's go,” she ordered firmly, grabbing his hand and pulling him quickly to the car. “Drive fast.”
“Nope. This vampire goes the speed limit now. With your slayer toughness, you could survive an accident, but I'm not so sure about the baby.”
“Well, stop talking and drive then. I want to go home and get into bed. Don't you?”
Spike backed the car up and then drove down the road. Snuggled up against him as she was, Buffy could see the speedometer. She smiled at him and squeezed his knee to let him know that she didn't think any less of him for going five miles over the speed limit.
Epilogue to follow in a few days.
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