“She’s pregnant? The Slayer is pregnant? And Spike is the father? How is that even possible?”
“I don’t know,” Warren said slowly, thinking the whole time. “But there’s got to be a way we can use that. If nothing else, she won’t be able to do as much slaying pretty soon. If we can summon enough demons to keep her busy in one place, we should be able to do whatever we want somewhere else. I think the important thing now is to find out more about this Willow Rosenberg. Who is she? And why does she think she can hack us? Delusional, obviously, but just in case... Andrew, you get on that.”
Jonathan looked somewhat disturbed and cleared his throat.
“If it’s the Willow I think it is, she’s pretty... scary smart. She was teaching the computer classes when she was just a junior in high school. Plus she... she’s kind of a witch, I think.”
“Are you saying she’s smarter than I am?” Warren waved his hand around. “Smarter than all three of us? Give me a break. You are such a coward.”
“I’m just saying... don’t underestimate her.”
Warren rolled his eyes and went back to playing with his freeze gun. “Get on that, Andrew. If it turns out she’s too smart for you, your buddy Jon-Jon will help you out.” He stroked the strange looking gun. “We’ve got a diamond to steal...”
With no idea where the van had been going, or where Warren and his “minions” – as Dawn insisted on calling them – might be, Buffy left Willow to her laptop and decided to call it a night. She fell asleep quickly, her body grateful for the early night. The sound of light tapping on the window brought her awake with a jerk, automatically reaching for a weapon before she woke up enough to know who was probably tapping. She jumped out of bed and ran to unlock the window and let Spike in.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I forgot to unlock it. You could have just walked in the front door, you know. I think Willow’s probably still up.”
“It’s gone four a.m., Buffy. Nobody’s awake in the house.”
“Oh. Wow. I guess I really needed that sleep. I feel like it’s only been a couple of hours. Glad I’m not working the morning shift today,” she added, retreating to the bed and snuggling back under the covers. Her eyes flew open and she sat up. “Where’s your stuff?”
“Some of it’s in the crypt, the rest is in the trunk of the car. Didn’t want to be seen dragging all my worldly possessions onto your roof.”
“Speaking of being seen....” He stopped in the act of taking off his coat, giving her a cold look.
“Afraid Harris might have seen me sneaking in?”
“What? Oh, no. He and Anya had a bet that you were the father. She won.” Buffy sighed and poked him to get the glower off his face. “And he’s fine with it, by the way.”
He visibly relaxed. “What then?”
Buffy briefly described coming home to find Warren’s van picking up someone running from the house. He stopped in the act of taking off his boots and began to retie them.
“What are you doing?”
“Going to go around the house and see if I can tell who was here, or what they might have been doin’. We know they weren’t up to anything good.” He started toward the window, but Buffy quickly pointed out it would be easier to go downstairs and use a door. “Right. Door. Use the bloody door, Spike,” he muttered, changing direction and growling at her muffled giggle.
He was still growling when he returned thirty minutes later. After having circled the house twice, sniffing and using his enhanced night sight, he had some idea of what had happened. He tossed the small transmitter he’d found outside the front of the house onto the bed.
“Have to ask Red what this is exactly, but I’m guessing it’s sending some kind of signal or recording to the wankers that put it here. Might be more, his scent was all around the house. You can search for them when it gets light out.”
Buffy picked up the small device and stared at it. “Do you think it’s transmitting now?” He shrugged and watched her with one eyebrow raised.
“Planning to give them a treat, Slayer?” He licked his lips lasciviously, laughing at her “Ewwww, Spike!”
“I was thinking more along the lines of talking about how I’m seriously re-considering the whole ‘slayers don’t kill humans’ thing,” she growled at the offending piece of hardware. The device didn’t appear to be intimidated, so she threw it back to Spike. “Put it downstairs. Willow can look at it tomorrow.”
“Got a better idea, love.” He dropped it on the floor and brought one booted foot
down on it hard enough to get a very satisfactory crunching sound. “Just in case,” he said, putting it in the hallway and closing the door.
“I think you killed it.” Buffy gave him mock-glare. “I guess the chip can’t protect spy equipment.”
Spike mumbled something she didn’t catch and began to pull off his boots off again, hesitating before dropping them on the floor. “Unless you’d rather I slept down—”
In response, Buffy moved over and made space on the bed, holding up the covers in case he didn’t get the hint. With a smile and a nod, he pulled off his shirt and pants and slid into the space still warm from her body. As if the past several months had never happened, she curled into his side, throwing one leg over his and sighing when his arms went around her.
The now approaching dawn and Buffy’s still-tired body conspired to put them both to sleep before the cuddling could go beyond sleepy murmurs and gentle caresses.
“It’s off.” Andrew played with the dials on the receiver, but got nothing but static from the transmitter that had given them so much insight the night before. When he played back the tape, the reason became only too apparent. Following closely upon the furious snarling that had followed Spike’s discovery, and the colorful language when his demon had calmed enough for him to speak, was the short conversation in Buffy’s room that ended with her lightly veiled threat to kill them and Spike’s subsequent smashing of the machine.
“They know it’s us! They know what we did!” Jonathan’s voice held just a trace of panic.
“Calm down, brainiac. Of course they know it’s us. Who else could it have been? We’re the Slayer’s only enemies right now. The only ones in a position to take her out of the equation. It’s no big deal, we ‘ve still got—” He broke off as static began coming from the two other receivers. “That bitch! That’s it. She’s going down. Her and her devil’s spawn.” Warren paced around the room, ranting about Buffy and her interference and what he wanted to do to her. When he finally ran out of air, he noticed that Andrew was trying to speak.
“If we hurt Buffy, Spike will kill us. Slowly and painfully.” They were so accustomed to ignoring Andrew that it took a few seconds for his words to sink in.
“He can’t. He’s got that chip, remember? All he can do is get really mad.”
Jonathan shook his head. “I don’t think you’ve ever seen a vampire when it’s really, really mad,” he said. “I wouldn’t count on that chip if I were you. Not to mention, no slayer means nothing to keep the vampires and demons in check. Won’t do us much good to take over the city if we can’t go out safely.”
“I didn’t say we were going to kill her. I’m just thinking ahead, that’s all. What’s going to be in our best interests?” He looked thoughtful for a minute. “Actually, what might be in our best interest is to keep her alive – and with us. We’d have control over her and over Spike. He’d have to do whatever we say to keep his family safe. Once the baby’s born...” Warren walked away, muttering to himself about how to capture and control a slayer.
“I want to go on record as saying this is a really bad idea,” Jonathan said to Warren’s back.
“An idiot and a coward. I’m surrounded by incompetence!” Warren sat down at his computer and began to research slayers, vampires and electronic control devices.
Buffy awoke to a familiar object poking her in the ass. She smiled and wriggled against it for a moment, then realized that Spike wasn’t even awake. Only that one body part was aware that he was sleeping next to her for the first time in months. Moving slowly, she rolled over to her other side, letting his cock brush against the skin on her stomach while she ran her hand over his chest and reacquainted herself with his body.
The warmth she’d been used to had been replaced by smoother, cooler skin, but the body under it was almost identical to the one she knew so well. Although she knew this body was much stronger than the human one she’d made love with so many times before, it still felt wonderfully familiar. She hadn’t allowed herself to realize how much she missed Spike until he was back in her life and in her bed. With a sudden need that surprised her, she wrapped her arm around him and held on tightly.
Spike struggled against his body’s need to sleep through the early morning hours, waking to find Buffy pressed against him, her tears moistening his chest. His arms pulled her in even more tightly as he whispered, “What is it, love? What’s wrong?”
“N...nothing,” she hiccupped. “I just missed you so much, and it’s my own stupid fault, and now you’re here and I’m h...happy.”
“Ah,” he said, for lack of anything more coherent. “So, happy tears then, not sad ones?”
Buffy sniffled and giggled softly. “Probably more like hormonal tears, according to Willow, but the sentiments are real.”
“Missed you too, pet,” he said, stroking her back with one hand. “Wanted you back in my arms so bad...” He tightened his grip even more. “Never let you go, Slayer. Never.”
“Never works for me,” she said, hiding her face against him. Without thinking, she began kissing his chest, flicking her tongue over his nipples and smiling at his groans of pleasure. He pulled her over on top of him and tugged her up to his mouth. “Morning breath,” Buffy demurred turning her head away.
“I’ll deal,” he growled. “Been waiting too long for this, Slayer.” In spite of his words, he didn’t insist on kissing her on the mouth, but began to run his lips over her face and neck, working his way down to her breasts. By the time he had suckled each one to a rosy peak, Buffy was whimpering and squirming against him, rubbing her leg over his thigh.
“Ah, love, missed this so much.” Pushing her onto her back, he began to kiss his way down her torso, pausing over her abdomen to listen to the extra heartbeat and whisper into it. “Your father loves you, baby Summers. Almost as much as he loves your mother. Can’t wait to meet you. Never thought I’d...” Remembering that Buffy was listening to every word, he swallowed the rest of his thought and nuzzled her silky skin. “Sorry, love, got a bit sidetracked. Didn’t forget where I was going though. Promise you that.” Leaving a final kiss on her belly, he slid down until his head was between her thighs and she was moaning in anticipation.
“Lesson number one in why vampires make good lovers, coming up,” he said, grinning up at her briefly before beginning the lesson. Buffy put the pillow over her mouth to muffle her cries as Spike lived up to his words. When she’d come down from her orgasm and was lying bonelessly on the bed, he crawled back up to lie on her inert body, his cock between her thighs. “You’re sure this is okay?”
“The doctor said it was,” she gasped, pulling him into her and locking her ankles behind his back. “She said it was fine as long as we don’t get too rough.”
“I can do not rough,” he said, beginning to move slowly and gently. “I can do that.”
In spite of his words, it wasn’t long before he was moving faster and Buffy was biting his shoulder to muffle her voice again. When he came with a shout, there was a thump on their door and Dawn said, “I asked you if I was going to need earplugs!”
Buffy’s embarrassed laugh was joined by Spike’s as they lay together, happy and temporarily satisfied. He rolled off to the side, pulling her with him so that she rested against his body.
“Guess I’d better finish fixing up the crypt, yeah?”
“I guess so. If Dawn’s going to be so nosy, we might have to spend some time there after patrol instead of coming straight home. Or...” she said, tracing a path on his chest with her finger. “Or we could fix up the basement here. Make it into a real bedroom and we could sleep down there. That way, she can’t hear anything, and I don’t have to worry about you going up in smoke while I’m gone during the day.” As she spoke, she pulled the sheet up over his legs so the sunbeam peeking through the gap in the curtain couldn’t reach him.
“Want to be wherever you are,” he said. “I’d rather have an aching dick and you sleepin’ in my arms than be satisfied and alone.”
“That’s a very sweet, if gross, sentiment,” she said, with a small wrinkle of her nose. “I was kind of thinking if you were downstairs, I’d be sleeping there too.”
“I’ll do whatever you want, sweetheart. Upstairs, downstairs, back to sleeping on the couch. Whatever works.”
“I think we should fix up the basement,” she said. “We need to get used to living together again.”
He shot her a startled look. “We do?”
Buffy’s face fell. “Don’t you think so? Don’t you want to be a... a...”
“Family?” The intensity of his gaze made her squirm. “You need to be clear, Buffy. Not making that mistake again – thinkin’ you mean... then finding out you don’t mean what I thought you meant.”
Buffy sighed and closed her eyes for a second. “I’m not sure what I mean,” she admitted. “You haven’t been back very long and we haven’t lived together for a long ti—” When she felt him stiffen, she hastened on. “—not that I don’t know that’s my fault. Totally. It is. But that doesn’t change anything. We still haven’t been part of each other’s lives for months. Not until this week, anyway.” She opened her eyes and met his. “Can we just play this by ear for awhile? You’ll move in here, I’ll move downstairs with you... We’ll figure it out before the baby comes.”
“Baby shouldn’t live in a basement,” he mumbled. “Neither should you, if I’m being truthful.”
“The baby shouldn’t have to watch its father go up in flames because he got too near the window, either,” she snapped. “I’m not saying I plan to put the baby down there too. I’m just trying to give us time to get used to living in the same house. The us that we are here, a vampire and a slayer. That other Spike and Buffy wouldn’t have had any problem having a baby and making a little family. You might have had to add another room to the house, but—”
Spike grabbed her chin and forced her to meet his eyes. “This Spike loves you every bit as much as that one did. And he’s going to love this baby and do his best to be a good father to it. You and the baby will be my family no matter what you decide about where I live. Nothing about me being a vamp or you being a slayer can change that. You can shut me out of your life, but you can’t change how I feel about you or the little one.”
“Don’t want to change it,” she whispered, holding his gaze. “I’m counting on it.”
They each looked away, embarrassed by the emotions still roiling the atmosphere. Buffy finally broke the silence, getting up and pulling out some sweats. “I’m going to go look for more of those transmitter things.”
“Be down in a few minutes,” he said, lying on his back and staring at the ceiling. He didn’t look at her when she left the room.
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