|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
I Love You This Big
The family (plus JJ) finishes up their vacation at the B&B in the Sierra Nevada Mountains by officially announcing Buffy’s pregnancy to the kids before heading for home …
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle, "Dani" and William, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.
Annie was born on February 14th, 1999
Spike and Buffy were married in February 1999
Buffy was born January 19th, 1981
William/Spike was turned by Dru in
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.
The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.
I Love You This Big by Scotty McCreery
Slug-Bug (or Punch-Buggy) road trip game is a game where you punch your neighbor when you spot a VW Beetle (Bug) on the road. This game was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s but has been changed since the reduction in Beetles on the road, to include any VW model car. If you misidentify a car as a VW, then your neighbor gets to punch you back. When you punch your neighbor, you exclaim “Slug Bug” followed by the color of the VW you’ve spotted.
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:
Special thanks also to 'u2fan2005' and 'epd4' for their suggestions, corrections, and help betaing this chapter!!
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.
At the B&B in the Sierra Nevada Mountains:
The family had been having a wonderful time on their vacation in the mountains. They’d celebrated the twins’ birthday on the 12th and Annie’s on the 14th. Of course, Spike and Buffy celebrated the 14th of February in their own private way, too. Their actual wedding anniversary was February 6th, but they’d always celebrated it along with Annie’s birthday and Valentine’s Day. Spike didn’t have any extra money to get her anything extravagant for their 11th anniversary, the vacation she wanted in the snow pretty much took everything he’d saved, ‘steel’ was the traditional gift … funny how their minds seemed to think alike…
Even though Spike went commando all the time, Buffy couldn’t resist a pair of ‘Man of Steel’ briefs for him … and he was happy to model them for her and demonstrate his … steel, stretching the “S” on the front to superhero proportions.
For Buffy, Spike reciprocated with a ‘Girl of Steel’ short nightie set … and Buffy was just as happy to model it for him … and demonstrate how quickly the girl of steel could undress them both…
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010:
After dinner, the family commandeered the game room of the B&B, which wasn’t all that hard, there were only a couple of other guests there, an older couple from Canada and some honeymooners from L.A. – neither of whom had much interest in ‘Chutes and Ladders’ or ‘Monopoly’ …
Before choosing a game for the family (plus one) to play before bedtime, Spike and Buffy had an official announcement for the kids. They realized that they had never actually told them about Buffy’s pregnancy … not officially. The kids may have overheard some conversations, but that wasn’t the same as being told straight out of the new addition that would be coming into their home in a few months.
As the children sat on one of the cozy, overstuffed couches in the room and Buffy and Spike sat on the coffee table in front of them, Buffy started the conversation. “Dani, you know how you said you wished you could be a ‘big sister’ like Annie?” Buffy asked her youngest daughter.
“Well, it looks like you’re going to have a chance to do that … you’re all gonna have a baby brother or sister … or cousin,” she added, looking at JJ. “We’re going to have another baby,” Buffy told them excitedly, laying a hand on her still flat abdomen.
The younger children’s eyes went wide with excitement. “Really?” … “When?” … “Can we get a boy?” … “Please don’t have a girl!” they questioned and exclaimed at once. Buffy and Spike laughed and Spike took Buffy’s hand in his. He was a little worried about what their reaction to the news would be … Spike did notice, however, that Annie didn’t look entirely thrilled with the announcement.
“It won’t be until about October … I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, you don’t really get to choose,” Buffy clarified for them. “But we’ll be counting on you all to be the best big brother and sisters … and cousin … in the world. And we know you will be.”
“Where will it sleep? There’s not enough space in our room – maybe it can sleep with Annie!” Dani suggested.
“Well … actually, we thought we’d change your room back into a nursery and give you and Billy your very own rooms with maybe bunk beds so JJ doesn’t have to sleep on the floor when he stays over,” Buffy began and she saw a dark cloud pass over the twins’ features. “You can decorate them however you want – all Spiderman or dinosaurs or soccer or Star Wars … and lots of space for bookshelves …” she added quickly and their expressions began to change from worry back to excitement.
“Will you get fat like Aunt Tara?” JJ asked.
Buffy laughed, knowing that he didn’t mean that in malicious way. “Yeah … the baby grows in a special place in my tummy and makes it big before it comes out.”
“How does it get in there?” Billy questioned, looking at her stomach. “Do you swallow a little seed baby and it grows … like Uncle Xander said, if you swallow a watermelon seed it would grow in your tummy and come out your ears?”
“Ummm…” Buffy looked at Spike for help.
“It comes from smoochies, doesn’t it?” Annie asked tersely, looking not the least bit happy about the news of the new baby.
“Well … yeah, it sort of does…” Buffy began, looking from her eldest daughter back to Spike.
“There’re different kinds of love in the world.” Spike took over, looking primarily at Annie. “There’s a love for your brother and sisters … and cousins, and love for true friends, and there’s a parent’s love for their bits … and then there’s a love between …” Spike almost said ‘a man and a woman’, but that would be a bit outdated and confusing given their Aunts, “… between two souls. When two people love each other, not just with their heart, but their souls, they share their love in a special way …”
“Like smooching all the time …” Annie interjected, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at him.
Spike shrugged slightly. “Like smoochin’,” he agreed. “… and when their love grows so bloody big that they have enough to share with another person, then the angels smile on them and bless them with someone else to bring into their love, into their hearts and souls.
“Your mum and me … we love each other to the moon and back, and we love all of you just as much. The new baby won’t take that away from you, we’ll always love you bits just as much as we did the moment the angels brought you to us. You’re all special … all irreplaceable, you’re all made of our love. You’re all loved more than you know … beyond the moon and sun and stars.”
“Even me?” JJ questioned tentatively.
Spike took his eyes off Annie and looked at JJ. “Even you, whelp. You were made of your mum and dad’s love … but you’re just as much a part of this family as the rest of the bits.”
“Are you gonna die for real this time?” Annie questioned angrily, her arms still folded over her chest and a dour frown on her face.
“No … no, baby. I’m not gonna die,” Buffy assured her.
“You don’t know that! You went into the hospital and had them …” Annie continued, waving her arm at Billy and Dani, “… and you were supposed to be back in a couple of days… and you almost died! Papa cried and cried and we visited you every day but we couldn’t get you to wake up and …” Annie burst out in tears and jumped up from the couch and ran from the room.
Spike closed his eyes and sighed heavily and Buffy bit down on her bottom lip and shook her head. They should’ve talked to Annie alone … told her first. Why was parenting so hard? They should’ve known she would react like that … that another pregnancy would frighten her as much as it would’ve Buffy not so long ago.
Spike patted a hand on Buffy’s thigh as he stood up and went after their eldest daughter, leaving Buffy to reassure the younger children that everything would be fine.
Spike found her outside in the cold, standing on the second floor balcony and looking out over the snow-covered mountains in the distance. He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders and Annie turned around and buried her face against him, sobbing. Spike held her in silence until she’d calmed down a bit, stroking a hand over her long, soft, curly hair and down her back.
“Niblett, you know I’d never lie to you, yeah?” Spike asked her when her crying subsided and she nodded against his chest.
“I can’t promise that nothing bad will happen … something bad can happen any day to anybody. Your mum was scared about havin’ more bits for long time and so was I, but the angels went out of their way to give us this baby. I can’t believe they’d do that just to take your mum away from us,” Spike tried to assure her.
Annie looked up into her father’s eyes. “But you can’t promise they won’t,” she pointed out in a voice hoarse from crying.
Spike shook his head. “No … I can’t promise, but I do promise that we’ll do everything we can to make sure nothing bad happens to your mum or the littlest bit. That’s all anyone can do, pet. That’s how life is … I wish it was different, but you’re old enough to know that things aren’t always easy and don’t always go the way you want, but we all do the best we can and keep tryin’.”
Annie nodded sadly against him and hugged him tighter. Spike wanted desperately to promise her everything would be all right … to allay her fears and take her tears away, but he didn’t want to make a promise that she knew he had no ability to fulfill. He believed what he told her and he believed Buffy when she said she felt in her heart that everything would be fine this time, but it wasn’t in his power to promise that to his girl.
“I love you, Niblett … one day you’ll know how much when you have a little bit of your own,” Spike whispered to her.
“I love you too, Dad. I love you this big,” she offered, spreading her arms out wide.
“I know, pet … I love you this big too,” Spike told her with a small smile, spreading his arms to match hers, then pulling her back into a tight hug. “You gonna be ok with this now?”
Annie nodded against his chest. “Yeah… I guess,” she sighed. “Mama’s really happy about the baby, huh?”
“Your mum’s been through a lot, pet – more than we can imagine. The baby’s the one good thing to come from it … so, yeah, we’re both happy for the new littlest bit,” Spike assured her.
Annie nodded and hugged him back tightly, then suggested, “We should probably go back…”
“Yeah …” Spike agreed as he turned back towards the doors, keeping her tucked against his side and one arm over her shoulders. “Just how did you know about the smoochies thing?” he questioned, looking at her sideways.
Annie rolled her eyes. “Daaad … I’m eleven! I know stuff.”
“Ya, ya…growing up too fast for me to keep up, you are.” Spike patted her shoulder and then gave her another sideways look, “How much stuff?”
“Well, that didn’t go exactly as planned,” Buffy sighed as Spike followed her into their room after getting the kids to bed later that night.
“Nothing ever does, pet,” Spike reminded her.
“I feel like a terrible mother … I just … I just thought they’d be as excited as we were, I didn’t think Annie would wig out. I should’ve known … I didn’t think,” Buffy moaned, sitting down on the edge of the bed and dropping her head in her hands.
“Raising kids is like givin’ a cat a bath,” Spike tried to assure her, sitting down next to her. “You think you have everything under control right up until the bugger digs into you with teeth and claws, turns the washtub over, and escapes out the back door.”
Buffy looked at him with a furrowed brow. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”
Spike rolled his eyes and sighed. “All I’m saying is … we can’t control everythin’ … we just do the best we can, muddle through, just like parents ‘ave always done. We’re gonna make mistakes … hopefully we remembered to shut the bloody door so they can’t actually escape…”
Buffy shook her head and laughed lightly. “I’m not sure you’re helping much …”
“Am I helping a little?” Spike questioned as he rubbed the back of her neck with one strong hand.
“Mmmmmmm …” Buffy moaned, closing her eyes and letting him massage the tension out of her muscles. “You did help with the ‘where did the baby come from’ question. I was ready to go with the watermelon seed theory. That was really sweet with the different kinds of love stuff. Did you just make that up?”
“Naaa … I’ve been a bungling prat of a parent before, remember?” Spike reminded her. “Nellie rescued me with that when Anne asked back when Cecily was pregnant with Bess …”
Buffy nodded, thinking of Nellie. She had been a real jewel, loyal and caring and full of ageless wisdom. “Well, anytime you have any more Nellie wisdom to share, feel free. I’m totally open to any help in the cat bathing department.
“What did your mom tell you about where babies come from?” Buffy wondered, looking over at him.
Spike chuckled. “She said, ‘proper little boys shouldn’t ask such questions, it was none of their concern.’”
Buffy smiled and leaned into him and he wrapped his arms around her. “My mom went with cabbage patch theory … it was the popular thing in the ‘80s.”
“You know … you’re gonna have to have that talk with the Niblett soon … she’s figurin’ stuff out,” Spike advised her.
“Yeah … like smoochies,” Buffy sighed. “She’s only eleven … My mom didn’t have that talk ... the real one, with me until I was seventeen. I guess that was a bit late to the dance… like closing the barn door after the lamb has run off with the wolf.”
Spike chuckled lightly, holding her against him tightly. “Kids grow up faster all the bloody time, pet. I don’t like it any more than you do.”
“Maybe we can just give the cat a bath, instead…”
Thursday, February 18th, 2010:
Buffy got the kids all buckled into their seats in the minivan while Spike got their luggage loaded in the ‘way back’. They’d had a lovely week at the B&B in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but it was time to head back to Sunnydale … back to school, back to work, back to life.
As Spike pulled the minivan full of precious cargo onto the interstate and headed south, Buffy asked the kids what game they’d like to play. Spike and Buffy had long ago vetoed videos and Gameboys and iPods during road trips … that was just wrong. Road trips were for sing-alongs and ‘Billboard Alphabet’ and Twenty Questions and I-Spy and moans of ‘are we there yet?’ and ‘I gotta goooo!’ … they were a time to connect with each other, not with technology.
“So, what game shall we play?” Buffy questioned, turning in her seat as much as her seatbelt would allow, looking at JJ and Billy who were in the next seat, Annie and Dani were in the seat behind them.
“Can you teach us the Red Riding Hood game?” Billy questioned enthusiastically.
“Yeah!” … “Please!” came concurring votes from JJ and Dani.
Buffy looked at Spike … was this a game she’d missed during her lost years? Spike shrugged and shook his head; he had no idea what they were talking about.
“What’s the Red Riding Hood game?” Buffy asked them when Spike was no help.
“It’s where Papa growls … ‘GRRRRRRRR ARRRRGGGHH’ … like the Big, Bad Wolf,” Billy started.
“And you scream and yell like Little Red Riding Hood when the wolf catches her …” Dani added.
“How does it go? Does he eat you all up …. Then you escape and cut him up into little pieces?” JJ interjected and all the children awaited the explanation of this game that the warriors seemed to play every night and every morning at the B&B.
Buffy’s jaw dropped open and she covered her mouth with one hand as her eyes went wide. She looked at Spike for help, but he was just snickering, low and rumbly, sounding a lot like a very cocky, Big, Bad Wolf … what big teeth you have.
When Buffy didn’t answer for a moment, Billy forged ahead, asking Spike, “Does the Big, Bad Wolf eat Red Riding Hood?”
“Sometimes … sometimes Lil’ Red eats the wolf,” Spike answered curling his tongue over his teeth and smiling saucily, making Buffy slap him on the arm.
“But just pretend, right?” Billy continued to question, slightly concerned.
“YES! Yes …” Buffy interjected before Spike said anything else. “It’s just pretend and it’s just a game … like … like ‘tag’, only … only louder.”
“Oh, and whoever gets caught gobbles the other one up?” Dani guessed.
“Uhhhhh …” Buffy started, rubbing a hand over her forehead.
"If ya play the game right, everyone gets ... gobbled up," Spike offered with a smirk, earning a harder slap on the arm from Buffy.
“But then who wins?” JJ asked. “How do you keep score?”
“Well … it’s kind of like T-ball … you don’t really keep score,” Buffy provided.
Dani scrunched up her nose. “That’s lame!”
“How come you play so much if you can’t win?” Billy asked, looking a little confused.
“Just making your mum scream is ...” Spike started and Buffy silenced him with a death glare.
“It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” Buffy quoted … someone, she had no idea who, but that was what her mom had always told her when her team lost at something.
“That’s dumb …” Dani moaned. “Let’s play ‘Slug Bug’!” she suggested and the boys happily agreed, while Annie just shook her head and rolled her eyes. She had a feeling their Red Riding Hood game had something to do with smoochies and babies … but she wasn’t 100% sure how it went, she was looking forward to an explanation of it. Maybe she should ask Aunt Anya about it when they got home. Her Aunt Anya always seemed to know what was going on and was usually willing to explain things, even when no one else would.
Buffy sighed and turned back around in her seat. She didn’t particularly care for games that involved hitting, since they usually escalated and quickly got out of control, but at this point, she was happy that they were playing anything other than ‘Red Riding Hood’ …
I Love You This Big, Scotty McCreery
I know I'm still young
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