|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
It’s the day … one short of the month and the year … will the prophecy come to pass or was Travers wrong?
Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "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.
Angel’s Lullaby, Reba McIntyre http://youtu.be/CslOzGBt4ng
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise: http://www.screencap-paradise.com/?cat=3
Thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter and Paganbaby for her invaluable input and ideas!
|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.
(Two weeks later), Saturday, October 9th, 2010, 11:00pm:
Despite still being up against it financially, the things Buffy had managed to sell on eBay did help a bit and that, along with the food stamps and the money that Spike brought home from his job at The Fish Bowl and his gambling winnings, was keeping them halfway afloat. Buffy had also made a little from selling the Henbane that she'd grown in the garden to Anya - apparently bunnies had no need for attracting 'love and lust' and heat didn't affect it, so a little something had come out of all that work, at least. Spike had come to terms with the fact that he couldn't do it all alone and the quarreling over the finances had settled down to an intermittent simmer from the rolling boil it had been before and they tried to be more careful about having their discussions about the bills in private, away from the kids. Kids needed to be kids, they didn't need to be worrying about money or listening to their parents try to figure out which was more important, electricity or water.
All that, however, was put aside today, because today was the day… at least according to the ‘insane Cambridge man’ and the prophecy he quoted; 266 days since that night William and Buffy spent in the Common. Spike took the night off and Annie, Dani, and Billy were spending the weekend at the Harris’. Buffy felt fine all day … although the baby had definitely dropped, she hadn’t experienced any pain, her water hadn’t broken, and she’d felt no contractions at all.
At about eleven, she felt pretty confident that the baby wasn’t coming today, after all, and she and Spike turned in early for a change… truth be told, they were both relieved that Travers was wrong about the prophecy.
In her dream, Buffy walked along the shoreline at the beach. Warm ripples of clear water lapped at the white sand and bubbled like champagne against the shore as the sun shone high and warm in the sky. She looked around for Spike, turning to look behind her, but he wasn’t there. When she turned back around to start walking again, a young girl of perhaps four, with long red hair, green eyes, and a smooth, creamy complexion was playing on the beach in front of her. She seemed familiar to Buffy, but she couldn’t recall meeting her before.
“Hi,” Buffy called to the girl. “I’m Buffy, what’s your name?”
The girl looked up and smiled warmly at Buffy, then went back to playing in the damp sand at their feet.
Buffy knelt down next to her. “Whatcha’ doin?” she asked the girl.
“Who are you waiting for?” Buffy wondered, looking around.
“Me?” Buffy questioned. “Do you know me?”
“Uh-huh … You bring the Tetrad … you must stand alone,” the girl replied.
“Stand alone against who?” Buffy questioned.
“The End of Days…”
“When is the end of days?” Buffy asked.
The redhead shrugged. “When the pendulum swings too high into the light, the End of Days will be near. Only you can stop what we start … she who stands alone.”
“We? Who’s we? What do you start?” Buffy wondered.
“The Tetrad. We open the gates to hell, but only you can close them.”
“Who’s the Tetrad? Why would you open them?” Buffy questioned.
“To balance the scales…”
“That’s a little drastic…” Buffy observed, but the child just shrugged and went back to making designs with her fingers in the wet sand.
“Are you … are you the prophecy?” Buffy asked. “Are you my daughter?”
The girl looked up and nodded solemnly.
“What’s your name?”
The girl stood up and brushed the damp sand from her fingers and Buffy looked down at what she’d been drawing in the sand. It was a large "X" with different symbols adorning each point: a key, an eye, a scythe, and a heart.
“It will be shown to you when it’s time … look under the crescent moon,” the girl advised her. “I haveta go … they’re here for me now…” she told Buffy as she started walking into the water.
“Who?” Buffy asked, standing up and pulling her eyes away from the symbol on the sand.
Buffy looked out into the waves and Annie, Dani, and Billy were playing on a large book that was out in the water, using it like a floating swim platform, diving off it and swimming around and climbing back on.
Buffy only caught a glimpse of the gold leaf on the spine as the redhead swam out to meet her siblings. She couldn’t make out the first part, the last was “…de Profundis.” As Buffy moved forward to try and see the rest of the title, all four of the children jumped off the platform at once and a huge wave of warm water swept over Buffy, knocking her onto her back on the sandy beach.
Buffy woke up choking on the dream water that had gone done her windpipe.
“Buffy …” Spike called tiredly. “What is it, luv?”
“My water broke…” she informed him, looking at the clock: 11:45pm. “Shit …we haveta go, now!”
Spike jumped up and pulled on his jeans and Buffy pulled a comfortable, stretchy, lycra-cotton maternity dress she’d been wearing while on ‘house-arrest’ over her head and started for the garage. “Now, Spike! This baby’s coming now!” she yelled at him when he sat back down to pull his boots on.
“Bloody hell!” he exclaimed, grabbing his keys, but leaving his boots and shirt and running past her to get the door and help her into the passenger’s side of the DeSoto.
“Can’t ya hold it!?” he asked as he roared Vader out of the driveway and towards the hospital while Buffy called Dr. Benson’s emergency number on her cell phone.
“I can’t even hold my own pee, Spike – I leak every time I sneeze! How am I supposed to hold a baby!?” Buffy pointed out in a panic as she waited for someone to answer the phone.
“Bloody hell … whatever you do, don’t sneeze!” Spike instructed her as he drove faster, his eyes wide with concern ... well, concern might be putting it mildly.
“Thank you, Dr. Spike…” Buffy murmured with an eye roll before leaving a message with the doctor’s answering service.
“Oh, God!” Buffy exclaimed, dropping the phone on the seat and clutching her stomach. “It’s coming, Spike … it’s not gonna wait!”
“Every woman in this family would be late for their own funeral, now this one wants to be in a bloody rush?! She’ll wait! Don’t push! Just hold on, suck in! … Suck her back in!” he admonished her as his panic began to rise higher.
“I can’t suck it in, Spike! What do you think I’ve got down there, a vacuum cleaner?” Buffy shot back. “I’m not pushing! She’s fucking pushing! OH FUCK!” Buffy screamed when another strong contraction hit her and she felt the baby press against her cervix. “Stop the car! Spike, stop! You have to help me!”
“No, Buffy, it’s only a few minutes…”
“NO! NOW! STOP THIS FUCKING CAR NOW!” Buffy demanded, leaving no room for argument from her husband.
Spike pulled into the nearest parking lot and brought the car to a screeching halt, then jumped out and ran over to her side of the car to help her. “What do I do?” Spike questioned, his eyes wide with worry and fear.
“Help me outta here …” Buffy looked around for somewhere better than the cramped confines of the car as she realized where they were. Of course! Where else would the universe send her to have a prophetic baby? Spike had pulled into the parking lot at Restfield Cemetery. “There,” she decided, pointing to a sarcophagus just inside the gate.
Spike swept her up into his arms, in too much of a panic to even question her anymore, and rushed over to where she’d indicated. He sat her down just as another contraction hit and Buffy screamed out as the baby pressed harder against her cervix, which had dilated to allow it to pass.
“God … Buffy … oh, God… God, God…” Spike muttered, praying absently as he started pacing frantically back and forth in front of her, running a hand through his hair. “Think, you nit!” Spike admonished himself, pounding a palm against his forehead.
“Boiling water. We need to boil some water, and towels - we need towels! That's what they always say on the telly. Water, newspapers, towels, scissors, a clip of some sort..." he said, counting off on his fingers as he tried to think of what they did on TV shows.
“NO! 9-1-1! Need to call …” Spike suddenly realized, hunting in his pockets for his phone … he didn’t have it. He started to head back to the car to get Buffy’s.
“Don’t you dare leave me!” Buffy screamed at him as she positioned herself nearer the edge of the stone top of the tomb.
“Right! Not leaving!” Spike agreed, turning back around towards her. “Gotta get the phone!” his brain reminded him and he turned back around again.
“God damn it, Spike! Get your ass over here!”
“Right!” he agreed again, spinning back around like a puppet being jerked on a string.
“Don’t make me slap you!” Buffy warned, grabbing him by the shoulders and holding him still. “Calm the fuck down!”
“Slap?? No, you slap the baby’s bum … yeah … now I remember, I saw that on Marcus Welby, MD once … or maybe it was Dr. Kildare … or Dr. Quinn…,” Spike blabbered his mind racing a thousand miles an hour.
“Spike … calm down,” Buffy admonished him again, shaking him slightly and making him focus on her. “Breathe … slow … c’mon … in and out … in and out….” she instructed him, breathing with him slowly in and out.
Spike nodded and breathed with her and tried to calm down, his eyes still wild with adrenaline. “Ok, you have to get the baby when it comes out, Spike … I’m gonna push on the next contraction and it’s probably gonna come out,” Buffy informed him.
“No … I … I can’t … I’m not … not a bloody doctor! Vampire, remember?! Evil! GRRR-ARGH!” Spike reminded her, holding his hands up like claws and baring his teeth. “I eat babies… I can’t do this!”
“Yes, Spike, you can! You were man enough to put it in there, you can be man enough to catch it when it comes out,” she assured him.
“No buts! Kneel down …” Buffy instructed him, pushing him down in front of her. Buffy propped her feet on his shoulders and scooted all the way to the edge of the ‘delivery table’. “Oh … shiiit … it’s coming, Spike … get ready!”
“No! No … not ready! … Stop it, Buffy! Make it stop!” Spike yelled at her in a panic as if perhaps he thought his wife was about to produce a bear rather than a baby. When the next contraction hit her, she pushed with all her strength, sending an ear piercing scream out over the cemetery as the baby’s head pushed between her pelvic bones, separating them, and moved into the birth canal.
“Bloody hell! I can see it! I can see it!” Spike exclaimed, looking up at her, his eyes wide with absolute hysterical terror. “I don’t wanna see it!”
“One more … Spike… one more push … and she’s … gonna be out …” Buffy gasped out, trying to get her breath back. “Are you ready?”
“No! No … not bloody ready!” Spike exclaimed, wishing with every fiber of his being that William had kept it in his pants that night in the Common. Goddamn ponce had to pick that bloody night to get randy and with a soddin' angel no less!
“Good … she’s coming …” Buffy informed him, when she felt the next contraction starting.
“No! I bloody well said ‘NO’!”
“Too bad!” Buffy screamed as she began pushing with the contraction. With one last ear piercing scream, Buffy pushed and the baby’s head crowned, then continued out. Buffy pushed through the pain, she could feel her flesh tearing as the baby’s head emerged, but she couldn’t stop now … it needed to be out.
Through the fog of pain, Buffy could hear her phone ringing from the seat of the car – probably Dr. Benson calling her back, wondering where they were … well, at least she’d save that doctor and delivery room fee. Buffy took a deep breath and pushed down one last time and the baby’s shoulders emerged, then the rest slipped out relatively easily, dropping into Spike’s waiting hands.
“Clear … clear the goo … clear the airway…” Buffy gasped out, her chest heaving with labored breaths as sweat dripped from her face, matted her hair to her head and ran down her body, soaking her dress.
Spike used his fingers and the hem of Buffy’s dress to wipe the amniotic fluid away from the baby’s face and out of its nose and mouth. “She’s not breathin’!!!” Spike informed her as he cleaned the baby’s airway frantically with his fingers. “We don't have one of those things that suck the goo! We need a sucky thing! Why don’t they ever say that on the soddin’ telly?!” Spike jabbered frantically, close to a complete panic-attack meltdown.
“Buffy! What do I do?! She’s not breathin’!!” he repeated, standing up and bringing the baby girl up to his wife. Buffy took the baby in her arms and put her ear next to the child’s mouth and nose … Spike was right, she wasn’t breathing.
“No …no, no, no … You can’t die…” Buffy muttered determinedly. Buffy pressed her lips over the baby’s mouth and nose and inhaled sharply, pulling out a wad of something gooey and gross, which Buffy tried not to dwell on or think about, from the baby’s throat. Buffy spit it out and then puffed a light breath of air into the baby’s lungs … then another … and another, all the while rubbing the baby’s chest. Finally, after what seemed forever, but was certainly only a few seconds, the baby took a breath … and another and another and then it was crying.
The sound of their baby’s cries sounded like angels singing from on high to the frantic parents. Tears of relief stung Buffy’s eyes as she looked up from their new baby girl and met Spike’s eyes, which were also glistening in the low light. “We did it… we did it, Spike,” she murmured as he wrapped his arms around her and their newest little bit.
“You did it, pet … you,” he whispered to her as his tears of joy and relief spilled over and stained his cheeks.
Buffy shook her head. “We did it … together … Remind me to never do that again, though.”
“Never have another bit?” Spike questioned.
“No … never let you help me deliver it! You’re fearless against Slayers, demons, vamps, and bill collectors, but one little baby and you crumble like an over-baked cookie!”
“I bloody well did not crumble! I … I … was just … uhhhh …” Spike stammered. “You won’t tell anybody, will ya?”
Buffy laughed and shook her head. “Your crumbling point is safe with me…”
After a few moments, Spike went back to the car to get the phone and call 9-1-1 to get an ambulance to take Buffy and the baby the rest of the way to the hospital. Buffy held their little girl and looked up in the sky for the crescent moon, but the sky was covered in a thin layer of clouds. Buffy’s brow furrowed as she searched the sky for the light from the moon, but she couldn’t even see that through the clouds.
“What am I supposed to call you? ‘Our Little Prophecy’ is kinda pretentious,” she murmured to the baby as she waited for Spike to come back. Buffy kept looking for the moon, but it never emerged. The paramedics arrived and clamped the umbilical cord and checked mother and daughter before loading them both on the gurney and heading back to the ambulance. When they turned Buffy around to wheel her out to the parking lot, Buffy’s eyes were drawn up to the top of the tomb behind the now bloody sarcophagus she’d been sitting on. At the very top, the tomb had a crescent moon standing watch above it…
Buffy looked down below the decoration at the inscription. “MacKenzie,” it read. Then underneath that name it said “Verity ~ Perturbatio ~ Pondera ~ Vita”.
“Stop a minute!” Buffy exclaimed, reaching a hand out to the paramedics and they stopped. “Spike!” she called.
“Right here, pet…” he said from behind her, stepping up next to her.
“What does that mean?” she asked, pointing to the tomb.
“Verity, Perturbatio, Pondera, Vita …” he read. “Truth, Passion, Balance, Life,” he translated, looking back at her. “Why?”
Buffy gave him a smile and shook her head. “Just something a little birdie told me ...”
“Ahhhh … been talking to the birdies again, ‘ave we?” Spike teased. “Ya know, one day that’s gonna get you hauled off to the loony bin…”
Buffy laughed. “How could I tell the difference?”
(The next morning), Sunday, October 10th, 2010, 10:00am:
“MacKenzie Verity Weckerly,” Buffy informed the nurse who was filling out the birth certificate.
“Date and time of birth?” she asked after filling in the name.
“Ummm …” Buffy began, reaching for her phone. It had been ringing just as MacKenzie emerged. “11:59pm, October 9th, 2010,” Buffy provided, looking at the missed call’s time. “On the day one short of the month and the year …”
“Huh?” the nurse questioned as she wrote down the date and time on the form.
“Nothing …” Buffy murmured with a sigh.
When the nurse left, her friends snuck in one and two at a time, until the room was full.
“Where’d she get that red hair, B!? Spike have some rust in the ole pipes?” Faith teased.
Buffy laughed and squeezed Spike’s hand, looking up and meeting his eyes. “That’s m’ Avengelyne,” Spike offered as explanation for the unexplainable red hair of their littlest bit. “Reckon this one’s gonna be even more temperamental than her mum with those wild angel genes…”
“Actually, red hair is a gene mutation,” Anya provided brightly. “You have a mutant for a baby. Congratulations.”
“Thank you, Anya … that’s what every mother wants to hear,” Buffy replied with a fake smile.
“Oh – there’s nothing wrong with mutants! None of us would be here if it weren’t for genes mutating … in some cultures, red hair is revered and it’s thought that people with it are decedents of royalty. Of course, in others it’s looked upon as a sign that the person has a fiery temper, beastly sexual desire, and is a moral degenerate … some think it means the person is a witch or vampire even,” Anya continued to educate them.
Buffy shook her head. “Well … let’s just go with the theory that she’s descended from royalty.”
“Oh … so Spike’s not the father?” Anya continued. “I thought you said he was… or do you actually know? Did you copulate with someone else who was descended from royalty that night? Because that could explain a lot.”
“OI!” Spike started to object, but Buffy put a hand out to stop him from saying something that he couldn’t take back.
“Anya … trust me, Spike’s the father. Anyway, how do you know one of us isn’t descended from royalty?” Buffy argued, trying to stay calm herself … Anya was starting to get under her skin. As much as Buffy loved her, the ex-demon could push Buffy’s buttons without even trying.
Anya laughed at the suggestion that either Spike or Buffy was descended from royalty. “Oh, I get it … you don’t want to talk about who else you had intercourse with, I understand. You wouldn’t want to upset Spike … ‘cos he is the breadwinner and all. Very smart.”
Buffy opened her mouth to retaliate, but Giles stepped in first. “That’s quite an intriguing name, Buffy …” her Watcher interjected before she said something she couldn’t take back. “How did you decide upon that?”
Buffy let her aggravation with Anya go and turned to Giles. “It was … something I read. Verity is Latin for truth … MacKenzie … is just a name,” Buffy explained with a shrug.
“Indeed … well, it’s quite a prophetic name, as it turns out,” Giles informed her. “MacKenzie means ‘born of fire’ or ‘born of light’ … In the prophecy, it’s said that the seer of truth is ‘a daughter of fire, born to the fair, immortal warriors,’” Giles pointed out. “You may think the word ‘fair’ means ‘impartial’, but in this context, I believe it means ‘light’ or perhaps flaxen or blond…” Giles continued. “I’m afraid that it appears MacKenzie is the child spoken of in the prophecy, Buffy… and that is only borne out by the name you’ve inexplicably chosen for her.”
Buffy sighed. “Yeah, we pretty much figured that out,” she admitted. “Have you heard of something called the ‘Tetrad’?” she asked, still addressing Giles.
“I … uhhh … the ‘Tetrad’, you say?” Giles stammered, answering her question with a question. Since he hadn’t found anything further out about it, he’d never told her about the other prophecy that Travers had imparted to him before his final death.
“Yeah, apparently the PTB haven’t given up fucking with us. I think Billy, Dani, Annie, and MacKenzie make up something called the ‘Tetrad’ and they open the gates of hell to balance the scales … and only I can close them,” Buffy told Giles. “Here’s the symbol for it …” she started, grabbing a pen and a pad of paper from the bedside table and drawing for him what she’d seen in her dream.
Giles took it and looked at the drawing. “What do the symbols mean?” he asked her, looking up from the paper.
“Best I can figure it’s the Seer … MacKenzie, the Slayer … I’m assuming Dani, but maybe Bess, the Key … Annie, and … the heart is for Billy … the mortal,” Buffy explained. “And there’s a book we need to find, something about ‘de Profundis’ … what does that mean?” Buffy questioned.
Giles removed his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Ummm …’de Profundis’ … I believe means, ‘the Depths’,” Giles translated.
“As in, ‘the depths of hell’? Well, if you find a book with that in the name, you need to check it out … it has something to do with this whole prophecy thing,” Buffy informed him.
Giles nodded. “Certainly … I’ll keep an eye out for it in the Council’s library.”
Giles was just about to ask where she was getting this information when the nurse came in with MacKenzie and shooed all the visitors, which was waaay more than was allowed, out of the room.
When Buffy finished feeding the baby, Spike went and got the rest of the bits from the waiting room so they could meet their new sister … JJ of course, tagged along, too.
“She’s so little!” … “Her hair’s a funny color!” … “Are you sure it’s a girl?” … “How did you get her out of your tummy?” … “What’s her name?” … “Are you sure there’s not another one in there? Your tummy’s still pretty big!” … “I think the angels gave us the wrong one! That looks like Aunt Willow! Maybe we can trade her for Eddie!”
Buffy laughed as the kids gathered around her and fired off their questions. Spike stood in the doorway, out of the line of fire and watched and listened as she assured them there wasn’t another one in there and that the angel’s hadn’t made a mistake, and yes, they were sure it was a girl and no, they couldn’t trade her for Eddie.
“Your Papa got her out …” Buffy informed them with a smirk, looking at Spike. Why should she have all the fun?
“He did!?” was the united cry from the three younger children, as they turned and looked at Spike.
“Yeah, well … your mum helped, too…” Spike offered with a shrug, moving up to the bed.
“How did you get it out?” Dani wondered. “Did you haveta cut her tummy open like for Billy?”
“Naaaaa… You think your ole pop don’t know how to get a bit out? Not like these wanker doctors who can’t even tell if there’s one or two,” he sidestepped the question, ruffling Dani and Billy’s blonde hair. “I just told ‘er it was time and she just come out lickety-split … like magic, it was. Not like you lot who don’t listen to a bloody word I say…”
Buffy rolled her eyes … magic my ass!
“Can I hold her?” Annie asked, turning away from Spike and rolling her eyes too. Who did her dad think he was fooling?
“Sure, honey … come sit down,” Buffy offered sliding over in the bed and letting Annie sit next to her.
“She’s bigger than Dani and Billy were…” Annie observed as Buffy carefully placed the sleeping baby in Annie’s arms.
“And don't I know it,” Buffy agreed. “I even have the magical stitches to prove it…” she muttered under her breath.
And the questions continued … “When can we take her home?” … “What do we call her for short?” … “What does she like to eat?” … “What do you think she wants to be for Halloween?” … “Can she go trick-or-treating with us?” … “If she doesn’t want all her candy, I can help her with it.” … as all the kids took a turn holding their new little sister with Spike’s help. Buffy couldn’t stop her heart from soaring with love and joy as she watched her husband as he held Billy on his lap and helped their son hold the baby as the other children gathered around, firing off their questions and observations about the newest little bit.
Spike looked up and caught her glistening eyes. I love you he mouthed to her over Billy’s head as their son held the precious package gently in his arms, with Spike’s arms wrapped around both of them.
I love you too Buffy mouthed back as she swallowed the lump in her throat. Who among them would’ve predicted or even believed this was possible when William the Bloody first came to Sunnydale? William the Bloody … surrounded by his children, holding his son and the newest addition to their clan gently in his arms … it defied prediction.
What other surprises lie down the road? What else did the PTB have in store for them? What other things would they be unable to predict? Buffy’s lips pursed in thought; here before her was the ‘Tetrad’ … or so the girl in the dream had told her – they would open the gates of hell. Their brave little Scooby pups just looked like children to her … like sweet, kind, smart, and funny children. She prayed that they had a chance to be just that … children, for a good long while before prophecies and Hellmouths trampled on their lives. Bess had been cheated out of most of her childhood, forced to grow up quickly and painfully and long before she should’ve. Buffy vowed to do everything in her power to make sure these children’s innocence wasn’t stolen from them. She and Spike may not be able to protect them forever, but that didn't mean they couldn’t try.
Note from the author:
Ok, those of you who voted (I know it was a long time ago) choose MacKenzie for our new bit's name, so now what shall we call her for short?
Email me here and let me know your thoughts - here are some ideas, but if you have another one, let me know!:
Angel’s Lullaby, Reba McIntyre
Midnight moonlight shining through the curtain lace
If you'd like to get notified of updates, email me here: Updates
Feedback: Email me feedback, I'd love to hear from you! passionate@passion4 spike.com
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