|Chapter Title:||Real Babies|
Spans: March 28th, 2004 - April 17th, 2004
The twins (Danielle and William) were born on February 12th, 2004
(They came home on March 16th)
Annie turned five on February 14th.
Spike and Buffy have been married five years in February. (seems longer, doesn't it?)
Buffy turned 23 on January 19th.
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003.
God has a warped sense of humor . . . Buffy and Spike are trying to deal with taking care of the twins and Annie and the Hellmouth . . .
Heartfelt thanks to my "ET",
her wonderful suggestions and encouragement!!
|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. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
March 28th, 2004:
Buffy slipped away from the group of women and demons that were gathered in the living room of the Harris home, of what had been Buffy’s mom’s house – the house that Buffy had called home her sophomore and junior years in high school, and made her way up the stairs. Buffy, Willow and Tara, along with Xander’s help, had planned and organized the baby shower for Anya. They had invited all the female demons that had been at Xander and Anya’s wedding, along with friends of Anya’s from her job at the “Video Hut”. The shower had been a great success! Anya was giddy with delight from all the presents that had been heaped on her today. So far, this had been the BEST thing about being pregnant - presents!
At the top of the stairs, Buffy turned and looked into the master bedroom. Even though it was completely changed – different paint on the walls, different carpet, and different furniture – it still brought up memories of her mom.
She missed her mom a lot and talked to her every day . . . she knew her mom was in a wonderful place – in heaven – and Buffy hoped that her mom knew what was going on in her life and about the twins. She wished many times that her mom was here to see the beautiful babies and see what a sweet, beautiful girl Annie was – she really would’ve been so proud of Buffy and Spike and the family they had made.
Buffy turned back and went down the hallway to her old room. Xander and Anya had turned it into a nursery for the baby. Buffy smiled at the huge mural of the Joshua Tree from the U2 album of the same name that Anya had painted on one wall. It had the weather-beaten tree in the foreground with a big blue sky and mountains behind it and a golden desert laid out at the tree’s feet.
Everything in the room matched the colors in the mural – Anya had really done a wonderful job picking out just the perfect quilts and blankets and even furniture to compliment the Joshua Tree theme.
Buffy walked into the room and touched the soft blankets and pillows with a sigh. It wasn’t her room anymore. Even though it hadn’t been her room for years – it had still looked like her old room until recently. Buffy walked slowly over to the window that opened out onto the roof below and looked out with a smile. How many times had she climbed in and out of that window? A hundred? No. FIVE hundred? Possibly. A THOUSAND? Seemed more likely.
“Whaddya think?” Xander asked, walking in behind her.
“I think you better fix this window so Joshua doesn’t go patrolling cemeteries for vampires in the middle of the night,” Buffy said with a smile as she turned towards her friend.
Xander shrugged. “Well, if vampires are the worst thing he finds, it would be a relief,” he told her.
Buffy laughed. “Yeah, good point.”
Buffy’s face turned serious and she laid a hand on Xander’s arm. “Look at us . . . we’re parents . . . is that crazy or what?”
“Scary as hell,” Xander told her. “What if my son turns out like me? Slayer’s lovelorn puppy, demon-bug magnet, hyena . . . Cordelia’s boyfriend and finally married to an ex-vengeance demon with a commune of kooky Twilight Zone rejects for best friends.”
“Don’t forget ‘one who saved Slayer’s life’, ‘one who was right about Angel all along’, ‘one who knew what a trigger was’, ‘one who made sure Annie was out of harm’s way’ . . .” Buffy pointed out to him with a small smile. “A faithful, loving puppy who turned into a faithful, loving man and father. I think he’d be really lucky if he turned out just like you, Xand.”
Xander just shrugged and stuffed his hands into his pockets, but a small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth at the compliment. “I was wrong about Spike . . .” he admitted.
Buffy shrugged. “Well, you couldn’t have known. You were just worried about me. You came ‘round – eventually,” she told him with a small smile and a roll of her eyes.
“Eventually . . .” Xander agreed with a shrug.
Buffy gave Xander a hug and said, “What’s scary is that we’re the adults now! Geez, when did that happen?”
Xander shook his head and smiled as she released him from the hug. “I have no idea. The world is definitely doomed.”
Buffy smiled and started out of the room. “You’ve done just what I hoped you would, Xand. You’ve taken this house and filled it with love and soon with a family . . . I couldn’t have hoped for anything better. I love it.”
Xander smiled and nodded, looking more like that lovelorn puppy than the man he’d grown into at that moment. “Thanks . . .” he told her, looking at his shoes.
“You better watch who you call ‘Twilight Zone rejects’, though . . . a Slayer, a vampire and two witches could put some hurtin’ on ya for that remark,” Buffy threw over her shoulder as she started back down the stairs.
April 13th, 2004:
Spike was sprawled out on some mats in the training room watching his favorite drama, “Passions”. He’d missed a few shows – well more than a few – and now was trying to figure out what was going on. He couldn’t believe Brandi actually slept with Justin AND Nick and now she was preggers and didn’t know who the father was. Of course, her husband, David, thought it was his. Justin was a tosser – why a smart girl like Brandi would sleep with him was beyond Spike - why she stayed married to a loser like David was also a mystery.
“I just don’t know what I’m going to do!” Brandi was telling her therapist.
“Dump David and marry Nick, you daft bint! Nick’s the only good guy you ever shagged!” Spike told her . . . she never listened to Spike!
The twins were sleeping (finally!) in a playpen set up in the corner of the room. As wonderful as Annie was as a baby, the twins were the complete opposite. Spike remembered something he’d heard one time about how God had a warped sense of humor . . . he’d give parents an angelic child for the first baby and trick them into having more . . . then God would send down the real babies. The ones that cried and screamed no matter what you did and got the croup in the middle of the night . . . yeah, Dani and Billy were ‘real’ babies.
Annie was on the other side of the training room playing dress-up with Miss Kitty Fantastico and a few of her favorite dolls . . . Miss Kitty didn’t seem to mind being dressed up in fancy dresses that Annie took off the dolls and put on the kitten. Miss Kitty would just stretch and yawn and curl up in them until Annie decided to try a different one.
Spike had been doing patrols at night since he’d brought Buffy and the twins home from the hospital. The demon and vamp population around Sunnydale was starting to rise again and he’d been finding more and more fledges . . . which meant more and more vamps were in the area – so his patrols were running longer and longer and he had to go out nearly every night now.
Buffy had been staying home with the babies . . . twenty-four hours a day it seemed. Sleep was at a premium – the twins demanded almost constant attention and Annie had to be driven to pre-school and picked up, then taken to her other activities, like gymnastics class and dance class and picked up. Spike was doing all he could to help Buffy, but since he couldn’t go out in the sun, he was relegated to mostly night or inside duty.
Willow and Tara had both gotten their Bachelor’s degrees the previous fall, Willow in Computer Science and Tara in Psychology, and were now both working on their master’s degrees, leaving very little time for either of them to help much with the kids – or the housework, or demon fighting or much of anything else other than studying.
Spike looked up as Willow and Tara came into the training room carrying their books and computers with them.
“Can we join you?” Willow asked Spike as she set her stuff down on one of the tables by the wall. “Buffy’s on the warpath.”
Spike rolled his eyes, shrugged and went back to watching the TV. He knew Buffy was on the warpath – why did they think he was in here with all the kids? It had been a more and more frequent occurrence – lack of sleep and the extra responsibilities were taking their toll on her. When Spike left her in her office upstairs, she was trying to get the bills caught up and the income taxes done while obsessing about who kept leaving the wet towels on the floor in the bathroom, the lime scale that was built up on the tile in the shower and the fact that no one but her seemed to care that the research books had an inch of dust on them.
“Bloody hell,” Spike muttered rolling his head back and looking at the ceiling. “Demon bird’s here,” he told the group gathered in the training room.
“BUFFY?!” Tara and Willow asked at once, looking wide eyed at the closed door.
“Noooo . . .” Spike said rolling his eyes. “Anya.”
Tara and Willow both sighed with relief as Anya opened the door and poked her head in. “Oh – there you all are!” she said, opening the door wider. “What are you all doing in here?”
Willow jumped up and pulled Anya into the room and closed the door behind her. “Hiding,” Willow informed her.
“Not hiding!” Spike corrected. “Givin’ the Slayer some space.”
“Mama’s on the ‘warpath’!” Annie announced smiling up at Anya as she picked Miss Kitty back up and started changing her dress again.
“So, three adults and three children are in this one room and Buffy’s got the whole rest of the house?” Anya questioned. “What are you all scaredy-cats?”
Spike, Willow and Tara all nodded with wide eyes.
“You know, I don’t know why you don’t get her some help, Spike,” Anya informed him, her hands going to her hips. “A housekeeper or a nanny . . . or someone that could do both! I have a friend . . . you haven’t met her, she was supposed to be at the wedding but . . . well, something came up and she couldn’t make it. Anyway, she would be PERFECT for you! Her name’s Halfrek . . . she’s an ex-vengeance demon, too.”
Spike furrowed his brow, considering Anya’s idea . . . it was brilliant! Get someone that could help with the twins . . . help with the housework – let Buffy get out of the house and let her kick someone else’s ass for a change, that would do the Slayer a world of good!
Spike jumped up from the floor and walked over towards Anya. “This friend of yours is reliable?” Spike asked Anya.
“Oh, Halfrek is such a sweetie . . . hard working, very reliable, wonderful with kids,” Anya opined.
“Halfrek . . . do I know ‘er?” Spike tried to remember where he’d heard that name before – it seemed like something from a dream.
“No – she didn’t make it to the wedding . . . she got caught up in some big scandal and D'Hoffryn, well – he took her powers away and dropped her in the middle of Bangladesh . . .” Anya rolled her eyes. “He does that kind of thing for amusement.”
“We don’ have to get ‘er out of Bangla-fucking-desh, do we?”
“Oh no – she’s here now . . . well, she’s in Dillon . . . not too far,” Anya told him. “I’ll bring her by tomorrow, ok?”
“Better make it Friday . . . after the taxes are done,” Spike told her as he went and plopped back down on the mats in front of the TV to finish watching his show and giving Brandi his expert, yet mostly unheeded, advice.
April 16th, 2004:
Buffy wasn’t too sure she wanted a nanny-housekeeper; and was really not sure that she wanted an ex-vengeance demon nanny-housekeeper. As much as she loved Anya, she really wasn’t sure she could handle two Anyas or living with someone like Anya.
Plus, they already had a small herd (or ‘commune’, according to Xander) of people living in the mansion – if everyone could just pitch in and carry their own weight – or, at least, pick up their wet towels off the bathroom floor, maybe they wouldn’t need help.
But, Spike convinced her to at least talk to Anya’s friend and see what she thought. Being an ex-demon could have its advantages – it wouldn’t be like Slayers and vampires and other beasties would be foreign to her. And they wouldn’t have to explain why Spike drank blood or why they had trunks of weapons stored all over the house.
So Buffy tried to keep an open mind as she met Anya and Halfrek at the Espresso Pump for lunch. Spike stayed home with the babies – leaving the ‘interview’ to Buffy.
“Do you have any experience with this kind of work, Halfrek?” Buffy asked her after they’d ordered their lunch. “I wouldn’t think that caring for infants and doing housework were high on the list for vengeance demons.”
“Oh, honey, call me Hallie!” Halfrek told her as she leaned forward and laid a hand on Buffy’s arm.
“You have no idea the things I’ve had to do as a vengeance demon and children, as Anyanka would say, are my thing!” Hallie informed Buffy.
“One time, after I turned this woman’s husband into the jack-rabbit he was, she went into labor with her twelfth child and I had to help deliver the baby! Then, of course, I couldn’t leave her alone with the baby and all those kids! Since I didn’t have anything pressing at the time, I stayed and helped her for a couple of months until her mother could get there. That was a learning experience, believe you me!” Hallie told her, rolling her eyes.
“That’s how Hallie’s always been . . . really goes the extra mile!” Anya interjected cheerfully on her friend’s behalf.
Then, turning to Hallie, Anya lowered her voice and said, “Seriously, you couldn’t have thought of anything worse to turn him into, could you? A bunny of all things! No one deserves that! Ewwwww!” Anya shuddered at the thought.
“Well, he was just breeding like a bunny, Anya! That’s all he wanted to contribute to the family . . . so I thought it was only fair,” Halfrek explained with a shrug.
“What do you know about getting lime scale off tile?” Buffy asked Hallie.
“OH!” Hallie exclaimed, jumping slightly in her seat. “One time, I did this job for Martha Stewart! I got all the inside scoop on getting anything off of anything . . . and I can make a double-chocolate, extra moist devil’s food cake that is to die for! It’s Martha’s own top-secret recipe!”
“Double chocolate?” Buffy asked, suddenly more interested.
“Extra moist . . . to die for, honey!” Hallie confirmed with a nod.
“So,” Buffy said to Spike later that night over dinner. “I think this idea may work out. Hallie seems pretty nice and she’s got the qualifications,” like Martha’s double chocolate, extra moist devil’s food cake recipe Buffy added to herself.
“Plus, Anya seems to really think she can do the job . . . I don’t think Anya would lie about that – do you?” she asked Spike as she instinctively moved Annie’s glass of milk further away from the edge of the table.
“I don’ think the demon bird’s capable of lying about anythin’ . . . even when she should,” Spike told Buffy.
Buffy laughed. “Yeah, you’re probably right. So, Hallie will be coming by tomorrow and you can meet her and we’ll see how she does with the babies. But, she seemed fine – I think it’ll work out.”
Suddenly, screaming started coming from the baby monitor that was sitting on the table and Buffy sighed heavily and closed her eyes. Thirty minutes . . . it had only been thirty minutes since she’d gotten them to sleep. Buffy pushed herself up from the table and started up the stairs to the nursery. She sincerely hoped it would work out with Hallie.
April 17th, 2004:
“Hey, Buffy! Spike! Anybody up?!” Anya called as she and Hallie walked in the garden doors the next day at about mid-morning.
Spike had been on patrol late the previous night and was still asleep. Buffy answered from the kitchen where she was still cleaning up from the morning meal and getting the bottles ready for the twins. Anya and Hallie went into the kitchen and Hallie jumped right in helping Buffy get the dishes cleaned and dried and put up. Before the bottles were even warmed up, the screaming began coming from the baby monitor and Buffy’s shoulders slumped.
Those two couldn’t sleep longer than an hour without having screaming fits. Buffy had tried everything – even Tara’s suggestion to just ignore them instead of running every time they screamed. That only rewarded the screaming, Tara told her . . . but that didn’t work either.
“I’ll take care of it, honey,” Hallie told her as she checked the milk’s temperature. “Just show me the way.”
Buffy showed Hallie up the stairs to the nursery. Somehow Hallie was able to cradle both babies in her arms and, by wrapping her arms around some-which-way, she held both bottles for them. The twins immediately stopped crying and settled into her arms for their meal.
Hallie fed them and then burped them and then played with them for a while – keeping them entertained and quiet for longer than Buffy had ever been able to do – mostly because Buffy always had something else that needed to be done – some other responsibility or crisis pulling her attention away.
“You’re hired,” Buffy told her after Hallie got the babies put back down and the bottles washed and sanitized. “When can you start?”
“Now?” Hallie asked, hopefully. After D'Hoffryn took Halfrek’s powers away and dropped her in Bangladesh, she had been doing (almost) anything she could to get by. Anya and Xander had sent her enough money to get out of India and back to California and, taking Anya’s advice, Hallie had been trying to find an actual job so she could pay them back, live somewhere decent and make a new life for herself, like Anya had. Hallie was overjoyed at the prospect of having a decent place to live, food on the table and money coming in.
Buffy gave Hallie the “grand tour” and gave her a choice of the three remaining bedrooms in the mansion before leaving her to get settled in.
Later that afternoon, after getting her meager belongings brought in from Anya’s car, Hallie jumped right in and started cleaning in the upstairs bathroom – since that seemed to be Buffy’s current obsession. She was able to get the whole thing spic-and-span in just a little while, even with taking time out to quiet the babies down twice.
Hallie turned the corner coming out of the bathroom when she ran head long into Spike, who had just gotten up and was still in just his PJ bottoms.
“Bloody hell!” he exclaimed, backing up and rubbing his chin where she had run into him.
“Oh – sorry!” Hallie said as she bent down to pick up the cleaning supplies that she’d dropped when she ran into Spike.
“Who the bloody hell are you, now?” he asked.
“I’m Halfrek . . . you can call me Hallie. You must be Spike,” Hallie said, still gathering up her things from the floor.
Hallie stood back up and faced Spike and her brows knit in confusion. It was William . . . well, a version of William – a hot, hard bodied and scantily clad version of William.
“Bloody hell . . . I bloody well knew I knew there was a reason I shoulda' remembered that name! Cecily! You’re Cecily!” Spike exclaimed pointing a finger at her.
“William? But . . . but I thought you were Buffy’s husband - Spike.”
“I am Buffy's husband Spike, you dizzy bint!”
“But . . . but you’re William – how’s that possible?” Hallie said, looking Spike up and down.
Spike smirked. “Vampire,” he told her. “Now you can just pack up all your little things and go . . .”
Hallie stiffened, squared her chin and stood up straight. “I will not. Buffy hired me – I’m staying.”
“Yeah, well I’m un-hiring you – get the fuck out!”
“Hey guys, what’s going on?” Buffy asked walking up from behind Spike.
“Oh, I see you met Hallie,” Buffy said, wrapping one arm around Spike’s waist. “She did great with the babies, Spike! I hired her. I hope you don’t mind! She’s all moved in already and everything – it’s gonna be so wonderful having her here – now maybe I can actually get some sleep and not be all head-bitey-offy all the time.”
“Can I talk to you a minute, Slayer . . . in private,” Spike said, turning Buffy around and walking down the hall away from Hallie.
“Get rid of ‘er,” Spike said once they were out of earshot of Hallie.
“What!? You’re the one who wanted me to hire someone! Now you want me to get rid of her!? Why?” Buffy asked, exasperated.
“You can hire someone else,” Spike told her.
“Why? She did so great with the twins, Spike – honestly – I don’t understand you.”
“Buffy, just trust me – you don’ want her here – I don’ want her here.”
“You haven’t even given her a chance.”
“Don’ need to.”
“Why? Tell me why,” Buffy insisted.
Spike closed his eyes and shook his head. “I just don’t like ‘er.”
“Just ‘cuz,” he said opening his eyes and looking at Buffy.
“That’s something Annie would say . . .” Buffy told him, her hands going to her hips. Spike stood firm, pursing his lips together and narrowing his eyes at his wife to show her he was serious.
Buffy put her arms around Spike’s neck and pressed her body against his. She leaned in and began drawing small, hot, wet circles on his neck with the tip of her tongue.
“It’ll give us more time to ourselves,” Buffy whispered against his neck. “Just give her a chance, ok? A month - if you still don’t like her in a month, then we’ll fire her. Okay, baby?”
She never gave me a bloody chance, Spike thought, but was powerless at that moment to resist what Buffy was doing to him. Plus, he had no desire to tell Buffy why he didn’t want Cecily . . . or Hallie, here and he knew if he continued to push it, he would have to tell her why – Buffy would never accept ‘just cuz’.
Spike closed his eyes and nodded with a heavy sigh. He was still love’s bitch – he wondered silently if he should just get some t-shirts made: “Love’s Bitch – Ask me how!”
Hallie stayed near the doorway of the bathroom and watched Buffy convince Spike to let her stay. She let her eyes wander slowly down Spike’s well muscled back to his thin hips and cute ass and wished those PJ bottoms were just a bit tighter . . . or perhaps off completely.
She smirked when Spike melted with just the slightest touch from Buffy. He may look like a ‘Spike’, but he’s still William inside, Hallie thought as she raked her eyes back up from his tight tush. Her eyes lingered on his “dimples of Venus” that were peaking out above his PJ bottoms and her mouth began to water.
She let her eyes roam further up Spike’s body, licking her lips as she focused on his sculpted back. Hallie continued her inspection of what William had become, as her eyes wandered up to Spike’s shoulders before ultimately taking note of his strong arms and imagining how they would feel wrapped around her.
If I had known that was hiding within William, I certainly wouldn’t have dismissed him so casually . . .
Suddenly, the thought of William being beneath her took on a whole new meaning for Hallie.
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