Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Kooks
Chapter Title:


Sweet-Bit and Baby Blue


Time line:

May 26th, 2004 - June 6th, 2004


Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004

The twins (Danielle, "Dani" and William, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004

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.



Dani's in the hospital with a dangerously high fever...what's the cause and is it curable? Spike and Buffy are faced with the possibility of losing their baby daughter.


Notes: Heartfelt thanks to my "ET", PaganBaby, for her wonderful suggestions, corrections and encouragement!!  What would I do without you?

Songs Referenced:

Kooks, by David Bowie


Lullaby Baby Blues sung by James Marsters:

                                        (Originally by Keb’ Mo’:

Book Referenced:

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee


A "Weego" is a Sling type carrier for babies, here's more info on it:


St. Mary-le-Bow is an historic church in the City of London, off Cheapside.  According to tradition, a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of the church's bells.


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.

May 26th, 2004 – 8:00am


The doctor finally arrived several hours later . . . the ICU staff had managed to get Dani’s fever down somewhat – at least to a safer level, with the medicine and alcohol rubs. Spike and Buffy waited and watched helplessly as the nurses came and went, checking vitals, checking Dani’s temperature, checking the IV in her arm … just checking, every half hour or so. 


The worried parents would take turns sitting next to Dani and stroking her head and whispering or humming or singing to her.  She had finally stopped crying so much and had actually fallen asleep a few times.


Buffy and Spike both stood up when the doctor came in the room. He was flipping through Dani’s chart and looking at all the tests that had been run during the night.


Finally, he looked up from the papers and extended his hand first to Spike then to Buffy. “Mr. and Mrs. Weckerly,” he started. “I’m Dr. Weil … I’m a pediatric neurologist and I’ve been called in on your case.”


“Neurologist?” Buffy asked with a frown.  “What’s wrong with Dani?”


“She has meningitis . . .” the doctor started.


“Oh God!” Buffy exclaimed in shock as her hands covered her mouth at the mention of meningitis. “But . . . but she got the vaccine!”


“The vaccine was just for one strain . . . there are several different causes; she most likely has pneumococcal meningitis, but we’re waiting on the tests to confirm that – they take about twenty-four hours to complete,” the doctor told Buffy.


Spike moved behind Buffy and began rubbing lightly up and down her upper arms, offering her support.  “What’s that mean?” he asked the doctor.


“Well, we got the fever down somewhat; that’s not the danger now. The swelling in her brain, however, has not responded to the steroids yet – it could be a few days before she’s out of the woods.


“Providing she survives the next seventy-two hours, then we’ll have to see if there is any permanent brain, hearing, or other nerve damage from the swelling,” the doctor explained matter-of-factly and Buffy felt her knees give way under her.  Spike grabbed her shoulders and helped her to sit in the chair next to Dani’s crib.


“Could give a bloke some warnin’ ‘fore you came out with that .  . .” Spike told him with a scowl.


The doctor just shrugged before saying, “Sorry,” without much conviction. “They’ve started her on broad spectrum antibiotics, which we’ll adjust as soon as we know for certain the specific strain she has, and corticosteroids for the swelling, as well as fluids . . . at this point, it’s just wait and see.”


“She could die? We brought her right in . . . you’re saying she could die from this!? Even though she’s in the hospital? You can’t fix it!?” Buffy asked, looking at the doctor with wide, glistening eyes.


The doctor shrugged again. “The infection is in her brain and spinal fluid,” the doctor explained. “It’s causing swelling – swelling around the brain can have serious repercussions, including brain damage, coma, seizures and death.”


“Oh God!” Buffy exclaimed, covering her face with her hands and shaking her head from side to side as sobs began wracking her body.


Spike put a hand on Buffy’s back as he closed his eyes and bit his lip to stop the tears that threatened him, as well. After a few moments, Spike took a deep breath before opening his eyes again and addressing the doctor.


“How . . . how did she get it? Did someone give it to her, like . . . on purpose?”


“That’s doubtful. You said she was sick a week or so ago?” he asked.  Spike nodded. “Probably the bacteria that made her sick broke through the protective barrier of her spine . . . it can sometimes enter through the ear canal.”


“What about Billy . . . her twin brother – and Annie . . . or us – can they, can we get it, too?” Buffy asked the doctor, looking up at him with wide, glistening eyes.

“It’s certainly is possible, it is contagious . . . you should have the children, especially her twin, checked immediately, just to make sure.”


Buffy nodded slowly and the doctor turned around and left them alone.


“God, Spike . . . they can’t fix it . . . what if she . . .” Buffy started and Spike shushed her gently, kneeling down in front of her and pulling her to him. Buffy rested her forehead on his shoulder and draped her arms around his neck.


“None of that, now . . .” Spike told her. “It’s gonna be ok, Buffy. She’s a Summers girl . . . too bloody strong and stubborn to let a little bugger like that get the best of ‘er.”


Buffy chuckled sadly through her tears and sat back to look at Spike. “What would I do without you?” she asked him softly.


“Ah, well – prob’ly live a very boring, sexually frustrated life . . .” he told her, trying to lighten her spirits.


Buffy laughed again and rolled her eyes before dropping her head back on his shoulder.


“It’ll be ok, Buffy . . .” Spike whispered to her as he smoothed her hair down her back. Please let it be ok, please, please let it be ok . . he repeated to himself silently as he held his wife.


“I think the PTB hate us . . .” Buffy started, her forehead still on Spike’s shoulder. She lifted up to look into his eyes as tears flowed down her face. “I . . . I shouldn’t have fucked with Angel . . . they’re punishing Dani, punishing us all, for what I did. It’s my fault . . .”


“No . . . that’s not true, luv, it’s not your fault – it’s no one’s fault – it’s just . . . just one of those things that happens sometimes,” Spike told her, pulling her back into a hug, although he had considered that same possibility when Buffy was in a coma – that the PTB were punishing them for what had been done to their favored son. “The PTB aren’t known for subtlety, luv . . . if they were punishing us, I think they’d make sure we knew it was them,” Spike told Buffy, trying to reassure her.


“Well, they certainly haven’t been helping much lately . . .” Buffy said quietly.  Spike couldn’t disagree with that assessment.


After a few minutes, Buffy sat back and wiped her eyes, taking deep breaths to try and calm her rattled nerves. She leaned over the edge of the crib and touched Dani’s little hand and Dani’s fingers curled tightly around Buffy’s finger.


“God, Spike . . .” Buffy started as tears welled up in her eyes and started falling again. “I couldn’t . . .  I just couldn’t take it . . . how do parents do this? I don’t think I can handle this . . .”


“Buffy, luv . . . why don’t you go call Red and have ‘er bring Billy and Annie over to be tested . . . and, while you’re at it, have Glinda check out this wanker Dr. Weil and see if he’s any bloody good,” Spike suggested, knowing that if Buffy had something to focus on – a task to complete, anything to feel like she was working to solve the problem, it would help her.  She always underestimated her strength . . . not her physical strength, but her mental fortitude – but Spike didn’t – he knew she could handle it, he just wasn’t too sure about himself.


Buffy nodded slowly and wiped her eyes again. Spike stood up and grabbed a box of tissues and handed her some.


 “You’ll stay here?” she asked him.


“’Course, luv.”


After Buffy left to go call Willow, Spike sat down in the chair and leaned forward on Dani’s crib, lightly stroking her flaxen hair with his fingers and talking to her softly.


“You don’ know this yet, but you’re a Summers girl, Sweet-bit . . . you’re strong and stubborn and full of fire and fight. We love you, your Mum and me . . . more than you know, so you need to fight now . . . don’ give up, ‘cause we’re here, we need you to stay with us, little one.


“I know we aren’t the ideal family to have . . . you’ll prob’ly want to deny us one day . . . but that’s ok – you jus’ need to get better now so later you can tell your friends that you don’ know who those kooks are that live with you . . . that gypsies kidnapped you from your real family and left you on our doorstep . . .”


Tears fell from Spike’s eyes as she spoke to his baby daughter . . . his words turned into soft humming and, after a few minutes, the humming turned into a song; a song he’d first heard David Bowie sing at a concert in New York City during the seventies. He thought it a funny song then, but now he understood it . . . now he had a wife and children of his own and the words actually had meaning.


He couldn’t remember all the words, but sang the ones he did remember and hummed the ones he didn’t . . . as he continued gently stroking Dani’s soft, golden hair with his fingers.


"Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing

"mmm . .. mmm. . .mmm

'Cause if you stay with us you're gonna be pretty Kooky too
hummmm . .. . mmmm. . . mmmmm


"Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing

"hummm . .. . mmmm. . .
Don't pick fights with the bullies or the cads
'Cause Buffy won’t let me punch
Other people's Dads
hummm . ..mmmm ..  mmmm
mmmmm. . . .mmmmm . . . hummmm
hummmm… mmmm … mmmmm


"Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing"

Spike was still singing and humming the song when someone walked up behind him and placed a warm hand on his cool, bare back.


Spike nearly jumped out of his skin, his attention was so focused on his daughter and remembering the song, he hadn’t even heard anyone come in the room.  When he turned around he saw Nurse Wanda smiling softly at him. 


“Sorry, William, I thought you heard me, dear,” she told him.


“’S alright,” Spike replied, drawing a deep breath in to calm his nerves. “Just a little preoccupied, I reckon.”


“I saw the name on the board and couldn’t believe you were back here . . . I’m so sorry.  She seems to be improving though . . . her fever’s down a bit,” Nurse Wanda told Spike as she walked to the other side of Dani’s crib and checked the vitals showing on the monitors there.


“Yeah,” Spike said, despondently, looking sadly at his daughter and still lightly stroking her hair.


“Don’t fret, William . . . you know, God works in mysterious ways,” Wanda repeated what she’d told Spike before when Buffy was in the coma.


“Yeah, I bloody well wish He’d switch to Nora Roberts an’ get off the soddin’ mysteries already,” Spike retorted, perhaps a little more tersely than he should have.


Nurse Wanda smiled patiently at Spike before saying, “Everything will work out fine in the end, William . . . if everything’s not fine, then it’s not the end.” 


Spike snorted. “Well, I don’t reckon we’ll ever have to worry about gettin’ to the end, ‘cause we can’t go five fucking minutes without somethin’ blowing up in our faces.”


Nurse Wanda walked back around the crib and laid a hand on Spike’s shoulder. “Keep doing what you’re doing – it helped Buffy and it’s helping Danielle . . .” she told him before turning and leaving the room.


Spike had no choice but to take her advice – there wasn’t anything else he could do. He couldn’t slay the germs, he couldn’t fight them, he couldn’t take over the fight for her, as much as he wished he could . . . all he could do was hum and sing and talk to her and make sure she knew they were all there waiting for her to get better.


May 26th, 2004, 10pm:


Buffy had gotten Billy and Annie tested for meningitis and the preliminary tests were negative, they’d know for sure in twenty-four hours, but it looked like only Dani had it.  She sent Spike home when the sun went down to stay with them while she stayed at the hospital with Dani.


Dani seemed to be responding to the antibiotics and was acting better – her fever was down significantly and she was more alert, but the doctor still said the swelling had not gone down enough – she wasn’t out of the woods yet. 


Buffy couldn’t help trying to check her eyesight and hearing when Dani was awake – even though it wasn’t really scientific, she was relieved to see Dani follow her with her eyes and react to sounds.  Perhaps she would be fine, after all.


“Please fight, sweet girl . . . we all need you to fight this. God, I wish I could fight it for you . . . I’d do anything to be able to take it away,” Buffy told her baby daughter as she sat with her alone in the small, cold ICU room. “Please don’t give up . . . you don’t know this, but you’re a Weckerly . . . you don’t quit – ever. You fight, you’re a scrapper – brave and strong – and you can win, I just know you can . . . because that William Weckerly blood is in you and he’s a champion . . . he’s a good man . . . he’s a fighter, and so are you.”




Tara emerged from the bathroom after her shower and started towards the room across the hall that she shared with Willow when she heard Spike’s voice coming from down the hall – from Annie’s room. 


It didn’t exactly sound like Spike . . . his voice was lilting, for lack of a better word, the sound was mesmerizing. He was reading a story, she realized, as she walked down the hall towards Annie’s room.


Tara folded her arms across her chest, leaned on the door jamb, and listened to him read to his daughter.


“‘Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it.


“‘In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop . . . somehow it was hotter then . . . bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum. . . .


“‘There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.’”


Spike closed the book and set it on the dresser, Annie was already asleep. He tucked the covers around her and dropped a soft kiss on her forehead before standing up and walking silently from her room, closing her door behind him with a soft ‘click’.


When Spike stopped reading, Tara backed up and leaned against the wall on the other side of the hall and waited for him.


“Funny how your voice changes when you’re reading like that,” she told him with a crooked smile. “It’s really . . . lovely.”


Spike snorted softly and smiled. “Now that’s not sumthin’ I get called every day.”


“You know, your aura changes too – not a lot, but a little, I can see it when you’re reading like that, your heart Chakra shines brighter . . . what University did you attend?”


“Pffftt! What makes you think I attended university, pet?”


“Well, you didn’t get that accent you use when you read from the east end of London . . .” Tara told him with a smile. “Could you even hear the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow from your house?”


Spike looked at Tara with disbelief before he smiled and shook his head. “Trouble, that’s what you are, pet.  See too much, you do.”


Tara shrugged and dropped the subject of Spike’s decidedly not ‘east ender’ accent.  Changing the subject she said, “You know, that’s a high school book you’re reading to Annie.”


“Yeah?” Spike asked. “There a law ‘bout that?”


“No, just didn’t know if you knew . . . she’ll have to read it in high school.”


“Ahhh, well, she’ll be ahead of the curve then, our girl.”


Tara smiled at him, pushed off the wall and started back down the hall. “Yep, with all us university types around here, she’s bound to be ahead of the curve, William,” she called back over her shoulder.





“Lullaby baby blues
Time to kick off your walkin' shoes
And hug the pillow on your bed
And lay down your sleepy head

“Hush now no need to talk
Hear the ticking of the clock
Stars that twinkle, stars that shine
Dream and you'll have wings to fly”


Spike sat in the rocking chair in the nursery, holding Billy in his arms, swaying him gently and singing to him softly.  With Danielle away from him, Billy had been inconsolable all day, and it hadn’t changed any as the night went on. So, Spike sang and talked and hummed and swayed his son, trying to do anything he could to bring comfort to his child.


“Goodnight baby blue
Close your eyes baby blue
The moonlit sky watches over you
So close your eyes baby blue"


Spike wished there was something he could do to help their babies – either of them, both of them.  There was absolutely nothing he could do to help Dani – other than just be there, for her and for Buffy, and there seemed to be little he could do to comfort his son who, without his sister near, seemed to feel abandoned and alone.


“Hush now no need to talk
Hear the ticking of the clock
Stars that twinkle, stars that shine
Dream and you'll have wings to fly"


So, Spike sang the lullaby – one that he’d learned just for his son – a new one. He’d been working on learning new songs ever since The First used his one and only lullaby against him and Buffy – he was trying to not be quite so predictable because he knew, one day, The First would return again.  But that wasn’t today or even tomorrow – what was today and tomorrow was getting Dani well and keeping Billy comforted until she came home. 


He almost wished for a fight with The First . . . at least that was something he could do.  He had no way to fight unseen, microscopic demons.  Tara had gone online and looked up Dr. Weil’s credentials, he was well qualified. Despite his lack of bedside manner, he was one of the top Pediatric Neurologists in Southern California. So, Spike had to put his trust in the wanker, not something Spike was keen on after the debacle that nearly cost him Buffy and Billy less than four months ago, but he didn’t see any other choice.  


“Goodnight baby blue
Close your eyes baby blue
The moonlit sky watches over you
Close your eyes baby blue”




Buffy and Spike took turns keeping vigil at the hospital with Dani and at home with Billy and Annie over the next few days. Anya and Xander brought JJ in for testing, but he was clear of the infection, as well – only Dani had it. 


Lorne, Willow, Tara and even Giles helped as much as they could - trying to give the exhausted parents a break to get some sleep every few hours. But sleep was elusive for them both and never lasted long or brought much of a respite from their worry. They just wanted Dani to be okay and to get her back home – then they could get some sleep – until then, well – it simply wasn’t possible.




On the sixth day after being admitted, Dani had tested negative for the bacteria for forty-eight hours . . . the doctors told them, if she continued to check negative for the next forty-eight hours, then they would consider the infection cured.  Her fever, although still there, wasn’t dangerously high, and the swelling around her brain had been significantly reduced. 


Spike and Buffy continued their vigil through the long days and nights between the hospital and home, each comforting the babies the best they could.  They each felt like ships passing in the night … spending only a few minutes each morning and evening together at the hospital with Dani, before one would have to leave for home.  They both wished for more time together, more time to give and get comfort from each other … but it simply wasn’t possible.


Willow, Tara, Lorne and Giles took turns keeping Annie entertained, taking her to the playground, out to eat or shopping at the mall so she didn’t feel like she was being ignored. Spike would read to her every night and tell her how Dani was doing and Buffy would greet her in the morning with a hug and a kiss and cook her breakfast before getting her off to pre-school.




On the eighth day, the doctor told Buffy and Spike that Dani’s infection was gone … she had tested negative for ninety-six hours. Her fever was gone, as was the swelling. From the tests the doctors could run she didn’t seem to have any long-term neurological damage from it, but only time would tell for sure and they should continue to monitor her mental and physical development closely.


Even though she was getting better, she was still crying and screaming almost constantly (at least it seemed that way to Spike and Buffy) only now it was because she was separated from Billy instead of due to the pain of the meningitis and the fever.  Buffy and Spike were relieved when the hospital said they could take her home on the tenth day.




Buffy curled against Spike’s side, her head on his shoulder and his arm encircling her that night. The baby monitor next to the bed was silent except for some gurgling and cooing from time to time, but there was no screaming, no crying – no mournful sounds coming from it for once in a very long time.


The exhausted parents laid still and quiet in their bed listening to the blessed silence of happy, healthy babies and, before long, they were both asleep, too – finally able to let go of the tension and worry of the last days and let their minds and bodies relax and float softly down into the dark abyss of peaceful slumber in each other’s arms.




The next morning, Buffy left Lorne in charge of the twins and took Annie to McDonald’s for breakfast then to pre-school before stopping at the grocery store.


No one had been shopping in nearly two weeks and the cupboards were beyond bare . . . not one chocolate-chip, not one box of Cocoa Puffs, not one swig of outdated milk remained – she found one snack size box of raisins in the back of the freezer, along with Spike’s blood, which the butcher still delivered weekly. She guessed that Old Mother Hubbard’s couldn’t have had less as she popped the raisins in her mouth that morning before getting Annie up and ready for pre-school. Thank God for McDonald’s . . . Egg McMuffin saves the day . . . details at eleven.


When Buffy got back three hours later, her car was packed with food – she’d always looked dubiously at the people in the grocery store who needed two shopping carts – who could possibly need that much food!?  Today, she needed three carts and was afraid it wouldn’t all fit into her small, compact car when she was all done. But two bag boys helped her out with it and helped her get it all crammed in there – now she just needed the army that ate it all to come and help her get it out of the car and into the house.


“Hey guys!” she called from the doorway near the garage . . . no response. “Guuuyyys!” she yelled again and waited. Buffy took a deep breath and blew it out sharply. They can eat it all but God forbid they help haul it in here . . . Mick Jagger suddenly started singing “Beast of Burden” in her mind and she shook her head and rolled her eyes. Buffy started to turn back to the garage to begin hauling the bags in when she heard music coming from the training room.


Buffy furrowed her brow and walked over to the closed door, intent on recruiting whoever was in there as another pack mule. When she opened the door, the music blared out at her as Spike swayed and sang along with the song; the twins were tucked snuggly against his chest in the twin Weego, dancing with him.



 “Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry

'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks

Hung up on romancing”


Spike turned and saw Buffy standing in the doorway and held a hand out to her as the music continued and he kept singing along with David Bowie.


“We bought a lot of things to keep you warm and dry
And a funny old crib on which the paint won't dry
I bought you a pair of shoes
A trumpet you can blow
And a book of rules

On what to say to people when they pick on you

'Cause if you stay with us you're gonna be pretty Kooky too”


Buffy smiled and shook her head as she walked into the room towards him. The babies were facing each other in the sling he had them in and seemed to be content and happy with the song and Spike’s dancing.  When Buffy reached Spike he took both her hands in his and pulled her softly against him, so the babies were snuggled lightly between them as he continued dancing and singing along . . .


“Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing”


Buffy couldn’t help but smile and move along with him as he swayed to the music, her hands in his and their babies between them.


“And if you ever have to go to school
Remember how they messed up this old fool
Don't pick fights with the bullies or the cads
'Cause I'm not much cop at punching
Other people's Dads
And if the homework brings you down
Then we'll throw it on the fire
And take the car downtown

“Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing”


As the song ended Spike leaned down and dropped a soft kiss on Buffy’s lips. 


“You really are a kook . . . you know that, right?” Buffy asked with a smile, still holding Spike’s hands in hers.


“That’s why ya’ love me, pet,” Spike informed her with a smile.


Buffy tilted her head and considered him a moment. “No, that’s not it . . .” she said, her brows furrowed, looking very serious. “I love you for your body . . . so strong and tireless – all muscley . . . perfect for hauling grocery bags in from the car . . .” she told him with a laugh, before letting go of one of his hands and tugging him by the other one towards the door.


“OI! I feel so used . . .” he objected as she pulled him along.


“Yeah, well better get used to it, buddy . . . ‘cause after the groceries, I have another idea for putting that body and all those muscley-muscles to good use . . .”




** ~ END ~ **


(Well, of course, not "THE END" ... just the end of this story ... got more to come, so don't go too far away!)






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Medical information about Meningitis: