|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
It’s time for Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay to enter the world … just another ordinary miracle.
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.
Ordinary Miracle, Sarah McLachlan
Poem: ‘Love’s Philosophy’ by Percy Shelley
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.
(Nine days later), Wednesday, March 9th, 2010:
“I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about, Wills … boys like to keep their moms waiting,” Buffy assured her friend that night as they sat in the living room after dinner sipping on Mango smoothies, repeating what Nellie had told her back in Victorian England. Buffy had made the trip up from Sunnydale with Giles, bringing Billy and Dani with them, for the birth of Edmond Giles Rosenberg-Maclay, who was due, according to the doctors, today.
Annie had already missed too much school lately with the trip to the mountains, so she stayed home with Spike, who would watch her and JJ until Anya got off work, then she would spend the night at Anya and Xander’s house and Spike would pick her up in the morning. Annie had insisted that she was plenty old enough to stay home alone for a ‘couple of hours’ (actually, it would be more like six) until Spike got home from work each night, but was quickly vetoed by her parents on that idea.
“But today is 266 days … little Eddie should’ve come out today,” Willow insisted worriedly. “Buffy, what if something’s wrong!?”
“Willow … it’s a baby, not a computer program … you can’t just say it’s gonna be 266 days and 'presto-chango' it spits out like a punch card,” Buffy pointed out.
Willow sighed deeply. “I know … I was just ready for him to be here … I don’t want to wait anymore.”
“I’m sure it’ll be fine …” Buffy assured her again, patting a hand down on her leg. “Now … go get Tara some Phish Food, Ju Ju Fish, Red Hots, and sardines like she wanted before she gets testy - er …”
Willow nodded as she stood up. "Little Eddie has to come out before the twentieth at the very latest," Willow reasoned as she started for the door. "There's no doubt he's a Pisces."
Buffy awoke in the middle of the night to shrill, ear piercing screams. As she tried to come fully awake and figure out where she was and who was screaming, she realized that the screams were coming from her son, sleeping in the large king-sized bed with her and Dani in one of the guest rooms at Willow and Tara’s house.
“Billy! Shhhhh, baby, it’s just a dream. It’s ok,” Buffy assured him, pulling him to her and rocking him as he cried and wrapped his arms around her.
Dani got up sleepily and turned on the bedside lamp. “It’s the dungeon dream,” she told Buffy as she plopped back down on the bed.
“The dungeon dream? What’s the dungeon dream?” Buffy questioned as she tried to soothe Billy and get him to stop crying.
“There’s a dungeon … you know, like in Harry Potter? … n’ I’m locked up, but he can’t open the gate or get me out… it scares him,” Dani explained.
“Awwww, sweetie,” Buffy started, dropping a kiss in Billy’s soft curls as she continued to rock him in her arms. “Dani’s right here, honey … she’s ok, see?”
Billy looked up at his sister who was sitting on the edge of the bed and nodded as he took deep, shuddering breaths, right on the edge of hyperventilating.
“Shhh, baby … it’s ok,” Buffy soothed, still rocking him and stroking a hand comfortingly down his back.
“I haveta go baf-room…” Dani announced, jumping down off the bed.
“Do you know where it is?” Buffy questioned.
“Uh-huh …” Dani assured her, as she turned the doorknob with both hands and headed out of the room.
“Are you ok, honey?” Buffy asked Billy, his breathing finally returning to normal.
He nodded against her chest, but didn’t release his hug.
“Do you need a drink of water … or to go to the bathroom?”
He nodded again and Buffy rolled her eyes … which one? Both?
“Ok, let’s go find your sister, ok? She should be done by now…” she suggested and Billy nodded again, finally releasing his hug.
After getting everyone a drink of water and going to the bathroom, Buffy got the twins back to sleep, one on each side of her in the large bed. The bedside clock said 3:00am … she wondered if Spike was still awake…
Yeah, pet … everything ok? Got a new nephew for me yet?
No, not yet. Billy had a nightmare … do you know about some Harry Potter dungeon dream? she asked silently through the bond.
Yeah, he’s had ‘em before – off and on for a couple ‘a years … never can get anything more out of ‘im other than Lemon Drop’s locked in a dungeon and he can’t get ‘er out. Scares the hell outta ‘im …
That’s for sure … I didn’t think he’d ever calm down and go back to sleep, Buffy confirmed, rubbing a hand on Billy’s back as he slept next to her in his dinosaur pajamas.
Sorry, pet … he hasn’t had one in a while, Spike explained. Thought he’d maybe outgrown ‘em.
I guess not, Buffy sighed, looking at her sleeping son.
Feel like a little trip, take your mind off your worries? Spike asked seductively.
Hmmmm … what did you have in mind?
Ever do it in a hot air balloon over the Alps? Spike questioned. Buffy rolled her eyes at his endless imagination. Where did he come up with these ideas? Not that she was opposed…
Let me think … hmmmm, gee, I’m not sure… Buffy teased as she closed her eyes and willed herself back to sleep.
See you there …
(Two days later), Friday, March 11th, 2010, 3pm:
“Never again! Never! How did I let you talk me into this!?” Tara screamed at Willow as another contraction hit her. She’d been in heavy labor for four hours. “Your turn is next, ya know! You get to push a basketball out your nose!”
Willow grimaced. It had been Tara’s idea to have the baby … it wasn’t like Willow had forced her to do it or even suggested it first … it had been all her wife’s idea from the very start. Willow loved the idea, of course, and encouraged Tara, and they approached Giles as a couple about it, but it was Tara’s idea. Willow stayed silent and tried to be supportive, it seemed best to not point any of that out to Tara just now.
“I’m sorry, baby … I know it hurts, but just a little more and it’ll be over…” Willow tried to assure her.
“Oh, sure! Easy for you to say! ‘Just a little more!’ … what a joke! It’s like pushing an elephant through a straw! Whoever came up with this brilliant life process was a sick sadistic bastard! Someone needs to seriously re-think this whole thing!” Tara informed her before the next contraction hit.
“Probably a guy …” Willow agreed, looking at Giles, who was on the other side of Tara. Giles simply rolled his eyes and tried to remain out of the line of fire as Tara squeezed his hand and pushed with the contraction.
“Ok … I see the crown … keep pushing, Tara! One more good push and …” the doctor began before Tara’s ear-piercing scream cut her off. With one final, heroic, painful push, the head and shoulders of their son slipped through the ‘straw’. Tara collapsed back onto the bed, tears stinging her eyes, as the rest of Edmond Giles Rosenberg-Maclay entered the world.
The doctor cleaned the baby’s airway and laid the bloody, slimy, gooey, blotchy, crying bundle of joy on his mother’s abdomen … it was the most beautiful thing any of the three parents had ever seen.
“Dear Lord…” Giles muttered, reaching a hand out to touch the dark hair, still wet and matted down on his son’s head.
“Would you like to cut the cord?” the doctor asked Giles as the nurse clamped off the umbilical cord with surgical clamps.
“I … uhhhh … isn’t that what we’re paying you a small bloody fortune for?” Giles questioned, looking from the doctor back to his son whom Willow and Tara were beginning to clean with warm, soft, damp cloths given to them by the nurses.
The doctor just smiled and offered him the scissors and Giles took them hesitantly. “Indeed … well …” Giles cleared his throat and recited an old blessing that he thought would be appropriate as he welcomed his child into the world and cut the cord between mother and son …
“For every storm, may you find a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
May you have a faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.”
“See … that one,” Buffy tried to point to the newest member of the Scooby gang through the nursery window as she held Dani on one hip and Billy on the other so they could see. “The one in the blue … second row.”
“He looks … squished,” Dani observed, scrunching up her face.
“And he’s kinda … red …” Billy added, also making a face.
Buffy laughed. “Well … you were both squished and red when you were first born. He’ll grow out of it.”
“How long until his eyes open?” Billy asked, studying his new ‘cousin’ through the glass.
“Huh?” Buffy questioned, looking at him.
“Well, when we found those kittens that time behind Uncle Giles’ store … their eyes were closed,” Billy demonstrated by closing his eyes and moving his head around jerkily like a newborn kitten searching for its mother. He opened his eyes and looked at Buffy. “You said it would be a week ‘fore they would open their eyes … so how long until he opens his eyes?” he questioned again, looking back at Edmond.
Buffy chuckled lightly and put the twins down on their feet. “Baby people aren’t like kittens and puppies … he can open his eyes anytime … he’s just sleeping now,” Buffy explained to them.
“Did you see that handsome lad?” Giles beamed, walking up to where Buffy and the twins were standing near the nursery.
“Giles! Oh yes! He’s adorable!” Buffy gushed, giving the proud papa a hug. “He has your nose and chin … and Tara’s eyes!”
“He’s squished!” Dani pointed out.
“And red …” Billy added.
Giles laughed as he looked down at the twins then back to his son, sleeping peacefully. “Indeed, well, I recall that you were both rather squished and red, as well …”
“That’s what Mama said,” Billy confirmed, following Giles’ gaze through the nursery glass.
“Well then, it must be true …”
(A month later), Saturday, April 10th, 2010:
After Tara and Eddie got home and were settled in, Giles brought Buffy and the twins back to Sunnydale, then headed back to Washington. He left Anya in charge of the Magic Box and hired Buffy to help her while he stayed with Tara ,Willow, and Edmond for a few weeks – ‘paternity leave’, he called it. As Buffy worked with Anya, helping customers, stocking shelves, ordering supplies, and making the nightly deposits at the bank, an old idea turned into a plan in her mind …
When Giles made it into the Magic Box this morning, after being gone a month, both Buffy and Anya were waiting for him.
“Good morning, ladies!” he called brightly as he closed the door behind him and began pulling baby pictures out of pockets. “Have you seen the latest photographs of Edmond?”
Anya sighed. “Willow’s emailed a hundred pictures a day since he was born!” she informed him.
“Yes… but have you seen the latest? Willow just took them yesterday,” he continued, looking through the printed photographs that Willow sent him home with the previous day, picking out the most recent and handing them each a stack.
“He’s a baby … it’s not that big a deal, Giles,” Anya informed him. “Even Xander fathered one.”
Giles stopped and looked at her coldly before snatching the photos back from their hands, even though Buffy was actually looking at them. “Indeed. So … to what do I owe this early morning greeting? You haven’t sent me into bankruptcy while I’ve been gone, I hope!”
“Oh no – not at all. Buffy was a wonderful little helper and we made lots of beautiful money!” Anya assured him, wringing her hands in front of her nervously. “It’s so nice to have someone strong around that can carry the crates up from the storeroom! She’s waaaay more helpful than you.”
“I’m glad she met with your approval, Anya,” Giles replied sarcastically as he put the photos back in his pocket and headed to the back room to make a cup of tea.
Buffy and Anya followed him to the back. “In fact,” Anya continued, “we have a business proposition for you.”
Giles raised his brows and looked between the two women. “I really can’t afford to keep you both full time…” he began.
“No, no … that’s not it!” Anya assured him. “If I can get a supply of quality Mandrake root …”
“Or other herbs …” Buffy interjected.
“…for less than you’re paying now, can I keep half of the extra profit?” Anya finished.
Giles raised his brows; that wasn’t what he was expecting. He took his glasses off and polished them, buying time, then finally replaced them, looking back up at Anya. “I assure you that I have scoured the globe for the lowest price on quality Mandrake, Anya … you won’t find it any less expensive that what I have…”
“Right … but just suppose I could … then would we have a deal?” she pressed.
Giles shrugged, sure that she wouldn’t find it any cheaper … not of the quality their customers demanded. “Certainly, if they are genuine Mandrake ... not Mayapple roots, and they are whole, not powdered, we have a deal.”
Buffy and Anya both shrieked happily and hugged each other before turning and leaving Giles alone with his tea in the back room.
Giles watched them giggling and whispering conspiratorially as Anya walked Buffy to the door of the shop.
“See you later, Giles! Eddie is absolutely adorable!” Buffy called happily as she left the shop.
“Why do I think I’ve just been hornswoggled?”
Three weeks before … just after getting back after Edmond was born
Spike got up around noon and, after looking through the house for Buffy and not finding her, reached out through the bond for her. Where ya at, luv? he questioned as he grabbed a mug of blood from the refrigerator and popped it into the microwave.
In the garden …
Spike walked out the garden doors, but didn’t see Buffy. Whose bloody garden?
Ours … the rose garden …
Spike rolled his eyes and headed up to the backyard with his breakfast. He found Buffy covered in dirt and sweat … looking like she’d been rolling around in the muck all morning. He stopped and watched her work for a couple of minutes … she looked so cute in pink overalls and what used to be a white, but was now dirt streaked, t-shirt underneath. Her hair was pulled back and she had a light blue handkerchief tied around her head, holding her golden tresses away from her face. Her tummy was starting to fill out the lower part of the overalls and she had a glow about her, apart from the one caused by the work she was doing … he thought he’d never seen her look more beautiful.
“Whatcha doin’?” he asked as he walked up to where she was … what was she doing? Making mud pies?
“Gardening …” Buffy replied as she finished clearing grass and weeds from a large patch of ground next to the rose garden. "It's traditional to do gardening in a garden... and I'm all about tradition."
Spike raised his brows and rolled his eyes. “I can see that, Slayer … you could grow bloody potatoes in the dirt on yer neck…” he pointed out. “What are ya planning to plant in the ground, though? Don’t think we can afford that many roses…”
Buffy blew a stray hair out of her eyes and wiped her face on the sleeve of her shirt as she sat the hoe down that she’d been using to clear the new area. “Mandrake root,” she announced confidently as she picked up some packages of seeds from the ground under a nearby tree and waved them in front of his face.
Spike’s brows furrowed as he took one of the packs from her hand and read it. “Ever grown Mandrake root ‘fore?”
Buffy shrugged. “No … but how hard can it be?” she questioned.
“You know it’s poison … don’t ya?” Spike pointed out.
“Yeah … that’s what those are for,” she confirmed, waving her arm at several sections of white picket fencing and fence posts.
Spike rolled his eyes … he knew he should’ve just stayed in bed. That looked like work … with his name on it.
“Where’d that come from?” Spike asked, indicating the fencing.
“Xander dropped them off this morning. I think he liberated them from some El Salvadorian Paramilitary Rebels…” Buffy quipped.
Spike rolled his eyes, remembering her contention that the tiles from the secondhand supply shop he’d used in the bathroom were stolen. “Oh, so yer fencing our garden with stolen pickets, are ya’? Plus, pickets … a bit dangerous for a vampire lair, don’t ya think?”
“Not stolen,” Buffy clarified, “liberated – and they’re plasticy-stuff, not wood.”
“Why are we growing Mandrake root, luv?” Spike asked, changing the subject, as Buffy began planting the small seeds in rows.
“’Cos I’m gonna make us a million dollars…” Buffy answered confidently, as she continued sowing the seeds.
“Are ya, now?” Spike furrowed his brow and looked at the seed pack in his hand again then shrugged. Spike had never seen anyone in Sunnydale growing mandrake … and with all the witches and Wiccans and just ordinary, everyday, superstitious Sunnydale residents, you’d think someone would be growing it if it was that easy. He wondered if it would stand the southern California heat … but, who was he to rain on her parade? He opened the pack he had and started a row a couple of feet away from hers … he had to give her one thing, she wasn’t starting small … she was going for it. If these grew, she would make … well, not a million dollars, but a good amount, no doubt.
“Might want ta save some room for some Henbane, pet …” Spike suggested as he got to the end of his row.
“Yeah? You think that would sell good … errr … well?” Buffy asked, starting to sow yet another row of Mandrake seeds.
Spike shrugged. “Worth a shot … it attracts love and lust…” he informed her with a smirk.
Buffy snorted a soft laugh. “Not getting enough?” she questioned, looking up at him with a sly smile.
Buffy squealed as Spike reached out and grabbed her hand, yanking her against him. “Never get enough of you, luv…” he murmured against her ear.
“Mmmmmm … even though I’m all dirty?” she questioned.
“The dirtier the better, pet…” Spike growled against her neck as he pulled her body tighter against his and made her forget about the garden at her feet … at least for a little while.
(a week later, four weeks since planting the mandrake), Saturday, April 17th, 2010, 1am:
It was a slow night at Willy’s and Spike left early, leaving Faith to handle the few demons and humans left in the bar so he could get home early and surprise Buffy. As he started down the stairs to the garden, he heard someone in the backyard. He stopped abruptly and turned, heading silently but quickly down the driveway, along the walkway next to the garage to the back of the house. When he rounded the corner of the garage, he was running full speed, but stopped short when he saw it was just Buffy in the backyard near her Mandrake patch. The seedlings had just started sprouting a few days ago and were barely an inch high; Buffy watered and weeded and tended to them every day after getting the kids off to school. Despite Spike’s worry that they wouldn’t grow well in the Southern California heat, so far, they seemed to be doing ok – of course, it wasn’t summer yet.
When Buffy heard him come around the corner, she stopped talking and turned quickly, ready to face an intruder. “Spike! You’re early!” she exclaimed, putting her hands behind her back in an attempt to hide something … but she was too late.
“What ya’ doing, luv?” Spike asked, stalking up to her slowly.
“Nothing,” Buffy hedged, keeping her hands behind her.
“Who were ya talkin’ to?”
“No one …”
Spike cocked a brow at her, putting his hands on his hips. “What ya’ got behind your back?”
Spike sighed and dropped his arms dramatically to his sides. “You can’t be castin’ spells on the bloody plants, pet! Magic has consequences … you know that!”
“I wasn’t casting spells,” Buffy defended, still keeping her hands behind her back.
“No? What’s that book you’re hidin’ then?” Spike questioned as he reached with his left hand for the book she had behind her back.
“Nothing … not a spell book,” Buffy defended as she backed up and switched the book to the other hand, out of Spike’s reach, but Spike didn’t give up. He lunged quickly to the right, then back left again, making her try to switch the book back and forth too quickly and she dropped it. Spike swooped down and picked it up before she could get it and held it above his head, out of her reach.
“Give it back… it’s not spells!” Buffy demanded, reaching for the book.
“What the…” Spike started, looking at the cover. It was the book of love poems that he’d given her for their first anniversary.
When Spike dropped his arms, Buffy grabbed the book back from him. “See? I told you it wasn’t spells!” she defended angrily.
“Buffy … what’re ya doing, luv?” Spike asked, brows furrowed in confusion.
Buffy rolled her eyes and sighed, letting her arms fall to her sides. “You’ll think it’s dumb… you’ll laugh.”
“I doubt that … just tell me,” he requested, moving closer to her.
Buffy sighed again and looked down at the book. “I was just reading to them…” she shrugged her head, indicating the seedlings. “It’s my favorite book…”
Spike suppressed a grin, pulling his lips between his teeth and putting on a stoic, serious face. “Yeah … that … uhhh … that makes perfect sense…” he stammered. “Even plants need romance, I s’ppose.”
“You’re laughing …” Buffy accused, pursing her lips together and folding her arms indignantly on top of the little bulge in her belly.
“Am not!” Spike defended, fighting to keep a straight face. “Just gotta wonder why you’re romancin’ the plants, though… something I should know? A new fetish, is it?”
Buffy let her shoulders slump and turned away from him, walking back towards the oak tree on the side of the yard. “I’m not romancing them … they grow better if you talk to them…”
“Do they, now?” Spike questioned as he watched her walk away from him.
“Of course! Everybody knows that,” Buffy informed him. “I just… I don’t know what to say, so I just figured I’d read to them.”
Spike chuckled a soft laugh and shook his head. “You’re the most confounding woman I’ve ever known…”
“That’s not exactly a compliment coming from someone who spent a century with insano-Dru,” Buffy pointed out as she stopped walking and leaned against the tree.
Spike chuckled again and walked over to where she was, took the book from her hands and dropped a soft kiss on her lips. Spike pulled her away from the tree and turned her back to his chest as he turned around and then slid down until they were sitting at the base of it, his back leaning against the tall oak and her back against his chest. Spike nuzzled her ear and hugged his arms around her. “Big difference, Slayer, Dru was crazy … you’re crazy like a fox…”
“Oh … so you say now. Don’t try to wriggle out of it and get back on my good side. I see right through you,” Buffy informed him, as she relaxed against him on the cool grass under the tree.
“Do ya now? Well … then I’ll prove to ya that I’m not just sayin’ it… I’ll read to the plants too,” Spike began as he held the book in front of her and began flipping the pages, looking at it over her shoulder.
“It’s too dark under here…” Buffy protested. Out in the open, the full moon had illuminated the pages, under the oak tree, the moon was blocked.
“Not for me…” Spike pointed out as he stopped flipping pages and began to read to her … oh, and the plants …
“The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In another's being mingle--
Why not I with thine?
“See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?”
Buffy turned her head to the side in silent invitation and Spike touched his lips to hers so gently she thought perhaps it was just the breeze … or the moonbeams the poem spoke of, for a moment, until she felt the familiar tingle stir deep within her … a feeling that only Spike could conjure.
“I love you,” Buffy murmured against his lips as she let her body melt back against his.
“I love you, Buffy …” Spike whispered softly, his breath tickling her lips as he laid the book down and wrapped his arms around her. “Even if you are romancin’ the bloody plants when I’m gone…”
“Jealous?” Buffy questioned, her voice teasing.
“Hmmmm … well, I better make it up to you then,” Buffy continued coyly. “How ‘bout we ‘mingle thine with mine’?”
“Sounds bloody divine.”
Ordinary Miracle---Sarah McLachlan
It’s not that unusual
when everything is beautiful
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