Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating / Words: PG / 1800 words
Summary: In which the world is still ended, Spike is still pregnant, and he and Buffy are still feeling their way through the idea. Set in my post-apocalyptic shanshu!Spike/Buffy mpreg 'verse.
A/N: And lo! an errant Spuffy fic appears! Apparently I had one more fic from this 'verse in me - or on my hard drive, rather. I never posted any of it because I thought I was going to write a lot more, but I don't expect that to happen now, and shuffling the vignettes around has yielded something that approximates a fic. So here it is.
Then there was the big announcement. There was some discussion on how to handle that part.
“We could just tell them we’re having a baby,” Spike said, “and let them think what they will.”
“What, and wait to see how long it takes them to notice you’re getting a belly and I’m not?” Buffy paused a moment to savor that idea. “God, the wigout. Can you imagine?”
Spike grinned. “Worth the price of admission, right there.”
“Giles would probably get it first. His suspension of disbelief’s pretty buoyant when it comes to the mystical stuff.”
“Whereas the kid’d be here before Xander gave up the denial.”
Buffy let herself consider it a moment longer, and then she sighed. “But can you really see Willow hanging onto the secret that long?”
“There is that,” Spike admitted.
“And then if they think I’m pregnant, they’ll want all these restrictions on fighting and stuff.” She couldn’t afford to give up the fight, even for a day.
“You could pull rank,” he said, but without much hope.
“No good,” she said. The thought of that kind of battle made her more tired than a six-on-one Skeeznik brawl.
“Right.” Spike sighed. “The whole truth it is, then.”
They waited until Willow came by again, so she could field the technical questions. Buffy sent Estefany around to collect the crew and Spike to the training room for a quick ten-minute session with ye olde punching bag. Better that than have him jitter and fidget on the living room’s past-prime loveseat.
But as the last of them straggled into the living room, she climbed the stairs. In the center of the cleared-out attic Spike was breathing hard, punching and jabbing at the bag with a ferocity she hadn’t seen in months.
“Spike?” He started, and then turned to face her. “They’re all primed and ready for your big revelation.”
He nodded, but he didn’t move an inch.
“Our revelation, isn’t it?” With three strides he was in her face, looking suddenly desperate. “Can’t do this by myself, all right? I know it’s my idea and I know you’re...” He looked away. “Know you’re not sure what to make of it all.”
“Spike,” she began, wanting to stem this sudden tide of worry but without a clue how.
“Can’t blame you. I don’t really know myself. But I...” He met her eyes again. “I can’t have you standing aside and, and laughing, and saying I told you so. I’ve an idea I’m going to loathe a good part of this whole having a baby business, and I need you backing me up. With the others—” He nodded toward the doorway. “—and when I’m feeling all emasculated, and when I can’t remember what I’m doing it for. I need you with me, Buffy.” Softly now, so she could just barely hear, he added, “Else I’m not sure I can stick it out.”
Buffy felt as though her heart had dropped down into her shoes somewhere. This was the answer to why Spike?, wasn’t it? Because Spike made her feel when she thought she didn’t have any feeling left.
Although right now, the feeling was shame, which she wouldn’t have minded doing without.
She reached for his hand, and under her coaxing grip it began to relax. “Together,” she said: a description, a promise; a certainty, if she had anything to do with it. “Okay?”
Slowly he nodded. “All right,” he said.
They stood toe to toe and palm to palm. She squeezed, and he squeezed back. This was maturity, right? This backing each other up, seeing each other through, just like he’d been doing for her long before she even realized.
Spike took a deep breath and said ruefully, “Suppose we ought to go share the joyful news, or else both our eyes’ll be watering.”
And yeah, hers were definitely feeling a little damp, too. “Yeah, okay,” Buffy said. “Off to face the tribunal.”
They walked down the two flights of stairs and into the living room still holding hands; Buffy didn’t feel as if she could let Spike’s go, and it seemed doubtful he’d let her anyway.
He turned farther away from her, his expression completely lost to the shadows, but the sniffle gave him away.
“Hey.” She sat on the bed, slid her hand up and down his arm, and tried to think where this was coming from. It wasn’t like Spike crying was new; tears were just closer to the surface for him than for a lot of people, hard as he tried to hide it. But things were pretty good between them, she’d thought, and if there’d been any tension upstairs she’d been even more oblivious than usual. “What’s up?” she said.
“Nothing.” His voice was a little thick.
Okay. It’d been a long time since he’d played this game with her. Before she could decide whether sympathy or irritation was the thing here, he turned to her so she could see his red-rimmed eyes. He heaved a sigh and repeated, “There’s nothing wrong. I was just planning out your grocery raid – have to shuffle things now, with Danae out of the picture - and suddenly I’m coming over all soggy.” He rolled his eyes. “Is this another human thing?”
“It’s like I’m walking the edge, all the time, and the least thing shoves me over.” His hands balled into fists. “ ‘s humiliating, is what it is. The latest in a long line of bloody humiliating things.”
Buffy hesitated; this was treading some deeply sensitive territory. What the hell. “Do you think maybe it’s hormones?”
“It’s...” He stared at her, but not in a pissed-off way; more like thoughtful. He snorted. “Would figure, wouldn’t it?”
“It is kind of a classic symptom.”
“Huh.” He swallowed. “Well, that’s just brilliant, isn’t it.”
“Hey, maybe nobody will notice,” Buffy said, and then winced.
Now he did look offended. “You saying I’m moody?”
Well, gee, Buffy, you might as well throw yourself all the way in. “You do feel things a lot. And sometimes what you feel changes pretty fast.”
He processed this, and then he said, “Serve you right if I worked myself into a rage on account of you being so insensitive and unfeeling.” She watched him carefully, and finally the thin line of his mouth twisted upward. “But I suppose the outrage’ll keep. Bloody hell.” He sprawled out across the bed and scrubbed at his face with his hand. “This where you remind me how women do this all the time, and I should leave off the whining?”
“Or how this whole thing was your idea?”
His eyes still closed, he said, “You say that and I’ll find myself a vamp who wants his one good day.”
She slid her hand over his foot and began kneading the arch. “What, you leave the Slayer-slaying to the minions now?”
“Lost the taste for it a while back.”
Some days she was certain there wasn’t going to be a baby. There was going to be a demon attack or some medical thingy they couldn’t deal with, and the baby’d be gone. Or maybe Willow’d do it, not really on purpose, but her magic following the twisted downward path of good intentions just the same. Or there’d be one last apocalypse, the faded final closeout sign on Earth. Clearance: everything must go. The baby would die and Spike, too, one last time, and he wouldn’t come back.
She knew it because of how happy he was. He never said it, exactly; partly, she thought, out of respect for everyone they’d lost. It seemed tasteless somehow, being happy after the world had ended. But happy he was. He’d go off to negotiate some minor peace with things that had no eyeballs and things that didn’t have anything else, and he’d tease them through it almost on good humor alone. He’d sort through the latest canned goods – most of the light household duties had fallen to him, since he was off the security rotation – and he’d sing, sort of, squalling and off-key, grinning the whole time.
It wasn’t all kittens and butterflies; some days the hormones would hit and he’d shuffle around the house trying not to cry (and if Buffy’d had any doubts about the cruelty of the universe, they’d have been put to rest by this: watching Spike fight soul-guilt and pregnancy hormones at the same time). Or else, more often lately, he’d grump and snap and spend most of the day in the basement, trying not to let on how many different parts of his body were hurting.
But then she’d come down and finding him wedged in their armchair with a book, mumbling now and then and rubbing his rounded belly. He’d look up at her and smile like she was his own personal miracle, and her heart would squeeze and she’d be utterly, horribly certain that this couldn’t last.
“What is it like?”
Spike paused halfway to his bootlaces. “What’s what like?”
“You know, the...” She waggled a finger towards his stomach.
“Oh.” He straightened, expression careful and none too certain, probably wondering why she’d asked. Or, more likely, why she’d waited so long. “Um. Well, it’s something like being ill and something like aching all over, with a heavy helping of wanting to sleep until it’s all over.”
“Oh,” she said back, taking a hard look at her knees. It wasn’t like his feeling gross was a surprise, but... “So that’s all there is? Feeling yucky all the time?”
He smirked. “Not just that. We haven’t even gotten to the really zesty symptoms yet.” But after a moment, he added softly, “Sometimes it feels like the fate of the universe is stitching itself together in my belly. Taking no direction from me, just becoming itself in some space that I happen to occupy. Feels like carrying it about day after day, being occupied, is the most important thing I’ve ever done. Which is bollocks, because I’ve saved the world, once just on the strength of my fashion accessory. Compared to that, this is nothing. Except...” He paused.
“Except it is like saving the world,” she finished for him. “Or building it, maybe. On an eensy teensy scale.”
“Yeah. A bit like that.”
“But I’m scared of this, Spike. I mean, a baby. Aren’t you scared?”
“Petrified,” he said quietly.
“I mean, that we’re condemning it to this life-”
“That Willow’s wrong about me carrying to term and I’ll get my heart broken, that we’ll lose it to demons or disease or just our own rotten luck...”
“That we have no idea how to parent.”
“ ‘We?’” he broke in.
“Of course ‘we,’” Buffy said. Had she really left it in doubt?
Spike’s smile was like a sunrise. “All right, then.”
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