Chapter Two

Buffy and Faith walked through the front door together, a look of sheer fright etched across their faces. They made their way to the living room where they were greeted by their very anxious friends.

Of course, what happened in Buffy’s life was never a private affair. When she had confronted Willow with the odd news that she believed she was pregnant, Willow went into panic mode. She anguished for days, trying to figure out what might have happened, what she might have done wrong, but finally realized that her solo research was coming up with nothing.

They had to call in the big dogs: the Scooby research team.

After Giles’ initial embarrassment of finding out about Buffy and Faith’s extracurricular evening activities, and his disappointment in Willow using magic for personal reasons, he took an earnest interest in determining the cause of Buffy’s condition. While he busied himself studying archaic texts and prophecies, he gave Andrew the job of researching old records from the Watchers Council to see if there had been any other mystic pregnancies in the traceable slayer lineage. And of course, once Andrew knew about the situation, everyone knew about the situation. He was never the kind of person who could keep important information secret, especially when he was given a part in finding out how it happened.

Dawn and Xander, well . . . they were just nosy and had to know what everybody was trying to hide after Andrew taunted them with, “I know a seeeeeecret.”

Buffy walked past the anxious group and plopped down onto the large armchair, her eyes focused on some far away point, while Faith leaned against the door frame with her arms crossed over the front of her body.

For the first time in her life. . . Faith looked smaller than her grand personality.

“So?” Willow asked, wringing her hands together. “What did the doctor say?”

“He confirmed what we already know: I’m good and pregnant, and staying that way for about seven more months,” Buffy said blankly, still gazing off into space.

“Are you sure? Is he sure?” Willow asked nervously as she paced, guilt written across her face.

“Oh, I’m sure. He’s sure.” Buffy said as she pulled out a partially crumbled black and white picture from her pocket. “He said eight weeks was a bit early to do an ultrasound and that I should come back in four weeks. I told him that there was a very good chance I could be carrying some type of demon spawn and wasn’t leaving until I knew the thing didn’t have horns or hooves, even if that meant tying him up in a closet and doing the ultrasound myself.. So,” Buffy said, finally looking up to her friends as she handed over the ultrasound photograph, “not only did I get an ultrasound, I also got a referral for a psych consult.”

Xander took the small picture from Buffy’s hand and turned it around and around in his hands, trying to make heads or tails out of it.

“I’d say it looks like you’re having a little indistinguishable lump, Buff” he said as he handed the photo to Giles for inspection.

“Hey, as long as it doesn’t come exploding out of me and trying to eat my brains, I’d say I’m okay with an indistinguishable lump,” Buffy answered evenly.

“This is truly amazing,” Giles began, taking his glasses off so he could study the photograph more closely. “I was beginning to believe that there was just some type of error in your prior testing, but this . . .” he trailed off as a small smile appeared on his face, “. . . there's no precedent for this. You and Faith are the first slayers in known history to have conceived a child together.”

The entire group chose that very moment to look over at Buffy, who just looked back at them somewhat innocently.

“Uh . . . go us?” Buffy said, trying to look enthusiastic, then looked over to Faith. Everyone else followed her gaze, looking over to the other slayer who had been quiet the entire time.

“Yeah, great,” Faith murmured, caught off guard by everyone who was staring at her and waiting for some type of response. “I'll be out back,” she said casually and turned to leave the room without so much as another word.

Everyone stayed silent until they heard the back door shut behind Faith.

“She seems a little bit spooked. Have you talked to her?” Willow asked Buffy as she finally sat down on the couch across from Buffy. Kennedy stood behind her, rubbing her shoulder softly to keep her calm.

“She hasn't really said a word since we left the doctor's office. I mean . . . we never really talked about it in depth beforehand, cos we were sure it was just some kind of mistake. A magic thing that would go away. We just went on like normal while you all researched it,” Buffy explained.

“So you were still making with the girly-lovin' then?” Xander asked, a goofy grin on his face.

Kennedy took that moment to give him a smack on the back of his head.

“Hey!” Xander said as he stood up straight, fixing his rumpled hair. “You're messing with a handicapped man here,” he joked as he pointed to his eye patch. “I would've caught that if you were standing on my good side, you know.”

Buffy shook her head, trying to ignore the interruption.

“Not that it matters now that the deed has been done, but . . . that's not really your business, Xander,” she said softly. Then she decided to get a bit more serious. “Listen, I think we all need to agree on something here. What I do, where I go, who I see . . . is my business. You guys are my friends, which is why I share my life with you. Why I don't care that you know about what's going on. But please . . . give me the same courtesy that I give to each and every one of you. I don't need to know who's in your bed or what you do in your bed, unless you feel the need to share that with me. Can that go both ways?”

Xander dropped his shoulders a bit and nodded, knowing that what Buffy was asking was a reasonable request between friends.

“I'm sorry, Buff. Of course it can go both ways. Not that I have anyone in my bed or anything but . . . anyway, I'm sorry to be nosy. I can't help it. I'm about to be an uncle! That and the fact that you've been sleeping with Faith . . . can't you see why I'm excited?” He said, the goofy grin back on his face.

Buffy just chuckled softly and accepted the warm hug that Xander offered her.

Of course, like a yawn that's passed around a packed room, more hugging followed, along with more questions about baby stuff and the like. While the gang busied themselves, excited about a baby being introduced into their home, Buffy sneaked out of the room and made her way to the back door.

She opened it slowly, hoping that the creak of the of hinges wouldn't draw the attention of her friends. Now wasn't the time for awkward intrusions; she needed to talk to Faith.

Closing the door quietly behind her, Buffy finally turned to see Faith leaning onto the railing, staring thoughtfully into the back yard. She almost felt bad interrupting the deep thoughts she knew Faith was having, but she knew that it was time for them to have the big conversation.


“Hey,” Faith replied, not turning to look at Buffy.

Buffy walked slowly over to where Faith was stood on the old wooden porch and mimicked her position, elbows resting on the porch rail.

She let a few minutes of silence pass before she finally spoke.

“You’re unusually quiet,” she said, trying to sound as lighthearted as possible.

“Yeah, well . . . you’re unusually pregnant,” Faith replied easily. “I think I’m allowed a bit of silence.”

Buffy chuckled quietly as she gazed out into the back yard, “I guess you’re right about that. Silence is good. Especially when, instead of silence, there could be random outbursts of screaming, panic, and general freak-outery.”

Faith sighed and let her shoulder slump down ever further as she looked down, doing her best to look at anything and everything except for Buffy.

“Listen, before I even start to sort this out in my head and do the dealing thing, I have to ask: you didn’t happen to, like . . . fall on any guys while you were naked or anything, right? Or sit on a toilet seat after Xander did or something?”

Buffy smiled softly, “Nope. You’re the only one that I’ve fallen on. And, well . . .” she took a step closer and tried to get Faith to look at her, “. . . there was lots of nakedness there. Obscene amounts of nakedness, really. A veritable cornucopia of nakedness.”

Faith smiled slightly as she felt Buffy’s arm brush against hers, but she quickly remembered that it was a time for serious talk, as much as she hated that.

“You wouldn’t shit me or anything, right? Cos . . . this is big, Buffy. Wicked big. And I don’t wanna be the sucker here, yunno?”

Buffy took that opportunity to fully face Faith now, squeezing her body between Faith and the splintered porch rail. She laid her hand gently on Faith’s forearm, a soft gesture that she hoped would comfort the girl. Faith, however, continued to stare at some random spot over Buffy's shoulder in the yard.

“You're right, Faith, this is big. And I’d never do that to you . . . lead you along like that. This is important. It is a big deal. And if you’re willing . . . if you want to, that is . . . I want you to be a part of this. This . . . surprise . . . is as much yours as it is mine.”

Buffy waited for a response from Faith, but was met with a long silence.

“Of course,” she continued, a bit unsure now, “I’d never force you to do anything you don’t want. You have the choice to go if you . . .”

“You really want me to be in this with you?” Faith interrupted Buffy, loosening up enough now to meet Buffy’s gaze without it being awkward. “I don’t know anything about kids or parenting. My parents did a crap job and I can’t expect to be any better, cos yunno . . . ‘monkey see, monkey do’ and all that. And I’m not the most patient person, and the thought of you being all big and round, well . . . it’s making me wig out a bit,” she said, smirking a little at the last bit.

Buffy met Faith’s playful smirk with a smile. “I’m gonna be huge. You should’ve seen my mom when she was pregnant with me and Dawnie. And . . . I don’t know much about kids either. Most of them annoy me. But, if you want to, I want you to. Be there, I mean. And all that stuff.”

“Yeah, I think I do,” Faith said, casually resting her hands on Buffy’s hips.

Buffy took that opportunity to lean into Faith, her head coming to rest just under Faith’s chin as she wrapped her arms around her back.

Faith wrapped her arms a bit tighter around Buffy and pressed her lips to the top of her head. She couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped her lips.

“Holy shit, B. We’re gonna have a fuckin’ kid!” Faith said, letting her chuckle turn into an all-out laugh.

Buffy, however, didn’t find the funny.

“Rule #1: no swearing in front of the baby,” she said, not moving from Faith’s arms.

Faith smiled and rested her cheek on Buffy’s head. “This is gonna be reeeeeal interesting.”

“I don’t know why they call it morning sickness. It should be called ‘morning noon and night sickness’ or something more accurate,” Buffy said as she crawled back into bed, the sound of the still-running toilet the only other noise in the darkened room.

“There is another name for it, B: pregnancy. Nine months of barfing and aching and all kindsa gross stuff. Dontcha love it?” Faith asked in her sleep-laden voice, slightly irritated for Buffy waking her up every hour.

“Yeah, well . . . your ‘love spawn’ is surely making it a pleasant experience for me nonetheless,” Buffy replied sarcastically, resuming her position curled up in front of Faith. “I’m almost four months along now. You’d think this crap would stop already. I’m ready for this to be done now.”

Faith chuckled huskily, letting her arm drape around Buffy’s only slightly rounded belly.

“Well, unless you want a kid that’s the size of a ping-pong ball, you’ll keep incubating for about five more months. You’re a slayer, you can hack it.”

Buffy let Faith’s last comment go, deciding not to argue the fact that being a slayer changed nothing about the intensity or morning sickness or general irritability. Then something caught her attention.

“It’s the size of a ping-pong ball already?” She asked, turning back to face Faith just a little, the soft glow of the moon the only light in the room. “How do you know that?”

She felt rather than saw Faith shrug.

“Been reading the books Red gave me. Lotsa cool stuff in them. Besides, I don’t wanna be a total loser when it comes to this kid stuff. Gotta make sure I know what to do when it cries and stuff,” Faith answered, her voice quiet and sleepy still.

Buffy smiled, unable to help herself, “Aww, you’re studying to be a Mom? That’s adorable.”

“Quit it, B, you’re gonna make me all wiggy if you say shit like that.” Faith said sounding a bit more awake now.

“I mean it though,” Buffy said. “The most I’ve done is watch 'Look Who’s Talking' a couple of times. You’re more prepared than I am. It’s cute.”

She felt Faith shrug against her again.

“Well, like I said . . . I’m not gonna be a crap parent like mine were. The way a kid is raised affects its life a lot. I want ours to have a better go at it than I did, that’s for sure,” Faith said, her arm a little tighter around Buffy now, as if she was already trying to protect their child.

Buffy couldn’t help but smile. She was worried about how things might go between Faith, or even between Faith and the baby, but she was more and more confident every day that things would work out.

Then, as if she had received a shock, Buffy jolted forward, her hand instantly going to her stomach.

“Oh god . . . it’s moving!” She said, excited but freaked out at the same time.

“What?” Faith asked, sitting up and inching back on the bed as if Buffy was covered in slime.

“It’s moving. It’s fluttering around like crazy,” Buffy said as she rolled onto her back, looking partly excited and partly freaked out. “Oh god, it feels like there’s an alien in me!” she squealed quietly, genuinely looking freaked out now.

She reached over and grabbed Faith’s hand, ready to place it on her stomach, But Faith pulled it back quickly.

“Oh hell no, I don’t need to feel that!” Faith said, literally jumping off the bed and standing there staring at Buffy’s stomach.

Buffy stopped her whining and looked at Faith, tilting her head to the side.

“Come on, touch my stomach,” she said, holding her hand out to Faith.

“Fuck no,” Faith replied easily, crossing her arms across her chest.

“Faith!” Buffy said indignantly.

“No way, B, that’s weird. I don’t wanna feel that thing worming around in your stomach. I’ll put up with getting you sandwiches and ice cream and pickles at stupid o’clock every night, and I’ll even hold your hair back when you puke, but . . . no, I’m not gonna do the belly rubbing thing.”

“But it’s your baby too,” Buffy said, moving her hands back to her stomach.

“It sure is, why else do you think it’s causing you so much grief?” Faith asked with a smirk.

When Buffy heard some stirring out in the hallways, she realized that they had probably woken up a few of the girls with their conversation. Not wanting to bring any more attention to their conversation, Buffy decided to drop it for the night.

“Fine,” Buffy said, rolling to her side. “I’ll let you get away with it for now. But you WILL feel the belly and you WILL learn to love it.”

Faith snorted as she crawled back onto the bed and stayed clearly on her own side now. “Sure thing, B,” she said sarcastically, knowing fully well that ‘rubbing the belly’ was one thing she would never do.

She was still Faith, after all.

Buffy stood in the kitchen, immersed in making herself the perfect double-decker sandwich, while Faith was busy rubbing and talking to her perfectly round and nearly-ready-to-pop belly.

“Lesson #126,” Faith began, “Never let Uncle Xan-man hold your food while you go to the bathroom. You’ll come back to an empty plate and a trail of crumbs leading to a very guilty-looking Uncle Xan,” Faith said as she knelt beside Buffy, her hands on both sides of Buffy’s bulging belly as she spoke enthusiastically.

Buffy rolled her eyes and she slathered a healthy dosing of mayonnaise onto her towering sandwich with a spatula.

“Faith, I’m sure that Kristen . . .”

“Paige,” Faith interrupted.

“Natalie . . .” Buffy corrected.

“Marley,” Faith interrupted again.

“Whatever!” Buffy cut in, annoyed. “I’m sure that our daughter, whatever her name may be, will greatly appreciate the life lessons that you’re bestowing upon her. But do you think you can do it, you know . . . without groping me and interrupting daily sandwich time?”

Faith chuckled and stood up, but kept her hands firmly planted on Buffy’s stomach.

“These lessons are gold, B. Little Regan . . .”

“Hannah,” Buffy cut in, but Faith continued on.

“. . . is gonna make it through life nice and easy knowing fully well not to wear leather when it’s too humid out and not to sit too close to Xander after he’s had tacos,” Faith finished.

Buffy took that opportunity while Faith was distracted to smack Faith’s hands away from her stomach. She hurried over to the kitchen table and sat down awkwardly in a chair so that Faith couldn’t manage to touch her belly again.

Faith, however, had different plans. She walked over to the table, took a whopping bite of Buffy’s sandwich, and proceeded to touch and talk to Buffy’s stomach again.

“You are seriously violating my territorial bubble right now,” Buffy said, annoyed. “What is it that when a woman is pregnant, everyone thinks that her stomach is fair game for grope-age? I’ve got Xander rubbing the ‘magic lamp’ and trying to make the genie pop out, Dawn playing it like a bongo drum, Willow rubbing weird smelly stuff on it and trying to do Wiccan blessings, and oh . . . let’s not forget the way Giles rested his coffee mug on it yesterday when there was no room on his desk.”

Faith chuckled as she continued to touch Buffy’s stomach, not letting Buffy’s rant get to her.

“Jess, tell your Mom that I’m allowed to touch her belly,” Faith said, speaking to the belly. “It’s like . . . a commandment or something. ‘Thou shall let thy lesbi-friend touch thy pregnant belly’.”

“Oh what, you’re Catholic now??” Buffy asked in disbelief, smacking Faith’s hands away from her again.

“Was,” Faith said, trying to sneak her hands back. “Born and bred. Can’t say I follow it much these days, but . . . it’s a good way to start out. Gives ya a bit of a routine and stuff. Learn some lessons, get a bit of the big fear instilled in ya. It keeps a kid on the straight and narrow, I’ll tell ya that much.”

Buffy raised her eyebrows and glanced down at Faith before snorting.

“Lots of good it did you, Miss Girl-loving Ex-Con,” she said before she could stop the words from leaving her mouth.

Faith froze, her hands just about to touch Buffy’s belly again before they dropped to her sides as she stood up.

She stared at Buffy for a moment, hurt and anger evident across her face, before shaking her head and walking out of the room without so much as another word.

“Shit,” Buffy mumbled under her breath. “Faith, wait!” she called out, but Faith was already long gone. “Shit shit shit!” she repeated again and again as she struggled to get up out of the chair, her large belly hindering her movement.

She walked around the house, checking out the room that they now shared, the back porch, the living room, and all of the other rooms that Faith normally retreated to when she wanted to be alone. After she checked out all of the usual spots, she knew that there was only one spot left. Buffy sighed to herself; it was never a good thing when Faith went there.

Slowly but surely, Buffy made her way down the basement stairs and down into the gym area. Before she even got close to the private workout room, she heard the music pumping loudly and the sound of Faith grunting as she was busy working out.

Without knocking, she opened the door and crept into the room, watching silently for a while as Faith took out her anger on the large punching bag. Faith’s back was turned to her, but she was sure that the other girl could feel her.

After a few minutes, Buffy walked over to the radio and turned the power off, leaving the room filled only with the sound of Faith and the punching bag.

As she slowly approached Faith, she saw the girl tense up as she stopped punching and threw her arms over the bag, bracing herself on it so she could catch her breath.

“Just go, B.”

“I won’t,” Buffy said quietly, still moving forward slowly.

“I’m not kidding. Get out of here, there’s nothing left to . . .”

“I’m sorry,” Buffy interrupted, her voice soft and quiet. “I . . . I didn’t mean it. I said it, but I didn’t mean it.”

“Sure sounded like you did,” Faith said stiffly, her arms still thrown up over the bag, her weight resting on it.

“I didn’t,” Buffy said, close enough to Faith now that she was able to reach out and touch Faith’s arm. “I’m sorry. I’m just frustrated, and ready to have this baby already, and I’m huge, and I can’t stop eating, and . . . you’re closest to me, so I take my frustrations out on you. It wasn’t fair of me. I’m sorry.”

Faith sighed, relaxing a bit but still not turning to face Buffy.

“B . . . this is never gonna work if you keep digging up the past and saying shit like that. Are you gonna push me away every time I try to do the right thing? Cos seriously . . . I’ll get out of your hair right now if you want.”

“No!” Buffy said, moving around to the other side of the punching back now so that she could try to look at Faith's face. “I don’t want you to go anywhere. You belong here with us, with Samantha.”

“Jamie,” Faith corrected.

“I . . .” Buffy continued, stumbling over her words, “. . . I don’t want you to leave.”

Buffy looked up and found that Faith was finally looking at her, trying to read her face. She tried to convey to Faith that what she said was true, that she really did want her to stay.

And it must have worked, as Faith finally dropped her arms from around the punching bag and loosened up her tense muscles.

“Don't use my past against me, Buffy. It's the surest way to get me fired up and push me away.”

“I won't, I promise,” Buffy said quietly, moving the punching bag to the side. Of course, the bag came swinging back and knocked into her, pushing her right into Faith's arms. “Oops,” she said with a small smile, embarrassed of her clumsiness.

Faith couldn't help but smile at Buffy, who was radiant even though she was, quite frankly, as big as a house. She wrapped one arm around Buffy's back and was prepared to put the other on Buffy's stomach, but quickly remembered the way that Buffy had been freaking out about it lately.

Restraining herself as much as she could, Faith moved her hand to her side, ready to head back up to the kitchen with Buffy, when she felt Buffy grab her hand gently. She looked at their joined hands, then smiled big as she felt Buffy place her hand directly on her stomach where the baby was happily kicking away.

“I dunno about you, but I think Dana's gonna be a wicked little soccer player,” Faith said as she slowly led them toward the door.

“No,” Buffy corrected, “Leanne will be a ballerina.”

“Yeah right,” Faith laughed, not even able to imagine her daughter being girly enough to ever wear a tutu, let alone be a ballerina.

Had there ever been a Slayer ballerina in the world anyway?

“Get this thing out of me!” Buffy screamed as the doctor cheered her on from the bottom of the table.

“You sure make lots of noise for such a little thing,” the doctor commented, looking up at Buffy over the top of his spectacles.

“You did NOT just call me little!” Buffy grunted, trying to use her leg to kick the doctor, but being restrained by a scrub-wearing Faith.

“Relax, B, it's almost over. One more push and we're gonna walk out of here with little Dallas before you know it,” Faith said, struggling to keep Buffy from knocking the doctor out with a slayer-kick to the head.

“You try squeezing a bowling ball out of your body and then tell me to relax. And I am NOT naming my baby after a city! Oh god,” Buffy stopped her ranting to howl in pain, “I think I'm giving birth to a Balrok demon!”

At that, the doctor looked up at Buffy, and then over at Faith.

Faith just shrugged and leaned closer to the doctor, “She hasn't been able to take her medication, being pregnant and all.”

“Ahh,” the doctor said, giving a knowing look to Faith, who just nodded in response.

“One more push, Miss Summers, and your baby should be here,” the midwife told Buffy from the other side of the table.

Buffy looked over to Faith and gripped her hand tight, a look of fear in her eyes.

“You can do it, B . . . . you're the strongest person I know,” Faith said, using her free hand to wipe the sweat from Buffy's brow.

Buffy nodded and looked into Faith's eyes for one more moment before squeezing her eyes shut and giving her all into one final push.

After a few moments, a loud wail was heard throughout the room. The nurses all smiled and looked over to Buffy and Faith, who were anxiously looking over the sheet to see their . . .

“Umm, doctor?” Buffy asked breathlessly, looking down at the baby with confusion. “Why does my daughter have a penis?”

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