Chapter Three

“What do you mean 'Buffy had a boy'? The doctor's wrong!” Willow exclaimed as she stood up from her uncomfortable chair in the maternity ward waiting room, a large stuffed purple giraffe being held tight in her arms.

Faith chuckled and pulled out her cell phone, pressing the buttons a few times.

“Nope, he's pretty right, Red. Ten fingers, ten toes, one penis,” she said, showing the small phone to the group. On the display was a picture that Faith had taken of the baby just after they’d cleaned him up.

“But that's impossible!” Willow said excitedly as she grabbed the phone from Faith's hand and inspected the picture more closely. “When Buffy had her sonogram, the doctor said it was a girl.”

“What he said,” Faith cut in, “was that the baby's legs were crossed, but that he didn't see any dots. No dots, no balls. No balls, no boy.”

“See?!” Willow said, her eyes wide in fright.

“Yeah, but that didn't mean it was a girl. It meant that maybe junior had his bit tucked up or something. I dunno. B just went with it and started giving it girl names.” Faith shrugged and took her phone back from Willow, smiling slightly as she stared at the small picture of her son.

“But I did the spell to verify what the doctor thought. Lots of chanting and stinky burning cloverleaf later, all I felt was female essence, and it wasn't Buffy's essence.” Willow explained.

“Did you say cloverleaf?” Giles asked, putting his glasses back on his face after looking at the photo of the baby. At Willow's nod, he chuckled to himself. “For someone as advanced in magicks as you are, Willow, I find it rather amusing that you failed to remember that cloverleaf picks up on the essence of the slayer when used in rituals.”

Willow's eyes went wide.

“So I . . .?”

“You didn't pick up on the female essence of Buffy and Faith's child, you picked up on the slayer essence -- the female slayer essence -- in Buffy,” Giles explained, smirking over at Willow who had a look of terror on her face.

“Oh boy, she's gonna kill me!” Willow said, panic stricken.

“Wait a minute, calm down,” Faith said. She walked to where Willow was now pacing and put a hand on her shoulder to steady the girl. “Listen: did Buffy flip out when she found out that you used a spell on her? Yeah, but she got over it. Did she flip out when she found out that you conjured up an ancient truth goddess that happened to dabble in fertility magic when you did the spell which resulted in her getting knocked up? Yeah, but she got over it. Sure we were planning on a girl, and sure all of the clothes we picked out are pink and purple, and the nursery looks like it was bathed in Pepto-Bismol. But she's gonna get over it, Red. She always does.”

“I know,” Willow said, her shoulders slumping even further. “I just wish I could make it better. That I was as good at magic as I thought I was.”

Faith shrugged. “You wanna make it better? Get in there and see that kid, cos he's all pink and bald and wrinkly and B needs her best friend to tell her that he's the cutest kid in the world. And when you're done giving him the purple giraffe you bought and Xander gives him that ridiculous pink camel . . .”

“It's a llama,” Xander interrupted, clutching the pink stuffed toy to his chest.

“. . . whatever,” Faith continued, “you're gonna go home and make the nursery look like a boy's room so that B has one less thing to worry about. She's making me crazy in there, talking about the kid having a gender identity crisis. He's not even two hours old yet!”

“Gender identity crisis?” Willow asked. “Because he has two mommies?”

Faith chuckled, “No, cos he's wearing a fucking pink outfit and is gonna be paraded home in a pink car seat to his pink bedroom.”

“Some men think pink is a nice color,” Andrew chimed in, clinging tightly to the stuffed Ewok toy that he’d bought for the baby.

“And on that note,” Faith said as she took a few steps back toward the doors to the nursery, “I’m back to see my gender-confused son and his nutcase mother.”

Faith turned and walked through the double doors, leaving the surprised yet happy group of friends standing there clutching their stuffed toys for the baby.

“Wait,” Dawn said as she stood up, confusion etched across her face. “I know I got a C in Biology, but isn’t it impossible for two girls to produce a male? I mean . . . there’s a total lack of the Y chromosome. That baby should have two big, beautiful X’s, but he’s got a little dangly Y instead.”

“I suppose that in most instances, you’d be correct,” Giles answered. “However, two women shouldn’t be able to naturally create an offspring either. I presume that when magic was introduced, all rules of genetics and nature were disregarded. Is it really that difficult to fathom after all we’ve seen together?”

The group look from one another, understanding what Giles said was likely true. After a moment or two, Kennedy finally stood up from an uncomfortable waiting-room chair.

“So what we’re agreeing on -- yet again -- is that the little sprog is Faith and Buffy’s, right?” Seeing Giles nod, Kennedy grabbed the purple giraffe that Willow was clutching to her chest, then took Willow’s hand and led her through the swinging double doors. “Then let’s go see the offspring and make him feel all big and manly so we can go out and eat, I’m starved.”

A soft knock sounded through the nursery as Buffy lay back on the hospital bed, resting her tired body while Faith took a turn holding the small sleeping baby.

“Come in,” Faith said in a hushed tone, trying her best not to disturb either Buffy or the baby.

Willow opened the door slowly and poked her head in to make sure it was okay for them to enter. When she got the okay from Faith, she practically pulled Kennedy across the room with her as she headed straight for Faith and the sleeping baby.

Faith smiled, pride evident in her face as she turned the baby to face his ‘auntie’ Willow.

“Awww!” Willow said as she finally laid her eyes upon the napping infant, who was swaddled in a powder-blue blanket that the hospital had given him. “Look at him, and his squishy little pink face and his bald head.” She grabbed one of his hands and held it gently, placing a soft kiss on his knuckles.

“He’s not bald, he’s hair-impaired,” Buffy added weakly from her spot on the bed, letting her visitors know that she was awake.

Willow immediately smiled and headed over to her best friend, hopping excitedly before leaning over to give her a hug.

“He’s beautiful, Buffy, hair or none,” Willow said with a smile. “Besides, I can see some light blonde hair. He’s definitely yours.”

Buffy smiled and held her arms out towards Faith, who happily obliged and placed the now fidgeting baby into Buffy’s waiting arms.

“Oh, he’s definitely Faith’s.” Buffy said as she arranged the baby comfortably in her arms.

“Why, did he beat the doctor up or something?” Kennedy asked with a chuckle.

“Not quite,” Buffy said as she fussed with the baby’s blankets, opening them up so that everyone could see him clearly. “After he was busy tearing Mommy a new one – which, by the way, better get me at least 20 years of top-notch Mother’s Day presents – he screamed his little head off. And as soon as the nurse put him in my arms, he opened up his eyes and looked right at me . . .”

Buffy trailed off as she tickled the back of her finger along the baby’s cheek, trying to get him to respond. After a moment, he opened his eyes wide and did what could only be described as a grin . . . which revealed two of the darkest brown eyes and two of the cutest dimples that had ever been seen.

Willow laughed and covered her mouth, trying to hide her surprise. Faith just smiled all proud again as she leaned over and kissed the baby on the top of his head, effectively making him cross his eyes as he tried to focus on her.

“Oh yeah, there’s no denying it; he’s definitely the both of yours!” Willow said cheerily.

“No doubt about it,” Kennedy said, her hard exterior finally coming down and a smile spreading across her face. “He’s got one hell of a grip,” she said as the baby wrapped his long little fingers around her thumb.

“Don’t use the hell word around my baby,” Buffy said as she covered him back up and pulled him protectively against her chest.

“Hell isn’t a bad word, it’s a place,” Kennedy said.

“Right, a place that he will never learn about, because he’s going to be shielded from all of the bad stuff by his very strong mommies, and his magical auntie Willow, and everyone else that doesn’t wanna get throttled by Momma B.”

Kennedy chuckled, “Got it. Shield the spawn from bad stuff.”

“Speaking of spawn,” Willow interrupted, “we can’t just keep calling him ‘him’ and ‘the baby’. What are you gonna name the little guy?”

Buffy shrugged as she looked up toward Faith.

“We’re not sure. We have a middle name picked out. But all of the first names we had picked out were for girls, and neither one of us have male family members that we want to carry on the name,” she said.

“Yeah, the only men in my life were Jack Daniels and Johnny Carson. Mom would sit back and nurse the bottle all night long, which was fine by me cos it meant I could stay up late and watch Johnny. They were the only two men in my life that I could count on,” Faith said wistfully.

“Well that’s . . . macabre,” Kennedy said.

Faith shrugged, “Maybe, but it’s life. Besides . . . so long as B doesn’t name him anything like Belvedere or Tad, I’m pretty cool with it.”

“Jackson,” Buffy said quietly as she looked down at her son. The baby took that moment to let out a loud coo.

“What?” Willow asked, looking from Faith over to Buffy.

“Jackson. It’s perfect. And he seems to like it,” Buffy answered with a smile.

“For real, B?” Faith asked, smiling as she stole a seat on the edge of the bed next to Buffy. “You don’t have to do that for me. I’m happy with whatever you pick. Just . . . not Rudolph. Or Maxwell. Or Arthur. Or Bart. Or . . .”

“I get it,” Buffy said as she looked over at Faith. “But I really like it. Jackson. It has a nice ring to it. We can just never tell anyone that he’s named after Jack Daniels and Johnny Carson.”

Faith chuckled as she covered the top of the baby’s head with her gentle hand.

“At least not 'til he’s old enough to appreciate it,” Faith responded.

“So we’re agreed?” Buffy asked as she looked to Faith.

“Hell yeah. I mean . . . heck yeah,” she corrected at Buffy’s glare.

“Then I would like everyone to meet . . . Mr. Jackson Thomas Lehane,” Buffy announced proudly.

“You have a last name?” Kennedy asked as she looked over at Faith in surprise.

“Yep,” Faith answered casually. “Turns out I wasn’t raised by a pack of wolves after all,” she said with a smirk.

After a few minutes of a comfortable silence as the girls all fawned over the baby, Faith finally took him from Buffy’s arms. Buffy scooted over a little so that Faith could sit next to her, and Faith graciously accepted the seat, resting back next to Buffy with the baby in her arms.

“What do you think, little man?” She said as she looked into his big brown eyes, mirrors of her own. “You’ve got two hot mommas, a family that loves ya even if you did trick them all into thinking you were a girl, and a pretty sweet crib back at home. You ready for what life has to offer you, Jack?”

He chose that opportunity to yawn as big as he could before closing his eyes for another little nap. “I think he needs to sleep on it,” Willow said, giggling.

Faith and Jackson crouched behind the couch, their homemade tin-foil hats resting awkwardly on their heads.

“Okay, this is how we’re gonna do this,” Faith said in a hushed tone. “I’m gonna go left, and you’re gonna go right – that way over there,” she said and pointed to where Jackson was supposed to go. “Once you see me give you the signal – you remember it, it’s when I wave my arm – the coast is clear. You grab the cookies, and I’ll meet you back behind the couch with a nice cup of milk. If I start to pat the top of my head, you better run, little buddy, cos it means someone is coming. Deal?”

Jackson merely smiled as he looked at Faith in amusement, his tinfoil hat nearly covering his eyes.

Faith peeked around the side of the couch, then looked back at Jackson.

“You ready, Jack-Jack?” She asked and held out her hand. Jackson responded by slapping her hand, giving her a little high-five. “Okay, go!”

Faith stood up and made her way into the hallway, where she made sure the coast was clear. After a moment, she waved her arm about, signaling for Jackson to make his move.

The toddler began walking to where he was supposed to go, stumbling as he was barely able to keep his balance. When he finally reached his diaper bag which was packed in the front foyer, he stooped in front of it and fumbled around until he found his blue container of cookies.

Faith smiled as she watched him, then gave him the thumbs-up sign as he began stumbling back toward the couch with the container in his hands.

“Faith, what are you doing? Why do you have your spy hat on?” Buffy asked as she breezed into the hallway with a basket full of fresh laundry.

“What?” Faith asked nervously as she grabbed the tin foil hat from her head and tossed it into the living room.

“Your spy hat . . . you’re getting into trouble. What are you up to?” Buffy asked as she tried to look into the living room, which Faith was blocking with her body.

“Nothing!” Faith answered quickly, doing her best to stop Buffy from looking into the living room and at Jackson who was making his way toward them now. She started patting the top of her head, hoping that Jackson would recognize the signal and run away with the cookies. “Why do you always assume I’m up to something?”

She figured that trying to distract Buffy was her only hope now.

Buffy stopped trying to look into the living room and instead focused on Faith, who was busy smacking the top of her head. She smiled a knowing smile and positioned the laundry basket on her hip.

“Because I know you, Faith. Besides,” Buffy said, using her now free right hand to point at the way Faith was patting the top of her head, “that’s your ‘retreat’ signal. You should really try to switch up your signals if you’re going to be using them in this house to plot and scam.”

Just then, a small rattling noise was heard directly behind Faith’s back. She froze, her hand mid-air between pats on her head. Buffy simply smirked and tilted her head to the side, effectively looking around Faith.

“Cookie,” Jackson babbled as he shook the blue plastic container of cookies, trying to open it to get the goodies inside.

“Aww, baby, you know that it’s not cookie time yet,” Buffy said as she smiled down at her innocent son, his messy blonde hair and big brown eyes tugging on her heartstrings. “Give mommy the cookies, and she’ll get you some juicy instead.”

She held out her hand expectantly, and Jackson happily complied, too young to know that cookies win over juice any day. Whereas most children would have had a temper tantrum, Jackson just stood there and smiled up at his mothers. He was a good baby by all accounts. He slept through the nights, he never cried unless it was without cause, and he was smarter than they ever could have hoped for.

After giving his hair a little ruffle, Buffy stood up and smiled at him before turning her attention to Faith.

“Really, Fai, trying to get our year-old son to help you scam just so you can eat his cookies? Lame.”

Buffy tried to hide her smile as she turned on her heel and walked into a different room, leaving Faith stood there with a disappointed look on her face.

“I’m not lame,” Faith said to herself, her shoulders slumped in defeat.

“Not lame,” she heard a little voice say from behind her, copying her words almost perfectly.

Faith instantly smiled, the disastrous cookie incident instantly forgotten. She turned around and scooped Jackson up in her arms, bringing them face to face.

“Yunno, for such a smart little guy, you sure know how to get your signals crossed,” she said before kissing his cheeks several times, earning a small giggle from him.

“Car?” Jackson asked, his big brown eyes the perfect reflection of Faith’s.

“Not ‘til later, boo. We’re gonna wait ‘til after your nap to go and pick up Auntie Dawnie from the airport,” Faith answered, trying to clarify her son’s confusion.

Jackson made sure to look right into Faith’s eyes and hold her attention as he said again, “Car.”

Faith began to shake her head, ready to explain again that it wasn’t time to go in the car, when she realized what Jackson meant. A big smile appeared across her face, her prominent dimples on display.

“Mommy keeps extra cookies in the car, doesn’t she?”

Jackson smiled then too, his dimples matching Faith’s perfectly, “Car.”

“Judging by the mountain of presents in Jackson’s room, I’m gonna go ahead and say that he’s one of the luckiest two-year olds around,” Faith said as she slid out of her jeans and lifted her t-shirt over her head, walking around her and Buffy’s bedroom in only a bra and panties now.

She searched through the room that she and Buffy had been sharing for over two and a half years now for her favorite sleeping t-shirt.

Not that she liked to wear a shirt to bed, or any clothes for that fact, but Jackson had a habit of finding his way into their room whenever he had a bad dream.

Buffy breezed out of the adjoining bathroom, adorned in the t-shirt that Faith had been searching for.

“Just remind me the next time when Xander says, ‘let’s have the other 15 kids from Jackson’s daycare over for a party’ that most two-year olds are evil and not as handsome or well-behaved as our little angel,” Buffy said, clearly exhausted from a long day of chasing around children and trying to be a proper hostess.

Faith watched Buffy walk across the room and crawl onto the mattress, her eyes focused on the t-shirt she was wearing the whole time.

“You’re wearing my favorite sleeping shirt,” Faith said as she stood there, still watching Buffy.

Buffy stopped trying to get under the blankets and looked down at her shirt, realizing that Faith was right.

“Well, you left it lying on the floor, yet again. I thought it was dirty,” she explained.

“So you’re wearing my dirty t-shirt to bed?” Faith asked with a grin.

“Just find another one, Faith. It’s late and I’d like to sleep at some point in time tonight. Not only do I have to clean up from the party tomorrow, but I have to help clean up after the twenty other people who live in this house that expect me to mother them now too,” Buffy said as she slipped under the covers.

“Ohhhhh,” Faith began, “so you’re mothering me now too, cos you always have to pick up my stuff,” she said, sarcasm dripping from her voice.

“Faith, this room is small enough without all of your crap lying around it,” Buffy explained, too tired to choose her words carefully. “I picked it up, I put it on, and now I’m going to bed.”

Faith crossed her arms across her chest, anger written across her face.

“What ya sayin’, B?” She asked angrily. “My ‘crap’ is messing up your pristine room, I’m this big hassle on you . . . seems to me like you don’t really want me here in your room anymore.”

Buffy quickly realized the situation that she had put herself in. Within two short minutes, she had managed to put Faith on the defensive and imply that she wasn’t wanted in their room.

Of course Buffy wanted her in their room. She didn’t, however, want Faith to feel like she was being forced to stay there if she didn’t want to. She knew how quickly Faith could feel trapped, and she never wanted her to feel stuck in their situation, neither in their living arrangements nor in their life together.

She chose to respond as vaguely as possible, so not as to scare Faith off.

“Well . . . I mean, you’re not obligated to stay in here if you don’t want to.”

She nervously kept her gaze locked on Faith’s, waiting for a reaction. The reaction she got was not the one she was hoping for.

“Right. I’m not obligated,” Faith said angrily. She walked over to the bed where Buffy was laying and leaned down . . . only to grab the pillow from her side of the bed.

Without another word, she turned and walked out of the room, closing the door a bit harshly behind her.

Buffy flopped back on the bed and covered her eyes with her forearm before letting out a loud sigh.

“Shit,” she mumbled.

Instantly, she knew that she had chosen the wrong words. She could have teased Faith to come and get the t-shirt back herself if she wanted it so badly, and then they could have spent the night having sex.

But she was exhausted, and a bit irritated, and she had only wanted to go to bed because she knew she would have a busy schedule the next day. Living in a house with that many people, she took on responsibilities that she shouldn’t have had to, but that she did because she was Buffy.

She didn’t want that to strain her relationship with her son, though, and definitely not her relationship with Faith.

Her relationship with Faith. Now that made her chuckle to herself as she lay there not knowing what to do.

There were no clear definitions or rules in her relationship with Faith. It all started with them having sex. That was what their relationship was back then: sex. It was easily definable and completely uncomplicated.

But then things exploded, and Buffy ended up with a mystical pregnancy and an incredibly awkward situation. She knew that Faith would stand by her side, being on the ‘road to redemption’ and all. Faith wasn’t about to shirk her responsibilities. Then again, Buffy never wanted Faith to feel like she was obligated to stay. Faith had never been the kind of person to stay in one place for too long.

And just because they had been having sex, she didn’t want Faith to feel obligated to stay for a mistake that Willow had caused.

No, it wasn’t a mistake. It was a blessing. Buffy knew that Jackson was the best thing that had ever happened to her. He was the one thing that she had always wanted but, prior to closing the Hellmouth, she never thought she’d get. Now that she had him, she never wanted to let go.

And speaking of never wanting to let go, she didn’t want to lose Faith either. Since she had gotten pregnant, they had grown closer and closer together. Granted neither of them had ever said the “L” word. There had been times, undoubtedly, where both girls had wanted to say it. They definitely felt it. But they were both scared. Scared of making the other feel trapped, scared of losing one another, and most importantly . . . scared of losing Jackson.

Buffy had talked to Willow about it. She told her of her feelings for Faith, but that she was scared of how Faith would react to it. Of course, Willow had advised her to talk to Faith about it. She explained that they had a child together, and that Faith wasn’t about to get scared and just hightail it out of there.

Still, Buffy was scared, so she had always waited for Faith to make the first move. To be the brave one.

But now, on this night when she had finally pushed Faith enough to make her leave their room . . . she knew that she had to be the brave one. The ball was in her court now.

Slowly but surely, Buffy stepped out of bed and out of their room, on a mission to find Faith and finally let her know how she felt.

When she finally reached the door to Faith’s old bedroom, she hesitated for a few moments before knocking gently. After a few moments passed and there was no response, she knocked a little bit louder.

“Faith, can I please come in?”

Another few moments passed and Buffy finally gave up. She gave the door one more gentle knock before turning the squeaky door knob and opening the door.

Without even turning the lights on, she could see that Faith wasn’t in there. There were several of Jackson’s toys covering the bed and the floor, but it was quite obvious that the room hadn’t been slept in – or lived in – in quite some time.

Buffy slowly pulled the door shut, careful not to disturb any of the other residents of the long hall. She crept slowly down the hall, making her way to the only other place Faith would be at that hour, when she heard a door creak open as she crept by.

A tired looking Willow poked her head out of her bedroom door.

“Hey Buff . . . everything okay?” She asked sleepily.

Buffy sighed and faced her best friend.

“I think I blew it, Will,” she said quietly.

Willow smiled and shook her head. “Buffy, no matter what you do or say, and no matter what kind of nasty little fights you may get into . . . you’re not going to blow your relationship with Faith. You’re both in it for the long haul. One of you just needs to be the first to say it, and it will all work out from there.”

Buffy smiled, but she was still wary. “I’m just scared, will. I . . .”

Kennedy, of course, chose that exact moment to stick her head out of the door and interrupt.

“Oh, for fucks sake, Buffy. You love her, and she loves you. Now go tell her and make up so that we can all get some sleep, yeah?”

Without giving Willow and Buffy the chance to say anything more, she closed the door, leaving Buffy stood there in the hallway with a big decision to make.

She thought about it only for a minute or two before a smile finally appeared on her face.

It was time.

The walk to Jackson’s room was only a short one, seeing as that it was only the room next door. Buffy considered knocking on the door, but she didn’t want to wake her son up. Not if she was going to have the conversation that she was planning on.

Slowly, Buffy turned the door handle and pushed the door open quietly, careful not to let the old door creak. Xander had used many cans of oil to make sure that the hinges stayed perfectly quiet on that particular door.

Buffy instantly saw Faith lying on the small white couch in the room, Jackson snuggling against her chest as the moonlight illuminated them just enough for her to see. She couldn’t help but smile at the scene; she’d walked in on the very same scene a hundred times before, and it never failed to make her heart skip a beat. Faith, who could still kick a vampire’s ass like none other; Faith, who was too cool to go bowling with the Scoobies but would don a tin-foil hat to make her son smile; Faith, who when she couldn’t sleep, would sneak into Jackson’s room and just stare at him as he slept in her arms.

Everything she loved was laying there on the couch right in front of her.

Slowly, Buffy made her way into the room and towards the couch.

“Sometimes,” Faith began, her voice a whisper, “I forget to breathe when I look at him.”

Buffy smiled in response and sat gently on the edge of the couch, her hand instantly resting over Faith’s on Jackson’s back.

“I never liked kids, yunno?” Faith continued. “They were always loud, and smelly, and obnoxious more than even I could stand. But . . . he’s not. Jack-Jack is this perfect little man . . . smart, and silly, and fun, and he smells good too, yunno?”

Buffy chuckled, but tried not to break the moment. She wanted Faith to say whatever she wanted before she decided to say what she needed to as well. Faith continued.

“I dunno how it happened, or why, but someone decided to give this little guy to us. And I love him so much, Buffy. More than I thought was possible. And I know we started out on kinda unclear terms, but I’ll be fucked if I didn’t fall in love somewhere along the line with you too.”

Buffy’s heart nearly leapt out of her chest at that. Instantly she felt her eyes well up with tears, but all she could manage was, “Faith, language.”

Faith looked at her like she was crazy as she indicated the still sleeping child in her arms. Buffy just smiled, knowing how ridiculous her response was, before squeezing Faith’s hand a little.

“I fell in love with you too,” Buffy whispered softly. “I love you – and Jackson – so much. I . . . I don’t ever want to lose this, Faith. With Dawn off studying with the Council and Giles always traveling, well . . . you and Jackson are my family now. I can’t lose that.”

Faith smiled back, all signs of her previous anger completely melted away now.

“I’m not going anywhere, B. We’ll live here, and we’ll get frustrated with each other at our total lack of privacy, and you’ll be stressed because you have to take care of everyone, but . . . I’ll always be here, and I’ll always love you and Jack-Jack. Even if you are being a moody . . . witch,” Faith said, choosing not to say bitch at Buffy’s disapproving glare.

“Well,” Buffy tentatively began, “I’ve been thinking about that too. Jackson loves it here. He loves seeing his Auntie Willow and Kennedy, and he loves when the junior slayers give him attention. But . . . maybe it’s time for us to find our own place. A place where we can have more space, and more privacy, and more . . .”

“Room to grow?” Faith finished for her, smiling. “A dog, a white picket fence . . . the whole she-bang?”

“Well, I was gonna say more sex, but yes . . . room to grow, too,” Buffy responded, making them both chuckle.

“I like that idea,” Faith said, smiling as she squeezed Buffy’s hand back.

They let a few minutes pass as they just sat smiling and looking into one another’s eyes. It was as if everything made sense now. No more confusion, and no more wondering about what could be and what might have been.

Only when Jackson started to stir at their quiet ongoing conversation did they decided to lay him back in his crib and go back to their own as well.

Buffy and Faith lay in their bed together, excitedly discussing the possibilities of finding a place that they could make their own home. There was a nice house not far from where they were living now, close enough to walk to if needed. They’d have to find appropriate funding, but after years of serving the council, they were sure that they could get some help from there if needed.

“Yunno,” Buffy finally admitted as Faith began to rub her back and kiss along her shoulder, “the only reason I took your shirt in the first place was because I wanted to smell like you.”

Faith grinned and pulled back so that she could look into Buffy’s eyes, “If you wanted to smell like me, I’m sure that I could’ve just wriggled all over you and got nice and sweaty. No need to wear my dirty old t-shirt.”

“Well,” Buffy said with a smirk on her face, “maybe we should get rid of this old t-shirt and try that out then. You know . . . for reference for the next time.”

Faith couldn’t help but chuckle at Buffy’s suggestion. Immediately, she sat up a little and began to pull the t-shirt over Buffy’s head.

Buffy happily lifted her arms so that Faith could undress her, but found herself confused when Faith got the shirt to her head and stopped lifting it off.

“Umm . . .” Buffy said, her voice muffled in the material of the shirt over her face, “. . . a little help here?”

When she heard Faith chuckle, she began to fumble around with the material of the shirt, trying to remove it so that she could see what was going on.

“Holy shit,” she heard Faith laugh, “you’re so not gonna believe this.”

Buffy pulled the shirt from her head just as Faith said that, only to find that both she and Faith were glowing a very familiar blue hue.

“Ugh!” Buffy said as she gazed upon the unbecoming blue glow. “Willow so must’ve been listening in on our conversation. I’m gonna kill her!” She began to get up, but found herself stopped by Faith’s hand on her chest.

“Orrrrrr,” Faith said, a mischievous smile on her face, “we can just go with it and see what fate throws at us this time around.”

She waited for Buffy to roll her eyes or to push her off, but instead Buffy looked off into the distance and tilted her head to the side.

“I guess we did get pretty lucky the last time around,” Buffy said, then looked back to Faith who merely shrugged at her. “And you definitely make a hot smurf,” she said with a big grin on her face.

Faith simply wiggled her eyebrows at Buffy and leaned over her, pressing her back into the pillows as she brought their lips together in a tender kiss.

The sounds of their passionate lovemaking weren’t heard in the next room over, where Willow and Kennedy lay soundly asleep in each other’s arms, as they had been for the previous hour.

The only other sound in the house was a giggle from Jackson, who lay awake and clapping his hands in his crib, his brown eyes glowing a bright blue.

The End.

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