by Hayley


"Tyler, you better not be playing up there!" Faith yells from the kitchen as we try our best to organize. "Breakfast is ready!"

We hear a crash followed by some very loud footsteps running down the stairs then see Tyler rush to the kitchen table and sit down, pretending he's been there the whole time. He even pokes Nick for good measure but there's no fighting today. Nick's too busy eating his cereal.

They're both growing up too quickly and there's definitely proof of that today. It's Nick's first day of kindergarten.

"Eat fast, boys," I say as we finish with their lunches. "We've got to be in the car in a few minutes."

It's been an amazing few years. After we got married, Faith and I finalized all the adoption stuff and the names. The day it became official we had a huge party with everyone at headquarters and Faith was so happy. Hell, we all were but Faith had a grin on her face all day. It was just another reminder of how much she means to me and proof that I make her happy.

She wore me down and we ended up deciding to stay in Miami more than Cleveland. Faith had found a nice school for Tyler to attend and when I saw it I knew I couldn't say no. It had everything we always wanted for Ty so that's where he ended up.

For two years anyway. During the time he was there we started to see some signs that we didn't necessarily like. We always knew there was a possibility the boys might have some slayer traits but there was never any documentation it would ever happen. Sure, Robin was the child of a slayer but most of his fighting talent was learned, not gifted.

We really thought it wouldn't happen. I mean, we had boys. From everything Giles and Willow had read slayer powers were never passed to a boy. I think that's kind of why I never really paid attention when they were babies or toddlers but we had to once Tyler went to school and was around other kids we didn't know.

We were called to the school several times before we realized that Tyler was showing some signs of slayer strength and speed, too. The principal, his teacher, even the other parents couldn't believe how fast he was and always joked with us that we had an athlete on our hands but we knew different. He also got into a few fights and that didn't go over well since he could hit a lot harder than normal.

Do you know how hard it is to tell a six year old that he shouldn't use the powers he may or may not have? Faith and I were confused enough without having to explain it to him.

So we ended up only lasting two years in the Miami school. I thought it would be easier for the kids to go to a school close to headquarters in Cleveland so we could get help with them and their abilities if we needed it. Thankfully, Faith was okay with the move.

Okay, she didn't like it at all but she did it for Ty and Nick.

"Babe, I think we've gotta get to the school," Faith says as she puts an arm around me. "Wanna make sure they get there on time."

"Everything's done." I smile as I feel her kiss my neck.

Faith runs over and lifts Nick off his chair, tickling him. "Ready for school, Nicky?"

He giggles and nods. "Yep."

I walk over to Tyler and kiss the top of his head, knowing he just made a face 'cause he hates it when I do that. "Grab your bags and let's go."

We get on situated in the SUV and the drive is uneventful and pretty short since we don't live that far away. Tyler has about a thousand questions about his class but we only remind him what we learned yesterday at orientation. The rest we'll talk to his teacher about.

Nick is quiet but I know he's excited. His big brown eyes are huge as he looks around and he's all jittery, just like what happens with Faith. I'm thrilled he's happy about it now because he told me a few weeks ago he never wanted to go to school. Of course, that was probably 'cause Ty was teasing him about it.

When I look in the mirror back at them it's amazing how much they look like Faith and me. Nick's pretty much Faith's twin, all dark hair, dark brown eyes and dimples and Tyler looks a lot like me, especially my eyes and nose. The best part is people still tell us Ty looks like Faith. It's something we both love to hear even if she's not his biological mother.

"We're here," I say as I pull up to the school. A lot of the parents are already there, saying goodbye to their kids. I recognize a few and they recognize us, waving as Faith and I jump out of the SUV.

Yes, part of the reason we like this school better is that other slayers have kids now and a lot of them have stayed in the area so their kids go to this school, too. Because of that we know there won't be an overreaction if one of the boys uses a slayer skill they shouldn't or one we don't know about. I know the principal used to be a watcher way back when and there are a couple slayers on staff. The perfect environment for our two kids.

Tyler's already hopping out as I open the door. "Be good at school today," I say as I hug him. "Watch out for Nick, okay?"

"He's not in my class," he says quietly. When he looks up at me I think he might be a little nervous.

"Doesn't mean you can't watch out for your little brother." I lean down and whisper to him, "don't worry, honey. You'll have fun."

He meets my eyes and smiles at me. I put a hand on his shoulder, guiding him around the SUV to where Faith is taking a picture of Nick holding his backpack with the school in the background. She always seems to have that camera at all the big moments.

"Okay, boys," Faith says, "get together so we can get a picture before you go inside."

They do it without any grumblings and Faith takes a couple shots of them. Once that's done, we give them each big hugs and kisses even though neither one of them likes that very much.

We both said we'd try not to get over emotional but our baby is going to school now. It's making me feel so old, not to mention it's giving me the feeling that time is moving way too fast. It feels like it was just yesterday I was watching Faith give Tyler a bottle for the first time and laughing about how awkward it looked since she was still nervous around him.

I look over at Faith and she looks like she's gonna cry. "Okay, I want the two of you to be good and have fun," I say. "We'll be here to pick you up when you're done."

They nods their heads before they run off to the school together, Tyler keeping hold of Nick's hand the entire time. I feel myself getting a little misty-eyed as I watch them go before I feel Faith's arm around my waist.

We stand there and watch for a minute as they walk in and I think about everything we've been through the last few years. Faith came into my life when I least expected it and gave me what I didn't even know I needed: her. She slowly got involved in my life and I fell so hard so her. Even better, she fell just as hard for me.

Sure, we've had some ups and downs over the years. Our huge fight in the beginning wasn't exactly our strongest moment and we've had a couple of knockdown drag-outs since then but Faith has made me so happy everything negative just fades away. Just knowing that I'm with someone who's my equal in every way is beyond amazing. I meant what I said at our wedding, too. I'll never forget that she's been able to give me the family I never thought I could have.

"Come on, B," Faith says as she kisses the side of my head, "we don't want people to think we're leering at their kids."

"Probably a good idea," I agree as I laugh a little.

It's taken a few years but I think it's safe to say I know everything about Faith now and she can say the same about me. Even though it's hard for her to talk about she's told me about her childhood, how her father left so soon she can barely remember him and how her mother was an absent drunk. There was very few good times in Boston but she's told me about it all.

I think we've both made peace with everything that's happened to us when we were younger, both before and after we were called. We even took the time this summer to show the kids where we grew up. Not Sunnydale, obviously, but we spent a few days in LA and a few days in Boston. All of us had fun and it made me realize just how far we've come. We'd gotten used to summers being a time to recover from an apocalyptic battle and now they're for family vacations.

We're about to start the drive home when Faith turns to me with a sad smile. "I feel old."

I laugh. "You're not the only one."

"I feel proud they're ours, ya know," she says. "I just wish they could stay little a while longer."

There's not much to say to that so I only nod and start driving. I don't think I really needed to anyway. She knows how I feel when it comes to our two little boys.

"There is a small upside to this though." I look over at her and she's got an eyebrow raised. "We have the house to ourselves for a few hours."

Faith wiggles her eyebrows for good measure and I laugh again. "That definitely is a productive use of our alone time."

"Damn right it is," Faith says and places a hand on my thigh. "We can get a little workout in of our own and then go to headquarters."

"What, is this a daily plan for us?"

"Can you think of a better one?"

I smile as her hand moves a little further up my thigh. "No. No, I can't."

The fact we have a short drive home is even more incredible now and I step on the gas a little more. I can't wait until her arms are around me and the smile on my face doesn't leave as I think about that I can count on that every day for the rest of my life.

The End

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Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || Chapter Eight || Chapter Nine || Chapter Ten || Chapter Eleven || Chapter Twelve || Chapter Thirteen || Chapter Fourteen || Epilogue

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