by Hayley

Chapter Three

Tonight's the night. We need to stop the hellmouth from being opened tonight.

Everyone's prepared and taking the last couple hours to themselves before we leave. Okay, maybe not everyone. Many of the girls are doing some prep work with their weapons or going through some last minute training exercises. I think Faith and Giles are in the training room with them, helping where needed.

I'll probably go in there in a minute but I decided to spend a little time with Tyler first. We've been playing a little and he's starting to get tired. I just wanted to be able to hold him and set him down to sleep before I risk my life fighting the forces of evil.

I think about the whole life-risking aspect of slaying more now that I'm a mom. Not that I didn't before but I have someone who relies on me completely now. It's a lot to take in before each battle.

"Getting ready to go, Buffy?"

I look up from my son to see Dawn walking into the large common area. There's couches, a few computers along a wall and a large TV in here but everything's turned off. I'm just sitting off in the corner where Tyler's area is set up.

Dawn's the one watching Tyler while the battle is going on and I have no doubt he'll be safe. Willow created a shield over our headquarters and over mine and Giles' places which that keeps all the bad guys out. Giles and Dawn will be running the technical ins and outs of the battle from here while everyone else is at the hellmouth. We'll be in radio contact the entire time.

"Just playing with Ty a little."

She sits on the floor next to me. "He'll be fine. You guys will go out, kick some butt and he'll be waiting for you to take him home when you get back."

I smile. "Yeah, I know but I still needed a minute. I'll be with the rest of them soon."

Dawn nods. "Can I ask you a question?"


"What's with you and Faith?" she asks and I should've known that was coming. "I show up five days ago expecting Faith to be living here, completely focused on slaying and the two of you having the icy friendship I figured you'd have. Instead, she's living with you and the first time I see her she's giving my nephew a bottle so you could work with one of the slayers. Not only that, she liked doing it and Tyler loves her."

I shrug. "She was going insane living here and I know Giles wanted her to stay close to headquarters so I offered her my couch. Tyler kinda grew on her because as you know, my son is adorable and a hit with the ladies and he likes her. If he hears her voice he looks for her."

"Okay, but what about you two?" Dawn smirks a little. "The way the two of you look at each other isn't the way you look at anyone else here."

"I don't think that's true," I counter, "and I thought everyone here wants us to be friends."

Dawn is about to respond but we're interrupted by Faith. She looks around and smiles once she sees me. I smile back and I wonder if Dawn is looking for the special look we give each other. I never thought I was even doing that.

"Hey, I was looking for you two," she says as she stops in front of us. She reaches down and picks up Tyler, bouncing and rocking him slightly. "We're gonna go through one last run through before we leave."

My sister and I stand and I ignore the look I know Dawn in giving me. I am not looking at Faith any different even though she looks all adorable holding my son.

Damn, I think she's adorable. That can't be good.

"Okay, buddy," Faith says to Tyler as she holds him close, "we need to borrow you mommy so we can save the world again. Don't worry though 'cause I'll make sure nothing bad happens." She kisses his forehead and he leans against her. I'm not sure at this point who won who over but it's easy to see how much Tyler loves her.

I rub his back a little, hoping he'll sleep without fussing while I'm gone. Dawn and Giles will be busy with us as well as watching over my son so I want him to be as little trouble as possible. "I think he's tired enough to put him down. We'll be able to hear him in the training room if he wakes up."

Faith nods and I take him, placing him gently in his little crib. I smile at him one more time before turning back to Faith and Dawn. "Come on, let's do this so we can take Tyler home, maybe throw a party."

"Damn right."

The three of us walk out of the room but Dawn hits me in the shoulder as we walk so I'll look at her. She mouths the word "we" and starts smirking. I narrow my eyes but it is amazing how easily I said that.

Just great. I have feelings for Faith.

The first thing I hear is Faith's voice. The first thing I feel isn't as pleasant as hearing Faith's voice though. It's something between an ache and a pain and I can feel it throughout my body.

The battle was hard, much harder than any of us thought. We even got the number we'd be facing wrong. There were double the vamps and demons we expected and that meant our whole strategy was flawed. We didn't have enough weapons and it didn't look like we even had enough people on our side.

Thankfully, all of our slayers have mad fighting skills. A couple times I saw vamps and demons be taken down without a weapon and using only what they could find around them. It was amazing and I have to say it was a very proud moment for me. These girls took what we had taught them and improved on it on their own.

Honestly, I'm not even sure we won. Since we were so outnumbered there wasn't a single time where it was one on one. Most of the time it was more like three on one. It felt like I had a target on my back, too. Every time I killed one it seemed like two would take its place and it was too much to handle. Before I knew it there was a sword moving through my side and I went down. The last thing I remember was seeing Faith and another slayer running for me before I felt something hit my head. Then everything went black.

"When your mommy wakes up we're gonna have such a big party. We can have lots of food and booze and you can help me pick out decorations. How does that sound?"

Oh hell, how long have I been out? I don't want to open my eyes and see my little boy's like five or something. That would be too devastating to handle. I would have missed out on too much.

When I open my eyes though all I see is Faith slowly pacing by the door, my little baby in her arms. He's fussing and she's trying to calm him. It doesn't look like he's gotten much bigger so I couldn't have been unconscious too long. I'd breathe a sigh of relief but I'm too busy concentrating so I won't feel the aching.

It only takes a second for me to realize I'm in a hospital. There's an IV in my arm and I'm hooked up to a couple different monitors. It hurts to move but I know that I can move everything so that's a plus. The minus is that I only know because everything hurts.

I look out the window, noticing it's daytime, before looking back at Faith. She hasn't noticed I'm awake yet. She's busy talking to Ty, pacing in front of the door. The first thing that enters my mind is how cute the two of them are. It's so easy to see how much Faith cares about my son. I don't think I really saw just how much until now but she's looking at him the same way I do.

"Don't worry, little man. She'll wake up soon."

That's when she turns to me and her eyes seem to light up when they meet mine. Her mouth opens slightly but she doesn't say anything right away. Maybe I'm not supposed to wake up yet because even though she looks happy, there's also some shock there.

"Hey," I manage to get out but my mouth is kind of dry and scratchy. I cough a couple times and I know I won't be able to get much more out.

"Don't talk until I get you some water, okay?" Faith takes a few steps forward until she's at my bedside. "Look, buddy. Your mommy's awake." She leans close in as she keeps hold of Tyler. "If I set him down, are you able to hold him?"

I nod without even thinking about it. I move my arms and it doesn't hurt much so I'm sure I can hold my little boy. Faith smiles and gently places Tyler on my lap. I hold him in place as best as possible, making sure he's away from the wound on my side that I finally notice. Even though I have a hospital gown on I swear I can see where the bandage is.

My eyes are completely focused on Tyler as soon as he's on my lap. He moves around a little and babbles as I move my fingers over his arms as he moves them. He's wearing his "I love my mommy" t-shirt and he's all smiles when he looks at me. I'm so relieved I didn't miss out on more but I still feel like I still missed important parts of his life. I wonder how long I've been unconscious.

"B, drink this," Faith says, getting my attention momentarily. She helps me drink some water then sets it down on the table next to me. She moves the chair as close to the bed as possible, sits down and places a hand on Tyler's back to make sure he's stays where he is. I guess she doesn't feel I'm that strong. "How do you feel?"

"Sore," I answer quietly. "How long was I out?"

"Two days," Faith says. "You had us a little worried. Here I promised Ty nothing would happen to you and then you end up in here."

"There were so many." I lean my head back, realizing how tired I am. "What happened?"

"Well, in case you didn't figure it out yet we won." She gets a small smirk on her face that makes me smile. "You were always a little slow."

"Very funny."

"I think so," she says, laughing quietly. "It was insane, B. I can't believe we underestimated them so much. I was doing my best to hold my own and then I saw you go down and something inside me snapped."

"The last thing I remember was you running toward me."

Faith nodded. "Shell and I saw you getting stabbed and surrounded and tried to get to you as fast as we could. We managed to get to you in time and I radioed that you were down so Willow could get you and help protect you while we moved forward."

"I have a few people to thank then."

"I think a lot of people will thank you," Faith says. "As soon as everyone knew you were hurt they got a burst of energy. Everything started to turn our way soon after that. I got to the leaders, a demon and vamp pair if you can believe it, and we took 'em out quick."

I nod and move Ty a little closer to me. I don't want to let him go for awhile. "How many injuries?"

Faith looks down for a moment and I know that's not good. "We lost two, Jules and Alex. They fought hard and got a lot of vamps before they went down. Most of us were injured and with the number we faced I think we got lucky."

"You don't look injured, Faith."

"You're not looking close enough." She leans back in her chair and lifts her left leg. It's only then that I realize she has a walking cast on her foot. "I broke a couple bones in my foot. Dislocated a shoulder, too, but that one didn't hurt much."

Maybe I'm hearing things but I could've sworn she said she was in the fight right to the end. How could she do that with a broken foot? "How could you finish the battle being hurt like that?"

She shrugs. "Maybe it was the adrenaline or that I was really pissed off you got hurt but I had no idea it was broken until after everything was done. Then it started to hurt like a bitch and I was on my way to the hospital like you."

"Except you weren't unconscious for two days."

"I've been here most of the time," Faith admits, a small smile on her face. "They won't let Ty be in here much 'cause he's so little or something so when he's not here with me he's with Dawn. She's down in the cafeteria getting some food."

I can't believe she's been with me most of the time I've been unconscious and I think she just said she's been taking care of my son, too. "You've been taking care of Tyler?"

Faith nods. "Yeah, Dawn's been staying at your place and helping but I've been trying to do what I can. He's been a pretty good boy, too."

"Thanks," I say quietly and I'm trying not to cry. Faith's done so much and the feelings I've been having for her seem to be growing by the second.

Faith sees that I'm trying to hold it together and leans in, putting her hand on mine. "It's okay, B. You're fine. The doc I talked to yesterday said everything's healing good. Tyler's happy you're awake and getting better." We both look at my little boy who's moved up enough to put his head on my chest. "I'm happy you're okay."

Before I realize it, Faith leans in and gives me a soft, gentle kiss on the lips. I have no idea how to respond, even though I want to, and it only lasts a few seconds. She kisses my forehead before moving away, grinning. I can't help but smile back as well because there's one thing I know without a doubt now: Faith's the one for me.

"Ty and I will find a nurse so they can know you're awake," she says, still grinning. "Then we've got a party to plan."

I don't say anything. I just smile at her as she does what she's been doing the last two days, taking care of me and my son.

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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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