by Hayley

Chapter Eight

I'm normally not a big fan of the holidays but things are different this year and I have a lot to be thankful for.

Three weeks ago Faith and I had our first Thanksgiving together in Cleveland and we're getting ready for Christmas. We had a small argument on where we would be spending the holidays since she thought it'd be great to take some of the core group and party it up at the house in Miami but I wanted to spend them in Cleveland. When I explained to Faith that I really wanted the whole white Christmas feel for Tyler's first one she agreed. All I had to agree to was that the day after Christmas we'd fly to Miami for a few days. There wasn't any way I'd say no to that.

Now the only thing we've been arguing about is Christmas presents. She's really trying to spoil Tyler silly and I'm trying my best to keep her from buying out whole toy stores. That's why when I come home from headquarters I'm not exactly happy to see another bag from a toy store sitting in the living room.


Faith appears almost instantly from the hallway with a finger held to her lips. "He's asleep," she says quietly.

"What's with the bag from the toy store?" I ask as quietly as possible. "I thought we agreed no more presents."

She grins. "I'm pretty sure you agreed but I don't know about me." I narrow my eyes and she laughs. "Come on, I saw a little teddy bear that sings today. I had to get it."

I shake my head. I know she's trying to win me over with that grin of hers but the last thing Tyler needs is another toy. No one can walk ten feet in our house without stepping on one as it is. "Why were you even in a toy store? And don't tell me it's for the center 'cause I know you already bought all the kids presents when you were in Miami last week."

"I can't help it, B." Faith puts her arms around me and gives me a light kiss. "I want our little boy to have everything."

She stops as soon as she says it and lowers her eyes. That's the first time she's said that word: "our". It doesn't surprise me though. I had a feeling she felt that way about Tyler for some time now. She's so protective of him and ever since our last huge battle when she looks at him it's like he's the most important little boy ever. Ever since we've been together she's treated him like he's her own.

Right now though, she looks like she regrets saying it but maybe that's 'cause she thinks I won't like it. Of course, that couldn't be further from the truth. I want the three of us to be a family more than anything and this is just more proof that Faith wants the same.


Faith looks up at me and I quickly put my arms around her waist so she won't think to move away from me. "It kinda came out."

"And?" I ask, trying to coax more out of her.

"I know we haven't been together all that long but this is years and years in slayer time and I love Ty, B. Every time I look at him I think about what he's gonna be when he grows up, what we can teach him. All these plans go through my head and I've never felt that before. I think of him like he's mine, like he's ours, and I really want you to be okay with that."

I place a hand against her cheek gently and smile. "I'm more than okay with it. I want you to think of Tyler as ours. You're so good with him, Faith, and I've seen how you look at him. I know you love him as much as I do."

"I do." Faith nods and I feel her relax a little. "I want us to be a family, B. It feels like I finally have the chance to have one and I don't wanna fuck it up."

"We won't," I say, a small smile on my face, "as long as you stay away from any toy stores."

"I'm not sure I can make that promise," Faith says, a little smirk on her face.

I let out a sigh but it's a content one. "Baby, if you buy any more we're gonna need a separate house just for his toys."

"I'm okay with that."

Neither of us says anything for a few seconds before we start laughing quietly. When she's like this I can't help but think about how young and carefree she looks. It's so much different from the teenager I met with both a chip and the weight of the world on her shoulders. It makes me so grateful that she was able to have a second chance. She's done more with it than anyone could have imagined.

We kiss lightly before I take a step back. "Fine, let's see this bear you just had to buy."

When I think about it, it's a little weird we're having this huge Christmas blowout because it's Tyler's first even though he won't even remember it.

But then I realize how much fun we're having and I forget about that.

Last night was Christmas Eve and there was a huge party at headquarters. Most of the girls went home for the holidays since there's no immediate danger on the horizon and no big bad that we know of but some of them stuck around so we decided to really celebrate there so they felt included. Dawn and Andrew organized everything and it was a lot of fun.

There was drinking and music but Faith and I chose not to get completely drunk. We knew if we did we would have to stay at headquarters for the night and we planned to spend Christmas morning in our house with only Tyler and Dawn. We could visit everyone else later in the day before we packed for Miami.

Now I'm waking up with Faith in my arms, my little boy asleep in his room and my sister asleep on my couch. Even though Faith and I only had a couple drinks at the party Dawn was completely wasted when we left. I doubt she'll even remember how she got here when she wakes up this morning.

It's still early but we're planning to get up and cook a huge breakfast before we open some presents. Faith also has a surprise planned for Dawn. My sister's been telling me how lucky I am that we have the option to live somewhere that's warm year round when she has to travel wherever the Council tells her. She told me when she got here five days ago that she needed to fly to Norway Christmas night but Faith fixed all that. Instead, she'll be spending the next week with us in Miami.

Faith moves against me and I laugh a little. Since Dawn's here and it was a late night last night Faith and I went to bed with actual pajamas on. It feels a little weird since I'm so used to her skin on mine all night.

"Baby, is it Christmas?" she mumbles against me.

I tighten my hold on her. "Yeah."

She kisses my shoulder lightly. "When do we have to get up?"

"Probably whenever Ty wakes up and starts crying."

"Funny." Faith opens her eyes and looks at me then at the clock on the nightstand. "I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be extra loud for Dawn this morning."

"Yeah, she's gonna hurt pretty bad," I comment, a smile on my face. We ended up leaving last night with me carrying Tyler and Faith throwing Dawn over her shoulder. "Do we have everything we need for the morning?"

"It'll be great, B." She runs her fingers over my stomach lightly. "We'll get Ty dressed in the ridiculous outfit you bought him and open presents. Then we'll tell Dawn that she'll have a week of sun to look forward to instead of a week of work."

"She'll love that."

"She better," Faith says, laughing, "'cause I had to do a lot of negotiating with Giles to get her to be able to blow off that trip to go with us."

I let out a breath and ask what I've been waiting to ask since I woke up. "Are there any presents in here for me?"

Faith laughs again and looks at me, a smile on her face. "Were you snooping in here, Buffy?"

She knows I have. I wanted to see if there was a ring-shaped box hidden in our bedroom because if I didn't then I would be able to stop panicking about her proposing.

We've talked about it once or twice but each time we agreed we liked things the way they were. There isn't much pressure and I'm more than happy with that. It's hard enough juggling two homes, all the slayer duties, the center and a baby without having to try to put a label on our relationship.

So instead of hoping I find a ring, I was hoping I wouldn't find one. I don't know that I'd answer yes right away and that will not end well. As much as I love Faith, I might not be ready and I don't want her to think that means I don't want what we have. "I might have been."

"Baby, as much as you love to look for gifts, you should know I hide things in plain sight." Faith climbs out of bed and opens the weapons chest in the corner. "You probably looked at it every day we've been here."

I don't realize I've been holding my breath until I let it out as Faith pulls out a small, flat square box. It's not something a ring comes in, unless Faith is trying to fool me anyway. I don't think she'd do that though and I'm sure she sees the look of relief I'm trying my best to hide. She's got a little smile on her face but doesn't comment on it.

"You're kinda stealthy." I sit up and relief is quickly replaced with excitement. I love presents.

"I am a slayer," she says as she sits on the bed in front of me. "It's not much but I thought since you wear one every day anyway I could get you something a little nicer."

That has me slightly confused. I can't think of something I wear everyday without fail. I have a watch but I don't wear it all the time and that's the same with any other jewelry I wear. I can't think of anything I wear day in and day out.

She hands me the box with a small smile on her face and I open it slowly. When I see what's inside I can't help but let out a small chuckle because I realize there is something I wear everyday but since I have for so long I don't even think about it anymore. It's become second nature.

Inside the box is a beautiful gold cross necklace. It's simple but it's really gorgeous. The chain is thin and the cross is maybe an inch and a half long. There's a few small diamonds in the cross, something I'm sure Faith added. I'm betting it was expensive which makes me a little scared. I've broken necklaces on patrol before.

"What do you think?" Faith asks quietly.

"It's beautiful."

"I had it specially made so there's not another one around. I wanted to get you something special but you're kinda hard to shop for and I knew if I got you any sort of ring you'd panic."

"I wouldn't exactly panic."

Faith takes the box from me and places it on the nightstand. "It's okay, B. I'm not ready for that either. I like what we have now too much to change it."

At least we're on the same page. "I love you."

Faith grins before leaning in and kissing me, something I return immediately. It stays soft and gentle for a couple minutes, neither of us rushing. It's not even seven in the morning yet so it feels like we've got some time but Tyler's also an early riser so in the end we might only have a couple minutes before our son decides to wake up.

I love thinking of Ty as our son. It makes my heart skip a beat and I know Faith loves it.

When we break away from each other Faith begins to kiss down my neck and I tilt my head slightly to give her better access. She's so detailed in how she kisses and sucks a little at my neck it'd make me weak in the knees if I was standing. She's that good.

"Hmm, Faith," I mumble out, "maybe we should think about getting up. Don't you wanna know what I got you?"

"As long as it's something I can peel off you," Faith mumbles back.

Since Tyler sometimes has the worst timing in the world, the next thing we hear is him over the baby monitor. He's not crying or anything but he's definitely awake. He's starting the babble he does every morning when he wakes up and doesn't cry.

Faith moves away and smiles. "I guess we need to get the little guy so we can start the day."

I lean in and give her a light kiss. "Is it wrong that I'm a little sad he didn't start crying and wake up Dawn?"

She laughs. "A little."

Faith stands and offers her hand, pulling me out of bed. We wrap our arms around each other and kiss again, keeping it light. We have to keep it light most of the time because we can get out of control very fast.

When we break away, Faith keeps hold of my hand. "Come on, let's go get our boy."

This is going to be an amazing Christmas.

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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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