The Girl who would be God-Princess (Part II)
Everything either belongs to Joss or it should, no infringement is intended and no profit is to be made. When you get right down to it I’m not really worth suing anyway unless you want a share of an underpaid civil servants wages and it just wouldn’t be worth the hassle trust me.
* * *This is the second of my stories set during childhood of one Rebecca Wyndham-Pryce. Remember that in this universe the Pylean War still rages because this is the timeline she was from, not the one she changed. Shadow Valley – California – September 2007
Rebecca had learned to crawl, this had initially been greeted with elation by her proud parents until they realised that the glorious days of being able to put her down and know where she was thirty seconds later were long gone. She didn’t merely crawl she moved like greased lightning as far as Wesley was concerned and her unerring ability to head in the least suitable direction was uncanny.
In this case the choice of destination was actually bad news for the destination rather than the girl as when Buffy picked up the child, which had dashed over to her on all fours, she was promptly poked in the eye for her trouble.
‘Sorry about that’ Wesley apologised getting off the sofa in Buffy’s penthouse apartment and retrieving his daughter. ‘She did it to Illyria a few times and because she didn’t try to stop her, or even react, now she’s started doing it to everyone’ he explained as Buffy blinked incessantly. ‘I’m sure she’ll do the same to plenty of other people before we head back to LA’ he said.
‘And that’s also why he’s holding her not me and why he went back to glasses not contacts’ Faith told Buffy. ‘Stings don’t it?’ she asked, trying not to laugh. ‘Trust me, Fred gets it the worst’ she told her.
Her vision back in focus Buffy nodded. ‘At least you haven’t given her a toy stake to play with’ she said. ‘Her finger was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.’
Faith laughed. ‘You should have seen the expression on Harmony’s face back at the Hyperion when Rebecca picked up a stray pencil and then looked at her kinda funny’ she told Buffy.
‘Little slayer in waiting then?’ Buffy asked, going back to cooing at the adorable child despite the recent assault.
‘I hope not’ Faith replied earnestly. ‘And I don’t want her to end up a watcher either, she’s getting a real life, and a job that doesn’t get you killed’ she maintained as Rebecca stopped trying to poke a hole in Wesley’s glasses and started looking around, staring in fascination at one of the pieces of African art Buffy had inherited from her mother and which was now hanging on the wall nearby.
‘So how was London?’ Buffy asked. She knew they had only flown back to LA last week after a trip to the mother country.
Wesley sighed. ‘Mum was fine’ he replied, ‘she loved Rebecca to bits, practically wouldn’t give her back’ he said. ‘Father was better than I thought he was going to be, which isn’t to say he was remotely personable, merely as polite as circumstances dictated.’
Faith took his hand. ‘You didn’t have to threaten to slug him to get him to be cordial at least’ she said. Damn, she thought, I’ve really been spending to much time with this guy if I use words like cordial, well he was good with the kid at least she decided watching him tickle her, getting high-pitched baby laughter in response.
‘Knocking up my slayer and marrying her wasn’t quite
as unacceptable as my relationship with Illyria in my fathers eyes’ Wesley observed, ‘but rest assured if he’d called you
a bitch, like he called her one time, my response would have been equally hostile’ he told Faith, ‘perhaps more so, I only thumped the furniture then.’
Faith smiled. ‘Blue wasn’t allowed in the house, Wes’s Mom met all of us for lunch the next day’ she told Buffy then started to chuckle. ‘Illyria was more nervous meeting her than I was’ she said.
‘Not by very much’ Wesley noted.
Faith frowned. ‘I wanted to make a good impression on the only decent grandparent Rebecca’s got between the two of us’ she said. ‘I reckon she wants loose’ she told him indicating the girl’s attempts to now squirm free.
‘She’d be more used to being static if we started putting her in the cot’ Wesley replied, putting his daughter down on the carpet whereupon she tore off across the room again heading for where she had earlier abandoned a stuffed toy.
Faith grimaced. ‘It’s the bars’ she said. ‘I can’t leave her behind the bars when she looks at me like that, makes me feel like a damn prison warden or something’ she said watching the child start to play with, or rather poke at, the toy.
Buffy couldn’t help but notice what it was. ‘Smurfette?’ she queried watching Rebecca assault the soft blue and white figure.
‘Illyria was less than amused’ Wesley noted, rolling his eyes.
Faith grinned. ‘That’s why I got it’ she said.
A knock at Buffy’s door interrupted the conversation. ‘I require entry’ a voice announced loudly and imperiously from the other side.
‘Come in’ Buffy replied and the door opened to reveal Illyria in her human “Ria” form wearing a tracksuit which then morphed into a summer dress. Buffy would have liked a few of the God-Kings powers but that one would have been towards the top of the list.
‘As requested I have demonstrated to the new batch of slayer trainees that they are not as overwhelmingly strong, quick or powerful as they deluded themselves to be’ Illyria announced, entering and closing the door behind her. ‘Two will require a day to recuperate from their injuries but the rest suffered only bruises and minor contusions’ she told Buffy. ‘The two most severely damaged are ideal candidates for the gunslayer cohorts fighting on Pylea, they did not know when they were beaten’ she said.
Rebecca immediately abandoned her toy and crawled over to Illyria who bent down to pick the child up receiving a tiny finger in the eye in response which she completely ignored. ‘Is it not shortly time for Rebecca’s nap?’ she asked.
‘Not yet’ Faith replied.
‘A firm routine is beneficial’ Illyria replied carrying the child to the couch and sitting down next to Wesley, the other side of him from Faith.
‘Illyria we all know your philosophy on order and discipline but before this escalates as normal Faith is Rebecca’s mother, and whilst I’m sure she appreciates your constructive comments you know she gets annoyed when you interfere’ he said.
‘Do not talk to me as if I were a child Wesley’ Illyria responded. ‘And why do you always take her side?’ she pouted.
‘Like hell he does’ Faith declared.
Wesley sighed. ‘As you can see my life remains akin to that of a UN Peacekeeper between two warring factions’ he told Buffy.
‘Hey you’ve done wonders with them’ Buffy replied, ‘Faith is way more of a Mommy than I ever thought she’d be and you got Illyria to start knocking doors instead of barging in like she owns the place.’
‘She only does that because she hates walking in on me and Wes having sex and she got into the habit of pausing at doorways’ Faith told Buffy.
‘Your reaction in reversed circumstances was very similar’ Illyria retorted.
Faith snorted. ‘I only stood there staring because I never thought you’d be into...’
‘Finish that sentence and die
’ Illyria interrupted with a snarl.
Rebecca started to wail and held out her arms towards Wesley who took her off Illyria. ‘Grow up the both of you’ he told Illyria and Faith and began to rock his daughter in his arms. ‘You know the rules, no arguing in front of the child, it upsets her’ he said. ‘And for that matter don’t argue in front of me either, I’m only ever the excuse at best, catalyst at worst anyway.’
‘You ain’t the boss of me Wes’ Faith told him sharply, ‘I wear a ring not a fucking slave collar’ she declared then inwardly winced. Got to clean up my language she thought to herself, she didn’t want Rebecca to learn to swear before she said Mommy.
‘His impudence towards me is far worse’ Illyria declared. ‘Given that either of us could easily pummel him into submission why he persists in this ludicrous patriarchal sham that he is in some way head of the household is a mystery.’
‘You didn’t see the way his Dad talks to his Mom’ Faith replied. ‘Must have rubbed off some maybe?’
Wesley narrowed his eyes. ‘Pointing out that you can both beat me up is one thing, but I will not
tolerate anyone trying to make out I take after my father in any way’ he said coldly.
Faith blinked, she’d definitely overstepped the mark there she realised. ‘Sorry’ she apologised, hoping to hell she hadn’t hurt his feelings too badly, Wes could brood about shit like that forever.
‘Kindly never do it again’ Wesley replied sternly. ‘I also feel the need to apologise for inflicting this scene of domestic disharmony upon you Buffy’ he told her.
‘Don’t worry about it’ Buffy replied, this was good stuff to talk to Willow about later anyway she thought.
‘Anya has invited us to dinner at their home tonight’ Illyria told Wesley. ‘We are all invited and I have warned her that unless Xander wishes to finally get the eyepatch he so far avoided in this timeline he would be best to keep Rebecca at a distance.’
‘Sound advice’ Wesley agreed, ‘we should have probably given the same to Buffy’ he noted awkwardly.
‘That’s okay’ Buffy replied. Something in the back of her mind was telling her Faith hadn’t mentioned it deliberately, she never was going to trust her, not deep down.
Rebecca yawned and started to shuffle like she was trying to get comfortable. ‘Definitely nap time’ Wesley observed.
‘I’ll put her in the carry-cot’ Faith replied reaching out to accept her from him. ‘If she falls asleep in your arms it’s cute but it’s a pain in the ass if you need to do something like go to the can’ she told Buffy.
‘My lower body temperature seems to make the child less likely to fall asleep in my arms’ Illyria noted. ‘She is not comfortable with Angel at all, as his own temperature is ambient at best.’
‘Oh yeah, Fang told me the next time you’re in LA with your boyfriend Nina wants to double date’ she said, remembering the message Angel had asked her to pass on. ‘I don’t know if she really said that or if that’s just his excuse to check the guy out’ she told her carrying Rebecca to the small cot with handles they had bought with them.
‘Given that you had a relationship with Spike, Angel believes you lack judgement in matters of romantic attachments’ Illyria noted. ‘From what I know of your life history he may be right’ she added.
‘She’s more likely to knock the door but her diplomacy skills remain somewhat unpolished’ Wesley remarked.
‘What you call diplomacy is often nothing more than being mealy-mouthed’ Illyria retorted. ‘Only Anya lacks the hypocrisy to say other than what she means which is why I consider her my closest friend’ she said. ‘You always know where we stand on an issue, but we are never sure about the rest of you’ she continued. ‘I have heard people accuse Anya of being overly-literal in how she interprets what you say, but in fact she is only falsely according you with the same integrity she
has, to speak the unvarnished truth as she sees it at all times.’
Faith smiled, ‘On the drive here Blue kept saying how much she was looking forward to spending a couple of days hanging out with Anya before we head back’ she told Buffy. ‘I wish she wouldn’t do stuff like that, makes you like her more when she’s acting like a person.’
‘I hope this is not leading to another distasteful accusation that I am becoming more human or would even wish to become so’ Illyria responded. ‘I am superior to your kind in all things’ she said. ‘Were you perceptive enough you would shower me with thanks for condescending to share the affections of my consort with you.’
‘I guess I’m glad I’m dumb enough to keep my dignity then’ Faith replied deadpan returning to her seat next to Wesley after fussing over Rebecca in her cot a few moments. ‘Thanks for letting us crash in a couple of the empty rooms in the next block while we’re here’ she said to Buffy.
‘I wasn’t sure how many rooms, so I went with two’ Buffy replied.
‘Good call’ Faith replied. ‘Despite what I bet Wes here lets his drinking buddies think, it ain’t three of us under the same sheets.’
‘I have never insinuated any such thing to anybody’ Wesley denied.
‘Have you ever corrected anyone who possesses such a misapprehension?’ Illyria asked switching her eyes from a human looking blue to their glacial form. ‘There is no need to answer verbally’ she continued after a pause. ‘The change in your body temperature already did so’ she said.
‘That is not in the least bit fair’ Wesley complained. ‘She can tell if Rebecca is upset about something before she starts to cry too’ he told Buffy, deftly changing the subject, or so he hoped.
Buffy frowned. ‘Be interesting to ask Rebecca in twenty years what it was like growing up with someone around that knew when you were lying’ she said.
‘I was thinking more in terms of having Illyria present to vet the intentions of any boys she brings home to meet us’ Wesley replied.
‘I thought they all had the same intentions?’ Buffy queried. ‘Remember when I was telepathic, I’ve seen into the minds of your people.’
Faith frowned. ‘Sex, sex and sex?’ she asked.
‘That and sports’ Buffy told her. ‘Oh yeah and when they look confused because you’re angry at them it’s because they really don’t
know the reason, they aren’t just pretending not to’ she revealed. ‘Women mystify the hell out of most of them and the ones who think they do
understand women don’t either’ she said. ‘They just get the right answers for the wrong reasons.’
‘Please spread the word on that far and wide’ Wesley requested earnestly. ‘As regards future suitors for my daughter, Illyria’s presence means I can have independent confirmation of my suspicions to hand... as well as my shotgun’ he announced.
‘He’s been putting some thought into the future’ Faith told Buffy.
‘A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about his future until he gets a wife’ Wesley observed. ‘And when he’s got a daughter he’s bloody obsessed about it’ he added.
Faith looked away. ‘You’re not going to ask Wes to go to Pylea again are you?’ she asked quietly. ‘I know it don’t sound right saying it like this but I don’t want to end up a single Mom’ she said.
Buffy shook her head. ‘They don’t need a watcher there and you need him here’ she replied.
‘Thanks’ Faith replied with a smile. ‘The rotten Limey bastard would have gone if you’d asked’ she said leaning her head against his shoulder and getting an arm put around her.
‘If Wesley were to fall in battle I would help you raise his child’ Illyria told Faith, ‘after wreaking unimaginable vengeance on they that killed him of course’ she added.
Wesley put his other arm around Illyria. ‘She’s sweet in an equally unimaginably scary way’ he responded. ‘As a matter of fact they’re both
bloody terrifying, what in blazes is wrong with me?’ he asked with a grin.
Buffy resisted the urge to give him her theories, she was always interested in psych stuff.