At Fairy Tale's End
At Fairy Tale’s End
Three Years Later
Graham closed the story book and looked at their middle child. She might have come already named but none of them could bring themselves to call her Amoré. Amié was pretty, petite, and powerful. And sweet, most of all sweet.
“Daddy,” she said, frowning and twisting her little fingers in her blanket. “Why don’t I just have one mommy and daddy, like in the story books and movies?”
Graham smoothed a pale blonde strand out of her heart-shaped face and tried to work up an answer. Willow was better at the serious conversations. Or maybe Oz, with his quiet, philosophical nature. Anyone, Graham was sure, besides him, the practical, down-to-Earth one.
“You know our family is special,” he started, picking up her hand and running his thumb across the back. “Well, your Mother and Mommy and Ada had so much love that they wanted to share. So they thought and they watched and they chose. They chose me and your Papa and your Ma.”
She squeezed his hand, grip surprisingly tight. “And then there was us.”
Graham grinned. “Yeah. And then there was a new kind of love.”
She nodded, so serious at six that Graham’s heart broke a little. Needing control at such a young age took away some of that carefree nature most kids had. “If you want to share that love, too, that would be okay.”
She blinked wide, innocent blue eyes at him as Graham froze. Ever since Dawn had had J. Ella and Rona had turned up pregnant, everyone had been waiting for the girls to get ideas.
Finally, Graham breathed out and said, “Maybe one day. Right now, three is just enough.” He stood and leaned over her, brushing a kiss across her forehead. “Time to sleep, Amié.”
She settled back against her pillows and her eyes started to droop as he crossed to the door. She said through a yawn, “Love you, Daddy.”
Throat tight, Graham turned and said, “Love you, too, Amié.”
Then he closed the door behind him and stood for a moment. His girls always made him weak in the knees.
He looked up and startled when he saw Willow standing there, a hand at her throat and tears brimming. She rushed to him and wrapped him up in a hug. For such a little thing, Willow hugged fiercely.
“You did good, Gray,” she said, squeezing the hand she had balled in his shirt.
Graham lifted her off her feet and marched them to their bedroom. The others were already snuggled into what he swore had to be the biggest bed in history, the bed that had gotten even bigger in the last three years because, sometimes, powerful little girls could be haunted by nightmares and needed their mommies and daddies.
They all knew that, if there were any babies to be had, Willow would be having them. Buffy and Faith wouldn’t be able to give up slaying for nine months, the drive to hunt so much stronger in them, the last of the true Chosen, than in the Empowered girls.
“What’s going on?” Xander asked, frowning at them.
Willow petted Graham’s cheeks and said, “Gray told Amié a fairy tale. One with a happy ending.”
And it really, truly was.
Author’s Note: Not bad for a series that started as just a couple of drabbles, huh?