Chapter 1: A Gift For the Expectant Mother
A Gift For the Expectant Mother
Summary: **Part of ‘Who’s Your Baby’s Daddy?’ series.** Now that Giles and Buffy have finished visiting all the potential ‘donors’, it is time for them to learn who the lucky man is! **With special fanart by Tanydwr (and myself)!**
Challenge: #3064 ‘conception by conspiracy *non-stargate*’
A/N: About the fanart, I used the blank banner from Tanydwr, tried some photo editing and *poof*...my first real fanart of any quality.
Thanks to my betas: zigpal and JediKnight.
Pairing: Basically a Buffy/Giles friendship
. Anything else is up to you, the reviewers – within reason of course.
Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission. Photo found using google search.
Buffy sighed in relief as she sat on Giles’ couch. Leaning her head back and closing her eyes, she called out, “I never thought I’d be happy to be back in Sunnydale.”
“Yes. Well, it wasn’t exactly a vacation we went on. Traveling the country, informing strange men that they might be the father of your child due to a government conspiracy to create the perfect soldier isn’t generally considered something a normal tourist would do,” Giles responded wryly from the kitchen as he prepared some tea for them.
“No kidding! Emphasis on the strange
for some of those guys. Makes me wonder if Walsh or her superiors were smoking crack when they thought of the list,” she commented, recalling the good, the bad and the weird.
Giles came into the room with the tea tray. He chuckled at her words, “They were rather…unique individuals.”
Opening and rolling her eyes at her Watcher, Buffy corrected him, “You mean freaks! I never thought I could put myself next to another person and think ‘I’m
the normal one here.’ That just seems wrong.”
Handing her a cup of tea, Giles smiled at her fondly. “I must say, you have impressed me these last several weeks. Being pregnant at the age of 19 would be overwhelming under the best of circumstances. And these are anything but
. Yet you have dealt with all this with amazing poise and maturity.”
Buffy shrugged off the praise. “Probably because I’m still in the land of shock here. To be honest, it still doesn’t feel completely real to me. Wait until I have a name to put on the birth certificate, then I’ll probably break down. Especially if it’s one of the freakier candidates,” she finished, complete with a shudder.
“But there were a couple on the list that were impressive, weren’t there?” Giles reminded her. After taking a sip, he went on, “Are you going to have your mother come over for the paternity test? I’d recommend we take care of this right away. The others will know we’re back soon and come over, demanding an explanation for our trip. What did you tell them anyway? Whenever I spoke to them, they made the strangest comments,” he said warily.
“Oh, you know, just that we were doing a Watcher/Slayer bondage thing.” She giggled at his look of mortification. “I called Mom from the airport and she said that she’d be here by 4. How long will the spell take?”
“Once we coat each of the artifacts from the candidates, it will take 30 minutes for the spell to take effect. Then the correct one will smoke before turning white,” he explained.
She looked at the clock on the wall before saying, “Then we should get started. We’ll have a lot of stuff to talk about before the gang gets here. Most importantly, how am I going to handle slaying while I’m pregnant. Just because I don’t patrol, doesn’t mean the baddies will leave me alone.”
“I can answer that for you, kid,” a Bronx voice rang out.
Buffy tensed up at the voice. “Whistler! What are you doing here? Do the Powers expect me to sacrifice this baby now? I mean, last time it was the love of my life, so my child is the obvious choice this time!” she practically growled out.
Understanding her venom, Whistler didn’t take it personally. He smiled as he answered, happy the kid would finally get a break, “Actually, it’s the opposite.”
Realizing who this ‘person’ was, Giles put a protective arm around Buffy. “What do you mean?” he demanded.
“I mean, she’s done! A new Slayer has been Called to replace her and the other one,” Whistler announced.
“You mean I’ll lose my powers? I’ll be a sitting target!” she exclaimed. What had she done that pissed those bastards off so much?
Whistler quickly reassured her, “No, you have the reputation with the demon community, so you’ll keep your powers. The other one will lose hers…mostly. She’ll keep just enough to stay safe, but they’ll gradually fade until she’s only slightly stronger than the average human.”
Still leery, Buffy inquired, “Why are they doing this?”
“Couple of reasons: first, you deserve it. They really did feel bad about the Angel/Angelus thing. They forgot how something like love can change everything,” Whistler answered with a bit of chagrin. “But the main reason is, even though she’s working on her redemption, Faith will never be the Slayer again. And since the line runs through her now, she’s the one who needs to lose her powers. Normally, the only way for that to happen is by her death…” he left the thought hanging.
“Why can’t she ever be the Slayer? I mean, if she really is
working for her redemption, that is,” she hastily added. She still wasn’t sure about her nemesis/sister Slayer.
“Because she’s going to be in jail too long.” The balance demon hurried on before she could open her mouth, “And before you ask, she needs to stay there. Even though Finch’s death was an accident, she did commit crimes later with a clear head. Some that the authorities don’t even know about. So, if she gets out before she’s paid for those, it will make her redemption that much harder to get.”
Buffy couldn’t believe she was asking this, but something made her anyway. “Wouldn’t she be of more use fighting the good fight?”
“Like playing devil’s advocate for someone you hate?” He continued before she could answer, “Only if it were ‘end of the world’ necessary.”
Giles spoke up again, having remained quiet while his Slayer handled things, “Let me see if I understand this correctly. Buffy will be freed from her sacred duty, while not losing her abilities. Is that about right? Why would they allow that?” He, too, was distrustful of their motives.
“Because they don’t see her being able to sit back and not fight what she knows is out there. When she tried to run away two years ago from slaying, she proved that,” Whistler answered proudly.
Surprised, Giles demanded, “What do you mean?”
Whistler looked at Buffy in shock. “You mean you never told them, kid?” he asked. She shook her head. “For crying out loud! It is possible to take the whole martyr thing too far, you know. They might not have been so hard on you if they’d known the truth,” he told her with exasperation.
Buffy glared at him and just replied, “Giles wasn’t
too hard on me.”
“Maybe not, but the others sure were,” he reminded her.
Not wanting to rehash painful memories, Giles interjected, “Could we get back to what she should have told us?”
When Buffy refused to answer, Whistler did, “She spent some time in hell…well, a hell dimension. But not the same one as Angel, though.”
Giles was astonished by the news. “What?!”
“It was only a day or so. Of hell time,” the blonde Slayer clarified, thinking Whistler was making too much out of this.
Whistler continued, ignoring Buffy’s comment, “Yeah. She ran into one of those kids that worshipped vampires. Lily – as she was going by then – was trying to make something of her life. When her boyfriend went missing, she asked Buffy for help.”
Then the balance demon went on to tell Giles about Ken, the shelter, and how Buffy helped some people escape. “But the most remarkable thing was the change she inspired in Lily. Gone was the victim that barely survived on the streets; in her place, there’s now a fighter.”
Finishing up, Whistler explained the real part of the story, “When they made it out, Buffy helped Lily take over the ‘life’ she had created for herself there…including her name: Anne. Lily wears the name as a badge of honor to remember the woman who saved her in more ways than one. But also to remember that she
can fight the good fight in her own way.”
Then he turned to the Slayer and commented, “It may interest you to know that she’s working her way up to running a shelter for runaways in LA. And, unlike other shelters, this one doesn’t ignore the supernatural problems these kids face. She’s making the Powers proud.”
Buffy gave him a smile. She was happy to hear that Lily/Anne was doing so well.
Giles was a little stunned – but only a little. He already
knew his Slayer would fight no matter what. Back then, he knew the others were resentful that she apparently abandoned her ‘duty’. But he was concerned for her safety because he understood what they didn’t – Buffy should have been dead. And not just because the Master killed her.
By all rights, she never should have survived Lothos
. Except, she did survive him…as well as the dozen other
threats that should have ended her life. But she managed to hold on every time. However, there was a price.
When the emotional turmoil that she had lived with since being Called – which increased exponentially by the tragedy of her 17th birthday and all that followed it – finally overwhelmed her, she ran to escape. He had no doubt that a weaker person would have just let themselves die. He, himself, almost let Angelus destroy him in that warehouse.
But Buffy did her duty, and then left to rebuild her shattered life. He only searched for her so he could let her know that she had a place to come back to when she was ready. That hopefully, he could help
Feeling somehow the words were necessary, and regretful that he hadn’t spoken them before, Giles told his Slayer, “Buffy…I don’t think I ever told you that to some extent, I understood what you went through and that you needed to leave to deal with it. That is why I welcomed you back so easily. I knew that it was vital that you take the time to regain yourself.”
“Thanks Giles. You might not have said the words, but you did let me know by your actions. And it meant the world to me,” she told him with a grateful smile.
Whistler interrupted the pair, pretending to be annoyed, “Now that we’ve gotten all the mushy stuff taken care of, let’s move onto the main reason for you not being the Slayer anymore. It’s time for you to leave the Hellmouth, kid.” Seeing the protest in her eyes, he held up his hand to stop her. “Remember it’s not just you anymore; you have someone else
to protect now. Don’t let your pride interfere with that. It isn’t running away when somebody is taking over for you,” he reminded her.
“Now, you can either live near the dad so he can be a part of your lives, or you can just find a place to settle down so you can concentrate on the little one. He or she should be more important to you than duty that someone else can do,” he explained, remembering the Slayer who tried – and failed – to balance the two. Somehow, he knew that Buffy would be able to do what Nikki couldn’t. To be fair, Nikki didn’t have the luxury of a second Slayer to help out.
Buffy turned to Giles for his advice. She wished she didn’t feel like a 5 year old. She was the Slayer, an adult, and about to have her own child; she should be able to make this choice by herself…right?
Giles saw the question in Buffy’s eye. He knew he couldn’t make this decision for her, but he would give her his opinion, biased as it may be. “While I despise how this came about, the fact that you’ll be able to be a mother and have a somewhat normal life pleases me to no end.”
Then he had a sad thought and looked at the balance demon for an answer. “Whistler, can you tell us who this new girl is? Does she already have a Watcher or should I plan to stay here?” he questioned, torn between his
darling Slayer and the desire to make sure the new girl had a Watcher she could count on.
“Can’t say to the second part. If you’re worried about it being a Council lackey, you could always give Wesley a call,” Whistler suggested. “He’s making good progress in LA. Thanks to you guys, by the way. If it weren’t for you, he’d still have that Council stick up his ass.”
“As for the girl…” the balance demon smirked, “The Powers liked how you turned out, and so they looked for another missed Potential that can be trained by the right
kind of Watcher. They think they found her. She’s already used to the unusual, so she won’t be caught off-guard like you were. She’ll be sent here, and you can decide if it’s you or Wesley that will take care of her. By the time the Council finds out, it will be too late for them to do anything about it.”
“We’ll call Wesley after we’ve done the spell,” Buffy said with a sigh. More dealing with her ex, just what she needed. “I hope he’ll come without a lot of explanation from us. And that he can leave without Angel joining him.”
Whistler smirked inwardly. The petite blonde had really done some growing up since he last spoke to her. The ensouled vampire had been the center of her world back then, and now she was trying to avoid him. Not that he blamed her; Angel had really made a mess of things between them – especially with the day he had them take back. Well, now he would have to pay for his arrogance. Maybe this would teach him to stop making decisions for others. “We could always send the seer a vision for him to deal with if you’d like.”
Buffy looked at the balance demon she once threatened, smiling. “Really? As long as it is only of something that was happening anyway, ‘k? That would be great. I just don’t want to put anyone in danger as a distraction,” she hastily clarified.
Waving off her concern, Whistler explained, “Nah, there’s so many people to rescue there, she could be having visions 24/7 and still not cover them all.”
“Then thanks, Whistler. I just don’t want to deal with him on top of all this. Our last meeting was less than pleasant, and maybe I’m being childish, but I don’t have the energy for another fight with him. Not about this,” she told him wearily.
“Understandable, kid. You take care of yourself and the little one,” he ordered kindly.
Once he was gone, Giles and Buffy began the paternity spell, hoping that Joyce would arrive in time to witness it. But they also knew they couldn’t wait too long either; the Scoobies would probably be checking in around 6.~~~~~~20 minutes later…
“Hey, Mom!” Buffy said as she let Joyce in the door. “We thought you’d like to be here when we found out the identity of the father. The spell should be done any minute now.”
Joyce gave her daughter a firm hug, then looked her over for any signs of trouble with her pregnancy. “So the rest of your travels went alright, then?” she inquired.
“As well as can be expected. I know I told you this before, but it just needs to be repeated several times – Professor Walsh was completely certifiable,” the pregnant Slayer announced.
“I agree. I also wi-- would have liked to have had the chance to make her pay for what she did to you,” Joyce quickly changed her wording when she realized she was about to use the w-word. She was learning how dangerous seemingly harmless things were. She looked back at her daughter. “Now, what else can you tell me about the men on the list. There were…16, I believe?”
Buffy glanced at her Watcher momentarily. “Mom, why don’t you sit down. I’ll go through the list with you again and tell you about them.” She went on to briefly describe each man and their impressions of them. Joyce looked distraught upon hearing Booth’s. She gave Buffy a comforting hug before encouraging her to continue.
When Buffy got to Ethan, she hesitated. Taking a deep breath, she said, “Mom…Ethan claimed
that he couldn’t be the father because he was sterile--”
Joyce interrupted her, “That’s good news, right? You didn’t want
him to be the father…did you?” she asked, horrified at the thought.
Buffy reassured her, “No! We’re thrilled he isn’t – assuming he wasn’t lying. The thing is…he said he gave Walsh the names of two other magick users – or potential
magick users – who also had a personal connection to me.”
Now Joyce felt confused. Her daughter was being very vague about this. And that meant she thought it was bad. “Who?”
Unable to stall any longer, Buffy answered softly, “My Watchers, Giles and Wesley. Ethan said he wasn’t sure that Wesley could do magick, but he told Walsh a spell that she could used to check.” She looked at her mom, then continued, “Now, he could be lying. Or Walsh could have ignored the order to have a magick user on the list. We know she didn’t really buy into that part of the supernatural. To her, the HSTs were a different class of animals or humans with a mutation or disease.”
Unfortunately, this didn’t explain Buffy’s reluctance to tell Joyce. “Are you upset that Rupert and Wesley are on the list?” she inquired.
“Me? No. But I know how uncomfortable you are with the Watcher/Slayer dynamic, and this adds a whole new level to that,” Buffy explained the problem, finally.
Joyce thought about it for a moment, then made her decision. “Well, I know that Rupert would care about this child, regardless if he had any biological ties to him or her. What about Wesley?”
“We don’t know. We wanted to wait to see if he’s the father before we mentioned it – because of Angel. But there’s good news, too!” Buffy happily added.
Buffy smiled as she shared the news she knew
her mother would like, “We got a visit from the Powers That Be’s messenger just before you got here, and he told me that even though I get to keep my Slayer powers, I no longer have to stay on the Hellmouth.”
When her mother looked like she was going to ask another question, Buffy hurried to go on, “The PTB are going to take the line from Faith and pass it onto a new girl, and she’ll have the responsibility for being the active Slayer. He said that my duty is to my child now. Of course, I assume that I’ll still need to occasionally slay – or help out in an apocalypse. But the thing is, I’m done!”
Joyce gave a glad cry and clung to her daughter as they cried.
Giles watched the two woman, glad that they had something other than Buffy’s death at a young age to look forward to. A quick glance at his watch made him speak up, “I hate to interrupt your celebration, but the spell is finishing now.”
They got up from the couch and made their way over to where the items were laid out, each one had a note card in front of it, labeling the man’s name – just so there was no confusion.
“So, what are we looking for?” Joyce asked.
“The item from the man who is the father will smoke, then turn white,” Giles explained again.
Joyce was watching the items carefully and pointed out, “So that means the daddy is…”
A/N: Okay, folks, here is your last opportunity to vote! Remember, just the top three – in order. I will start working on the winning father’s story as of September 26th. If it’s a oneshot, then I hopefully will have it done in a week; if it’s not, then at least the first chapter so he’s revealed.
I’ve edited the individual dads’ stories just a bit – mostly at the beginning. Except for Lecter; his I changed his speech to Buffy some as well. Hope you enjoy!
A/N2: It was brought to my attention that they didn't have something from Wes. Well, when he left Sunnydale, he gave Giles his Watchers' Diaries.