I own nothing. Buffy and Angel people belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. I'm just playing. Don't sue. The Anita Blake verse belongs to Laurell K Hamilton. Basically I own nothing. Rating:
This is just pure indulgent fluff that I wrote months ago but never got around to posting. Set in the 'Guardian 'verse' and follows on from Running Interference. Authors Notes 2:
Reviews are greatly appreciated and I apologise in advance if I am unable to respond to them immediately. I'm in the process of moving across the country and might be out of net range for a while.
Thanks to the wonderful Demona for betaing this story.
"Mom, have you got a second?"
Over the years Buffy's heard that question what felt like a million times from Luke, but this is the first time she's felt this scared by it. His tone, expression and the tension in his body screams to Buffy that her son is scared, nervous and that is never
a good thing. When Luke is this scared of something, usually he goes straight to Derek. The fact that he's here speaking to her instead of Derek means... well, she's not really sure what it means.
"Of course, honey," Buffy says, gesturing for him to sit down at the kitchen table. She's grateful that the house is empty for a change, because this really looks like something she doesn't want the kids to overhear. Although, the fact that it is
empty is worrying in and of itself. She's only been back from St Louis a couple of days and her kids, past and present, have made a pilgrimage home to see her. The house has been bursting at the seams and now it's quiet, empty. Buffy's beginning to suspect it's not a coincidence. "Luke, is everything okay? Are the kids okay?"
"I'm okay, they're okay. We're all okay."
She frowns at his words. "You're never this nervous, what's wrong?"
Luke closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. "The kids asked me to talk to you."
Okay, now she's getting worried. Her kids have never had a problem talking to her about anything. "Why?" Her mind is frantically trying to work out what could be so wrong that her children have sent Luke to talk to her like this. She's also wondering what could possibly make Luke act like this. It's been years since she's seen him this nervous, this unsure. He's acting like he's fourteen and not twenty-four.
"Actually, it was us guys who wanted me to talk to you. The girls thought we were being naive buttheads."
Buffy relaxes at the words. If Megan, er, the girls think the boys are being buttheads, it isn't a life and death situation. She reaches across the table and takes his hand. "I'm sure you guys aren't being buttheads. What did you want to talk about?"
"Your date with Derek." As soon as he says the words he jumps to his feet and starts pacing. "It's in two days."
For a second she thinks that maybe the kids want her to cancel, but that doesn't make sense. All the kids love Derek. "What about our date?"
Luke stops pacing and looks at her. His expression is pained and... embarrassed? She's beginning to get a bad feeling about this.
"Luke, honey, talk to me," she pleads. "You're beginning to scare me."
"Sorry, it's just..." He takes a deep breath. "Okay, look, us guys were a little bothered by something Megan said back in St Louis and it got us all thinking."
Something Megan said... Oh God!
. She knows exactly what Luke's referring to.
"We tried talking to Derek," Luke continues, wincing slightly, "but that didn't go too well. So we decided that one of us should talk to you."
She's almost too afraid to ask. "Talk to me?"
He nods. "Mom, look, you don't exactly have a lot of experience with guys."
She blinks. "Excuse me?"
"Come on, Mom, you tell me everything. I know more about you than all of the kids combined, even Jeremiah, so you can't deny it. You were fifteen when you went into hospital and you were twenty-one when you were released. During the first few years after your release you didn't date anyone either. Grandad told me."
"And after you took us in you didn't really date that much, you still don't. I mean, I'm pretty sure you're not a virgin, but your experience is... limited. We have heightened senses and you never come home smelling like..."
"Stop, please." No. Hell
no. They were not having this conversation! God, he's pretty sure
she's not a virgin! Buffy has no idea what to say to that, except that her daughters were right. Her sons are naive buttheads.
"Mom, Derek is in love with you. He has been for ten years and we all know you love him too, even if you refuse to admit it to yourself. I know that you said it was only one date, but none of us believe that. Derek isn't going to let you go without a fight and, well, given how much you two care about each other it's likely that you two will do more than just kiss."
Buffy honestly doesn't know whether to laugh, cry... or grab the bottle of scotch.
Luke sits down at the table and folds his hands in front of him. "Having sex with a lycanthrope is not like having sex with a human. I know you've read up on this when you took me in, but considering your history with Derek I think we need to discuss it." Oh God!
The scotch, she wants the scotch! "Luke, sweetheart..."
"I know it's embarrassing, Mom," he says, cutting her off, "but you should know the risks. As Ulfric, Derek will have a lot more control than most, but it's still easy to lose control when we climax and –"
"Please, I beg you not to finish that sentence."
Luke's sigh is equal parts relief and equal parts frustration. "Mom, you need to know..."
He shakes his head. "No, Mom, you don't. Reading about sex with a lycanthrope doesn't prepare you for the real thing."
"Honey, I know."
"And I need you to understand, because if you push Derek too hard or get him too excited –"
She jumps to her feet and holds her hands up. "I know, Luke! I know
She sighs. "I know."
He stops his lecture and frowns. "You know?"
"Yes, sweetheart." A part of her feels a little bit bad for him. He looks so confused. "I appreciate you boys worrying about me, really I do, but there's no need. Derek's control has always been..."
Buffy's not exactly sure how to describe the sound that Luke makes. It's almost sounds like a scream, but it also sounds like he's choking. "Derek?"
He shakes his head. "No, it's not possible. We would have caught his scent..."
She walks around the table until she reaches him and then she puts her hands on his shoulders. "It's not something that happens very often and it's not something we flaunt."
He's still shaking his head and Buffy wonders if she broke him. "No, you can't have! I mean, you've been refusing to date him for years! I would have known, Jeremiah would have known!"
Buffy sighs. "You don't need to date someone to have sex with them and as you pointed out, we've cared about each other for a long time."
"But Jeremiah is his Freki! He would have known!"
"We don't..." God, she really wants that scotch. She just knows Luke is searching his memories for any signs of her involvement with Derek. "Like I said, it's not something that happened very often and it stopped when Jeremiah started working his way up the pack."
Luke shakes his head. "I just... You and Derek?" He freezes for a moment and his eyes go wide. "It's just you and Derek, right? There hasn't been any... I mean, you haven't been involved with any others of our kind?"
She snorts at the question and wonders just how stunned her son is if he'd forget what Derek would do to any lycanthrope who even thought of dating her. As it is, she's never taking Derek to St Louis. Ever.
Luke doesn't respond for a moment for which Buffy is grateful. The less he talks the better. "The girls... they guessed this. They figured that you and Derek..." His face goes a little green as his mind goes to where no kid's mind wants to go.
Buffy remembers all too well the nausea that followed her discovery that Giles had sex with her mom back in Sunnydale and has no doubt Luke is feeling the exact same way. She can't help but laugh quietly as she walks over to Luke to kiss his cheek. She's pretty sure the conversation is over.
"I really do appreciate you boys caring so much, but, next time, listen to your sisters."