"I'd like to move," Buffy announced suddenly in the beginning of February, lighting up several friendship candles Willow had given her. She peered closely at one, murmuring to herself, "I wonder if the charms inside burn up?"
"Move?" Angel asked, coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her, resting his hands on her belly. "To where?"
She shrugged. "I don't know ... somewhere else. Somewhere different ... what about Maine? It's cold there. Or ... or Italy. Italy is different, they speak Italian."
Angel was very familiar with what she was doing, he had done it himself. "You can't run, Buffy, the problems'll still be there."
Buffy didn't answer. "When are we seeing them again? I thought you said we'd have this all cleared up by now."
"I thought we would. Maybe we should just go to court with it. Lindsey is tricky in court, but Willow knows a thing or two herself ..."
"No," Buffy answered without hesitation, pinching out a match. "I don't want our kids dragged through that. I was Harrison's age when my parents divorced, and I would never want our kids to deal with a mess like that."
Angel nodded, resting his chin on the top of her head. "Whatever you want, baby, it's all up to you."
Buffy pulled out of his arms and eased herself onto the couch, picking up Hanna's teddy bear and hugging it tightly to her chest. "I never thought things could spin out of control like this," she confessed softly. "I've lived here a long time, and I've seen a lot of crazy things happen ... but this ... this isn't supernatural. I don't know how to handle non-supernatural demons."
"Just be yourself," he told her gently, taking the bear from her and kneeling in front of her, resting his head against her stomach. "If I still had my vampire hearing, I could hear her little heart beat."
Buffy felt herself choke up as she nodded. "I bet you could."
"Mommy?" asked a small voice, and Buffy looked up to see her blue-eyed 3-year-old watching her intently.
Buffy motioned to her son, who promptly climbed up on the couch and hugged his mother. "I miss you, Hunter," she whispered to him, kissing his hair. "Mommy never gets to see you anymore."
"I miss you," Hunter echoed in a childish voice. "I miss you!"
Buffy didn't know weather to laugh or cry as she hugged the young child to her side.
Angel stood up, opening his arms to Hunter, who jumped into them. As Angel twirled him around, he spoke to Buffy. "Why don't I take them to the mall and give you a break?"
Buffy sighed in relief. "Could you? I'm so tired ..."
Angel set Hunter on the floor. "Go put on your shoes, and tell Harrison to get Hanna. We're going to give Mommy a break."
"Mall!" Hunter squealed delightedly, stumbling up the stairs as fast as he could.
Buffy moved to get off the couch, which was a struggled being eight months pregnant. Angel reached his hands out to her and pulled her up, hugging her briefly. "Go upstairs and rest, you need it."
Buffy nodded tiredly, rubbing her hands over her stomach. "I think she'll be here any day now. The other three were all early ..." She gave him a quick peck. "What do you think of Hillary?"
Angel gave her a more lingering kiss before answering. "I still like the idea of Hope."
"Maybe when this all blows over, I'll actually have some," Buffy responded, a note of bitterness in her voice.
Angel didn't acknowledge that as he motioned to the stairs. "Go rest, Sweetie ... you need it."
The sun had set by the time Faith and Spike arrived at the house.
"He's going to be asleep, pet," Spike muttered as Faith picked the lock. "And his lawyer won't be there."
"Shut up, Spike," Faith demanded, pushing the door open. "I know what I'm doing." She motioned triumphantly to Lindsey and Riley sitting at the kitchen table. "C'mon in, Spike."
Spike grinned, his cheekbones poking out, and followed Faith into the house.
Lindsey stood up quickly. "What are you two doing in here? Get out."
Faith walked over to where the two man sat and straddled a chair facing Lindsey. "No," she said flatly.
"The police won't --"
"Be happy?" Faith finished, giggling madly. "Do you think I care? What are they gonna do?"
"Plenty," Riley cut in, snarling.
"They couldn't handle us ... neither can you."
"I was a vampire hunter," Riley informed her, growling. He looked to Spike, "Isn't that right, Hostile 17?"
"And a bloody awful one at that," Spike nodded.
"I'll have you know --"
"Faith here's taken out more than you and your whole team combined." He grabbed Riley around the neck and pressed his head down against the table. "By the way ... that bloody chip's been gone for awhile."
Lindsey glared at Spike but made no move to help his client. "The firm I work for is very ... adapt ... to demon problems like this."
"Yeah?" Faith's lips curved into a smile. "What about Slayers?"
"Well, uh, I've --"
"Never faced one, have you? I'm a Slayer. Buffy's a Slayer. You don't stand a chance."
"Shut UP!" Faith demanded, grabbing Lindsey by his shirt and shoving him against the wall. Breathing down his neck, she informed him hotly, "You're full of bullshit, and so is your 'client'. If you so much as come NEAR my friends again, I will beat you to a pulp. Are we clear?"
Lindsey grabbed Faith's hands and pushed her away. "No, we're not clear."
Faith hooked him across the jaw, leaving him clutching at it painfully. "Didn't I just warn you about Slayers?" She glanced backwards at Riley and Spike. Riley was miserably trying to get out from Spike's hold, and failing.
"I could kill you in two seconds," she told Lindsey, "But I won't. Because I've changed."
Lindsey laughed a little too loudly, looking at her.
She punched him in the stomach. "That doesn't mean I won't beat the crap out of you."
"Ohhhh," Lindsey moaned, doubling over, and Faith smiled sweetly, innocently.
"You - can't - get away - with this," Riley choked out. "When we - take - it to court, - they'll - charge - you and - your friends. - We'll - win."
"Hmmm," Faith murmured thoughtfully. "That's a good point." She looked at Spike. "Guess you're going to have to kill them, Babe."
Spike bared his fangs. "My pleasure," he growled, leaning towards Riley's neck.
The door flew open. "Riley, Honey? I'm home!"
Faith quickly drew a finger across her throat, execution-style, signaling to Spike to get away from Riley, which he did quickly, switching back into human visage.
Riley staggered to his feet. "Kate ... you're not supposed to be home for another three weeks. Wasn't it a three-month deal?"
"Aren't you happy to see me?" Kate pouted, and Faith noticed how ... normal she looked. Tall, blond, nicely dressed.
"Of course I am," Riley told her, hugging her quickly.
"You don't seem it -- who are these people?"
"Well, uh, I was hoping to have this settled before you returned ..." Riley motioned to Lindsey. "This is Lindsey McDonald. My lawyer."
"Lawyer? What?" Kate cried, dropping her bag on the floor. "Why?"
"I want to claim what's mine. My son."
"Honey, your hubby is a crock of shit," Faith informed Kate, and she glared at her.
"Son ... Riley, what are you talking about? Who told you?"
"I figured it out on my own," Riley said, his voice full of pride.
"But I'm only a few months along --"
Riley's eyes bulged. "You're PREGNANT?"
Kate bit her lip. "You don't have to yell ... isn't that what you were talking about?"
"No. My ex-girlfriend and her husband have been raising MY son for the past fourteen years."
Rage filled Kate's eyes. "What ex-girlfriend? What are you talking about? Aren't you even happy?"
Riley embraced her tightly. "Of course I am, Baby, I can't wait."
Kate pulled away from him angrily. "Too little, too late, Riley." She stormed up the stairs, slamming the bedroom door behind her.
Riley glared at Spike and Faith. "See what you did now?"
Faith snorted. "US? You're the one who forgot to tell your WIFE."
"I didn't want to burden her while she was taking her course in Japan!" Riley snapped back, groaning. He turned towards the stairs, but Faith stopped him, slamming him against the wall and raking her sharp nails across his throat threateningly.
"We'll see you on the twentieth. Our place. Ninety-six Light Path. Noon. Got it? Bring your wife."
Faith pressed a nail down until a trickle of blood appeared. "Got it?"
Riley nodded as best he could. Faith dropped her hand and raced up the stairs. She turned to Lindsey, smiling sweetly. "Make sure you're there."
Lindsey opened his mouth to answer, but Faith took the opportunity to sock him in the stomach again, successfully knocking the wind out of him. She grabbed Spike's hand, pulling him towards the door. "C'mon. I could use some hot, passionate sex."
Spike grinned wickedly. "You're on, pet."
Part 4 Back to Megg's Fic