Review @ Jinxgirl
Story 13: Night time duties
As the four-week-old infant's shrill cry suddenly pierced the very early morning's quiet, Buffy came groggily awake, her forehead scrunching in protest. She waited, some entirely too hopeful part of her expecting Faith to jump up, but that, of course, was silly to even hope for. The brunette didn't so much as stir; whether this was because she really was so heavily asleep, or because she was ignoring her daughter and hoping Buffy would tend to her, Buffy could not be sure. Both possibilities were equally likely.
"Faith," Buffy murmured, her voice heavy with sleep; it was hard to keep her eyes open. When this invoked no response, she raised her voice a little, her voice clearing up. "Faith…baby's crying…"
Still there was no response from Faith, who was lying close, but turned away from her. Frowning, Buffy reached over to shake her shoulder.
Faith groaned, turning and burying her head under her pillow. Scowling, irritated now and feeling more alert, Buffy shook her a little more insistently, sitting up and leaning over her now.
"Faith. Your daughter is crying. Go get her!"
"You heard her first," Faith shot back, keeping the pillow held tightly over her ears. "Leave me alone…you get her…"
"You've got the boobies," Buffy pointed out, not letting go of her, and Faith countered her.
"You've got boobies too, what the hell's that supposed to prove?"
"Mine aren't the ones she wants and you know it. She's hungry. Faith, go feed her!"
"You can feed her too- some of my pumped stuff," Faith muttered, and Buffy could tell from he voice she was more alert now.
"I did last time! It's your turn now- stop trying to get out of it, go get your daughter!" Buffy hissed, and Faith huffed, still not moving, her voice slightly muffled from under the pillow.
"Well then you bring her to me…if I gotta get up to feed her, you should at least have to bring her in here. I get milked like a cow, you at least have to fetch her."
"But-" Buffy protested, her voice rising, but as Callie's cries grew louder, and Faith showed no signs of abating in stubbornness, she huffed once more, flinging the blankets off herself and almost stomping out of the room. She knew full well that when Faith got like that, she didn't plan on budging any time soon. She was sooo annoying…
Callie had worked herself into a red-faced, flailing rage by the time Buffy entered the nursery. She was certainly not a patient infant, and protested vigorously when her needs and wants were not immediately met, as though indignant that she even had to ask. Buffy picked her up and held her to her shoulder, jigging her back and forth and wiping her wet cheeks for a few moments to try to calm her down.
"Shh…is my baby girl hungry? Yes, I know you are…your mean old Mama wouldn't get up to get you, would she? Because she's just too mean and lazy, yes she is…but your nice Mommy got you, didn't she? Nice Mommy's going to make Mama feed you… so you remember that when you're older, Callie."
Still talking to her in soft sing-song, half of it pointed remarks about Faith more than words actually aimed at the baby, Buffy carried Callie to their bedroom, sticking her finger in the baby's mouth to try to pacify her until she could eat. As she entered the room, giving Faith a pointed, resentful look, she saw that the other woman had finally sat up in bed, her expression foggy and still half asleep. Buffy started towards her still addressing Callie.
"Here's your mean Mama, you get to eat now, shhh…"
Faith slipped off her tank top, a simple action that quickly stopped Buffy's comments and resentful thoughts, and reached for the baby. As Buffy handed Callie over, watching Faith cradle her to her breast, leaning back against the headboard, she found herself smiling in spite of herself.
She sat down next to Faith in bed, resting her head against her shoulder and closing her eyes- only to jump when Faith pinched her.
"If I'm up, you're up, B. You gotta put her back to bed when she's done, remember?"
Scowling slightly, Buffy settled her head back against Faith's shoulder, but kept her eyes open this time. She didn't know why she even bothered protesting anymore…she knew she'd always lose. Somehow her pout no longer worked when it came to nightly feedings.
Story 14: Extended family
Author notes: In my little AU world here, the end of "You're welcome" onward in Angel season five didn't happen. So just nod and smile and act like you know what's going on, alright? Lol. Also people do remember Connor…so just go along with the ride
Angel was staring at the baby in Buffy's arms, seeming unable to think of anything to say for several moments as he met her for the first time. Her head turned toward him, Callie stared back at him gravely, as if utterly fascinated by the sight of him- and she probably was. Angel was the first vampire she had ever seen, and if she was to be a Slayer one day, she might sense what he was even as such an early age.
"She's so little," Angel said at last, his voice holding a note of amazement, and Faith grinned, smoothing a gentle hand over the pale fuzz of Callie's head.
"Yeah, they generally come like that, Angel- unless you're Cordy, of course," she said playfully, referring to Cordelia's birthing of the full-grown Jasmine two years before. Cordelia had come out of her coma almost a year ago and was fully functioning now, but it was generally only Faith, with her blunt ways, that ever brought up Jasmine or anything that had occurred during that time period. "Plus she's half B's so that kind of cinches her fate in being all pint-sized here."
Buffy smirked at her, adjusting her hold on Callie slightly; the infant was still gazing at Angel, almost unblinking. But the baby didn't seem afraid of him; in fact, she seemed utterly intrigued.
"So what do you think, Angel?" Faith asked, stroking Callie's head again tenderly. Callie took her eyes off of Angel long enough to pull her head away slightly, giving Faith what could only be described as a baby version of a Faith-ish scowl- a look that made Buffy grin widely. "She's pretty awesome isn't she? Thought we'd come up to see you guys since none of you came to us," she said with a raised eyebrow, smirking.
She was teasing, but Angel didn't seem to realize that; he looked up quickly from his gazing at the child and shook his head.
"Sorry…I know I should have, after she was born…just, it's been busy, with everything…"
"Yeah, yeah, no rest for the leader of the evil law firm and all," Faith rolled her eyes, but she wasn't angry. "We got the cradle though…it's pretty cool, she likes it better than her crib."
"Yeah, she likes to be rocked," Buffy added, realizing suddenly that she was swaying Callie unconsciously even as she talked and making herself stop. God, she was already such a mom.
"She has your eyes color, Faith," Angel said quietly as he took a slow step forward, looking Callie over as if he couldn't quite stop. "But she has your ears, Buffy…"
"My ears?" Buffy said in surprise, frowning as she looked down at Callie's, wishing she could look at her own as well. "How do you figure she has my /ears/?"
"'Cause they're so little, right, Angel?" Faith grinned, as Buffy made a face back at her.
It had been a little weird at first, when Buffy and Faith had first publicly came out as a couple. It wasn't like they saw Angel very often…but the times that they had had been awkward at first, because of the triangle of entwined sexual history between the three.
Faith and Buffy had thought it would probably be best if they just saw and spoke to Angel only when necessary, keeping things as discreet as possible, until Angel had deliberately arranged a meeting to talk to them. It wasn't just their relationship they needed to get out in the open- there was the fact that he was now the head of Wolfram and Hart, whose office they were now currently standing in with him, as well.
But Angel hadn't let them get very far in their fumbling of starting conversation. Looking them both in the eyes, he had told them that he was glad they were happy, that they deserved to be- and that he was proud of them. He wouldn't let the conversation go any further than that, despite Faith's several attempts- she had never been one to easily let things go. They both knew that he still loved Buffy, and Faith too, in a different way… but things were different now, Angel was different now, and he knew and accepted this without bitterness or pain.
Besides…it seemed pretty obvious just from the few times they'd seen and spoken to Angel since Cordelia had emerged from her coma that something was going on between them. Neither would come out with it so far, but Faith's not so subtle comments would have to force them to go public sooner or later.
It had been a little weird again when they had called to tell Angel Faith was pregnant…but now this too seemed something of the past as Angel continued to gaze at Callie in Buffy's arms, his expression strangely and rather amusingly soft.
"She reminds me of Connor," he said softly, and Buffy raised an eyebrow, a little offended in spite of herself.
"I hope not too much- she's a GIRL," she said defensively, brushing her hand over Callie's head as Faith had done before. "Faith, I told you she needs a ribbon or bow or something in her hair."
"B, she barely HAS hair to put in a bow, and no kid of mine is gonna be all frilly while I'm seen with her," Faith maintained. As Callie started to wiggle in Buffy's arms making faint grunting noises, Faith took her from her, propping the baby in her arms in such a way that she could face outward and see around herself.
"She's beautiful," Angel said quietly, and there was an odd longing, even pain, that flashed across his eyes. Looking over at him, Buffy knew he must be thinking about his own son and the childhood he had missed out in watching…and maybe the fact that he could have no other children. She doubted Faith realized this.
But it was Faith who was followed Angel's gaze to her daughter and spoke up casually.
"Want to hold her, Soulboy?"
Angel's face froze, and he lifted his hands quickly, shaking his head; eventually he even went so far as to take a step back.
"No…I don't think so, it's-"
"Ah, come on, man, I know you want to, you've got the gooey baby eyes," Faith laughed, her eyes glinting in amusement. "Look, if I haven't killed her yet then you won't either…right?"
Her voice became suddenly suspicious and unsure at the end, and she held Callie a little closer to her as she looked Angel over, as if searching for evil in him. Buffy smiled, but she eyed Angel quickly too before starting to gang up on him.
"Yeah, Angel, you can't really see a baby right if you don't hold her," she said mock earnestly.
When Angel hesitated, his eyes dropping to look at Callie again, Faith simply stepped forward and transferred her to his arms without further ado.
"Here you go…see, she likes you, she actually holds still for you. B, I think our daughter is definitely 100% straight, she always goes all quiet and still and starey when men hold her."
"Do you think she's boy-crazy? Is she already boy-crazy? Can you be boy-crazy when you're only a baby?" Buffy asked with sudden alarm and Faith burst out laughing.
"B, was that a serious question?"
"Well, babies are sexual too- I learned that in my psychology class!" Buffy said defensively. "Freud used to say that, he-"
"Freud?" Faith practically yelled, fully guffawing now, and Callie's eyes shifted to her briefly, her eyebrows rising in alarm. "B you took ONE psych class like five years ago and suddenly you think that makes you Dr. Phil?"
"He's not a psychiatrist! He's just-" Buffy began, but Angel hadn't been paying attention to either of them. Holding Callie in his arms, he stared down at her with his eyes glinting strangely before he broke out into a goofy smile.
"Hey there, little baby," he said in a voice that was much higher and sweeter than normal, letting his face lean close to Callie's. "How are you? How /are/ you, little girl?"
Buffy stopped talking, and she and Faith looked at each other, both grinning widely. Faith spoke up with her eyes gleaming with amusement and mischievous intent.
"She likes it when your voice is higher…she really smiles then," she said in a deceptively casual tone, though Buffy could tell that her dimples were just threatening to burst forth.
Angel looked over at her quickly, frowning, seeming unable to decide if she was messing with him or not. As he looked back at Callie, who stared at him with round, fascinated eyes, Buffy hid a grin of her own as she spoke up in supposed serious critique.
"Yeah, you need a slightly higher pitch to it, Angel…baby's ears are very sensitive, you know, they really like it when they can hear sounds like that, ones that go up in their upper hearing range."
Frowning, seeming to be considering this, Angel looked down at the baby, his voice cracking as he tried to aim it up to a higher pitch.
"Hey, Callie…is this better? Does the baby girl like this better?"
Just then the door to the office opened, and Cordelia nearly strutted in, her face drawn into a narrow-eyed suspicious look.
"Okay, either there's a demon in here or you've gone evil, because that irritating shrill noise CANNOT be- ohhh it's a baby! Where did you get the baby?"
She hurried forward, seemingly having managed to have blocked out Buffy's and Faith's presence entirely as she went to Angel's side to peer down at Callie as well. This only further amused Faith, sending her into further gales of laughter that made her lean somewhat weakly against the wall. Buffy, however, was a tad bit miffed, and she spoke up a little pointedly.
"He got her from us…you know, the ones standing right here?"
"Oh, she's yours?" Cordelia half turned, seemingly genuinely surprised but unruffled to see them, and she gave them both such warm smiles that Buffy was somewhat mollified. Maybe her coma had affected her vision or focus or something- and Callie did tend to divert people's attention. "I can see it now, she looks just like you, Faith…oh, and good thing, she's got your nose too!"
"Got HER nose? Why do people keep implying something's wrong with MY nose?" Buffy said indignantly, but also with some worry as she self consciously touched it. Faith grinned and leaned to kiss its tip as Cordelia ignored her, beaming down at the now even more alert baby.
"Don't sweat it, B, quirks are hot. Like scars."
"It's not a QUIRK, it's just a normal NOSE!" Buffy said loudly, and the office door opened again, a green-skinned demon in a loud red suit sticking his head inside.
"The feeling in here is very intense, what's going- oh, hello there, Faith, Buffy!" he said warmly, going to hug both women with a smile. "And hello, beautiful little munchkin! She /is/ yours, I assume?"
"Yep," Faith said proudly, smiling back, and Lorne's red eyes glowed as he went to join the crowd gathering around the child.
"She's absolutely darling, girls- a perfect little cherub! Someone should tell Fred she's here, she'll want to see, I'm sure."
"Oh I'll call her," Cordelia said quickly, extracting her cell phone from her purse and detaching herself from the baby's general vicinity long enough to speed dial Fred. "Fred? Angel's got a baby, come see! In his office- what? Oh, yeah, Faith and Buffy's…go get Gunn and Wes too!"
Hanging up, she immediately turned her attention to Callie, speaking in a singsong not unlike Angel's earlier efforts.
"Yes, you're a good girl…you want your Aunt Cordy to hold you, don't you, Callie? Isn't that what you want? Your Uncle Angel doesn't know how to do it right…"
"Hey," Angel protested, backing up a half step protectively, as if afraid Cordelia would snatch the child from him. "Uncle Angel is doing just fine. Uncle Angel HAD a baby, remember?"
"Yes, and that little baby lovvved it when his Cordy held him," Cordelia replied in the same gentle singsong before looking up at Angel with a pointed scowl, dropping her voice to a normal tone. "So hand over the baby, don't be greedy."
As Angel reluctantly shifted Callie into Cordelia's waiting arms, glancing at Buffy and Faith first as if for permission, the door to the office opened yet again, and Fred burst through excitedly, Gunn and Wesley following somewhat more composedly in her trail.
"Ohhh look at her, she's so sweet… Wesley, isn't she beautiful? You should hold her- that is, if it's okay…"
"Well, I don't think that's-" Wesley began awkwardly, glancing at the Slayers, but Fred wouldn't let him finish his sentence.
"Hey, no, it's okay, I'll just-" Gunn started to back up too, even as he looked at Callie with a little smile, but Fred just rolled her eyes.
"Stop being so silly, everyone knows you want to. So if they're okay with it…"
She grabbed each man by his sleeve and walked them quickly with her to the considerable crowd forming around the baby, who had now been passed on to Lorne, first smiling and greeting Buffy and Faith enthusiastically. Buffy and Faith stood back as Lorne began to sing to Callie softly, smiling, but still watching closely. They would have thought that such a throng of strangers around her, particularly a sinister-looking demon, would have scared their daughter, but she seemed to absolutely love the attention, staring around at all the new faces. She seemed to recognize them, to regard them as just more family. Buffy had been a little nervous at first about coming, and not only because it was Wolfram and Hart…but as she watched the people gather around Callie, she knew no harm would come to her child with any of them present. No doubt about it…however unconventional her "family" might be, their daughter would never lack for love.
Author notes: Guys…I have written up to Callie being four now story wise and have 19 stories written, 5 more planned. Need more ideas for Callie between the ages of eight months and 8 years…so anyone who has any ideas let me know!
Story 15: Separation anxiety
"Are you sure you can do this?" Buffy asked anxiously, her brow furrowing; her eyes showed clearly torn feelings as she stood near the doorway. "I don't know- if you're not okay with this-"
"Of course I'm okay with this, Buff- me and my gal pal Cal are gonna have a good time tonight, aren't we, Callie?" Xander replied, ruffling the tiny amount of pale fuzz on Callie's head gently as he smiled at Buffy. Buffy shook her head, not in any way reassured.
"That's kinda what I was afraid of," she muttered. "Maybe we should have just called Willow."
"B, chill out," Faith commanded as she looped her arm through Buffy's, anchoring her from any attempts to move toward the phone. "She's going out too, don't pull the 'come watch my kid' card. Xander will be fine with Callie. And anyway Dawn's home from college this weekend, she'll help if he needs it."
"She's writing a paper," Buffy said worriedly. "She might get all caught up in it and not hear if something happens-"
"Are you kidding yourself?" Faith snorted, shaking her head. "The minute we leave she'll be down here goo-gooing over the baby with X-Man and you know it."
"Seriously Buff, I got it," Xander said easily, shifting Callie's weight against his shoulder slightly. Buffy watched him sharply, terrified he would drop her. He never had so far…and Callie seemed to like him, since she never cried when he held her…but there was a first time for everything.
"I don't know," Buffy said anxiously, biting her lip, as she glanced between her daughter and Faith. "Maybe we should just stay home…wait until she's a little older…"
"No, no, we ARE going out, B," Faith said more insistently, tightening her hold on Buffy quickly. "She's over three months old, she'll be fine. It's just a few hours, now come on."
"Okay…" Buffy said reluctantly, allowing Faith to tug at her arm, but she brought them both to a stop quickly as she turned around to address Xander worriedly again.
"There's a list on the fridge of numbers to call if something happens. The police, fire department, Giles, ambulance, Faith's cell phone, the movie theater's number, a shaman we know, an exorcist, Angel, Andrew-"
"Whoa…I know you're covering all bases when you include Andrew in the list," Xander smirked, and Faith rolled her eyes.
"B, CHILL! He saw your Bible manuscript on the fridge. Now just get going already, we're gonna be late if you stand here giving orders all night."
She pulled Buffy around to face the door again, reaching to open it, but Buffy was slow to follow, looking over her shoulder at Xander quickly once more, not through with her instructions.
"Callie likes you to move around with her if she's crying- and she likes music. Heavy metal, thanks to Faith's pregnancy music of choice, so we got some CDs by her crib, and a portable CD player. Oh, and she doesn't like to suck on pacifiers- she likes to suck on your fingers instead. But not her fingers, your fingers. But wash your hands first! And don't cough or sneeze on her! Oh, and if she starts choking, it's because her nose is snotty, so you need to use that sucky thing- you know how to use it, right? I showed you?"
"Yes, you showed me…a lot," Xander muttered with a slight shudder, but Buffy wasn't convinced.
"I told you that she almost died one time because she had a snotty nose, didn't I? It's really important, Xander, are you SURE you can do it?"
"I've got it, Buff, really- now go have fun. Make out, do all that couply stuff," Xander urged, jerking his head towards the door for emphasis, and Faith backed him up.
"B, seriously, overprotective much?" she said, amused, but also irritated by this point as her fingers tightened around the blonde's arm. "Come ON!"
"She likes when you sing- or read to her- she likes you to tell stories," Buffy said quickly as Faith opened the door, her voice speeding up to get it out before Faith dragged her away. "And Faith's milk is in the fridge- I showed you right? And you know how to warm it up for her?"
"Yesss," Xander said with exaggerated patience as Callie lay against him contently, not even fussing or squirming like she often did with her mothers. That set off new anxiety for Buffy. Wouldn't Callie even miss them? What did it mean if her baby didn't miss her? "Buffy, I'll take care of her, and so will Dawn if I need help with something. But I think since you've gone over every possible crisis, including possible apocalypses, that we'll be fine. Go relax, have fun…if the apocalypse comes I'll beep you," he said with a wry grin, and Faith smirked.
Buffy, however, did not find this amusing.
"Call us if you need us!" she said fretfully as Faith steered her out the door. "Call if Callie needs us! Oh- and don't let any vampires in- and tell Dawn not to let any in!"
"Jeez, B, you'd think you were the one who had her on an umbilical cord," Faith muttered as they got into the car, rolling her eyes for the umpteenth time. "You really gotta learn to let go, or else how spazzy are you gonna be when she goes to kindergarten?"
"That's a long way off- very, very long," Buffy said quickly, unwilling to even think about it. "Callie's so little now though, Faith…I think we should have at least made Willow or Giles look after her. Xander, he's just-"
"He's fine. She likes him, he likes her, stop it already. She'll be fine. Now come on- it's just a few hours, and I'm stoked even if you're not to finally get some time away. Love Cal and all, but sometimes I just wanna be with you…you know?" Faith said more quietly, glancing at Buffy. "So let's just have some fun…the night will go by way fast once you relax…"
Thirty minutes later in the darkened movie theater, Faith shifted in her seat for the eighth time; her arm readjusted itself around Buffy's shoulders as she leaned her mouth to the other woman's ear, whispering loudly for the third time in ten minutes.
"B…you think Xan's gonna remember all the stuff you told him?"
Buffy frowned; she had been worrying about that before they even left the house. And Faith's obvious discomfort now was making it no better.
"I hope so…"
"He can recognize vamps..right? He knows if there's one at the door," Faith persisted, her features faintly pinched with worry, and Buffy frowned even more deeply, her stomach tightening.
"Usually…but they're tricky sometimes."
Faith's eyes widened with increasing worry, darkening with thought, and less than two minutes passed before she was whispering again.
"You think she's crying?"
"I don't know," Buffy said anxiously, her eyebrows knitting, eyes glinting as she thought about it. "Do you?"
"What if she's crying?" Faith persisted, her voice revealing her distress at the thought plainly. "What if she's been crying ever since we left?"
"She probably hasn't been," Buffy said more hopefully than assuredly, even going so far as to cross her fingers. "She likes Dawn and Xander…"
Another few minutes passed before Faith was whispering again, her voice tense.
"What if she has been crying though…what if she needs us?"
"It's only a few hours," Buffy said slowly, taking a deep breath and taking Faith's hand to squeeze it in hers. "We'll be going home soon…we can eat somewhere fast after this…or skip that and just go back…"
"Yeah…yeah, let's do that," Faith muttered, and her arm around Buffy's shoulders tightened. Neither were paying any attention to the movie whatsoever, despite the array of hot females in the cast Faith had been so eager to watch.
It was going to be a long few hours.
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