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Chapter 85: So Not a Midlife Crisis

Two Months Later. BPOV

I don’t know what’s going on right now. Nothing like this happens very often here in Lincoln, so pardon me for being totally fucking confused. Faith and I are patrolling, or at least we’re trying to. I guess this only qualifies as a brisk walk since we’ve been walking the town for two hours and there’s nothing. I haven’t even seen a stray dog or cat wandering around. We moved to this town because of its abnormally high vampire activity, so where the hell are all the vampires? I know it isn’t just me who’s feeling the frustration because of the slaying, or lack thereof. Faith is getting totally antsy. Every once in a while she’ll sigh, and run a hand through her hair. Those are all signs that she’s starting to get frustrated. We’ve already been down this street three times, and there’s still nothing. What the hell is going on tonight?

Maybe there’s some type of lunar thing that I don’t know about. Willow really needs to keep me up to date on that kind of stuff. Or maybe I should start paying attention when she talks about it. I think that would also work. But that stuff is just so boring. Come on, who really cares when Venus is in retrograde or whatever? I sure as hell don’t. Some of you have to agree with me. It’s not like I’m a witch like she is. I’m a slayer so if she wants to talk shop then she should talk about the things that interest the both of us. She’s interested in weapons and what kind of damage they can inflict on demons, right? Sky’s interested in stuff like that and she’s a witch. But she’s a slayer too so I guess that doesn’t count. I glance over at Faith when she sighs yet again, and now she’s starting to clench and unclench her fists. My poor baby is itching for a fight.

“You wanna head over to the woods and see if we can find a demony type to slay?” I ask with about five times the necessary enthusiasm. If I’m going to get Faith in a better mood then I need to start acting all bubbly and cute. That usually makes her smile, shake her head, and call me a dork. Sometimes it bothers me, but tonight I’ll make a fool out of myself if it means making her smile. “You can never go wrong with a demony type.” I start bouncing on my toes a little bit, and nudge her with my elbow. She furrows her eyebrows a little, and gets that look on her face like she’s trying to figure something out. I guess she knows this little act I’m putting on is all for show and she’s trying to find out why. After a couple of seconds, she gives up trying, and shakes her head. Her attention span shortens greatly when she’s in need of some slayage.

“Nah, not tonight,” she says and puts her stake in her back pocket. I don’t know why she had it out, it’s not like there’s anything to stake. She pulls a pack of cigarettes, and a lighter out of her jacket pocket and lights one up. Yeah, she started smoking again sometime last month. She said the cravings were getting too strong to ignore, and that things at the shop are starting to get wicked stressful. Her words not mine. I don’t think it’s the shop that’s getting stressful, though. I think being around her dad is getting hard for her. She’s having some major jealousy issues, and trying to ignore them when she’s around her dad is driving her a little crazy. “I’m wearin my leathers, and demons with sharp claws like to tear ‘em up on purpose.” I can’t help but roll my eyes. I would ask if she’s being serious except her tone was nothing but, so I know she wasn’t joking around.

“They do not,” I say and glace over at her as we walk down yet another street we’ve patrolled three times already. Well, if we can’t find anything to slay then at least we have some playful-type banter going on. To most people it sounds like we’re arguing, but to Faith and me this is its own form of foreplay. “You just throw yourself too much into the fight.” She always has and she always will. Sometimes it scares the hell out of me because of the years she’s had about a thousand and three close calls. I really wish she would be more careful, but if she were then she wouldn’t be ‘Faith: the edgy, badass slayer’. “‘Get in, slay it, and get out’ that’s what we teach the juniors. Maybe you should start practicing what you preach.” She chuckles a little bit, and takes another drag of her cigarette.

“You preach that shit, not me,” she says with a little chuckle. I don’t know why but the sound of that makes me roll my eyes. “What can I say? I like a good fight.” She looks over at me all smoky eyed, and gives a little wink. She’s trying to be all suggestive, and I definitely understand what she means. “It always gets the juices flowin’.” I can’t help but scoff at that comment and she does nothing but wink at me again. Well that’s definitely going to get annoying. I love it when Faith winks at me, but only when she’s actually flirting. When she’s just being suggestive for suggestiveness’ sake then it gets a tiny tad irritating. I can’t explain why it gets under my skin, but it does.

“As opposed to every other day of the week when your juices are flowing all of the time.” That sounded way dirtier then it did in my head. I’m just joking around with her, and she knows I am. When we first started dating Faith was horny all the time. She’s definitely mellowed out though, and I’m a little thankful for it. I think if she stayed the same, and I changed into what I’m like now I probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with her. Not that it’s a competition, because it’s totally not. I would never compete with Faith over something like that. Why are you looking at me like that? I’m telling the truth here. Well, ok, maybe a half truth. Anyway, Faith gets this look on her face, and it makes me a little nervous. It’s the look she always gets on her face before she does or says something she knows she shouldn’t, but she just can’t resist.

“Well maybe if you were a little more like me I wouldn’t need it so bad,” she says with a little smirk, and flicks away her cigarette butt. Yep, she smokes and she liters. I think she officially just devolved into a seventeen year old, wannabe hardcore punk. Anyway, her smirk gets a little wider and I prepare myself for something extremely crude and inappropriate. “You’re my wife, B. It’s your job to keep me happy and healthy.” Oh my God, she did not just say that! I was prepared for something a little less crude and inappropriate then that. Something way less then that. In fact, I think it’s safe to say I was completely unprepared for that. I give her a soft punch on the arm, and the smirk gets a little smaller. “Ow! What the fuck?” She looks at her arm like she expects to see a huge gash, or a bone sticking out, or something. She can be such a wimp sometimes.

“Oh please, you know you deserved that.” She gets this look on her face like ‘who me?’ She can look innocent all she wants but she knows that she said crossed the line a little bit. When all I do is raise my perfectly plucked eyebrow, she drops the innocent act and rolls her eyes. Now she’s going to be mock-defensive. That’s always what she does after she tries to act innocent. Normally, I let her get away with it, but tonight I’m not gonna give her any slack. I want to see how long I can act offended before she catches on.

“Whatever. I was just jokin around, B,” she says and looks down at the ground like a chastised kid. Wow, I was totally wrong about what she was going to do. She skipped the mock-defensiveness and went right for the ‘woe is me’ line. She’s good, trying to throw me off guard, but it’s not gonna work. I may not have expected that but I know it’s all just a game. She’s not as good at acting as she’d like to think. “Doesn’t mean you gotta start up with the spousal abuse.” I roll my eyes, and scoff again. I think I would rather have the mock-defensiveness then this ‘woe is me’ stuff. At least when she’s acting defensive she doesn’t sound sad. I hate it when Faith is sad, even if it’s all just an act.

“I barely touched you, ya big baby,” I say in my teasing voice, and gently lace my fingers through hers. She lets her hand stay slack for a couple of seconds, but then she holds onto mine. Oh yeah, she’s really playin this up big time. I give her a little kiss on the cheek, and then go right back to being a tiny bit bitchy. “And don’t start with the spousal abuse stuff. No one likes a victim.” She chuckles a little, and I feel like I’ve done a good job because she’s smiling a real smile now, and not one of her smirks. “Besides….” I use my sexy voice and now I really have her attention. “You know you love it when I get a little rough.” I send a wink her way, and she lets out a little laugh.

“I’m not gonna lie, you gotta point,” she says. We go quiet again as we continue walking down the same streets that we’ve already been over multiple times. She gives my hand a little squeeze, and I squeeze back. This could almost qualify as a romantic walk together, but since we’re really looking for things to slay I don’t think it does. I kind of want to ask what she’s thinking about since she’s lost in her own thoughts now. She’s been a little extra moody the last couple of days and I don’t think it has anything to do with the total lack of slaying we’ve had the last week or so. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with her dad, but I could be wrong. When it comes to Faith, I can never be a hundred percent sure about anything. We’ve been together for sixteen years, as hard as that is to believe, and even though I know her so well she’s still such a mystery to me. I kind of like that about her though, even if it’s sometimes extremely frustrating. A loud scream rips me from my thoughts.

“Finally!” I say and Faith lets out a huge sigh of relief. We let go of each other’s hands and start running towards the direction of the sound. “I was starting to think all the vamps got sick of us and ran off.” She gives me a look like I’m totally crazy, and speeds up a little bit so she’s two steps in front of me. Oh is that how she wants to do this? She’s trying to turn this into a race without actually saying it’s a race. She’s baiting me, and there’s a good chance I’m going to take it. What? Just because we have an important job to do it doesn’t mean we can’t have a little bit of fun while we’re doing it. That doesn’t make us bad people or anything. It just means that we want to be able to enjoy or work, and find an upside to all of this life and death situationy stuff.

“Sick of us?” she asks and she sounds like what I said was totally crazy. It wasn’t that far out there, and it’s not like I was being a hundred percent serious or anything. I know she’s only joking around too, but you can’t tell that by her tone. “How could anyone get sick of us? Unless they’re fuckin blind or somethin.” Oh right, because we’re just so hot no one would ever get bored being around us. I would love to be Faith for one day just to see what the world is like through her eyes. And I don’t mean I want to be in Faith’s body ‘cause been there, done that. I mean, I want to see the world through her perspective. I run a couple of steps in front of her and as I pass I give her a little smack on the ass. “Even if they were blind it’s your whinin that would drive ‘em away.” That was totally revenge for the ass slap.

“Hey, I do not whine!” She doesn’t have to say anything. I can feel the smirk spread across her face as we keep running. “Shut up. That doesn’t prove anything.” And it doesn’t. So I had a little outburst just now, so what? That doesn’t mean I whine all the time like a spoiled little kid. Sure, I whine to Giles, but that’s only because it works……most of the time. We keep running, but we slow down a little bit when we hear the telltale signs of a struggle. I know you probably think we should be running faster, but if we do that we’ll just make even more noise, and we want to have the element of surprise. We slow down for about three seconds until we see a woman surrounded by a group of seven vampires. One vampire is holding onto her from behind and is about to bite her neck. She’s crying and begging them to stop, but I know they’re not going to. They’re probably getting even more fun out of it.

Without saying a word we launch ourselves at the group. Faith throws herself right in the thick of it, like always, while I take on a couple that were standing in the circle watching. The fight feels pretty routine, except these vamps must’ve been body builders when they were alive because they are seriously strong. I have to work twice as hard doing moves I’ve been practicing for years, and I have to admit that Faith is right. A good fight always gets my juices flowing, and I can feel them start to pump through my system. The intoxicating feel of adrenaline is getting stronger as I dodge a punch to the head. I wait the three seconds it takes his fist to complete the punch, and then I pop back up, and stake him before he can react. The satisfying feeling washes over me, and I can feel Faith react to it through our connection. I turn to face the second vamp I was fighting but before I can react he elbows me in the face, and then I feel a sharp pain in my stomach.

I scream out in pain as the vampire pulls the knife out of my stomach. He tries to stab me again, but I block with my arm, and kick out his knee. Every movement sends a jolt of fire straight to my gut. How the hell did he do that? I know I can be a little sloppy sometimes, but I’m on the top of my game tonight. I block another attempted stabbing and then run my stake into his heart just to get it over with. I look over at Faith as she easily stakes the last vampire, and she has a huge smile on her face. The girl must have ran off because I don’t see her anywhere. If she’s smart then she went home for the night and she won’t be out alone after dark anymore. She’s just lucky it was a few vampires that found her and not some demon who wouldn’t waste time showing off for his friends.

“Don’t even try to deny the awesomeness, B,” Faith says and she sounds all out of breath. Normally I’d think she sounds sexy as hell, and I’d more then likely start flirting with her, or even press her against the side of that building and have some fun, but HELLO! I was stabbed. I can feel my own blood trickle down my stomach and as much as it hurts, I cover the wound with my hand to try and stop the bleeding. “B, you alright?” She sounds a little concerned, but not really. She probably thinks I was just hit pretty hard or something. I just shake my head a little and she walks up to me. I would respond but I’m kind of distracted by the ‘ow factor’. I know I’ve been stabbed in the stomach before, but it’s not so much the pain that is throwing me through a loop, it’s the fact that I didn’t see this coming at all.

“I’m alright,” I say with a little wince as she walks up to me. Now she looks really concerned. She reaches down and takes a hold of the hand that’s on my stomach. She gently pulls it away and holds it up so she can see my fingers. Her eyes go a little wide, and I take in a shaky breath. There’s a lot of blood on my fingers. “I’m fine. He just caught me by surprise.” I cover the wound up again and she steps a little closer to me until she’s right up in my personal space. She’s getting all protective, and even though I’m bleeding from a gaping hole in my stomach, I think it’s pretty sweet. She starts looking around until her eyes catch something on the ground. I guess whatever the vampire used didn’t go poof with him.

“Looks like a switchblade,” she says and I can hear the concern in her voice. Faith has always had a thing for knives, ever since she was a kid, and she knows a lot about them. Sometimes she totally geeks out about it when she’s talking to Giles, and she gets all excited and she’ll start talking really fast, and get all into the conversation. And then she’ll look over at me and see me smirking, and she’ll blush. Right now it isn’t cute though. I don’t really care what kind of knife it was so her bringing it up was kind of pointless and a little aggravating. “Alright, let’s get you home and if I can’t patch you up myself then we’ll see Red about it.” I try to protest but she cuts me off. “B, this is probably deep and I don’t care that we’re slayers, it could still get infected.” She’s taking charge just like I would do if our roles were reversed, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

“We’re not going to Willow’s house. She and Sky have their hands full taking care of the baby, and I don’t want to add to their stress.” Willow’s hardly left the house since they brought the baby home. I guess motherhood hasn’t been treating her well, and she’s having a hard time dealing. I swing by every couple of days just to see how she’s doing, and as far as first time parents go I guess they’re doing alright. Anyway, Faith gets this stubborn look in her eyes, and it’s the same look we give the kids when they argue after we tell them to do something. I hate it when she looks at me like that. I sigh, even though it hurts like hell, and try not to look too pissed off. Trying to reason with Faith when she’s like this is like slamming your head again a brick wall, if you do it softly it won’t hurt as bad. “It’s just a scratch, I’ll be fine.” She doesn’t look convinced.

“It’s not a scratch, it’s a stab wound,” she says and she sounds a little irritated. Ok, more then a little. Sure it hurts, but it isn’t that big of a deal. We’ve both been wounded worse then this on patrol before, so I don’t really understand why she’s making a scene about it. Maybe she took a really bad hit to the head and she has a concussion? What? I could happen. A really bad concussion can change a person’s personality. But she isn’t showing any signs of a concussion. Damn, so this is just her being overly protective of me. I’m not sure which is worst: Faith when she’s evil and trying to kill me; or Faith when she’s being overly protective. Ok, so that’s a load of crap. I would be devastated if she ever went evil again and tried to kill me. “And if it’s too deep for me to fix on my own then we’re goin to Red’s even if I have to drag you kicking and screaming.” I raise an eyebrow at her.

“I’d like to see you try.” As soon as that leaves my mouth I know I shouldn’t have said that. Maybe I’m the one with the concussion. “I got stabbed right before Sunnydale became a crater and it didn’t stop me from getting out of there when the town was literally collapsing all around me.” She gets that challenging look in her eyes, and she normally gets that look right before she starts fighting a vampire or a demon or whatever. She also gets it when the kids are acting defiant. I hate it when she looks at me like that when we’re not doing something fun, like playing basketball, or sparring, or seeing who can eat the most tacos in one sitting. I totally kicked her ass. Before I can react, she reaches out and touches my stomach, not the wound itself but pretty damn close. “Ow! What the fuck?” She gets a playful smirk on her face, and the look in her eyes changes completely.

“Oh please, you know you deserved that,” she says, mimicking what I said to her earlier. It makes me smile, and laugh a little bit. And just like that all of the tension that was growing between us, and that fight we almost got into just kind of disappears. I guess that’s just what happens when you’re with someone who’s just as stubborn as you are. She gets a little closer to me so that we’re almost touching, and she gently runs the backs of her fingers across my arms. The feeling is comforting, and it’s making me feel a little better. Now that we’re both calm again the pain isn’t as bad as it was before. She clicks her tongue on the roof of her mouth just like she always does when she makes a decision. “Alright, we’ll hold off on seein Will until tomorrow, but if you get all septic and die in your sleep don’t come crying to me.” We laugh a little, but it makes me wince. Ok, so laughing isn’t a good idea right now.

“Ok, deal. Can we get out of here now? I really don’t feel like bleeding to death on Whistler Avenue.” It was supposed to be a joke, but she doesn’t look amused. I thought it was kinda funny. We start to walk away, but I can’t even get three steps before she scoops me up in her arms and starts carrying me bridal style. I shake my head a little but I don’t kick my legs. That would just make my stomach hurt more. I can’t believe she’s doing this. I’ve been hurt worse then this and she didn’t carry me home then. What has gotten into her tonight? “Faith, I can walk on my own. I’m not exactly a helpless little girl.” And that’s true. I’m not helpless. I’m a hot chick with superpowers, and one of those powers has already kicked in. It’s not even bleeding anymore. Anyway, she looks down at me, and gives me a little kiss on the forehead. I love her and everything, but sometimes I really don’t like her.

“Just humor me, ok?” I don’t say anything, but I nod my head. If she needs to take charge and carry me back to the house to make herself feel better then I guess I can let her do that without a fight. That doesn’t mean I have to like it though. I guess I can see it from her perspective. If I got so caught up in a fight that I didn’t even notice she was stabbed then I would be feeling pretty guilty too, and I’d totally overcompensate in some way. I’d probably try to carry her home, but Faith wouldn’t have any of that. The only time she lets me carry her is when we’re about to have sex and I’m being a little more aggressive then usual, and when she’s been hurt so badly she can’t walk. “You used to love it when I carried you around. Don’t know what’s different about this besides the gaping wound.” It is so not a gaping wound. It’s not even bleeding anymore.

“Yeah, when you’d give me piggyback rides,” I say with a little smile on my face. Don’t look at me like that. We were young and in love. We’d be walking down a sidewalk window shopping or whatever, and I’d rub her shoulders a little bit to let her know what I wanted, and then I’d hop up on her back and she’d carry me around. Sometimes she’d run really fast, and turn really hard to try and throw me off, and I loved every second of it. People always looked at us like we were crazy, but we didn’t care. I wonder why we don’t do things like that anymore. Did having kids mellow us out? Is it because we’re a little older now, and all mature and stuff? I really don’t know, but I miss how playful we used to be.

“So that’s what this is really all about, huh?” she says in her flirty tone. Ok, so maybe we’re still playful, but not like we used to be. I mean, even after we had Matthew we would chase each other around the park, and play little games that usually involved trying to slap each other on the ass. We haven’t done anything like that in a really long time. Anyway, I look up at her with this ‘what are you talking about?’ kind of look and she chuckles. “You’re just pissy ‘cause you wanna be on top.” I am not pissy. I am doing something against my will to so she can feel better about herself, but I am not pissy! “Besides, this top is new and I don’t want your blood to stain it up.” A small, evilish smile creeps up on my face. I slowly reach out with my hand that’s covered in blood, and lightly touch her polyester blend clad shoulder. She gets a horrified look on her face, and she lets out a little chuckle. “You are so going to pay for that later.” I leave a little kiss on her neck and smile.

“I can’t wait,” I say, and she just shakes her head a little. Tonight has been a pretty weird night. I mean, one minute Faith is all bad and moody, then we start flirting with each other, then we start fighting a whole group of vampires and I get stabbed. Then we start fighting again, and now we’re back to flirting. The vampire thing is normal enough, and we still flirt with each other. We haven’t gotten to the point where our marriage is loveless, and we’re not playful. So what if I can’t remember the last time Faith gave me a piggyback ride, or the last time we took a bath together, or the last time one of us gave the other a massage? Ok, this is a little insane. Sure we’ve gotten older, I’m thirty-nine now, and she’s thirty-seven, but people in their late thirties can still be playful and flirtatious and give each other piggyback rides, dammit. Maybe I am too old, and maybe that’s why I was stabbed tonight. Maybe I’m too old for slaying, and I should think about permanent retirement. But that’s crazy. I’m not that old yet.


I don’t know what the fuck is up with this family lately, but they’re all crazy. Ok, so not all of ‘em. Addy and Joey are about the same, but Buffy and Mattie are fuckin crazy. So here’s what happened: I woke up this morning to the sound of my annoying alarm clock like I do every morning during the week. The first thing I noticed was Buffy wasn’t in our bed with me. When I sat up, I saw her standing in front of the mirror in nothin but her panties, and she was looking over every inch of herself. Weird, right? Well that’s just the beginning.

So I head downstairs to start breakfast before the kids get up because that’s the first thing they usually whine about in the morning. When I walk into the kitchen, Mattie’s already sitting at the table eating some Eggo waffles. I gave him a kiss on the top of his head, and told him good morning, but all he did was grumble under his breath. Ever since he got back from the slayer school in December he’s been a fucking punk. He barely says anything to anyone, he spends all of his time up in his room, and his grades have gone from A’s and B’s to C-’s and D’s. I highly fuckin doubt it’s just a teenager thing ‘cause he wasn’t like this before he stayed there. I think something happened between him and Brooke, and I wanna find out what.

Anyway, so I’m making breakfast when Grumpy and Grumpier walk into the room, whining because they’re hungry. I tell ‘em to chill out and just wait until it’s done, and that’s when Buffy walked into the room. Now I’ve always thought that Buffy was drop dead gorgeous, and sure, seeing her vag stretch out when she gave birth to Mattie was traumatizing for both of us, but I got a hot wife and I’ll never deny it. I think everyone can agree that she’s a total fuckin MILF. I’m sayin all this so you’ll get a really good idea of what I mean when I say that she walked into the room lookin fuckin sexy as hell. I mean, she was so fuckin sexy every monk on the planet would give up their no sex vow to be with her. My jaw actually dropped a little as she walked across the room, and gave me a little kiss on the cheek. I watched her ass the entire time as she walked over to the coffee maker in the smallest skirt I’ve ever seen her in. I think she just took the words ‘micro mini’ to a whole new level.

“B, what’s with the getup?” was the only thing I could think of to say. Buffy dresses sexy, don’t get me wrong, but she only dresses kinda slutty when we’re going out to a club. So why she was wearing this outfit, and wearing her make up so she’d look all smoky eyed at seven AM when the only places we were goin is work is a question that I still can’t answer. Anyway, she looked down at herself like maybe there was something wrong with what she was wearing, and then she looked up at me with that sexy little smirk of hers. I couldn’t believe it. I love her sexy smirk, but at seven AM? I just wasn’t awake enough for this.

“Don’t you like what I’m wearing?” she asked and softly blew at the hot contents in her coffee mug. The little vixen knew exactly what she was doing, but it was way too early in the morning for me to notice her little game. Any other time I would’ve called her out on it, but my brain just wasn’t working at its full capacity. I know I’m not the brightest crayon in the box or whatever the fuck, but I should’ve been able to see through what she was doing. Sure I’m kind of stupid, but I’ve been living with Buffy for like sixteen years. I should know her games when I see ‘em, even if it is seven in the morning. Instead of calling bullshit, I nodded my head a couple of times and stirred the scrambled eggs before they burned.

“I definitely like what you’re wearin. Ya look great,” I said and decided on how I was going to word my next question. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings because at this time I still thought she was all fragile and whatever. I mean, this could’ve been some important day and I totally fuckin forgot about it. I didn’t want my stupidity to send her to our room cryin. “What’s the occasion? You havin some kind of party at work today?” Hey, for all I knew they were havin a party at her work. I barely pay attention when she talks about what goes on in that place. And it’s not like I’m ignoring her and she’s hanging on my every word. The less I talk about the shop the better. She hates how much time I spend there.

“There’s no special occasion, baby. Don’t worry, you didn’t accidentally forget about anything. I just felt like dressing up a little,” she said and slowly sipped at her coffee. A little? This is what she now considers a little? Maybe I would’ve been able to see the warning signs if my brain could’ve concentrated on something other then the desire to shove my face into her cleavage and die happy. I highly fuckin doubt that even if I had seen the warning signs I would’ve been able to predict what would happen later. In fact, I know without a doubt that there’s no way in hell I ever would’ve been able to see any of this comin. Even if I had some kind of psychic power this would’ve been a total surprise.

If you think all of that is a little strange then stick around ‘cause you’re about to learn why I kinda hate Buffy and all her fuckin craziness right now. Alright, so I don’t hate her. I could never hate her, but I don’t like her a whole lot right now. Jeez, learn some fuckin patience, I’m getting to it. You people act like I’ve never told you anything before. Alright, so I dropped the kids off at the bus stop and took Joey to daycare. For the life of him he could not figure out why his mommy was dressed like that. I kept trying to change the subject but then he’d say something like, “But, Mama, did you see her shirt? Her boobs were fallin out!” And that they were.

So I dropped him off at daycare, and then I headed to work. I used to love it here so fuckin much. It was just me and my dad hanging out and working on bikes, just like we would’ve done if he hadn’t been thrown in jail. I can maybe forgive my bitch mom for all of the shit that she did to me, but I’ll never be able to forgive her for sending my dad to prison. But I don’t wanna talk about that. What I will talk about is why this place kinda sucks now. So like I said, it used to be awesome. Just me and my dad hanging out all day. But then he had to go and knock that chick up, and it totally ruined everything. When he’s not talkin about Grace he’s on the phone with Brittany either fighting or convincing her that they can fight when he gets home. It’s so fuckin tense here now and I hate it. Sometimes, I just wanna tell him to go be someone else’s dad, and storm out and never come back.

I’m not twelve, so that shit ain’t gonna happen. Anyway, so I go to work, and everything is goin fine at first. Things with my dad are a little tense, but they’re always like that now. Ever since Grace started walking, he and Brittany started having problems. I’m not blaming the baby at all, ‘cause she’s the innocent bystander in all of this. The only ones there are to blame is Brittany and my dad for being a couple of dumb fucks. They should never have gotten married. They weren’t ready for it, and the only reason they did it is because my dad is so old fashioned. But enough trash talking them. So I’m at work, minding my own Goddamn business, when my dad starts freaking out. Apparently some of our suppliers forgot to send us something that we ordered. I offered to take care of it since he’s in a bad fuckin mood. So I go into my office, and I call the supplier. I’m only on the phone for five minutes when Buffy walks through my door carrying about five shopping bags.

It’s not strange for Buffy to come visit me on my lunch hour, and that’s exactly what time it was. What surprised was the fact that she was still in that slutty outfit from this morning, plus the very full looking bags. I swore I could hear the credit card in her wallet screaming for help. Anyway, she put those down on the floor, and then the little minx slinked right on over, and made herself comfortable on my desk. Yeah, you heard me right. She sat down on the edge of my desk, and parted her legs a little bit. She started kinda toyin with the hem of her skirt, and given me a suggestive look. Trust me, the meaning of that was not lost on me. I wanted to find out if she was goin commando or not, and if I just slouched down a little in my chair, and bent my head a certain way I would’ve been able to see. But I knew if I looked I’d be way too distracted to properly end the business call.

“No, Dave, I’m not saying it’s your fault that we didn’t get those parts. All’s I’m saying is we didn’t get ‘em.” I really hate dealing with suppliers, especially when they fuck up. I’ve been working with Dave ever since we opened this place, and he’s a nice guy, but when he forgets to ship something it’s never his fault, oh no, and he gets really fuckin whiny when he thinks I’m saying it’s his fault. I tried to keep my eyes off of B since she was doing some of her best work to distract me from this phone call. If I was still twenty-five, it totally woulda fuckin worked, but I like to think I’m a little more mature now. Yeah I know, me a mature adult? I never thought I’d grow up to be one of those. I guess Buffy didn’t either ‘cause she’s getting a little frustrated that I’m not falling for her trick. So instead of watching her fingers trail slowly up and down her thigh, I stared at the calendar on my wall.

“Look, I’m not pointing fingers, Dave. I just need you to send me some more.” I sighed a little in frustration when he started up with the excuses again. I couldn’t help but tune his whining out as Buffy slowly spread her legs a little more. She was playin dirty and it wasn’t fair. Buffy doesn’t play dirty like this very often, that’s why it’s so damn hot. But who the fuck did she think she was? I have a business to run here. She couldn’t just come into my office and use sex to distract me when I got important things to do. At least that’s what I thought, until she tilted her head back, and moaned. “Ya know what, Dave, I’m so stupid. I think I found those parts. I just put ‘em in a different place than normal. Sorry for the hassle………Yeah, ok. I’ll talk to you later. Bye-bye.” As soon as I hung up the phone Buffy got off the desk, and sat down across my lap. Yeah, you motherfuckers wish you were me.

“Hi baby,” she said in that cute little girly tone that she knows drives me wild. It makes her sound all innocent and sweet and I just wanna corrupt her. She gave me a little kiss on the lips, and it stayed all slow and sweet. I guess we were going to pretend that she wasn’t practically molesting herself on my desk. I tried to deepen the kiss, but she pulled back and had a little smile on her face. I really hate it when she teases me like that. She can’t act all sexy and kinda slutty, and then expect me to behave myself. That’s just fucked up. If my blood had actually been flowing in the direction of my brain I woulda been able to see through what she was doin, and asked her what the fuck was up. “Hope I didn’t interrupt anything important.” She had this sly little smile on her face, and I couldn’t help but shake my head.

“You know you did. You might as well drop the act, B,” I told her and kissed her. That time she didn’t hold back. This kiss was deep, and wet, and hot. She was moanin a little, and runnin her fingers through my hair. I was so worked up if I had my eyes open I wouldn’t be able to see straight. When she pulled back from the kiss, it felt like her face was being forcefully ripped from mine. She had a little smirk on her face, and my heart started beating even faster. I know that look on her face better than anything in the world. It’s the look she gets on her face when she feels like she’s doing something naughty. Kinda like that one time we were so horny after a patrol we broke into the first person’s house that didn’t have any cars in the driveway, and had sex on their bed. But that’s a story for another time.

“Act? What act would that be, Faith?” she asked and put on a real innocent face. That expression looked totally outta place considering I’ve seen hookers in Vegas dressed a little more conservative then she was right then. Before I could say anything else she kissed me again, all slow and sweet, and before I could really get into it she stood up. I was feelin all kinds of turned on, she knew exactly how I was feelin, and she just stands up and backs away? I guess I looked a little disappointed or something ‘cause she giggled one of those really girly giggles that reminds of the good ol’ days back in Sunnydale before I went crazy and my mission whenever I was around her was to flirt with her until she giggled like that. Anyway, so she reached out and took my hand and gave it a little tug. “Don’t worry, baby, we’re not done yet.” To say I was glad to hear her say that would be a fuckin understatement.

I’m not gonna go into all the details ‘cause you pervs really don’t need ‘em. I’ll just tell ya what you need to know ‘cause if I don’t set up the scene just right you won’t understand why I’m so fuckin irritated with Buffy now. Ok, so after she pulled me up from the chair we started goin at it like a couple of sex starved teenagers. She took off my pants and pressed me up against the desk, and told me to close my eyes. I heard her rummaging through one of the bags, and when she came back she had a new toy for us to use. I don’t know exactly what it’s called, but there are no annoying straps to deal with. Nope, one end looks kinda like an egg and B put that part in her snatch and we were ready to go. She took some of that potion Willow taught her how to brew up so that the toy feels like the real deal for whoever’s wearing it.

Alright, so here’s what happened: Buffy was fucking me real good with the new toy. I mean, like really fuckin good. I had to bite my hand to stop from screaming, and right when I was about to O, the fuckin door opened. I heard someone scream ‘holy mother of God!’ and I looked over and saw my dad lookin like he was about to have a heart attack from the shock. Buffy jumped off me and I pulled my pants up, and my dad slammed the door shut. I could hear him yellin God knows what as he went into his office and slammed the door. I was completely mortified. I know that I’m a grown ass woman, but at that moment I felt like a teenager whose daddy just walked in on her losing her cherry. I was totally freaking out, and B was trying not to laugh. When the fuck did I become the modest one?

So there ya have it boys and girls. Things between me and my dad are tenser now than ever before, and it’s all Buffy’s fault. And I know what you’re gonna say, “But Faith, it takes two to fuck so don’t blame it all on her.” Well for one, I didn’t ask for your opinion so fuck you. And two, it is all her damn fault. Calm the fuck down, I’ll explain why. Buffy and I have lunch together in my office a couple times a week. We’ve never fucked in there before, but we have made out like a couple of teenagers a few times, and B always remembers to lock the door. So today she came into my office with every intention to fuck on my desk, and she didn’t lock the door. So yes, it is her fault that my dad wouldn’t look at me, and would barely talk to me after that. And here I thought things couldn’t get any tenser at the shop. Guess I was proven wrong, huh?

You have no idea how much I was looking forward to just going home and chillin out. It was B’s night to cook so I wouldn’t have to worry about doing anything but relaxing and keepin an eye on the kids. As soon as I pulled into the driveway I wanted to crawl under a rock and just hide. I could hear Addy screamin, and I didn’t even have my fuckin windows rolled down. I knew exactly what I was gonna be walkin into: Addy and Joey freaking out about something, and Buffy trying to control the situation and failing. When Addy gets that like we have no fuckin idea what to do. It’s not like you can stop a person from being pissed off when they think someone’s fucked ‘em over. After the day I had at work, the last thing I wanted to fuckin do was deal with drama. But it was our decision to have kids, so I gotta deal with it even if I don’t want to.

I snuck into the house as quietly as possible. I stood in the foyer for a few seconds until I figured out exactly where the screaming was coming from. Luckily, it was coming from the kitchen, and I crept up the stairs and away from the drama. I know I said I have to deal with that shit even if I don’t want to, but my dad walked in on me getting fucked so Buffy could deal with the drama ‘cause I couldn’t force myself to go in there and help out. It’s not like Buffy needs saving from a couple of little kids, but she likes it when I give her emotional support or whatever. I couldn’t do that though. I couldn’t have given her emotional support even if I had tried. I was way too irritated with her, and embarrassed. If you think I was over reacting, by all means invite your mom or dad over to your place and then start fucking about ten minutes before they get there so they can walk in on ya, and you’ll know why I was so fuckin pissed off at her.

But boo-fuckin-hoo. It’s not like I haven’t been through worse. Ya know, things like child birth, getting the shit kicked out of me by a demon who abducted my wife, sitting back and feeling totally helpless while my little girl had to go through brain surgery to get a tumor removed. As far as horrible things go, this one was pretty low on the fuckin list. But right then at that moment in time, I just couldn’t get any perspective. I needed to just remove myself from the situation and just chill out, and get my head straight. Well, not straight ‘cause then I’d have to divorce B and find a guy to be with and who has the time for that shit, right? Anyway, so whenever I need to just chill out and clear my head I always go upstairs and hang out with the one person who can make me forget about my problems. Well, at least when the problem is Buffy.

So I went upstairs to Mattie’s room - no, sorry, I went to Matt’s room. He’s a teenager now and doesn’t like his ‘baby name’. Anyway, so I went upstairs and was looking forward to kicking his ass on a couple of video games, and just hanging out with my kid, ya know? Maybe go play some one on one at the school after dinner. That’s always been our thing. I don’t do the whole self esteem building thing where you let them win. No, if he wants to win he has to earn it. You should’ve seen the look on his face the first time he beat me. He was eight, and I was totally fuckin shocked. Pride came later after my bruised ego had some time to heal. It’s kinda fuckin sad though ‘cause it’s gotten to the point where he takes pity on me and lets me win every once in a while. He says that he doesn’t do it but I can tell that he’s lying.

What I saw when I went into his bedroom I totally wasn’t fucking expecting at all. I expected him to be in there talking to one of his friends on the phone. I swear he’s about as bad as a teenage girl when it comes to talking on the damn phone. Alright, so most of the time he’s talking to a girl, but whatever. But when I walked into his room he wasn’t on the phone, or playing a video game, or reading a book, or doing his homework, or any of the other shit he does in his room. He was sitting on his bed with Sasha lying by his feet and he was stroking her back. But there’s nothing unusual about that. These two bond more every day. No, what was weird was the fact that he had these big fat tears running down his cheeks. All of my problems and frustrations were instantly booted outta my mind and my ‘mama’ instincts kicked in.

Mattie’s never been a sissy-boy or anything like that. When he was younger the only time he’d cry was when he got hurt or when he was sick or whatever. And even then a couple hugs from one of us, especially B, always calmed him down and he’d stop crying. But as he’s gotten older and become more of a guy and less of a kid he doesn’t really talk about his feelings at all. You pretty much gotta pull teeth to get him to admit to how he’s feeling. I guess it’s just typical guy behavior and I totally fucking hate it because something was upsetting my boy and I knew it was going to be a fucking struggle to get him to talk about it. Alright so I guess I can’t blame it all on the fact that he’s a guy ‘cause I’m kinda the same way, but is pointing fingers really gonna help the fuckin problem? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Anyway, so I eased my way into the room, and as soon as he noticed me he tensed up and wiped away his tears. He tried to act like nothing was going on, that he wasn’t up here crying alone in his bedroom with no one but the dog to keep him company, but he wasn’t fooling anybody. I didn’t wanna make too big of a deal out of it ‘cause people cry sometimes, that’s just what we do. So I sat down next to him on the bed and tried to pay more attention to the dog then I was to him. I asked him a couple simple questions and all he did was fuckin shrug. The questions I asked were ‘are you hungry?’ and ‘what do you want for dinner?’ By his responses I knew that this was going to be so much fuckin harder then I originally thought.

I knew it had to be something to do with Brooke. Mattie was really protective of her and they seemed to have a little bit of a bond going on, and with his parents back at him I’m sure the bond grew in a whole bunch of ways that it might not have if we had been there. The last thing I wanna think about is my kid having sex but that is a possibility. Not a very large possibility because he’s only thirteen and she’s around the same age, but the possibility was there to mock me in all sorts of horrible fucked up ways. Yeah, sure, I thought it was funny that time in Monterey when he snuck upstairs with that girl and she almost went down on him until they got walked in on. But I never really thought about this, about my boy getting emotionally involved with a girl and then taking it to that level and then getting completely heartbroken. Guys can be pigs, but they got feelings too, ya know?

I didn’t wanna just come out and ask if they had slept together. I don’t know why, normally I’m such a straight forward person, most of the time, but I just couldn’t force those words out of my mouth. So I started asking questions about her, and what they did together while he was there. I asked if he liked her, and if they were dating and he denied it. I really don’t think my son would flat out lie to me. In fact, I know he wouldn’t. When he does lie he can’t make eye contact, and he was able to look me in the face and tell me that they weren’t seeing each other. I got a little impatient with the conversation and pussy footing around what I really wanted to fucking know. So I asked him why he was so upset and he fuckin stonewalled. Ya know those commercials where the crash test car speeds into the brick wall and the dummy goes through the fuckin windshield or whatever? Well at that moment I was the dummy and he was the wall.

I kept pushing. I don’t know why I kept pushing as much as I was. I guess I just needed to know if my kid had gotten himself into some trouble or something. He could’ve slept with this chick and gotten a disease for all I knew, and I wanted to find the fuck out, ya know? I’ll admit that I pushed a little too hard. I kept asking him what happened and he kept shrugging. His muscles were getting tenser, and his neck was starting to turn red. Those are all signs pointing to PROCEED WITH CAUTION but I didn’t. When he shrugged again for the tenth time, I lost a lot of my patience. I turned so I was facing him completely and tried to make eye contact, but he wouldn’t look at me. I hate it when my kids don’t look at me when I’m trying to talk them. That’s a matter of respect and I hate it when they fuckin disrespect me. It makes me feel like I’m doing a shit job raising them.

“Come on, Matt, you know you can talk to me,” I said and put my hand on his knee. He flinched a little at my touch and tried to move away but he only has a twin bed and the wall was blocking him. He had nowhere to go, and looking back I think that might have been the moment I should’ve backed off a little. A slayer who feels cornered and distressed is definitely a dangerous thing. “Just tell me what happened at the school. It’s probably not as bad as you think.” That was it. He had finally reached his breaking point. He jumped up off the bed, knocking Sasha off it since she was in his way. He kicked the trash can next to his computer desk and the thing went flying into the fucking wall. He let out a frustrated as fuck yell as he kicked it, and after the loud THUD of it hitting the wall he just stood there, breathing heavy, and looking so tense I thought his muscles were gonna snap.

I jumped up off the bed and slowly walked around so I was facing him. He had tears running down his cheeks, and his face was all red and his fists were clenched. God, it’s amazing and scary how much this boy is like me. Why can’t he take after Buffy? At least she’s a little more open about her feelings. At least she is when it comes to me. Most of the time. Ok, so I guess that’s also a bad example. We’re both a little closed off when it comes to our feelings, but I’m way worse about it then she is. And I guess Mattie has decided to take after me. I like the fact that he’s into sports like I am, and he’s starting to get into cars and bikes like I am, but being all closed off like this? I definitely didn’t want him to take after me in this department. Maybe we should’ve used a sperm donor. At least then these kids wouldn’t have all of my fucked up genes, ya know?

Anyway, I knew words weren’t going to do any good. They wouldn’t do any good for me when I’m like this. So instead of saying anything to him, I wrapped my arms around him. I held onto him hard. He fought me a little at first but I think all of those emotions that were building up inside finally just snapped. He went a little limp in my arms, and hid his fact in the crook of my neck like he used to do when he was a baby and he was scared or sick. I held onto my baby boy and I ignored Buffy when she came into the room wanting to know what the noise was. I just waved her out, and she got the message to back off. She knows as much as I do how Mattie can be when he’s upset. My little man silently cried against me for what felt like hours. I could feel his hot tears burning my skin, and my own eyes started to water with tears. It was eating me up inside seeing my boy like this.

“Let’s sit down,” I said, and he let out a big sigh. I could feel his whole body relax with that big exhale, and I could tell that he was feeling a little better. When we pulled back from the hug I took a second to just look at his face. He looked a little better, but he still looked hella upset. I don’t really know how to explain it, like the anger was gone and now he just looked…kinda broken? I don’t know, like I said, it’s hard to explain. So we walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. I kept my hand on his shoulder. He was upset and letting me touch him, it doesn’t happen very often when he’s upset about something. “Alright, Mattie, just tell me what happened. Did something happen with you and Brooke?” Not knowing was starting to slowly eat at my insides, and I was a little relieved when he shook his head no. “Come on Mattie, give me something to go on. I’m flying blind here.” He sighed again, and more of the tension melted from his shoulders.

“I was on a training patrol and some girl died,” he said and shrugged his shoulders. I was fuckin floored. How the fuck did that happen and I didn’t fuckin know about it? I asked him to tell me more about it ‘cause you can’t just say some shit like that and no go into detail, ya know? He took in a deep breath and held it. I don’t remember seeing or hearing him exhale. Who knows, maybe that breath is still locked up inside him right now? Anyway, he stared down at his lap, and he gave me what I asked for. “Grandpa Giles said I could go on patrol with a group of sophomores and a demon jumped the group.” He went quiet again, and more big fat tears starting running down his cheeks. I wiped them away with the back of my hand and surprisingly he didn’t stonewall again. “He had a big knife, and he stabbed Katrina in the chest. She fell, and I put my hands over the blood, but the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I tried, Mom, I tried, but I couldn’t make it stop.”

He started sobbing after that and he didn’t say another word. The fact that all of this shit happened and no one told me is what really pissed me off. My boy was on his knees, pressing down on this girl’s chest so hard her sternum cracked a little, and he watched that girl die. He looked into her eyes the whole time as her eyes glazed over, and her soul left her body. Whenever a student is hurt on a patrol a report has to be written up by the intern leading the group. The report is put in a file, and read by one of the counselors, and every person involved has to sit down and talk with that counselor, and then the counselor’s report is read by Giles. The fact that GILES knew about this shit and didn’t call to tell me that by boy watched some girl die still has me in a foul fuckin mood.

After Mattie told me what happened, he cried himself to sleep in my arms. After I was sure he was out, I very carefully got up from the bed and covered him up with the extra blanket in his closet. I didn’t wanna risk waking him up by trying to pull back his comforter. Then I went into my bedroom, called Giles, and yelled at him for about an hour. I mean, my boy went through something fucking horrible, something life changing, and completely fucked up and Giles didn’t have the common fuckin decency to call me? He came up with some excuse about being in London while it happened and he hasn’t looked at the reports yet, but what the fuck?! If Giles wasn’t there, then the person in charge should’ve told me, or the counselor should’ve called me. I’m Faith the Vampire Slayer, doesn’t that mean anything anymore? Don’t those people know that I’ll fuckin rip their Goddamn intestines out if something bad happens to my kid while he’s under their watch?

Anyway, I got off the phone with Giles about twenty minutes ago and now I’m in the living room, sitting on the couch, Missy’s curled up in my lap and I’m sippin at a glass of JD. I don’t wanna get drunk, I just wanna take some the edge off, ya know? B doesn’t care so much anymore if I drink the stuff in the house. I’ve gotten to the point where I can control my drinking and not get shit faced. I told her what happened at the school, why Mattie’s been so moody lately, and why I’m nursing this glass of alcohol, and now she’s in the kitchen giving Giles a piece of her mind. She’s trying to be quiet though ‘cause she doesn’t want the little kids to find out what happened. They’re curious as fuck and I sent them outside a little while ago to play with Sasha. They’re pissed about it, but they’ll get over it.

I want all of this shit to just fade away. I want it to just blow away in the strong breeze, but I know it’s not. Mattie witnessed the death of a human being, and I’m gonna be the one who has to talk to him about it. B could try to explain what an experience like that is ‘cause she pretty much did the same for Finch when I accidentally stabbed him, but I don’t think her alone is going to be enough. I’m not saying she’s a bad mom, but Mattie’s gonna need a little more than a story about Buffy the Great with a moral lesson at the end of it. I know she’ll never open up to him about what happened the night Finch died, and I think if she did it would help him a lot. Knowing that she went through a lot of the same thing and she understands what he’s feeling could help a lot, but I know she’ll never talk to him about it. She doesn’t want the kids to know about any of the shit we did in our past.

I don’t want them to know most of it either, but if this little bit of information will help him heal then we should give it a try. I’ll have to talk to her about it though. We can’t go up there and talk to Mattie together without some type of game plan. Helping him through this is going to take work, and we might have to have one of the grief counselor’s from the school come out. I hate the thought of not being good enough to help my kid, but we’ve never had to deal with something like this before, and I think we might be a little out of our league. I know what to do when they got a runny nose, or when they fall down and scrape up their knees, or when they’re fighting over the TV. But when a girl literally dies in their hands? Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to find the “how to deal with your teen acting out after seeing a horrible death” in any parenting books.


I’m running. I don’t know where I’m going, whether I’m running to something, or if I’m running from something, but I’m running. My lungs are burning, sucking in the cold air around me, and my legs are screaming at me to stop, exhausted from the almost endless amount of movement, but I ignore them. I have to keep going. It’s night, there’s a bright full moon shining what light it can down on me, offering me a little bit of guidance, and I’m in a cemetery. There’s a light layer of fog setting in, but I don’t stop to marvel at the cheesiness of it. I just keep on running. I’m afraid, I can feel it in my bones, but I don’t know what I’m afraid of. It feels like I’m afraid of everything. Even the air I’m breathing in seems threatening.

I don’t slow down for a second, but I tear my attention away from the path ahead of me. I take a look around, and I can see trees, bare branches slightly swaying in the breeze. I can hear an owl chirping its mysterious song to the night, and all of us who are going insane and are here to listen to it. I can hear something else now. It’s loud, and I know it doesn’t belong here. The noise is coming from nowhere, but it’s everywhere. I can’t get away from it. I recognize it, I knew what it was the second it started playing. It’s one of Faith’s favorite songs. I hate it. I think that’s why she loves it so much. She plays it in the car a lot just to bother me.

The bass, the rock, the mic, the treble. I like my coffee black just like my metal.

I start running faster. Maybe if I go fast enough I can outrun that stupid song. I won’t work though. I know that I can never get away from it because even if I do get out of this weird-ass place and sit still for a second Faith will start playing it while she works out just to piss me off. She likes to do that too. She says that the song has a great beat for her to work to, but I know she really listens to it because it bothers me. She has like, a million other CDs to choose from, but this is the one she picks when I want to work out with her. I know why she does it too. She’ll never just admit that she wants to workout alone because she wants to clear her head. Instead of telling me that she’d rather be alone she plays music that she knows I hate so that eventually I’ll get tired of it and walk away.

I can’t wait for you to knock me up. In a minute, minute. In a fuckin minute.

I stop running, but I wasn’t the one who decided I should stop. My legs were the ones who pulled the breaks, and I stumble forward. I can still hear the music playing in the air, only now I don’t think it’s coming from the air. I think it’s inside my head, playing in my ears, driving me crazy, because nothing else here makes sense…so why should this too? I mean, it makes sense for me to be in a cemetery at night. I’m a slayer, that’s just what we do. But it doesn’t make sense that I’m alone. I haven’t patrolled alone, I mean really patrolled, since I got together with Faith. But I can’t think about that right now because something is after me. I think. Why else would I be this afraid? Why else would I be shaking in my very cute boots? Something is after me. I just don’t know what it is yet.

I can’t wait for you to shut me up, and make me hip, like badass!

The song finally goes away, and all that’s left is the sound of the tree branches moving in the wind. The owl is still there but he’s being quiet now. I don’t know how I know he’s there, or that he’s a he, but he is, and he’s in his little tree home watching me. He’s waiting for something to happen, but I just can’t figure out what it is. I think I’m starting to catch on though. I see a grave, which isn’t surprising since I’m in a cemetery. But this grave is different. This one is fresh, and this one has a hole in it. Not a big hole, not even really a hole. More like the dirt has been disturbed. It was lying there, sleeping like it thought it was supposed to, and someone crawled out from beneath it. From beneath you it…oh, nevermind. I’m not going to start with that shit again.

“Hey, what’s up, pussy cat?” I hear someone say, and my attention is ripped away from the grave. I look over and I see Faith walking towards me. She looks as cool as a cucumber, whatever that means, and she’s all decked out in black. She’s wearing her black leather pants, a black long sleeved top that I’m pretty sure is mine, and her black sexy boots. Her makeup is even done a little darker. She hasn’t applied it like that since Sunnydale. I don’t know why but seeing her doesn’t put me at ease like it normally does. Even when I’m really stressed out about something, seeing Faith always makes me feel a little better. I guess things here, wherever the hell here is, are different.

“Faith, what are you doing here?” I whisper, and take a couple of steps towards her. I feel something weird in my tummy, right below my belly button. I know that’s important. At least I think it’s important, but I’m not sure why. It feels familiar, but in a bad way. She shrugs her shoulders, and pulls a pack of cigarettes and a lighter out of her pocket. How did she even fit those in there? Ok, Buffy, focus. Something is very wrong and I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Faith’s tiny pockets, but wouldn’t it be weird if it did?

“Doesn’t really matter, does it?” she asks and starts to lightly tap the pack on the palm of her hand. I don’t know exactly why she does that, she tried to explain it to me once, but then I started thinking about shoes. “I’m here now, so why do you gotta ask?” I just stare at her for a few seconds with a raised eyebrow. She’s been living with me for how long and she’s just now questioning why I always ask questions? Did she fall and bump her head, or trip on acid, or get hit really hard with a golf ball or something? Lincoln has a public golf course so it’s very possible.

“It’s not safe here,” I tell her in almost a whisper. The fog starts to thicken around us, and I feel like it’s trying to close in on me. I look around, but all I can see is the darkness, and some trees, and more graves, but they’re all blurred because of this dense fog. I hear her lighter ignite, and then the sound of her taking the very first drag of her very bad habit. It sounds different though. I don’t know what’s different about it exactly, but it’s ringing a couple of bad bells that I just can’t place. It’s almost like this fog is doing more than just blocking my vision. It’s almost like its blocking parts of my mind too. “I think something’s after me.” She exhales, and the large puff of smoke gets lost in the fog.

“Oh I know what’s after you, pussy cat, but you don’t gotta be afraid,” she says, and takes another small drag of her cigarette. Her voice sounds so weird right now. Normally when I’m afraid of something, it doesn’t happen often but it sometimes occurs, she reassures me. I know what she said may look reassuring, but it didn’t sound reassuring. The very opposite, actually. She’s making me even more afraid. She lifts her head a little so she’s looking up into the night and quickly exhales. Then she brings her head down so she’s looking right into my eyes. She has a little twinkle in them that I’m not loving at the moment. “I don’t want to hurt you.” My eyebrows furrow, and my whole body tenses up. What the hell is she talking about?

“You’re after me?” I ask, and my voice shakes a little. Why am I getting so afraid? It shouldn’t be this way. It’s not supposed to be this way. At least I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way. She nods her head yes, and takes another drag of the cigarette. The sound, that strange sound of her pulling on the butt of it, there’s something not right about it. It’s not supposed to sound that way, but I can’t remember why. What am I missing, dammit? “But that doesn’t make sense.” I sound totally frustrated, and she just kind of smiles. I hate it when she smiles when I’m upset. If I’m confused then she should be confused too. Or at least explain what the hell is going on instead of just standing there.

“Sure it does, B. You’re just standing too close to see it.” Ok, if I was confused before then mark me down for being totally fucking lost. I have no idea what the hell she’s talking about. She’s just standing there looking all smug and Faith-like, but something feels totally off. She’s right, there’s something that I’m not seeing. I don’t know what I’m standing too close to, but whatever it is I can’t see it. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be literal or figurative. I mean, am I standing to close to…whatever it is to, to actually physically see it, or does she mean I’m too involved in the situation and I need to remove myself from it to come to an understanding? I think I’ve been listening to way too many Zen tapes.

“To see what?” I ask and I hate that I had to ask. I don’t know why, normally I don’t feel stupid whenever I have to ask Faith something, but for some reason I feel like I shouldn’t be asking her anything. Especially now that I know she’s the one after me. And why the hell is she after me? Are we playing some kind of sexy game that I don’t know about? We used to play sexy hide and seek in our old apartment before we had Matthew. Aw, the good old days. Anyway, she kinda looks me up and down, ya know, that whole elevator eyes thing that if done in the wrong place to the wrong person will get you thrown in a sexual harassment seminar.

“The fact that you’ve already lost,” she says, and the puff of smoke surrounding her face made that sentence so much scarier. She didn’t say it in a threatening way or with any anger in her voice. She said that calmly, causally, like it’s a simple fact. That’s what is so damn scary about it. A cold chill works its way down my back and I have to fight off the shudder that wants to ripple through my muscles. I was creeped out by her before, but now I’m really scared. But she’s my wife, I shouldn’t be afraid of her. Seeing her is supposed to make me feel better, not worse. A strange tightness starts to form in my chest, and I don’t know why but I feel like I need to get out of here right now or something awful is going to happen.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say and I try not to sound afraid. Judging by the smirk that just popped up on her face it didn’t work too well. She just stares at me, continuing to smoke her ever shrinking cigarette. Her eyes keep scanning over my body and it’s making me feel very uncomfortable. The feeling is alien to me. Normally when Faith’s eyes scan over me like that it makes me feel wanted, and sexy, and glad that after all we’ve been through she still looks at me that way. I need to get out of here. I’m starting to feel suffocated and even more afraid then I was before. “I’m going to leave now.” I only take one step. The look on her face has completely changed and it literally stopped me in my tracks.

“No you're not,” she says, and she sounds a little angry. She throws the remainder of her cigarette onto the ground and she doesn’t bother stamping it out with her foot. Before my mind has even registered her movement, she’s right in front of me. Her hands are on my arms and she’s holding them to my side. She’s not being gentle about it either. I wouldn’t be surprised if bruises were forming this very second. I try to squirm, to get out of her grasp but she holds on tighter. This doesn’t make sense. Why is she so strong? “You're not ready yet.” She looks me dead in the eyes as she says that.

My own eyes grow wide with fear as I watch hers change. Not just her eyes, but her entire face changes. Her eyes turn yellow, ridges appear on her brow, and once where there were two small teeth, are now razor sharp fangs. I’m stuck here staring in shock because I’ve just witnessed my wife morph into a hunter, a killer, a soulless creature that I spend most of my nights hunting down and slaying. She takes advantage of the fact that I’m in shock, and she slams me up against a tall grave stone. I didn’t notice it before. It’s one of those tall stones with an angel on top, looking over the cemetery, especially the person who’s resting directly beneath it.

A hollow scream escapes my lungs and over her shoulder I can see the owl flying away. I guess he was trying to warn me that something bad was going to happen and now that things are going bad he’s flying off to find some place safer. Or maybe he just can’t believe how stupid I am and doesn’t want to watch me die. Or maybe he just got hungry. Ok, why am I thinking about that stupid owl when Faith the Vampire is pressing me up against this stone and staring at me like a starved dog staring at a steak grilled to perfection and drizzled in A1 sauce, sitting on a plate just out of reach on the kitchen table and wishing with all of its might that its master accidentally drops it on the floor?

“Faith, what are you doing?” I manage to slip through the tiny cracks that have splintered in the fear and tension that is cemented between us. Her eyes tear away from mine, and move down to my lips. She has that look on her face that I know so well. She wants to kiss me. But I see something else behind it too, and unfortunately I know what that means too. She wants to kiss me hard enough to make my lips bleed so she can suckle the blood.

“Aw, pussy cat, don’t be afraid. I told you I don’t wanna hurt you,” she says, her voice thick with lust, and she looks up into my eyes again. She smiles a sickening grin, and my stomach sinks down to my knees. I try to look deeper into her eyes. Maybe I can find her real intentions. Maybe she doesn’t want to hurt me after all. But all I see when I look into her yellow orbs is a darkness so black I think it swallowed the abyss.

“I need to leave, Faith.” Maybe if I can get out of here I can pretend all of this never happened. I can go back to running and track down the owl and tell him he was wrong. Where am I supposed to be? I have a feeling it isn’t here, and I’m not just saying that because my wife wants to kill me. I honestly have no idea where I was going when I was running, but I’m sure it was towards something and not away from something. I think the feeling of being chased was just a coincidence. I feel my eyebrows furrow like they always do when I’m confused, and her smiles softens a little. She almost looks like the Faith I used to know. “I don’t think I’m supposed to be here.” Her grip tightens and I wince at the pain.

“You can’t go yet, pussy cat. You’re not ready. I’m gonna set your mind free, and you won’t have to worry about me not loving you. I gotta make you young forever first.” There’s a moment of tension that passes by. Everything gets eerily still, and my heart starts thundering in my chest when I see her cock her head to the side just a teeny bit, and she slowly runs the tip of her tongue over her upper lip. Before I can make a sound or move a muscle her fangs sink deep into my neck. I let out the tiniest little gasp, and my eyes grow as wide as saucers at the sudden pain. I can feel the blood rushing, feel her crotch grinding against mine as she takes me, breaks me, and makes me hers forever.

My eyes fly open, and all I see is the darkness of the room. My breathing is ragged and I feel a thin layer of sweat covering my entire body. I can still see and hear little bits and pieces of that crazy dream echoing inside my mind. What the fuck was that all about? I don’t really remember much. I know that it was weird, and that Faith tried to kill me. I can still see those cold, yellow eyes staring into mine. What’s wrong with me? I don’t think that question will ever have an answer to it. Kind of like trying to explain to someone how you move your hand. It’s impossible to explain how to do it, you just do it. Ok, maybe that was a bad example. If I weren’t so tired I’d try to come up with something else, but I guess you’re just going to have to take what I’ve given you and be happy about it. Or not, whichever you decide.

I lie there, unmoving, and concentrate on trying to get my breathing under control. Now that I’m awake and the dream is starting to fade completely it isn’t taking long. My eyes have adjusted to the room and I can see my dresser and the outline of my things on top of it. I can see the hamper with all of our dirty laundry. I can see the clothes sticking out of the top, and there is a small pile on the floor. Those are all of the ones that won’t fit inside. When was the last time anyone did laundry? That’s a chore that Faith and I try to split equally since we both hate doing it. That’s all I can see without the light being on. Slayer eyesight is awesome, but it doesn’t mean I have night vision. But how awesome would that be? Xander would be totally jealous, and I’m sure Andrew would make lots of geeky comic book character references. On second thought, I think Xander, Andrew and Faith would all geek out and start making those references if we could do that.

I roll over onto my back and try to get comfortable. I can already tell that I’m not going to be able to fall asleep again. Don’t you hate it when that happens? I look over at Faith, and I can tell just by looking at her pretty face that she isn’t asleep. When she sleeps she looks so peaceful, but right now she looks worried. Maybe she’s having a nightmare? No, she talks in her sleep when she has nightmares. It’s one of the cutest yet most annoying things about her. I reach over and slowly run my fingertips across her cheek. Her eyebrows relax, making that little wrinkle in between them to go away. She slowly opens her eyes, and she has a guilty look on her face. It makes her look even more adorable, like she’s a little kid that got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar after being told to wait until after dinner to eat one.

“You ok, sweetness?” she asks and her voice is lined with worry. I feel my eyebrows furrow a little and she gets that soft little grin on her face that always appears when I get a very ‘Buffy’ expression on my face. “I heard you whining in your sleep. You called out for help.” I did? Why didn’t she wake me up? Ok, getting mad at her for that is just stupid. I watch as she bring her hand up, and gently takes a hold of my hand that’s still softly caressing her face. She slowly pulls it away from her face and gives my palm a soft kiss and keeps holding onto my hand, and she rests them on the bed between us. I’m focusing on her doing this because I don’t really know what to say. I barely remember the dream I had and what I do remember of it isn’t good. What I remember most was an overwhelming sense of fear and loss of hope.

“You only have bad dreams when something’s bothering you. What’s been goin on in your head, B?” she asks softly, and I cast my eyes downward to the space between us. I know what she’s really asking and I don’t want to answer her. She isn’t just asking about the dream, but about the way I’ve been acting lately. I know I’ve been a little…off lately. I don’t normally dress the way I have been, or act so recklessly. If I go to Faith’s work feeling a little frisky I always lock her office door so her dad can’t just walk in on us. I left the door unlocked on purpose. I wanted that feeling, that little thrill that goes down your spine when you feel like you could get caught at any second. I didn’t know he was going to walk in on us like that. Faith’s mad at me about it. She told me she can’t even look her dad in the eye anymore. Things will blow over and they’ll get over it, but I have a feeling it’s going to take a while for that to happen.

“B, you can tell me anything. You don’t have to be embarrassed,” she says, and her voice remains soft, and gentle. Sometimes when I feel like I can’t tell her something she gets a little impatient. I guess that’s one more reason to be thankful for having kids. They, especially Matthew, taught her how to be patient because you can’t rush a little kid when they don’t feel like talking or they freak out and either throw a fit or just shut down completely. I feel her thumb gently caress the back of my hand and I let out a little sigh. “You’ve been acting so…not like Buffy. There’s gotta be a reason, B. You don’t just act like this for no reason.” And now I feel like I’m being lectured. She’s definitely tapping a little too much into ‘mother mode’. I let out a shaky breath, and she remains quiet. I can feel her eyes on me, and I know I have to tell her. I feel like I’m finally ready to talk to her.

“When we were patrolling, and that vampire stabbed me.” I stop talking when I practically feel her tense up. My eyes instantly dash up to her. I didn’t mean to make her feel uncomfortable, but the thought of me getting hurt always gets a reaction out of her, just like the thought of her getting hurt always gets a horrible reaction out of me. How we’re able to go patrolling on a regular basis is beyond me. I wait for her to relax, it only takes a few seconds, and then I let out another shaky breath and keep going. “When you were carrying me home I got this thought that maybe I’m getting too old to keep patrolling. I should have been able to stop that vampire. I should have been able to fight him better than I did. He had the upper hand the entire time. That never would’ve happened before. Before I got old.” I feel the bed shake a little and I try not to get irritated. She’s holding in her laughter, and it’s making her body shake.

“I’m sorry, B,” she says and her voice sounds choked because she’s trying so hard not to laugh. I guess she can tell by the look on my face that I’m not happy with her at the moment. She’s quiet for a minute or two, and I can tell she’s trying to get her laughter under control. I’m not looking at her anymore. I’m looking at our joined hands. “So you’re like, going through your midlife crisis?” I hate it when she can’t take anything serious. I try to pull my hand away from her so I can roll over onto my side and face away from her, but she holds on a little tighter. “I’m sorry. It’s just…you’re not old, B. And I’m only two years younger than ya, so if you’re getting too old to patrol then so am I.” I sigh a little. She just doesn’t understand. It isn’t just about patrolling, and she doesn’t get that. Sometimes I feel like she doesn’t understand me at all. “What, you think you’re getting too old for me?” Or maybe she knows me better than I thought.

“Yeah, I guess,” I say and I go quiet. She doesn’t say anything and after a few tense moments pass I know she isn’t going to say anything. It’s my turn to talk, to explain how I’ve been feeling. She knows if she’s quiet I’ll say something to fill up the void as it grows and spreads tension around. She really sucks sometimes, and not in a good way. “I’m just afraid you’re not going to think I’m sexy anymore. My body is already so different from yours. I’ve been pregnant twice so I have more stretch marks, and gravity is starting to work against me. I looked in the mirror, I stared at my body for a really long time, and……things are just different. I want to be sexy…for you, and I don’t feel like I am anymore.” I feel her shift on the bed and look up just in time to see her leaning towards me. I close my eyes right before her lips reach mine. The kiss is soft and sweet, and I can feel her love pouring into me from everywhere our bodies are connected.

“When your hair is white, and your tits are at your knees, and you’ve completely lost your damn mind I will think you are the sexiest woman on the planet,” she says as she gazes deeply into my eyes. I can tell just by the look in them that she means it. I chuckle a little though at her description, and I look away from her. I feel stupid for thinking that she would stop loving me, or stop being attracted to me. When am I going to stop being so damn insecure? I was never like this before when I was younger. Ok, so maybe I was, but not about my body. I guess it makes sense. I’ve been insecure about everything at least once. I guess it’s just time I start freaking out about this. I wish I could be more like Faith sometimes. She never gets insecure about her body. Well, once she did for a little while, but that was when she was pregnant with Addison. But after that she was confident. She’s hot and she knows it.

“Is that why you dressed all slutty and fucked me in my office?” she asks and she sounds very amused. My neck and cheeks burn with a deep blush when she says that. I’m sure I’m as red as Willow’s hair right now. She chuckles a little, and gently rubs my cheek. “It was hot, B, don’t get me wrong. But I think that outfit should be saved for Halloween, or when the kids aren’t around. I think Joey is gonna need therapy after seein you dressed like that. He just couldn’t understand why is mommy was dressed like that.” I laugh a little bit as I imagine what it must’ve been like on the car ride to his daycare. The older Joseph gets the more inquisitive he gets about everything. When something happens that he doesn’t understand he’ll just stand back and watch with this very…studious look on his face. I call it his ‘scientist’ face, because he looks like a little scientist trying to solve a problem.

“I can’t believe I dressed like that in front of them. It’s not like they haven’t see us like that before. We’ve worn some pretty inappropriate things for Halloween, but……what is wrong with me?” I ask, but I’m not upset like you’re probably thinking. I’m laughing a little and it feels so good to have all of this worry lifted from my mind. Faith loves me. She’s always going to love me. That’s what we promised each other even before we got married. We go quiet again, but this time there’s no tension, just a nice comfortable silence. I like watching Faith when we have little moments like this. Something is always running through her head, and seeing those thoughts influence her facial expression is fun to watch. Like right now for example. I can tell she’s thinking about something serious because her eyebrows are starting to furrow a little, but it isn’t something bad because she doesn’t have a frown on her face. “What is it, sweetheart?”

“Hmm? Oh, nothin. Just thinking,” she says and shifts around on the bed a little. She brings her knee up until it’s touching my thigh, but I can tell just from her body language that she isn’t looking to start something. She just needs more contact but for whatever reason she doesn’t just want to take it or ask for it. I could be wrong though. Her leg could’ve been getting a little stiff so she needed to move it around before it fell asleep. That’s always a possibility too. I give her a little curious look, and she gets a little smile on her face, but I have a feeling it isn’t a happy smile. Don’t ask me why. That’s just how I feel. “I was just thinkin how it isn’t gonna be too long before we have to tell Addy to go back upstairs and change her clothes ‘cause what she’s wearing is too slutty for school. She takes after me too much already. I think when she’s a teenager I’m gonna develop blood pressure issues.” I chuckle a little, but calm myself before it turns into a real laugh.

“Who knows, maybe puberty will calm her down and then she’ll take after me.” I regret those words as soon as they leave my mouth. When I was a teenage I would sneak out at night to go be with my much older boyfriend, I had sex with said boyfriend without my mom even knowing he existed, I had died once, was an accomplice to a murder, and dressed way inappropriately. How I got away with wearing those short skirts to school I’ll never know. Oh God, maybe all of the teachers were perverts and didn’t complain because they liked the view? Maybe that’s the real reason why my History teacher never gave me anything lower then a C on the quizzes and tests when I didn’t really study all that much. Wow, that one thought just opened up a whole new bag of issues to feel insecure about. Faith scuffs and it snaps me out of my little freak out.

“No offense, B, but you weren’t exactly the poster child of what I’m hoping our kid is gonna be like. I hope she’s more like Red. Willow was always pretty calm, right?” I nod my head a little but I don’t really mean it. Sure, Willow was always way “calmer” then the rest of us, but the relationship she had with her parents was almost nonexistent. I definitely shaped a lot of who Willow was because she was always trying to do really good things so her parents would pay attention to her. After a while she just stopped caring. I think that’s when she started seeing Oz. She knew her parents wouldn’t approve of her dating a musician slash werewolf so she kept him a secret for a really long time. Then she acted out and spilled the beans and Oz had to go her house for dinner and get interrogated by parents. But Oz was a really good guy. God, I hope Addison has a thing for really good guys.

“Baby, what if she acts out by dating some sleazebag?” I ask, and Faith gets this look on her face that is totally saying ‘don’t even go there’. She’s so anti-dating already when it comes to Addison and our girl is only eight years old. That means she’s going to start dating in about six years. I think fourteen is the right age for a girl to start bringing boys home from school for her parents to meet, even if they’re just friends. I don’t want Addison to feel weird about doing stuff like that. Although, knowing how protective she is, Faith is probably going to interrogate the poor boys and check their wallets for condoms. I’ll probably find a way to keep Addison distracted so Faith can do that without getting caught by our daughter and start the third world war. “You’re right, that’s a stupid thought. It’s not like we’re going to be so oppressive that she’ll want to rebel by dating some loser who only wants to……take advantage of her.” If I had worded that any differently I think Faith would’ve started the third world war just now.

“She’s not dating until she’s thirty,” Faith says and she sounds a little grumpy. I hate it when she gets like this. When Matthew was a baby, and even just a little boy, we used to rock him to sleep, or stand in the doorway and watch him sleep after he moved to his “big boy” bed. We would just stand there and watch, and quietly talk about what his wife is going to look like, and be like, and how if she ever did anything to hurt my baby boy I’d gouge her eyes out with a rusty spoon. But after we had Addison, and even when Addison was still in the womb, Faith didn’t want to play that little game anymore. ‘Her’ little baby girl isn’t going to date, or even develop an interest in boys until she’s grown up and completely self sufficient. I want all of our babies to be able to take care of themselves and not need anybody else for financial support or anything like that, but I do want all of them to find someone to love the same way I love Faith.

“Ok, baby, live in denial all you want. When she’s twenty-five and getting married I’ll make sure to take lots of pictures for you to see.” She hates it when I say stuff like that, but I love it because she always gets a very unique expression on her face. Like a cross between a pout and irritation, and it’s so adorable. And she’s getting it right now. “Aw, come on, you know I’m just joking around with you. Besides if she’s anything like us then she won’t get married until after she’s already had two kids with the love of her life.” That gets me a scowl, but all I do is laugh and snuggle up really close to her. She wraps her arms around me and snuggles back a little, but the scowl is still on her face. I let out a very happy sigh as I rest my head down on her pillow, and close my eyes. Maybe now that all of that weight has been lifted off my mind, and with her arms wrapped around me I’ll be able to sleep peacefully.


This right here is what life is all fuckin about. I’m kicked back by the pool with a cold glass of fruit punch, with a little something extra added thanks to B, my kids are in the pool splashing around and havin an awesome time. The big dumb dog is running around the edge of it barkin her lungs out ‘cause she’s too afraid to jump in, the little dumb dog got pulled in my Addy about five minutes ago and now she looks like a drowning rat trying as hard as she can to get to the edge. B’s in the middle of a splashing contest with Mattie and losing fast. She’s never been good at splash fights. She just randomly hits the water as hard as she can and only some of it gets in your face. The trick is to hold your hands side by side, put the heels of ‘em in the water and tilt your fingers back a little so that when you push hella hard it makes a big wave. Taught Mattie how to do that when he was eight; biggest mistake I’ve ever made.

Buffy’s finally starting to act like her old self again. Hopefully that little midlife crisis was the worst of it, and she won’t wig out like that again. Dressin up kinda slutty every once in a while when we’re going out is great, but I don’t think the kids would’ve appreciated their mom showing up at back to school night looking like she’s about to open up shop in the red light district. That’s just not what B is about. She’s all soft edges, and pastels most of the time, and some of the time she’s rough and dirty. That’s just how it’s supposed to be. I’m not sayin I want her to be this Stepford wife or nothin. B can do what she wants to do ‘cause she’s my wife not my property, but she’s not this dirty bad girl. She’s the kind of girl you take home to your parents and settle down with. I didn’t have parents to take her home to, but we sure as hell have settled down.

What the fuck am I even talking about anymore? I guess it’s my turn to go a little insane. I think B put more alcohol in this then I thought. I better keep a close eye on it. The kids love to steal a sip of our drinks when we’re not lookin and the last thing I need is one of ‘em gettin tanked ‘cause I was too busy starin at B’s tits to pay attention to my drink. She brought up a good point last night when she said that we’re getting older and our bodies are starting to change, but damn, she’s still so fuckin hot. Total MILF, that’s for fuckin sure. I know I still got it goin on, and I feel bad for Mattie. I know that probably sounds like insane drunken logic but let me explain. He has two hot moms, which means when his teenage guy friends come over to hang out, they’re gonna be checkin us out and probably teasing him about how bad they wanna fuck us. Then again, my boy is a slayer and one good punch to the arm outta shut ‘em up.

I’m not sayin I want my kid to be violent, but defending a parent’s honor is something that every kid should fuckin due. I know I tried like hell to defend my mom before I dropped out of school. The other punk kids would be makin fun of me, callin my mom a druggie whore and all that shit, and I started more than a few fist fights ‘cause of that. The biggest fight I got into, other than the Battle of Sunnydale, though, was ‘cause of my dad. And I don’t mean like, the fight was so bad I broke bones or anything like that. Nah, what I mean is this one kid was makin fun of me ‘cause of my dad bein in prison. Well, at the school I went to a lot of kids had dads in prison and that motherfucker kept runnin their mouth and about ten of us ganged up and beat the shit out of him. I threw the first punch and it was like a damn bomb went off and everyone else jumped in.

But I don’t wanna be thinkin about that shit right now. Nah, right now I wanna just relax, and drink my drink and take more pictures of my family. B handed me the camera and said if I’m not gonna participate in the fun then I should document it. We don’t take enough pictures of our kids, and she’s really worried about it. When they were babies we photographed almost everything, but we keep getting so caught up in just getting the day over and done with that we don’t stop to appreciate what we have. The only time we ever really take pictures is when we go on vacation, and that isn’t too often. We have some beautiful pictures of the kids sitting on the beach when we were in Hawaii. The sun was setting, and the sky was all kinds of colors, and the kids were actually playing nicely together and building a sandcastle. But about fifteen seconds after the picture was taken Joey accidentally knocked down the left tower and all hell broke loose.

That’s why it’s so damn important to take pictures today. It’s Friday, but me and B both left work around two, and I picked Joey up from daycare early. We wanted to be home when the kids got home from school so we could spend the rest of the day with them and go swimming. Mattie and Addy are old enough to be home by themselves, and B gets home around five, so they’re only home for two hours by themselves, and some of B’s friends are stay-at-home moms, which is cool if that’s your thing. Me and B did that until Mattie went to kindergarten. I think if we stayed home together all fuckin day like that we would’ve driven each other crazy. Come to think of it I think all of our problems that we had, the whole hating each other and splitting up thing, was because we were together all the time. We never really got a break from each other. We never had a chance to miss each other, so that caused lots of problems.

Oh yeah, that picture is going on the Christmas card. Mattie splashed B just like I taught him, and a huge wave of water just went down her throat, and I got a picture of her coughing it back up. Maybe I’ll use that for our desktop background. Oh yeah, that’ll really bug the shit out of her. She turns on the computer to check her e-mail and the first thing she sees is a picture of her hackin up about a gallon of water. Knowing Buffy if I did that I wouldn’t get sex for a month. She’s getting better at the whole ‘holding out’ thing. It’s getting a little scary. I need sex all the time, and she can go all cold war over anything if she really wanted to. She doesn’t do it very often, but it happens sometimes and I always cave. She must know how to give herself an awesome orgasm in the shower if she can go without a piece of this for more than a week.

“Mama, I’m thirsty!” Joey yells from the edge of the pool. I’m tempted to yell something sarcastic back, but he’s still a little too young to understand sarcasm and I don’t want him walkin through the house soakin wet. B would get all pissy and make me clean it up for giving him the idea that it’s ok to walk through the house when you’re drippin wet. “Will you get me a juice, please?” I’m so fuckin glad Buffy is there other mom. If it weren’t for her these kids wouldn’t have any fuckin manners. I sigh a little and put the camera down. Hopefully that fuckin mutt won’t bother it. Sasha’s been going through this ‘I’m gonna chew your shit up’ phase and it’s annoying as hell. We bought about two hundred bucks worth of toys and the only stuff she likes to chew on belongs to me. Does she smell me on it and wants to fuckin kill it? That could be the reason. That dog is all about Buffy and doesn’t really want anything to do with me.

Anyway, so I get up off my ass and go into the kitchen. I grab a little bottle of orange juice out of the fridge and let the cool air run over my body. Sitting out on the chair and getting some sun made me a lot hotter than I thought. Hopefully I put on enough sunscreen and I won’t burn. There’s nothing tackier then a sunburn, and how fuckin gross is it when you start to peel? I feel like a snake when that shit happens. Maybe I will go swimming after all. Normally whenever the kids are in the pool I’m right there with ‘em, starting splash fights, racing to see who’s the fastest swimmer, and playing Marco Polo. But today I’m just too fuckin tired. After B went back to sleep I stayed up and just held her. I don’t know what the fuck happened in her dream but it wasn’t good. She was talking in her sleep and kept saying “no Faith, no”, and then she would whimper like she was in pain. I asked her about it this morning, but she said she couldn’t remember.

I’m not gonna worry about it or let it bother me too much. She’s been feeling really fucked, and I know it’s gonna take more than me telling her she’s still fuckin hot to calm her down. B can repress shit like no one’s business. You guys were around when Riley fuckin booked, and her mom died. She held all of that shit in and cut herself off from everyone. And it wasn’t just then. She had a big problem with letting her guard down around me when we first started dating, and we still have problems with it sometimes. She still thinks she has to be strong all the time, like she’s some supermom, super slayer, super everything and if she admits that she can’t handle something then the world will come tumbling down around her. But last night she let me in, after only one day of freaking out. Normally it takes her a week or two for the stress to really set in, and she’ll finally break down and that’s when she opens up to me.

I'm not saying that I'm fuckin perfect. It took me a lot longer to learn how to open up to her then it took her to learn to open up to me. I had never been in a real relationship before, and I didn't know what they're really all about. It all comes down to trust. If you can't trust the person you're with then there's no fuckin way it's gonna last. Don’t get me wrong, I trusted her. I trusted her with my body, and my heart, but my mind? I didn’t trust anyone with that. I honestly don’t remember my reasoning for it back then, but I’m sure I had a good excuse not to trust her completely. But now I can tell her everything. Ok, well, maybe not everything. There are just some things that you don’t tell your wife. Like, “Hey that chick over there looks hot. Oh man, the things I would do to her if we weren’t together.” Nah, I keep that shit to myself. But the shit about my past that I held onto so hard, that stuff I can tell her.

Anyway, so I walk back outside to give my boy his juice and I can’t help but roll my eyes. Buffy has the two little ones sitting on their towels that are in the grass about ten feet away from the pool. I guess they did somethin to earn a time-out. I know we’re supposed to discipline them to teach ‘em that actions have consequences and all that good stuff, but can’t she just chill out for a day? I set the bottle of juice down on the table on the deck, and walk over to the pool. Buffy’s sitting on the edge with her legs dipped in the water up to her knees, and watchin Mattie swim underwater. I swear that kid is like a whale. He can hold his breath like nobody’s fuckin business. I sit down next to her and dangle my legs in the water too. The little ones must’ve done something to deserve a time-out and they know they should be sitting there because they’re not asking me to let them get up.

“What are they in for this time?” I ask in my best 1920’s Chicago accent. And I have to admit, it’s pretty fuckin awesome. Buffy laughs a little bit, which was the whole fuckin point of using the accent, and she shrugs her shoulders a little. I turn my head to look at her, and all of my breath leaves my body in one big exhale. She looks so beautiful right now, and she literally just took my breath away. She’s been doing that since I first showed up in Sunnydale, and how crazy is it that she can still do that? You’d think I’d be used to her beauty by now, but every once in a while I’ll take the time to just look at her and she still amazes me. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail and still dripping wet, she’s rockin an awesome tan, and the sun is hitting her just right. She looks like she just stepped off the set of a photo shoot or something, except she’s not wearing any makeup.

“They were fighting over your camera to look at the pictures,” she says and I can tell she’s got something on her mind. If she were anymore distracted she probably wouldn’t have noticed that I said anything at all. I know that it’s going to take her some time to get over this little…whatever it is she went through, but I hope she isn’t feeling all insecure so soon. Everything has been going pretty perfect today, and I want her to just enjoy herself. And I won’t lie, another reason I want her to stay relaxed is so I can stay relaxed. If she gets all upset it’ll ruin this day for me too, ya know? We don’t get to just kick back very often, and we should both enjoy it. I gently touch her fingers with the tips of my own and the little touch pulls her mind back to reality. She looks over at, and she looks a little surprised, like she wasn’t fully aware that I was sitting next to her or something. Man, when she zones out she really commits.

“I thought we agreed no deep thoughts today,” I say and I sound dead serious but I have a little smile on my face to let her know I’m just playin around. She hates it when I sound serious like that, like she thinks I’m trying to boss her around and control what she does. We both know I would never do that to her, at least in a non-kinky fun kinda way. One thing that I had to learn the hard way is Buffy is very tone sensitive. If I’m being a little bitchy and use a harsh tone with her it throws her off and she gets all upset. We’ve gotten better about it over the years, I’ve learned more self control, and she’s learned to not take it too personally. Why the fuck am I even talking about this? I have more important things to think about. “What’s runnin around in that head of yours?” My tone is way gentler this time, and I softly squeeze her hand to add a little emphasis. She breaks the eye contact we got goin on to look down at the water again.

“I’m worried about him,” she says and we watch Mattie swim under the water. He comes up for breath at the far end of the pool and we both smile and wave at him. He gets this look on his face like he’s a little creeped out and then he dives back under again. He can do five laps underwater so we have plenty of time to talk about him without him hearing us. We have to keep our voices low though. Otherwise the little kids will hear and tell him what we said. They’ve gotten into the bad habit of doing that. “He’s just so closed off all the time. He used to be so open to us. We’d talk about everything that was running through his mind and now it’s like he’s slammed the door shut and locked us out. I know he’s a teenager and I know we’re his parents but he should be able to talk to us about important stuff. We’ve always made it very clear that they can talk to us about important stuff.” She sounds like she’s trying not to cry, and it breaks my heart a little.

“I know, babe. He’s just got a lot on his shoulders, ya know? He’s the oldest so there’s all this pressure to set a good example. Then there’s sports, and trying really hard to control his powers so he doesn’t hurt anyone, and keeping his grades up so he can play the sports. And then all the bullshit pressure that goes along with being a teenager.” She looks over at me like I just grew a second head. I just smile and shake my head a little. I know she hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager, and neither have I. Some people are just too disconnected to really remember what it’s like to have all the hormones raging, and peer-pressure, and having to be good enough for everyone else. But we get it. That’s why it’s so fucking frustrating when he won’t talk to us about certain things. “He still talks to us or else he would’ve have told us that.” I give her a sweet smile but she just rolls her eyes. Ok, she doesn’t have to be a total bitch about it.

“No, he talks to you. He doesn’t talk to me anymore. All I get is a bland account of his day when I come home from work and ask him how school was. If this is what my mother felt like then I should’ve been buying her better mother’s day gifts.” That makes me laugh a little, and the corner of her mouth that I can see is trying to turn up in a smile but she isn’t letting it. “It’s just…there’s real violence out in the world. It never finds most people, but it’s addicted to us. I guess I hoped it would never find our kids while they’re still young, but it found him, and seeing what he saw…it’s going to change him. I changed after I found out about being a slayer, and after my watcher took me to the cemetery to prove he wasn’t crazy. My innocence was just gone overnight, and I had to grow up, and be an adult when all I wanted to do was be a teenage girl. I just didn’t want him to have to grow up so fast.”

We go quiet again as he breaks the surface, and takes another deep breath. He dives under the water again, and we watch as he swims from one end of the pool to the other. I let everything she just said sink in and I think I finally realize it too. He isn’t going to be the same. No one can be the same after experiencing something so fucked up. She’s wrong about one thing though: he isn’t an adult yet. He’s only thirteen. He’ll be fourteen in July. He’s not an adult by a long shot. He hasn’t even finished going through puberty yet. I understand what she means though. She doesn’t want his childhood ruined and completely tainted. My dad went to prison and my mom started drinking even more and started doing drugs when I was ten. That’s when I had to start taking care of her. That’s when I had to be the grown up in the family.

I love Buffy more then I’ll ever be able to describe, but even after she became the slayer she wasn’t an adult. Sure she was more mature then most teenagers, but she was still just a kid. A kid who was forced to make a lot of adult decisions, and had way more responsibilities, but that didn’t make her an adult. It wasn’t until her mom died that she finally grew up. Mommy wasn’t there to take care of her anymore, and she had to be the head of the household. I’m not trying to be harsh on her or anything, but I know what it’s like to have to be a “little adult” and Mattie doesn’t even come close to it. He still has us to look after him and make the hard decisions. I know he’s going to be different. I’m not saying after a couple of months he’s going to go back to the way he was before that girl died. I’m just saying I think B’s overreacting just a little bit.

“I think we need to just calm down and see what happens,” I say and gently rub her back. I can feel how tense she is and I don’t fuckin like it. I want her to be relaxed. I don’t want her to be all stressed out about anything, at least not today. Normally I would get a little irritated and think that she’s trying to keep all of this on her shoulders like she always does, and that she won’t let me help her carry some of the weight, but that just isn’t the case here. She’s just worried about her son, and I can’t blame her for that ‘cause I’m worried about him too. “We just gotta remind him every once in a while that he can talk to us about anything, and he will, B. We just gotta let him process first. And we can’t bug him about it too much. We don’t wanna turn into the uncool overbearing moms that pry into everything he does.” That makes her laugh a little and I can feel some of the tension melt from her back.

“Mommy, can we get up now? We’ve been sitting here forever,” Addy says and she sounds irritated. Normally they only get a five minute time out but if I had to guess I’d say they’ve been sitting there for about fifteen minutes. “It’s really hot and we just want to swim, Mom.” I look over at B and she sighs a little. I know exactly what she’s feeling ‘cause I feel it sometimes too. It’s that feeling you get when the word ‘mom’ sounds really foreign. Like for a second you forget that these little people came from you. She looks over at me with a pout on her face and I know exactly what she wants. With a big sigh I stand up and walk over to the babies. They hate it when we call them babies, but that’s what they’re always going to be to us. Anyway, I stand about a foot away from them and put my hands on my hips and try to look mean. They’re trying not to smile ‘cause they know what’s coming.

“Are you little punks done fighting over my camera?” I ask and I sound all strict. I tap my right foot all impatient, and they giggle a little and they shake their heads no. Addy’s squirming around she’s trying so hard not to laugh. “No, you’re not done being little punk brats?” They giggle some more and shake their heads no again, and I let out a big overdramatic sigh. “I guess I’m just gonna have to teach you little punks a lesson.” In the blink of an eye I reach down and scoop ‘em up. They start crackin up like a couple of stoners watchin Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, and I make a mad dash for the pool. They’re kicking and screaming and holding onto my arms for dear life and I jump as high as I can. For about two seconds it feels like we’re suspended in the air. As soon as I feel my feet touch the water I loosen my grip on the kids, and when I feel my arms hit I let them go completely.

I keep my eyes open under the water and watch the kids. They’re kickin like crazy, and I’m sure they’re not too happy with me right now. I normally don’t let them go, but I wanted to see if they could make it to the surface on their own. That’s why I’m forcing myself to stay under just in case they need some help. But it looks like the lessons they’ve been taking from their mother and grandpa have been payin off ‘cause they make it up there with no problem. With two hard kicks I break the surface of the water. All I can hear are the sounds of the kids laughing and Buffy having a mild heart attack. Apparently letting them go was a stupid idea and they could’ve gotten hurt. I force myself not to roll my eyes ‘cause she might throw something at me if I do. She can be testy when I do “boneheaded stunts” with the kids. She stomps off towards the house, but she doesn’t go inside. Instead she lays down on one of the chairs and starts to sunbathe.

“Will you have sex with her so she’ll stop being so bitchy all the time?” Mattie asks, and I turn around to face him. He has a smirk on his face and I get a knot in my stomach. I know that Mattie and Joey look a lot like my dad, and I also look a lot like my dad but in a feminine way, so I guess you could say that they look a lot like me. What I never fuckin expected was to see this on one of their faces. That’s the exact same smirk I get on my face when I say something I know is going to get a bad reaction. He’s even got the dimples out on display. Genetics are a bitch, huh? I guess it wasn’t my rough upbringing that made me all sarcastic. I splash him with a huge wave and he starts coughing. Ha, little punk didn’t see that coming. “What, now it’s a crime for saying the truth?” Now he’s acting all innocent and shit. Definitely takes after his mother on that one.

“This whole taking-after-me-and-saying-things-for-shock-value needs to stop,” I tell him and he gets that smirk on his face again. I splash him again, but this time he puts his hand out so most of the water doesn’t get in his face. “I mean it. If you’re gonna say stuff like that don’t do it in front of your brother and sister. Unless you wanna give ‘em the birds and the bees when they start askin questions.” Luckily they already swam off and started harassing Sasha so they did hear what he said. He rolls his eyes and dives under the water again. I watch as he swims towards the younger kids and I know what’s coming. He might try to act all grown up or whatever, but he’s still a kid, and if it’s one thing kids do really well it’s pick on their siblings. He grabs onto Addy’s ankle and tugs on it a little. Not enough to make her go underwater, but enough to make her scream. My wife is irritated with me, the kids are fighting, and the dog is still being retarded. Yep, this right here is what life is all fuckin about.



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