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Chapter 86: Invasion of the Home Wreckers

Two Months Later. FPOV

When I was like nine years old, I overhead my dad talking to one of the neighbors. The guy was seventy or something like that and he couldn’t hear so good so my dad had to talk kinda loud. I stood against the side of the house as still as I could, thinkin I was some kinda bad ass spy or somethin ‘cause I stayed home from school ‘cause I was “sick” and I wasn’t supposed to be outside. I heard my dad say “a daughter is God’s way of punishing you” and then he laughed. The old guy agreed. I didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about. I knew my dad loved me, and it wasn’t just because he said the words. He showed it all the time. Letting me stay up a little passed my bedtime so he could finish reading me some book, or giving me just a little too much chocolate sauce on my ice cream, and he protected me from my mom.

On November 11, 2012 I finally figured out what the fuck my dad meant when he said that. That was the day Addy was born, and as soon as I held my baby girl in my arms for the very first time, those words hit me like a truck doing ninety on the freeway. Having a daughter completely changes your perspective of women in general. It’s no secret, I was kind of a slut back in Sunnyhell, and I didn’t just use guys. I used girls too, a lot of ‘em. It’s not like I just took ‘em back to my room and fucked ‘em. Well, that’s exactly what I did, but getting them there was a little different then with the guys. The guys were never clingy. The guys were never under the misconception that I was going to call ‘em the next day. The guys never thought they were gonna spend the night. The girls on the other hand were fed a huge plate of bullshit and then tossed out like twenty dollar whores.

I’m totally not surprised that the big G stuck it to me like this by giving me a little girl. After everything I’ve done, all I want to do is protect her from people like my teenage self. So, I bet you’re wondering what the fuck brought on this whole inner monologue? Today is the last day of school, so B and I cut out from work early and we’re having a party for the kids. We invited all the kids in the neighborhood and they got to invite three of their friends from school. Addy gave her invitations to Jake Torno, Andy Miller, and Daniel Rossi. Yep, that’s right. My little girl invited three boys to the party. Buffy started laughing as soon as they ran out to the backyard and started playing, but I don’t think it’s fuckin funny. She’s eight years old now, shouldn’t she be thinkin boys have cooties or some shit like that?

Like I said, she’s only eight so it’s not like I’m worried about catching her in bed with some guy, but this could be a sign. This could be a warning that she’s gonna be boy crazy when she’s a teenager, and that scares the shit out of me. I don’t want her to be treated the way I treated all those girls, or be thought about the way I thought of those chicks. Like they’re nothing more than a play toy to be used and then tossed aside. Just the thought of someone thinkin of my baby girl like that makes my fuckin blood boil. Well, I’m not talking about them thinkin about her like that now ‘cause I know she’s too young for the boys to be thinkin of her like that. Then again, there are a lot of fuckin pervs in this world, and if I ever get the power to hear other people’s thoughts and I catch one perving on my eight year old, their ass is fuckin grass.

Anyway, Buffy’s worried about her being boy crazy too, I know she is, but she doesn’t let herself dwell on it. Addy is still young and innocent and being friends with a boy isn’t a big deal right now, and she wouldn’t understand why I’m a little on edge. Well, maybe in her own way she’d be able to understand. She’d just roll her eyes and get all butt hurt because her friends are fun to play with and I shouldn’t be cramping her style. She said something like that when I got a little irritated with B when she said that Brad should be invited to the party too ‘cause he and Addy have been friends since the O’Keefe’s moved here. I said maybe she should invite a girl from school ‘cause there are gonna be a lot of boys here, and Addy got all irritated with me ‘cause Brad is her friend and I shouldn’t be mean to her friends just because they’re boys. Ok, so maybe it is gender discrimination, but we’re not talking about pay raises, or employee benefits. We’re talking about my daughter.

But whatever, I’m not going to think about it anymore. If I keep thinking about it then all I’m gonna do is put myself in a really bad mood and that’s never fun for anyone. B will get all irritated because I’m all irritated and we’ll probably have a little fight and with all the kids here that would really fuckin suck. They’d have a not so cool story to tell their moms and dads when they get picked up later. I need to be paying attention anyway. Most of the kids are in the pool and I’m playing life guard while Buffy makes dinner. It was B’s bright idea that this shouldn’t just be a pool party. Oh no, it should be a sleepover too. Not all of the kids are staying over, just the six that were personally invited by Mattie and Addy. I know that doesn’t sound very fair but these little bastards have taken over my quiet house and because it’s summer time now most of ‘em are gonna be over here a lot anyway so they can just suck it up.

Dawnie’s boys are gonna be spending the night too, but they’re not here yet. They go to the same daycare that Joey goes to, and after B finishes the grub she’s gonna go pick ‘em up. We normally don’t eat this early. It’s only five o’clock, but the kids are gonna be hungry soon from all the swimming and running around and shit. Dawn called me last night and wanted to know if we could watch the boys tonight ‘cause she has to work late. So the party is the perfect excuse. She doesn’t want Buffy knowing that she’s working late because B will get all nosey like she always does and start asking questions. Dawn’s business is starting to go downhill and she doesn’t want Buffy worrying about it. If Buffy starts to worry about Dawn and treating her like a five year old like she used to, then all hell will break loose, and I’ll be the one stuck in the middle.

So instead of telling Buffy that Dawn asked me to watch little Nick and Alex because she needs to lay off a bunch of people and she wants to do it in person because they deserve that type of respect, I “suggested” that we have the boys stay the night so Joey will have kids his own age to play with. He’s already gonna be pissed off that we’re having a party and he’s not here so hopefully having his cousins over will soften the blow. I also gotta remember to stop by and feed Dawnie’s dog. She took Buffy’s advice and got a puppy from the pound so she won’t be as lonely when the boys are at their dad’s. The nice people at the shelter told her that little Cashmere would get about seventy pounds, but she’s tipping the scales at about one-twenty.

And that fucker’s mean too. We tried letting her play with Sasha but after three minutes she tried rippin her throat out. Luckily, I broke up the fight before she could hurt her too bad, Sasha just needed a couple stitches on her neck, but after a couple weeks she was back to normal. Well, physically she was back to normal. It took her a while for her to be able to walk by Dawn’s house without throwing a fit. Cashmere isn’t mean to people though, just other dogs. If she even looked at Nick or Alex the wrong way, Dawn would get rid of her. But she’s great with the boys, and Dawn’s kinda glad that she got so big because now she doesn’t worry as much about living alone. Sure big sis lives right down the street, but that’s kinda useless if some asshole breaks in and puts a gun to your head. So Cashmere sleeps downstairs at night and she protects the house.

“Hey Sissy,” I hear a little voice say, and it snaps me back to reality. I look over to my right, and standing about two feet away from me wearing the girliest fuckin dress and shoes I’ve ever seen is little Grace. I think it’s kinda fucked up that she’s treated like a Barbie doll, but she’s only three. It’s not like she’s gonna remember any of it. She has a huge fuckin smile on her face, and it’s infectious. What can I say? The kid has good taste. She always gets really happy whenever she comes over to our house and she gets to hang out with her big sis. This kid practically worships the ground I fuckin walk on. Well, unless I’m over at her house. Then she’s too concerned with stopping my little ones from playing with her toys and making sure her mommy and daddy aren’t cooking something she doesn’t like. She’s a total fuckin brat sometimes, that’s for sure. Brittany kind of ruined her, but enough about that.

“Hey Little Sis, lay some skin on me,” I say and hold out my hand. She gives me a low five, and starts giggling. That’s kinda always been our thing. It probably always will be, but she’s gonna fuckin hate it when she’s older. Well, maybe not always, but she’ll hate it when her dad calls and asks me to pick her up from school when she’s fourteen and I do it to her in front of all of her friends just to embarrass her. Then again who knows? Maybe she’ll just laugh and call me a retard. She can’t really wrap her mind around the fact that we’re sisters because we’re so fuckin far apart age wise. She used to call me Aunt Faith, but I got her to break that habit. She still calls B Auntie Buffy and it’s the cutest fuckin thing ever. “Where’s Dad?” I stand up from my chair and she instantly holds onto my hand. I’m sure if she were a slayer she’d climb up on me like a monkey or something.

“Talking to Auntie Buffy,” she says and I have to stop myself from laughing. I think it’s cute when she says that, but when I laugh she thinks I’m laughing at her and she gets a little upset. I look over at the house and I can see the kitchen through the window. B and my dad are talking and I can tell that B doesn’t really like the conversation that they’re having. She has on her fake smile and she’s nodding her head way too much. Twenty bucks says he’s asking her if little Grace can have a sleep over. I guess he’s trying really hard to work things out with Brittany and it’s hard to do that and take care of a three-year-old at the same time. But fuck, man, if we have anymore kids at this house we’re gonna have to file for some type of government support. That and hire a clown to keep ‘em entertained. I turn around when I hear little feet running towards me, and I can’t help but smile even wider.

“Mama did you see that?!” Addy practically screams, and my smile fades a little. Not because she talked so loud, she always does that when she’s excited about something. Nope, my smile faded ‘cause she’s standing next to one of her little friends from school and they’re holding hands. I can’t believe it’s already starting. I thought I was going to have more time, dammit. “Me and Jake jumped off the diving board at the same time. Watch Mama!” And she runs off before I have a chance to say anything. Have you ever seen a puppy on crack? That’s what Addy is like when she’s excited about something and wants to show me. She practically shakes she gets so much energy built up in her body, and she can’t hold onto one thought for too long. I watch as the two of them run off, holding hands, and as soon as they get into the pool area they start walking. I told them if they got caught running by the pool even one time they’d have to stay in the house.

I roll my eyes as soon as she stands on the diving board ‘cause Mattie is being an ass in front of his friends and swam right where Addy is gonna land. She starts screaming at him to move out of her way, but he just laughs, and splashes at her. I open my mouth to yell at him to move, but he does that on his own. I guess he was getting tired of hearing Addy scream. That kid can scream like no one’s business. Mattie always acts like an ass whenever his friends are over. I think that’s just a sibling thing. You shoulda heard it when Joey was two. Mattie and his friends taught him a couple of new words, and told him to say them in front of Buffy. We don’t spank our kids, but I think that day Buffy seriously reconsidered when her baby boy said, “Mommy, can I have some fucking milk?” Buffy’s face turned so red I thought something was gonna pop, and I couldn’t breathe, I was laughing so hard.

Anyway, Addy looks back at me, and I can only guess she’s doing that to make sure I’m watching. She has a huge smile on her face and seeing her so happy and relaxed is filling me with a sense of pride and happiness. There’s almost nothing in the world like seeing your kids like this. About seventy percent of being a parent is doubting yourself, ‘cause there’s no fuckin rule book and you make big mistakes all the time. But when you get to see them so happy, without a care in the world, it makes you feel like you’re doing things right for a change. I can’t help the little sad sigh though as she takes a running jump off the diving board with…whatever the fuck his name is. I’m bad with names, so sue me. I can’t help but think of all those stupid metaphors that people use for taking the next step, and they usually involve taking some type of leap off of something with someone else. I know she’s only eight, but I think it’s time I had a little talk with my daughter about boys.

“Little Sis, will you go ask Auntie Buffy to make me a drink?” I say as I put her down. One of the good things about havin a little sister who worships the ground you walk on is she’ll do just about anything. Unless it involves sharing candy, then I’m fuckin dead to her. Which is total bullshit ‘cause I share my candy with her all the time. Well, if it’s something like Skittles, or M&M’s, or even Juicy Fruit then I’ll share. But nobody gets any of my Whatchmacallits. The kids and Buffy had to learn that the hard way. Anyway, as soon as Grace’s feet are on the ground she runs off towards the house. Buffy’s gonna be pissed that I’m using my sister as a messenger, but I have a pretty good excuse. I mean, does she really expect me to give up my post as lifeguard just to go inside and make myself a drink? She’ll be a little irritated but she’ll understand that I was really just trying to get rid of Grace so I could have a little chat with our daughter.

“Addy!” I yell out and she looks over at me with a little look on her face that is totally Buffy. It’s one of those ‘but I didn’t do anything!’ type of looks. This kid gets into so much trouble she thinks every time we call out her name she’s about to get scolded or something. “Come here for a second.” Now she has a look on her face that’s a total cross between me and Buffy. It’s the ‘I’m busy being cool with my friends so fuck off’. Whatever. I’ll just blame that one on Buffy. She was the one who was all popular in high school or whatever. At least she was before she was called. The way she talks it up, she was the Cordelia Chase of Hemery High. The thought of Addy becoming that is a fuckin scary thought. I mean, she’s only eight and she’s already kind of snobby. She doesn’t treat anyone mean though, not like Cordelia did. Well, she treats me and Buffy like we don’t got a clue about anything, but isn’t that how it is with all kids and their parents?

I give Addy a little glare and she knows I’m not fucking around. All of the kids know that look. It’s the ‘mom look’. I don’t know when the fuck it happened, but somewhere in between having Mattie and trying not to fuck him up, me and B got the ability to strike fear into the hearts of our kids with just one look. It’s kind of awesome. Anyway, she swims over to the side of the pool and pulls herself out. It takes a minute or two because she’s wearing a lifejacket. She can swim a little now, but she’s not a very strong swimmer and we wanted her to just relax and have fun today so we bought her a new lifejacket. Now that she’s on her way over I have no idea what the fuck I’m going to say to her. I mean, it’s not like she’s a teenager so she’s not gonna understand why I’m kinda concerned about her inviting boys over to the house. And even when she’s a teenager it could just be platonic. Buffy and Xander have been friends since they were sixteen and they never hooked up.

“What Mama?” she asks, and she sounds a little irritated. I’ve talked to her a few times about controlling her tone of voice, but she either doesn’t care or she doesn’t really notice when she sounds pissy. I don’t really give a shit right now though. I’m sure if I were little, I’d have the same fuckin attitude. She was playing with her friends and having a good time and I’m taking her away from that. It makes sense that she’d be kinda bitchy. Anyway, I sit down on the fold out chair that Buffy usually uses to sunbathe on. I sit back and try to look like Joe Cool. It probably isn’t working though. I glance over at Mattie’s group of friends and I can’t help but get a little smirk on my face. I’m wearing a pair of tiny little jean cut offs, and a tank top, and Mattie’s friends have been checking me out since they showed up. I kinda feel bad that me and B are so hot ‘cause Mattie’s gonna be getting a lot of shit about it from his friends.

“How come you were holding onto that boy’s hand?” I ask and I try to sound totally casual but I highly doubt its fuckin working. It’s really fuckin hard to fool a little kid, and I can tell by the look on Addy’s face that she’s not convinced. She’s really good at spotting bullshit, and it kind of pisses me off. I’m her mother I have the right to lie to her if it’s for her own good. But if she’s so damn good at spotting the lies, it makes it pretty fuckin hard. She lets out a big dramatic sigh, and I have to bite back a smile. I didn’t expect anything less. My little girl has a flare for the dramatic. If she grows up to be one of those weird drama kids, I won’t be surprised. Hey, that sounds like an awesome idea. She can grow up to be a famous actress and she can hook me and B up with a fuckin mansion or something for putting up with all of her shit when she was a kid.

“Because, Mama, Jake can’t run fast so I have to hold his hand so he can keep up with me.” Oh. Well, that sounds…like my daughter is a major control freak, but I think we already knew that. She sighs again, and starts playing with the straps on her lifejacket. That’s one thing me and this kid have in common: we can’t sit still for very long. “Mom said you were gonna act weird.” What the fuck did she just say? I give her a strange look and she gives me another overly dramatic sigh. Ok, it was cute at first, but now it’s just fuckin annoying as hell. What the fuck did my wife say to our daughter? I can’t believe Buffy is talking shit behind my back to an eight year old. How low can you fuckin get?

“What did Mom say about me?” I ask, and Addy looks down at her straps. It’s pretty fuckin rare, but every once in a while Addy won’t want to tell us something. I guess my tone was kinda harsh and she thinks I’m gonna be mad at her or something. Fuck, I guess she’s not the only one who needs to learn to watch her tone. “Addy, come on. You’re not gonna get in trouble. Just tell me what she said.” I made sure my voice was soft, and I’m lying back in the chair now. Maybe if I laid back and relaxed she’ll get relaxed again. I can just tell by lookin at her that her muscles are kinda tense. I guess she really doesn’t want to say anything. But whatever. I wanna know what Buffy said, and if I ask B she’ll just say I’m being paranoid.

“She said you were gonna act weird ‘cause my friends are boys,” she says, but she’s still not lookin at me. I guess there’s more. If she didn’t have any more to say then she would have looked up at me all annoyed and asked if she could go play now. I might not understand her all the time, but I know my daughter pretty well, and this shit happens more then you’d think. I reach over and give her a little nudge on the arm, and she lets out another little sigh. I swear if she were anymore of a drama queen we’d have to rename her Cordelia. “She said you don’t want me kissing boys. But I don’t kiss boys, Mama. That’s gross.” She sounds pretty agitated so I know she’s not lying. Ok, so maybe she’s still a little too young to be attracted to boys.

“She’s right, I don’t want you kissing boys,” I tell her and she gets a very irritated look on her face. “Don’t give me that look. One day, you’re gonna want to kiss a boy and I’m not gonna like it.” The irritation on her face goes away and it’s replaced with something else. The only word I can think of is a look of understanding, but that doesn’t really make sense. Unless this kid is smarter then I think she is. I know she’s really fuckin smart. She’s the top in her class in math and reading. I guess…insightful is a better word to use. Anyway, she slowly reaches over and gently pats me on the leg, and she gets a little smile on her face. Ok, this is just fucking creepy. I can tell she’s trying to comfort me and that’s not cool. I’m the mother. I’m the one who’s supposed to comfort her, not the other way around.

“Don’t worry Mama. Mom made me promise not to grow up too fast,” she says and before I get a chance to say anything she runs off. I guess I’m not the only one freaking about Addy inviting those boys have. Buffy tries to act like the kids getting older isn’t a big deal, but deep down I know she’s panicking. I watch Addy run off and I let out this deep sigh. I need to stop worrying about what’s gonna happen when she’s a teenager. She’s only eight, and if I keep thinking ahead I’m gonna miss what’s going on now. I don’t want to miss her growing up. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize I have no idea who she is. And if I keep freaking about keeping her away from boys then she’s going to go all rebel on me and date a guy who treats her like shit just because she knows it’ll bother me. Addy is too much like me for her own good, and that’s exactly what I would do to get back at my mom. Fuck, it’s gonna suck when she hits puberty.


You know that saying “be careful what you wish for”? It seems my life has been built around that, and it’s no longer a saying but a rule. Maybe I’m being melodramatic. I’m kind of hoping that’s it. I really hope that this is being exaggerated in my mind. I can’t help but laugh at that. You know things are bad when you’re hoping that you’re going a little crazy. If I’m not crazy, then it really means that I was nothing more than an incubator, and now that Willow has what she really wants I’m going to be ignored until Willow wants another kid, and then she’ll cast that spell again on my uterus. Is that all I am to her, a walking uterus? God, listen to me. I probably sound like a crazy person. Sane people don’t think their spouse used them for their own wish fulfillment, right? In my first marriage that never happened.

Although, I was only married for a short time before the accident so maybe I’m wrong. I really hope I’m wrong about all of this. Maybe it’s just all of the hormones and sleep deprivation. I probably sound like a horrible mother right now. I’m not a horrible mother. I’m doing the best I can and because my baby is healthy and happy, I’d say I’m doing a great job. She’s only three months old, so keeping her entertained doesn’t require a lot. She still sleeps a lot, but she stays awake for longer periods of time. I talk to her and she smiles when she hears my voice, and she has this little ticklish spot right under her left armpit. She doesn’t really laugh, but she’ll kick her legs, and gurgle, and make the cutest little squeal. When I lay her on the changing table, she follows my every move. She can lift her head up a little now and she watches me pick up the fresh diaper and then toss the dirty one away.

I love Ashlyn more than I thought I could ever love anyone. I would die for her, give up everything I have just to make her happy, and I’d sacrifice my soul if it meant keeping her safe. So I’m not blaming my daughter for what’s happening between me and Willow and I don’t regret having her. Even knowing what I do now, I’d have her all over again. Losing all that blood and almost dying was worth every second I get to spend with her. I think it made me more appreciative. I don’t have to get up at three in the morning every day to change her dirty diaper and feed her and rock her back to sleep only to do it all over again about three hours later. No, I get to do all of that stuff. Having her and taking care of her isn’t what I’m worried about, it’s not what I bitch about to myself, and it’s not what I’m frustrated about.

I’m frustrated and worried about Willow. I understand the fact that everything has changed. I used to live and breathe for only her and having Ashlyn changed all of that, but it’s not like a relationship goes out the window when two people have a baby. Look at Buffy and Faith. Those two have been together forever and they’re still happy and in love. Willow and I used to be sickenly sweet; always calling each other pet names and cuddling up to each other and talking in baby voices. Now it’s like I don’t exist. She gives Ashlyn a kiss before she goes to work, and as soon as she gets home she gives me a little kiss on the cheek and fawns over Ashlyn, and when Ashlyn is asleep Willow is reading a parenting book or looking parenting stuff up online.

Things weren’t supposed to be like this. We were supposed to be a team, we were supposed to split the housework and baby duties but it’s like we live in the same house but we’re living different lives. I’m living a life of horrible loneliness and stress, and she’s living this perfect life where everything is perfectly fine and she wouldn’t dare change a thing. I know I’m probably going to sound like a Vermillion Lies song, but I would rather go to sleep at night all by myself then lying next to Willow because being around her is about a thousand times lonelier then being by myself. To be completely honest, the only time I’m ever happy, or at least less depressed, is when my little baby girl is wrapped up in my arms and she looks me in the eyes as she’s dozing off. Everything is calm and I can get lost in that moment and don’t worry about anything.

I don’t know what hurts more, the fact that all of this is really happening and it’s not some horrible bad dream that’s stuck on repeat or the fact that I was warned. I’m not talking about all the toxic crap my parents have been telling me since I told them Willow and I are together. I’m talking about my friends back at the slayer school who told me that Willow’s heart will always belong to Tara and if I get involved with her I’m just setting myself up for a massive amount of heartache. They were completely wrong about that. I know that Tara is important to Willow and she always will be, just like Paul will always be important to me, but I know I’m not a substitute for someone else. I never worried about that, or doubted her intentions. I wish it were that simple. At least I could understand that a little more than this.

The sound of the door opening startles me, and my whole body jerks. I quickly wipe away the tears that started their journey down my face. I’m not trying to hide that I’m upset. I’m done trying to hide how I feel from her. The last three months that’s all I’ve been doing so I can’t really blame all of this on her. She’s ignored me when I’ve tried to get her to notice me, but I didn’t press the issue. I just went back to doing whatever it was I had been doing before. I was too afraid of starting a fight about it. I know that sounds kind of strange because I’m a slayer, fighting is what we do best. But not this kind of fighting, and I’ve been so exhausted from taking care of Ashlyn that I just didn’t have the energy to try and fix this. But tonight, that’s going to change. I can’t just stand idly by and watch my marriage slowly circle the drain.

“Hi sweetie,” Willow says as she walks into the kitchen. I’ve been sitting at the table for the last forty-five minutes zoning out and waiting for her to come home. “I’m sorry I’m late but there was an accident and they had to block off the roads.” I glance over at the clock and I’m shocked to see that it’s already six o’clock. I guess I’ve been sitting here longer then forty-five minutes. Normally Willow is home around four-thirty every day. “I didn’t see an ambulance when I passed, but the cars were so mangled there’s no way the drivers weren’t hurt. I hope they’re going to be ok.” I watch as she sets her bag down on the table and moves around the kitchen. She gets a glass from the cupboard and walks over to the fridge. All I can do is watch as she pours herself some water and she slowly drinks it.

I’m stuck like this because I’m starting to feel something else, something I totally wasn’t expecting. I’m angry. I’m so fucking angry I can feel it burning through my veins and staining my cheeks with red. I’ve been drowning these last three months and where has she been? Right in front of me and so far away. The routine is the same every day for the last three months. She comes home, says hi, puts her bag down, and then gives me a kiss. That’s how it is EVERY DAY. But I guess now I might as well be a piece of furniture or a painting hung up on the wall because today she didn’t even kiss me. What is wrong with us? What the fuck happened to us? I cross my arms over my chest and focus my gaze on her. I guess she can feel the fury because she just shuddered.

“Aren’t you going to ask me?” I say and her only response is the confused look she has on her face now. She shuts the fridge door and puts her glass down on the counter. She doesn’t say a word and it makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs and throw the table through the wall. I’m a slayer so I could totally pull it off. I keep those feelings under control though. I’m not crazy, just really pissed off. I just stare into her eyes, and it’s almost like we’re having a battle of wills. I do the same thing with demons and vampires right before we start fighting. It’s like we play chicken to see who can go the longest without making a move. “It’s pretty obvious I’ve been crying, aren’t you going to ask me why?” The expression on her face changes from confusion to something that I can only describe as understanding, kind of like she just figured out the answer to a puzzle or something.

“I thought you would talk about it if you wanted to,” she says and gets a soft smile on her face. It’s one of her reassuring smiles that lets me know that everything is ok and I can let my guard down around her. I think on any other night it would work, but tonight it just isn’t enough. The problem is just too big to be fixed with a smile. “It’s normal to feel a little gloomy for no reason, you know, because of the hormones.” I do that counting to ten anger management technique……it doesn’t work. So I count to thirty, and by the time I get to sixty-seven I feel calm enough to say something without completely losing it. Willow is a genius at pretty much everything, but sometimes she can be a little dumb. Ok, maybe really dumb. ‘It’s just hormones’, is she fucking serious?

“Not everything is because of hormones, Willow. I still have emotions.” That came out a little harsher then I intended. I think she’s finally getting the message though because she just got the ‘oh shit, what did I just do?’ look on her face. She got the same look on her face when she was trying to put the crib together and completely screwed it up. It was cute then, now it’s just kind of annoying. Ok, I guess I should just cut the crap and be completely honest. There’s no point in lying anymore. That look is more than kind of annoying. It’s so irritating I want to look away but I can’t. I have this fear that if I look away from her right now then the issue will be dropped and I don’t know if I’ll be able to summon up the strength and willpower and energy to talk about this again.

“Of course you do,” she says and her voice is a higher pitch than normal. You’ve known her since she was a teenager. You should know by now how her voice sounds when she’s nervous, and how her eyebrows kind of knit together, and her eyes get a little wider. If I weren’t so pissed off at her right now I’d think she was cute. I guess she realizes just how deep of a hole she’s digging herself into. I guess she finally sees how upset I am and that it isn’t because of hormones or sleep deprivation. This is me, pure and simple. “But if you feel like you need to sit alone and cry some stuff out, I’m not going to judge you.” And she just keeps digging that hole even deeper. I think my anger has reached the point that there is no right thing for her to say. No, I think we passed those words about four days ago.

“Willow, will you open your eyes for five minutes?” I yell and slam my hand down on the top of the table. It didn’t hurt because I’m a slayer and really pissed off right now, but I think I dented the table. I can’t help but yell. I’m so frustrated I feel like a spring that’s coiled back and ready to be released. All of this pressure is building up and if it doesn’t get an outlet soon I might explode. The way she’s looking at me right now isn’t helping. She looks like she realized she just walked into a lion’s den and she doesn’t have a chair. “I don’t need to sit and cry stuff out.” My voice is louder than it was before, and she glances up at the ceiling, and she has a worried look on her face. This is a different look, and I know it very well.

“Sky, keep your voice down,” she says in a hushed tone. I can actually hear my blood rushing through my ears. If I weren’t so pissed off I’d be worried about blowing a vein or something, but right now all I can think about is how fucked up things have been over the last couple of months. I think about all of the times I’ve tried to get physical affection from her, but she shrugged me off because she was too busy reading some stupid book. Or all of the times I tried to have a conversation with her that didn’t involve topics like “avoiding diaper rash” and “ways to help Ashlyn establish a good sleeping pattern”, and no matter what I said the conversation would always be changed to something baby related. “You’ll wake Ashlyn.” I think it’s a miracle in and of itself that I haven’t thrown this table across the room, but there are no guarantees that won’t happen by the end of this.

“No, I won’t.” My voice isn’t as loud, but I wouldn’t describe it as quiet. I don’t want to her yell at her, and despite what you may be thinking right now I don’t want to fight with her either. I want to talk to her about this, to get her to understand that I’m drowning and I need her. But I’m so frustrated right now that staying calm and rational isn’t really an option anymore. And she’s not making it any easier. “Buffy and Faith are watching her for us tonight.” I’m a little surprised at how soft my tone is now, but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Between taking care of Ashlyn, repressing all of my feelings, and all of this anger that I have, I’m totally exhausted. The look that she gets on her face wakes me up, though.

“Tonight, like all night?” she asks, and she sounds like she’s trying not to panic. The only time I ever heard her use that tone is when I was still on active duty and would have to fight a really tough demon. She hated it, and I understand completely. The fact that Willow is just as panicked about our daughter being babysat by her best friend all night as she is when there’s a possibility of me dying in the field is doing nothing but feeding the anger surging through my body. “No, that’s not….” She sounded really irritated when she started that sentence, and I guess she knew it was a good idea to stop while she was ahead. “They don’t know how she likes to be rocked to sleep. She’ll keep them up all night.” I have to bite the insides of my cheeks to stop myself from saying something really mean and uncalled for.

One of the very first things we learned about our baby is she likes to be rocked in a very particular way. She has to be held in a certain way, and she likes to be rocked for a couple of minutes at a time with about a minute or two of stillness between the rocking. If she isn’t rocked like this then she fights sleep like it’s a hellhound trying to chew her up. I do feel guilty for leaving my baby with somebody else. I don’t want her to feel like I’m abandoning her, but Buffy told me many times all throughout the pregnancy and after Ashlyn was born that if I ever needed anything to just ask. Well I need this night to be just me and Willow in the house. I need it so we can talk without being interrupted, and if Ashlyn were here that would be totally impossible.

“I showed Buffy how to do it,” I tell her but she doesn’t look convinced. Again, I find myself fighting the urge to throw the table across the room and through the wall. I wasn’t supposed to be like this. Our daughter’s first night out of the house was supposed to be spent relaxing, and wondering how she’s doing. Then we’d take a short nap and just enjoy the quiet, and when we woke up we’d make love and we wouldn’t have to worry about waking the baby if we got too loud. It wasn’t supposed to be spent trying to control tempers, and trying to work out issues. Why can’t things ever just be easy? It’s like if you’re born a slayer you’re going to have a fucked up life no matter what. “Besides Willow, they have three kids. I’m sure they’ll manage.” Buffy actually thought it was kind of funny that I was showing her how to rock Ashlyn. She got a little patronizing about it, but I guess I got an irritated look on my face because the patronizing didn’t last very long.

“Maybe,” she says and I can tell she’s trying to stop herself from panicking. It isn’t working out that well. Normally when she panics I try to calm her down by reasoning with her rational side, and reminding her that everything is going to be ok, but right now I’m way too irritated to even think about doing that. “But I don’t think they clean out the filters in their air purifiers. She could catch something.” She’s looking for an excuse, any excuse, to go get Ashlyn and bring her back. I take Ashlyn for walks around the neighborhood all the time, we’ve been to Buffy’s house a couple of times, and she’s never gotten sick. It’s going to happen eventually, and the sooner it happens the better because then she’ll build up immunities, but Willow is just so worried about her getting sick and us not being able to take care of her.

“Willow, do you even hear yourself right now?” I really want this conversation to be at least somewhat civil but I can’t help the anger that’s in my voice. She has a really confused look on her face, and she starts to stutter out a reply but I know it isn’t going to do any good. She has no idea what I’m talking about, and that’s the whole point of this conversation. I wanted Ashlyn out of the house so I could finally open up, and tell Willow everything that I’ve been feeling for the last three months. She isn’t going to just suddenly understand because I’m mad at her. I wish that was the case. It would make things a hell of a lot easier to deal with. “I’m drowning right here in front of you, and you can’t even see it. You can’t see it, Willow, because all you do is lock yourself in your study and look up parenting advice we’re not going to need for another ten years.” I can tell that made her mad. She treats that computer like an extension of herself or something.

“What are you talking about? That isn’t all I do in there. I have papers that I need to grade, it’s important.” Right, I forgot to mention that. I guess the English teacher's assistant at the school dropped out and until she finds a replacement Willow is grading her papers. She likes to be thorough to make sure everyone is getting the grade they deserve so she'll read each paper four or five times. I'm trying really hard to be understanding about all of this, and if all she was doing in her office was grading papers then I don't think I would be this upset. But after she grades the papers and magically “faxes” them back to Mrs. Dupree and then surfs the internet for parenting advice. I don’t get it. I honestly don’t understand why she needs to look all of that stuff up. I know she wants to feel prepared but this is taking it a little too far.

“I get helping that teacher out, Willow, I know that that’s important but what about all the other stuff? You bought every parenting book in English, fifteen in French, and five in a language that nobody uses anymore. Do you really need to search for parenting tips all damn night?” She has a really shocked look on her face, and I can tell just by the expression in her eyes that she’s thinking about it. She isn’t just writing me off, and she isn’t making excuses; she’s actually taking my words into consideration. I didn’t think it would be this easy. I thought it would take longer for her to see my point. I guess she totally proved me wrong. “Why do you think I’ve been so down all the time?” Her expression changes just a little. She looks like she’s getting defensive, but it’s like she’s trying to hold herself back.

“You’ve just been more hormonal lately. Your body is still trying to adjust to everything,” she says and she sounds dead serious. So it isn’t just an excuse that she’s feeding me. She isn’t just saying the first thing that pops into her head to try and get out of this fight. She really does think that my hormones are the cause of all these problems. I let out a huge sigh and all of that anger and frustration I was feeling gets exhaled along with it. I feel tired, so fucking tired. I feel like I could lie down in my bed and sleep for a month without waking up once. I look up at her and the exhaustion must be showing because she looks really concerned now.

“No, Willow, this isn’t a hormonal imbalance. This is me, just me, and I’m saying that I need you. I know you’re afraid of doing something wrong with Ashlyn, but I am too. I’m here with her everyday all alone and I never know for sure if I'm taking care of her the right way. I need you to be here for me, I need you to tell me that everything is going to be ok. I just need you Willow. But you’re never here.” I try as hard as I can to stop myself from crying but it doesn’t even come close to working. I’m just so exhausted that I can’t control anything. I hate this feeling. I’m a slayer, we’re naturally controlling, and we’re taught to be in control of our emotions so they can’t be used against us. No amount of training is going to help me right now though.

“Sky, I’m here.” She has this look on her face and this tone to her voice that I’m having a hard time dealing with. It’s almost like I’m the one who’s been so far away and she’s been trying to get my attention all this time. “It’s not like I’m going out and leaving you all alone. I’m here every day right after work. I take care of Ashlyn when I get home to give you a break. I thought you knew that.” She sounds almost desperate for me to understand, and it’s heartbreaking to hear. I hate that this is where we’ve ended up. I hate that we can’t just have a conversation like we used to have all the time. I really hate that it feels like we’ve grown so far apart. But what I’m starting to hate the most is this guilty feeling I have growing in the pit of my stomach. Maybe everything that’s been happening has just been exaggerated in my mind, and I jumped all over her tonight for no reason.

“You’re here in this house, but you’re not here with me.” Maybe it’s been exaggerated in my mind, but I’ve still felt all alone for the last three months, and she needs to know that. I need to tell her what I’ve been going through because I feel like if I bottle it up for another second I’m going to explode. “You don’t go out but you might as well because as soon as Ashlyn is asleep you’re in your office until it’s time for dinner, and all you ever talk about are the things you find online. I know that having a baby changes things, and we’ve almost completely lost our social lives, and our privacy, and we haven’t had sex in God knows how long, but I never thought I would lose you.” As soon as those last eight words leave my mouth she gets this look on her face, this expression of complete shock, like I just slapped her across the face or something.

“How can you think that? Do you think I’ve been doing all of this research for fun, or that I don’t know how much time it takes away from being with you?” Her voice is higher pitched now and she’s trying really hard not to cry, but there are tears welling up in her eyes. I cross my arms over my chest, and just listen. I’m so floored by all of this that I probably couldn’t speak right now if I tried. “I’m doing this because I know you’re terrified. I see the way you look at Ashlyn sometimes. You look so afraid, like you wanna run away. I know you love her too much to do that, but I’ve been trying to make it better. I’ve been learning all this stuff and trying to tell you so you don’t have to feel so afraid, but you just brush me off and walk away. I thought it was because of your hormones but you’re saying it’s not, so you’ve been ignoring me on purpose?” All this time I thought I was the only one who felt all alone. I guess I was completely wrong.

“No, I haven’t been ignoring you on purpose,” I tell her because I can’t think of anything else to say. This conversation didn’t go anything like I expected, and I just can’t wrap my mind around it. What am I supposed to say to all of this? It’s not like a simple apology is going to fix everything. I guess I should just be honest. I owe her that much, and a lot more from the sound of it. I’m just not sure where to start. “I just…I dunno, I thought you were using all of that as an excuse to be away from me. I am afraid, Willow. Terrified, like you said, but facts about a baby’s digestive system and how to prevent diaper rash aren’t going to help. I just need you, Willow. I know it sounds cliché, but sometimes when you get home from work I just need you to hold me and tell me you love me.” I can practically feel the tension in the room melt away until it’s nothing more than a bad aftertaste.

“If that’s what you need, you have to remind me sometimes. You know how one tracked my mind can get. I can’t read minds,” she says in a very light almost playful tone. She gets a small smirk on her face and I feel a little butterfly in my stomach. I haven’t seen that expression in a long time, and trust me when I tell you I’ve missed it. “Well, technically I can, but I try not to invade people’s privacy. They usually get grumpy when I do.” I smile a little and nod my head. It feels so good to hear that tone of voice she’s using. It feels like everything is finally getting back to normal. I watch as she walks across the kitchen, and I look in her eyes as she takes me by my hands and slowly pulls me up into a hug. She wraps her arms around me and holds me close, and I can’t help but let out the little sigh that was dying to be released.

The house is so quiet. I could probably hear a pin drop upstairs. The quiet is a little strange because nowadays the house is never quiet. There’s always some type of sound rolling through my ears either Ashlyn’s cries or coos, or the dishwasher, or the wash machine or dryer, or the vacuum, or the timer on the oven, or the sound of Willow typing so quickly her fingers are nothing but skin colored blurs. But now the house is silent, and completely still, and if Willow weren’t here holding me and giving my neck and cheek the occasional kiss I would probably be really creeped out. A small smile tugs at my lips when the kisses move to that little spot just below my ear, and starts running her hand down my back, stops right before she reaches my butt, and then back up to my shoulder blades.

“So,” she says and gives my earlobe a little tug. “Buffy and Faith are watching Ashlyn all night?” I nod my head a couple of times and try not to giggle at the sensation of her whispering into my ear. “So that means we have the house all to ourselves.” She’s making her voice sound as sexy as possible, and it’s another thing about her that I’ve missed oh so much. “So do you wanna…?” She pulls back just enough to look into my eyes, and she wiggles her eyebrows a little. How can someone look so sexy and so cute at the same time? I think I need to start some type of charity to raise money to research this phenomenon.

“Do I wanna curl up in bed with you, sleep for a couple of hours, eat an irresponsible amount of junk food, and take a long, hot bubble bath? Yeah, that sounds amazing,” I tell her, sounding just as sexy, or trying to at least. I don’t think I sounded as sexy as her because my mind is so freaking exhausted. A short pause passes between us and for a second I think she’s going to be disappointed, but then she smiles and softly kisses me. It only lasts a few seconds, but it feels like so much more because she’s actually here with me in the moment, and it isn’t just a habitual kiss that she’s barely aware of. When it ends she has a soft smile on her face and I can’t help but smile back.

“It’s like you read my mind,” she says and almost as soon as the words are out of her mouth she cringes, and clamps her eyes shut tight. I can’t help but laugh. She can be such a dork sometimes, but it’s the good kind of dorkiness that makes you laugh and wonder if your life would be as fun if they weren’t such a dork and you decide: no, it really wouldn’t. “Can we pretend I didn’t just say something that cheesy? Because I really don’t think I can live with myself knowing I said something so corny that if anyone else heard it they would be able to mock me for the rest of my life.” I laugh a little, and gently run my thumb along the little wrinkle that formed between her eyes until she relaxes and it goes away.

“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me,” I say and give her a little chaste kiss on her lips. I don’t want to deepen it and lead her on because nothing sexual is going to be happening tonight. Well, at least not right now. Maybe after I get some rest, but we’ll have to wait and see. I know earlier I said that only God knows how long it’s been since we’ve had sex, but I know. I know that it’s been way too long, but right now my number one wet dream is getting at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep, and now that things between us are finally ok, and Ashlyn is sleeping over at Buffy and Faith’s I plan on living out that fantasy and making it last for as long as possible because only God knows when we’re going to get the next chance to just be Sky and Willow instead of Mommy and Momma.


I never really thought of myself as the kind of person who liked a really quiet home. I mean, I get complaints from the neighbors all the fuckin time ‘cause I like my music loud. That’s what blows about living in an apartment: you’re surrounded by neighbors. After I moved in with Xander, though, things changed. I’m not by myself as much so there’s no need to fill the silence with loud music. I hate to say it but I think he tamed me. It’s not like I was a raging party girl. Ok, so I kind of was. A few months ago, I thought Buffy was gonna murder me ‘cause I convinced Faith to stay out all night at this bitchin club. I swear, there is no place on Earth on like Vegas and I can’t wait to go back for a visit.

Anyway, I still like to party every once in a while, but not as much as I used to. Like I said, I think Xander tamed me, ‘cause most nights I like just curling up with him on the couch after dinner. I never would have thought I’d end up like that kind of person. That’s what I always teased Faith about, but I guess I was just jealous or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to party. After a couple hours of slaying, I’ll go to a local club to blow off some steam, and then go home and burn off the rest of my energy with Xander. We used to meet at the club after patrol, and even though Xander can’t really dance to save his fuckin life, it was always fun just letting loose with him. He always got a really big ego boost ‘cause all the other guys would get jealous that I was dancing with him and not them. But we can’t really do that anymore.

About three months ago, Xander got full custody of his daughter, Miranda. After his divorce he only had joint custody and got her every other weekend, but then his ex’s boyfriend lost his temper and spanked Miranda with a belt. It left some nasty welts and bruises on the back of her thighs and her butt. And don’t be looking at me like that, I’m not a pedophile. I only found out because it was Xander’s weekend with Miranda, and she was taking a bath but there weren’t any clean towels in the cupboard. When Xander went into the bathroom to hand her one he saw the bruises and started freaking out. I ran in there to see what was going on and saw them. It took me a few minutes to calm Xander down, but after I did he helped Miranda dry off and put her to bed, and then he called the cops and his lawyer.

I’m not stupid or anything, I knew things were going to change when Miranda started living with us full time. I just didn’t think I was gonna miss the quiet as much as I do. What’s going on right now is the perfect example. Normally, a couple of the local junior slayers would be over here doing tai chi with me, but it’s the last day of school so the kids got out early and I cancelled the lesson. The original plan was for Xander to come home early too, but last night he changed his mind. He said that me and Miranda need to spend some time alone to bond and all that crap, and this would be the perfect opportunity. I thought he was kidding so I kinda laughed, but when I realized he was serious, I told him that he’s crazy. He said that everything would be fine, and there’s nothing to be afraid of. He didn’t get any last night, and he probably won’t get any tonight.

About five minutes before the bus dropped her off down the street, I almost had a panic attack. I don’t baby-sit. I’ve never watched her by myself before, and all these different scenarios started playing through my mind. What if she got hurt? What if she choked on her after school snack? What if a demon attacks and I have to slay in front of her? Xander hasn’t explained the fact that demons and vampires are real. He wants to wait until she’s older because he’s afraid she might tell someone else and make him look crazy and have Miranda taken away, which is understandable, but it puts us in a really fucked up spot now that she’s living with us. Sure, I come home with demon blood on me and she’s still awake I can just lie and say I stopped and got something to eat and got some weird sauce on me. But what if a demon breaks into the house? How the fuck are we supposed to explain that?

It wouldn’t be so bad if this place were still deserted. I guess it was Buffy and Faith’s reputations that kept the monsters away, because as soon as word got out that they moved out of the state the vampire population went up. Demons don’t hang around here for very long. This is just a place they stop to rest when they’re passing through this part of California. There are some farms just outside of Redding, so there are plenty of cows and sheep for the demons that need to make sacrifices to whatever god or gods they worship. The missing livestock always gets blamed on the stray dogs or cougars that sometimes come down from the mountain. The town is starting to improve some, but the people who usually go missing are the drug addicts who were out after dark looking for a fix, so the cops don’t really put too much effort in trying to find them, which is totally fucked up. Just ‘cause you’re an addict, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a search team trying to find you.

Fuck, I got way off track. Back to what I was saying: I never thought I’d be one of those people who liked a quiet house. But now that Miranda is running around making all kinds of noise and completely ignoring the TV that is up loud enough to wake the dead, I really want my quiet apartment back. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that maybe she’s just a little ADD or something, but I know better. Miranda fuckin hates me, and this is her way of showing it. I know that sounds totally retarded, but trust me it’s true. I don’t know why she doesn’t like me. It’s not like I have a lot of experience with little kids. The only time I was ever around one for longer than an elevator ride was when Faith would bring Addy or Joey with her when training and her kids are pretty awesome, and I’m not just saying that.

Addy is only like eight or whatever and she’s already doing ‘your face’ jokes. I’m not joking, it’s true. She and Joey were playing with some toys while me and Faith trained the girls, and Joey called something dumb, and Addy shot back with “your face is dumb”. I laughed so freakin hard I could barely breathe. Those kids can get along with pretty much anyone, so I have no fuckin idea why Miranda is acting like this. I know she’s kinda spoiled, and it’s mostly Xander’s fault. He’s been babying her because he feels bad about the divorce and because of what happened to her. I totally get the whole wanting to baby her thing because I did too, but it’s turning her into a little monster. She doesn’t listen because she knows her dad isn’t going to make her. It’s kind of insane what this kid gets away with.

But she isn’t all that bad. She only acts up sometimes when she really wants something, and Xander is starting to put his foot down more. I guess he’s starting to see that him saying ‘no’ but then just giving in when she throws a tantrum really wasn’t working. Like I said, she doesn’t act like that very often, only when she really wants something, so I gotta give her a little bit of respect for it. The girl wants something and she isn’t willing to take no for an answer. If she keeps that kind of determination when she gets older she could be the head of some huge corporation or something. Anyway, she isn’t normally a brat, which is why I’m so fuckin confused right now. I told you that she hates me, but she normally shows it by insulting my shoes, or calling me dumb, or taking Xander away from me when we curl up on the couch after dinner.

I know that sounds stupid and petty but this kid does steal him away. We’ll be on the couch, and he’ll be holding me, and we’ll be talking about whatever, and then Miranda will sit on his lap and very slowly force herself in between us. I get the fact that he’s her dad, but I need my time with him too, ya know? And it’s not like she doesn’t know what she’s doing because after she pushes me away she’ll give him this little glare. So, now there’s this fucked up tension in the apartment whenever he’s around ‘cause Miranda acts like one of those little yappy dogs trying to mark their territory by peeing on it. The only problem with that is we want the same territory. Xander picked up on the tension really quick and I guess that’s why he wants us to spend more time together. He thinks if me and Miranda bond, then she’ll stop acting so bratty towards me.

I can totally tell that’s not going to happen. How can I tell? Because I’ve already tried playing with her but she doesn’t want me to. She had a tea party in the bathroom with all of her dolls and even though I think that’s pretty stupid, I tried to join in ‘cause if we’re going to bond it’s not going to be over how awesome my fighting skills are, or how badass my knife collection is. But she told me to leave because it was a private tea party and I wasn’t invited. I told her that was rude, but she said it wasn’t her fault. Apparently her dolls don’t like me and if I stuck around they would leave and it would ruin everything and it would be all my fault. So I left and watched some television, and then she came out of the bathroom and said she wanted to watch cartoons. So I turned it to cartoons and now she’s running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I need to do something about it because she’s being really loud and the neighbors are going to start complaining soon.

“Miranda,” I say as I turn the TV down. I’m trying not to sound harsh or whatever because I really don’t wanna be that person. Ya know, the one who can’t tell a kid what to do without yelling and sounding all pissed off. She stops running around the couch and looks at me like I just told her I was going to set her favorite doll on fire. And yes, I know what that face looks like. A couple of weeks ago, she wouldn’t eat the dinner I brought home with me. I told her if she didn’t eat at least half of what I put on her plate, I would light her favorite doll on fire. Not one of my best moments, but I was desperate. “You gotta stop running like that. The people downstairs can hear you.” She gets a look on her face that I know all too well, and I try not to sigh. She’s going to argue, oh the joy.

“Lily, I can’t stop running. If I stop running the evil overlord is going to catch us and skin us,” she says and she sounds dead fuckin serious. Ok, I don’t know about you, but I really think this kid needs to stop watching television. Or maybe she needs new friends. I swear, I’ve never heard any little kid say anything like that before. Sure Addy says awesome ‘your face’ jokes, but I don’t remember her saying anything about evil overlords. Then again those kids already know about demons and vampires and stuff so most of their games revolved around fighting demons and saving the world from an apocalypse. On second thought, Faith and Buffy’s kids aren’t exactly normal, but over the years I’ve learned normal is a relative term.

“Where did you hear about evil overlords?” I ask and she gets this other look on her face that I’ve never seen before. She sighs and rolls her eyes. Then she puts her hands on her hips, and kinda cocks her head to one side. I hate that look. That’s the look my mother used to give me when I did something bad and lied about it and my mom knew I was lying. She’d give me that look and wouldn’t say a word and in a minute I’d crack and tell her the truth. But I haven’t lied to Miranda. Apparently, I just asked a stupid question.

“Everyone knows about evil overlords, Lily,” she says and holds out her doll for me to see. It’s her favorite doll. She’s had it for three years now. Xander gave it to her for her birthday. According to Miranda the doll thinks I have dumb hair and stupid shoes and a weird accent. I really don’t like that doll. “The evil overlord is going to get Haley if we don’t keep running.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone speak with that serious of a tone before. Is this just some weird game or is there some type of ghost or something haunting her that she thinks is an evil overlord?

“Why is she running from the evil overlord?” I ask and she sighs again. I can tell that was an irritated sigh so she isn’t going to tell me what’s going on in her game, or at least not all of it. I get the fact that I’m probably never going to be part of her make believe world, but why do I feel a little jealous because of it? I’ll just blame it on the fact that I was always an outcast and the other kids at school never let me play with them.

“Because Haley stole his car keys,” she says and gets this evil little smirk on her face. Oh fuck no. Please tell me she did not take my keys. Before I can say a word she takes off running. See, I told you this kid hates me. I’d really like to know why the fuck she doesn’t like me. Am I that unlikeable? I thought I was a likeable person. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with me. Maybe she’s just an evil little kid and I’m the one who she’s taking her evilness out on. I let her get a little ahead of me and then I take off after her. She stole my car keys but if I catch her right away she might start whining that I’m not being fair because I have long legs so I can run faster than her.

“Miranda, give me my keys back!” I yell and she starts giggling. Her evil little girl giggle sends a chill down my spine. I hate that fuckin sound so much. I don’t have anything against her personally, but they use that sound in horror movies a little too much, so when I hear that sound in real life it freaks me out a little. Anyway, she runs into her bedroom and slams the door behind her. I wait five seconds and then charge in after her. I have to admit that this is a little fun. I think it has to do with the whole predator and prey thing. I’m a slayer so it’s natural for me to be running after something. Although the something I run after usually isn’t under four feet tall, unless it’s a really little demon.

“Miraaannnnnda,” I sing-song out as I open the door, and slowly walk into the room. I hear more giggling coming from under the huge pile of stuffed animals in the corner of the room. Damn, she’s quick. I didn’t think she’d be able to get under there so fast. She likes hiding in her stuffed animals, and I don’t blame her ‘cause it looks fun. I act like I’m sneaking around but I’m stomping my feet a little on purpose because it’s making her giggle, and it isn’t one of those evil little giggles that she does just to creep me out. This is the kind of giggling that happens when you try not to laugh and the sound of her making that noise is making me smile. I walk up to the big pile of stuffed animals and she’s trying so hard not to laugh that all of the toys are shaking right along with her. “I’m gonna count to ten and if I don’t see my keys by the time I get to ten, I’m going to tickle you.” I don’t think that intimidated her because she just giggled again.

“One,” I say and tap my foot at the same time. She laughs a little louder and I can see her looking at me through two of the stuffed bears. She has a big smile on her face and suddenly I understand exactly why Xander spoils her so much. “Two.” The animals start shaking more, and she puts her hand over her mouth to try and keep quiet but it’s not working too well. “Three.” I take a step closer and she jumps up, stuffed bears and pigs go flying through the air and she takes off across the room. I’m right behind her this time, and she’s laughing so hard I’m surprised she can breathe. “Four, five, six, seven, eightnineten!” I reach out and grab her and toss her up into the air. She screams an ear piercing scream, but goes quiet when she lands in my arms. I start tickling her and she’s wiggling around trying to get away, but she isn’t laughing. She looks really irritated.

“Stop!” she yells and kicks her feet. “Stop tickling me, Lily! Stop it, stop it, stop it!” She’s screaming at the stop of her lungs and her face is getting really fuckin red. I stop tickling her and just hold onto her until she calms down. She stops kicking and wiggling around but she’s not exactly calm. Her face is still really red and she’s breathing like she just ran twenty miles. “Put me down.” She starts wiggling around again so I carefully put her down on the floor. I have no idea what to say. Faith’s kids liked it when I threw them around like that and tickled them mercilessly. I guess not all kids are the same when it comes to stuff like that. I watch as she stomps across the room and digs around in the drawer of the little table next to the couch. After about a minute she pulls out my keys and throws them at me.

“Here’s your stupid keys,” she says and she sounds so mad the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up. She stomps off to her room and slams the door. Ok, what the fuck just happened. One second, she’s driving me completely crazy, and then we were actually having some fun, and then she just freaks out. I turn off the TV and straighten up the living room a little bit. I don’t really care that it’s a mess, but I don’t really know what else to do. When she gets upset, Xander is the one who talks to her, but he’s not here right now. I know I should go in there and try to find out what’s wrong, but I’m afraid. Demons and vampires I’ll take on any day, but when it comes to having a serious talk with a little girl I’m scared shitless.

Ok, I need to grow a spine and go in there because I think there’s something seriously wrong, and if there is something really wrong and I just sit here doing nothing then I’m going to feel like an even bigger douche when Xander comes home and she’s still upset. I don’t want him to think that I can’t watch Miranda. He’s trusting me with his daughter, and I really don’t want to let him down. So I walk over to her bedroom door and knock a little. She doesn’t say anything which is a surprise. Normally, when I knock on her door and she knows it’s me she tells me to go away. But now all I’m getting is silence. At this point, I honestly don’t know which is worse. I open the door anyway and slowly walk into the room. She’s lying on her bed and messing with her doll. She’s not really playing with it, but she’s making the arms and legs move a little. I sit down on the bed but she completely ignores me. I need to think of something and fast.

“I picked up your toys in the living room so you don’t have to worry about that.” Oh yeah, what an awesome thing to say, that’ll have her opening up any second now. She just shrugs her shoulders and glances over at me for a second. Man, when this kid wants to ignore a person she really pulls out all the stops. “Hey Miranda.” I reach out and touch her leg, and she looks me dead in the eyes. Oh man, if looks could kill. “How come you…” I need to word this very carefully or she might throw a tantrum or something. “…didn’t want to play anymore? I thought we were having fun.” She takes in a very big breath and lets it out slowly. She looks at her doll again, and I’m about to repeat the question when she finally says something.

“Because I don’t like being tickled,” she says and starts running her fingers through her dolls hair. Wow, I didn’t think she was actually going to open up to me at all. Sure, it was so fuckin obvious that she didn’t like being tickled, but I never thought she’d actually answer my question. I thought she was just going to ignore me until I gave up, but she actually talked to me. I think we’re making some improvements. If things go the way I want them to I’m going to be her step-mother in the next like, ten years or so because I don’t want to get married too soon. So not the point, the point is I want us to be closer by the time I become her step-mom because I don’t want to be one of those mean step-moms that are monsters in fairytales. In awful would that be?

“Ok.” I’m trying to sound as casual as possible. I used to watch Faith talk to her kids whenever one of them was upset and she stayed really calm and casual and they seemed to respond to that more. Then again, Miranda is almost nothing like her cousins. “How come you don’t like being tickled?” As soon as those words leave my lips she looks over at me with this weird expression on her face. I can just tell she thinks I’m crazy for asking that. I don’t really care how dumb the question is, I just want her to answer it. I just want her to keep talking to me. She gets a big frown on her face and some tears well up in her eyes. See, I was right, this is serious. Well I’m glad I didn’t puss out and came in here. If she’s actually talking to me then maybe I can help her or something.

“I just don’t like being tickled,” she says and turns away from me a little bit. Alright so she doesn’t want to talk about it. But I need her to talk about it. She may throw tantrums and be a total pain in the ass sometimes, but she doesn’t cry very often. Her tantrums are a lot of yelling and stomping and kicking and all of that crap, but she doesn’t cry. The only time I’ve ever seen her cry is when she fell down and scrapped her knee pretty bad, and when Xander saw all those bruises on her and asked her what happened. She just looks so sad, and her voice sounded strained like she’s trying really hard not to cry. I want to take her into my arms and hug her but I know if I do that she’ll freak out. She doesn’t like it when I try to hug her. She never used to be this cold towards me, but once I moved in with Xander her attitude changed big time.

“Miranda, how about we make a deal,” I say and that gets her attention. She looks over at me, but she still looks really sad. God I wish there was something I could do to take that look off of her face. If this totally fucked up feeling is what happens to Xander whenever he tries to say no to her then I’m having a harder time being mad at him for spoiling her so much. “You tell me the real reason why you’re so sad, and you can ask me anything you want.” She doesn’t look like she believes me, and if I were her I probably wouldn’t believe me either. “I mean, you can ask me anything you want and I’ll tell you the absolute truth. Ok?” I lie down next to her on the bed. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from the baby slayers it’s that for whatever reason girls open up more when you lie down next to them. I guess it takes some of the pressure off if you’re not looking right at them. “So, why did you get upset when I tickled you?” She sighs.

“I didn’t get mad because you tickled me,” she says and starts messing with her doll’s hair again. She’s quiet for a few seconds and I’m about to ask her why she got so mad but then she keeps talking. “When you grabbed me it scared me. That’s what Daniel did when I got in trouble.” I try really hard to stay calm when she says that. Daniel is her mom’s boyfriend, ya know, the guy with the really bad fuckin temper. When Xander saw all those bruises and welts on her that night she said it was the first time he hit her with the belt, but I guess he used to spank her too. She said that she would try to run away but he would grab her, and carry her into her bedroom and spank her. God, why didn’t I think of that? I never would have scooped her up like that if I just remembered. I really fuckin suck at this babysitting thing.

I look over at her and the tears that were in her eyes are now falling down her face. My chest gets that fucked up feeling again, and I slowly wrap my arms around her. She doesn’t fight me, which is weird ‘cause I thought that’s what she would do. Nope, instead she snuggles into me a little more. I honestly don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I just couldn’t lie here and do nothing when she looked and sounded so fucking sad. I’m not too sure what to do. Should I tell her everything is going to be ok? That sounds like patronizing bullshit even in my head, and she never hesitates to call someone out when they’re “treating her like a baby”. I don’t blame her ‘cause who actually likes being patronized? I just wish there was something I could say to make her feel better. I can’t think of anything, but I think holding her like this is helping because she doesn’t feel all tensed up anymore.

“Daniel’s never going to hurt you again, I promise.” Ok, I thought that would comfort her but I guess I should’ve just kept my mouth shut because now she’s all tense again. Everyone’s always told me I got a problem about talking without thinking first, and I ever really believed them, but maybe they’re right. Alright, I need to try and lighten the mood because the air in here is starting to get toxic as hell and I hate it. I feel like I can’t breathe. “Ok…” My voice is way more chipper than it needs to be but whatever. “…it’s your turn, so what do you wanna ask me? Remember you can ask me anything you want.” I probably should have offered to take her out for ice cream or something because now this deal sounds pretty retarded. I mean, she’s nine so she probably doesn’t want to know anything about me.

“Why do you want to take my dad away from me?” Or I could be dead fuckin wrong like I always seem to be. I sit up on the bed so I can look at her, and she looks afraid. I guess she thinks I’m going to be mad at her. When she asked the question, her voice sounded so small like she was almost hoping I wouldn’t be able to hear. I’m not mad at her, though. I’m just really fuckin surprised. I guess I shouldn’t be. She’s been trying to get in between me and Xander for a while, so I shouldn’t be this surprised.

“Miranda, I’m not trying to take your dad away from you,” I tell her and I don’t think I’ve ever sounded so fuckin serious in my entire life. She still looks really scared and right now she looks really small. This kid normally has so much energy and such a big personality that she looks bigger than she really is, if that makes sense, that it’s really fuckin weird to see her like this. I reach out and gently run my fingers through her hair ‘cause when I’m upset that usually calms me down so maybe it’ll work on her too. “Why do you think I’m trying to take your dad away from you?” She sighs and looks at her doll again. She might not answer me but I really hope she does. I don’t want her thinking I’m trying to take Xander away from her. That’s just fucked up.

“My mom said you and Dad are going to get married and have kids together and he won’t want to be my dad anymore because he’ll have new kids to take care of,” she says and her voice sounds even smaller than before. Oh that fuckin bitch Katie. If I wouldn’t get hauled back to Cleveland and locked up in a cell, I’d so kick that bitch’s ass. I know that she wants Xander’s money out of spite, but I didn’t think she’d actually try to turn Miranda against Xander like that. Miranda is the one thing in this world that Xander refuses to give up, and I know that if he lost her he wouldn’t come back from that. I guess Katie think if she can’t win in court she’ll try to poison Miranda now while she’s young. Man, no wonder this kid is kinda fucked up; her mom and her mom’s boyfriend are fuckin crazy.

“No, Miranda, that’s not true. I’m not trying to take your dad away from you. Even if we did have kids together, there’s no way he’d stop loving you.” And there’s no way Xander and I are having kids any time soon. Xander brought it up a couple of months ago, the idea of having a baby together, and I got so freaked out by it I wouldn’t have sex with him for three weeks just in case the birth control failed. “I don’t know why your mom said that stuff.” I have a pretty good idea why, but if I tell her that it’ll just cause more unneeded drama. “But it’s not true, ok?” She nods her head a little bit and she doesn’t look so afraid anymore. I smile a little bit and run my fingers through her hair again.

“Is that why you’ve been so bratty to me, you were trying to stop me from stealing your dad?” I ask and I make sure to keep my tone light so she doesn’t think she’s in trouble. She looks all embarrassed now and it’s adorable. I laugh a little and tickle her stomach. She giggles and squirms around a little. “Now that you know I’m not a wicked witch-” I’m glad Willow can’t hear me say that or she might have me killed. “Can you be nicer to me? I think your dad would like it a lot if we got along and at least pretend to like each other.” I tickle her again and she nods her head. It’s so fuckin weird that she isn’t talking, because normally it takes a lot to make her be quiet for five minutes. “Huh, can you be nice to me now? Huh? Huh?”

“Yes, Lily,” she says around her laughter. “I’ll be nice.” I stop tickling her when she looks into my eyes and she looks dead serious. It’s really hard to explain what I’m seeing right now but it’s almost like she’s this old soul trapped in a little kid’s body. Does that make any sense? I think I need to stop spending so much time with the local coven. I’m definitely starting to think a lot like them, and it’s not the worst thing that could happen, but I still don’t like it. Anyway, Miranda’s looking at me all serious and I wait to see what she’s gonna say. “You gotta make me a promise.” Oh great, now what? “If you and Dad do have a baby you have to have a boy. I wanna be the only daddy’s girl.” I’m trying so fuckin hard not to laugh right now that I might explode.

“Ok, I promise to do my best.” How I got that sentence out with a straight face is a fuckin miracle. Now that we’ve cleared the air or whatever, the tension in the room has disappeared which is good ‘cause it was getting way too heavy in here. I lean down and give her a little kiss on the forehead. I don’t know why, but I felt like I needed to do that. She gives me a weird look, but before she can say anything, I jump up off the bed. Now she’s lookin at me like I’m crazy but I don’t really care. I have this weight lifted off my shoulders because now I know that she didn’t hate me because I was doing something wrong. She hated me because her mom is an evil bitch. But now I think things are going to be better around here. “Last one to the kitchen gets the smallest bowl of ice cream!” Oh yeah, now that things are better between us this whole babysitting thing might be pretty fun after all.


Today was such an awesome day. I don’t want to make you jealous or anything but there’s really no way you could have had a better day than me. We had fifteen children, not including our own, at the house today and I managed to feed every single one without burning anything, chopping off one of my fingers, or breaking any of my dishes. There weren’t any fights that weren’t quickly resolved, and Joseph was only mopey for about fifteen minutes. He was a little upset that we started the party without him, but after he found out that his cousins are spending the night he stopped pouting and ran outside to play. And it wasn’t just the kids that were pretty awesome, Faith was great too. I thought she was going to slack off, and leave most of the responsibility to me because that’s kind of her M.O. whenever the kids have friends over, but she was very helpful.

It’s eleven thirty right now, and for the most part the house is pretty quiet. We sent the younger kids to bed hours ago, but Matthew and his friends are still up. They’re playing video games in his room, and every once in a while I can hear something explode and they’ll start laughing. They know they have to be quiet, and if I wasn’t a slayer I wouldn’t be able to hear them as well, probably not at all. Anyway, I’m lying here in bed just staring up at the ceiling because I can’t sleep. Even though today was great it was kind of exhausting, especially after Sky dropped off the baby, but I’m just not tired. I have some pent up energy that won’t go away. Tomorrow morning is going to hell, and I should get some rest, but I just can’t. Faith and I are going to be making breakfast for fourteen people, and I have to take care of Ashlyn until Sky or Willow picks her up so I’m going to need a lot of energy.

I sigh a little and glance over at Faith. I don’t think she’s asleep yet, but I don’t want to ask her if she’s still awake because that irritates her, and I don’t want to end today on a bad note because today was really awesome. It wasn’t just the fact that all of the kids had fun, and I cooked an entire meal without ruining anything, and Faith wasn’t a lazy ass. It’s the fact that all of this happened and the party wasn’t crashed by a zombie, or a demon, and nobody cut their arm open. There was no major drama, no supernatural party crashers that I had to kill and try to explain away to the kids that aren’t ours and don’t already know about that stuff. The closest thing to a demon that I saw today was Missy when Faith accidentally dropped a hotdog on the ground and both dogs went for it at the same time. Today was the very first day that I can remember feeling completely normal.

It probably doesn’t sound like much to you, but for me that’s a huge deal. The only worries I had today were boring normal people worries. Whenever the phone rang I didn’t get tense and wonder if it was Giles calling to tell me that the world is ending again, or one of the Seers from the slayer school calling to tell me about some big, bad demon that’s moved into the area and needs to be eliminated as soon as possible, or that something bad was happening at the school and Faith and I need to get there right away. Nope, the biggest concern I had today was whether or not we’d have enough chips to go around, and hoping Addison wouldn’t make a big deal about sharing the Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles. She’s normally not selfish, when it comes to food at least, but that girl is serious about those chips. She takes after Faith on that one.

I look over at Faith again and an evil smirk appears on my face. Ok, so maybe not evil, but definitely not angelic. Anyway, I very slowly scoot closer to Faith until I can feel her body heat, but I’m not touching her. Faith and I never go to bed this early on a Friday, and when we do sleep is the farthest thing from our minds. We talked a little before we said goodnight and she turned out her lamp, but that isn’t enough for me. I’m sure she felt me moving towards her, but she hasn’t moved or made any indication that she’s still awake, but that doesn’t really mean anything because Faith can play possum like nobody’s business. She’s lying on her side facing toward me so I’ll know right away if she’s awake or not after I do this. I slowly run my hand up her thigh, and the muscles twitch under my soft touch, and with no hesitation whatsoever I practically shove my hand down the front of her boxers and cup……her cotton clad pussy? What the hell? Faith never wears panties when she wears boxers.

“B, what are you doing?” she asks as she eyes fly open. She sounds almost panicked. And what does she think I’m doing, undergoing an expedition to find the world’s largest diamond? Ok, maybe that was a little strange, but it’s not like anyone but me heard it so whatever. She grabs onto my wrist and pulls my hand out of her boxers and her eyebrows are all furrowed now. Even when she’s a little irritated she looks cute, and hot all rolled up together and wrapped with a sexy bow. How a bow would be sexy, I have no idea, but I’m sure Faith could pull it off. “Do you know how many kids are in this house, and do you remember how many of them aren’t ours to traumatize?” Oh my God, I can’t believe she’s acting like this. Faith is the last person I would have expected to be worried about something like this. In fact I’m surprised she wasn’t the one who made the first move.

“We’re not going to traumatize anyone,” I whisper very softly, and snuggle up to her. She didn’t tense up, which is good, but she’s not relaxing either. It’s not like I want to fool around with her just to fool around. It’s been a couple days since we’ve been intimate and I miss her touch. Ok, and maybe I want to torture her a little bit. She’s always been afraid of one of the kids walking in on us and I like being sneaky, it’s such a rush. Anyway, I gently wrap my arms around her, and bring my knee up so it’s by her thighs, but I don’t move it further than that. If I try to put it between them right now she’ll get irritated. “Baby, the kids went to bed hours ago, I’m sure they’re asleep by now.” I whisper, and very gently kiss her on the cheek, and nuzzle her neck. Her neck is a very sensitive area. I place little kisses up and down it from the bottom of her ear to the base by her shoulder, and I feel her shiver. I can feel her nipples harden through the fabric of our clothing.

“But the lock’s broken, B, any of ‘em could just walk in here,” she says, and gently puts her hand on my waist. It isn’t there to gently caress me like she normally does when we’re still in the foreplay portion of our lovemaking. Nope, the hand is there to block me from going forward. Even though she’s saying no I can tell that she’s totally conflicted and a part of her wants to do this just as much as I want to. How do you I know? Because she’s kissing me, and this isn’t a sweet, chaste goodnight-I–love-you-maybe-tomorrow kiss either. This is an if-I-had-my-way-I’d-get-you-naked-and-hit-it-like-a-caveman kiss. Now she’s starting to caress me like she normally does. She’s running her hand from my hip to my stomach and back to my hip. She always does that before she rolls me onto my back and tops me, but I feel like being in charge tonight.

“Sure, Mattie or Addy or Joey walks in: no big,” she says against my lips and starts kissing me again. I slowly drag my hand between our bodies and start toying with her hard nipple through her shirt. I really wish she wouldn’t mention their names when I’m turned on. That’s just wrong. I might develop some kind of complex. “But one of Addy’s little friends walks in and sees us…” Again, that’s said right against my lips and she’s rushing to get her words out. With the way she’s acting it’s safe to say she’s been turned on for a while. “…he’ll tell his mom and dad he saw us fucking…” I roll her over onto her back and wedge my thigh between her legs at the same time. She sucks in a deep breath when my thigh presses against her pussy, but it sounds more like a hiss. She can fight it all she wants but unless the houses catches on fire, or we get abducted by aliens we’re so having sex tonight. “…and we’re the pervs of the neighborhood, and no one lets their kids come over here ever again.”

“I’m failing to see the downside of this,” I say, and chuckle a little bit. I look into her eyes and her pupils are so dilated that her eyes look almost completely black. Her face is flushed, her lips are swollen from all the kisses, and I’m willing to bet that when I take her shirt off she’s going to have a lover’s flush. Faith may not like to admit it, but she looks very pretty in pink. We meet halfway for another hungry kiss, and I start softly grinding against her. I reach down and try to open her legs a little more so I have more room, but she doesn’t budge. Did she go out and buy a chastity belt or something? Faith has never been this hesitant before. Luckily I know her weak spot. Faith likes to think that when it comes to sex she’s this all-knowing sex goddess who can render other people helpless but she has complete control of her own body.

She can dream, but she does have a couple of weaknesses and I know what they are. I slowly start to rain little kisses over her neck, and I can feel her chest moving quicker as her breathing becomes a little more labored. The left side of Faith’s neck is very sensitive. It took me a while to figure this out when we first started fooling around way back in the day, but it’s become a very useful piece of knowledge that I’ve used to my advantage on more than a few occasions. It isn’t just kissing her neck that drives her wild. No, that’s enough to get her blood flowing a little faster, but not enough to make her give up the reservations she has right now. I make sure to use a little bit of tongue with the kisses to make a wet spot on her hot skin. After a minute or two of this I pull back just a little and blow a slow, steady breath of warm air on the wet spot I created. She lets out a moan and claws at my back.

“No fair. That’s cheating,” she says, and she sounds completely breathless and sexy as hell. I can’t help but chuckle a little. We start kissing again and it’s even more animalistic than before. We’re grinding against each other a little harder now and if I don’t get any release soon I might go insane. I have a feeling it’s the same for her. Every time I grind down I press my thigh just a little harder against her, and a low, short moan escapes the back of her throat, and it vibrates against my lips. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m getting even more turned on by that. She breaks the kiss and she’s breathing like she just finished running a marathon. She has a very serious look on her face and I have a bad feeling growing in the pit of my stomach. “What if Nick or Alex walks in and sees us? We’re blood related B, that’s traumatic, and Dawn will kill us if she found out about it.” I can’t help the smile that breaks out on my face and I softly kiss her swollen lips.

“Then we give them some of your comic books in exchange for their silence.” That was probably the wrong thing to say because if looks could kill I would be a big pile of Buffy shaped ashes right now. She always makes this face when I joke about her comic books, and she gets irritated when I call her a geek or a nerd and she’ll deny that she is one until she’s blue in the face. Can someone explain to me how that makes sense, because I really don’t understand it. I place a little kiss between her eyebrows until she relaxes and the little wrinkle from her glare goes away. “It’s not like we’re in a peep show, Faith. If we hear the door open we’ll stop and send them back to bed.” We kiss again and this one isn’t as desperate as the others, but the potential for more is definitely there. I end the kiss, but I don’t pull back right away. I spend a minute or two nibbling on her bottom lip, and a deep moan gurgles at the back of her throat.

“They won’t see anything,” I tell her with my lips still lightly pressed against hers. I reach down and grab onto the comforter, and with one quick motion I pull it over our heads. We’re shielded from the little bit of moonlight that was creeping in through the crack in the curtains, and we sit in near silence until our eyes adjust, and the only sound in the room is our heavy breathing. I pepper little kisses on her lips until I feel her smile. I pull back to look at her and just the sight of her smiling and seeing that little twinkle in her eyes makes me smile too. “What’s so funny, hot stuff?” I kiss her on the lips again, but it’s short and very chaste compared to a few of the other kisses we’ve shared in the last twenty minutes or so.

“This is your brilliant plan, B, hide under the covers like a couple of nervous teenagers?” she asks, and that perfectly plucked eyebrow rises just a little. “Come on, you know these covers aren’t gonna stay up. We’ve tried that before, remember?” She gets a sexy little smirk on her face but it doesn’t reach her eyes. I can tell she really is bothered by the thought of getting walked in on. “We get to doin what we do best and the blankets always end up at the foot of the bed or on the floor.” She’s not making this easy for me and I know she’s doing that on purpose. Maybe she was just playing hard to get after all and she isn’t as worried as I thought? To test my theory I kiss her again, and this is a kiss with intent behind it. This is the kind of kiss that should send chills down her spine and make her toes curl. The fact that she’s now clawing at my back is a pretty safe bet that’s exactly what happened. “You are such a cheater.”

“Hard to cheat when there aren’t any rules,” I say with a little smirk on my face. I totally cheated but I’ll never admit that out loud. I’d never hear the end of it. Faith can act like a five-year-old sometimes and even though it’s cute, when she gets like that she just doesn’t know when to let stuff go. But why am I still thinking about it? I kiss her again and as soon as our lips touch her hips start grinding against my thigh. See, I told you she wouldn’t be able to hold out for long. I tease her lip with the tip of my tongue and a moan escapes the back of her throat. I can feel it vibrating against my lips and it sends a wave down my body. I feel like it lit a fire in its wake and I just have to have her right now. I can’t wait anymore.

“Baby, please, I need you now,” I moan into her ear and her nails dig into my back a little more. I know that I sounded really cheesy and most likely more than a little porn-star-ish, but I don’t care. I start pulling at her boxers and instantly she lifts her hips to help me out. I pull them off without ripping them and I think that’s a minor miracle because I’m not being gentle about it at all. We’re way passed gentle and tender. This is raw animal need and I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to take our clothes off. Seriously, how have I not spontaneously combusted or something? I cup her pussy, needing to feel how wet she is for me, and I can’t help but giggle. I totally forgot she was wearing panties under the boxers. I have no idea why she thought it would be a good idea to wear both, but I think it’s adorable. “Trying to protect your modesty?” I pull away from her neck just far enough to look into her eyes and she’s smiling a little too.

“You know how teenage boys can be. Just didn’t want ‘em getting an eyeful if they tried to sneak a peek,” she says and I guess she just realized how ridiculous that sounds because she’s blushing a little and now she won’t make eye contact with me. I really wish she would. I can’t explain it but I need to be looking into her eyes right now. Instead of whining and possibly ruining the moment, I kiss her deeply and grind against her. She hesitates for just a second, but she starts kissing and grinding back and now I can’t even remember if that little conversation we just had really happened or if I imagined it. I better stop thinking and go with this or she might think I’m insane or something. “B, get these clothes off.” She starts pulling at my shirt, and I smile against her lips. I stop smiling like an idiot, though, because when Faith starts to get impatient about sex the ice starts to get extremely thin, and one wrong move can send her from really turned on to really irritated.

When all of our clothes are finally off, I position my hips just right and spread our lips apart. We both moan when our clits come into contact and it feels like forever since we’ve done this. We don’t have sex in this particular way very often, and over the years I’ve only been on top a handful of times. I’ve never gotten used to this feeling, and I think that’s a great thing. It still feels amazing, but feeling it from this perspective is definitely different. Faith starts rocking her hips a little and I can’t help but smile. Even when she’s on the bottom she’s trying to be a top. I kiss her slowly to drown out the moan that escaped the back of my throat, and I start to slowly rock against her. Apparently she doesn’t like the whole going slow idea because she’s trying to get me to speed up. I kiss my way down her jaw line and as soon as my lips reach her neck I bite. Not hard enough to hurt her or anything, just hard enough to remind her I’m in charge tonight.

She lets out this strange noise that’s kind of hard to describe. It’s like she tried to let out a moan and suck in a breath at the same time. Whatever it was, it sounded completely animalistic, and totally hot. I didn’t think it was possible but my blood is flowing faster through my veins now. My pussy is throbbing so hard that it hurts, and rubbing against Faith’s is only curing some of the ache. I feel like if I don’t get any release soon I might go insane. I know that sounds melodramatic, but that doesn’t make it any less of a possibility. I let go of her neck and pull my head back just enough to look into her eyes. They’re so dark they look black, and the look on her face is so beautiful I know I’ll never forget it. Her eyes are shut, her head is slightly tilted back, and her lips are parted just enough to let out the noises rushing from the back of her throat.

I kiss her on the lips, and they’re swollen way passed their normal size. I can feel them pulsing against my own and it’s one of the weirdest, sexiest things I’ve ever felt. It probably wouldn’t feel so strange if my lips weren’t doing the exact same thing. It feels like our bodies are humming and pulsating everywhere they’re touching and I just can’t get close enough to her. Even though there’s like zero space between us she’s still too far away from me. I pull back from the kiss and rest my forehead on hers. The blankets are still pulled over our heads and it’s created a cocoon around us. The words she’s moaning out seem to be trapped in this little space for only ears to witness and I don’t know why but that thought is sending me closer to the edge. It isn’t just that thought getting me off, obviously. It’s the pleasure of our bodies connected in all of the right spots, the way she’s sighing and moaning my name like she’s never going to get to say it again after this, and the way she’s clinging to me.

“Oh fuck, oh God Buffy. Don’t stop, don’t stop,” she moans and rakes her nails down my back all the way to my ass. I wouldn’t even think about stopping right now. We’re both too close, too wrapped up in what’s going on that even the thought of stopping is depressing and unthinkable. I’m staring into her eyes and trying to concentrate on the openness of them but my vision is starting to blur. The force of my orgasm starts in my brainstem. My toes and the bottoms of my feet start to feel all tingly and before I can even acknowledge the fact that I’m about to come a bomb goes off inside my mind. At least that’s what it feels like. My body has lost all sense of control and the rhythm Faith and I had built is abandoned. I feel her nails dig into my back, and hear a loud, sharp squeaky sound and in the back of my mind I smile because she just came too. I don’t know why but she always squeaks when she’s the bottom.

And just like that, it stops and I’m left trembling and trying to suck in oxygen that just isn’t here anymore. I can’t move but I’m feeling a little uncomfortable because of our cocoon. I can’t get the air my body needs and it’s making me panic a little. Self preservation and all of that stuff. I lay my head down on Faith’s sweaty shoulder and try as hard as I can to control my breathing. After a minute or two I can hear her calming down but I feel like I still can’t breathe. This is a little ridiculous if you think about it. I mean, I was down in the mouth of hell with a through and through stab wound in my gut and I still managed to get to my feet and basically tell the First to fuck off. But after a massive orgasm I’m completely useless. But it doesn’t matter because I guess Faith was starting to feel all claustrophobic too ‘cause she’s the one who pulls the blankets down. That’s when I hear the one thing I really didn’t want to hear.

“They’re getting up, run!” I hear a little whispered voice rush out. On instinct alone I lift myself up enough to look over my shoulder. I see the little kids who were supposed to be sleeping downstairs turn and run as fast as they can. The door is about halfway open so sure enough they were standing there listening to us. Thank God I pulled the blankets over our heads and they actually stayed. I don’t know which god or goddess out there to thank for that, but my gratitude is endless. I let out a little yelp when I feel a finger and a thumb pinch my left ass cheek. I don’t look at Faith like I know she wanted me to. I just lay my head back down on her shoulder and try to ignore her. It’s kind of hard when she’s giggling so much, but I know if I look at her she’s going to start gloating. I just had a massive orgasm and I’m still feeling all tingly, I don’t want that to go away so soon.

“‘Don’t worry, baby, the kids went to bed hours ago, I’m sure they’re asleep’,” she says, doing her best impression of me. I have to bite my lips to stop myself from laughing. I don’t want her to know that she’s getting to me. I’m totally playing possum and if I can just keep the urge to laugh under control than everything will be ok. “I knew it was a bunch of bull as soon as you said it.” She’s trying to sound irritated and she’s failing miserably. I can tell she’s smiling and the sound of her faux-tation is adorable. I can also tell that she isn’t irritated because she’s slowly running her hands up and down my back along the same paths that her nails took earlier. Now that I’m calmer I can feel my skin starting to heal and mend back together. “Now a bunch of little kids are gonna be telling all their friends that they saw two hot lesbians having sex, what do you have to say for yourself, Twinkie?”

“You could have said no,” I tell her and the laughter in my voice is hard to control. She chuckles a little bit, and then I feel a slap on my ass. What is it with her and abusing my ass tonight? If my muscles weren’t so spent I’d fight back but all I wanna do is lie here and bask in the awesome glory. I thought the sex I had with Faith when we were in our twenties was good, but I was totally wrong. Since we’ve gotten older the sex is way better. We know each other’s bodies like the backs of our own hands, and we know exactly how to blow each other’s minds. Anyway, she starts rubbing my back again and I practically purr in appreciation. I really don’t want her to stop touching me. She may get clingy and girly after I dominate her but I’m always clingy and girly after sex. It’s just how I am and she’s admitted to loving it about me.

“No way I could’ve said no to you, B, especially when you’re begging for it,” she says and leaves a little kiss on my head. I smile real wide at the memory and kiss the skin that I’m using as a pillow. Now that our bodies are cooling down the sweat that is still on our skin is starting to feel icky. Normally I’d go into the bathroom and clean up a little but I don’t want to move. I’m too comfortable right now and all I want to do is lie here and feel like this forever. “Sometimes I still can’t believe it.” I guess she really is feeling like a chick right now. Faith and I do talk after sex, we’re women, it’s a stereotype for a reason, but she’s normally quiet for a while afterwards. “Back in Sunnydale before it all went bad I would’ve given anything to be with you, and I dunno, sometimes it’s just hard to believe that Buffy Summers is in love with me.” She says that around a little laugh, but I don’t smile back. It bugs me when she puts me up on a pedestal like that.

“Sometimes I can’t believe that Faith Lehane gave up her wild ways to be with me,” I tell her and her hands still for just a second. Since she’s opening up about her insecurities I might as well do the same. I still have a problem with trying to hide that stuff from her. I know that no one is a hundred percent honest about their feelings, especially with the person they’re with, but I also know that I shouldn’t feel like I have to keep it hidden. I know Faith will still love me. She’s seen the best and the worst of me so there’s almost nothing I can do or say that will scare her off. If she was looking for a way out she would have left when we were going through that really bad patch when all we were doing was fighting and then having angry sex. I sigh a little when she starts rubbing my back again, and she leaves another little kiss on the top of my head. I know that’s her way of encouraging me to open up some more.

“It’s weird, sometimes I think I tricked you into all of this somehow, and one day you’re going to wake up and realize how…I don’t know…tame you’ve become and take off. Deep down I know you’d never do that but sometimes that thought sneaks up on me when we want to go out but we can’t because we can’t find a sitter or when it’s one of those bad days when all of the kids are acting up and we just can’t get a break.” She keeps rubbing my back and she gives me another kiss on my head so I know that she’s not upset by that. I’m not saying this to make her feel guilty or anything like that. I just wanted to be honest with her. But the mood in here is starting to change and I don’t like it. Things are starting to get a little heavy and tense and that’s something that I don’t want to feel right now. I lean up just enough to look deeply into her eyes and I force myself to be as serious as possible.

“Can you make me a promise?” I ask and she doesn’t even hesitate before she nods her head yes. She has a look of concern in her eyes and it’s amazing how with just one look my heart feels like it’s melting. Not literally because that would be gross and I’d be dead right about now, but you know what I mean. But I push that feeling down because if I lose this very solemn tone of voice then everything will be ruined. “Promise me that if you ever leave me you’ll take your stupid dog with you.” And just like that all of the tension that was in the room melts like a piece of ice in hundred degree weather. She holds it in for like a second, but then her self control cracks like fine china and she’s laughing so hard she’s shaking. I put my hand over her mouth because if she gets too loud the baby might wake up. I’m surprised she didn’t wake up a little while ago because we were pretty loud.

“I promise,” she says after she calms down. It’s kind of muffled because my hand is still over her mouth. I take it away and give her a little kiss on the lips and when it ends she has a big smile on her face. “I promise in the one in a billion chance that I’ll leave you, I’ll take my dog with me.” I smile back and give her another kiss on the lips. It stays sweet and ends all too quickly. When it’s over I slide off to the side but she doesn’t let me go too far. She holds me against her and nuzzles my neck a little. See, I told you she gets very clingy when I top her. Maybe I should start doing that more often. “Besides B, you know there’s only one thing in this world that would ever make me leave you.” I can tell by her tone that she’s just joking around so I don’t get all weird about it like I’m known to get about statements like that. Wait, I said that wrong. I’m sure anyone would get weird about a statement like that.

“If I stopped having sex with you?” I ask and my voice is also light because I know this conversation isn’t going to be anywhere near serious for the rest of the night. I’m sure it isn’t going to last for much longer either because my eyelids are starting to get really heavy.

“No, not that,” she says and I can hear the smirk on her face. She gives me a little pinch my ass and I let out a little yelp. Seriously, why does she keep going after my ass tonight? Normally she doesn’t focus on it so much because she knows it bothers me after a while. “If you let your hair go back to dark, then I’m outta here.” I let out a mock gasp, and it’s my turn to give her a pinch on the ass. She squeals a little and squirms around but after a couple of seconds we both calm down. She said that because for a while I was letting my hair grow out. I was tired of going in every six weeks and getting the roots touched up but Faith whined about it so much that I eventually dyed it back to blonde. She can be such a brat sometimes, but it’s one of the many reasons why I love her so much the only way either one of us is getting out of this relationship is death, and you’ve seen how many times I’ve come back from that.



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