The Less Said, The Better
by Minim Calibre

This is not happening. This is SO not happening.

The box said results in 3 minutes. Sooner was really not what she'd been hoping for, but there it was. Two lines. Right. It could be wrong. After all, it showed the results almost instantly...that must mean maybe it was broken, or maybe enchanted, or maybe...

Okay. Maybe she was reaching.

Buffy banged her head against the tile of the Doublemeat restroom. Maybe she was still hallucinating. Because this? Made no sense at all. There's impossible, and then there's impossible and then...

The Doublemeat breakfast made its way back up with stunning alacrity. She barely had time to aim for the toilet.

Shit. Shit. Okay, Buffy, breathe.

Sure, she was late. Didn't really mean much. Her cycle wasn't exactly thrilled with the whole returning-from-the-grave bit. And so she'd been tired...who wouldn't be, after a double shift at the Doublemeat with slayer duties on top? She'd been getting 4 hours a night, tops.

And so what if she wasn't able to hold down her food half the time? She'd been eating almost exclusively Doublemeat patties for weeks. That would be enough to ruin anyone's stomach.

Denial, much? Lines. Two of them. Just like the others.

Every available brand, practically a whole paycheck's worth. All with the same result.

Buffy dragged herself to the sink, rinsed her mouth, and stared at the reflection in the mirror.

Glowing was not the word she'd use to describe herself at the moment. Pallid with a chance of sallow, perhaps.

Her break almost over, she stashed the evidence in her purse, washed up, and went back to her register.

"Summers, are you feeling OK? You look like you're coming down with something."

Buffy stared at her manager, willing her eyes to focus. "I'm fine. Just the after effects of a touch of something nasty."

I can't believe I just said that.

"Why don't you take the rest of the day off? I don't want you making the customers sick."

As much as she needed the money, she really couldn't argue with that logic. Besides, the restaurant was starting to spin, and all she wanted to do was go somewhere and lie down.

Home was at least better than the walk-in freezer.

I'm fine. I'm fine. Nothing wrong, certainly not...I'm just tired, that's all.

Buffy shut the door behind her, and stumbled to the living room. The couch would do. Too many stairs to make it to the bedroom. She collapsed, wincing as her breasts bounced with the impact. Unfortunately, the moment she stopped moving was the same moment she noticed the Doublemeat smell. If she didn't want to lose whatever was left of her lunch, she was going to have to shower and change.

,em>Maybe Giles would know something...maybe if I called him, asked it as a hypothetical question "Gee, Giles, there wouldn't happen to be any way for a vampire and a human to procreate, would there? Angel was right about that, right?" No, that wouldn't make him suspect anything at all.

She groaned and staggered up to the bathroom, breathing through her mouth to keep the nausea at bay. Shower, then sleep. She could manage that. Only two steps. Simple.

She was too tired to stand, so she sat in the tub, knees pulled up to her chest. She scrubbed half-heartedly with the closest sliver of soap, and let herself cry.

They brought me back for this? So I could work fast food and get myself knocked up (defying all laws of nature, not to mention whatever laws govern the unnatural) by someone who's spent most of the time he's known me plotting my death?

There. She'd thought it. Let her mind go there.

I wonder what they'd call this on Jerry Springer? "When Slayers Go Bad"? No, that's more Fox, and anyhow, Faith went bad and all she got was a lousy coma. "My Baby's Daddy Puts the Dead in Deadbeat?"

Hysterical giggles mingled with sobs in a curdled mess. It wasn't that funny, not really, but Buffy couldn't seem to stop laughing. Which was bad, because she was starting to choke and there really wasn't anything left in her stomach to throw up.

"Buffy? Is that you in there? What are you doing home?"

Great. Dawn was home from school already.

"It's me, Dawnie. I'll be out in a second."

Inhale. Exhale. can do this.

She stood up slowly, and wrapped a towel around herself, then carefully pushed enough strands of hair into her face to hide the worst of the swelling around her eyes.

"Buffy, are you okay? You sound kind of funny."

And you sound kind of nervous...not that I blame you.

"I'm fine...I'm just a little sick, so they sent me home early."

"Buy you're fine, right? I mean, no hallucinations, no scary demon-juice problems?"

Yes, but so very much not in the way you're thinking...

"I mean it, Dawn. I'm fine, I'm just tired." She opened the door. "See? Just tired, sick, no-longer-Doublemeat-scented-me."

Dawn just stared at her for a minute, ready to flee if her sister made any sudden moves.

I guess I deserve that. Can't pretend it doesn't hurt, though.

"Okay, fine. I'm going to Janice's for dinner. I just stopped by to grab a few things."

And with that she was gone.

Shit. I can't even manage looking after a 15-year-old girl-what the hell am I going to do with a baby? What are the social services people going to think?

The walk to her bedroom was a mile long. How was it she'd never noticed that before? Buffy crawled under the sheets, towel and all. Maybe if she got lucky she would fall asleep and not wake up. Because really, the coma option was looking better and better.

Vamps all around and she can't reach the stake, she's too big and ungainly and suddenly she's in a rocking chair and there's a little face staring up at her and she has to feed it somehow when it changes and the blue eyes turn yellow and it's gumming her finger in frustration...and then Willow and Xander start laughing and Giles just looks at her, disappointment and "how on earth could you be so stupid?" written clearly on his face as he hands her a tiny stake...

She woke with a start. The dreams were getting more and more disturbing every time. On second thought, maybe the coma wasn't such a good idea.

She tested the notion of food, thinking of anchovies and marshmallows, pleased that her stomach didn't revolt at the concept. Less pleased that it sounded more appealing than appalling, however. Food cravings that disgusting should not exist. 6:30. She'd managed to nap for a little more than three hours.

The closet proved more frustrating than usual. Five pairs of too-snug pants later, she gave up and pulled on a pair of workout sweats.

You're going to want to tell them about this before they all guess, even if you didn't let yourself think about it until you couldn't button your uniform. Well, that and the comment about glowing at the wedding-that-wasn't.

Buffy grabbed a sports bra and a loose shirt, and finished getting dressed before heading to the kitchen in search of something suitably bland to eat.

An apple. That'll do. Nice and bland and full of good-for-me vitamins.

"Buffy." Willow was standing there, jaw set, downturned mouth, huge eyes...shit. Willow's bad-news face. Verging on Willow's someone's-dead face.

"What is it Wil?"

Please don't let it be something I have to deal with right now. Please let it just be broken water pipes or an unpaid electric bill.

"I need to talk to you...I think you'd better sit down."

Shit. Not the electric bill, then.

Buffy felt her way to the closest chair, wondering what disaster had decided to be the cherry on top of the week from hell.

"I got a call from L.A. while you were sleeping, Buff. I wasn't sure I should tell you, what with all that you've been through and all, but I don't want you finding out by yourself."

Oh no, no. Not Angel. No.

"Angel...Wil, what's happened to him? Is he he..." she couldn't finish the thought. Not that. Anything but that.

Willow frowned and chewed on her lip before answering.

"Cordelia said he's doing as well as can be expected...his-son's-been-kidnapped-and-taken-to-some-hell-dimension." The last part came out almost too quickly to understand.

"His WHAT?"

More lip chewing...tastes that good, does it? What. Did. You. Just. Say? You did not say what I think you did.

"Umm...this is the part I thought you should sit down for. I guess he and Darla did the nasty, and before you know it-presto, Darla's dust, Angel's a dad, lots of prophecies, bombs going off, and your basic all hell breaking loose."

"Angel and Darla. Had a baby." One hand snuck to cover her stomach while the other one covered her mouth.

Don't laugh. Just don't laugh.

"Buffy? Are you okay? Buffy?"

She couldn't help it. Closing her eyes and letting the hand on her mouth slip down to join its mate, Buffy burst out laughing.

Next on Springer "Vampire Births, Miracle or Menace?"

"Wil, how do you think he'll take finding out he's going to be a great-grandfather?"


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