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Willow's Gift

by Eena Angel


Part One:

*****July 2001*****
"Give her back!"
Jenny Calendar, or the being disguised as Jenny Calendar,
shook her head.
"Death was her gift," the being responded. "It cannot be
changed."
"But we need Buffy!" Willow pleaded with it. It was hard for
her to talk to the image of her old teacher. The redhead resisted
the temptation to hug the lights out of the apparition. She kept
telling herself the same thing. It was not Jenny; it was just a
vessel of the PTB.
"We need the Slayer," the witch continued. "Dawn needs her
sister, the Hellmouth needs the Slayer. She didn't deserve to die!"
"She gave her life for those she loved," the thing that
looked like Jenny shrugged. "It was her decision. Let her sacrifice
stand. Death was her gift."
"Stop saying that!" Willow shouted. "Damn it, I'll give the
damn gift. Just change it around, give Buffy back to us. Death will
be my gift-"
"No!" the being interrupted harshly. "Death is not your
gift. It was never your gift. The Slayer's gift was death-"
"That's not fair!" Willow interjected.
"Your gift is life," the being continued, as if she hadn't
interrupted.
Willow frowned.
"Life is my gift?" she repeated. "What the hell does that
mean?"
"Your question has been answered," the being replied. "This
journey is over."
"Wait!" Willow shouted. The being took no heed of her
cries. The image of Jenny wavered and then disappeared. Willow was
left alone in the dark cavern. The witch was sad, confused, and
frustrated.
Life was her gift. What the fuck did that mean?
*****
*****September 2001*****
"Are we sure about this?" Xander asked again.
Willow rolled her eyes.
"We're sure, we've talked it into the ground," she frowned at
her best friend. "Don't you want Buffy back?"
"Of course I want her back," Xander looked insulted. "But
are we sure we're doing the right thing?"
"Life is my gift," Willow shot at him. "I went there looking
for an answer to Buffy's death and I was told life is my gift. What
else could it mean?"
Xander sighed and rubbed his eyes.
"I know what the thing said," he replied. "But what I want
to know is are we doing the right thing."
"I think we are," Tara jumped in, coming to her friend's
aid. "Buffy's death wasn't natural. She didn't die like a Slayer
normally does. She jumped into a portal to a hell dimension. Her
soul could be trapped there, or in between. Buffy could be stuck in
limbo, we don't know."
"I can't leave her there," Willow added in a whisper. "I
won't leave her there. Now, either you're going to help me or you're
going to get out of my way."
Xander stared at his best friend. She was determined to do
this. He knew the Slayer's death haunted her. Willow was supposed
to be Buffy's big gun; the blonde had even said so. Willow felt as
if she had let her down, let Buffy die. Her guilt wouldn't dissipate
and Xander understood that. He just didn't want her to mess with
things unknown to alleviate that guilt.
Xander also understood Buffy's death wasn't normal. The
Slayer could very well be trapped somewhere else, trying to get back
to them. And he wouldn't leave her there either. He would help
bring his friend back. Even if he didn't agree with it.
"I'm with you," he finally assented. "I just don't want you
to get in over your head."
Willow returned his concerned look with a smile.
"I won't," she promised. "Life is my gift. And I damn well
am going to give it."
Xander nodded and pulled the redhead in for a hug.
*****
*****December 2001*****
"I pulled her out of heaven," Willow muttered dejectedly.
Angel looked down at his friend in sympathy. The witch had
shown up on his steps that morning. She had given him the whole
story. The vision quest, the spell, the dancing demon, and Buffy's
revelation. And Willow was absolutely wracked with guilt.
"No you didn't," he protested. "She was just in a paradise
dimension. It wasn't really heaven. We know that for sure.
Wherever Buffy was, it sure as hell wasn't the afterlife."
"It doesn't matter," Willow shook her head. "She was happy
there. And I pulled her out of there. I brought her back to a world
where there is pain and violence and so much death. I may have not
pulled her out of heaven, but I did drag her back into hell."
Angel said nothing. He pulled the miserable witch into his
lap and stroked her hair.
"You didn't do it on purpose," he whispered to her. "You
thought you were doing the right thing."
"Yeah, life is my gift," Willow gave a bitter laugh at
that. "I have no gifts to give."
"Not true, you have your magic."
"No I don't," the redhead shook her head. "I'm giving it up."
Angel looked alarmed.
"But Willow-"
"I'm giving it up," she repeated. "Nothing good ever happens
when I do magic. Even if I do the spell right, someone is hit with
the consequences. I won't make those kinds of mistakes again. I'm
through."
"Willow, you shouldn't make that kind of decision lightly,"
Angel warned his friend. "You are a talented witch with extreme
power. Maybe you should give this more thought."
"I've given it a lot of thought," Willow replied, leaning her
head against his chest. "I'm tired of it. I don't want to do magic
anymore."
"If that's what you want," Angel sighed. "But know this,
your friends love you. You may have made a few mistakes, but we will
always love you. Buffy too. Buffy especially. And if you ever
decide to go back to magic, we'll love you then too. You're our
Willow, we couldn't make it without you."
Willow smiled into his silk shirt.
"Thanks, but I don't think I'll be going back," she told
him. "Not any time soon, anyway. Besides, I never did like keeping
that stinky yak cheese in my bra."
Angel shot her a look.
"Don't ask," she laughed. "I'm content to be magic free for
a little while."
Angel kissed the top of her head.
"If that's what you want."
*****
*****January 2002*****
Willow twirled her drink absentmindedly. She was still in
LA. Tomorrow she would be heading back to Sunnydale to face the best
friend who she had wronged. She didn't care what anybody said. She
had done her best friend wrong. She pulled her away from a world of
peace into a world of strife and bloodshed. She was a bad Willow.
She was a very bad Willow and she knew it.
The redhead glanced up from her drink. She had allowed
Cordelia to drag her to some club in LA. The brunette had insisted
the former witch get some partying done before she left for home.
Willow had agreed mainly to get Cordelia off her back. The former
cheerleader could be very determined when she wanted to be. As
stubborn as ever, but slightly more mature.
Speaking of Cordelia Chase, the brunette was currently on the
dance floor trying to teach Groo how to dance. Willow felt very
sorry for the man. He had faced down many evils and demons in his
world, but he stood no chance on a human dance floor. The half demon
looked decisively uncomfortable and confused. And he had no rhythm.
It was quite the sight.
Willow let her eyes drift over other people in the club.
There were a lot of people there. And a lot of large people there.
And most of them were not of the normal human variety. Not vampires
per se, but definitely not entirely human. She had never seen so
many half-breeds in one place before. She heard some other woman
whispering that some WWE wrestlers were here for the night. That
would have explained the large people. Even the women were larger
than life. Willow felt decisively puny next to them. But what it
didn't explain was the supernatural element. Why were all the
wrestlers of non-mortal blood? Then again, she also heard the
whispering women talk about a tables match. Maybe being not so human
is what kept them in one piece in light of what they did to one
another.
Her eyes took in a redhead and a blonde seated with two
guys. One of the guys had what looked like purple and blue hair. It
was interesting. The other had a normal head of brown hair. The
redhead was built and sported a rather large tattoo on her arm. The
blonde, well let's just say she had assets. Very large assets.
Willow just shook her head at the sight. Why women wanted boobs that
big was beyond her.
Her eyes continued to drift. The redhead was a little
startled when she found one of the large wrestlers staring at her.
He was a big blonde man with clear blue eyes. And as for the rest of
him. Well Cordelia would have summed him up as yummy. And Willow
would have been inclined to agree with her.
She watched in wonder as the man got up and walked over to
her. She watched him intently as he stood before her. He stared
back, as if silently assessing.
"Want to dance?"
She really should have said no. Willow was more than a
little tipsy. She wouldn't be able to think clearly around such a
good-looking man. But then again, it was her last night in LA and
Cordelia did want her to have fun. And the man looked like fun.
With a slight smile on her face, Willow nodded and let the
man escort her out to the dance floor.
*****
*****March 2002*****
"We're home!" Dawn shouted into the house as she stepped into
the entrance hallway. Her older sister Buffy rolled her eyes at the
younger girl's back.
"You don't have to be so loud," she admonished her. "I'm
pretty sure Willow knows we're home."
"Then why hasn't she answered yet?" Dawn shot back. Then the
girl faltered, worry crossing her features.
"Why hasn't she answered yet?" she said in a more fearful
tone. Buffy felt a bit of apprehension as well. The two sisters
exchanged looks and walked further into the house.
"Willow!" Buffy called up the steps. "Wills, where are you?"
There was no reply. Buffy shouted down the fear welling up
in her mind.
"She could have just gone out," she told Dawn calmly.
"Then she would have left a note," the younger girl
surmised. She headed for the kitchen. "And she would have left it
tacked on the fridge."
The younger Summers sister skittered into the kitchen and
stopped in her tracks. There sat her query. Willow was seated on a
stool at the kitchen counter. The redhead was silent, staring at
something in her hands.
"Willow!" Dawn sighed in relief. "You scared the shit out of
me. Why didn't you answer?"
The redhead remained quiet. Dawn began to feel worried
again. Buffy walked into the kitchen and stood beside her sister.
"Willow?" Buffy called out hesitantly. Again, there was no
response.
"What's wrong with her?" Dawn asked her sister in a
frightened whisper.
Buffy failed to answer. She merely edged closer to her
friend. The blonde sank into the seat next the redhead. She placed
her hand on Willow's shoulder.
"Wills?" she prompted. "What's wrong?"
The redhead didn't answer. She turned to look at her friend,
eyes red from crying. The redhead handed Buffy the object she had
held in her hands. Dawn came to stand next to Buffy, peering over
her shoulder. Now, the girl was young but even she knew what the
thing in Buffy's hand was.
"What does blue mean?" she asked in a little voice.
"It means I'm an idiot," the redhead finally whispered.
Willow dropped her head into her hands and started to cry. Buffy
threw the applicator onto the countertop and pulled her friend into a
hug.
"You're not an idiot," she told the crying redhead. "You're
Willow. And we love you. You won't go through this alone. We'll
help you, we'll always help you."
Willow turned and wrapped her arms around the blonde. Her
tears came running down her cheeks and her body heaved from the force
of her sobs. Dawn skittered over to her other side and enveloped the
redhead into a hug as well. She rested on her Willow's back, arms
squeezing her slightly. Dawn knew she should have just been silent,
continued to give her friend support. But there was one thing she
just had to know.
"Who's the father?"
"Dawn!" Buffy reprimanded, shooting her sister a deathly look.
"I'm sorry," the girl murmured. "But I just thought that it
might be Xander and that would be really bad because of he and Anya-"
"Not Xander," Willow sniffled. "Not even close."
"Then who?"
"It doesn't matter," Buffy interjected, giving Dawn another
look. "We don't care. All we care about is you. If you want to
tell us, we'll listen. But until then, we won't push."
"I'm sorry Willow," Dawn apologized. "I'm going to help
too. We do love you, you know. It doesn`t matter who he is."
Willow just cried harder.
*****
Part Two:
*****April 2002*****
"You look so handsome," Willow smiled tearfully. Xander,
dressed in his tux, smiled back at his best man.
"I love you," he whispered. "You're my best friend in the
whole world."
"I love you too," Willow replied. "I even love you enough to
wear this green thing Anya picked out for me."
Xander laughed.
"At least it brings out your eyes," he offered. Willow
rolled her eyes.
"It's a good thing we realized we would never work," she
teased him. "Or else it would have been us up there."
"Oh come on Wills," Xander gave her a little pout. "You know
I'd be the best husband in the whole entire world."
"I know," Willow agreed. "I'm greener than this dress. Anya
is so lucky."
"But this doesn't change things between us," he told
her. "You're still my Willow. I will always be there for you. No
matter what happens, I love you."
Willow nodded and hugged him.
"Alexander Lavelle Harris," she murmured into his
shoulder. "When they made you, they broke the mould."
"When they made me, they threw away the mould," Xander
chuckled. "Didn't want to make the same mistake twice."
"Oh you," she rolled her eyes at him. "None of that."
"Yes madam," he saluted her. Willow laughed.
"Let's get you married."
*****
*****June 2002*****
"Legally Blonde or Talented Mr. Ripley?" Dawn asked.
Willow wrinkled her nose from her spot on the couch.
"I'm for Legally Blonde," the redhead voted. "But ask
Spike. He might want to watch the other."
"Whatever you want, luv," the aforementioned vampire shook
his head, wandering into the living room with snacks and drinks. "I
don't care much. Whatever makes you happy."
Willow smiled at him. The vampire had become one of her
closest friends, which is kind of surprising. But Spike was a very
nurturing creature. She figured it came from all that time of taking
care of Dru. Every night while Buffy patrolled, he came to watch
over her. He wouldn't let her do anything at all physical. Just
propped her feet up and fluffed her pillows. Yeah, that's right.
William the Bloody fluffed her pillows for her.
"Besides, Spike likes Reese Witherspoon," Tara added from her
spot in the armchair. "He ogles the television whenever she comes
on."
"So do you witch," the blonde raised a brow at her. The
blonde woman blushed and ducked her head. Dawn and Willow shared a
laugh.
"Oh!" Willow cut off her laughter suddenly. Spike was there
in an instant.
"What is it?" he asked worriedly. "Does it hurt? Is it the
baby? Let's get you to the hospital."
"Calm down vampire," she chided him. "I'm fine."
"But," Spike sputtered.
"Give me your hand," Willow commanded him.
He frowned slightly.
"Why?"
"Just do it!" she held out her own hand impatiently. Spike
huffed but consented, placing his cool hand in her warm one. Willow
immediately brought it down on her swollen belly. Pressing it into
her abdomen, Willow watched his face closely. Spike first frowned
and then broke out into a huge smile.
"Well, isn't she a fiery one," he chuckled. "Going to be a
bleeding football player, this one is."
"Football, football, or football soccer?" Dawn asked.
"Bloody proper football," Spike retorted. "Soccer my arse."
Willow laughed and pushed the vampire back into the sofa.
"Just enjoy the movie," she instructed him. "We'll discuss
the evils of North American sports later."
Spike rolled his eyes and nodded. Tara dimmed the lights
while Dawn pressed play. While they set up the movie, Spike leaned
close to Willow.
"Thanks Red," he whispered, hand going to rest on her belly
once more. Willow smiled at him warmly.
"Not a problem Spike."
*****
*****September 24 2002*****
Willow sat uncomfortably in the Magic Shop. Her back was
killing her and her ankles were swollen. She didn't a rat's ass what
the others kept telling her. Willow didn't glow, she just plain
ballooned. Pregnancy was so overrated.
She flicked her eyes over to Anya, the former demon ringing
up a purchase. Another surprise, Anya was a nurturing person too.
She always went out of her way to help the redhead. Volunteered to
take her to the doctor's, to Lamaze classes, whatever she needed.
Willow was the only one to show up to that class with an entourage.
Dawn was skipping about, dusting the bookshelves. Xander was in the
training room, repairing some of the equipment Buffy had broken
during her workout. The Slayer herself was at the DoubleMeat
Palace. Spike was at his crypt and Tara was at classes. Just
another day for the Scooby Gang.
Willow dropped the magazine she had been reading. She bent
down to pick it up when she felt it. The redhead lifted her head and
saw the same apparition of Jenny she had seen last year.
"Life is your gift," the image stated. Willow jumped to her
feet and tried to approach the being. But it disappeared from sight.
"Willow!" she heard Anya admonish her. "If you want
something just let us know. Don't get up and strain-"
The former demon was cut off abruptly. Anya approached her
with a curious look in her eyes.
"Willow," she started awed. "Why are you leaking?"
*****
*****Later that night*****
Willow was exhausted. Her hair was matted to her head with
sweat. Her limbs were numb and the redhead could barely keep her
eyes open. And yet, she felt more complete than ever before.
"Wills?"
Willow turned her head at the call. She smiled at the tear-
streaked face of Buffy. The Slayer smiled back, hefting the bundle
in her arms a bit.
"She's so beautiful," the blonde said tearfully. "She has
your eyes."
Willow smiled wider at that. She felt the bed shift
underneath her. Xander had taken a seat on her bedside. Anya
hovered at his side. Dawn and Tara flanked Buffy's sides, cooing at
the newborn. Spike stood at the front of her bed, a smile on his own
face.
"What are you going to name her?" he asked the redhead.
Willow paused for a second. She motioned to Buffy. The
blonde complied, bringing the baby over to her mother. She gingerly
placed the girl in her friend's arms. Willow gathered her child up
in her arms and turned to smile at her friends once more.
"Her name is going to be Jesse," she answered. "Jessica
Alexis Rosenburg."
Xander's eyes welled up with tears.
"That's perfect," he choked out.
"It's a beautiful name," Tara added from her spot next to
Spike.
"I can baby sit, right?" was Dawn's question.
"Of course," Willow smiled at the teenager. "You're her
family. Of course you can."
Dawn beamed with pride. The others shared a look of
happiness. The Scooby Gang had a new member.
"So," Anya began. "Does that make her Scrappy Doo?"
*****
Part Three
*****December 2002*****
"Don't you guys ever wonder?" Anya asked, eyes searching the
others' faces. Xander sighed and raked a hand through his hair.
"Of course we wonder," he agreed. "But it's not up to us.
When or even if Wills wants to tell us, she will. No point in trying
to push it."
"Well, we know it isn't mine," Spike offered humorously from
the sofa. "That gorgeous mop of blonde hair didn't come from me. My
natural colour is brown."
"You're a vampire," Dawn poked him. "Can't have children
anyway."
"Tell that to Peaches," Spike countered.
"And the only way you would even be considered is if you had
sex with Willow . . ." Xander trailed off at the smirk on Spike's
face.
"Ours is a forbidden love," the vampire mock sighed.
Xander went red.
"Now look here-"
"Xander!" Buffy interrupted, shifting baby Jesse from one arm
to the other. "He's never had sex with Willow. He's just trying to
get you riled up. Ignore him."
Xander opened his mouth to reply when the front door opened.
"Found it!" Willow called out triumphantly. The redhead came
into the living room, brandishing a menorah like a trophy. Tara
followed behind carrying some candles and other things.
"That's great luv," Spike smiled, taking her prize from
her. "We'll set it up on the table."
Willow smiled gratefully at him before making her way over to
Buffy.
"How's my angel?" she cooed, lifting her baby up into her
arms.
"Fine, they'll be down in a few days," Anya answered simply.
She caught the look everyone shot her.
"Oh, you meant Jesse," she laughed, it dawning on
her. "She's just fine. Perfect as always."
"That's my girl," Willow grinned, planting a kiss on her
daughter's cheek. She glanced up at the others.
"I'm really happy," she told them. Buffy grinned and wrapped
her arms around her friend. Xander came up and hugged Willow from
the other side.
"We love that you're happy," Buffy whispered in her ear.
"And we'll do just about anything to keep you that way,"
Xander added. The three friends remained locked in their embrace,
baby Jesse the centre of their attention.
*****
*****May 2003*****
"She'll say my name first," Spike challenged Xander.
"She has to walk first," the other man countered.
"What are you two going on about?" Dawn demanded, looking up
from where she was playing with Jesse.
"Spike here says she'll say his name first and I say she'll
walk first," Xander answered. "Got twenty bucks on it."
Dawn rolled her eyes.
"She already said `mama'," she reminded them.
"But that doesn't count," Spike protested. "Every kid says
mama first. But which name she'll say first is another story."
Tara and Willow wandered into the living room at that
moment. Both girls had arms loaded with bags and were giggling about
something or the other.
"Hi sweetie," Willow called out to her daughter. Jesse
raised her head and broke out into a large smile.
"Mama," the eight-month-old baby stated. Tara laughed.
"That's right honey, Mama's home," the blonde witch
giggled. "I love that baby."
"Join the club," Dawn chirped, pulling Jesse to her feet.
The baby raised her arms at her mother, signifying she wanted to be
picked up.
"In a second baby," Willow promised, turning to put her bags
down. Baby Jesse would have none of that. She wrenched her hand
away from Dawn and took a teetering step in her mother's direction.
"Get the camera!" Dawn shrieked. Everyone turned to stare as
Tara raced for the camcorder. Willow went down to her knees, face
beaming with pride. Jesse continued to take one step after the
other, making her way to her mother. Tara came up from behind,
filming the entire thing.
"Twenty bucks!" Xander announced, hand stretched out in
Spike's way. The blonde vampire huffed but slapped a bill into the
outstretched hand. He turned to mock growl at the baby who had
finally made it all the way to her mother.
"You know," he started, sitting down next to the mother and
her child. "You're lucky I like you so much. Otherwise costing me
money like that would land you in trouble. Just don't make a habit
of it."
Jesse giggled and caught his wagging finger.
"Spike," she said. The vampire faltered.
"Excuse me?"
"Spike," the baby repeated. "Spike, Spike, Spike, Spike,
Spike, Spike, Spike, Spike."
Willow whipped her head around to look at Tara.
"Did you get that?"
The blonde witch nodded.
"She's full of surprises today," Tara laughed, bending over
to place a kiss on the child's head. Jesse giggled and threw herself
deeper into her mother's arms. Spike leapt to his feet, pride all
over his face. He reached over and plucked the bill out of Xander's
hand.
"Hah!" was the only thing he could say. Willow frowned at
them.
"Betting on my child again?" she raised her brow. Both men
sputtered at the same time.
"Absolutely," Spike grinned.
"Of course not," Xander denied at the same time. Dawn rolled
her eyes at the redhead.
"Boys," she said simply.
Tara nodded.
"Boys will be boys," she agreed. Willow snorted.
"They certainly can't be girls."
*****
*****July 2003*****
Willow sat comfortably on the living room sofa. Jesse was
curled up on her mother's front, sound asleep. Buffy had gone out
for patrol, Tara was on a date, Dawn was at a sleepover, and Anya and
Xander were off having sex. Spike was her only company for the
night. The vampire was sitting on the ground in front of the
television. They were watching RAW. Willow couldn't help herself.
She wanted to see him. Never could build up the nerve to actively
find him and tell him, but she wanted to see him. She was a regular
watcher now and that suited Spike just fine. He loved this show. It
was their thing that they did together on Mondays and Thursdays.
"So luv," he spoke up suddenly. "Which one is it?"
Willow was startled.
"What?"
"Which one?" he repeated, shooting a glance up at her.
"I don't know what-"
"Yes you do," he interrupted. "You never used to watch this
show before. Something about it promoting gratuitous violence. But
ever since you got back from LA last year, all you do is watch this
show. The others may have not figured it out, but I'm no idiot. Now
which one?"
Willow blushed and ducked her head.
"Edge," she admitted. "Are you going to tell?"
Spike shook his head.
"Your baby luv," he shrugged. "Not my place to tell you what
to do. Besides, I don't want him to know. I like having you two
here and exclusive to us."
Willow smiled down at him.
"Thanks Spike," she whispered. "You're a good friend."
"And a damn good uncle," he added, eyes on the television.
"One of the best," she agreed. The two shared a smile and
then turned back to the television.
*****September 24 2003*****
"Happy Birthday to you!" the group chanted out
together. "Happy Birthday dear Jesse! Happy Birthday to you!"
Willow giggled and held her squirming daughter still.
"Blow out the candles baby," she instructed. The baby raised
her hand and made a dismissive motion. The candles flickered and
then went out. The whole party went quiet.
"I was wondering when she would develop powers," Anya finally
broke the silence. Willow failed to reply. She just looked down at
the giggling infant in her arms. Jesse smiled up at her mother,
pride etched over her features.
"Want cake," the child commanded.
"And cake you shall have," Tara hastily answered. "Buffy,
help me cut up the cake."
The two blondes set to work. Willow lifted her child up in
her arms, looking directly into her face.
"You're my gift aren't you?" she whispered to her. Jesse
just giggled and hugged her mother. Willow returned her hug, heart
thumping wildly.
Angel approached the two carefully.
"She's special Willow," he whispered to his friend. "We
always knew that. It's just now we have proof."
Willow turned worried eyes to him.
"You've been through this," she whispered. "What do I do?"
"Well, first of all, you keep this silent," Angel
laughed. "Since no one knows of this magical child, no one will come
for her. And just love her Willow. That's all she needs from you.
Love and protection. You'll all be just fine."
Willow nodded and let the vampire pull her into a hug.
"Well," Spike's voice interrupted. "In light of the latest
developments, I suggest we let the babe open her gifts immediately.
Wouldn't want to accidentally anger her. Might turn the lot of us
into rats."
There was a collective laugh over that. Willow led her child
over to the heap of wrapped presents and let her dive right into
them. She sat back and watched, happiness swelling up in her heart
once more.
Jesse was her gift. What a beautiful gift.
*****
Part Four
*****December 2005*****
"Look, that reading was vague at best," Christian pleaded
with his brother. "It could have meant anyone. Hell, it could mean
Lita."
Edge rolled his eyes.
"I doubt it means Lita," he told his brother. "I don't love
Lita."
"Well, that just breaks my heart," came a voice from the
doorway. The brothers glanced up to see Lita, the Hardys, and Trish
enter the locker room.
"Hey baby," Trish greeted Christian with a kiss.
"Hey," he replied, pulling his girlfriend down into his
lap. "What's up?"
"Apparently Edge doesn't like me," Lita pouted. "And I
haven't even given him a hurricanrana lately."
"I didn't say I didn't like you," the blonde man grinned. "I
said I'm not in love with you."
"Well, there goes that girlish crush she had on you," Jeff
mock sighed. "And I was just starting to enjoy all those
conversations revolving around your ass."
Lita glared and slapped her friend over the head.
"Not funny," she frowned. "I'm just not popular with the
boys today."
"You're more than popular with me," her boyfriend Matt Hardy
offered.
"That's because you want sex," Trish smirked at him.
"Hey, don't knock the sex," Matt shot back. Lita rolled her
eyes and turned back to Edge.
"If you don't love me, who do you love?"
"Some girl he met like four years ago," Christian answered
for him. "You guys remember right? The redhead in LA?"
"You still thinking about her?" Jeff asked
incredulously. "Dude, it's been four years. Don't you think you
should move past that one night stand already?"
"Willow," Edge replied. "Not some redhead, Willow."
"And her last name?" Matt prodded. "Oh that's right. You
don't know it."
"Edge, I have to agree with the knuckleheads on this one,"
Lita looked at him in worry. "Fours years is too long to obsess over
some girl. Especially since you only saw her that once."
"I can't forget about her," Edge shook his head.
"Was the sex that good?" Trish asked innocently.
"That's something I don't want answered," Christian made a
face. "Do we have to discuss my older brother and sex? It's just
not fun for me."
"But it's fun for us," Lita quipped lightly. "But seriously,
Edge its time to let go."
"No it's not," the blonde man shook his head. "Torrie got a
reading off me-"
"And what did our premonition-ridden friend have to say?"
Jeff asked.
"She said that a redhead would bring me a piece of me," Edge
answered running his hand through his hair. "Something I did not
know I had been missing until she gives it to me. I'm thinking it's
her. It has to be."
"No it doesn't," Christian shook his head. "You just want it
to be her."
"Whatever, either way, I'm finding her," Edge stated firmly.
"What are you going to do?" Lita demanded. "Look up every
Willow in the state of California?"
Edge failed to answer.
"Oh my god," Trish declared in disbelief. "You're going to
look up every Willow in the state of California. Are you out of your
mind?"
Edge shrugged.
"I'm going to find her," he told them. "With or without your
help."
There was a brief silence.
"We'll help you big brother," Christian finally spoke
up. "We're worried about your sanity, but we'll help you."
"But just a suggestion," Jeff raised his hand. "Can we just
get Debra to scry for her? That would be a real timesaver."
Edge nodded.
"Whatever it takes," he agreed. "I just want find her."
"Just out of curiosity," Matt piped up. "What is this thing
she has to give you?"
"Torrie didn't say," Edge shrugged. "And that's all I got
out of her. After telling me, she got kind of spooked and said I
better find her quick."
"Bad news?" Lita frowned.
"Who knows?" Edge rubbed his eyes tiredly. "Maybe nothing.
Maybe something. We won't know until we find her."
"And if she doesn't have this thing to give to you?" Trish
prodded.
"Then I start hounding Lita," the blonde man grinned. "What
about it Red? Got something to give me I didn't know I lost?"
"Sorry Edge," Lita pouted at him. "I don't know where your
sanity is."
Christian burst into laughter.
"You walked right into that one," he informed his brother.
Edge rolled his eyes.
"Whatever. I got a Willow to find."
*****
*****January 2006*****
"Coming!" Willow called out to the door. The knocking
stopped as whoever was on the other side opted to wait for her. The
redhead blew some hair out of her face, placing her hyperactive three
year old on the couch.
"Wait here," she instructed her. Jesse pouted.
"I want to go to the park," the little girl whined.
"We'll go as soon as I answer the door," Willow promised.
Jesse broke out into a bright smile.
"Well then go answer it Mommy," she giggled. "Like Uncle
Xander says: Time's a wasting."
Willow planted a quick kiss on her daughter's forehead before
racing out into the hallway.
"Wills, who is it?" Buffy called from the kitchen.
"I'm getting it!" Willow shouted back. "Just finish the
lunch already. My girl is all antsy and ready to go."
"Antsy?" came Dawn's voice. "You don't mean literally
right? It's damn hard to change back people when they turn
themselves into things. Remember Amy?"
Willow gave a laugh at that, swinging the door open.
"Hi-"
The redhead stopped almost as quickly as she began. For a
second she thought she was seeing things. She prayed to God she was
seeing things.
"Hi Willow," Edge greeted her nervously. He cast a look back
at his friends who motioned him to carry on. "I don't know if you
remember-"
"Mommy, who is it?" Jesse asked, ducking out from behind her
mother. Willow reflexively scooped the girl up in her arms. Edge
stared at the little girl in confusion. Jesse just took one look at
the man before breaking out into another luminous smile.
"Hi Daddy," she greeted him.
Edge passed out.
*****
Part Five

"Have no fear! Spike is here!"
The blonde vampire slammed the door shut behind him
dramatically. He waited all of two seconds before hearing the
pattering of feet he was expecting.
"Uncle Spike!" squealed Jesse, running out into the hallway.
The little girl launched herself at the vampire, arms going around
his neck at once. Spike gave a little laugh and swept the girl up in
his arms.
"How's my Little Bit?" he asked, kissing the side of her head.
"Real excited," she informed him. "We have all these guests."
Spike frowned.
"Guests?"
"Uh-huh," Jesse nodded. She squirmed out of his embrace and
grabbed his hand.
"They're in here," she informed him while dragging him into
the living room. Spike walked into the room and did a double take.
"Aren't you . . ?" he trailed off. "Oh bloody hell. Where's
the big blonde one?"
"You knew?" Buffy shrieked, jumping to her feet at
once. "Why didn't you tell us?"
"Not my secret to tell," Spike shot back. "Besides Red
didn't want nothing said. Speaking of which, where is Willow?"
"Her and Daddy are talking upstairs in her room," Jesse
answered him.
"Daddy?"
"Yeah, called him that right when she saw him," Lita offered
from her spot in Matt's lap. "It was quite the shock."
"Daddy fainted," Jesse confided in him. Spike raised his
eyebrows.
"Did he then?" Jesse nodded. "Well, this must have been
quite the exciting day for you."
"It is!" she agreed happily. "We're waiting for Aunt Anya
and Uncle Xander to show up. They're busy being like bunnies."
"What?" Tara demanded, shooting the little child an
incredulous look. Jesse turned to her with wide eyes.
"What's wrong?" she asked innocently. "Aunt Dawn says
they're probably making like bunnies."
Buffy shot her sister a look.
"Did she then?"
"Um, I think there's a slightly more pertinent matter at
hand," Spike gave them all a look. "How long have the parents been
up there? And have any of you checked to make sure they're both
still alive?"
"Actually, there is a more pressing matter at the moment,"
Jeff spoke up. He turned to the three women of the house.
"Are you aware your friend is a vampire?"
*****
"How could you keep this from me?"
Willow winced slightly from the force of Edge's demand.
"I didn't know how to tell you!" she shouted back. "What was
I suppose to do? Walk up to you and say `Hey, I'm that one night
stand from LA. And guess what? You knocked me up'?"
"Sure!" Edge shouted. "You could have done something. You
should have done something! But you kept my daughter from me!"
"I wasn't keeping her from you!" Willow screamed at him. "I
just couldn't- there's a lot you don't know about our daughter. I
needed to keep her safe!"
"Safe from who?" Edge demanded. "Is there someone after her?"
"Not exactly," Willow answered weakly. "But I don't want to
run the risk of anyone finding out about her. You don't know the
whole story concerning her."
"Look, I can handle it," Edge told her. "There are things
about me you don't know and probably won't believe."
"That you're part fey?" Willow finished for him. "Yeah, I
kind of knew that."
"How did you know?" Edge managed to choke out.
"Well, I used to be a witch."
"Used to be?"
"I gave it up," she answered lamely.
"Why?"
"That's not important," she frowned at him.
"Right, my daughter is important," he agreed with her. "Now
what is it about her that you need to protect."
"How can I know if I can trust you?" Willow asked, eyes
narrowed.
"Trust?" Edge repeated, tone insulted. "I'm her father!"
"Well, nepotism doesn't work here," Willow told him. "And I
take care of my girl. I won't let anyone near her that I deem
threatening. So unless you can prove that you can be trusted-"
Edge broke her off with a bruising kiss. Willow gave a
little squeal, lips parting in shock. Then he stuck his tongue in
her mouth. His arms went around her waist, pulling the redhead
against his body.
Willow shut her eyes, involuntarily giving in to the kiss.
She remembered this. Lord knows she remembered this. That one night
four years ago was amazing. Mind-blowing. Breathtaking. And a
whole bunch of other adjectives that describe really good sex. But
the kissing was different. Edge always kissed her like he needed it
to live. His fingers would clutch at her sides. The force behind it
made it seem so urgent. And he wouldn't let go until they both
practically passed out from lack of oxygen. Edge really knew how to
kiss.
As for Edge, this was heaven. He was unbelievably pissed at
this girl. She had his kid and then neglected to tell him about it.
He should have just kept on yelling. But being this close to her
reminded him of how much he wanted her. It didn't matter he was
angry with her. This was Willow; the same Willow who had haunted his
dreams for four years. The same Willow he had fallen for completely
in just one night.
Willow was starting to feel the need for air. She tried to
signify this to Edge, but he was pretty busy. Willow pushed at his
chest, trying to break the kiss. Edge spun her around and both of
them tumbled onto her bed. The kiss ended but their lips remained
brushing one another.
Edge gazed down at the winded redhead underneath him.
"What was that?" she asked breathlessly.
"That was four years of pent up frustration," he informed her.
"What? You've gone four years without sex?" Willow laughed.
She sobered when he failed to answer.
"You went four years without sex?" she demanded
incredulously. "What the hell for?"
Edge shrugged.
"You were always kind of there," he motioned to the back of
his head. "Couldn't get you out of my mind. And after a while, I
decided that I really didn't want to."
Willow was quiet, digesting that information.
"You should have told me," he said, breaking the momentary
silence.
Willow sighed and turned her face to Edge.
"I couldn't just tell you," she whispered. "First of all,
there was that whole being incredibly scared of doing so. And then
there is Jesse herself. She's a gift."
"I bet she is," Edge smiled.
"No, really, she is a gift," Willow insisted, looking him
deep in the eyes. "A really big gift."
Edge frowned and opened his mouth to say something. However,
he was cut off when Dawn burst into the room.
"Are you two still alive- Oh my god," Dawn's hands flew to
cover her eyes when she saw the position they were in.
"I'm so sorry," the eighteen year old wailed. "Spike said to
check to make sure you were alive. And I'll go tell them that you're
busy. This is me, leaving to go do that."
"Dawn wait," Willow instructed, pushing her way out from
under Edge. "We're coming down."
"We are?" Edge frowned at her.
Willow nodded as she climbed to her feet.
"There is no way I'm explaining this twice."
*****
Part Six

"But he's a vampire!" Christian protested.
"It's okay," Tara insisted. "He has a chip."
"He is also sitting right here," Spike frowned at both
blondes. "And what bloody right do you have to be all morally
superior. Stinking fey."
"Fey?" Xander repeated. "As in fairy?"
"Exactly like that," Anya nodded from her spot on the floor.
Jesse sat in her lap, devouring a bowl of ice cream.
"Fairies?" Buffy repeated. "What's next, leprechauns?"
"No, we didn't bring DDP with us," Trish replied smoothly.
Xander's eyes bugged.
"DDP? You have got to be kidding me," he shook his
head. "That man is huge."
"Well, in all fairness, he is only half," Jeff shrugged.
"Is Daddy a fairy too?" Jesse piped up suddenly.
"Partly," Lita nodded at her. Jesse giggled.
"That means I'm a fairy too," the little girl smiled.
"Good thing we already have that fairy princess costume ready
to go for Halloween," Buffy said, tickling the girl. "Now you can
get into character."
"That's silly," Jesse declared. "I don't have to do
anything. It's what I am."
"How did you get to be so smart?" Anya asked her.
"Mommy, duh!" the little girl rolled her eyes. "You're all
so silly sometimes."
"Are we then?" Willow asked, leading both Dawn and Edge into
the room.
"Hi Mommy!" Jesse greeted, jumping to her feet and running to
her mother. "Did you and Daddy finish talking?"
"They finished something all right," Spike muttered, waggling
his brows. "So, a new sibling in the making yet?"
"Spike!" Buffy smacked him upside the head. "Shut up!"
"I get a sister or a brother!" Jesse shrieked in delight.
"No!" Willow shouted quickly.
Jesse pouted.
"I won't ever have one," she moaned unhappily.
"No, just not right now," Willow sputtered, extremely red in
the face. "And why aren't you in bed yet?"
"She refused to go until you two were finished," Tara
supplied. "Talking that is," she amended, shooting the laughing
Spike a glare.
"And why do you have ice cream all over your face?" Willow
continued.
"Because some of it missed my mouth," Jesse replied
innocently. The redhead gave her daughter a disapproving look.
Jesse just smiled and leapt up into her mother's arms.
"I'm ready to go to bed now," she announced. Willow rolled
her eyes and started back up the steps. "Buffy, explain for me!" she
called over her shoulder.
"Daddy, you better come up to say good night!" Jesse called
down to Edge. The blonde man grinned and nodded. He turned back to
his friends, an idiotic smile on his face.
"That's my daughter," he told them happily. Spike rolled his
eyes.
"We all bloody well know that," he sighed. "You sure are a
bunch of repetitive gits."
Edge frowned at the strange man. He turned to the others.
"Did you know he's a vampire?"
*****
"Is Daddy going to stay?"
Willow sighed and put down the copy of The Lion, the Witch,
and the Wardrobe. This was the third time Jesse had interrupted her
bedtime story with a question about Edge.
"I don't know pumpkin," she answered truthfully. "That's for
Daddy to decide. But one thing I want to know, how did you know he
was your Daddy?"
Jesse shrugged.
"Just knew," she replied, snuggling deeper into her mother's
form. "Like how I just know how to do magic. Something inside me
just knows."
"Well, do you want him to stay?" Willow asked her.
"Why would I ask if I didn't?" Jesse frowned at her
mother. "You know, you're all really-"
"Silly," Willow finished for her. She gave Jesse a small
smile. "I think you've made that clear enough."
"Then why do you still act silly?" Jesse countered.
"Don't know," Willow shrugged. "Just do. Now, do you want
me to finish the story or not?"
"What story?" came a voice from the doorway. Willow and
Jesse both turned to face the new arrival. Edge smiled at the
sight. His daughter and her mother, both curled up on Jesse's bed.
They were both so incredibly tiny.
Jesse smiled at her father. She started to rise but Willow
restrained her.
"Bedtime," the redhead stated firmly. Jesse pouted and then
motioned Edge closer. He complied, climbing onto the bed and
settling on Jesse's other side.
"Shouldn't you be sleeping?" he asked her. Jesse pouted.
"That's all everyone wants me to do," the little girl
sniffed. "What if I don't want to go to sleep yet?"
"Well, you know what Mommy says," Willow gave her daughter an
assessing look. "You can negotiate your bedtime when you can
spell `negotiate'."
"But I don't even know how to read yet!" Jesse protested.
"I guess your case has no grounds then," Willow
sighed. "Bedtime it is."
Edge laughed at the look on Jesse's face.
"I think your mom is right," he agreed. "You kind of have to
go to sleep now."
"Are you staying?" Jesse asked.
"Yes, we all are," Edge answered. "Xander and Anya took the
Hardys and Lita back to their place. Christian and Trish are setting
up in the guest room. Your friend Spike insisted on staying, so he's
in the basement."
"Did you hear the whole story?" Willow asked meekly. Edge
nodded.
"I think we need to talk," he told her. Willow nodded,
butterflies taking flight in her stomach. She placed a quick kiss on
Jesse's head before climbing out of the blanket. She watched fidgety
as Edge did the same. He climbed out of the bed, joining Willow.
The redhead flicked off the lights and pushed Edge out the door.
"Sleep," she commanded before closing the door. She heard a
little huff and some grumbling as Jesse settled in for the night.
Willow turned to Edge.
"So . . ."
"So," he nodded. "Take this to your room?"
Willow nodded mutely and followed the blonde man to her
room. This was going to be unpleasant.
*****
Part Seven

Willow woke to some fluttering touches on her skin. It
started at her left hand and traveled up her arm. When it reached
her shoulders she opened her eyes. Edge, kissing his way up body.
He shot her a grin and resumed his journey, kissing her neck. Willow
sighed and allowed herself to be pulled into his embrace.
Last night hadn't been as unpleasant as she originally
feared. Actually it was quite the opposite. She had assumed Edge
would want to yell some more, but he had other ideas. Very different
ideas. Willow blushed just thinking about it.
Edge grinned to himself when he saw Willow blush. The girl
was amazing. And that blush covered all of her body. He had checked
once.
Willow sighed once more and pushed away from Edge. He
frowned and got up on one elbow.
"What's wrong?"
"Nothing," she smiled at him. "It's just seven o'clock right
now."
"And this is significant because?" he prodded.
"One thing you are bound to learn about your daughter is that
she has an internal clock that cannot be stilled," Willow
chuckled. "She will be up in one hour's time. First she walks in
here to make sure that I'm up and making breakfast. Then she'll go
wake up Tara. Tara will give her a bath and get her ready for the
day. Then she will trot downstairs expecting breakfast to be made
and waiting."
"Sounds like an efficient child," he laughed. "Must get that
from you."
Willow grinned to herself.
"Yeah, must." The redhead got up and wrapped herself in her
bathrobe. She made it to the bathroom door before Edge caught up to
her.
"How's shower sex first thing in the morning sound?" he
whispered in her ear. Willow blushed once more and let herself be
led into the shower.
*****
Jesse woke up exactly at eight o'clock. And just as her
mother predicted, she wandered into Willow's room first. There she
came upon Edge, who was waiting to see if Willow had been telling the
truth.
"Good morning Daddy," she greeted, climbing onto the bed with
him. "Is Mommy downstairs making breakfast?"
"Good morning to you honey, and yes she is," Edge
grinned. "Do you want me to call her up so you can get ready?"
"No, don't be silly," she waved him off. "That's what Aunt
Tara's for."
Jesse gave him a peck on the cheek and scampered out of the
room. Tara was waiting for her by the bathroom.
"You're twenty seconds late!" the blonde witch
declared. "What's the world coming to?"
"I apologize," the child answered seriously. "I was busy
with Daddy. It messed me up."
With a laugh, Tara swept up the little girl and carried her
into the bathroom.
*****
Christian was woken up at eight thirty by loud pounding on
his door. Trish grumbled and dove under her pillow. Christian was
content to do the same but the pounding continued. Swearing softly,
he climbed out of bed and wrenched the door open.
To find his niece, showered and dressed, smiling up at him.
"You have to wake up now Uncle Christian," she informed
him. "Mommy will have breakfast ready in twenty minutes. You can't
be late."
"Well, pumpkin, maybe we just need a few more-"
"You can't be late!" she interrupted, a frown on her
face. "Uncle Xander and Aunt Anya will be here in fifteen minutes,
probably with your friends. Aunt Buffy just headed down to help
Mommy and Aunt Dawn will be done in five minutes. Aunt Tara is
putting my pyjamas away and she'll be walking me down in twenty
minutes. We have to comb my hair first. Daddy is already awake and
Uncle Spike will be shortly. You're the only ones not on time. So
hurry up! And good morning, because I forgot to say that first."
With that, the little girl marched off down the hallway in
the direction of her room. Christian stared after her, mouth hanging
open.
"I know," Edge told him, coming up from behind. "She's kind
of a control freak. Scary since she's just three."
He turned to his brother and the now awake Trish.
"I think you better you as she says," he instructed
them. "Otherwise she'll be back and I don't think it'll be pretty."
Christian and Trish exchanged shock glances. Then both raced
to get dressed and on time for the little control freak.
*****
"Round or funny shape?" Willow asked Edge as he entered the
kitchen.
"Huh?" he asked, confused.
"Round pancakes or funny shaped ones?" she clarified, hefting
the pan up at him. "Or do you want waffles? Cause then you have to
talk to Buffy, she's on waffle duty."
Edge turned to see the blonde woman standing by a waffle iron
and a plate stacked high of waffles.
"Damn, that's a lot of food," he whistled.
"Well, there's a lot of you," Buffy shrugged. "And there's
always a lot of us. Sunday morning breakfasts are always larger than
life."
"Is that hot chocolate?" Edge asked, reaching for the
steaming mug on the counter. Only to have his hand slapped away by
Willow.
"That's for Spike," she wagged a finger at him. "It's his
special hot chocolate."
"Special?" Edge repeated.
"Vampire friendly," Buffy nodded. "Speaking of vampires,"
she turned and started pounding on the garage door. "Spike! Get
your ass up here!"
"Does vampire friendly mean there's blood in there?" Edge
asked, decisively pale.
Willow laughed at his statement.
"Maybe you should steer away from the fridge," she giggled.
Curious, Edge opened it up and found packets of blood. He turned
shocked eyes to them.
"Well, he's here a lot," Buffy shrugged. "And it's best to
keep him fed. Otherwise he gets all whiny and irritating."
"I can't believe you guys are friends with a vampire," he
shook his head.
"Two vampires," Willow corrected. "Weren't you told about
Angel?"
"I was," Edge nodded, shooting Buffy a look. "But someone
neglected to mention that he was a vampire."
The Slayer shrugged.
"It's not important."
"How is it not important?" he demanded. "Those things are
near Jesse a lot! How can you trust them?"
"First of all, Spike can't hurt any living thing," Willow
answered calmly. "He has that chip. And Angel was cursed with a
soul that keeps him from wanting to hurt others."
"How do you know that?"
"Because she's the one that gave it to him," Buffy answered
breezily.
"What?" Willow demanded at his shocked statement. "I told
you I used to be a witch. Anyhow, Jesse adores both of them. And
they adore her. We trust them completely."
"But-"
"No buts," Dawn interrupted, walking into the kitchen. "We
know this kind of stuff. Just have to trust us on it."
"The girl makes an excellent point," Willow nodded. "We know
what's going on. Jesse is very well taken care of."
Edge nodded, while backing up with his hands in the air.
"I trust you guys," he consented. "But it'll take some
getting use to."
"I expect it would," Buffy nodded. "So, back to the original
question: what do you want for breakfast?"
"Round pancakes," he answered, sending Willow a smile.
"I want funny shaped ones!" Dawn chirped, skipping over to
look over the redhead's shoulder.
"Me too!" came a squeal. Jesse came running into the kitchen
with Tara, Christian, and Trish on her heels.
"You're daughter's a drill sergeant," Christian informed
Willow. The redhead laughed.
"As long as you're on time, she'll leave you alone," Willow
giggled. "But if you're not, be ready to face the consequences."
"Why aren't Aunt Anya and Uncle Xander here?" demanded Jesse,
hands on her hips.
"Point in check," Tara nodded in her direction. "You wait to
see what happens when they get here."
"Uncle Spike!" the girl called, stalking the kitchen. "Why
aren't you up here!"
"Here I come!" the blonde vampire shouted back, bounding out
of the garage. "I was just having trouble with the light
downstairs. But Uncle Spike is on time."
Jesse gave him a sparing look.
"Okay," she agreed. "But don't make a habit of it."
"No madam," Spike shook his head. "I wouldn't dream of it."
Jesse nodded and then hopped onto the stool next to Edge.
She gave him a brilliant smile.
"Hi Daddy," she chirped. "Isn't everything great when it's
done on time?"
"Yes it is," Edge agreed, holding back laughter. "But don't
you think you're taking it a bit too seriously?"
"No, have to be on time," Jesse rolled her eyes. "The world
will fall apart if I'm not."
Edge frowned, perplexed over the cryptic comment. He shot a
questioning glance at Willow who just shrugged in return. Turning
back to his daughter, Edge opened his mouth to ask her about that
when the front door opened. Jesse's head snapped in that direction
and she jumped off her stool. Tara nudged Christian and nodded in
her direction. The child took off into the living room. Once there,
she pounced on the new arrivals, finger pointing accusingly.
"You're late!"
*****
Part Eight

It took ten minutes of grovelling and a promise of tree house
before Jesse would let Xander off the hook. Anya threw in a pendant
from the magic shop as her fine and then that left Team Extreme.
Left with no other real choice, they waylaid the angry tot with
promises of ice cream and candy. Satisfied, Jesse led them all into
the kitchen. She marched at the head of the line, walking right over
to her customary stool and diving into the funny shaped pancakes
waiting for her. Edge and Christian had yet to stop laughing.
"She is priceless!" Christian declared, wiping a tear away.
"No, I'm a gift," Jesse corrected him. "And you have to eat
breakfast now. It'll take Mommy and the Aunts a little while to
clean up and we still have to go to the park today."
"We do?" Edge asked.
"Yes, you interrupted our trip yesterday. Time to make up."
"Honey, I think your Mommy and Daddy still have things to
discuss," Trish told her gently. Jesse frowned at her.
"They can discuss it at the park," the little girl insisted
stubbornly. "You can all eavesdrop there too. It'll be easier."
"Park it is," Willow agreed, wiping syrup off Jesse's
chin. "But you won't be getting any of that junk food you extorted
out of Lita, Matt, and Jeff."
"But they were late!" Jesse whined.
"They're also new," Willow frowned at her. "And they have no
idea about extremely anal you can be."
"We tried to explain to them, but they didn't believe us,"
Anya called out helpfully from the table.
"Yes, but with Jesse seeing is believing," Willow countered.
"But-"
"Jessica," Willow intoned warningly.
"Fine," the little girl pouted. "Do I still get my tree
house?"
"Absolutely munchkin," Xander nodded. "The newbies may not
know you, but I fully accept the consequences of being late."
Jesse broke into a grin and dove back into her food. Willow
made a face that the mess she was making. Edge laughed again.
"You guys are hilarious," he informed them.
"And they're really silly too," Jesse chirped. Willow rolled
her eyes before turning back to her own breakfast.
"You're a little weirdo," she informed her daughter.
"Nah," Jesse disagreed, shaking her head. "I'm a gift.
Don't you remember Mommy? Honestly, so silly sometimes."
*****
Willow watched Jesse climb the monkey bars with some
trepidation. Xander and Christian were at her sides ready to catch
her, but that really didn't help calm her down. She remembered the
horrible times she had on the monkey bars. And the playground in
general. Even as children, Cordelia and her sheep had used the
social hotspot to dispense their own brand of cruelty. Sometimes
Willow couldn't believe that she was actually friends with Cordelia
now. Goddess, things changed . . .
"So, what are we going to do?"
Willow turned to Edge. The blonde man sat beside her on the
park bench, eyes following Jesse's progress closely as well. She
could see the others littered around the park as well. Everyone had
given them wide berth, but Willow could see Buffy straining her
Slayer senses to overhear. She gave a grin at that. Her friends
were so nosy.
"I don't know," she finally answered. "I never really
expected you to find out. I never expected you to come find me and
find out. Don't have a plan for that."
"Things won't be like before," he told her. "I want in
Jesse's life."
Willow nodded, she had expected as well.
"I also kind of want in your life," he continued, taking her
hand. "Maybe we can work out a family thing."
"You're on the road a lot," she stated simply. "How will
that affect everything?"
"I don't know," Edge shrugged. "But we could find out."
Willow turned to him, confusion on her face.
"We have a show in LA tomorrow," he explained. "Come with
us. We can try and work something out."
Willow sat back and gave it some thought.
"You never explained how you found me," she turned to look at
him. "Was it one of the other wrestlers?"
"Torrie, she's a witch, had a premonition," he
explained. "Told me a redhead had something for me that I didn't
know I was missing. And then we had Debra, she's half elemental,
scry for you. Led us here."
Willow shook her head.
"Witches, elementals, fairies, elves, leprechauns, what don't
you guys have over there?"
He tossed her a grin.
"We don't have any vampires. And I'm fairly certain we don't
have any Slayers or vengeance demons."
"Well, those are Hellmouth exclusives," she giggled.
Sobering, she turned to him.
"This is her home," she told him seriously. "I don't want to
take her away from it. She has to be kept secret. We don't know
what she's supposed to do; I don't think I want to know. But we do
know Jesse has to be kept secret."
"I don't have a problem with that," Edge nodded. "I want to
keep her safe too. But I also want to be her father. We have a lot
to work out."
"Mommy! Daddy!" Jesse came running at them. She jumped onto
the bench with them, settling down between the two. "What have we
decided?" she asked them sweetly.
Willow gave her a smile.
"We haven't decided a whole lot," she answered her
daughter. "Our adult silliness is getting in the way."
"You should learn to control that," Jesse informed them
seriously. Edge laughed and pulled her into his lap.
"We'll try harder for you pumpkin," he chuckled.
"But we did make one tentative choice," Willow turned to her
daughter. "How would you like to go with Daddy and his friends to
LA?"
"Can we go see Uncle Angel and everyone else?" Jesse asked
eagerly.
"Sure, we can drop by the Hyperion," Willow nodded.
"Then what are we waiting for?" Jesse demanded, jumping to
the ground and trying to pull them to their feet. "Let's get a move
on it!"
*****
"Are we sure about this?" Tara asked Willow. The redhead
sighed, packing Jesse's suitcase.
"Edge and I need to work things out," she shrugged. "And he
has to perform tomorrow. So logic states, we go with him."
"Logic or libido?" Dawn arched a brow at her friend. Willow
blushed and folded more of Jesse's clothes.
"Both," she mumbled quickly. Tara and Dawn exchanged grins
over Willow's head.
"Then we should go," Dawn ascertained. "Besides, spending
time with handsome half-naked men, not too shabby."
Willow shot the younger girl a look.
"I'm not sure taking you is a good idea," the redhead
mused. "You're entirely too young to be allowed near that many
hotties."
"Am not!" Dawn protested. "And Jesse wants me to come. And
Connor already promised to take me to the mall-"
"Connor," Tara interrupted, smiling at the younger
girl. "This wanting to go to LA might have less to do with the WWE
than we thought."
Dawn went red and started helpful Willow fold.
"Don't know what you're talking about," she sputtered, head
still ducked.
"It'll be fun too," Willow smiled. "We haven't had a
vacation in like two years. And Jesse does love spending time with
the LA crew."
"So going is good," Tara summed up. "And who knows? Maybe
everything will just work itself out."
Dawn gave her a look.
"You do realize you've totally jinxed us by saying that,
right?"
Tara faltered and then smacked her forehead.
"Oh shit!"
*****
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Christian asked his
brother.
Edge gave him a look.
"It's my family," he replied testily.
"That's not what he meant," Trish jumped in quickly. "It's
just that some of the guys are a bit much. And some are total
jerks. Having your newfound family there might rile some of them up."
"And then I would spear them straight into hell," Edge
shrugged. "Not letting anything happen to them."
"It works in theory," Lita agreed. "And the rest of us are
going to look out for them as well. But Edge, what are you guys
going to do about all this?"
The blonde man shook his head.
"I don't know," he shrugged. "But I do know I want both of
them in my life."
"We've gathered that," Jeff grinned at him. "So, when are
you going to tell Red you love her?"
"I didn't say anything-"
Edge stopped at the looks on his friends face. He sighed and
rubbed his neck nervously.
"I'll tell her later."
*****
Part Nine

"They all live in here?"
Willow grinned at the disbelief in Lita's voice.
"It's their office," the smaller redhead shrugged. She gazed
up at the Hyperion building, smiling to herself slightly.
"Hurry up!" came Jesse's impatient demand. The little child
was frowning at those still ambling out of the cars.
"Calm down munchkin," Christian soothed. "We're coming. But
you have to have pity on us old folks with our brittle bones."
"You're being silly Uncle Christian," Jesse rolled her eyes
at him. "If you're bones were brittle, then how could you be a
wrestler?"
"You sure are a know-it-all," Jeff informed the tot. "Want
to just be lenient on the big people who were stuck in the small car
for hours?"
Jesse sighed and turned to her mother.
"If I must," she tossed over her shoulder. Edge grinned and
swept the girl up from behind.
"You're a little smart-aleck, you know that?"
"I'm a gift," Jesse replied simply. "Don't you people
remember? I tell you like five hundred times a day."
"Jesse," Willow warned. "Behave yourself."
"But I haven't done anything," the little girl whined. "I
just want them to hurry up."
"And hurry we did," Dawn interjected, coming up next to the
girl and her father. "Ready to go inside pumpkin?"
Jesse nodded emphatically, leaping down from Edge's arms.
She grabbed Dawn by the hand and propelled her towards the doors.
The rest of the group ran to catch up.
*****
The doors of the Hyperion burst open and Jesse sailed right
through them. She came to a halt in the lobby, eyes searching the
room for people. Almost immediately she saw one and leapt for joy.
"Cousin Connor, cousin Connor," she shrieked, racing over to
the open arms of the young man.
"Little Jesse, little Jesse," he mimicked back at her.
Connor swept the child up into his arms and gave her a kiss on the
side of the head.
"How are you sweetheart?"
"Real good," she replied. "Daddy came and found us and now
we came here. Where is everyone else?"
"Uh, they're around," he answered vaguely, eyes on the front
door. "Hey Dawn."
"Hey Connor," the blonde answered with a bit of a blush.
Connor walked up to her and gave her a long hug.
"I've missed you," he whispered to her. The others decided
to join them at that minute.
"We'll talk later," she whispered back, before stepping aside.
"Connor!" Willow called out happily, engulfing the young man
into a hug. "How are you?"
"I'm well as always," he laughed, hugging back his
friend. "How's my favourite godmother?"
"Good," Jesse answered for her. "Her and Daddy have been
working on a sibling."
Willow went red in the face before she knelt down to admonish
her daughter. Tara laughed and stepped around them, coming to give
Connor a hug.
"Hey there baby boy," she greeted him. "Where is everyone
else?"
"Why does everyone ask me that?" he gave her a little
pout. "Aren't I enough for you?"
Tara laughed again and gave him a quick beck on the cheek.
"You have no idea where they all went, do you?" she asked him.
Connor shook his head.
"Not a clue," he admitted. "Just got up myself. Anyway, who
are the newbies?"
Introductions were made quickly. Jesse ignored the adults
and wandered around the hotel. She peeked her head into the offices,
the bathrooms, and around the couches. She could find no more aunts
and uncles.
"Where did they all go?" she demanded in a distressed voice.
"Well, they went out to buy you things," a voice from the
stairwell interrupted. "Mainly sugar and some toys. You know how
they are."
"Uncle Angel!" Jesse screamed, launching herself right at the
vampire. Angel caught her deftly and swung her around in a circle.
"How's our little gift?" he asked the giggling tot.
"I'm good," she replied. "That's Daddy and his friends.
Mommy wants to give the formal introduction."
"I bet she does," Angel grinned. He walked over and planted
a kiss on Willow's cheek.
"Hello Little One."
"Hey Angel," Willow greeted him, taking Jesse from him and
giving him a half hug. "I've got people I need you to meet."
"Oh, me first!" Dawn interrupted, throwing her arms around
the vampire.
"Hey Dawnie," Angel grinned, placing a kiss on the blonde's
head. "You doing good?"
"Doing great," she replied, pulling back. "How about you?
Any good broods lately?"
Angel gave her a look, which she returned with a brilliant
smile. He turned to Tara and gave her a brief hug and kiss. All the
while, the wrestlers watched him in awe.
"What?" he demanded of them finally.
"You really do have a soul," Trish breathed in wonder. "I
thought these guys were just confused or something, but you do have
one. That's amazing."
Angel looked at her in confusion and then tilted his head
sideways. The vampire took an experimental sniff of the air and
turned back to the wrestlers with a scowl on his face.
"Fey," he growled. "Willow, why did you sleep with a fey?"
"Because he's hot?" she ventured nervously. The vampire
wasn't amused. "Oh Angel. Get past that already. Not all fey are
like that. And besides, they're only half."
Angel continued to growl. Edge frowned and stepped right up
to him.
"Jesse is my daughter," he informed the vampire. "And since
Willow trusts you, I'm letting the vampire thing slide. Now, maybe
you should act like the decent guy she thinks you are and let
whatever problem you have go."
"It's for Willow's sake I'm concerned," Angel snarled at
him. He turned to Willow. "You do realize this changes everything,
right?"
"Uncle Angel," Jesse interrupted in a little voice. "What's
wrong? Why are you mad? Do you not like me anymore?"
"Never!" he declared, sweeping the girl up into his
arms. "Never, but now I'm more concerned than ever."
"Angel, aren't you overdoing it a bit?" Tara asked nervously.
"Not at all," the vampire replied. "If Jesse is any part
fey, then we have seriously underestimated the gravity of the
situation."
"What does it matter?" Willow asked exasperated.
"Oh, it matters," Angel nodded. "It matters a whole lot.
Things are going to get real ugly from here on out. I just pray we
can handle it."


TBC...
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The authors own nothing. Joss, UPN, WB, etc. own Buffy, the show, the characters, the places, and the backstory. The authors own any original plots.