All Night Long
Sequel to The Damned Series


Chapter Two

"B, come on."

She clutched the covers a little tighter around her neck, her brain -- even though more asleep than awake -- was aware enough to sense her room felt so much colder this year than last.

A result of having been unoccupied for almost a month, or a bad omen?

Like that was really a question. Obviously it was the second one.

"Buffy!"

It was even more aware of her name being called over and over again, more insistently each time, but she was ignoring it. It was bound to be something of the bad. A demon at the door. A prophecy unfolding. An apocalypse brewing in Wendigo Hollow. Her birthday was probably the cause, but there were two dozen slayers in residence and as it was her birthday, someone else could handle it for once.

"B!"

Sharp claws scraped down her cheek, they didn't hurt so much as alarm her into an instant standing by her bed position. Demons at the door she could pretend weren't her problem, but a demon in her room on her birthday was taking liberties.

Her arms were already up in a defensive posture by the time she'd stopped swaying, and her eyes had finished peeling open to show Faith scowling at her. She checked the rest of the bedroom for danger. Nothing. So she scowled back.

"What? I was sleeping," Buffy grumbled, sliding back into bed and out of the January chill.

"And I spent the last thirty minutes cooking, and you were thirty seconds from being stabbed in the face with a fork."

"Nice," she muttered sarcastically, pulling the covers up over her head. The rest took a moment to sink in. When it did the thick blankets were thrown off again so fast they left the bed entirely. "You cooked me breakfast?"

"Happy fucking birthday!"

"Oh don't be like that, baby," Buffy was all grins now as she beckoned her girlfriend to the bed. "I'm just not used to such nice starts on this day of days, you know?"

Faith finally relented and smiled as she fetched a laden tray from the vanity table. She rested it on her bump to bring it to the bed. "Don't get used to it."

Despite her delight in Faith cooking her anything special for her birthday, Buffy checked the plate out dubiously as the tray was placed over her knees. Faith's tastes had been pretty revolting to most human palates recently. It looked safe enough; bacon, eggs, sausage links, pancakes, toast, and a glass of orange juice beside it nothing disturbing to the eye.

"Thank you."

"No problem." Faith stole a kiss before starting the laborious task of settling back on the bed beside her, and then she stole a strip of bacon too.

Buffy was about to playfully scold her when Faith's nose wrinkled at the taste. "What's wrong with it?" she asked, automatically (if needlessly) leaning back from her tray.

"Needs mint jelly," Faith grumbled.

Rolling her eyes, Buffy risked tucking in. She wasn't disappointed.


Thirty minutes later, Buffy was helping her fantastic birthday breakfast down with a little light exercise.

"Oh, yeah . . . just there," she murmured helpfully, like Faith needed any instructions for this.

Her hips arched from the bed as a teasing tongue joined the finger already ensuring this was the best birthday morning she'd ever had!

"Oh God, yes!"

The tongue and finger swapped places.

"Oh God, YES!"

Two sharp knocks infiltrated her haze of awesome, but she ignored it. Even if it was a demon, she didn't care.

Faith didn't either as she curled a hand up over Buffy's hip and stroked up her stomach. It was the smallest of things compared to everything else she was doing but it felt so good.

"God, I'm so close," fell mumbled from her lips as her hips sought out even more pleasure where she needed it most from Faith's mouth.

There was another knock, which turned out to be not a knock but the door softly banging into the wall as it was thrown open . . . and then the singing started!

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to Yooou . . ." began in chorus.

Hastily followed by:

"Oh, oh, oh, sorry, sorry, sorry!"

"Good Lord, I had a lock installed for a reason, you know!"

"Whoa! Oh, yeah! Happy, happy birthday, Buffster!"

"Oh, God! My eyes. My eyes!"

"Uh, I need to um, yeah, I'm just gonna go!"

Faith was laughing her ass off, Buffy was scrambling to find blankets to cover herself, blankets that weren't even on the bed. Which basically meant she was just scrambling around naked on the bed!

"Get out!"

Someone obeyed and the door was pulled shut.

Faith was still laughing her ass off.

Buffy was less amused. "I hate my birthday!"


Once a robe had been found not the occult kind, the embarrassing-nudity banishing kind Buffy felt just mollified enough to let the invading Scooby army back through the bedroom door, providing they promised not to sing anything.

Only Andrew failed to heed the seriousness of the warning and only Andrew was shown back out the door by a chuckling but uncompromising Faith.

"Wait, get his present!"

Faith re-opened the door, catching Andrew mid-whine, snatched the wrapped box from his hands and cut his whining off once more with the solid block of wood.

Buffy beamed as she beckoned all of the shiny gifts closer.

Things were looking up.

It might have been better if they hadn't been caught mid . . . snuggle . . . but they were all adults and . . . okay, no, it was still mortifying to have everyone burst through the door while Faith's tongue was down there, but c'est la vie.

She cooed over everything, although she couldn't help noticing how they were all oddly baby-related and hello, the baby shower had been last week and this was her special day!

"Saves us buying this stuff," Faith shrugged as Buffy giggled over a breast pump, acting more like a young teen than the mature twenty-four year old she was today.

"It's practical," Dawn defended her gift choice. "You can't whip out your boob in the middle of an apocalypse!"

"Faith probably would," Kennedy snickered.

"Why not, it's perfectly natural," Faith grinned, playing along with the younger slayer.

"Oh, it's for breast feeding," Xander realized. "I thought . . . actually, never mind."

"We can guess what you were thinking," Buffy drawled, "And it is practical. I just don't know why I'm getting such practical gifts for my birthday."

Kennedy leaned over to whisper something in her ear.

"Seriously?"

"So I've heard."

"Huh." Buffy didn't even realize she was leering at Faith's breasts while she contemplated the truth in Kennedy's suggestion: that breast pumps did less . . . aesthetic damage to breasts than the baby itself. It was shallow but . . . hot damn, Faith's amazing tits were not something she wanted to take risks with.

Giles cleared his throat, jolting her hedonistic mental pathway and making her blurt, "Boobs are important!"

Amid the titters and further embarrassed throat clearing, Faith agreed, "Damn straight they are."

"Anyway, thanks guys. You've excelled yourselves. This is all way better than muffins and college prospectuses."

"And who doesn't love getting a teeny-tiny baby onesie on any day?" Willow cooed, holding up the self-same article against her chest with a broody twinkle in her eye.

"Put it down!" Kennedy warned, causing them all to laugh.


Once everything had been opened and commented on by everyone, Faith showed her rare domestic side and started to pack it all away again neatly.

Nesting, the books called it.

The others filtered out in ones and twos, and once they were alone again in her old bedroom, Faith re-joined her on the bed.

"You didn't mind getting all this baby shit did you? I mean, it's not like you're having the baby."

"No way. Like you said, we need it anyway." Buffy rolled over to lay her head on Faith's shoulder. "That was fun, but a little warning would have been nice."

"Don't worry, B, you look hot as hell when we're having sex. They didn't see you looking anything but your best."

She smiled, not sure whether Faith was trying to reassure her or was teasing her, and she didn't really care. She was just happy to be where she was. It was rare that moments in her life felt perfect, usually she was always waiting for the other shoe or supernatural time-bomb to drop, but this was one of them. Even though she knew that soon she would have to get up and face whatever else the day was going to bring, right now she felt content.

"No surprises tonight, okay? I just want it to be you and me."

"No surprises," Faith promised. "We're gonna hang here til everyone gets home to have some cake you're not supposed to know about that, but you don't want no surprises and then me and you are going out for a meal."

"We are? Just the two of us? Where?" It was going to be McDonalds, she just knew it.

"You remember that restaurant we ate at for Valentines last year?"

Buffy's eyes went wide, "Are you joking? We're eating at that place?"

"Are you kidding me? There's a pizza joint down the block. It's freaking awesome."

"I hate you!"

"You won't when you taste their pizza," Faith promised.

As much as she didn't want to burst the bubble, she had to ask, "Are you sure it's wise? Us going out alone? Don't get me wrong, I would love that more than anything, but I'm not sure it's safe."

"We'll be fine."

"Maybe . . . and maybe we won't be. We should stay in. Eat here. I'm sure everyone will leave us alone if we ask nicely."

"Yeah right." Buffy didn't really believe it either. "Besides, you're not cooking on your birthday."

"I don't mind." But she did, a little, and Faith knew it.

"We're going out. Nothin's gonna happen, B."

"You can't be sure of that."

"Yeah I can. Sure enough to bet my left tit."

"I wish you wouldn't always bet your breasts so easily. Laws of probability mean you're going to lose one day probably tonight and I'm almost as attached to your breasts as you are."

Faith laughed quietly. "I'm not losing tonight. Me and you are going out for a damn good meal and then we're coming back here for some marathon birthday sex, okay?"

"How can you be so sure?" Buffy wanted it to be the simple truth so badly, but factoring in everything going on and the fact that it was her birthday . . . she just couldn't be confident about it at all. Unless . . . Doubtfully, but hopefully, she asked, "Is there a prophecy I don't know about?"

"No, just good old-fashioned slayer sixth sense."

Buffy rolled her eyes. Faith's 'slayer sixth sense' had always been terrible. If it wasn't, they wouldn't be expecting a baby in a week!

But whatever would happen tonight would happen, because obviously Faith wasn't going to be budged. So the best she could do was enjoy the now.

"Tell me about these pizzas?"

Faith grinned, "You wait. They're like a mouthful of orgasm."

"Hmm, really? Talking about mouths full of orgasms . . ." Buffy nudged her with a sly smirk.

"Yeah, I'm up for finishing that." Faith gave her a kiss and then started to move down her body, stopping before she'd really started and rolling back onto her pillow. "You know what, no. Hella hard work. You come up here."

"But it's my birthday!"

"And I have the girth of a fricken whale. You want birthday oral, you're gonna have to make it happen."

"Sometimes I don't know why I'm with you."

"Hurry the fuck up and sit on my face and you'll soon figure it out."

"Fine!" Buffy straddled her and moved up, her bored expression and the way she was gripping the headboard already at odds. "But I doubt it."

Five seconds later and three strokes of Faith's tongue. "Ohhh, yeah, that's why."

"Happy birthday," came muffled from between her legs.

"Thank you. Now no more talking!"

"Love you, B."

"I said Oh God n-no more t-talkinnnng."


Buffy looked around at the kitchen. It was a bigger kitchen than she was used to these days - the kitchenette at the cabin would fit in the dishwasher here! - but not one she was unfamiliar with. She was unused to seeing it so crowded. Yes, the Scoobies sometimes seemed like a crowd all on their own, but it was nothing compared to when two dozen or so young Slayers were also crammed in to it.

"So everyone has a copy of the timetable?" She asked, pointing the long, thin tapper thingy Andrew had loaned her at the whiteboard.

A dozen voices said yes, in varying degrees of frustration. A few said nothing at all. Andrew said, "So what happens if the baby comes early?"

Buffy felt some momentary panic, because what if . . . But it dissipated the second Faith said, "If any baby will come on the day Mother Nature intended, it'll be this one. Stop looking for problems that ain't gonna be there."

Everyone's objections quietened down, like they always did when Faith spoke up. Buffy suspected it was because most of the girls, the new ones anyway, would always be a little scared of the once-rogue slayer. Not only had she tried to kill their fearless leader and then gone to prison for murder, she'd also lived with the Immortal for several months - their now sworn enemy - and had spent even more months in the Underworld.

Andrew's theory, which he shared with her often, was that Faith's pregnancy hormones made her extra tetchy, especially when food was involved.

He was still looking at Buffy, waiting for her response, but after a moment she shrugged and shook her head, moving on.

"So we all know what is expected of us?" she changed the sentence that had caused turmoil before. Everyone nodded.

"So on the twenty-fifth, at seven am," she started, determined to make sure they all had it.

"Do I have to be up as freakin' early as seven . . .?" Faith began, and Dawn and Xander made encouraging noises behind her.

"Effie, it's my birthday, don't make things difficult!"

"I'm not making things difficult today, I'm making them difficult next week!"

"Yes, but you're being difficult right . . ."

"Buffy, I think we all know our directives," Giles cut in, heading off the bicker-fest before it could gain momentum. "Nobody is going to let Faith down. The slayers will be at their designated stations, Willow has prepared the necessary shielding spell and we've stocked up on scrying ingredients. Xander will be on standby for transport . . ."

"Kennedy's doing it," she said abruptly before sending an apologetic wince Xander's way. It wasn't that she didn't trust her best friend's driving skills, it was just . . . well, who could argue that two eyes were better than one in an emergency situation?

"Oh, I thought . . ." he looked like he was about to argue, but he'd been pretty good at letting Buffy take charge of everything baby related. It can't have been easy for him, his inner-Watcher must have been crying out to take the reins where the miracle baby was concerned, but he'd mostly kept to an advisory role for the past few weeks.

Andrew had a theory on that too, that Faith got extra tetchy when the Council was mentioned in the same sentence as . . . well, anything, but especially the baby.

"I'm fine with it," Xander promised him. "After a lot of consideration I decided I was happy for Ken to have that heart attack instead of me."

"Quite."

"I'm still available for back-up. You know, as long as the baby doesn't interrupt Ice Road Truckers or America's Next Top Model."

"Thanks," Faith smirked at him. "I'll pass it on."

"Can we get back to the briefing?" The girls were starting to get restless with the banter between their elders and Buffy wasn't done with them yet. "The baby's arrival is a big event and you all need to be ready, but it's still a week away, and it doesn't mean we get to slack on the day to day vigilance. Troy could still strike at any time. We have an appointment with the doctor on Friday, who's on detail that morning?"

Six young slayers raised their hands.

"Okay, Dawn and Andrew have copies of our itinerary and a map of the route we'll be taking. Make sure you all grab one after the meeting and study it. There will be a test, on Friday, and if any of you fail . . ." The threat didn't need finishing. "I also want three teams working shifts at Cleveland Presbyterian from the twenty-third, which is four days away . . ." A girl raised her hand. "Yes, Tanya?"

"When you say working shifts, are we supposed to pretend to be doctors? Because that sounds illegal, and kind of dangerous."

"No, you'll be a mix of janitorial staff, porters and caterers. Andrew has acquired uniforms don't ask how because I don't want to know - and Willow has made sure you're all on the books as agency staff. Hopefully I'm being over-cautious, but infiltrating places is Troy's MO and I'm not taking any chances that he doesn't have a bunch of his demons already working there ready to do a grab and go the second we're distracted by insurance forms and coffee runs. Any questions about that?"

There were none. It wasn't surprising. Nearly every slayer to be Called came to them at some point or another, for training or counseling or just for a place to stay for a while, but only the best of the best were required for this mission. Only the girls that had already proved themselves to be excellent slayers, either in battle or as tacticians or in any number of other capacities, had been called to the Mother-ship. These girls knew how to follow orders and think on their feet. If Buffy had any ideas about creating a slayer army to take over the world - you know, outside of the occasional fantasy when life was really pissing her off these girls would be her special forces, her marines.

Kennedy stuck up her hand. "I have a question."

Typical. There was always one and it was always Kennedy. If these girls were her elite force, Kennedy was their Captain. She was, literally, (after Faith and herself) the best of the best. That didn't stop her from still being a pain in the ass.

"Yes?"

"What about tonight? We have no information yet and as far as I know nobody has put together an itinerary or a route map. Faith won't even tell me where she's taking you."

Buffy glared at Faith, fruitlessly. They'd already had this discussion but Faith was adamant. So with a sigh, she said, "We're not having protection tonight."

Half the room spoke at once, Giles' voice standing out the loudest, "Buffy, that seems rather rash and, to be honest, entirely foolish."

She agreed, entirely. Her feelings were evident in the lacklustre way she began, "It'll be fine. We'll have our cell-phones and . . ."

Faith interrupted, "It's Buffy's birthday. I'm taking her out for a nice, romantic meal and I don't need ten slayers eating with us and cramping my style, you know?"

"I think being nine months pregnant will be cramping your style already," Kennedy would have usually smirked after a comment like that, but obviously she was too serious about this to find her own joke funny this morning.

Unbothered, Faith grinned, "Fuck no, I got mad skillz. Ain't that right, B?"

Her mind flashed back an hour or so, to the intense orgasm she'd ridden out on Faith's face. Blushing and clearing her throat, she said, "Getting back on topic, Faith's security has always been at her discretion. If she wants to be stupid about it, that's her choice, and we have to respect it."

"I really have to disagree," Giles said, "The fate of this child is . . ."

"My responsibility," Faith said firmly. "You can have your say, but the buck stops with me and that means I get final decision, and this is it. B and I are going out alone tonight. I've been putting up with being constantly followed around for a month now and nothing's happened to make it worth it. And nothing's going to happen. Troy's next move is gonna be a letter from his lawyer, we all know it, because that's the only way he's gonna win."

"We don't know that . . ." Giles started.

"But it's a pretty safe bet. But, hey, you can all start following me around again tomorrow and go spend half of next week clearing up sick people's puke at the hospital if it helps ya sleep at night, but tonight is gonna be a normal night for me and Buffy. Got it?"

It was enough to make the young slayers nod their heads, after all Faith was their superior and she knew more about the threat than anyone, surely, but they didn't know what the rest of them did that Faith could be a stubborn ass sometimes.

"What about just having a team outside?" Kennedy tried to find a compromise.

"No."

"How about me and Dawn and Willow and Kennedy getting our own table at this mystery restaurant," Xander suggested. "We wouldn't need to crowd you, but at least there would be one slayer there, and a powerful witch and, you know, me and Dawn."

"Are you asking me on a double-date?" Dawn asked, teasing.

Willow said, "Eww!"

Xander and Dawn both said, "Hey!"

Willow said, "Sorry, it's just . . ." she pulled a face. "You remember that time at the Bronze when we both thought Dawn was, um, someone else?"

Xander said, "Eww." And then quickly, "No, I wasn't suggesting we . . ." he laughed nervously. ". . . It would be like dating my best friend's little sister."

"Yes," Buffy crossed her arms and fixed him with a look. "It would be exactly like dating your best friend's little sister."

"I wouldn't have said yes anyway," Dawn said huffily and crossed her own arms, just like Buffy, which would never stop being spooky. "But I do think it's a good idea. We could just be in the corner, quietly eating, just in case."

"No." Faith wasn't giving in. "We'll have our cells and it's not like I'm going out without protection. Buffy will be with me and if she can't keep me out of Troy's oh-so evil clutches, who can?"

Buffy didn't like the way Faith was making light of Troy's 'evil clutches'. She'd been in his evil clutch and it had been terrifyingly deadly.

But it was Kennedy who pointed out, "Uh, six more slayers?"

"No."

This discussion could go on forever and it was already past the point of boring. "It's settled, Faith and I are going alone. If everyone could keep their phones on, just in case, I'd appreciate it, but I trust Faith's judgement and if she thinks we'll be okay, we'll be okay. Does anyone have anything else to discuss?"

There were a couple of questions from individual girls about what shifts and which jobs they'd have to take at the hospital and a couple more about the doctor trip on Friday, but Buffy happily let Willow and Andrew field all of them. Giles stared at her throughout, not ready to let the other thing go yet, but she just shook her head at him in a way that said, 'I know, but what can I do?' until Faith came over for a chat.

"I'm gonna give you a special birthday lunch."

"Really?" Buffy was excited for a moment, until, "You're not going to make me a sandwich, are you?"

"Nah, my sandwiches are wasted on you. I was thinking squirty cream and gummy bears on white."

It sounded even more disgusting than her usual sandwich, until Faith's eyebrows did their thing and she twigged.

"Oh."

"And if you can find all of the gummy bears you get a special birthday prize."

Buffy grinned. "So far this birthday is my best birthday ever."

"It's only going to get better, babe."

"I love you."

"Love you too, birthday girl."


Chapter Three

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