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The Damned Series: Ficlets
Short one-shots that take place during or after Damned If I Don't, Damned If I Do

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, just the tangled webs I weave them into.



That Which We Call . . . Buffy

Early January 2005

This was not really what Buffy had expected her first few days of living with Faith to be like. She'd imagined something more like their short time in the unfurnished apartment in Rome, but with a bigger bed and less sneaking around to spend time together. What she was getting was chaos: paint-scented, newspaper-strewn, flat-packed chaos.

Seriously, there was newspaper everywhere. They didn't even have enough paint to warrant this much surface protection, but Xander had told Faith to put down newspaper before they started to protect the painting he'd done only weeks before and Faith had listened. Really listened. Buffy had spent the night before dreaming she was doing the New York Times crossword and when she'd woken up it turned out she had been! . . . if the answer to every question was five letters, starting with a 'd' and ending in 'rool'.

Now she rooted under the floating printed drifts to find the sandwich she'd only put down a moment ago, giving Faith a less than amused look before she finally found it under her horoscope.

Faith grinned from up near the low ceiling. "What, you didn't want me getting paint on it, did you?"

"How thoughtful of you." Buffy sat on the floor, past caring that she was getting newsprint on her butt, and read her horoscope as she ate her leftover turkey sandwich. You may be very preoccupied with a personal issue at the moment but remember it is also essential to indulge your lover's inner-child at times. Buffy snorted; like she ever did anything else these days. Her personal issue was her lover's inner-child.

"Are you laughing at my ass again?"

Faith had to bend at a funny angle when she was on the ladder. It was the only way she could get close to the wall without knocking herself off the top with her thirty-eight week baby bump.

"No, I am far too mature to keep laughing at the way your butt sticks out." Buffy glanced witheringly up at Faith, saw the way her cute butt was wiggling from side to side as she applied the paint-roller to the wall and had to use yesterday's stock numbers to cover her giggles.

"Laugh it up, Stick. At least I got a butt."

Rather than be offended, Buffy gave Faith's behind an appraising look. "True, you have enough butt for two."

"Har har."

"You really don't look safe up there. Why don't you let me get up the ladder and you do this bit?"

"No, I like doing this part."

"Well, just be careful."

"I will Mom."

Sliding her empty plate across the newspaper, Buffy went back to her own task of painting the wide semi-circular curtain rail. She actually liked using the slim painting brush better than the roller anyway, it felt more artistic and it was satisfying the way the paint slicked onto the wood, turning the pale pine a vibrant royal blue with each delicate stroke.

Xander was coming by tomorrow to fix the rail onto the wall and it would stand out nicely against the baby blue Faith was covering a six foot section of the wall with. Once they'd attached the yellow, floor length curtain it was going to look great even if it wasn't the most traditional nursery ever.

There wouldn't be much room beyond the curtain, just enough for the large crib Xander had made and a changing table with a few feet of floor space spare, but it was enough to turn the small lakeside cabin into a two-bed and would give the baby privacy for whatever babies needed privacy for.

More importantly, Buffy thought, glancing up at Faith's butt again, it would give them privacy for what they definitely needed privacy for once the baby was asleep for the night.

"Ya know, we haven't really talked about that," Faith said from on high - four feet high anyway.

Buffy painted her fingers royal blue. "Uh, sex after pregnancy? I, um, figured we'd just play it by ear, you know, see when you felt . . ."

Faith was looking at her like she'd painted her face blue like Mel Gibson in Braveheart so she gratefully shut up.

"What do you want the baby to call you?"

"Oh. I hadn't thought about it." She thought about it now. "Well, mommy's taken, daddy would be anatomically incorrect and we don't want to confuse him when he finds his is the only daddy that doesn't have the boy parts like he does. Maybe Auntie Buffy is okay."

"You don't sound too happy about that."

Buffy looked up from her painting to meet Faith's concerned gaze. "I don't want him to think I'm just his auntie."

The admission surprised her a little, not because she didn't want to be honest, she just hadn't realised she felt so strongly about it.

"He's gonna know you're more than that."

"I know, but auntie sounds . . . distant, somehow. It's extended family."

"Then you won't be Auntie Buffy," Faith said decisively, coming down the ladder for more paint. "'Sides, I had enough uncles growing up and you're never gonna be like that."

"Were they bad?" She feared the answer, same as she always did when she asked about Faith's past.

Faith chuckled though, "A few were real shits, sure, but all of them were temporary and that ain't you."

Buffy smiled, ducking her head when she realised she was blushing. It seemed like Faith was always going to be able to make her go red, only nowadays it was from sweet comments like that more than her overflowing sexiness.

"Have a think about it," Faith said as she lathered more baby blue on her roller. "Do you like Momma or Ma or, I know, Mother! 'Cause we both know you're going to be the strict one."

"I am not going to be the strict one!" Buffy swatted her leg playfully. "You're not saddling me with being the bad guy. When he's naughty he's all yours, that's when I'll be Auntie Buffy."

"No way, you're in this as much as me so you gotta take an even share of the butt swats and smacked wrists."

Faith stood there thinking for a full minute, and as Buffy continued coating the curtain rail she thought, Thank you, Xander! as paint dripped unnoticed from the edge of the roller to the floor, splattering the abundance of newspaper beneath her feet.

"Why don't you just be Buffy?"

"That's just my name." Her nose wrinkled, "It doesn't sound very 'special connection-y'."

"I don't know. Buffy kinda symbolizes the phrase 'special connection' to me." When Buffy grinned at her, she added with a sigh, "You're wondering how I know how to use a big word like symbolizes aren't you?"

Buffy stood up beside her. "Actually, I'm wondering how you got to be so amazing."

Faith shrugged, a little blush creeping into her cheeks now and it was nice to be able to return the favor. "Work at something long enough . . ."

Arms looping around Faith's neck, Buffy shut her up the best way she knew how. The large baby bump made it more of a challenge, but she was nothing if not up to it now.

"So you said something about sex?" Faith mumbled when she could.

"Uh huh." Buffy pushed her back towards the bed.

The drippy paint roller hit the sheets at the same time as they did, but that was okay; there was newspaper.

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