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Blood Borne: Three
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Part Three: Diagnosis

THUMP

Xander fell off the edge of the couch. 

Spike was sitting up, staring in shock at the human who had just said...

"Wait.  I'm what?"

The doctor approached the couch and perched on the edge of the coffee table, taking a pale, limp hand in hers. "Spike, you are pregnant."

The Vampire stared at her with a fish-on-dry-land expression. 

A slightly hysterical sounding voice drifted up from the floor, "Um, Doc? Sorry to burst your bubble here, but Spike's a guy.  How can he be pregnant?"

The doctor shrugged at the shell-shocked young man who was staring up at her from the floor.  "I'm not sure how Xander, but I am positive that he is pregnant.  The scrying spell can't lie.  And his symptoms are congruous with pregnancy."

Spike was still reeling, but noticed that the doctor didn't seem very upset by this announcement, in fact, she was grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

"You seem awfully happy about this, doc."  He growled.

Dr. Graves raised an eyebrow at the Vampire.  "Spike, I can understand how you're feeling right now, but please don't mistrust me.  In over ten years of practicing demon medicine, I have never once encountered a case like this.  You may be the first.  And I discovered it.  It's just a little professional pride, that's all."

Willow and Tara came and sat down in the living room.  "Um, Dr. Graves," the redhead queried, "Just what does this mean, I mean, for Spike?"

The doctor considered the question.

"Well, I'm not sure.  Obviously, Vampires don't get pregnant, even female ones, so for a male Vampire to wind up pregnant is not just an accident.  Something made this happen."

Buffy snorted, "Yeah, it means they have way too much sex."

Spike glared at the Slayer.

Xander finally gathered his wits enough to get up off the floor and sit down on the couch.  He pulled Spike against his chest and held his lover tightly. 

The doctor was obviously thinking very hard.  "We should check prophecies.  Anything concerning a human and Vampire and a pregnancy." 

Giles cleared his throat and Dr. Graves turned to look at him.  "Actually Gwendolyn, we should look for prophecies concerning Vampires and Immortals."

Dr. Graves gapped at the Watcher.  "Im...immortal?"

Xander nodded and addressed the doctor.  "Um, yeah.  I'm not just your average human anymore."

The doctor looked as if she wanted to examine Xander under a microscope, but was just barely restraining herself.  "How did this happen?"

Xander sighed and settled Spike against him.  Spike started the now familiar story.  "Well, the Whelp and I, see, were concerned about his safety, living on the Hellmouth and all."

Dawn laughed, "Concerned?  You freaked if a demon or fledge so much as breathed in his direction.  Or not breathed, whatever."

Spike mock-growled at the teen, "As I was saying, we wanted to keep him safe, and I won't turn him, even if he wanted me to." 

Buffy snorted disbelievingly at this, but the Blonde ignored her.  "And even marked and sharing blood, the it wasn't enough to keep him with me forever."  Spike grew quiet momentarily, remembering the turbulent time in their past. 

Xander kissed the bleached blonde locks and picked up the story.  "Willow and Tara researched spells for us, but they couldnt find anything.  Then we thought of the cave.  There's a demon that grants wishes, we figured if there were anyway to make me immortal without any freaky catches, it would know it.  Spike went there before, to get his soul."

Dr. Graves eyed the couple as if they were speaking another language.  "You...you have a soul?"

Spike nodded.  "Yup, got it back before the boy and I got together.  Thought at the time it would be a good thing to have."  The Vampire and Slayer exchanged a small, knowing smile.  "Anyway, as the boy was saying, there's this cave, see, in Africa.  There's this demon, like, that grants wishes, if you go through the proper trials and whatnot.  So Xan and I went there.  Scared me more than anything, the sight of him walking into that cave alone." 

Xander pulled his lover back for a kiss, both of them lost in the memories.  The doctor clearing her throat interrupted the moment too soon.

"And it turned you immortal?  Just like that?"

Xander smiled at her disbelief.  "I may look like the geeky guy next door, but I can be pretty determined if I want to be.  So yeah, I went through the trials and asked to be immortal.  I mean, I can die, from like, beheading, but that's about it."

Even though he had heard the story several times before, Giles looked to be deep in thought, "Xander, did the demon say anything to you, when it granted your wish?"

Xanders eyes unfocused for a moment as he tried to remember.  "I'm not sure, I mean, I was half delirious with pain and stuff, but I remember it saying something like, it expected me or something.  Maybe that it knew I was coming?"

Giles looked at the boy with exasperation, "An ancient, wish granting demon tells you that it was expecting you, basically implies that it was your destiny to be there, and you forgot to tell us?"

The brunette shrugged, "As I said, I was a little delirious at the time and then I had other things on my mind."  He smiled and buried his face in bleached locks.

Dr. Graves spoke up for the first time in several minutes.  "How long ago was this?"

Spike shrugged, "Two months ago, give or take."

The doctor nodded, "That would seem to have affected the situation then."

Dr. Graves ignored Dawn's sarcastic, "Ya think?"

"Now, I don't know yet what sort of timeline this pregnancy will take, not until I've observed you for a few weeks, but from the look of the fetus and your symptoms, I would place you at just about four to six weeks."

Willow looked at the doctor, "So, what should we do?  Should we treat Spike like we would a pregnant human, or demon, or whatever?"

The doctor nodded, "Yes, for now.  But I'll need to observe him closely, until we know how his body is handling the pregnancy."

She turned at looked at the frightened looking men on the couch.  "I'll give you some basic instructions for self care, then I'd like a blood sample from each of you, and we can call it a night. I'll set up an appointment to see you next week.  Perhaps by then the blood samples will tell me something, or Giles will have found a prophecy that can tell us more." 

Ever ready, Willow pulled out a notepad and pen and began to take notes.

The doctor smiled at the eager redhead and began to tick off points on her fingers.  "First off, I know that you are nauseous, but you have to eat.  For now, eat blood, human if possible, and regular food.  Lots of vegetables and grains, no junk food."

Xander snorted in disbelief, "No junk food?"

The doctor shook her head, "Not if you want a healthy baby."

Xanders mouth snapped shut and his eyes widened in fear at the word baby.

She smiled gently at him and continued.  "Keep a box of crackers by the bed, in fact keep a couple boxes around the house at all times.  If you feel sick, or like you can't eat, then eat a couple of crackers first, it'll settle your stomach and keep you from vomiting.  Second, you should be extra careful for the next couple of weeks.  If you were a human woman I would tell you to keep the physical activity down to a minimum during the first trimester, that means about four to six more weeks.  And physical activity means fighting, lifting heavy objects, and sex."

"Now wait a minute here, doc.  You gotta be kidding me!"

The doctor ignored the Vampire's outburst, "I didn't say no sex, just be careful and gentle.  The first trimester is a delicate time for a normal pregnancy, and this is definitely not a normal pregnancy.  Third, no alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs for the duration of the pregnancy."

Spike groaned and buried his head in his hands.  "And exactly how long is a normal pregnancy?" the Vampire moaned.

"Nine months, or approximately 36 weeks.  But there is no guarantee that this will be a normal pregnancy so I couldn't say how long it will be."

Xander held the softly moaning Vampire in his arms and rocked him gently.  He turned worried eyes on the doctor. "But, Spike will be okay, right?  I mean, even when we have to...to deliver the baby?"

Dr. Graves patted the brunettes hand, "Don't worry, the child will be delivered by c-section.  It's a very normal procedure, even for humans, and with Vampiric healing, Spike shouldn't be in any danger whatsoever."

Xander nodded, looking relieved.

The doctor fetched her bag and removed two syringes and two capped test tubes.  She efficiently swabbed spots on the men's upper arms and took a sample of each of their blood.  Returning the test tubes to her bag, she gathered the rest of her stuff and turned to the group.  "Well, its been lovely meeting you all.  I'll get to work on these samples right away, and hopefully we shall all know more soon."  The doctor handed Spike and Xander a card with her contact information and Giles walked her to the door.

The girls spread around the room all stared at the shell-shocked couple on the couch. 

"So," Buffy ventured, "I guess you're gonna have a baby."

Spike gave a half-hearted snort.

Suddenly Dawn looked excited.  "Ooo!  Does this mean I get to be an aunt?"

The rest of the girls perked up and Willow started to bounce slightly.  "Yeah!" the redhead piped up, "We all get to be aunts now!"

Spike scowled at the women and Xander had a sinking feeling that the only expression his face would ever hold again would be the one of complete shock still plastered across his features.

Giles must have sensed the men's discomfort; he seemed to take pity on them and quickly redirected the suddenly eager women.  "Right, Willow, please get on that infernal machine of yours and start researching anything relating to Vampires and pregnancy.  Tara, Buffy, Dawn, come help me start looking through these books."

The women groaned but obeyed their Watcher, it was hard not to when he used his stern librarian voice.

 

Xander and Spike remained cuddled on the couch, lost in their own thoughts.  Xander idly stroked his hand through his mate's blonde locks, Spike's eyes were closed, and it was hard to tell if he was sleeping or just lost in thought.  Xander wasn't sure how much time had passed when Dawn approached the couch, holding a tray. 
"Um, Spike?"  Her voice was soft and unsure.

Spike's eyes drifted open, "Yeah nibblet?"

"I, I brought you some food.  I'm not sure if you've eaten today, and the Doctor said you had to keep your strength up."

She set down the tray on the coffee table.  "You too Xander."

Dawn handed Xander a plate with a sandwich on it, which he took gratefully, after allowing Spike to sit up on his own.  Then she handed Spike a plate with crackers on it.  The Vampire eyed the crackers warily.  "What are these for, nibblet?"

Dawn rolled her eyes, "Did you forget what the doctor said already?  It's a good thing Willow took notes.  If you're feeling nauseous, eat crackers first, it will make your tummy better."

Spike smirked at Dawn's mothering attitude but handed the plate back, "Maybe later, huh Dawnie?"

The teen glared at the Vampire in what Xander thought was a fair approximation of Willows 'I'm the mom and you'll do what I say cuz I know best' glare. 

To Spike's credit he held out for five whole minutes before folding.  Xander had never lasted more than two minutes, tops.

Spike began to eat a cracker and Dawn nodded, satisfied that they would obey, before heading back to the table and the pile of books waiting there.

Xander inhaled his sandwich, only now realizing that it was afternoon and he hadn't eaten yet.  That had to be a record. 

The brunette looked over at his lover, who had polished off the crackers as was working his way through the first of several mugs of blood.

"So the cracker thing worked, huh?"

Spike nodded, then whispered, "Yeah, but don't tell the nibblet that, kay?  Don't want her thinking she can boss me around, even in my delicate condition."

Xander tried to laugh, he really did, but the phrase 'delicate condition' brought all the fear and uncertainty rushing back to envelop him in a black wave of terror.  He felt his body sink back onto the couch and he let his mind sink back into that quiet place where the world made sense and he could figure out what to do with this new mess.

Spike didn't seem to notice his mental checkout; the Vampire seemed equally terrified by the phrase that had just passed his lips.  They settled back onto the couch together, ignoring the activity going on around them.

 

Spike was scared.  Really, really scared.  In his entire unlife he couldn't remember if he had ever been this scared.  Here he was, a hundred and thirty something year old Vampire, and he was terrified of a baby.  But not just any baby.  His baby.  His and Xander's baby.  And didn't that thought just beat all.  In all of Spike's most sappy, romantic fantasies about the life he and his mate would share together, children had never entered into it.  Unless they were playing indulgent uncles to Dawn's future pack of hellions.  Or maybe if the Witches decided to spawn, but the thought of being responsible for creating and caring for another life was almost too much for his undead gray matter to wrap itself around.  He was a Vampire, for hells sake.  He took life, he didn't create life.  He didn't nurture life.  What did he, an evil, albeit souled, demon have to offer a child?  He hadn't even created Vampire childer, that was how un-maternal he was.  Spike's brain was starting to hurt.  He needed to be held, he needed to be comforted, he needed to think and plan.  Plus he and Xander really needed to talk.  He turned eyes bright with pain and fear on his lover.  "Can we go home now?"

 

Xander looked equally overwhelmed.  He blinked a few times at Spike before his mate's words penetrated the fog overtaking his brain, then he nodded and stood up.  "Giles, girls, sun's down, we're gonna head home.  Call us if you find anything, okay?"

Giles looked up.  "Oh, of course.  You must both be in a great deal of shock.  There's absolutely no reason for you to stay here.  Go home and get some rest.  We'll call you in the morning."

The two men gathered themselves together and headed for the door.  Spike thought idly as they left that no one had even commented on his bunny slippers.

 

 

Blood Borne: Four

Blood Borne

Blood Borne: Two

 

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