Summary: Ever wonder what happened to the baby that Spike saved from the Fell brethren?
Notes: written for the spuffy kink ficathon for pfeifferpack
Buffy sat beside her daughter, singing a lullaby. Dulci smiled at her, before begging one last time for her mommy to stay home. But the Immortal needed his inamorata to be there with him at another official function. All she could do was promise to be back as soon as possible.
Dulci looked away. "Will Daddy kiss me goodnight?"
"If he can make it."
"Of course I will."
Buffy turned to see Carlo in the doorway. The Immortal was impeccably dressed as usual, his long black hair flowing over his shoulders. He sat on the bed next to Dulci. "Now give me a hug."
Dulci squealed and kissed him. Buffy looked down and then brushed Dulci's face for a second, kissed her little girl and followed her husband out. They had a party to go to.
It was the last time she saw her daughter hale and happy.
Buffy startled awake, and broke from Spike’s embrace. Had she fallen asleep while he was holding her? Had the wait for information taken so long?
Oh god Dulci... Carlo had tried to find her, he really did, but every time she wanted to help it was "stay here, wait for a call. You're my wife, don't put yourself in danger.” But Dulci was also her daughter that had been taken, not just the Immortal's.
"Buffy are you ok?"
Spike sat up next to her, and she leaned against him, needing him. "We'll save him Spike,” Buffy insisted vehemently. “He'll be back and we'll have saved him. Won't we?"
Spike's son wouldn't be found in a ditch, badly beaten and close to death, not like Dulci. He'd go to sleep every evening, and wake up every morning, unlike Dulci, even if she had to kill every single demon involved with the kidnapping. That much ... she could promise.
"So who's Dulci?"
Buffy got up and moved to the window, her hands holding on to the curtain that protected them both from the sunlight outside.
"Dulcinea," her name a whispered sigh from Buffy’s lips. "Dulcinea Summers Eternea." She swallowed convulsively. "My daughter."
The look on Spike’s face was pained. "I didn't know you’d had a child."
"We really didn't keep in touch did we?" she said sadly, regretting all those years lost between them.
"What always happens to people I love... She got hurt. One of my enemies or one of her father’s... we don't know. All I know is that Carlo found her and there's nothing I or any normal doctor could do for her. She's in some kind of a mystical coma. She might wake up, she might not, but Carlo's the only one with the means to find a way to save her."
Buffy drew strength from Spike’s hold around her shoulders.
"So why aren't you with her?" he asked, the words “How could you bear to leave her” left hanging unspoken.
And oh god she wanted to be with her baby. Every day she had to struggle with herself not to take the first flight back to Rome, throw herself at Carlo's feet, beg him to take her back and be with Dulci. Even if just to sing the child her favorite song every night, to tell her a bedtime story or even just to hold her hand as she slept. But if she went back, Carlo'd never let her forget her place.
She'd be his wife, his trophy. The one true slayer that he liked to show around as his one great victory. All that she was would have to be hidden under a smile and the veneer of being the Immortal's wife.
She'd have to ask for spending money like a small child… She'd have to ask his permission to leave the house, talk only to those people he approved off. She'd probably die before he let her speak to any of her friends again. Yet even with all that, sometimes, most of the time, she thought it might even be worth it, just to see her daughter again.
Dawn stormed into the room. Her little sister had matured so since she’d last seen her that Buffy barely recognized her. She couldn't remember the last time they'd talked, other than a few short calls on the phone, with Carlo listening in on the background.
They hugged and it was awkward, strange, like hugging someone you barely knew.
Dawn didn't give her a second to fight – just started loading her suitcases – deciding for her that Buffy had to come with her, that she needed some time out, a few days away from Dulci's bed.
Buffy had gotten so used to following others' advice that she didn't put up a fight to stay. A half-hearted: "But Dulci..."was her only offered resistance.
Dawn just shushed her and took her home to Giles. It was three days before Buffy cried. Tears would smear her make up after all. Four more before she made the first decision on her own behalf in years.
It took another month before Carlo finally made his terms clear. He was still looking for a cure, traveling the world to do so, and wouldn’t guarantee he’d take the time to locate her to let her know where her daughter was at any given time, if she didn't come back to him.
"I had no other choice.”