Sunnydale After Dark
Past Featured StorySummary: Buffy and Spike are settled in New Orleans and decide to start a family in a realistic way (as realistic as you can get in Buffyverse). Post-NFA, Buffy POV. This is a response to swifthorse’s challenge. (Beautiful banner by Carrie Ann...)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Joss owns all. 
You can listen to a Sunnydale Fanfic Club episode about this fic here. :o)
Series: Small Boat
Categories: Post-Series, Challenge Response
Characters: Angel, Buffy, Dawn, Faith Lehane, Fred, Giles, Illyria, Original Characters, Oz, Robin Wood, Spike, Willow, Xander
Genres: Baby/Kid, Drama, Plot-driven, POV, Romance
Warnings: (Click Here To Reveal) Adult Language, Sexual Situations, Violence
Completed: Yes Chapters: 70
Word count: 156,607 Hit Count: 93,263 ePub Downloads: 63
Published: 06/21/22 Updated: 06/21/22


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Story Notes:

I really hesitated about writing this story for a lot of reasons. First, the topic is a difficult one because infertility is a personal issue for me. So, writing a fic about Buffy and Spike struggling to have a child hits home on a visceral level. Second, I worried whether I could make this feel like something Buffy and Spike would really tackle together. I wanted the story to feel true to the characters and their journey. My third hesitance was: what if this is a little too real? I mean, it’s not exactly a light topic. My hope is that despite the weightiness, the humor, humanness, strength and love come shining through in the story. If anyone can face this particular demon, it’s Buffy, right? And in my little fantasy, Spike would be right there by her side.
My hope is that the story shines a little light on the oft undiscussed world of infertility and the emotional, physical, and financial toll on couples as they deal with this issue. This story is for all of you…
As to the reunions in this story, they are not straightforward reunions of people, but there are multiple reunions on different levels woven throughout the story. You’ll see as you read.
I can’t thank swifthorse enough for cheerleading me through the fic so far! This story is for you! Thank you to slaymesoftly and Carrie Ann for betaing the first parts, and thank you to Carrie Ann for the beautiful banner (renders by javajunkie247). Title is from the song, "Fight Song," by Rachel Platten.
You can listen to a Sunnydale Fanfic Club episode about this fic here. :o)
I’m very nervous, y’all. But here we go…

1. Dear baby by sandy_s - Likes: 2 Comments: 7 Word Count: 724 Hit Count: 2,158 Published: 06/21/22

Like being lost in the vast, rolling sea with only a small boat to stay afloat, there is a good bit of loneliness in the infertility journey. It helps if you have someone in the boat with you.

2. The night I told your father that I wanted to have a child, Part 1 by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,291 Hit Count: 1,973 Published: 06/21/22

3. The night I told your father that I wanted to have a child, Part 2 by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,765 Hit Count: 2,084 Published: 06/21/22

4. The night I showed your father instead of talking by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,299 Hit Count: 2,066 Published: 06/21/22

5. The night your father and I babysat for Crystal by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,467 Hit Count: 2,042 Published: 06/21/22

6. The night I consulted your Pop Pop and Auntie Willow by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,682 Hit Count: 2,021 Published: 06/21/22

So, I'm still sick and uberly behind at work as a result...but will reply to all reviews soon as I can. Thank you so much for all the kind thoughts and encouragement! In this chapter, Spike and Buffy are in their element while figuring out the how to conceive thing...

7. The day that I called your Aunt Dawn by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,575 Hit Count: 2,020 Published: 06/21/22

The second chapter for the week...

8. The night of our plane ride to Denver by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,469 Hit Count: 2,029 Published: 06/21/22

9. The day of the evaluation by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,332 Hit Count: 1,967 Published: 06/21/22

10. The evening of the evaluation by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,906 Hit Count: 1,932 Published: 06/21/22

11. The night before our follow-up appointment by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 2,186 Hit Count: 1,886 Published: 06/21/22

12. The night Crystal gave me advice by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,775 Hit Count: 1,867 Published: 06/21/22

13. The night I confessed to your father. . . and he confessed to me by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 2,261 Hit Count: 1,880 Published: 06/21/22

14. The night we flew into Norfolk by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 2,048 Hit Count: 1,880 Published: 06/21/22

15. The night we met your father's cousin for Indian food by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,924 Hit Count: 1,918 Published: 06/21/22

16. The night we went to Shane's condo by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,610 Hit Count: 1,745 Published: 06/21/22

Going to post the rest of the Norfolk chapters this weekend (this one and one more)...

17. The night we got stuck in the Baltimore airport again by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 2,541 Hit Count: 1,771 Published: 06/21/22

18. The day I bought the vitamins by sandy_s - Likes: 2 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,734 Hit Count: 1,742 Published: 06/21/22

19. The night of food and relaxation by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,843 Hit Count: 1,697 Published: 06/21/22

20. The night of the missing meds by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,484 Hit Count: 1,594 Published: 06/21/22

Behind on review responding and writing due to pipe breakage and the holidays, and my baby is sick again (ear infections, awful cough). I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday if you are celebrating at this time of year.

 

21. The morning of the first injection by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,596 Hit Count: 1,644 Published: 06/21/22

22. The fifth night of no sleep by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,597 Hit Count: 1,599 Published: 06/21/22

Posting a new chapter tonight for two reasons: 1) I'm going to be busy this weekend; we're going to a Charity Ball with my husband and his co-workers and 2) a friend who has been on this journey with me but with many more cycles just found out that her baby is genetically normal, and she made it to her second trimester. So it's a celebration! (If you're the praying type, please keep her in your prayers. She needs all the good energy she can get!)

23. The night of the Garden of the Gods by sandy_s - Likes: 3 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,772 Hit Count: 1,577 Published: 06/21/22

24. The day of the unexpected trigger shot by sandy_s - Likes: 2 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,832 Hit Count: 1,642 Published: 06/21/22

25. The evening in the coffee shop by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,736 Hit Count: 1,522 Published: 06/21/22

26. The morning of what felt like impending doom by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,994 Hit Count: 1,528 Published: 06/21/22

A bit of an exciting chapter...

 

27. The morning of day six by sandy_s - Likes: 2 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,926 Hit Count: 1,448 Published: 06/21/22

28. The day of my now weekly call with Auntie Willow by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,954 Hit Count: 1,545 Published: 06/21/22

29. A night at the resort in Cancun by sandy_s - Likes: 2 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,311 Hit Count: 1,473 Published: 06/21/22

30. The night of the reduced Lupron and reluctant consumption of beignets by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,161 Hit Count: 1,434 Published: 06/21/22

31. The morning before embryo transfer by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,730 Hit Count: 1,395 Published: 06/21/22

32. The morning of embryo transfer by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,666 Hit Count: 1,359 Published: 06/21/22

33. The second night after transfer by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,762 Hit Count: 1,347 Published: 06/21/22

34. The morning of the beta test by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,755 Hit Count: 1,323 Published: 06/21/22

35. The evening of the beta test by sandy_s - Likes: 2 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,002 Hit Count: 1,361 Published: 06/21/22

Posting sooner than later so you don't have to wait to find out the results... This is one of the longest days ever, especially after doing IVF when there are so many steps (though if you've been through all 34 chapters before this, you've been waiting, too).

36. The night of the forbidden patrol by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,343 Hit Count: 1,323 Published: 06/21/22

37. The day of the six-and-a-half-week-or-so ultrasound by sandy_s - Likes: 2 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,864 Hit Count: 1,300 Published: 06/21/22

38. The night Aunt Dawn moved in by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,251 Hit Count: 1,281 Published: 06/21/22

39. The morning before the big meeting at Christmas-time by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,968 Hit Count: 1,250 Published: 06/21/22

40. The night of the big meeting by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,949 Hit Count: 1,188 Published: 06/21/22

41. Christmas Day by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,202 Hit Count: 1,164 Published: 06/21/22

42. The night of the Krewe of Endymion by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,297 Hit Count: 1,118 Published: 06/21/22

43. One night after work by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,715 Hit Count: 1,133 Published: 06/21/22

44. Later that night by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,081 Hit Count: 1,111 Published: 06/21/22

Okay, I tweaked and revised and edited this chapter to death. Time to let it go...lol. Hope you enjoy. 

45. The morning of the anatomy scan, Part 1 by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,064 Hit Count: 1,103 Published: 06/21/22

yellowb, OffYourBird, Carrie Ann, and pfeifferpack all have little parts in this one. 

46. The morning of the anatomy scan, Part 2 by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 473 Hit Count: 1,069 Published: 06/21/22

The shortest chapter but they needed their moment... After all, this story is about Spike and Buffy starting a family. 

47. The thirty-third day of lockdown by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,213 Hit Count: 1,066 Published: 06/21/22

Before the chapter... because this fic is about fertility struggles.

March is endometriosis awareness month, which is what I have: http://natural-fertility-info.com/march-is-endometriosis-awareness-month.html

And the last male northern white rhino passed and the only hope for the survival of the subspecies is IVF and possible surrogacy. Wow! https://newatlas.com/experimental-ivf-white-rhino/53890/

48. Later that night by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 1 Word Count: 1,820 Hit Count: 1,006 Published: 06/21/22

49. An unknown amount of time later that night by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,554 Hit Count: 1,007 Published: 06/21/22

50. The next night in the hospital by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,927 Hit Count: 1,015 Published: 06/21/22

So, I know I posted a new one day before yesterday, but I couldn't wait to post this one...if you can wade through the first part, you'll see why!

51. The day I went home from the hospital by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,827 Hit Count: 970 Published: 06/21/22

52. The night we left for Texas by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,459 Hit Count: 969 Published: 06/21/22

53. The twenty-eighth morning in Kilgore by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,871 Hit Count: 911 Published: 06/21/22

54. The night in the Comfort Suites by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,423 Hit Count: 858 Published: 06/21/22

55. The same night by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,751 Hit Count: 948 Published: 06/21/22

56. The morning of the fight with the hitchhikers by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,483 Hit Count: 827 Published: 06/21/22

57. The night on the road home by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,835 Hit Count: 840 Published: 06/21/22

This was such a fun chapter to write...and I couldn't wait to post it! So, in honor of being featured, here it is!

58. Our second night home by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,110 Hit Count: 839 Published: 06/21/22

59. The day Aunt Dawn and I went to the salon by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,497 Hit Count: 864 Published: 06/21/22

60. The night of registration at Babies R Us by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,311 Hit Count: 765 Published: 06/21/22

61. The morning I hung out with Crystal, Leah, and Willow by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,843 Hit Count: 774 Published: 06/21/22

62. The evening of breaking and entering by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 3,413 Hit Count: 752 Published: 06/21/22

I don't condone this but it seemed like a Spike thing to do. 

63. The evening of the newborn care class by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,417 Hit Count: 748 Published: 06/21/22

64. The night of the baby shower by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 4,877 Hit Count: 665 Published: 06/21/22

Soooo...with the break up of season 12, I'm totally happy to be immersed in my happy domestic Spuffy fic. What better way to be completely immersed but in a Spuffy baby shower?  

65. Another night of no sleep by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 1,910 Hit Count: 703 Published: 06/21/22

66. The day of labor and the night you were born by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 4,325 Hit Count: 687 Published: 06/21/22

Just a short little warning that this includes some medical stuff...

And sorry for the delay! I was wrapping up The Vespertine Stars for the fanfic contest; the fic was due by July 23. I'm back to only working on Small Boat.

67. The morning after you were born by sandy_s - Likes: 0 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,633 Hit Count: 676 Published: 06/21/22

July 25, 2018 was the 40th birthday of the first IVF baby, who was conceived in Great Britain. https://people.com/human-interest/first-ivf-baby-turns-40-people-magazine-louise-brown-birth-1978/

And another interesting article... https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/25/health/ivf-insurance-parenting-strauss/index.html 

68. The night of Auntie Willow and Uncle Oz's wedding by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 4,049 Hit Count: 655 Published: 06/21/22

Hope you enjoy...

69. Epilogue 1: Two Years Later by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 2,625 Hit Count: 628 Published: 06/21/22

One last big issue that I wanted to address was that the feelings regarding IVF and what a person goes through don't end with the birth of a healthy child. 

And what do you do with the healthy embryos you don't or can't use? 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/20/489232868/after-ivf-some-struggle-with-what-to-do-with-leftover-embryos 

70. Epilogue 2: Dear son by sandy_s - Likes: 1 Comments: 0 Word Count: 517 Hit Count: 581 Published: 06/21/22

I've been procrastinating on posting this last part...