Where Our Weakness Lies

"Our foolish pride...we must conquer all...in our mightiest words...our weakness lies..."


From the Diary of Willow Rosenberg-Chase, May 25th, 2011:

I suppose I should have expected it sooner or later. I mean, you can't just walk away from a group like that and expect them to forget about you. It never works out that way.

Today in the mail I got a letter from the Watchers' Council asking (after all this, asking!) me to rejoin them. They had need of my expertise, they said. They needed someone with my skills, my views...

I should have just told them to take out a want ad in the paper.

I suppose I've been getting tired. I've been the adorable wife of a movie star for over three years. If I'm not home with Jenny, I'm out with Cordelia at some fancy event.

I need something of my own -- something to do. I've given over 10 years of my life to the Watchers. I gave it all up to be an overpriced housewife.

I'm tired of it. There, I said it. I'm tired of just being Cordelia's wife.

So I'm replying. I haven't told Cordelia yet. I don't know if I can tell her. I don't know what to do.


Two weeks later:

The doorbell rang. Willow looked at Cordelia, her green eyes pleading.

"Mama, the door!" Jenny said, splashing in her bath.

Cordelia nodded. "I know, baby. I'll go and see who it is." She stood up, wiping her hands on her pants, walking out of the bathroom towards the stairs.

She walked down the stairs, breaking into a grin when she saw who was downstairs. "Giles!" she said happily, quickly making her way down the rest of the stairs. She turned to the maid standing near the front door. "Tell Willow Mr. Giles is downstairs," she said, then turned back to Giles. "It's good to see you again."

Giles smiled widely. "Yes, it is," he said cheerfully. "How's Jenny?"

"It's been....what? A year since you've seen her?" Cordelia shook her head. "She's gotten so big...and she's so hyperactive. Are all Slayers so hyper as small children? Because she's really wearing us out..."

Giles frowned for a second and was about to answer when Willow joined then. "Giles!" she said, giving him a hug with one arm while holding Jenny with the other. "Jenny," she said to her daughter. "You remember Uncle Giles, right?"

Jenny hid her face against Willow, peeking out occasionally to give Giles a shy smile.

"Oh, now you pretend to be shy," Cordelia said, stroking Jenny's ginger hair. She turned to Giles. "So what brings you to L.A., Giles?"

Giles looked pointedly at Willow. "You haven't told her?"

Willow looked back at him, her eyes wide. "I....I haven't been able to..."

Cordelia looked at both of them, frowning. "Excuse me?" she said. She turned to Willow. "Willow, what's going on?"

Willow put Jenny into the maid's arms. "Take her to the backyard to play," she said. She turned back to Cordelia. "Cordelia, I..." She paused, searching for the words. "I'm rejoining the Watchers," she finally said, her eyes looking down.

Cordelia stepped back slightly in shock, shaking her head. She quickly regained her repose and turned to Giles. "Can you excuse us for a minute?" she said, smiling bitterly. She grabbed Willow's arm.

Willow let herself be dragged into the next room. Cordelia turned to face her wife, her eyes flashing. "What the hell is going on?"

Willow straightened. "I'm rejoining the Watchers," she said, her voice firm.

"Are you insane?"

"Why is it insane? Huh?" Willow looked at her wife.

"You're just going to forget all they put us through? For God's sake, Willow! Jenny wouldn't be here if we hadn't turned our backs on them!"

"Me, Cordelia," Willow said, her voice flat. "I was the one who left them. You weren't even around when I left them. It was my decision to leave the Watchers. And it's my decision to return."

Cordelia looked at Willow, her eyes wide. "But why?" she finally asked.

Willow sighed tiredly. "Cordy....I'm tired. I've been a celebrity housewife for the past three years. Jenny doesn't need me around all the time, and there's really nothing else for me to do. I can't be your pampered wife, locked away in a...gilded birdcage." Willow looked up at her wife. "You should know better than that."

Cordelia looked away from Willow, nodding slowly. "I know. And I'm sorry." She looked back at the smaller woman. "But why them? There has to be a million other--"

"Cordy, I spent three years in high school doing their research. You were there. Then I spent ten years working with them." She looked directly at Cordelia. "I've been a Watcher for 13 years. And you expect me to just throw all that away?" She shook her head. "I can't. Especially not with Jenny."

"Jenny's all the more reason not to be a Watcher! They'll try to take her away again!"

Willow's face hardened. "Not if I'm there to say otherwise." She looked up at Cordelia pleadingly. "Cordy, if I'm there, I can stop them. Giles might be there to keep an eye on things, but if it ever comes up again....." She shook her head. "I have to, Cordelia." She reached out for Cordelia's shoulder. "It's the only thing I can do."

Cordelia took a step back, shaking her head in disbelief. "No. It's not the only thing you can do!"

"Cordy, I--"

"No! I don't want to hear it! I can't even begin to believe this!" She continued to look at Willow in disbelief, then slowly began walking towards the door.

"Cordelia...please..." Willow looked at her wife, her eyes filling with tears.

"I can't...I can't deal with this!" She fled from the room, her heels clacking on the tile.

"Cordy!" Willow followed her, finally stopping when she heard the sound of the car starting. "Oh Cordy..." she said quietly.


Xander woke up to the sound of the doorbell. He swore under his breath and got out of bed, scratching his thigh under his boxers.

He walked to the front door, yawning slightly. He scratched his head, reached for the cross he kept by the front door, and slowly opened the door.

Cordelia stood there. "Hi," she said quietly, a fragile smile on her face. "Can I come in?"

Xander nodded slowly, his eyes wide. Cordelia walked in and he shut the door quietly.

Neither said anything for a moment, each just staring at the other, in tense silence.

Finally, Cordelia spoke. "She's re-joining the Watchers," she said, her voice calm, removed, solemn.

Xander stared at Cordelia in shock. "No..." he said, shaking his head slightly.

"Yes, I know," Cordelia said crisply. "Insane, isn't it? After all--" her voice broke. "After all we've been through..." She looked up at him, tears in her eyes. "Oh God, Xander," she said, her voice soft. "I don't know what to do..." She started sobbing. "I can't lose her..."

Xander reached out, pulling her into a tight embrace. "Oh Cordy...." he said softly, stroking her hair gently.

She cried onto his bare chest for a minute, then suddenly realized where she was. She quickly pulled back. "I...I'm sorry," she said quietly.

"It's okay," he said, his voice just as soft. They stood there quietly for a second, then Xander spoke again. "Cordelia..." She looked up at him. Xander took a deep breath. "Do you....do you want to stay here tonight?"

Cordelia gave him a weak smile. "Please."


"So the sporting goods store fell through and I ended up taking over an all-night liquor store, first as night manager, then general manager. It's terrible, and I hate it, but it's paying the bills and I get free samples."

Cordelia looked at the variety of bottles surrounding the small kitchen table. "I noticed." She held up a bottle and read the label. "Chartreuse...."

"Oh that one is really weird, but good."

Cordelia poured a small amount and typed it back. She coughed slightly. "Wow."

Xander chuckled. "Yeah..." He poured himself another drink. "Cheers," he said, holding up his glass.

Cordelia clinked her glass with his, then suddenly frowned. "Xander," she said, her voice curious. "What day is it?"

Xander frowned. "Huh? It's Wednesday."

"No...the date..."

"Um...the 10th now..." Xander looked at her oddly. "Why?"

Cordelia fell back in her seat with a sigh. "It's my birthday, remember?" she said, her voice low. "My 31st birthday." She sighed again. "Didn't expect to be spending it this way."

"Hey..." Xander said, trying to look indignant.

"Oh I don't mean like this, Xander...I mean..." She frowned for a second. "I always thought I'd spend my 31st birthday in L.A., with a nice party, and the next day, I'd get up and go on location to shoot a new movie....And then I'd come home, curl up with some random Hollywood hunk I decided was cute, and live the glamorous life." She took another drink. "Instead, I'm here...in Sacramento...with a guy I dated in high school...getting drunk over a fight I had with my wife--my WIFE, mind you..." She sighed. "Where did it all go wrong?"

Xander looked at her. "Did it go wrong?" he asked. At her confused look, he continued. "I mean, look at yourself, Cordy. You're a big movie star...you make hits--"

"Tiffany bombed."

"Not up here. Everyone was talking about it."

"This is the middle of nowhere. It bombed in L.A."

"That's besides the point. You're famous, like you wanted. You're married to someone who you're utterly madly in love with...and I know that doesn't come easily for Cordelia Chase....and together you have a darling two year old..." He gestured towards her. "You have a life that other people only dream of..." He looked down at his drink. "Young, beautiful, loved..."

Cordelia looked at him seriously. "Losing Buffy hurt more than you let on, didn't it?"

Xander looked up at the ceiling, then nodded silently. "She...God, it's been almost five years..." He took a large drink before continuing. "She was the first real love of my life. Even through when I was dating you, when I was....with Willow....she was still there. And...when all of you were elsewhere...living lives away from Sunnydale, I was all she had left....and for seven years....seven years, Cordelia..." He looked up at her, his eyes glittering. "We were happy. We were all each other had...and we were happy."

Cordelia moved to the couch where he sat, resting her head on his shoulder. "Where did it all go wrong?" she asked, her voice soft. "Where did it all change?"

Xander reached out and grasped her hand. "I don't know...I really don't know..."

"Do you..." Cordelia paused, trying to find the words. "Do you wonder what it'd be like? If....if we were still together?"

"We would have never lasted this long, Cordy....we were young and driven by hormones..."

"I know...but...still...do you wonder?" She looked directly at him. "Do you?"

Xander became aware of their closeness. "Whenever I see you...on TV...in the theaters...on a magazine...I think 'I used to be with her....I remember what she looks like when she's first waking up...I remember what it was like to hold her close in my arms and...'" He closed his eyes. "Cordelia, I..."

Cordelia put a single finger on his lips. "Xander..." She pulled back slightly. "I don't want to be alone tonight..." she said quietly.

Xander nodded. "Don't be..." he said, his voice just as soft as he pulled her in for a deep kiss.


The doorbell rang loudly. Xander groaned, rolled out of bed, and slowly stumbled towards the living room. The doorbell rang again, even more insistently. "All right, all right! I'm coming!" Xander yelled, swearing under his breath. He opened the door slowly, wincing as sunlight hit his eyes. "Yeah?"

Willow stood there, looking up at him. "Xander..." she said quietly and calmly. "Is Cordelia here?"

Xander heard a gasp behind him. He turned, and saw Cordelia standing there, wrapped in one of his sheets. He looked back at Willow.

Willow stood there, only her eyes showing expression--betrayal. "Cordelia," she said calmly.

Cordelia looked at her wife, her eyes glittering with tears. "Willow, I--"

"Get dressed. I'll be waiting outside." Willow strode away from the door.

Xander ran out after her, not caring that he was only in his boxers. "Willow! Wait!"

Willow turned around sharply. "Don't," she said, her voice sharp. "Don't even start."

"Willow, I--"

"No, I don't want to hear it!" she yelled. "You slept with her! You slept with my wife and you know what this does!" She stared at him, her cheeks streaked with tears. "God damn it, Xander. You knew."

"I..." Xander looked down, trying find the words. Finally, he spoke in a low whisper. "I'm sorry... Oh God, Willow...I'm so sorry..."

Before Willow could say another word, Cordelia appeared. Willow glared at her wife. "How could you do this?"

Cordelia couldn't meet Willow's gaze. "I..."

Willow shook her head. "No. I'm not dealing with this right now. I don't want to hear it." She walked towards her car.

"Willow! Wait!" Xander ran towards the car. Willow unlocked the car door and opened it. Xander held open the door. "Willow, listen...she didn't know what she was doing. She loves you!"

Willow looked up at him, her eyes shining with tears. "I...I can't believe that...." She pulled the car door shut and drove off.

Xander turned back to Cordelia. The other woman had fallen to her knees, sobbing. Xander went to her and slowly helped her up. "Oh god...oh Xander...I messed everything up...oh god...." she said, her voice harsh.

Xander pulled Cordelia close to him. "Shh..." he said quietly, stroking her hair. "It'll be okay..."

She pulled away, staring at him in shock. "It won't be okay, Xander! I cheated on her! I slept with you! I...." She looked around desperately. "I have to go...." She began to walk to her car.

"Cordy!" Xander yelled out, chasing after her. "Cordelia, wait...she can't stay mad at you forever...she loves you..."

Cordelia turned and looked at him, her eyes narrowed. "Xander, I spent ten years being angry at you for cheating with Willow. How in the hell is she going to forgive me?" She got into her car and drove away.


From the Diary of Willow Rosenberg-Chase, July 1st, 2011:

She hasn't returned home for three weeks. Three weeks have gone by and Cordelia hasn't come home.

For once, I'm grateful to the Watchers. They've kept an eye on her, making sure there isn't any trouble. There are still vampires that remember the days of Buffy and her friend--and immortality naturally lends itself to vengeance.

She's alive, residing in a hotel suite. But she hasn't come home.

And I still don't know if I want her back.

She hurt me. She slept with him--not because she's in love with him, not because she wanted to--but because she was mad at me. She was mad, she got drunk, and she slept with him.

And that's what hurts. She did this because of me. Because I made a choice. I feel like she doesn't want me to be myself, like I don't exist except as her wife.

I don't want to spend my life without her. But I can't be just her wife.

I just don't know what to do. I wish....I wish she would come home.


Willow sat on the couch, idly flipping channels. Unexpectedly, Cordelia's face appeared on the TV. Willow started, then realized it was a rerun of Melrose Place. She leaned forward slowly, her eyes never leaving the screen, never leaving Cordelia's polished perfect smile.

The front doors opened slowly and were shut with just enough noise to startle Willow. She padded out into the hallway and gasped.

Cordelia stood there, looking at her house. She saw Willow, then looked away guiltily.

"Cordelia," Willow said softly.

Cordelia turned towards her, but still couldn't look at her. "Willow," she said, her voice hoarse, as if she had spent the past three weeks crying. "I....I fucked up, baby," she finally said. "I was mad for a stupid reason and I went out and did something that was even stupider." She looked down at the floor. "You were right...and I was...incredibly wrong. And I can't stay here knowing that." She looked around the house. "The house....is yours. I'm just going to get my stuff." She set down her suitcase. "If you ever - ever - need anything, call me." She looked back at Willow, still not meeting her eyes. "I love you. And I can't ever hope for your forgiveness."

Willow stood there throughout Cordelia's monologue, her expression getting angrier and angrier. Once Cordelia finished, Willow spoke her. "God damn you, Cordelia," she said harshly. "You come here to take all your stuff and just leave?" She stared at her wife in shock.

"I fucked up. I can't stay here knowing that!"

"Yeah, you screwed up. And you've spent three weeks away from me. And in those three weeks of moping, it never occurred to you that I might have forgiven you?" At Cordelia's amazed stare, she continued. "God, Cordelia, I was so scared! You just left...And I didn't know if vampires had gotten you or god knows what else." She looked up at Cordelia. "Cordy...I...I love you. And I don't ever want to lose you for something that we both know was a mistake." Willow stared at her wife, tears in her eyes. "Cordelia...please....don't go..." she whispered.

Cordelia started to sob. "Oh God...Oh Willow..." She fell to her knees in front of Willow. "I'm so sorry...I'm so sorry..." she babbled.

Willow slowly wrapped her arms around Cordelia, stroking her hair, her back, letting her wife cry onto her shoulder. "Oh baby.....it's okay....it's okay...." she crooned.

After a few minutes, Cordelia pulled away. She cupped Willow's face in her hands. "I love you, Willow."

Willow looked at her wife with shining eyes. "I love you, Cordelia."

Cordelia kissed her wife tenderly, then wrapped her arms around her tightly, vowing to never let go.


From the writings of Cordelia Chase, July 22nd, 2011:

It's been six weeks since I slept with Xander.

The test results came back today.

I'm pregnant.


Giles walked into the living room, a small stack of books in his hands. He heard young laughter and looked over to the couch. Cordelia sat there, Jenny curled up next to her, both of them holding a book open.

"Mama, read it again!" Jenny said loudly.

Cordelia smiled. "Okay, baby. One more time." She turned the book back to the beginning and began to read. "There was once a little girl named Anne. She was a strong girl, and she was the Chosen one."

"Like me!"

"Yes, baby, just like you." Cordelia returned to the book. "Anne was a very good slayer. She fought evil using all her talents--her strength, her wits, her mind, and, most importantly, her friends."

Cordelia caught Giles' surprised look and smiled widely. "Anne knew that fighting against evil meant nothing if you didn't know what you were fighting for. She was careful, and safe, and smart, and with the help of a few people--people she knew she could trust--she saved many more people. Anne was a very good Slayer." Cordelia closed the book. "The end." She patted Jenny on the head. "Now go see if Mommy wants to play with you outside."

Giles walked towards Cordelia as Jenny scampered outside. "That wasn't how the book goes," he said dryly.

Cordelia's smile remained on her face. "We know, but we figure by the time Jenny's able to read it herself, she'll know better." She looked up at Giles. "You know how it is, Giles. If you can't defeat them from the outside, join them and slowly subvert them over time."

Giles chuckled as he reshelved the books on the bookcase by the couch. "You've certainly...accepted Willow's rejoining of the Watchers well, Cordelia. And the way the two of you are raising Jenny seems to have quite a remarkable effect."

Cordelia stood slowly. "Well, Willow's right. Joining the Watchers means we have a say in how Jenny is treated...." Her voice grew weaker and weaker as she spoke, finally trailing off at the end.

Giles looked at her worriedly. Cordelia was supporting herself against the armrest, looking pale. "Cordelia?" he asked, quickly making his way over to her.

Cordelia waved him off. "I'm fine, I'm fine. Just a little dizzy, that's all. Stood up too fast." She looked at the bookshelf. "Looks like we're turning this place into a slightly more expensive version of your old library in Sunnydale," she said jokingly.

Giles grinned. "Yes," he said. "Willow will need all of those if she remains in Los Angeles..."

"If?" Cordelia said, her voice quiet.

"I mean, since she's..."

"No, you said 'if'," she said flatly. "'If she remains in Los Angeles', meaning that, at any time, Willow could walk out that door with Jenny and leave me." She turned away from the books. "Maybe it'd be for the best...." she said, barely above a whisper.

"Cordelia?" Giles said, concerned. "Cordelia, what's the matter?"

Cordelia turned towards the window, watching Jenny play. She pushed back the curtain with a trembling hand. "I'm pregnant," she said, her voice calm and collected, only the trembling of her hand giving away any emotion.

Giles' eyebrows raised. "D....Does Willow know?"

Cordelia turned towards Giles and shook her head. "And she won't."

"Cordelia, I don't see how you can keep your pregnancy from...." Realization dawned on his face. "Oh."

She nodded. "Willow won't know it never happened. She can't know that it happened."


Cordelia looked back towards the window. "I can't go through it again." At his confused look, she continued. "My freshman year in high school. I was 14, eager to get in with the right crowds, incredibly naive, and dating the star football player..." She shook her head slightly. "I should have known it would have ended badly..."

"You were...?"

Cordelia looked back at Giles. "Yeah. 14 years old and pregnant. A regular afternoon special." She looked down. "My parents wanted it taken care of quickly. The Mayor had just started his whole 'family values' thing, and it wouldn't look good for the main supporter of his campaign to have a teen mother in the house. She smiled wryly. "So instead of a 15-year-old with a baby, my parents had a 14-year-old getting an abortion."

"You've gone through it before. Why are you going to do it again?"

She shook her head. "You don't understand, Giles," she said softly. "The look of utter disappointment my parents gave me when I told them has stayed with me all my life. I failed them. I wasn't their daughter anymore, I was a mistake." She closed her eyes. "If Willow ever looked at me that way..." She straightened up, her expression firm. "I can't disappoint her again, Giles."

"But how do you know?" Giles asked, looking at her with just a hint of desperation. "How do you know she'll be disappointed? How do you know she'll not want this baby as much as she wanted Jenny?"

"How could I do that to her, Giles?" Cordelia snapped. "How could I make her look at the product of my mistake? Continually remind her of the day when I screwed up?" She looked at Giles, her eyes desperate. "I couldn't do that to her, Giles. I can't."

Giles nodded slowly, his brows knitting in a frown. "When?"



"My standard doctor." She looked at him. "She can't find out, Giles. I can't deal with her knowing."

Giles reached out, placing his hand on her shoulder to comfort her. "I know," he said quietly.


From the personal journal of Rupert Giles, July 26th, 2011:

I've spent over 15 years of my life watching. Not just Buffy, but the small group of people that surrounded her. I was a father figure for them; I looked after them, cared for them, and respected them.

I told myself that I could not interfere with their personal lives. Yes, they respected me, but only if they came to me with their problems would I say anything. And I certainly wouldn't come between them. It saved me from ever breaking their trust and losing their respect.

This all changed today.

I can't let Cordelia make this decision without telling Willow. I can't let her get rid of this baby without saying something.

I'm going to tell Willow. Despite what Cordelia may think of me, despite my own personal vow, I'm going to interfere. I can't sit by quietly.

Cordelia can't do this alone. And I'll be damned if I let her try.


Willow sat at the kitchen table, a mug of tea in one hand, a pen in the other, transcribing from a large, leather-bound tome on the table. "Amatrix sanguinis amatrix animi non est," she muttered to herself as she scribbled on the notepad.

Giles walked in, poured himself a mug of tea, then sat down at the table.

"Giles, your Latin is terrible," Willow said, still writing on the notepad. "Half of these translations are wrong..." She looked up at him. "How on Earth did you pass the Watcher's exam anyway?"

Giles looked over at the book, raising an eyebrow when he recognized it. "I was translating that when the Zhe-demons were attempting to re-open the Hellmouth. You'll forgive my lack of finesse."

Willow chuckled and pushed aside the notebook. "Well, that's enough for now. I spend more than a half hour translating and I end up speaking in Latin...drives Cordy absolutely insane..."

Giles' face grew serious at the mention of Willow's wife. "Yes..." he said quietly. He stared down into his mug.

"Giles?" Willow said, frowning. "Is something wrong?"

He looked up, his eyes faintly desperate. "Willow, I..." He looked back down. "No, I can't..." he muttered to himself.


He closed his eyes for a second. "Willow...Cordelia's..." He sighed. "She's at the doctor's. If you hurry, you might catch her before..."

Willow stared at him in shock. "Stop her from what? What's going on? Giles?"

Giles looked up at Willow, his face calm, his hands clenched around his mug. "She's pregnant, Willow."

Willow stared at him for a few seconds longer, then ran out of the kitchen, clutching at her keys on her way out.

Giles heard the car start and take off, then slowly set his mug down, his hands trembling slightly.


Cordelia sat in the waiting room, wiping her eyes with a tissue, streaking her eyeliner.

The nurse walked up to her. "Are you ready, Mrs. Rosenberg-Chase?"

Cordelia shook her head. "No, can you give me a few more minutes?"

The nurse nodded, and turned away. Cordelia suddenly looked up. "No, actually, nurse? Can you cancel my appointment? I've changed my mind."

The nurse raised an eyebrow, but nodded again. "Certainly."

Cordelia grabbed her purse and stood on shaky legs. I did it. I'm going to have a baby, she thought to herself. She grabbed the armrest for support. "Oh God," she said under her breath. "I have to tell Willow."

As if perfectly scripted, the door opened and Willow walked in. "Cordy!" she said, looking at her wife with wide, stunned eyes. "Cordy, you can't!"

Cordelia straightened, looked at her wife, a ridiculous grin sliding over her face. It was like a bad movie -- a really bad movie -- with Cordelia as the star. Her grin turned into giggles, then into full-on laughter.

Willow stared at Cordelia in anger, her eyes narrowing. "Cordelia! What is going on here?"

Cordelia straightened, wiping her eyes. "I'm not going to do it, Willow..." she said, still chuckling. "I decided that right before you showed up." She looked at her wife, her mouth curved into a wide, silly grin. "We're gonna have a baby."


Willow and Cordelia stood outside of the doctor's office, Willow frowning, attempting to make sense of everything, and Cordelia still chuckling occasionally.

"Did you bring your car?" Willow asked, her voice quiet.

Cordelia looked at her wife, her good humor fading quickly. "No..." she said. "I called the car service."

Willow nodded. "Let's get my car, then." She pressed the elevator button and waited.

Cordelia looked down at her feet, then looked up at Willow, her mouth opening, then closing again. After a few seconds, she spoke. "Willow, is something wrong?"

The elevator doors opened. "I don't want to talk about it here," Willow said as she walked in.

Cordelia's heart sank. She screwed it all up again. She stood in the elevator in silence, trying not to cry.

Willow walked to the car and got in. Cordelia followed her, dreading the conversation.

Finally, Cordelia had to say something. "Willow, I know you're upset with me--"

"I'm not upset with you," Willow said, her voice soft. "I'm just...I'm a little stunned."

Cordelia looked at Willow, her eyes panicked. Willow waited until a red light, then turned towards her wife. "Why didn't you tell me?" she asked, her voice still soft, calm, devastating.

"I....I was scared..." Cordelia said, her voice breaking. "I didn't know what to do I didn't know what to say...Oh God, Willow, I was so scared....I didn't want to ever hurt you...and I just..." She took a deep breath, and looked at Willow, who looked up when the light changed and started driving. "I didn't want you to have to live with the consequences of my mistakes," she said. "Seeing my...child...day after day...knowing that I...slept with...Xander...being constantly reminded..."

The car pulled into a nearby parking lot. Willow turned off the motor and turned to look directly at Cordelia. "Cordelia...I...." She paused for a moment, her brow furrowed slightly. "I was upset with what you did. And you know how upset I was."

Cordelia looked down at her lap, tears welling in her eyes. She closed them and let the tears slide down her cheeks.

Willow reached out, lifting Cordelia's chin with her hand. "But I forgave you. And I still forgive you." Her hand moved to Cordelia's cheek. "This baby won't change that. How can it? It isn't responsible for what happened. How could I possibly blame something as wonderful and as innocent as a baby?"

Cordelia looked at her wife, then started sobbing. "Oh Willow...Oh darling...oh sweetheart..." she babbled. "I love you so much...I..." She reached over to her wife and held her as tight as she could.

Willow smiled and held her wife tightly, stroking her hair as Cordelia cried onto her shoulder. "It's okay...it's all going to be okay..." she crooned softly.

After a few minutes, Cordelia pulled away, wiping her eyes. "I...." She opened her mouth, searching for words, then closed it again. "I don't know what to say."

Willow smiled tenderly. "We're going to have a baby," she said, her eyes shining. "A beautiful baby with long brown hair and big brown eyes."

Cordelia fell back against her seat, smiling widely. "A baby..." she said quietly. She started laughing. "A baby! Me!" Her laughter grew louder.

Willow shook her head and started laughing too. "We'll have to tell Jenny..."

"And Oz..."

"And Xander..."

Cordelia quickly sobered. "I..." She looked up at Willow. "I don't know what to tell him."

"We'll tell him together," Willow said. Her hand slid over Cordelia's, running her fingertips over the wedding ring. "No matter what happens, we're in this together, right?"

Cordelia smiled tenderly, her hand squeezing Willow's. "Right."


From the Diary of Willow Rosenberg, August 1st, 2011:

A baby. We're going to have a baby.

Giles was beaming when we returned and told him the news. He's been like a grandfather to Jenny, and he's so glad to have another little baby to spoil in around seven months.

Jenny was happy too. She asked the usual "Where babies come from?", which, understandably, is hard to explain, even if you can say "Well, Mommy and Daddy love each other very much..." We managed to tell her the essentials, being a little vague on the exact parentage of the baby-to-be, not to mention her own Daddy. We've worked to distance ourselves from the old Council, and if Jenny knew...

We're going to tell Xander tonight. I wanted to tell him right away, but Cordelia needed time. I think it really was the morning sickness, but she keeps on saying that she needs time to prepare.

I'm so happy we're having this baby. I just hope Cordelia is as happy as I am.


The doorbell rang. Cordelia groaned, putting her hand up to her forehead tenderly. "Maria! Could you get that?" she yelled.

The doorbell rang even more insistently. Cordelia winced, wore under her breath, then slowly rose. Her hand went to her stomach as the nausea intensified for a second, then resumed its regular churning she had been living with for the past few weeks. She staggered over to the door and slowly opened it.

Xander strode in, looking furious. "Is it true?" he demanded, holding up a tabloid newspaper.

Cordelia stared at him dazedly, then looked at the page Xander held open. "Oh fuck..." she whispered. Her stomach roiled even more and she rushed to the bathroom.

Willow walked downstairs slowly, carrying Jenny. "Cordy, honey, who was it..." Her voice trailed off and she smiled gently. "Oh, hi, Xander!" she said cheerfully. She noticed the hands clenched tightly around the paper, and paled. "Oh no..." she said quietly.

Xander held up the tabloid and began to read. "'There is no word on who the father of Chase's baby is, but speculation abounds after the brief rocky period three months ago, which included Chase staying at the Beverly hotel for several weeks.'" His fist clenched around the newsprint. "Were you planning on telling me before or after I started getting called 'Daddy'?"

"I was going to tell you tonight," Cordelia said weakly, returning from the bathroom, supporting herself weakly against a wall. "It's why I called you down here..."

"You couldn't tell me earlier? It didn't occur to you that the father of the child might need to know?" Xander's voice grew sharper with every word.

Jenny whimpered and buried her head in her mother's shoulder. "Xander, we --"

"Willow, don't," Xander said, his voice quietly cold and hard. Xander looked at the two women. "I...I need time to think..." He calmly turned around and walked out the front door, never looking back.


The doorbell rang. Cordelia rushed to the door, opening it widely. "Xander?" she said, her voice hopeful.

The delivery man stood there, reeling back in shock. "Um...pizza?" he said lamely, holding out the box.

Cordelia sighed, handed the boy some money and grabbed the pizza from him. She shut the door and took the pizza into the dining room.

Giles and Willow stood up in expectation, then sat back down when they saw that it was just the pizza. Cordelia set it down on the table with a thump. "It was just the delivery guy," she said quietly. She sat down, sighing.

"He'll be back," Willow said quietly. "He has to be back."

The doorbell rang again. This time, Willow ran. "Xander!" she yelled out. Both Cordelia and Giles ran into the hallway.

Xander stood there in the doorway, looking solemn. "Hi..." he said quietly.

Willow looked up at him, her eyes wide and questioning. "We were so worried about you, Xander," she said.

"I had to do some thinking," he said.

"About this?" Cordelia said.

Xander looked at her levelly and nodded. "And I came to a decision."

Cordelia raised an eyebrow. "Then get out of that doorway, Xander..."

Xander nodded and walked into the house.

The tension between the threesome was thick. Giles coughed, then finally spoke up. "I...I'll be upstairs with Jenny," he said quietly.

Cordelia gestured over to the dining room table. "Shall we?"

They walked over and slowly sat down, each person staring at the other two, trying to understand, trying to figure out what to say.

Finally, Cordelia spoke up.

"You said you came to a decision," she said crisply. "Are you planning to tell us?"

"Cordelia..." Willow said, her voice verging on reproach. "Xander had every right to be upset..."

"Blaming us for something we had no control over? Yeah, that's justified."

Xander stared at Cordelia. "You could have told me," he said, his voice quiet.

Cordelia looked away. "I know." She closed her eyes for a second, then turned back to Xander. "I....I'm sorry," she said. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner." She cracked a slight smile. "But I wasn't exactly thinking...morning sickness...trying to figure out how to tell my wife that I was knocked up..."

Xander nodded, just a hint of a smile on his lips. "I know," he said. "And that's why I needed to think." He looked at the two women in front of him. "I..." he said, trying to get up the courage to say what had to be said. "I love you two. I always have. I mean, Willow," He looked at the smaller woman. "You've been my best friend since we were in diapers. And even though I didn't know it, I loved you back then." He looked at Cordelia. "And I've loved you too, Cordelia. You were the first person who saw me as something other than the bumbling best friend..."

"More like the bumbling boyfriend," Cordelia said, her voice a bit sarcastic.

He smiled softly. "Can I continue?" He paused for a second. "I've loved the two of you for so long, and, after my initial shock, I was happy when you told me you were together. It surprised the hell out of me, of course, but, after talking to both of you, it just made sense. And when you asked me to be a part of your wedding...well...it was one of the happiest days of my life." He sighed and leaned back slightly. "And I hate the fact that I caused trouble between you two, that I was the reason. And for that, I apologize." He looked down. "And now, I find out that Cordelia--Cordelia, of all people, is pregnant. With my baby." He looked back up. "You have to admit, it's something of a shock."

He smiled again. "And I'm happy for both of you. I mean, Jenny is like the perfect baby, and I know that this baby, boy or girl, will be raised up with love and respect and turn out just as wonderful as Jenny." His face grew serious. "But I can't help you raise them."

Willow started protesting. "But Xander, we--"

Xander held up his hand. "Willow, I've made up my mind." He sighed. "I mean, you've been a part of my life for thirty years...you know what happened to me..." He looked down. "And I can't risk treating any child of mine the way I was treated."

"Xander, I..." Cordelia tried to find the words. "You can't possibly be like your parents..."

"But I can, Cordelia." His voice was harsh. "I can be like them so easily. Sometimes it's...so hard to keep control..."

Willow reached out and grabbed his hand. "Xander..." she said quietly.

He looked up at her, his eyes shining with tears.

"It's okay..."

Xander closed his eyes, tears streaking down his cheeks. "Thank you," he said in a whisper.


Cordelia padded through the empty house, a glass of water in her hand. She fell onto the couch with a heavy sigh. "Damn morning sickness," she muttered under her breath, closing her eyes tightly. After a few deep breaths, she opened her eyes and grabbed a pillow, sticking it under her head, trying to get as comfortable as possible.

She turned her head slightly and saw the pile of scripts lying on the coffee table. She grabbed the first one, wincing as soon as she saw the cover. "Tiffany the Vampire Killer II? Not even," she said, tossing it behind her and grabbing the next one. She opened it and started reading.

She sat up slightly, lost in the words on the paper. "Oh my..." she said quietly, flipping through pages as quickly as she could read them. She grabbed a pad of paper from the coffee table and started writing notes.

After what only felt like minutes, she heard the front door open. "Cordy? I'm home!" Willow's voice echoed from the hallway. She walked into the living room. "Cordy?"

Cordelia held up the script, not looking up from her notes. "Read this," she said, her voice distracted.

Willow took the script and looked at the cover, raising an eyebrow. "A Doll's House?"

Giles walked in, carrying a small stack of books. "Someone doing a remake of Ibsen?" he asked, setting the books on the coffee table.

"I want to do this," Cordelia said, finally looking up. "I want this part."

Willow frowned slightly. "But Cordy...you're..."

"What?" Cordelia asked, looking at her wife. "Pregnant?" She held up her notes. "There's nothing in the script that says it can't be played by a pregnant woman."

Giles frowned, then raised his eyebrows. "While the role of Nora has generally been played by...women who are not pregnant, having Nora pregnant as she leaves Torvald might add a...new twist on the play."

Cordelia nodded. "Exactly!" She stood up and grabbed the couch as a slight wave of nausea hit her. "By the time we start filming, I'll be at least six months along. And filming shouldn't take more than three months, if that, so we'll have everything done before I even hit my due date." She looked around the living room. "Where's the phone? I have to call Greg..."

"But Cordy..." Willow said, her voice faintly pleading. "What about the baby?"

Cordelia frowned. "What about it?"

"Is a movie set really a good place? I mean, what if something happens? What if there's stress or an accident or chemicals?"

Cordelia paused, staring at her wife in shock. "What?" She shook her head slightly. "Wait. When you're pregnant you spend all hours of the night researching, threaten to kill yourself and Jenny, and go into an early labor and you're worried about a movie set?" She chuckled. "God, Willow, overreacting again?" She picked up the phone and started dialing. "Greg? Cordelia. Just read the script for A Doll's House. Yeah, that one. Who do they have attached to it?"

Giles touched Willow's shoulder. "Let's take these books into your study," he said quietly.

Willow nodded distractedly and picked up some of the books. "Was I overreacting?" she asked Giles once they got into her study.

Giles walked over to one bookcase, tracing his index finger over the titles until he found the right spot. "You have to admit," he said, putting a book upon a shelf. "You were gallivanting about in the late months of your pregnancy...Watchers' Council Chambers...libraries... A movie set is considerably tamer..."

Willow nodded. "I know...I just..." She set the books on the desk. "I worry, you know? I mean, I knew what I was getting into. Damn the consequences and all that. But this...this is Cordelia. My Cordelia. And I don't want anything to happen to her. I dread anything happening to her...."

Giles nodded. He stood there, comfortable in the silence, until Cordelia's voice echoed from the living room.

"Whaddya mean you didn't think to tell me? Being pregnant would be bad for my image? God, Greg, what the hell am I paying you for? You can handle me being a dyke but god forbid you deal with a baby?"

Giles chuckled. "I think Cordelia can handle herself on the set, Willow," he said.

Willow nodded. "Yeah..." She looked up at him. "But I still worry, you know?"

"Of course." He held out a slim volume. "Do you have a particular place for journals or do they go with the rest of the books?"

"Oh, if it's a Watcher's journal, it goes with the others over there, but if it's someone's book of magic, it goes in with the spell books..." Willow began to shelve books along with Giles.

After a few minutes, Cordelia walked in, beaming. "I talked to Nancy, the director, and she said that she'd wanted me in the role all along. Then I told her I was pregnant."

"And...?" Willow said, looking at her wife in expectation.

"And she said that was the exact reason why she wanted me." She held up her hands. "I got the part!"

Willow squealed and hugged her wife tightly. "That's so great!" she said.

Giles nodded, smiling. "Yes...congratulations."

"I think this could be the big one," Cordelia said happily. "The one that makes my career..." She put her hand on her stomach. "Something that people will remember me by for centuries. Me...and whoever this is.."


From Entertainment Weekly, the week of September 7th, 2011:

Casting of Chase Causing Controversy

The casting of Cordelia Chase (Tiffany the Vampire Killer, Overdrive) as Nora in the remake of Ibsen's A Doll's House has many groups in an uproar, not only for her outspoken lesbianism but also for the fact that she will be pregnant throughout the filming.

"We are not planning to hide the pregnancy," the director, Nancy Falconetti stated. "We feel that the character is given a new dimension with the addition of the pregnancy."

Chase had no comment, but several groups, from literary traditionalists to religious right groups are protesting this decision.


Cordelia sat in her trailer, sprawled out on the couch, resting her hands on her stomach. The was a knock on the door. She groaned and lifted her head. "Yeah?"

Xander opened the door and walked in. Cordelia shifted slightly, grinning. "Xander!" She said happily.

"Hey Cordelia," he said softly. "Got some time for an old friend?"

She nodded. "Sure...can you just put that..." She gestured at a scrap of cloth sitting by the door. "...on the outside of the door?"

"Yeah..." Xander slipped the cloth on the doorknob, then shut the door. "What's that for?" he asked.

"Tells everyone that they can't disturb me unless it's an emergency." She stretched, grinning. "It's good to be the star..."

"So how is the movie going?" Xander said, settling down besides Cordelia.

"Quickly. They want to get it done before they have to go and get me a lot of foam rubber," she said, chuckling. "The rest of the cast is getting burnt out, but since I can take it, they feel like they have to do just as well...not to mention that, with the new backers, we're all getting very well compensated for the rush."

Xander looked up. "New backers?"

Cordelia nodded. "The Watcher's Council." At Xander's surprised stare, she smiled slyly. "Well, not officially. Just a small British company 'interested in the classics', or so they say." She picked up her glass of water and took a drink. "They're trying to buy me off on the whole Slayer-Watcher thing..." she said matter-of-factly.

Xander stared at her in shock. "No..."

Cordelia nodded. "I think so. I'm all that stands between Willow fully rejoining the Watchers, and what better way to distract an actress than giving her a choice role with a great production budget?"

"That's.....that's..." Xander flustered, searching for words. "That's horrible!"

Cordelia shrugged. "I don't know....I mean, if they want to believe that I can't handle Willow being a Watcher, who am I to tell them to not spend all this money?"

Xander stared at her for a second, then started laughing. "God, Cordelia...you haven't changed, have you?"

"Hey!" she said indignantly. "If I hadn't changed, I'd still be dating your pathetic self, instead of just being...knocked up by you."

Xander gave her a look. "Gee, thanks," he muttered sarcastically. After a few seconds, he looked at her seriously. "Cordelia..." he said, looking earnest. "Are you....are you okay with me not wanting to help raise up this baby?"

Cordelia paused, looking at down at her stomach thoughtfully. "Yeah, I am." She looked up at him. "And not just because the way you were raised..." Before he could say anything, she continued. "Jenny doesn't have her dad around, thank God, and I just think that it'd be unfair to her if this baby's daddy was always around....not to mention the whole logistics of having three parents in the house instead of two..." She looked away for a second then looked directly at him, an evil look in her eyes. "And besides, I can't trust you around Willow...you might seduce her away from me.."

"Actually, you'd have to keep me away from Giles," Xander replied smoothly.

Cordelia blinked. "Xander...." she said, her voice soft.

Xander shrugged, smiling. "I guess I always knew...." he said introspectively. "It just took me a long time to do anything about it..."

Cordelia reached out and grabbed his hand. "Well although I feel like you're just copying me..." she said with a chuckle. "I'm happy for you." She patted his hand. "You know, if you want me to set you up with someone nice...."

Xander chuckled. "Oh no you don't..."

There was a knocking on the door. "Cordy?" Willow's voice came from outside. Xander looked at Cordelia, questioning.

"Willow's allowed in at any time..." she said. "Come in!" she yelled towards the door. She turned back to Xander. "And let me tell you, when Jenny was at that age where she didn't sleep through the night, having the 'emergencies only' sign sure came in handy for...quiet time."

Xander rolled his eyes. "God, you two..."

Willow walked in. "Hi Xander!" she said, her voice a bit surprised. She leaned over and kissed Cordelia. "How's the baby?" she said to her wife.

Cordelia sighed. "Busy..." she said, rubbing her stomach. "I'll be so glad when this is over...."

"Yeah, me too...if I have to deal with another one of your late night cravings..." Willow said, curling up on the couch next to Cordelia. "Ow, jeez," she said after Cordelia punched her playfully. She grinned. "Did you tell him yet?"

"Tell me what?" Xander asked.

Cordelia looked at Xander, her eyes hopeful. "We want you to be there at the birth."

Xander looked at both of them. "I..." He searched for the words. "I don't know what to say..."

"Yes would be nice," Willow said.

"Y-yes," Xander stuttered. "Of course!" He leaned over, kissing them both on their cheeks. "I'd be honored."

Cordelia grinned. "Wonderful!" she said happily. She hugged him tightly.


From the diary of Willow Rosenberg, March 4th, 2011:

Cordelia's final day of shooting is today. I'm so glad. I don't think I could handle another day of this worry. I'm being silly, I know, but, at the same time, I just keep on having these visions of lighting equipment falling on her head...or something equally preposterous.

Giles teases me whenever I say something about that. And I know it's silly, a woman who took on the entire Watchers' Council and went into labor right on the Councilchamber floor, getting worried over a light fixture.

But I do worry. I'd be foolish not to worry. It's one of the first words Watchers learn. Preparation and worry. And we're prepared. Excessively prepared, Cordelia thinks, but I have to have everything in order. We have a car on call at the studio, my car always filled with gas at the house, and suitcases filled with things for the hospital. We took the classes, redecorated the nursery, and prepared Jenny for her baby sibling.

We even worked it out so that Xander could stay in town until the birth. Cordelia was really happy to do that, partially because I think she wants to set him up with some of her friends... I was utterly floored when she told me he was gay, but she seems to have been expecting it for awhile. How on earth does someone just know that? I was his best friend for our entire childhood and I never saw it coming.

Tomorrow's the wrap party for the movie. It'll be good to get away from my research and worrying.


Cordelia's laugh wove its way through the crowd of people. Willow picked up another tiny sandwich and sighed. She hated parties, especially Hollywood parties. She bit into the sandwich, her eyebrows raising when she tasted the cream and strawberries inside. At least the food was better than usual, and the music wasn't bad either.... She looked over at the string quartet tucked unobtrusively in the corner and nodded appreciatively.

"Hey Will," Xander said, weaving his way over. "Oooh...sandwiches." He picked up a few, biting into one almost instantly. "Great party, huh?" he said through a mouthful of bacon and cream cheese.

"Yeah..." Willow said absently, picking up her flute of champagne. She blinked, then looked at Xander worriedly. "Where's Jenny?" she asked.

Xander swallowed his sandwich. "Well, she was with Giles for awhile, but then latched onto Cordy. I think she's still there."

Willow set her glass down. "I better go and find her before she causes trouble," she said. She made her way through the crowds to the center of the room, pausing when she saw Cordelia.

Cordelia stood in the middle of a crowd, radiant. Her face shone, highlighted by gentle ringlets trailing down from the loose pile of hair on top of her head. She caught sight of Willow and smiled tenderly at her wife. The smile soon faded, replaced by a faint pained look.

Willow pushed her way through the crowd to her. "Cordelia?" she asked, a bit panicked.

Cordelia waved her off, searching for a chair. She found one and sat down slowly, wincing a bit. Willow looked at her worriedly. "Cordy, baby..." Her eyes widened suddenly. "Oh God..." she said in a whisper. "How long? How far apart?"

Cordelia looked up at her wife. "About a half hour apart..."

"Cordelia, we shouldn't be here--"

"No," Cordelia said firmly. "I'm not leaving yet." She looked at her wife. "Willow...I'm fine..." She reached out and held Willow's hand. "This baby isn't going anywhere soon..."

Willow smiled weakly. "I hope so..." She squeezed Cordelia's hand. "I just..."

Cordelia slowly stood up. "I know, baby...." she said quietly. She wrapped her arms around her wife, and hugged her, managing only halfway. She chuckled. "It'd be so great to lose this...I haven't been able to hold you properly for months..."

Willow laughed, reaching up to caress her wife's cheek. "I love you, Cordy," she said quietly.

"I love you too..." She gave her wife a gentle kiss, then looked around. "Where's Jenny?"

Willow frowned. "I thought she was with you...."

Cordy shook her head. "No, last I saw her, she was with Giles..." She looked around the crowd. "See, there she is..." She pointed.

Willow looked over to where Cordelia was pointing, and smiled relievedly when she saw Giles holding Jenny. "I bet she's been the darling of the party," she said with a giggle. She caught Giles' eye and waved him over.

Jenny ran over to her mothers and wrapped her arms around Willow's legs. "Mommy!" she said happily.

Willow reached down and patted her daughter's head. "Hey sweetie..." she said quietly. She looked up at Giles. "Has she been trouble?" she asked.

"Oh of course not," Giles replied, smiling. "And what have you two been up to?"

Cordelia smiled widely. "Oh, nothing mu--" she broke off, wincing and slowly sitting back down. "Damn..." she muttered under her breath. She looked up at the panicked faces of Willow and Giles. "Better call the car, Will....I think this baby's wanting out..."


"C'mon, Cordy...you can do this..."

Cordelia grabbed Willow's hand tightly, clenching over. "Not without the epidural!" she snarled, trying to walk off the pain.

Xander looked up, glaring at every nurse, doctor, orderly, and intern in sight. "Where's the damn epidural?" he shouted.

The nurse smoothly walked in, completely unaffected. "Calm down, sir..." she said soothingly. "The anesthesiologist will be here shortly. And you're doing a fine job right now...she's walking and all three of you are doing wonderfully..."

Cordelia glared at the nurse. "And how many..." She groaned again. "How many babies have you given birth to?"

"Delivered fifty over the past ten years, and had three of my own, Ms. Chase," the nurse-midwife replied. "You know that..."

Willow rubbed her wife's back. "How are you doing, Cordy? Do you need some water? How do you feel? Do you want to go home?"

Xander looked at Willow in fear. "Go home?" he said, panicked.

Willow looked back at him calmly. "Transition labor. The woman usually starts asking to go home..."

"Damn it, Willow, I told you to throw that book away," Cordelia muttered under her breath. She groaned. "I need to sit down..."

Willow and Xander hastily moved her to the birthing chair and helped her sit down slowly. Cordelia took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as she relaxed. "God, I feel awful..." she said tiredly.

Xander rubbed her shoulders while Willow rubbed her stomach. "It's okay, darling," Willow said, her voice soft and soothing. "We're right here...we'll take care of you..."

The nurse quickly examined Cordelia. "She's in transition now..." she said to the threesome. "Too late for the epidural." She looked up at Cordelia. "Cordy? I want you to get ready...you're going to need to do a lot of pushing soon...But not until you feel like you need to, okay?"

Cordelia nodded, wincing again as another contraction hit. "I..." she said in between gasps of breath. "I feel sick...I don't want to be here..."

Willow brushed back her hair and stroked her wife tenderly. "Shh...it's okay...you're almost done..."

The nurse looked up from her examination. "I should say so...she's dilated to ten centimeters..." She looked at Cordelia. "Okay, Cordy...when you feel the need to push, I want you to push. Don't force it, don't make a lot of noise, and let it happen, all right?"

Cordelia whimpered as the first wave hit. "That's it..." the nurse said. "Just push...that's good..."

Xander stepped back slightly from the scene, not wanting to interfere. This wasn't his moment--it was theirs.

In between pushes, Cordelia turned her head, catching sight of Xander. He stood apart from them, separating himself from the situation. She reached out with her hand, grasping his.

Xander looked at his former girlfriend, now one of his best friends, his eyes shining. "Are you sure?" he asked in a low voice.

She nodded, squeezing his hand tightly as she pushed again. Xander wrapped an arm around her shoulders, touching Willow's hand. Willow looked at him, her cheeks streaked with tears, and smiled.

"Okay, Cordy, I see the head...just one more big push now...c'mon, baby..."

Cordelia pushed, squeezing Willow and Xander's hands tightly.

"That's it...almost there...there's the head....c'mon...we're almost there..."

She pushed, sitting up all the way, pushing until, finally, she fell back against the chair, breathing heavily.

"That's it!" the nurse said happily. The loud cry of a baby rang out through the room. "It's a girl!"

Willow burst into tears, leaning in to kiss her wife's cheek. "Oh Cordelia," she said softly. "Oh sweetheart..."

The nurse carefully placed the baby in Cordelia's arms. "Congratulations," she said happily.

Cordelia looked down at the baby, tears streaking down her cheeks. "I..." she said, unable to finish her sentence.

"So what's this little darling's name, then?" the nurse asked, grinning at the foursome.

Cordelia looked down at her newborn, and gently stroked her cheek. "Alexandra," she said softly, then looked up at Xander. "If it's okay..."

Xander closed his eyes for a second and finally started crying. "Oh Cordy..." he said quietly. He leaned down and kissed her, a tender, friendly kiss. "Thank you..." he said, his voice breaking with emotion. "Thank you..."


From Entertainment World, the week of March 6th, 2012:

"They finished more than just filming at the wrap party for 'The Doll's House' in Hollywood, California! The star of the picture, Cordelia Chase, best known for 'Tiffany the Vampire Killer', went into labor in the middle of the party. They were rushed to Cedar-Sinai, where Chase gave birth to 7 pound, 5 ounce Alexandra Marlene. Both mother and baby are doing fine."


Willow sat in the hospital room, quietly writing in her journal. She occasionally looked over at Cordelia, smiled tenderly, then continued writing.

Cordelia stirred, waking up. "Hey..." she said quietly.

Willow looked up at her wife. "Hi..." she said, walking over. She reached out and stroked Cordelia's cheek. "How do you feel?"

Cordelia kissed Willow's palm. "Tired...achy...but in a good way..." She smiled tiredly. "How's the baby?"

"Last time I checked up on her, she was sleeping in the nursery just fine..." Willow grinned. "She's beautiful...just like her mother..."

Cordelia chuckled, then looked at Willow. "Are you staying here the entire night?" she asked.

Willow nodded.

"Where's Jenny?"

"Giles is watching her," Willow said, calmly. "I didn't want to leave you alone tonight..." She leaned down and kissed her wife on her forehead. "You were so beautiful, Cordelia," she said quietly. "So wonderful...so amazing...I was so happy..." She reached into her pocket. "I...I got this for you..." She handed Cordelia a small velvet box.

Cordelia opened the box up slowly. "Oh Willow..." she said, pulling the tiny gold cross out, the thin chain dangling from her hand. "Oh my sweet darling..."

"I love you. And I'm so..." Willow's voice broke. "I'm so happy that you're my wife..."

Cordelia reached out and pulled Willow onto the bed, kissing her tenderly. "I love you, Willow."