Papa Don't Preach
Papa I know you're going to be upset.
The one you warned me all about.
Please Papa don't preach.
Lyrics produced and performed by Madonna
Willow was extremely nervous when she entered her parents' house. She had finally gotten them to be in the same place at the same time, going so far as to inviting herself over for dinner, and stressing the importance of them both being there. When she had finally told them that she had something to tell them, they had took her requests to meet seriously and Sheila Rosenberg had scheduled the night as parent/daughter night. Her mom was in the kitchen cooking when she got there, the smells coming from the kitchen making her feel guilty, as odors of pot roast filled the air. Her mom must have worked hard on dinner. Her dad had been reading the paper when she had walked in, and now he looked up from his reading to give her the famous Rosenberg stare. Willow shifted nervously from foot to foot as she met it. Then felt ultimate relief as he stood, walked over to her and hugged her.
"How's my little girl?" Ira Rosenberg asked, shocking Willow speechless. He hadn't called her his little girl since she had turned twelve. Willow met his brown eyes, seeing the love her father held for her.
"I'm fine, Daddy." She said, stepping back from him slightly, sure that he would be able to tell she was pregnant just by hugging her. "How's work been?" She questioned, hoping to get her mind off of the reason she was really there.
"It never changes." Ira Rosenberg said, going back to sit in his easy chair. "So, I hear you wanted to tell us something." He started, watching Willow start to squirm under his gaze. He had thought she might be there to explain why she had chosen UC Sunnydale as a college instead of the finer places of instruction that had accepted her. The choice had undeniably disappointed him. She could be sitting in the hallowed halls of Yale or Harvard, instead she had chosen to stick herself in a small town college. Ira had never really understood why. Sheila said it had something to do with Willow's friend, Bunny. Sheila claimed that Bunny was a high school delinquent. While Ira didn't really believe the girl was a true delinquent, he knew what juvenile delinquents looked like after all, he did concur that the reason Willow had remained behind probably did have something to do with Bunny.
"Do you care to share your news with me early?" Ira asked, risking a glance to the kitchen just to make sure Sheila was still occupied. She would probably disapprove if she knew he was trying to get the news out of Willow without her presence.
Willow followed her father's look toward the kitchen door and shook her head. "It might be better if we eat dinner first." Willow answered, both as a way of putting the inevitable off for a while, and to make sure she got to eat supper. Although the knots in her stomach might interfere with that feat. She and Buffy had decided that it might be better to tell Willow's parents as little as possible about how she really got pregnant. Actually, Buffy had been the one to make that suggestion. Willow had fought with her over that one for a while. Willow had argued that she didn't want to have any secrets between her and her parents about the baby, and that it wasn't fair to either Buffy or to Oz to claim that Oz was the father of her baby.
Buffy had eventually won out, saying that Willow didn't need the added stress of what a whole revelation might bring. Not only would Willow have had to tell her parents that she was pregnant, she would have had to tell them that she was a witch and that her lover was another woman. Talk about a triple whammy. Willow had argued that Buffy would be telling her mother the whole truth. Buffy countered with after telling her mother that she was the Slayer and had been sleeping with a vampire, anything else should be a piece of cake. Besides that, Buffy didn't have the added stress of being the one that was pregnant. Willow had finally given in and agreed to tell her parents that Oz was the father. They weren't likely to find out the truth, considering that Oz was god knows where. Buffy had even gone so far as to suggest that Willow could tell them that the pregnancy was the reason Oz had split in the first place, not being able to handle it. They had gotten in a big fight over that one. Willow refused to speak to her until Buffy had got down on her knees and apologized to her, in a very personal and convincing way.
Buffy had wanted to come with her tonight, but it seemed tonight was the only night Mrs. Summers had off from the Gallery and Buffy had gone over to tell her mother what was going on. Willow wondered how Buffy was doing with her mother, as she and her family prepared to eat.
"Can I help you with those, Mom?" Buffy asked, noticing Joyce coming into the kitchen struggling with a couple of very heavy grocery bags.
"Yes. Thank you, Buffy." Joyce Summers said, sighing with relief as her daughter took the bags from her.
"No sweat." Buffy said, not even breaking into one as she carried the bags over to the kitchen counter. She started taking the items out as she looked her mother over to see if she could tell what kind of a mood she was in. The blonde watched as Joyce poured herself a glass of cold water, then sat down on a stool beside the counter to drink it. Buffy emptied the groceries, putting them where they belonged while waiting for her mother to relax a little bit.
After Joyce had rested for a few minutes, she stood up to prepare supper. After placing a couple of potatoes in the oven to bake, she took out the steaks she had bought for supper and started frying them. Buffy wordlessly started cutting up some onions to fry for the steaks, the pair of them preparing supper in silence.
Buffy kept throwing her mother glances which Joyce finally noticed, and looked at her daughter curiously. "Buffy...is there something you want to tell me?" Joyce asked, her curiosity growing when startled blue eyes swept up to meet her own.
"Umm..." Buffy gulped, then nodded her head, her eyes shifting around the room as if she couldn't bear to meet her mother's eyes. Joyce turned the heat down on the steaks, then took her daughter's hand and led her into the living room.
"Come on. Whatever it is can't be as shocking as learning you are the Slayer." Joyce said, sitting down beside Buffy and turning so she could make eye contact with her. "Whatever it is, I promise I won't react the way I did last time. I think I've learned my lesson from that mistake. I just wan't to be there for you, Buffy."
Buffy took a deep breath for courage, then looked her mother directly in the eyes. "Willow's pregnant and I'm responsible." Buffy said, seriously.
"You're what?" Sheila Rosenberg asked, her eyes wide-open in shock, at what her daughter had calmly just revealed to her. Ira just sat there mutely, too much in shock to say anything. This certainly had nothing to do with his daughter's choice in colleges.
"I'm pregnant." Willow calmly repeated, waiting with bated breath to see what her mother would do.
Sheila sat there for a minute, willing the news to settle into her head. "It...It's that musician's isn't it. The boy with the name from that book."
Buffy had said that they would jump to that conclusion, and she had been right. But it wasn't as if Willow had been with that many other boys. It was easy for them to come to that conclusion. "Oz." Willow murmured, remembering the stoic person that had been her first boyfriend.
"Does he know?" Sheila asked, wondering just how much damage control she could throw on the whole situation. She knew of a couple, the Fleishman's who were looking to adopt a child. They were a good Jewish couple who she knew would raise her grandchild in the Jewish faith that Ira found so important.
Willow shook her head watching something playing across her mother's face, although for the life of her she couldn't figure out what it was.
If Joyce thought Buffy could never bowl her over again, she had just been proven wrong. She felt the same sense of overwhelming shock she had felt the night Buffy had told her she was the Slayer. She shook her head, her eyes filling with disbelief, her mind wondering if her ears had heard correctly. "Wh...what?"
Buffy sighed and repeated what she had said. She and her mother had a staring match, before Joyce broke the contact, shaking her head to clear it. "How?" Her mother asked, demanding an explanation. Buffy gave her the condensed version of what had happened, leaving out most of the details, but giving her a general idea of how it had happened.
"What are you going to do, Buffy?" Joyce asked, knowing her daughter had some plan cooked up in her head.
"Well, I figured I'd quit college and get a job somewhere..." Buffy started to say, before she was interrupted.
"No." Joyce said, emphatically.
"What?" Buffy asked, not knowing what her mother had objected to.
"You are not, under any circumstances, quitting college." Joyce said, determinedly.
"But, Mom...I have to be able to support Willow and the baby!" Buffy exclaimed, wondering how her mother could deny her the right to take care of her new and rapidly growing family.
Joyce tried to stay calm as she saw the open objection on her daughter's face. "You'll be much better able to take care of them after you get a degree." Joyce stressed, noticing Buffy's eyes didn't look much calmer.
"And what am I supposed to do until then? Huh? How am I supposed to take care of them if I'm not working? We have to get a place to live...I have to get a car...I have to be able to get insurance..." Buffy started ranting, already having jumped off of the couch and starting to pace the length of her mother's living room.
"Buffy...calm down." Joyce said, standing up and placing her hands on her daughter's shoulders. "I realize it's going to be hard on you for a while. Which is why I'd like you to move back in here with me."
"What?! You want me to move back in here and forget about Willow and our situation? And just where is Willow supposed to go?" Buffy asked, completely missing her mother's point.
Joyce shook her head. Usually Buffy was a little quicker on the uptake. Her daughter must have been really worried not to see what was right in front of her. "You misunderstood me Buffy. I would like it very much if both you and Willow moved in here with me. At least until you both finish your college educations and can get better paying jobs. There is plenty of room here for both of you, and besides it would save on room and board." Joyce said, watching Buffy's eyes go from dark and stormy to bright and shiny within moments.
"Thanks, Mom. You're the best." Buffy said, hugging her mother enthusiastically. "I'll have to talk to Willow about it, but if she agrees, we would love to move in." Buffy was greatly relieved. The jobs she had looked into wouldn't take her without a college education, and anything that she could get without a degree wouldn't have paid enough to keep them clothed and fed, not to mention having a roof over their heads. Buffy would still look for a part time job, saving up extra money for when the baby came wouldn't hurt, but now the pressure was off of her chest and she felt like she could breathe again. Buffy wondered if Willow's conversation with her parents was going half as good.
"You want me to give my baby up for adoption?!" Willow cried, outraged, as she stood up from the table and looked at her parents wildly.
"Willow, you are not ready for the responsibility of taking care of a child." Sheila Rosenberg tried to reason with her daughter. "You have just started college. You have no way to support a child. Besides, do you really think you are ready to be a mother? You're just a child yourself."
Willow felt like she was about to hyperventilate as she stood staring at her mother. She glanced at her father, but his expression didn't give her any hope that he was on her side. Willow shook her head in disbelief. "I can't believe this. I can't believe that my own parents are against me in this."
"Willow, we are not against you. We love you. You are our daughter. Which means we want the best for you." Ira Rosenberg said, at last. He had been silent throughout the whole conversation, up until now. "We just don't think that raising a child right now would be in your best interests. And it wouldn't be in the child's best interest. It deserves to have two parents that can take care of it. You aren't through college yet and this boy you were with isn't even around...and quite frankly I find that very suspicious."
Willow didn't know what to say to that. She couldn't exactly tell them the truth, that she and Buffy were together and they were planning on raising the child together. But no way was she going to give up their child. Buffy would be devastated. And Willow would feel like she was ripping her own heart out of her chest. Her eyes filled with tears at just the thought of it. "I'm not giving up my baby." Willow said, so quietly her parents barely heard her, but they could see the determination in her eyes and knew that she wouldn't listen to anything that they had to say on the subject any more.
"Well...maybe one day you'll be willing to listen to reason." Sheila Rosenberg said, finally, her eyes boring holes into her daughter. Her father stayed silent, as if he was in full agreement with what her mother had said.
Willow looked at her shoes for a long uncomfortable moment, then looked back at them, the tears she had held in her eyes finally dripping down her cheeks. "I think I should go before I say something I can't take back."
"Willow..." Her parents said at the same time, trying to keep their daughter in the room.
"No." She said, shaking her head. "I'm sorry...but I've gotta go." Then she turned and left.
Sheila and Ira Rosenberg were left staring at each other, wondering what in the world they were going to do to help their daughter.
* * * * * *
Buffy was laying on her bed looking through a prenatal mother's magazine Dr. Wiseberg had given to Willow, when the redhead in question came through the dorm room door looking like somebody had kicked her puppy.
"I take it that the news went over like leftovers." Buffy observed, as Willow came across the room and crashed landed on top of her, letting out a little whimper in the process.
Buffy brought her arms up to circle her lover, holding her tightly and letting her relieve some of the stress she had gone through that evening. "You wanna talk about it?" Buffy asked, rubbing Willow's back in circles.
"Mmm...My parents want me to give the baby up for adoption." Willow muttered into Buffy's chest.
At first, Buffy couldn't make out what Willow had said, then the words dawned on her senses causing her to stiffen. "What?" she asked, hoping she had heard Willow wrong.
"They said that I'm too young to raise a child and that I should give up the baby. They even mentioned that they have some friends that had been looking to adopt one. And wouldn't it be just dandy if I gave them my baby. How could they?" Willow asked, outraged, as she looked into her lover's face, seeing her ire matched by the look in Buffy's blue eyes.
Buffy tried really hard not to be upset, but Willow could tell from the tension in Buffy's body and the look in her eyes that she was upset. "I can't believe they said that to you, Will." Buffy said, finally, her anger coloring her voice.
"It doesn't matter." Willow said, quietly.
"It does matter, Will!" Buffy objected, strongly. "They are your parents. They're supposed to support you. Not hurt you, by trying to take your baby away. I don't get it." Buffy said, angrily.
"No, I mean it. It doesn't matter." Willow said, taking on a more positive tone in her voice. "Because, they can't take her away from us. I don't care if they support me or not. I have you, and that's all that matters."
"Oh, Will." Buffy sighed, staring into her lover's green eyes. Buffy didn't know how Willow did it. How Willow managed to find the silver lining over and over again, but she was glad that she did because Buffy would have sank into the murky depths a long time ago without her.
"How did your talk with your mom go?" Willow finally asked, breaking their reflective silence.
Buffy smiled awkwardly. "A little better than yours. She refuses to let me quit college." Buffy said, bemused.
"Well, I agree with her there." Willow said, surprising Buffy.
"What do you mean by that?" Buffy asked, a light eyebrow arching as she looked at Willow questioningly.
"Well, I never thought you should quit college in the first place." Willow argued, looking at Buffy, resolve face in place.
"Why didn't you ever say anything?" Buffy asked, feeling if everybody knew what was going on around her except her.
"Would you have listened to me if I had? You were so gungho about quitting college and getting a job. And I know what a hard head you have so..." Willow said, smiling a bit at the last sentence.
"Hey!" Buffy objected, even though she knew it was true. She had been so caught up with the responsibilities of being a parent that she hadn't even considered any alternatives, and doubted she would have if her mother hadn't given her another plan that worked better. "That hurt! Even though you're right." Buffy said, shrugging a little. "Anyways, she said that we could move in with her, if there aren't any objections."
"She did?" Willow said, a little bit shocked. She thought Mrs. Summer's would have basically the same reaction her own parents had. She thought that maybe Joyce would have even blamed her for it. She didn't expect Joyce to ask the two of them to move in with her.
"Uh huh. She said that it would save her money on paying for the dorm room, and it would help us to save money for when the baby comes, besides letting us finish college to get better jobs. Also...I think she's been a little bit lonely since I moved out. It will give her someone to talk to, and she's always liked you, Will. What do you think?" Buffy asked, unsure of what Willow's reaction would be. Whatever it was, she knew she would stand behind her, but she kind of thought this solution would be the best one for them.
"When do we move in?" was all Willow asked, as she smiled brightly down into Buffy's face.
Buffy beamed back at her, hugging her tightly, as she finally felt some of the worries she had felt for days untightening themselves from the hold they had had on her gut. "As soon as you're ready." Buffy answered in a whisper, kissing Willow lightly on the forehead, and thought about the changes that would soon be happening in her life.
In a way, it was kind of a step backward, moving back into the warmth and safety of her Mother's house. But mostly, it was a step forward, a preparation for things to come as she and Willow prepared for their future together, and the future of their baby.
The end(for now)
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