Confirming and Advancing

Stephens Place Logo

Title: Confirming and Advancing (A New Beginning - Chapter 1 {2/?})
Series: New Beginning
Author: Kathryn Merteuil
Disclaimer : The characters used are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, WB, Fox and probably some other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.
Copyright : All parts not copyright to another entity (see disclaimer) -- including content, presentation and xHTML -- are copyright Kathryn Merteuil © 2000.
Spoilers : Shortly after the end of S4. No reference made to episodes after "Where the wild Things Are" except Riley has left for court martial before going back to Iowa to see his folks and Willow and Tara are together.
Notes : Buffy has her suprise confirmed.
Feedback : Yes please.
Rating : PG-13, for now. Later installements may get higher ratings. This deals with late-teen/adult issues.

The gang sat in silence as Buffy made her call from the kitchen, though the open door they could hear her side of the conversation.

"Hello, is Riley there please?"


"That's good news. Monday morning you think."

"Thank you, I'll call back then."

"Buffy Summers, we err..."

"Oh, he told you about me? Good, I wasn't sure if he had yet."

"Thank you, bye!"

Joyce stood up as Buffy re-entered the room. "Well?"

"That was Rileys mother. He's still being debriefed. After the rest of the initiative testified at the deposition they dropped the court martial and gave him an unconditional honourable discharge. He's incommunicado whilst they tie up some loose ends."

"So when will he be back in communication?" put in Giles.

"He's due to get back early Monday morning, she said If I call around 10 our morning she'll make sure he's about."

"But you didn't tell her about..." Giles continued as Joyce went to the kitchen with a murmur of "I've just got to make a quick call" closing the door behind her.

"No. I thought it would be best to tell Riley first and let him break the news to his family. I wasn't even sure how much he'd told them about me, us." Buffy looked around her friends "Sorry to wreck the mall trip!"

Willow looked momentarily shocked then laughed "Don't worry, we forgive you!" Tara nodded as Willow continued "I'm sure you didn't plan it... I That didn't come out quite right.. errrrr. um." Blushing she turned to Tara with a look of 'Help me!!!'.

Tara looked helpless, then said "There'll be other trips!"

Buffy smiled at her two friends, old and new. "Yes I'm sure there will" she turned to the door as her mother came back.

"I called my doctor to see if I could get you an appointment. He suggested Planned Parenthood. They'd got an appointment free this afternoon, in about an hour, I've booked you in."


"They'll double check if you are pregnant and give you a check-up."

"Really I'm fine! Fit as a fiddle."

"Now Buffy, I do think you should make sure." interjected Giles "Better safe than sorry."

"Ok then." Buffy surrendered "If you're going to use common sense!"

An hour later Buffy sat with her mother in the waiting room of the Planned Parenthood clinic. "Shouldn't we have gone in by now?"

"They're just running a bit late."

"Well, you know. Hospitals."

Joyce laughed "I thought you got over that phobia after you had the flu. And anyway this isn't a hospital."

"Looks like one, and it's not a phobia, I just don't like hospitals!" Buffy retorted "Brings back memories of visiting people I've put there."

"Who have you put in hospital?"

"Willow, Giles, Xander"

"Oh? Willow mentioned that you seem to keep blaming yourself when they get hurt. Really, no-one else sees it that way. Willow, Mr Giles and everyone want to help you. What you're doing. It's important. I didn't see that at first but now I've thought about it and I can see how important it is. I know that you'll always do your best." Joyce paused "I asked Mr Giles If I could read some of the watcher diaries, get an idea of what you're doing. It took some doing but eventually he let me see them.."

"'Mom Face'?" Buffy interjected with a smile.

"Yes." Joyce laughed before returning to her serious tone "Those other girls, the other slayers, all they had was their watcher. And the fight. It's no surprise they didn't live long, they had nothing to fight for. Buffy you have people that love you, core for you and want to help you. Me, Mr Giles, Willow, Xander... Tara has only known you for a few months and already she's in your corner. You bring out the best in people and I'm really proud of you. We all know the risks, we don't face them because we have to but because we want to help. And we want you here with us and we'll fight to keep you around."

"Thanks Mom. Really Thank you" Buffys smile returned to her face. She looked around the clinic waiting room. Most of the women there were around her age, there were a few older women who looked to be from the poorer end of town, however there were two girls who quite a bit younger than herself. One looked resigned, eyes downcast, the woman next to her seemed both angry and determined. The other girl, who looked like a high school junior, was openly crying as the older woman by her side, seemed to be her mother, chastised her in hushed tones which Buffy could just about catch with her sensitive slayer hearing.

"'s final. Your doing this then you can get back to your life. I'm not having you ruin your life over some romantic notion."

"But mom"

"No! Till you're 18 you're still my responsibility and you'll do as I say."

Buffy looked at her mother "Mom, have I told you lately that I love you?"

"Not in words, but I know"

"Remind me to do it more often."

"It's a deal!"

 "Liza Shelby." a nurse called from a doorway. The crying girl stood up and walked to the door with her mother in swift pursuit.

The receptionist looked over to Buffy and said "You're up next, should be 10 to 15 minutes" with a friendly smile.

"Thanks" Buffy and Joyce said in unison. Buffy looked around the walls. It was adorned with prints intermingled with posters advertising various local services and warning against the danger of smoking during pregnancy. "Well that's one thing I don't have to deal with" she thought. Next to the reception desk there was a pin board which seemed to be filled with greetings cards. Buffy strained to see and found that they seemed to all be 'Thank you' cards.

Minutes passed. From behind the door the crying girl had entered came raised voices. Buffy could make out the girls mother threatening to sue, a calmer voice was repeating "Mrs Shelby" whilst the girl herself seemed to be crying "Mum, Mum please!" over and over. The door opened. "I'll sue, you can't refuse to do this I'm her mother!" Mrs Shelby shouted at an older woman in a white coat.

The woman noticed the attention the scene had wrought and responded in a quiet, calm, firm voice "By law we cannot do what you wish, I suggest you talk to your family lawyer". She turned to the girl and took a business card from the reception desk "Liza, you know where we are when things are settled. This is the phone number of a counselling service. They're based at the university but they help anyone who needs it."

"Come on Liza" said the girls mother grabbing her by the arm and glaring at the woman.

With a shake of her head and a look of resigned despair the woman picked up the next file from the reception desk. "Buffy Summers." she called.

Buffy stood, Joyce a beat behind, and walked to the woman.

"That's me." Buffy indicated her mother "This is my mother."

"Joyce" Joyce supplied "Hello".

"Hi Buffy, Joyce. I'm Dr Morrison but most people call me Jenny. If you'll just follow me." she led them through the door she had come out of then into a consulting room.

"So Buffy, how are you?"

"Fine. Well a bit surprised, I haven't fully processed everything yet but I'm fine."

"Excellent! I understand you've used a home testing kit?"

Buffy nodded.

"OK. What we'll do is take some samples just to make sure and give us a picture of your overall health, do a basic physical examination then we'll talk about how you feel and what happens next. OK?" Jenny's calm professional manner soothed Buffy's nerves "I will need you to sign a couple of consent forms for the bloods and the examination. Oh and we do like to do a HIV test, just to be on the safe side".

"OK." Buffy took the forms and signed her name at the indicated points "Erm, what was that before?"

"Obviously I can't go into details but lets just say parents and their children sometimes don't see eye to eye. They don't always understand each other."

Joyce and Buffy exchanged a look.

"Right! So we'll get on with the samples and examination. If you'll just hop up on the couch, don't lie back yet, it's just an easier height for me to take the bloods. Do you mind your mother staying in the room?"

"No, no problems."

"OK. There has to be a chaperone in the room, I could call a nurse in but I think it's better if it's a family member. Right, if you have any problems with blood then look away now." Jenny said finishing with a smile.

"Not an issue, believe me."

Jenny took some blood samples then gave Buffy a cotton pad to hold on the tiny wound. "I'll just send them out to the lab for some tests, should take about an hour, we use the local hospitals lab, they're quick but good."

"'Lytes, chem 7" Buffy asked.

"ER fan?" asked Jenny

Buffy nodded.

"Yeah, that sort of thing. Just generally checking that you're in good health. There are a number of things you might not notice but which can cause problems during pregnancy" Jenny filled out the paper work for lab whilst speaking. She packaged up the samples and the papers then passed them to someone outside the door, speaking with them briefly. "Just caught a batch going over so should be an hour."

"OK if you could remove your underwear we'll get on with the examination."

Buffy was glad she had chosen practical tan cotton when she got up this morning.

"OK we'll undo the waistband and untuck your shirt and if you'll get back on the couch we'll get started."

Jenny began the examination, despite her gentle and professional manner Buffy felt more than a little uncomfortable. Sensing Buffy tense Jenny said "I know it's uncomfortable at first."

"You get used to it." supplied Joyce with a wry grin "Wait till you start having to have PAP tests."

Jenny completed the examination with a minimum of fuss and indicated that Buffy should reclothe herself. "Well that seems all to be fine. I did notice some scars although they seem to have healed up fine."

"I got into fights when I was younger" Buffy replied after a moments consideration.

"Well they don't seem to have done any permanent damage, I would like to do a sonogram at some time soon to just check. No pains or discomfort?"

"Not really, a few twinges the day before I start and the first day or two."

"And your cycle?"

"About 29 days but fairly irregular. Say 27 to 31 days."

"That will probably settle down."

"Are you regularly taking any medication?"

"No, nothing. Well the odd asprin."

"Ok so I have these forms that I'll need you to fill in once we've got confirmation. You'll probably qualify for some state assistance to cover your medical bills and here's some leaflets on things like diet, pain control methods for the delivery, medications to avoid and so on." Jenny passed Buffy a small bundle of forms and leaflets "You can fill them in before you leave or drop them back on Monday morning. Oh, and here's some pamphlets from some companies, you can usually get some free samples."

"Oooh! Free stuff!"

"It's not usually that exciting." Joyce supplied with a smile "Unless it's changed a lot since 1980."

"Not really Somethings have got better and there're more companies sending out samples so you tend to get more but it's the same ol' same ol'. Some of the parenting magazines have improved a lot, there's some discounted subscription forms in there"

After a pause she continued "So is there anything you would like to ask me?"

"Well, what happens next?"

"OK. Assuming your bloods show no problems we'll set up some more appointments for another pelvic exam in about 6 to 8 weeks then a sonagram and a regular appointment for a general checkup. You'll usually see me unless I'm not available for some reason."

There was a knock at the door. "That will be your results". Jenny answered the door and returned with an envelope. " Everything seems OK. You're very slightly anaemic but nothing to really worry about. Most girls your age are, it's modern teen aged diets."

"Well she's staying with me over the summer so I'll try to improve that." Joyce said with a mock fierce glare at Buffy.

Buffy tried to look cowed but couldn't help smiling "OK, mom."

Jenny stood up "So I'll see you in a few weeks then!" she shook hands with Buffy and Joyce as she guided then back to the waiting room "If you want to fill the forms in now they can give you a clipboard to lean on at reception."

"We may as well do that then" Joyce suggested "Gets them out of the way."

They picked up a clipboard and a pen then retired to a corner to deal with the papers.

"I'd better call the guys to tell them the sitch" Buffy walked to the payphone across the room. She returned a few minutes. "Wills and Tara are still at home. Giles had to run some errands but said he'd come back afterwards, about 7 he said. Oh and Tara noticed that a couple of your books are on the reading list for a class she's taking next year, she said she hoped you wouldn't mind her reading them whilst they wait."

"Oh, did she say which ones?"

"I didn't ask. So shall we get on with these forms, it'll be dusk in an hour or so."

Together they worked through the myriad of detail the state, government and centre seemed to need to know about Buffy and her situation. "How many times have we had to fill in my name, address and date of birth so far." Buffy asked.

"Eight times, so far, and there's another 3 forms to go. Welcome to the world of government form filling. It's one of the joys of adult hood!"

"Is it too late to regress?"

"Very" Joyces wry smile had returned "Here you fill in the applications for samples."

Finally completing the forms Joyce handed them in at the desk for processing as Buffy finished off the last of her applications and gathered up the remaining leaflets.

The receptionist took the applications from her saying "I'll put them in the centres out going mail for you, they're all postage paid."

"Thanks. Dr Morrison said we should set up some appointments."

"Yes she gave me a card with a list. I'll get her appointment schedule and we'll get you set up."

Fifteen minutes later Buffy and Joyce were walking out the centre with appointments scheduled for the next 6 months, dusk was just starting to draw in.

"There's a market just down the street. Shall we drop in to pick up some supplies and a couple of parenting magazines to see which subscription to go for?"

"Sure mom."

Thirty five minutes later Buffy was carrying 4 large bags of shopping out of the market, her mother had insisted on stocking up on everything that she had found listed as good for expectant mothers in one of the leaflets Dr Morrison had given them. "Don't think you've over done it do you mom?" she laughed.

"Well if the worst comes to the worst we can always invite your friend Xander over, he seems quite efficient at disposing of excess food."

"Hmmmm. Cheesy Chips and Popcorn are more his style. I don't know what he'd make of cabbage, chopped liver and spinich."

Joyce thought for a moment "Bubble and Squeak?".

Buffy laughed as she opened the back of her mothers SUV to load the shopping. Her laugh was cut short when she heard a growl and saw a dishelved vampire in full game face advancing on her mother.


To be Continued