***Part Four***

When the sun finally set, Angelus returned to the factory for a quick shower and to change into fresh clothes hoping to avoid Drusilla. Upon leaving his room he was met instantly by her. If he had to hear again about what a bad daddy he had been the past one hundred years he would stake her himself and save Buffy the trouble. The only way he had been able to tolerate her was to rekindle their physical relationship, at least then he received some pleasure while having to endure her ramblings. And until today she had always been welcome in his room, but right now the idea of touching Drusilla held no appeal to him. Even knowing that it would make Spike miserable offered Angelus little incentive to take Drusilla to bed.

"My Angel, you've returned," Drusilla said in that far off voice that told Angelus she was not entirely there at that moment.

"Yes, Dru, I live here, too, remember?"

"But you were gone all day, we were worried something bad happened to you."

"No we weren't," Spike quipped from his wheelchair. He was holding a wriggling dog in his lap, which Angelus scowled at. What in the hell was Spike doing with a dog? Drusilla's childe was petting it, though Angelus sensed it was a reflex rather than a conscious act.

"I'll be out of here in a minute."

"Oh, goodie," Dru said, clapping her hands like his human self's younger sister used to do when she was excited about something. "Where are we going tonight, Angel?"

"We're not going anywhere, Dru," he said before walking back to his room. He had a problem with his Slayer to contend with and did not need Drusilla tagging along. He ran a comb through his hair, slid his wristwatch over his hand and was ready to go. "I might not be back again until tomorrow night, don't worry about me," he said as he shrugged into his leather coat.

"Where are you going, Angel?"

"Getting some dinner," he said, hoping the answer would appease her. She whimpered and pouted as if she was about to cry to, which Angelus scowled at and looked for some help from the wheelchair bound vamp. "Spike needs you here with him, you said yourself he hasn't been eating," Angelus offered. "Take him out and help him get something to eat."

"Oh," Drusilla cried out, an excited gleam in her eye. "I'll get us a couple of school girls," she whispered reverently. "Spike always likes school girls."

"Right," Angelus said before he turned to leave the couple. It was a good thing that he had always been somewhat of a loner and prone to go off on his own at times otherwise Drusilla might be more inclined to question him further. He still had drawn no conclusions on what to do with the situation, if in fact there was a situation.

He would first demand medical proof for such a claim. Those home pregnancy tests were not one hundred percent accurate, so she would have to do better than that. Angelus had never needed one but he paid enough attention to advertisements and medical findings to know. He had to talk to her alone before he came to any conclusions about what he was going to do. So, it seemed for the time being he had to extend a truce if he was going to get any information out of her.

The first place he went was Rupert's townhouse, assuming that his Slayer had spent the night and would still be there. Rupert's car was not parked at the house so Angelus assumed that if she was there she was alone. He stopped outside the same window as the night before and saw his Slayer seated in front of a computer at her Watcher's desk, talking on the phone. He stepped to the side of the window and listened as she typed at the keyboard and talked on the phone.

"I'm fine, Wils, really. Giles is just watching out for me while Mom is out of town. I appreciate you loaning me your laptop it's saving me from the boredom that is being sick and stuck at Giles' house."

"Well, sure he has a TV, but no cable, so there's nothing to watch," she said.

"I'm not really looking up anything, just surfing the Internet like you've been telling me I need to do more of."

Angelus could almost hear Willow's side of the conversation. She was concerned for her best friend, wondering why she was at Rupert's house instead of Willow's house and why Buffy wanted her computer. So, it would seem that her friends did not know about the pregnancy. It was obvious while her Watcher was sticking with books his mate had decided to become progressive with the research.

Angelus had been curious why she was at Rupert's as well, but received his answer by listening to his Slayer's portion of the telephone conversation. Her mother was out of town and Angelus had to wonder if her mother knew of her condition. His Slayer could not have been aware of it herself for very long. Medicine had improved drastically over Angelus' two hundred forty years, but he knew that it still took some time for pregnancy to reveal itself. She would not have thought of pregnancy either given her only sexual experience had been with a vampire.

There was a long pause in the conversation and when Angelus looked into the window again to see if his Slayer was still on the telephone she was staring right at him. She did not seem all that surprised to see him either and he again wondered if she was alert to his presence now whether she had been last night and said those things for his benefit. "I have to go, Willow," she said. "I'll talk to you tomorrow." Believing she had nothing to gain by lying about such a thing, Angelus took advantage of her distraction while she hung up to enter Rupert's house. He would find out if she was lying nine months from now when she had no baby.

"I didn't come to kill you," he said evenly.

"You shouldn't be here," she whispered, her back to him.

"I thought Slayer's had healing powers."

"Apparently not for everything," she said wryly.

"That's too bad I've been in the mood for a good fight the past few nights."

"How did you find me?" she asked. She was brave to keep her back to him, especially since she did not know he came with a temporary truce in mind.

"Process of elimination," he replied simply. "Were you trying to hide from me, Lover?"

"Not from you, no," she said.

"From what then?"

"I don't want to talk to you about this."

"From the sound of it you don't want to talk to your friends about this. So who better than me?"

Buffy laughed bitterly and finally turned to face him and he was appalled by her appearance. Sure, he had seen her the night before, but Angelus had not really gotten a good look at her. She looked horrible; her hair looked as if she had not washed it in days and while she did not smell bad he knew she had not bathed recently and that she had been getting sick. There were dark patches around her eyes and her lips were dry and chapped. He found it hard to believe that she was this weak and disheveled looking merely from being pregnant.

He closed the door and strode to her when he saw her struggling toward the couch, instinctively offering her a hand which she took without hesitation. Soul or not, she was still his and he was not going to watch her die when he was unsure he wanted her dead. "What's wrong?" he asked once she was settled on Rupert's couch. He walked to the desk and looked at the computer, curious what she had been typing during her phone call with Willow but the screen was blank.

"Nothing," she mumbled.

"It's not nothing," he said, moving to stand in front of her again.

"Yeah, it's no big, just the flu. What's with you?"

"Just wondering how long I have to wait before we can meet in the field again."

"I don't know," she said not meeting his gaze. "You may have to live without your pick on Buffy fun for a while."

"Oh, Lover, come now," he said, running the back of his hand over her cheek. "I have no one else to pick on."

"Don't touch me," she said, though her words were not overly threatening given her physical condition and that her eyes fell closed at the touch. Secretly, he achieved a great deal of satisfaction knowing despite everything he had put her through the past five weeks she still craved his touch. It was him she craved, soul or not.

"Where's your mother?" he asked, dropping his hand to his side even if he was tempted to continue touching her just to be difficult.

"At my aunt's house for a while."

"You shouldn't be alone if you're this sick," he reprimanded and cursed himself for sounding concerned.

"I'm not sick," she exclaimed and Angelus could hear the frustration in her voice.

"Then explain to me your little setup in the bathroom at your house."

"You've been to my house? Listen, you're not my boyfriend anymore, remember? I don't need to explain anything to you."

"I'm calling a truce for the night." She stood from the couch with a groan and clutched her abdomen, reaching for and grabbing onto his forearm with the other hand. "What in the hell is going on, Buff?"

"I need the bathroom," she whispered and peered at him with shame in her eyes. Without question he helped her to the bathroom where she knelt in front of the toilet. "Get out," she ground out before availing herself of the toilet.

{Don't you dare leave her.}

Angelus hovered in the doorway with no idea what to do; taking care of a sick person was not familiar to him. He certainly never went to the trouble of making any of his victims comfortable. He glanced around the room feeling helpless, telling her everything was going to be all right seemed stupid given he was not the one getting sick. He grabbed a washcloth from the sink's edge, dampened it and knelt behind her. He pulled her hair away from her neck, twisting it and making a makeshift knot out of it like he had seen her do in the past to get it out of her way. He showed her the washcloth so she would see what he was doing before placing it at the nape of her neck.

"That feels so good," she said, practically moaning the words. "Cold is good," she added, flushing the toilet and then clutched the sides of it with both hands.

"Tell me what's wrong."

"I need to talk to Giles," she said, leaning into him so her back was against his chest, taking the unspoken support he was offering her just then. She was still clammy from her recent bout of sickness and Angelus had to fight the urge to offer her use of his natural coldness to make her feel better.

"Talking to Giles can wait, you can't even walk," he roared.

"Insane much?"

His gentle touch turned rough as he pulled her head back so she faced him, looking into her eyes. "I am not insane, don't ever attribute any of my behavior to insanity," he said evenly. "I just don't want anyone but me to get the chance to kill you. So whatever nasty Giles is researching can wait another day."

"No," she murmured, and for a minute Angelus thought she was going to confess all. "You don't understand."

"Fine," he spat venomously. "I'll leave you here to heave your guts out then. If your enemies could see you now, cowering over a toilet afraid of the flu."

She slapped him, surprisingly hard given her current position of submission and the fact she had just emptied her stomach contents. "Just kill me and get it over with. I know you want to; I know you're going to eventually. Just put me out of my misery, spare my friends further torment and end it."

"Come now, Buff, I told you I was not here to kill you." He narrowed his eyes and glared at her. "What do you mean get it over with? I haven't come close to killing you."

"Well, you have managed to successfully take the Slayer out of the picture for a while."

"How have I managed to do that exactly?" he queried, curious if she was going to reveal her secret to him so easily.

She lowered the toilet seat cover and placed her arm over the lid, resting her head on top of it. She took a deep, gasping breath and Angelus thought she was going to be sick again. He was unprepared for the barely audible, "I'm pregnant," when she said it.

"Who's the lucky guy?" he asked, trying to be calm.

"You know who it is."

"That guy I saw you with at the Bronze? You didn't seem close enough to be kissing let alone having sex."

"No, not Jeff."

"Jeff," he growled.

"That's his name, and you know it's yours."

"It's impossible," he said, not wanting to give in too easily.

"Apparently not," she said, glancing at him.

"Buff, I hate to tell you this, but vampires can't have children."

"Yeah, well, Giles has been bugging me to talk to you about that." She moved to stand and Angelus stood, allowing her room. She rinsed out her mouth, washed her hands and wiped her face with the cloth he had placed at the back of her neck before continuing. "He wants to know if there are any instances of it happening in the past."

"Tell him to check his Watcher's journals," he said, following her into the living room.

"No," she demanded and spun around to face him. She winced and took a deep breath, swallowing as if trying to force herself not to get sick again; apparently the movement was too sudden. He knew pregnancy caused problems, but this bad? "I don't want the Council involved. And besides, a Watcher is not going to have information on every vampire, only those who have encountered their Slayer or had reputations making it worth writing about them."

"And why would I help you?"

She situated herself on Rupert's couch and took a sip of water from a water bottle, staring at him for a moment before she answered him. "Because I know Angel's in there no matter what you say and he'd never turn his back on his child. I don't know if he'd turn his back on me."

"I'm here with you now, aren't I?"

Her eyes narrowed at that. "Why are you here?" she asked. Her voice was barely a whisper but it betrayed the hope she was feeling with that question.

"I haven't seen you patrolling for days now, I thought you were avoiding me," he said, hoping the partial lie sounded convincing.

"Now you know," she said softly, her hazel eyes full of question.

"Have you seen a doctor yet?"

"I don't even know if I'm going to have it, Angel."

"It's Angelus, and I'm not sure how exactly to take that. You believe I would not turn my back on my child yet you would kill that same child?"

"It wouldn't be your child."

"What?" he asked, confused by the statement.

"Angel made it, not you."

"We're the same man, Lover, I hate to break that to you, but he is me, I am him, we're the same person just with and without a soul."

"I don't believe that."

"I know you don't, it's easier for you to think of us as two separate beings possessing the same body but we're not. I remember everything he does, I experienced everything he did." She blushed at that and he smirked. "Yes, Lover, even that night, you should be glad I do."

She scoffed. "Right, why is that exactly?"

"Without having been there I would never believe this and I'm afraid you'd have no way of making me believe it. I don't think medical science is advanced enough yet to deal with this particular situation."

"Giles says I'm in no position to have a baby and he's right. I'm seventeen years old, still in high school. Not to mention I'm the Slayer."

"So you've decided then."

"I haven't decided anything and Giles says I couldn't yet anyway, I'm not far enough along. I don't know," she said

"You need my research, Lover, and I need asylum."

"From what exactly?"

"Your group of friends and their weapons."

"Feed away from the places you know they're likely to find you," she said and shook her head. "I can't believe I'm agreeing to this. Can't you just not feed?" He scoffed at that, believing no response to her question was necessary. "So I'm the one caving in and all you're doing is picking up a telephone to call someone."

"Hardly that easy, Lover. With The Master and Darla gone it's going to take a bit of legwork to get information. It's been a while since anyone respectable was in charge so many vampires have gone elsewhere to find someone to follow. I can't ask Dru or Spike, they'll want to know why and I refuse to tell them about this."

"Why help me then if you're ashamed?"

He growled low at the realization she thought he was ashamed, but did not correct her. She was not dumb and sooner or later she would realize he could not tell Dru or Spike for the safety and sake of her and the child not out of shame. "It's mine," he said simply. He would love to read her Watcher's journal if she decided to have the child and allow him to tell the Council about the baby's existence. He and Soul Boy would be on record forever for something momentous.

"I honestly don't know what to do, Angel-us," she said adding the last part as an afterthought. "Why do you care if I have it or not? I mean, really, what are you going to do, be a father?"

"You could die," he said simply.

"And you want me dead, so problem solved and you wouldn't even have to get my blood on your hands."

"I want your blood on my hands, and if you die of something besides old age it will be because I decide it's your time."

"You really know how to sweet talk a girl. Like I'm going to have it just to make it an orphan when you decide you've tired of our co-existence. Or would you kill it, too?"


"How can I believe you, Angel?"


"Whatever. How can I believe you? You killed your family."

"That was different and a long time ago."

"Uh huh."

He really did not feel like talking about what he had done to his family over two hundred forty years ago and why there was a difference to him between that family and his Slayer and their child. She was not going to listen to him more than likely anyway, so there was no point in arguing with her about it. She would forever fear that he would one day turn on her and the child. It was a rare gift to have the chance at such prolonged power over someone. "When does your mom get back?"


"So you'll be back at home then?"

"Probably, I don't know. I haven't told her yet, I'm not sure how to tell her. Why?"

"I can't very well visit you here."

"And I'd want the cold blooded killer demon wearing my boyfriend's face to visit me because?"

"I have to get information to you somehow, Buff, and I'm not going to relay it through your Watcher."

"I'll probably go home. Giles has given up his bed for me the past few nights, but I think his hospitality is starting to wear thin, particularly when I spend most of the night on the bathroom or bedroom floor instead of the bed anyway."

"Be careful," he said simply and stood realizing it was time to go. He had stayed far longer than he had intended and was beginning to get sappy and sound like Soul Boy.

"Always," she said softly. "You'll forgive me if I don't walk you to the door."

"Of course, Lover."

"I wish you'd stop calling me that."

He smirked slightly and walked to the door. "We have a deal, right? Information for asylum."

"Giles will probably kill me, but I would rather come up against him than you right now, so I guess we have a deal. He said I need to try and get information from you. Just try not to leave a path of dead bodies in your wake, or I will have to break my word."

"I'll do my best, Lover, I don't want word to get out that the Slayer is out of commission anyway. I don't want anyone else coming to town to challenge me when I'm just getting established."

"No, we wouldn't want competition."

"Do you want more demons setting up shop in town when you can't take care of them? I know your friends are helping, Lover, but they're not the Slayer and they're, in general, ineffective."

"I know," she sighed. "Just go, Angel, find out what you can. The sooner the better, for everyone's sake."

Angelus watched as she got up from the couch and walked to the desk, sitting at the computer. He doubted she was going to find much on the Internet about vampires creating life in the true, procreational sense. As much fun as it might be to know she could be dead and out of his hair if he just let this pregnancy take its course, Angelus was curious to find out for himself if this had happened before. And to find out if it had happened just what the result had been. If his curiosity had not been piqued he would have left her to her own devices and not volunteered to help, but it would give him something to do during the day when he could not hunt or feed.

With nothing more to say, Angelus left Rupert's home, closing the door behind him and left his Slayer to research her problem on her own. Pathetically, if she had been at home, alone with no one to sit with her he probably would have stayed with her. She was trying so hard to put on a front and be brave, but Angelus could see the terror in her eyes in the bathroom when she knelt in front of the toilet.

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