"What did you do to her?" his Slayer's Watcher asked when he arrived at the hospital. Angelus was aware of his presence long before Rupert had even found Angelus, but he had not sought the Watcher out.
"I didn't do anything to her, not intentionally anyway," Angelus said with a low growl. He would not hesitate to take Rupert out if he dared try to stop him from being here.
"What do you mean not intentionally?" Rupert asked.
"I guess I was too rough with her."
"What did you do to her?" her Watcher asked for a second time.
Angelus leaned in close to her Watcher. "I fucked her, Rupert, against a wall right outside The Bronze. I fed off of her, too, but nowhere you'll ever be lucky enough to see. I guess I got carried away with her blood pumping into me as I pumped into her."
"And here I thought you would act responsibly, or at least like an adult, about this."
"Last I checked it's not a crime for me to have sex with my mate, Rupert."
"She says you care about this baby, why would you risk the baby's health, her health for sex? Are you mad?"
Angelus grabbed a hold of Rupert's shirtfront and drew him toward him, only the tips of his shoes remained on the floor and Angelus showed no signs of exertion from the movement. "I am not mad," he said through gritted teeth and released the Watcher quickly.
"Has her mother been called?"
"She's out of town. I don't know where she is, and Buff has not woken up yet to tell me where she is."
"You're going to call her mother? I think you've done enough."
"I'm not leaving her, Rupert," Angelus practically roared. His temper was held intact by a mere thread, one more protest out of her Watcher and that thread would snap.
"Is she okay?" his Slayer's Watcher asked, apparently sensing that there was no room for discussion as far as Angelus leaving his Slayer's side. He did not particularly care right now just how housebroken or pussy whipped he looked, he was not leaving until he knew she and the baby were all right.
"I don't know. The doctor is with her now. I called an emergency number for that doctor in LA she went to, but I don't know how soon he will get here."
"If he'll even come, that is a long drive."
Angelus glared at Rupert. The man dared question Angelus' resourcefulness when he deemed it necessary? "He will come, Rupert. Money has a way of convincing people to do what they normally might not."
"Just what are you hoping to get out of all of this? Are you trying to drive her insane?"
"No," he demanded.
"Then either cut her loose or let go of this rage you have and be with her. But you can't keep doing this to her, you will drive her insane if you do."
Angelus thought on that briefly, he did not want her insane. He had come to that conclusion even before he knew she was pregnant with his child. He had waited a while to call Rupert after he had gotten her to the hospital, afraid that Rupert would come accompanied by the police and he would be forced to leave. Not that a couple of police officers alone could have stopped him, but he was not going to cause a scene at the hospital and be denied access to her while she was here.
He had thought, too, on Buffy's earlier offer. The fact that she would make him such an offer was amazing to him. She loved him that much that she was willing to become his sole food source. Just what Soul Boy had done to endear her to him so deeply was beyond Angelus. With their blood pumping through one another their bond as mate would be even stronger. He was interested in knowing the actual effects of it, as what he had with Darla, Dru and Spike or any other childe was nowhere near as strong as what he had with his Slayer even without the blood exchange.
"Where are you going?"
"To see her, she's in pain," he said walking toward her room after he heard her moan of protest.
"How do you know that?"
"Because I heard her," he growled. "Now get out of my way, Rupert," he said before pushing open the door to her private room. Angelus glared at the doctor, the proverbial thread closer to breaking if the doctor had harmed his Slayer or his baby in any way.
"I'll be out in a minute to talk with you," the doctor said as he wrote something on the chart. The nurse was injecting something into his Slayer's IV. Satisfied his mate was not being harmed, he closed the door with a simple nod of his head in the doctor's direction to acknowledge he had heard him.
"She doesn't have the insurance to pay for her own room," Rupert said once Angelus had closed the door.
"I'm paying the difference."
"What's your game, Angelus?"
"No game, Rupert, just taking care of what is mine."
"She's not yours, she's not an item you own."
"But she's mine nonetheless, Rupert. You know it; you've known it all along. I remember the conversations you and Soul Boy had."
"So do I, and Angel was a man who would have walked to hell and back to avoid hurting Buffy."
"Yes, he was," Angelus could not help but agree. "I'm not that man, Rupert. Once she has the baby I'm leaving town," Angelus said simply. He felt Rupert's eyes on him but Angelus' mind was focused on his Slayer lying in the hospital bed in the other room, looking pale and weak. He had heard four heartbeats when he had entered the room, so he knew that the baby was all right. Two of the heartbeats had been weak, so he imagined neither his Slayer nor his babe were out of the woods just yet. "Spike and Drusilla will be out of the way, too. It will be my version of walking to hell, just not back from it. It's the best I can do."
"And what of the baby, Angelus? You can just leave and never see her and the baby again?"
"I have to."
"You have to? A soul does not make someone follow the rules, Angelus, the man does. There are people with souls who do things that make the things I've read about you having done look like child's play. It will sit with you, Angelus, knowing Buffy, your mate as you call her, is out there slaying once the baby comes? You will enjoy knowing that your child who will not only be a bastard could be orphaned at the hands of one of your minions?"
"If I didn't know better, Rupert, I would think you were telling me to stay. And my child will not be a bastard."
"I don't want you to stay, but I know it would crush Buffy if you were gone for good. And soul or not, you don't seem to be able to stay away from her," he said.
"I can stay away from her. I was doing just fine until I found out she was pregnant."
"Why should her being pregnant have any bearing on you staying away if your feelings are different than Angel's?"
"Because it, like she, is mine, Rupert. It's as simple as that. I won't leave until I know she and the baby are all right. At least I know you will push her to complete her schooling, so I don't need to worry about her and the baby being a welfare case living on the street."
"So, it's yours, she's yours but you're going to leave her on her own? You're going to leave knowing she's the Slayer and can't support herself with a decent job after she's had the baby? That's the time she's going to need you most, Angelus."
"And what do you expect me to do? Have her move in with me so that I can watch the baby while she's at work during the day? Should I go out and slay for her, kill my own kind again? Do I get to watch the baby grow old and die while I look the same as I did the day the baby was born? Or better yet maybe I can watch my mate die her body riddled with cancer or some disease that I could put a halt to but that she would not even under those circumstances let me turn her? Please tell me, Rupert, exactly how my presence here in Sunnydale is going to help her and the baby one little bit?"
Rupert appeared shocked at Angelus' statement, and quite honestly Angelus was as well. He was not so much shocked at what he had said, just that he had said it aloud.
"Is that the reason you're doing the things you're doing? That you're turning your back on the woman you love and the cause that you enlisted to assist her with?"
"No," Angelus said with a scowl.
"Because if it is, it's a little late to take the high road, Angelus. If you were the twenty-six year old young man you were before Darla turned you you would be expected to do the honourable, responsible thing."
"There was a reason Darla chose me, Watcher, and I'm sure the Watcher's journals you've consulted have told you what they were. I was no good as a human. The only thing I've ever been good at is being Angelus."
"That's not true, Angelus, and you know it. You helped us, you helped Buffy, you protected her, you loved her. You were good at all of those things."
"Not good enough."
"Oh no? And you think Buffy would still be alive pregnant with your child if it weren't for you?"
"Of course she would be. Well, not pregnant with my child, no, but she would still be here."
"Who would have led Xander to The Master's lair last year?"
Angelus paused at that, honestly Rupert had a very valid point. "You would have found her," he said.
"Yes, but in enough time to save her? Xander had been in the tunnels once before to try and save Jesse, but he would not have had the knowledge of those tunnels you did."
"I don't know, Rupert, but whether she would be alive or not today has nothing to do with the fact that she will die and I will not, unless she stakes me."
One of Rupert's eyebrows shot up at that statement, taking it, Angelus presumed just as he had meant it - that unless it was Buffy causing his unlife to end Angelus planned on being around for a good long while. The doctor chose that moment to come out of Buffy's room, not that Angelus minded. He had no idea what it was about Rupert Giles, but both he and Soul Boy found it easy to talk to the stuffy Englishman who looked over his mate when he was unable to do so.
"How is she, Doctor?" Rupert asked.
"Are you her father?"
"Er, no," Rupert said.
"He's mine," Angelus offered, knowing the doctor would more than likely be unwilling to give Rupert any information if he was not a family member to someone. Angelus would have to rely on Rupert to sit with her during the day or when he had to feed.
"You don't have an accent."
"I was born here, what can I say?" Angelus said cockily.
The doctor looked at the two men for a moment and seemed to concede, whether or not he believed them it did not matter to Angelus so long as they got the information on his Slayer. "Very well. She'll be all right. I gave her a light sedative so that she can rest."
"A sedative? Is that safe?" Rupert asked.
"It's mild and it's better for her right now to be resting. The bleeding has stopped and the baby is all right. I will check again in a short while to ensure there are no contractions. There weren't any and I would have expected them to start by now if she were losing it. Whatever happened to her, it weakened both mother and child." He cleared his throat then. "Might I have a word with you privately?" he asked Angelus.
"Can I see her?" Rupert asked.
"Yes, she's sleeping, so she won't respond to you, but you can see her," the doctor replied.
"Thank you," Rupert said and entered her room, leaving Angelus alone with the doctor.
"I'm sure you're aware that she's young and rather slight of build."
"Yes," Angelus replied cautiously.
"I'm going to recommend for the time being that you abstain."
"Abstain?" Angelus repeated.
"I assume that's what caused this. There was semen present. Her body is going through a plethora of changes to accommodate the baby, so I would recommend abstaining for the time being until her regular obstetrician says it's safe."
"Sure," Angelus said. Abstain? Until last week that had not seemed much of a problem, but that morning in her bedroom had changed things. Sure, he had bedded Dru more than a few times between that morning and this evening, but Dru just left him feeling unsatisfied and very cold. Even colder than he felt before they started. His Slayer never made him feel like that, even before they had sex the night of her birthday her kisses heated his body to the point that he would not have been surprised to feel his heart begin beating again. "No problem," he said simply.
"On top of that, I would recommend complete bedrest for at least the next day or two. You mentioned her mother is out of town, is her father at home?"
"No, they're divorced. He's in Los Angeles I think," Angelus said.
"Well, perhaps you can stay with her then and ensure she remains in bed and does nothing to exert herself. The bleeding has stopped, but that does not mean it could not start again. The baby would not survive," he said.
"I understand," he said gruffly, cutting the doctor off from saying anything further about the baby not surviving. He got the picture quite clearly. If his Slayer did anything she could lose the baby. He would not let that happen. "I'll take care of it," he said. "Her," he corrected when the doctor bestowed him with an odd expression.
Angelus entered the room and found Rupert staring out the window. He could hear that both his Slayer's and his baby's heartbeats were a little stronger than before. "They're getting stronger," he said and Rupert turned to look at him. "Their heart rates, they're getting stronger."
"You can hear them?"
"Yes, both of them," Angelus said simply as he walked to his Slayer's side. "Can you stay with her for a while?"
"I have some things to take care of, yes. Her doctor won't be here for another hour at least, assuming he left promptly."
"And that he'll come."
"If he doesn't I will make him come, don't doubt that. If she comes to before I return tell her to let me know she's awake and I'll come back when I can."
"And how will she do that?"
"She'll know how, Rupert." Rupert looked at him with doubt. "Just trust me, Rupert, she'll know how. It's too bad every human can't experience what she and I have, so many marriages that should never happen would be avoided if people just knew the other person was not their true mate."
"Need I remind you that you've found yours after two hundred forty years or so and are willing to leave her?"
"You need not remind me of anything, Rupert. I'm fully aware of what I'm giving up. Maybe you can talk to her, convince her to let me turn her after she's had the child and I won't have to leave her." He laughed at the look of horror that crossed his Slayer's Watcher's face. "Yes, well, now that we're on the same page, Rupert, I'll be back."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com