***Part Eleven***

Rupert was asleep in a chair by his Slayer's bed when Angelus returned. His project had taken longer than he had anticipated, but he would still be able to get her out of here and settled before sunrise. Angelus received a sense of comfort upon entering the room and hearing two much stronger heartbeats coming from his mate and the baby.

"Go home, Rupert," Angelus said, startling his mate's Watcher out of his slumber.

"You're back. She has not woken up."

Not that you would know, Angelus wanted to say but instead settled for the question that he needed to ask to continue with his charade. "Has her doctor arrived yet?"

"No," Rupert said, removing his glasses. "I was admittedly looking forward to meeting him. How did you find him again?"

"I did not go through any traceable channels if that concerns you. No one will put my queries together with the Slayer or anything else." Rupert seemed relieved at this.

"I do hope you will exercise some restraint from now on. You speak of wanting her to finish her schooling, but now you've put her right back into being unable to attend after a nearly five week hiatus."

"You talk as if I knew this would happen, Rupert. Things have changed since my day, people continue to have sex with one another well into a pregnancy."

"Yes, but those people are not slayers, Angelus." Rupert's voice was a whisper, but it conveyed his worry quite clearly. "And most certainly not a Slayer having a vampire's baby. If you want to keep both of them safe and you want to keep her condition under the Council's radar screen you'd best think of her as being off limits from now on. You're going to leave anyway, so cut the physical ties now."

"I'll take it under advisement, Rupert," he said with a low growl. He did not bother to inform Rupert that the on-call doctor had already advised Angelus to abstain. "When can she get out of here?"

"The doctor said he would come by in the morning after she has eaten breakfast and that if their vitals are still strong she could leave then. I will come for her given your aversion to sunlight."

"She can't be alone," Angelus said, playing along with Rupert. Her Watcher would be in for a rude awakening come morning to find his Slayer gone, but Angelus was not going to chance anything when it came to this baby or his mate. He would tend to her himself until she gave birth if he had to. Hopefully, within a few days she would be fine again and he would not have to remain with her all of the time for the next seven months.

"She can stay with me."

"You can go then, I'll stay with her for the rest of the night. You'll need to be in the frame of mind to tend to her," Angelus added at Rupert's questioning glance.

"You expect me to leave you alone with her?"

"I could have left her bleeding in the alley near The Bronze, so all of the vamps and demons in the area could smell her blood and swarm on her like a starving dog to raw meat. Just remember that when you think you can keep me from her or that I don't deserve to be alone with her."

"The thing is that you don't deserve to be alone with her, Angelus, because you don't deserve her. Angel might perhaps, but you do not. You don't give a damn about her or the baby beyond the fact you've done something that as far as I can tell no other vampire has ever done."

"Don't preach to me about what I do and don't give a damn about Rupert. Get out, now, before she wakes up to find herself in need of a new Watcher."

"Are you threatening me?"

"Take it as you wish, Rupert, I don't have to sit and listen to your psychobabble any longer, pretending you know a thing about me. I'm going to sit with her because it's me she wants not you. So leave my mate and me alone and you won't find out if it was a threat."

"You'd do well to remember that it is for her and only for her that I have not staked you myself."

"Like you could, Rupert," Angelus said with a sardonic laugh.

"Angelus," said his mate from her bed. He had been so focused on her Watcher that he had not sensed she was coming to.

"She doesn't even call out for him any longer, Rupert, that should tell you something," he said before taking a seat beside his Slayer's bed. Rupert refused to be dismissed so easily it seemed, but Angelus chose to ignore the Englishman.

{Say something to her, you idiot, she called for us, let her know we're here.}

"I'm here, Lover," he said, the taunting term of endearment he had been using for the past few weeks slipping out automatically.

"Where am I?" she asked sleepily, the sedative apparently still in effect.

"The hospital."

"The baby?"

"It's fine, for now, but you need to rest. Go back to sleep," he said.

"Did I hear Giles?"

Angelus glanced in the direction of the door and met her Watcher's gaze, holding it for a moment. "Yes, he was here with you while I tended to some things."

"Oh," she said softly, struggling to keep her eyes open through the drug induced haze he imagined she was experiencing. "I'm glad you're here," she said softly.

Acting on instinct, Angelus reached for his mate's hand, placing his larger one over hers. "Of course I am," he said as Rupert left the room with a barely audible sigh.

"I was so scared," she whispered.

"Shh, Buff, don't worry about it, you'll endanger the babe. Just go back to sleep."

"Why are you being so good to me?"

He became aware of their joined hands as she laced her fingers through his and pulled away at her question. "I don't know," he said softly.


He closed his eyes and shook his head, trying to rid his mind of Soul Boy's invasion. He could not stay in Sunnydale like his soulful alter ego wanted to do and help the Slayer raise their baby. It was completely out of the question unless he wanted the Watcher's journals of the future to read like some twisted fairy tale.

"Because you seem to need me here," he added as a compromise to what Soul Boy wanted him to say and what his Slayer wanted to hear.

"You'll be gone when I wake up again," she said, her voice rising with the hint of a question.

"Probably," he replied in case her Watcher returned.

"But you'll come check on me?"

"Probably," he said. She knew he would and he knew he would, but it was better to leave it like this.

"'kay," she said, her sedative laced eyes meeting his briefly before she drifted back into what Angelus imagined was more of a state of unconsciousness than slumber.

He waited until he was sure that the nurse was not going to come in again anytime soon before he went about dressing her. The IV gave him a moment's hesitation, but he was not about to let a little needle disrupt his plan. Her doctor had instructed him on removing the needle over the phone when Angelus had called the doctor to inform him of the locale change of his patient. He had brought back a pair of sweatpants and a tank top for her to wear since the dress she had been wearing earlier had blood stains on it. The stains were not that bad, certainly the dress was not ruined, but Angelus thought it probably best the scent of her blood not be prevalent on her clothes. Once she was dressed Angelus left her room and went down the hall to another patient's room.

He had waited until it seemed there was a minimal nursing crew on the floor before putting his plan into action. Would Buff be upset if she knew what he was about to do? Of course she would, he grimaced as he yanked the cord that led to the machine pumping life into the old, sickly woman out of the wall socket. He had chosen this victim carefully, someone who if the medical staff was unable to resuscitate was probably better off being dead. Angel was not even sure what the woman was in the hospital for, but he had smelled death and those who were near death enough to know that this woman was close.

He hurried to his mate's room as, just as he expected, the sparse staff on the floor rushed to the room of the coding woman. He did not have much time, the plug having been removed from the socket would be discovered sooner rather than later, and so he gathered his sleeping Slayer into his arms and fled the hospital. The doctor had assured Angelus that he would be where he had been instructed to be by the time Angelus got Buffy there from the hospital.

Doctor Gagne had not been overly pleased that Angelus was removing his patient from the hospital, but Angelus had assured him Buffy's health depended on her being out of that hospital as quickly as possible. Angelus had not bothered to figure out where Buffy's fear of hospitals came from, but he knew it existed and knew that if stress to the baby was to be avoided this was what he had to do.

{And abducting her from the hospital in the middle of the night was smart?}

"Okay," he acquiesced to Soul Boy. "Perhaps kidnapping her is not the wisest course of action either, but did you see what she did tonight?"

{Go looking for you, you mean?}

"Yes, in a darkened alley, dressed like a slut with no weapons."

{She always has been careless at times where I'm concerned.}

"But I'm not you," he roared. He heard his mate giggle from the back seat and growled, wondering what in the hell she was laughing at. "And being careless could kill the child."

{You're going a bit overboard, don't you think? How many times has she walked through that alley to get to The Bronze?}

"It doesn't matter, she went without a weapon."

{Because you took her like a rutting bull and didn't bother to visit her for a week afterward.}

"What did she expect? A dozen roses to be delivered to her the next day?"

"That would have been nice," his mate whispered from the back seat.

"I was not talking to you," he growled and she giggled again. She actually had the audacity to giggle. At him! "If you weren't pregnant with my child I'd show you what I do to people who laugh at me."

"But I am pregnant with your child," she said, her voice getting stronger. "Where are we going?"

"To see your doctor," he said simply.

{You're leaving out the part about abducting her from the hospital without telling Giles or her friends where she is.}

"I can hear him, Angel. Communicating with you? He's not really talking, is he?"

"No," he growled, curious to know how it was she could hear Soul Boy. "You hear him?" he asked, glancing at her over his shoulder.

"You took me out of the hospital?" she asked in response, which gave him his answer.

"I didn't want you there."

"Where are you taking me?"

"Someplace safe."

"Safe? With you?"

He growled again, game face dropping into place. "You're safe with me. For now. Those doctors and nurses don't know a thing about you, about vampires, about Slayers, about babies that have one non-human parent." He watched as she struggled to sit up. "Stay down, you insolent fool. Do you want to start bleeding again and lose the baby?"

"I just wanted to look at you and see your face when I told you that I trust you," she said softly and Angelus felt like the biggest asshole in the world just then. First for yelling at her and then for allowing her words, her declaration of trust to touch him in a way he despised.

He heard a low laugh in his head and knew that Soul Boy was laughing at him and glanced in the rearview mirror to see if his Slayer heard it, too. Her eyes were closed once again, her body was still, and Angelus guessed that she had succumbed once again to the sedative's effects.

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