Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23

End March 1998

He entered the apartment and knew instantly she had been there. He came here to store things he wanted to keep hidden from Dru and Roller Boy. There was no telling what type of trouble Spike got into when Angelus was out nights feeding. Angelus knew better than to trust either one of them and if they found evidence that he had been within striking distance of his Slayer more than once he would never hear the end of it. Spike was already getting vocal about Angelus allowing his Slayer to still walk around Sunnydale.

{Because you love her like I do.}

"You'd like to believe that," he hissed in response to Soul Boy's interruption. Just as he had lurked inside Soul Boy all along, Angelus now had to deal with Soul Boy and his sappy thoughts. It had taken Soul Boy decades, and a beautiful blonde Slayer, to successfully push Angelus down deep enough to where Angelus knew he was talking only to himself most of the time. Hopefully, it would not take Angelus that long to quell the tiresome Soul Boy.

He walked to the bed that they had shared over a month ago, a relatively short time to him. Granted, it probably felt like an eternity to his Slayer, but to Angelus it was just a drop in the bucket. Particularly after one hundred years of being caged in and tempered by Soul Boy. Angelus ran his hand along the still warm bedding that reeked of her, which meant that she had not left too long ago. "Well, hello, Lover," he purred, his lips curling into a predatory smirk.

{Face it, you knew she had been here, that's why you came, not to hide some drawings.}

"Fuck off," he hissed and pulled the piece of ivory parchment from his pocket defiantly. He slid the framed picture from the wall and worked the combination for the safe located in the wall behind it, placing the drawing in it with the other things he wanted to keep hidden from Drusilla.

He pulled one of the drawings from the safe, his favorite piece thus far. It was a fictional rendering, of course, Soul Boy had only been with his Slayer the once, so there had been no time for fun and games. It had not been difficult for Angelus to envision what his Slayer would look like dressed in a corset, a pair of stockings attached to a garter and high heels. The drawing was in pencil so there was no color, but there did not need to be. His Slayer would be dressed completely in black, the corset leather, of course, and the laces would be tied as securely as Angelus could tie them without rendering her unconscious. Her arms were stretched out to either side, leather cuffs around each wrist attached to chains. What the chains were attached to was not in the picture, but Angelus could picture the ceiling above his bed clearly. Her eyes were what Angelus found most impressive about the piece because they sparkled with mischief and pleasure. Angelus had not drawn fear or hatred or loathing in his Slayer's eyes for some reason.

"The cuffs would be padded with velvet," he said almost reverently, tracing the penciled outline of his lover. His hand dropped to the front of his black leather pants and he groaned as he touched his hardening cock. He balked at the idea of protecting, pampering, or offering her comfort. "Velvet lining for the cuffs, indeed. Get out of my head, Soul Boy."

{You know she deserves the velvet.}

"No," he howled again. Angelus was fully aware of what his Slayer deserved. Leather and the cool links of a metal chain against bare skin. Of course, he noticed Soul Boy did not protest about the leather or chains, merely that her wrists be protected from chaffing. "She was good, wasn't she," he murmured.

{Not that you told her so.}

"Because the bitch doesn't need to know," he roared, pushing Soul Boy further down. Of course, his secret would likely be revealed once she found out that Soul Boy had achieved his one moment of true happiness in one hundred years with her. It was not the act of making love to her that Soul Boy had been truly happy about, but the trust she had placed in him. In Soul Boy. She had let him bite her, had given Soul Boy complete control, and had let Soul Boy be dominant, which was really Angelus' game not Soul Boy's but it was still a matter of trust. Soul Boy for one hundred years had been afraid of letting loose and instead had become the pansy that Spike so appropriately called ‘The Big Poof'.

He placed the drawing back in the safe, slamming it shut and spinning the dial to lock it before putting the framed picture back on the wall. Angelus did not find it unsettling that Buffy had free reign to this apartment or that he trusted her over his childe and her childe. He had found no evidence of her rifling through his things. She slept on the bed, used the shower, but otherwise left the apartment alone.

He had howled in horror the first time he discovered she had been there and obviously had plans on returning. He had found a bottle of shampoo in the shower and a few sets of clothes in the nightstand by the bed, all of which belonged to her. He had laughed sardonically at the idea of her missing Soul Boy so much that she sought solace here. Of all places they had spent time together she had chosen this place, the place where together they had released Angelus. Maybe she was a glutton for punishment, maybe she enjoyed the painful memories of the hurtful words Angelus had bestowed upon her. Angelus really did not care, but he had for some unexplained reason left her things where he found them. Everyone deserved solitude once in a while. So long as she did not come here when Angelus required the same thing he would not challenge her.

He turned to leave and paused at the door, his hand resting on the knob. Without thinking Angelus shed his leather duster followed by the crimson silk shirt he wore leaving him in just his V-neck white cotton T-shirt. He shrugged back into his duster before placing the shirt over the pillows on the bed, one still bore the indention from her head and he left the apartment.

It was not until he was in the cemetery about an hour later watching her that Angelus realized what he had done by leaving the shirt behind. He was not normally so careless and now his Slayer would know he had been to the apartment. Would she suspect he had been there more than once? "Damn you," he muttered to all three of them knowing only himself and Soul Boy could hear. His lover was too far away and otherwise occupied to notice, let alone hear, him.

He recognized the vamp she was currently in battle with as being one of his minions and grew furious. What in the hell was he doing fighting her? He had made it very clear that no one was to touch her.

{Apparently, they're not as loyal as you think.}

"Shut up," he hissed, game face falling into place. He clenched his fists tightly in anger at both Soul Boy and the minion that dared defy him. If his Slayer did not dust the insolent fool, Angelus would make sure the torture lasted for days before he actually dusted him. She was his to do with as he pleased.

Unfortunately, he was not sure yet what would please him. Turning her into Drusilla would be nowhere near as satisfying as it had with Drusilla. He had yet to decide just what he wanted for his Slayer, but to drive her mad was definitely not it.

Angelus watched from a distance, sensing when his Slayer picked up on his presence during her fight against the pathetic excuse for a minion. Apparently, the connection they shared had nothing to do with the soul, because Angelus was always aware when his Slayer was nearby, too.

His eyes drifted from the minion to his Slayer, finding the view of her far more appealing. She was dressed in an outfit he remembered well from the night Soul Boy had told her about driving Drusilla insane before turning her on the day she took her holy orders. The cream knit like top with off the shoulder sleeves and a pair of spaghetti straps made it difficult for Angelus to choose between focusing on her jugular or the expanse of skin the top left open for perusal.

She looked glorious as she fought, as the warrior for the side of good should. Her white top and blonde hair emphasized her goodness and was a direct contrast to the creature of the night he was dressed in black leather pants and a black leather duster with his hair dark. Despite knowing Angelus was nearby, she did not waiver aside from the brief pause he had noticed moments ago. He doubted the minion was aware of it it had been so quick, so subtle, but Angelus knew her well and he knew. He could understand how Soul Boy had fallen under her spell, but all Angelus could think of was how wonderful and warm her blood would taste flooding down his throat in a rush.

He walked toward her when the minion had been dispensed with, clapping his hands unnecessarily to announce his presence. "Well done, Lover."

"One of yours?"

"Ashamedly," he said sardonically, glancing at the spot where the minion had been staked. The dust had already scattered across the cemetery lawn into the night.

She crossed her arms over her chest, stake clutched in her right hand. "So what brings you by?" she asked, her voice sounding too tired for Angelus' liking. He took a deep intake of breath, taking in her scent. He sensed no fear in her, which was more than a little insulting. He smelled exhaustion and something else that he could not put his finger on. Something was off with his Slayer, and with that realization he knew tonight was not the night to make any decisions on what he would do with her. When he decided he wanted her in peak shape or the outcome would be less than satisfying.

"Just out for a stroll," he said lazily, brushing something non-existent off his leather duster's sleeve.

"You've fed," she said simply and he was a little surprised she looked that closely at him.

"And you took longer to dispense of my minion than you should have. A down night, Lover?" She shrugged and Angelus felt Soul Boy trying to claw his way to the top when she glanced at her shoes. He gave into part of Soul Boy's desire to find out what was wrong and pressed on - without the physical embrace Soul Boy wanted to give her. "Not feeling well then? You are looking a little haggard."

She scoffed as her head shot up to glare at him, fury in her hazel eyes. "As if I have no reason to feel and look haggard it's not like my boyfriend's gone off on a killing spree."

"Still consider me your boyfriend, Lover? How quaint," he said, his gaze falling to her left hand devoid of the ring Soul Boy had given her the night of her birthday over a month ago. He growled violently, surprised to find that he was upset about that not Soul Boy. "I should be touched, but it really makes me rather nauseous," he said bitingly.

She took a step back and he laughed. "I didn't come here to fight, Lover. Not tonight. I was, honestly, just out for a stroll and thought I'd come say hello. I would have offered you a hand, but," he shrugged, human disguise dropping back into place gracing her with one of Soul Boy's best innocent, tortured boy looks, "I really don't feel like killing my own kind anymore."

"No, you're too busy killing humans and making more work for me."

"You sound bitter, Lover. I would think the Slayer would like knowing she'll never be out of a job."

"Never is a long time. Even your kind should know never isn't permanent, Lover," she said, the effort at a comeback was weak and Angelus knew it. The spark in her eyes was nowhere near as bright as it normally was and he was still puzzled by the off feeling he got from her.

"As charming as this conversation is, I have places to be," he said with a deep, forced sigh.

"Yeah, like the sun coming up. I wish I could say I'm sorry to see you go," she said, but again the comeback was said weakly. Part of the reason he had no desire to kill her just yet was that he enjoyed their little bantering sessions. He found them invigorating. True, he enjoyed taunting her, particularly on nights like tonight when he had recently fed. She had to be wondering where his food source had been discarded.

"Until we meet again, Lover," he said. He pulled her to him quickly and kissed her severely before releasing her just as fast. "I'd wish you pleasant dreams, but then I wouldn't be in them," he said tauntingly before he departed into the darkness, very aware the sun was dreadfully close to rising.

Return to Top

***Part 2***

"So, she loves Soul Boy so much she's on a date with someone else five weeks later," Angelus said with a low growl when he spotted his Slayer at the Bronze. He had discarded the barely pubescent boy that had served as his meal in the darkened alleyway with little thought after seeing his Slayer with another. Did she not understand she was his? Had Soul Boy picked a whore, too? There would be a bittersweet irony there if he had, particularly since Soul Boy had killed Darla for his Slayer.

He lurked under the stairs, remaining in the shadows while Buffy and her companions settled at a table near the dance floor. The three boys went up to the bar and Angelus scowled as they talked and smiled while waiting to place their orders. So Buffy's little club liked her date, which was more than they ever did where Soul Boy was concerned. Willow had liked him, but she had never lost that tenseness around him as if she was never altogether certain he would not bite her. He was tempted to go talk to him, the date, and warn him away from his Slayer. Willow's wolf boyfriend probably would take a visit from Angelus in stride, but Xander would not. And Angelus was in no mood to cause a scene tonight. He was here to watch, curious as to just how far his Slayer would go on this date.

He turned his attentions to the table the group had chosen and the three girls sitting at it. The bitch and Willow were talking animatedly, but Buffy did not look all that excited about being there. She had a smile on her face and she was nodding as if listening, but her eyes gave away her lack of enthusiasm. She bobbed her head to the music, but Angelus could tell her heart was not in it. If Angelus spotted it from across a darkened club, he had no idea how it escaped the notice of her friends. So, why was she out on a date then? Perhaps this was an effort to get over him, like he would ever let his Slayer get over him or move on.

He cocked his head to the side as the dark haired friend tossed her head back with a laugh. God how he hated Cordelia, always hitting on Soul Boy and making snide comments to and about his Slayer, as if that cunt could hold a candle to his Slayer. The bitch thought she was all high and mighty and look at who she ended up dating, Xander Harris. Angelus had gotten a good laugh when he heard that. He wondered how it felt to be second best to Buffy yet again, because there was no doubt in Angelus' mind that Xander would love a piece of his Slayer.

He saw his Slayer scan the crowd periodically, but her eyes never found him and he wondered if it was intentional on her part. Did she want him to know she was aware of his presence but did not want to give him the satisfaction of making eye contact with him? He saw another vamp or two in the crowd, but was confident his Slayer was not hunting tonight. Why exactly he cared that she had a date Angelus could not say, but it made him rage inside. Soul Boy should not have been so easily replaced. Angelus felt a possessive growl begin deep in his chest when he saw the boy place her drink in front of her and she offered him a smile. It was not one of her best smiles, but it was still a smile she was bestowing on a man that was not her mate.

"See how much she loves you," he spat to Soul Boy as he watched his Slayer get up to dance with her date. He had not meant to say the words aloud and glared at a person walking by who dared look at him. While still in his human face, the demon was dreadfully close to the surface so Angelus was sure his eyes were a frightening yellow at that moment. The boy scampered off quickly and Angelus felt a rush from the smell of fear on the boy. It was a good thing the boy ran, too, because as his Slayer stepped closer to her date on the dance floor Angelus felt like killing them all.

Buffy was dressed rather conservatively tonight, so Angelus suspected she was not out to get laid. This was a good thing, because she would find herself underneath the body of a dead date, his spinal cord ripped out of his body through his skull if the boy dared touch her. Her blonde hair was pulled back with one of those elastic scrunchie things that were so popular and she wore black capri pants with a white cropped top that fell to her navel. The smile was still fake, the eyes still vacant, and Angelus got a perverse sense of pleasure knowing he was the cause.

Angelus slid his gaze from the couple on the dance floor to the two couples seated at the table. Willow and Cordelia were focused on Buffy while their dates were talking, neither seemed to pay Buffy or her date much attention. Willow had a look of apprehension and unease about her, Angelus wondered if she was aware that he was there. Had his Slayer told her best friend that Angelus was there watching them?

Angelus was out the door of the Bronze in a matter of seconds once he saw the boy place a hand against her bare back. It was either leave or kill him for laying a hand on his mate, but the Bronze was not the place for their confrontation so Angelus chose to leave. When it happened it would be just the two of them with no friends and no audience. Angelus would have it no other way. He paused at the door and looked over his shoulder, feeling her eyes at his back. His game face dropped into place and he ran his tongue over his fangs, offering her a wink before he strode out the door into the night.

A spot of violence would do him some good about now. He had some energy and anger to burn off. The bitch dared let another lay a hand on her. At least she did not dance with him like she had Harris a while ago, Angelus was not sure he could have stopped himself from killing every last person in the club if she had behaved like that again. How Soul Boy had tolerated that act of blatant defiance Angelus never understood.

"You were whipped is why," he cursed under his breath.

{And you're not?}

Angelus merely growled in response to Soul Boy's rebuttal. He was not whipped; no woman - human or vampire - had Angelus by the balls. He just was not sure the world would be better off without his Slayer in it yet.

A basketball game was letting out about the time he passed by the high school, so Angelus had his choice of dinner entrees just then. He bypassed two or three before settling on a boy who bore a striking resemblance to his Slayer's date for the evening.

"Excuse me," he said approaching the student. He smelled of dandruff shampoo and deodorant soap, so this boy was apparently one of the players and not just a spectator. All the better, particularly since his locker was in a remote area of the school compared to the others he had briefly eyed.

"Yeah," the kid looked up from putting on his letterman's jacket in front of his locker.

"I was hoping you could show me the way to the library, I'm supposed to pick up my girlfriend there."

"You must be talking about Buffy."

"You know Buffy?" Angelus said with what he hoped was enthusiasm, though he really wanted to wipe the linoleum floor with the boy's face. Why did he assume Angelus was talking about Buffy?

"Well, no, not really, but she's the only girl that would be hanging out in the library on game night. If you ask me," he said, lowering his voice in a conspiratorial tone, "you need to keep an eye out on that librarian."

"Rupert," Angelus said with a low growl, though he was sort of amused that someone would think that way about ol' Rupert.

"I don't know what his first name is, but they spend a lot of time together if you know what I mean."

"Why don't you tell me about it while you show me where the library is?" Angel prompted, wanting to get the boy into the quiet and empty library soon. What a nice little present this would be for Rupert in the morning.

"Hey, man, I don't mean anything, honestly, but you're older so she obviously goes for older guys," the boy said as he headed toward the library.

"I'm not worried about it," Angelus said sincerely as he was, in fact, not worried about Rupert. Angelus imagined the relationship his Slayer and her Watcher had probably did look questionable to some people, but he understood it. Angelus was more worried about the young man currently at the Bronze putting the moves on his mate.

Dispensing of this boy while not as satisfying as doing so to the actual date Angelus knew would drive his point home to his Slayer. The resemblance between her date and this boy would not be lost on her, or at least Willow if his Slayer was slow catching on. And if she did not get the hint that she was not to date another Angelus would just start paying visits to the actual dates. Sooner or later, she would stop.

"Well, the library's right down there," the boy said gesturing down the hallway.

"Hey, thanks," Angelus said, turning to look down the hallway. He turned back to face the boy. "I appreciate it," he said before moving to clasp the boy's shoulder with his hand.

"No problem," the boy said just as Angelus dropped his human disguise and moved in for the kill.

The boy screamed, it was really more of a squeal, and jerked against Angelus trying to fight him off. But Angelus was far stronger than the boy was and the boy's struggles merely bore his neck further to Angelus, allowing him to sink his fangs in deeper. He fed heartily, greedily, a wave of euphoria washing over him when he heard the snap of the boy's neck as he broke it. How he had missed this, that packeted blood that Soul Boy had lived on the past few years was atrocious. For years Soul Boy had lived off rats and other unmentionables, which were nowhere near as satisfying as the real thing, but it was at least fresh and warm, making him feel alive however briefly.

He lifted the now dead boy into his arms and carried him to the library, laying him to rest on one of the tables. Rupert might not be the first to find the body, Angelus was not sure when the custodian would come through to clean the library, but Rupert would most certainly be called when the body was discovered. Rupert would, in turn, call his Slayer upon the news and Angelus' message would still get delivered.

Just to be sure his Slayer and her Watcher would know without the shadow of a doubt it was him, Angelus found some paper and wrote "Thinking of you, Lover" in the boy's blood, securing it to the boy by driving a nearby pencil tip first into the boy's chest. Pleased with his handiwork and well fed, Angelus left Sunnydale High School to return to the factory.

Return to Top

***Part 3***

Angelus was growing more furious by the minute. Three nights now he had scoured Sunnydale looking for his Slayer and three nights he had not seen her. He had seen her do gooder friends, but no sign of his Slayer and he was not exactly in a position to ask where she was. He focused on the emotion he could identify with best, fury, dismissing the others, like concern, attributing those to Soul Boy. He chose to believe his Slayer and her friends were deliberately toying with him over there being something actually wrong with his mate.

One thing Angelus was confident of, he would know with every fiber of his being if his Slayer was dead. He did not need the soul or a beating heart to have such a connection to her. He had no doubt the reverse was true and that she would know if her beloved Angel was no more. He did not dwell on why they had such a connection or how, it was one part of Soul Boy's one hundred year reign that Angelus accepted.

He stood outside the front of her house, smoking a cigarette watching for some sign of movement in the house. Where was she? Joyce's Jeep was not on the driveway and the house was dark. It had been this way the prior night, too. It was too early for her to be sleeping but she was not patrolling or at the Bronze. He had seen her friends there, which was what sent Angelus to Buffy's house. One night seeing them at the Bronze sans Slayer was not altogether unusual, but three nights in a row was.

Curiosity getting the better of him, Angelus walked to the back door and went inside. It had been a while since he had entered the house this way instead of via her bedroom window. In truth, Soul Boy had rarely entered his mate's home this way. He took a moment to take in his surroundings, smelling the air to be assured there was no one else here. His Slayer was not here either, which meant she was not here with the boy. Angelus had sort of hoped that had been the case so that he could torment Soul Boy just a bit more. "Oh well," he murmured.

He walked through the dining room and went upstairs taking the steps two at a time. The nightlight in the bathroom was on and Angelus took in the sight before him. The toilet seat was up, which sent him into a jealous rage considering no men lived in the Summers' home. His jealous rage was tempered a bit as the rancid stench that came from someone getting ill assaulted his nose. Towels were spread out and arranged on the floor around the base of the toilet as if someone had been lying there. Clearly, the toilet seat was up because someone had been retching into it, and with some regularity it would appear from the setup of the towels in the bathroom.

The light in her bedroom was off when he entered it, unsurprising given she was not at home, but still he knew there was something wrong. Her room while not military neat in general was in a state of disarray. Her bed was unmade, clothes were on the floor, dresser drawers remained ajar and her closet doors were open as well. It looked as if she had left in a hurry and that sent Angelus into a rage based on fury not jealousy. Was she trying to escape him? Had his gift the other night at the high school sent her running? Did she not realize that if he wanted her dead he would come after her, not kill innocent school boys who happened to look similar to her date?

He took a quick inventory of her things, a few were missing but nothing more than a few days worth had been taken. A return to the bathroom told him that all of her toiletries were there. What seventeen-year-old girl would leave without taking hairspray and makeup?

A tour of Joyce's bedroom only served to confuse Angelus further. Joyce had obviously prepared for her trip. More than a few days worth of clothes were missing and her bathroom was devoid of the toiletry items Angelus would have found there.

"Where in the hell is she?" he roared in frustration.

A fairly thorough search of the house revealed nothing beyond the fact that Joyce had prepared for her departure and Buffy had not. If Spike had organized a raiding party on his Slayer behind his back he would see that the fiasco at the abandoned church was a moment of pleasure for Spike by the time Angelus finished with him.

He let himself out the front door not bothering with discretion since it appeared Joyce at least was not coming back tonight. He stood on the front lawn and lit a cigarette, taking a drag off of it while he contemplated where his Slayer could be. He did not like the dread he felt at the idea that something had actually happened to her. Her friends were at the Bronze, which left her Watcher's house or the library. Both good places to start his search for her.

The school netted him little information beyond the fact that she and Giles were not there. Angelus had entered the library through the stacks, so he was certain neither his Slayer nor her Watcher was hidden among them. It did not take Angelus long to walk to Giles' townhouse once he left the school. He stood in the courtyard, leaning against a tree as he peered through the Watcher's living room window. Light emitted from the living room, but there was no movement apparent.

He tossed his cigarette onto the ground and stomped on it, twisting his foot to crush it into oblivion as he debated the wisdom of standing outside the house of a more than likely pissed off Watcher. Angelus doubted either his Slayer or her Watcher would expect Angelus to show up at Rupert's house so he felt fairly safe from a staking tonight.

His head jerked up when he saw movement inside Rupert's house. He hated that he was relieved to see her, even if it was evident that his mate was not well. She walked sluggishly from the direction of the bathroom or Rupert's kitchen, holding something over her face. The tree branch he had been holding snapped under the pressure of his grip when he saw her stumble and fall out of view.

{Get to her now.}

"On it, Soul Boy," he hissed in response, only to see Rupert come from the same direction Buffy had walked from a moment ago. He stopped and stood at the window and let out a low but nonetheless primal growl when he saw her lying on the floor. "Buffy," he bit out for once feeling helpless that the soul was gone. His mate was lying on the floor and he needed to know what was wrong with her.

"Angel?" he heard her call out when Rupert wiped her brow with the cloth she had been holding over her face. He growled softly at her use of Soul Boy's name, but was pleased to know that it was still his touch she sought.

"No, Buffy, it's Giles," her Watcher said, in a tone Angelus imagined was intended to be soothing but Angelus found more patronizing than anything.

"I'm okay, Giles, I'm sorry," she said sitting up with Rupert's assistance.

"It's okay, Buffy, but I really think that you need to swallow your pride and talk to Angel about this. I've looked through my books and contacted those I can trust, but have come up with nothing. I realize it's early on yet, but you're continuing to get worse every day."

"I refuse to talk to him about this, Giles, he's not Angel anymore."

"He's the same man, Buffy," Rupert corrected and Angelus had to smile at the Watcher's assertion of the truth.

"No, he's not. That demon is not my boyfriend, Giles. I refuse to talk to that," she stammered, "that thing about this."

Angelus growled again upon hearing her describe him as a thing. Her mate was no longer a man now but a thing? He would show her the next time he found her alone just how much of a man he was capable of being.

"But Buffy, my research has come up with nothing and we're not on speaking terms with any other vampire to ask. And you've forbidden me from using the Council's resources. If he wanted to hurt you he would have by now if that's what you're afraid of."

"No, that's not what I'm afraid of," Buffy spat back.

"You should be," Angelus whispered from the other side of the window. He wondered if Rupert was aware the window was open a crack, allowing Angelus to hear the conversation his Slayer was having with her Watcher rather well.

"Then what, Buffy? We need to know if this has happened before and if it has what the repercussions were. I don't think you understand the implications."

"I think I understand the implications perfectly, Giles. I don't want to tell him because I'm afraid he would keep me alive only long enough to have the baby and then kill me."

Angelus did not need the benefit of a reflection to know that his human disguise had given way to his true demonic visage. His Slayer, his mate, was pregnant? He was tempted to think that Buffy was saying these things because she was aware of his listening to their conversation. But what would Rupert have to gain by Angelus believing his Slayer was pregnant with Angelus' child? That made no sense, not that Soul Boy getting her pregnant made much sense either.

"But Buffy, if this has happened before we need to know about it. What if the child were to be born with vampiric qualities?"

"I just don't know how I can look the demon wearing my boyfriend's face in the eye and tell him I'm pregnant. What if this bit of information pushes him over the edge and he stops stalking me and moves into kill mode?"

Angelus had heard enough and knew if he stayed a moment longer he would burst through Rupert's door out and take his Slayer with him there and then. Things over the past few weeks were beginning to make more sense he realized as he stormed out of the courtyard. He had recognized that her scent was off, but had not been able to place a reason for the change. Now he knew. Angelus was quite familiar with all aspects of Buffy's cycle and had, for lack of anything better to attribute it to, reasoned that perhaps she smelled different because she was no longer a virgin. In his educated mind he knew that was not right, but the idea that he had knocked her up never entered his mind.

"I wonder if Harris knows that Dead Boy was apparently not so dead after all," Angelus taunted to an awfully quiet Soul Boy. "Oh, come on, Soul Boy, you just found out you're going to become a father and you choose now to be silent?"

His taunting was met with nothing but silence on Soul Boy's part, which left a soulless Angelus alone with his thoughts. What to do with his Slayer now if what he had overheard was true? He had to find out somehow if it was. Her friends were not going to tell him, if they even knew. Chances were his Slayer and her Watcher had not told her friends anything, she would only be about five weeks pregnant. From the sounds of it, his Slayer's Watcher was trying to convince her to rid herself of the pregnancy. Over his dead body would he allow his mate to do that. It was not all that long ago when women died from aborting babies.

He could not risk going back to the factory so soon after hearing the news. Drusilla's visions could sometimes be sparked by actual thoughts, and the last thing Angelus needed to do was flood Drusilla's minds with images of a pregnant Slayer. Drusilla would want his Slayer dead with more urgency.

He walked and stayed away from the citizens of Sunnydale, not in the mood to live up to his reputation as the Scourge of Europe at the moment. He found himself in front of a vacant mansion outside of town and looked for a way to get inside, figuring it would at least be an interesting place to do some thinking in. As far as Angelus knew, vampires could not have babies. Soul Boy had made a point of telling his Slayer that earlier in the year when she was doing that faux baby project for class. His Slayer's Watcher wanted her to seek out Angelus for information when Angelus had none to offer her.

He entered the mansion and started to walk around, appreciating the layout even if his mind was on other things. Darla and The Master were both gone, both would have access to such historical information better than Angelus would. One hundred years of living on your own, away from your people tended to render you out of the loop as far as information went. Still, there were people he could contact, he would just have to do it without Dru or Spike finding out about it. No matter what he did to resolve this issue, Drusilla and Spike could not know about it.

He finished walking through the third floor and stepped out onto one of the bedroom's balconies facing the east. The sun was getting ready to rise, he could smell it, and he knew he should head back to the factory but he did not want to. He still, hours later, had difficulty getting his mind wrapped around the fact that his Slayer was pregnant. If Soul Boy were in charge, Angelus would taunt him and suggest the baby was not his, but Angelus did not believe she had sex with anyone else. He did not believe she had even kissed the boy he had seen her with.

Killing her or driving her mad was out of the question if what he had overheard at Rupert's house was true. He would not leave his child without a mother or with an insane mother. He had left a lot of children orphans and a lot of parents childless in his day, but those children were not his. Killing his family had not given him the satisfaction he believed it would, and he did not believe that killing his child and its mother would satisfy him either.

So, that left leaving her alone, but could he leave his Slayer, his mate, alone? And even if he could he was not sure how he could explain to his minions that the Slayer was never to be touched.

He could leave Sunnydale, leave Drusilla and Spike behind as some sort of offering or sacrifice for her, and setup shop somewhere else. It would probably be best if he did that. Eventually, she would grow tired of his feeding on the good citizens of Sunnydale, get over Soul Boy and seek him out to end his life for good. Would she kill the father of her child? He believed she would, because she believed he and Soul Boy were two different people. That was not the case, but it was difficult to explain. Soul Boy was here inside of him, with him, just as Angelus had been inside and with Soul Boy the entire time he had control of the reins.

He had to find out for sure it was true before he decided. He liked Sunnydale and liked taunting his Slayer, he would not give those things up for any other reason. Angelus was fairly certain that if her Watcher believed she was pregnant that she was pregnant.

With daybreak coming rapidly and Angelus' lack of desire to return to the factory just yet, he decided to find a habitable room in the mansion he had spent the last few hours in to get his day's rest in. Unfortunately, a more scrutinizing walk through revealed most rooms were not conducive to a vampire and his inability to be in direct sunlight. On the first floor, he found a room with no windows and a full-sized sofa that he availed himself of. It would not be the most comfortable respite, but he had certainly experienced worse.

Return to Top

***Part 4***

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 Drusilla. 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 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.

Return to Top

***Part 5***

His Slayer had apparently given up trying to keep him from entering her room because her window was now unlocked and free of vampire deterrents. He had laughed over the weeks when he had met with window frames bearing long strings of garlic cloves with crosses on either side of the windows. They had given him pause, but had not stopped him from getting inside.

He had come by at various times the prior five nights despite having no information to offer her. He refused to acknowledge that he wanted to see if she was doing better. This was the first night that she had been sleeping when he had arrived. He checked his watch and found he had been watching her sleep for over three hours now. He deduced she must have been to a physician when he saw a prescription bottle of prenatal vitamins on the nightstand. The bottle in the open led him to believe his Slayer had informed her mother of her condition.

He had found no information about vampires having children whether it be a human woman with male vampire, female vampire with male human or vampire to vampire. But he had found a doctor in the Los Angeles area who specialized in pregnancies for weres and the like. Angelus would pass the doctor information on to his Slayer, knowing she might be more comfortable dealing with a doctor who knew about the things she hunted.

He sat on the edge of her bed and listened to her breathing taking in how peaceful she looked. She seemed to be aware of his presence because she shifted toward him. He wondered how it was he and his Slayer could do the unthinkable. It was not enough that she had fallen in love with him and him with her, but she had to become pregnant with his child. He was curious just what that said about their relationship and its place in history.

He reached out and grazed her forehead with his fingertips. A part of him rebelled at the thought of waking her when she was sleeping peacefully after days of going without. But it had been days since he had been able to watch her and he found himself unable to resist. He heard a soft sigh escape her lips but knew from her breathing that she was still asleep.

He pulled his hand away from her forehead and placed it over her abdomen. After a moment he pushed the blanket and top sheet aside, exposing her pajamas. He slid the white cotton camisole top up slightly and could not help but stare at her. He knew the fetus was not even a half an inch long at this point, but he could not help but wonder about it. What would his Slayer look like large with their child growing inside of her? What would a child of theirs look like? It was a concept he had never bothered to entertain before now. He placed a hand against her abdomen so deep in thought that her warmth startled him. She groaned softly as she exhaled and shifted again under his touch.

He traced a path on her skin with a fingertip following the bottom of her ribcage realizing that Soul Boy might not have been so stupid. Darla and Dru had always left him wanting more. More of what he had never quite grasped, as they were not things even Liam understood or wanted. But Soul Boy had not just understood but wanted them and, yet, had been willing to love her from afar. All Angelus knew was the thrill of the torturing and the actual kill always wore off and the rush and warmth that came from the feed wore off even faster, particularly now after a one hundred year respite.

In over two hundred forty years he had been able to rely on only one thing, that this girl, his mate, loved him unconditionally. Darla would have fed him to the lions to save her own skin or just for the sheer amusement of watching him swing in the wind. Drusilla was pretty much the same way. How quickly she had returned to Angelus' bed was evidence of that fact. Spike had cared for her for over one hundred years and a stronger Dru had cast him aside for the most part.

He had given thought to turning his Slayer so that he could have her with him for eternity, but she would never give in no matter how tempting he might make it. He had heard her complain several times about having to do the right thing, but in the end she always did. She had even faced The Master knowing she would die, which was something Angelus would not have done for anyone - soul or not. Perhaps he might do it for her, but certainly not for anyone else or just because it was the right thing to do.

It would be interesting to see what she would be like as a vampire given her strength and her life experiences as the Slayer. She would be a good warrior, a good strategist, and a natural leader. She had said little about her brief experience as a vampire the prior year so Angelus had no idea how his mate had felt or what she thought about it. He knew well enough she had been horrified about it, but he had never gotten her to talk about the feelings she had experienced past that and knew she had to have some feelings on the matter. From what he had ascertained from talking to Rupert and his Slayer he was able to deduce she had retained her Slayer strength.

Unfortunately, soul or not, he recognized that his Slayer, mate or not, belonged in and to the sunlight. It was what had frustrated him about letting himself get close to her, accepting her into his life, Soul Boy had known there were things he could never give her. He also knew that unlike William, Liam and Darla, his Slayer was inherently good. Angelus did not mind in the least, but Soul Boy had been horrified by what his soulless self had done to Drusilla. Not horrified enough to put her out of her misery, Angelus noted.

His Slayer shifted under his touch, bringing him out of his thoughts of turning her. A glance at her closed eyes followed by a quick listen to her breathing told him that she was still asleep. She placed a hand on her abdomen just below his, not even an inch separating their hands. She smiled and exhaled a soft sigh and Angelus wondered what his Slayer was dreaming about at the moment.

He had read somewhere that pregnant women were susceptible to intense and sometimes strange dreams, which had amused him given she already had prophetic dreams. Strange and intense dreams were part of being the Slayer not to mention the dreams that he had shared with her. The dreams they shared he suspected had to do with their connection not with her being the Slayer.

She murmured incomprehensibly in her sleep, and he realized that it was probably time to go before she woke up. He lifted his hand from her abdomen and heard a barely audible whimper in protest and so he set his hand down and looked at her, waiting for any sign she was awake.

"Buff?" he queried in barely a whisper.

"Don't go," she whimpered and then placed her hand over his. She slid his hand up over her ribs, pushing her camisole pajama top up, bearing her breasts to him. He groaned softly as she placed his hand over a breast and released it. She was probably dreaming of her precious Angel, but even knowing this he could not resist touching her. She wanted him to it seemed, and who was he to refuse.

He had not forgotten what it felt like to touch his Slayer, merely pushed the memories aside not wanting to dwell on something he knew he would never have again. It was going on six weeks now since he had last touched her after months of kissing and touching his mate. Soul or not, Angelus still wanted her and evidently she still wanted him.

He took advantage of the invitation, even if it was given by his still sleeping mate, and let his hand travel freely over her body. A cocky smile graced his lips when he witnessed her nipples harden under his touch. She moaned softly and arched her back, pressing her breast into his hand. Angelus wondered for a moment if she was feigning sleep, but even if she was he did not particularly care. If his Slayer wanted him to get her off and had to pretend to be asleep in order to feel better about it he was not going to complain exactly even if it was a little insulting.

His hand slid between her legs and he felt the evidence of her arousal through her shorts. He teased her, purposely avoiding her clit while sliding a finger between her netherlips through the shorts. He could tell from her breathing that she was waking up. She moaned softly as his hand drifted to her inner thigh, stroking the moist and sensitive skin there with his thumb. He saw her lips form a bit of a grimace as she wiggled the lower half of her body against his hand. So she wanted him inside of her. That was not exactly a repulsive order to fulfill.

"Angel," she murmured and he growled, a low warning.

He stopped his loverlike caresses despite her whimpered protest and grabbed her by the throat. "No, Lover, I'm not your precious Angel," he hissed. Her eyes opened slowly, sleepily and he felt her struggle to swallow under his vicelike grip at her throat. "He's gone, Lover, your beloved Angel is gone and I'm all you've got."

He saw her struggle to speak and loosened his hold on her throat. "I know you are," she whispered. "As sick as it is I still want to go to you when I need to talk."

"Yes, Soul Boy was good at listening to you ramble about your petty school girl problems, wasn't he?"

"It's not just the problems," she admitted and tried to turn away from him but he would not let her.

"I'm touched, Lover, you miss me? Is my Slayer lonely without me?"

"Stop it," she hissed. She tugged on her pajama top, almost violently pulling it down to cover her once again.

"Stop what?"

"Taunting me."

"But it's so fun, Buff. What's it going to take for you to stop loving me?"

"Nothing. There's nothing you can do to make me stop."

"That's so touching yet horribly pathetic and sad, Lover. What is it exactly about me you love? Do you get a perverse thrill from loving that which you hunt? Does it make you wet to have my undead hands and mouth touching and kissing you? Don't human boys do it for you? Do you get off on knowing I could change my mind and decide to kill you on a moment's notice."

"Stop it," she said again and Angelus could not help but laugh.

"It would be a lot more convincing, Lover, if you weren't turned on."

"I'm not," she said her eyes falling closed as if her eyes were the only way he could tell she was lying.

He laughed wickedly as he placed his hand between her legs. His hand at her throat forced her to keep still so that she had to watch what he was doing. This time he pushed the cotton fabric aside and slid his finger against her opening. He did not enter her, merely ran the tip along her cleft briefly. He glanced from his fingertip, now moist from her juices, to her face. "Right," he said with a sardonic grin before placing the fingertip to his lips and licking it clean.

"I was dreaming about Angel."

"You were dreaming about me, Lover."

"I was not," she protested.

"We're the same man, Buff," he said finally releasing her throat.

"Then why do you hate me?"

He shook his head, surprised at the pointed question. "What makes you think I hate you?" She scoffed and glared at him. If looks could kill he could not help but think and chuckled softly. "I don't hate you, Lover; I just don't have use for you like Soul Boy did. Are you going to be my girlfriend and stand back while I feed?"

"No," she said on top of a sharp exhaled breath.

"I didn't think so. And I enjoy the hunt too much to give it up. Even for you, Buff."

She sighed softly. "What do you want?"

"I came to let you know I am still trying to uphold my end of our bargain. I haven't found out much, but I have the name of a doctor in LA who might be more suited to helping you during this pregnancy given one of us is not human."

"A doctor that you're referring me to? Why should I trust you?"

"I told you the other day at your Watcher's house, Buff. It's mine."

"Right. Just what the Scourge of Europe needs - a baby and his Slayer ex-girlfriend in the picture to remind him of one hundred years of his existence he would rather forget."

He would never forget her, was not sure he would even want to forget her. He had lived twenty-six years as a human and two hundred forty-one as a vampire, which combined meant he had existed for almost two hundred seventy years and there were few things he cared about remembering. He no longer remembered what his mother or father looked like. He barely remembered what the countryside of his homeland looked like two hundred forty years ago beyond the fact it was far greener and less crowded. But he doubted he would ever forget this mate of his, the woman he had killed his sire for. "I don't need those things, no, but again I'm here, aren't I?"

"Yes," she whispered and Angelus could hear the reluctance in her voice.

"You're sleeping," he said simply.

"I was until you woke me up."

"What can I say? Creature of the night and all."

"But yes, I've been able to sleep the past two nights."

"And the sickness?"

"It's better, not gone but better."

He ran a fingertip along her jaw. "Good," he said simply his eyes meeting hers. He knew he was betraying himself just then, revealing to her his sincerity and a side to him he had hoped to keep hidden. "I should let you get back to sleep."

"Well, I'm awake now."

His mouth lifted into a cocky grin. "And what did you have in mind, Lover?"

"Forget it," she whispered with a shake of her head.

"Horny, Lover? It's okay to admit it, I've learned while researching your current condition that it happens to women." She looked away from him and he laughed. "For a woman who just lifted up her shirt, exposed herself and placed my hand on her breast you sure are being coy."

"I did not do that."

"I beg to differ with you, Lover. How do you think your shirt got up that high?"

"I don't know," she said, but her eyes said something different.

"You thought I did that?" he asked not sure why he was surprised that she had that opinion of him. He was not altogether sure why he cared and wanted her to know that he did not take advantage of her either.

"Like you haven't done worse."

"To you?" he asked.

"No, not to me," she admitted after a moment's pause.

"Stop judging me based on my past doings when I've done nothing to you directly."

"And you haven't killed a person in the past six weeks?"

"I haven't in the past week," he said with a shrug.

"Does Angelus have a conscience after all?"

"I have been able to find willing donors."

She grimaced at that statement. "Why do people do that?" she asked.

"Would you like me to show you? Or are you afraid you might like it? Afraid that if I bite you you'll crave that, too?"

"No," she said quickly.

"All right, Lover, but if you change your mind let me know."

"I don't think you should hold your breath."

"Not that holding my breath would cause me any hardship, Buff."

"Just leave me alone so I can get some sleep."

"But I thought you were already awake?"

"I don't want to talk to you anymore. You're rude and difficult and I have no idea why I thought I could talk to you."

"Oh, Lover, you wound me with such talk," he said as he stood from the bed and walked to the windowsill where he leaned against it, crossing his arms over his chest and watched her. He saw the indecision in her eyes and could not resist asking, "what?"

She was silent for a long while; picking at what Angelus guessed was a loose thread on her comforter. He wondered what she was thinking so deeply about. "Don't go," she said finally, refusing to look at him. The two simple words were spoken so softly they were almost inaudible even to Angelus with his enhanced hearing.

"Are you asking me to stay, Buff?"

She nodded her head and looked at him through lowered lashes. "Yes," she whispered with a shrug. "Can you stay without killing me or being cruel to me just for the fun of kicking Buffy when she's down?"

He took a moment before responding, glancing at his clasped hands resting on his upper thighs. It would be very easy indeed to kick her when she was down as she had just said, but he also knew how difficult it was for his Slayer to ask him to stay. "Your mother?"

"What can she say? You already got me pregnant, I don't think she realizes there's any more harm to me you can do."

"All right," he said cautiously. He was not altogether sure about the wisdom in such a course of action.

"No biting, no sex."

"Well then why am I staying?"

"Because you don't hate me and because it's yours," she said simply throwing his words back in his face.

{Admit it you're afraid if you stay you'll never want to leave her again.}

He shook off Soul Boy's interruption and pushed himself off the windowsill and walked toward her bed. "Don't get used to this," he said simply as he joined her on the bed. "Any stakes hidden under the mattress?"

"I'm not going to dust you," she said as she watched him shift and adjust on her bed. Her eyes were wide with what appeared to be both curiosity and shock. He was shocked, too. Never would he have imagined himself here with her like this. He had no room for his Slayer in his life anymore, he knew that as much as he knew sunlight would kill him. Yet, Soul Boy's influence or not, he could not resist giving into her request.

"Why should I trust you?" he asked.

"Because it's yours," she said with a shrug again throwing his words back in his face. "I don't know how we're going to work this or even if we're going to work this, but I couldn't kill you knowing I'm pregnant with your baby." Her eyes closed, lashes coming into contact with her cheeks. He was tempted to touch her, to kiss her. She looked almost angelic just then, but he was too late as she was already asleep once again.

Return to Top

***Part 6***

Angelus had no intentions on sleeping, afraid that he would do something stupid. Apparently, Morpheus had other plans for him because the next thing Angelus became aware of was being on his side, one arm around his Slayer possessively and protectively. Her petite and very warm body was fitted perfectly along the length of his taller, bulkier and much cooler form. It took him a moment to realize that he had fallen asleep and that someone knocking on the door to his mate's bedroom is what had woken him. He glanced at the windows and saw that the sun had already risen, so his leaving was not an option.

"Buffy," came her redheaded friend's voice from the other side of the door accompanied by yet another knock. How long had her friend been knocking? Did she have school today? Angelus tried to acclimate himself to not just the fact he had spent the night and what that might signify to his Slayer, but also to what day and time it was beyond the fact it was daytime.

Buffy had not reacted at all since Angelus woke up so he decided to answer the door. He could certainly defend himself against a high school junior and his mate's mother if he needed to. The chance that either of them was aware Angelus was even here was slim, so he felt safe. Somehow during their few hours of sleeping together he had positioned himself in a protective position with her closer to the wall so it was easy for him to slide off of the bed without disturbing his sleeping Slayer anymore than necessary.

He was aware when she shifted to the portion of the bed he had until just then occupied, her hand sliding along the bedding in the spot where he had just been resting. He watched her for a moment, even in slumber she was seeking him out, her mate. He had never paid attention to how strong their bond was when he had her in his possession. His possession of her had not ended with the loss of the soul they had merely lost the intimacy that had come with it when he had his soul.

He walked to the door and opened it, prepared to do battle even at such an ungodly hour. Normally, he would be resting up at this time from a night of feeding, fighting and if he was in the mood and Drusilla had not annoyed him overmuch some fucking. He could not help but smile sardonically at Willow's expression when she saw Angelus open her best friend's bedroom door. First was surprise followed by embarrassment and then came terror and fear. He liked the last two looks best, though the embarrassment was priceless as well. His Slayer had picked such a shy and innocent to be her best friend.

"Good morning, Willow," he said gruffly, his annoyance at the intrusion apparent. Even if he had fallen asleep despite his intentions not to, he knew his Slayer had slept more restfully in the few hours he had been by her side than in the past few weeks.

"Angel," she said, wide eyed.

"Angelus," he growled. "Why can't you people get my name right?"

"Sorry, it's just habit," she said in what he imagined was an attempted apology. "What are you doing here?"

"I don't know that it's any of your business, but it should be fairly obvious I was calling on Buff."

"I didn't realize," she frowned and glanced at the bed. "What did you do to her?"

"I didn't do a damned thing to her," he growled in protest at such an accusation. The idea that he would harm a hair on his Slayer's head when she was not in a state to fight back was incomprehensible.

"I, well, she's just laying there."

"She's tired and sleeping, what do you expect?"

She pursed her lips as if she was thinking of saying something and Angelus could almost see her backpedal away from her train of thought. "We had plans," Willow said, trying to hide her disappointment but she did not do it very well.

"Well, I'll get right on waking her up then all because you had plans. I'm sure they were important, too. Were you going to the mall?"

"No," she said, trying to be brave but Angelus could smell the fear on her.

"What then? Some studying? That's really worth waking her up for."

"It is when she's failing classes because she's missed so much school recently. The only chance she has of passing this semester is if I tutor her."

That gave Angelus pause. His Slayer could not fail high school, not if she was actually going to have a chance to raise their child and provide for it. He could assist her monetarily, but he was not going to let her know that. Offering her assistance so soon would be something Soul Boy would do, Angelus enjoyed the idea of her wondering just how she was going to manage for a little while longer at least. "Then just come back later when she's awake. She's not going to be coherent enough to gain anything from your tutoring at the moment anyway."

"She's the one who told me to come here at this time. Either wake her up or I'll go down and tell her mother you're here."

"Is that supposed to be a threat of some sort?"

"Do you want to get Buffy in trouble?" Willow asked and Angelus had to give her credit for choosing that rather than thinking Joyce Summers posed any threat to Angelus.

"You obviously overestimate my concern for whether she gets in trouble or not. Her being in trouble is really no longer my concern."

"Then why are you even here?" Willow asked, her voice cracking as she spoke.

"Will?" Buffy spoke from behind them. Her voice was lethargic, sleepy, and Angelus let his game face fall into place as he glared at his Slayer's best friend. "What's wrong, Angel-us?" she asked as she stood from the bed. She was getting better at remembering he despised her calling him by Soul Boy's name, but noticed the deliberateness and thought that went into her addressing him.

"I came to help you study," Willow said cautiously.

"And I don't know why on earth you would tell her to come by this early when you haven't been sleeping."

"Who are you, my dad?"

"No, not your dad," he said, his voice low, his tone clearly warning that she had best not challenge him on this point.

"Will, give me a minute," his Slayer said.

"Are you sure?" Willow asked, her skepticism about the rationality of his Slayer being left alone with Angelus clear.

"He's been here for hours, he had plenty of opportunity to kill me when I was sleeping, Will, so yeah I'm sure."

"What am I going to tell your mom?"

"I don't know," his Slayer said glancing from Willow to Angelus and then at her feet. "Tell her I wanted to get dressed or something." Willow just shook her head, apparently realizing an argument was futile just then, finally leaving the room and leaving Angelus alone with his Slayer once again. "I guess you're kind of stuck here now."

He shrugged, his human disguise falling back into place. "It's not like I had plans or anything."

"What no victims to torture or puppies to kill?"

"None at the moment I'm afraid, no," he said dryly. "I guess I can stay here, I imagine going downstairs and joining you and your mother for breakfast is out of the question."

"She's not too thrilled with you right now, no."

"With me?"

"Well, yeah, hello? You got me pregnant and left me."

"I think you're leaving out some of the finer details as to why it was I left. Because you know damned well if your pathetic excuse for a boyfriend were still in control he would never have left you."

{You haven't left her either.}

"Shut up," he growled in frustration at the intrusion.

"I didn't say anything," she bit back.

"Not you."

"What?" she asked, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Oh brilliant, Angelus, lead her to believe you actually are insane. "There's no one else in the room but us, Angelus."

"I realize that," he said under his breath. "Never mind, I was talking to myself."

"Do you tell yourself to shut up often?"

"Only when you irritate me beyond reason, Lover."

"Oh, I irritate you?"

"Yes," he said, trying to appear bored by this conversation. In truth, he was pleased to see the fire back in her eyes, the appearance again of her backbone and some strength. He was tired of seeing his mate weak, depending on others to care for her.

{You're even more pathetic than I am, I at least admitted my feelings for her.}

"Why is that?" she asked as a low growl in response to Soul Boy and his opinion could be heard coming from his throat.

"Because you do, I don't need to a reason. That's what ex's do, irritate each other. They wouldn't very well be ex's if that weren't the case."

"You never irritated me until recently."

"Things change, Buff, what can I tell you? I changed. I still have to figure out a way to thank you properly, however, it's because of you I'm here today."

"I wish I could say you're welcome, but I'm afraid I'd be lying."

"Do you miss your boyfriend that much, Lover?"

She turned away from him and walked to the window. For a minute he thought she was going to open the drapes and let the sun turn him to dust without even saying good bye. It would serve him right, too, for being so careless and falling asleep here. He should be home now, performing some destructive or terrorizing activity worthy of his reputation. Instead he was here in his Slayer's bedroom playing nursemaid to her. If she were like most women Angelus had been familiar with in the past, particularly those who Liam had known, she would have been lapping up such attention. But not his Slayer, she almost seemed hesitant to even admit last night that she wanted him to stay with her.

{Can you blame her?}

"I do miss him. You. I don't know how to say it." Her back remained to him, but he could tell that she was crying by the shaking of her shoulders. "I can't differentiate between the two of you any more. I didn't expect you to stay last night," she said through the tears that Angelus knew were falling freely now even without benefit of seeing her face.

"I didn't either," he admitted.

"What do you want from me?"


She turned to face him then, wiping her cheeks dry with the pads of her fingers. He would love to lick the tears from her face, to taste the salty tears of his Slayer. It was more than likely the only way he would get any nourishment off of her until the day he killed her. "Yes, please, truthfully."

"I would like nothing more than to turn you, to make you my childe as well as my mate, to have you with me forever by my side, once you've had this child."

"I could never," she said with a shiver.

"I realize this," he admitted begrudgingly. "But you wanted the truth."

"Yes, I did," she admitted. "Thanks." She smiled slightly. "Are you going to stay up here?"

"Do I have a choice?"

"You could come down if you want, I realize my room is pretty boring and lame."

"I'll be fine, I'm used to sleeping during the day."

"Right, you were usually going to bed when I was getting ready for school." She shook her head slightly. "I remember when I knew that I wanted to make love to you."

She had his attention now, not that he had been ignoring her. "Oh?"

"Yeah, it was that morning, when I visited you at the apartment. I knew it."

A part of him was terribly insulted that it had taken her that long to want him. Granted, it had been over two hundred forty years since he had seen himself, but he had never lacked for female companionship when he wanted it. So, Angelus had always taken that to mean he was a decent looking man. Soul Boy was a romantic and certainly courted his Slayer once they stopped denying their feelings for one another. And yet a part of him appreciated the fact that she had not entered into making love to anyone lightly.

"I knew it the moment I saw you," he admitted, his head bowed so that he did not have to look at her. "It was part of what made loving you, wanting you so difficult. You were fifteen when I first saw you, still a girl really."

"I guess I was, but I grew up pretty fast after that day."

"Yeah, you did," he admitted wryly. "But I still couldn't help but think of Kathy periodically and you really weren't much older than she had been when I killed her. Liam would have broken the neck of anyone who touched his sister."

"And yet Angelus killed her."

He shrugged. "I am a monster, Lover."

"Yet, you have been so good to me the past week. I know you've been here, stood out on the lawn or sat on the roof outside the window."

"How?" he asked realizing too late he should have just denied it.

"I feel you, I always know when you're nearby. It's not the same as the senses that pick up on other vampires."

"It's because I'm your mate, Buff," he said simply. "Your body recognizes me, that's all."

"That's all? What do you mean that's all? As if that's not bad enough?"

"There's nothing all that bad about it. Some people can go an entire lifetime without finding their true mate. Trust me, when you've walked the earth for as long as I have you know."

"I'd say it's pretty bad when my mate is a sadistic sociopath who takes pleasure on tormenting and torturing people. You probably get off knowing I can't be out there patrolling right now."

"I hate seeing you like this," he admitted. "It's no fun when you're not at full strength," he added, hoping to take some of the sincerity out of the first part of his statement.

"On that sentimental note, I'm going to get dressed and meet Willow downstairs to do some homework."

"You didn't mention you were failing your classes, Buff."

"You've made it quite clear we're no longer anything to one another, Angelus," she said with a shrug, walking to her closet.

He shrugged as well, curious to know if she would tell him to step out to the hall while she changed. He was not going to offer to and if she did not ask he would certainly enjoy the show. As if reading his mind, she glanced at him over her shoulder. Their eyes met and she blushed a deep shade of red when he cast his eyes downward, being brutally honest about the fact he was looking at her.

"Do you mind?"

"Like I haven't seen it before, Lover. All of it."

"That was different."

He grimaced with a shake of his head. "I'm still me, it was still my eyes that saw you, my hands and mouth that touched you, my cock that fucked you." She winced at his words, but went ahead and began to shed her pajamas. Realization dawned on him then that she was worried about her appearance. "Like this far along you're even showing."

"Well," she shrugged. "Still. It's not polite for you to watch me."

"What if I offered to help you?"

"I don't need any help getting dressed."

"Tell me that again in a few months when you can't see your feet," he said with a low chuckle.

"You really know how to make a girl feel secure."

"Anytime, Lover."

"Stop calling me that," she hissed.

"I like it. It suits you."

"No, it does not. To be called Lover by you would mean that I am your lover."

He smirked cockily. "That could be arranged."

"I don't think so."

"You think I'm going to let someone else touch you when you're carrying my child? You think I'm going to let you run around and act like some whore because you're horny and can't get pregnant?"

She walked up to him, a new top in place but her legs were bare aside from a barely there pair of dark blue panties. She pointed a finger at him, the tip coming into contact with his chest. "How dare you? How dare you think that you can control what I do?"

He grabbed hold of her finger, clutching it in his fisted palm. "I don't think, Lover, I know. You're mine, my mate, mine, and you're having my baby."

"You broke up with me, remember? You couldn't have lost your soul and still been Angel just without the soul?"

"No," he said loudly.

"Then where do you get off telling me what I can and cannot do? Which is it? Do you want me or don't you? Because you can't have it both ways, sooner or later, Angelus, I will move on to someone else."

He growled, game face dropping back into place. "Don't even say that, Buffy, it will not happen. Not as long as you're carrying and caring for my child."

"No, you see, you're not my boyfriend anymore, you walked away from me. You said cruel, horrible things to me and left me knowing what I had given you the night before, so you cannot make me do anything."

"But I can, Buff. You want to ensure you and our child are safe, correct?" He could hear her heartbeat increase a bit with that statement and he could not help but smirk in victory.

"You can't possibly mean that I cannot be with anyone but you."

"I can mean it, and I do mean it. If you want to ensure the safety of both of you, you'd be wise not to piss me off. My goal is to leave once I know you are in fact all right. Not just physically, either. No failing school."

She swallowed hard, her eyes grew wide. "You're leaving?"

"I am, I know of no other way for us to work this out, Lover, do you? You and I cannot operate in the same town. Our paths will eventually cross, and then you'd have to decide between dusting the father of your child and letting the sociopathic killer you deem me as loose to prey on the good Sunnydale citizens."

"And what do I get out of this deal? Are you going to stay pure in honor of your mate?"

He laughed as he placed his hand against her cheek. He drew her to him with his other hand and kissed her deeply, his tongue forcing her lips apart. After a brief protest on his Slayer's part she parted her lips willingly accompanied by a soft mewl and she stepped into his touch and his kiss. His hand slid to her breast, which he stroked the side of with his thumb. His touch was gentle, but his kiss was anything but gentle. She did not seem to mind he noticed as she responded to his demand for further entry into her mouth.

He missed the warm moistness that was her mouth as soon as he broke the kiss, but her neck and her blood was beckoning him. Like a beacon, her pulse point called him home. He heard her take a sharp intake of breath as if she knew sight unseen that his human disguise had fallen away. He expected her reproach or for her to refuse him, but she said nothing. He grazed the pulse point with a tip of his fang, ran his tongue along the side of her neck, and then blew on the flesh there.

His hand at her cheek slid to the side of her hair, his fingers spreading and gripping her head. He did not have to force her head to bear her throat to his mouth, she seemed almost willing to let him. He was gentler than he normally was, even the people who were willing donors he did little to see to their comfort. He fed to feed, certainly not to be nice to those he fed from.

{She is not a food source.}

He ignored Soul Boy's protest and slid his hand at her breast lower under the waistband of her underwear, sliding a finger inside of her as he sank his fangs into her neck. He groaned at the first taste of her blood coupled with a low moan of her own as he slid his finger out of her. He had no intentions on stopping and had every intention on showing her just what Soul Boy had deprived her of the night they had made love.

He worked the zipper on his leather pants and pushed her back against the door. He expected her to protest when he used both his hands to lift her up and position her so he could enter her. She made noise, but nothing resembling no or stop left her mouth, so he continued sheathing his cock with her molten-like core.

Once he was inside of her with her hands clutching at his shoulders almost as if she was hanging onto him for dear life, the need to feed from her diminished. If she had not been pregnant with his child he would not have cared about taking too much blood from her, but he was aware she needed her blood to stay strong. And he wanted his Slayer and his child strong.

He retracted his fangs from her neck, surprised at the soft whimper he heard in response to their no longer being imbedded in her neck. So she had enjoyed it, he could not help but smile at that realization as he continued to thrust into her. He carried her to the bed, pulling out of her only long enough to position them both on the bed.

"Willow," she said, the protest a little too late Angelus mused to himself.

"She'll wait," he said gruffly, covering her mouth with his to stave off any further protests she might have. "I won't," he added. Drusilla had felt like this once upon a time, warm and tight, but she had never fit around his cock as if she had been made just for him. She had not been willing as a human either, which while fun was not the same.

While perhaps not as conscientious as Soul Boy was their first time together, Angelus did see that his mate was pleased before seeking his own release. Unfortunately, with both of their climaxes came remorse - at least on his Slayer's part. He felt none, had nothing to feel remorse for. She belonged to him, but he was aware of the fact she had yet to get her mind wrapped around that concept just yet. In her opinion, she had just let the enemy fuck and feed off her.

"I've got to get downstairs," she said softly from underneath him.

"Go then," he said, rolling beside her on the bed.

She stood from the bed and took off the underwear she had only moments ago just put on, replacing them with a fresh pair. "I don't know how I'm going to explain this to Willow. Or Giles. Oh my god."

"Explain what to them?"

"Hello? You were here, unless you've regained your soul, you were here a few minutes ago. Not to mention," her hand flew to her neck. "You bit me!"

"But you loved it, Lover, as I knew you would."

"Stop calling me that!" she demanded.

"You said I couldn't call you that since we weren't lovers. Doesn't what we just did make us lovers again?"


"Wasn't it good for you, Baby?"

"No," she said running a hairbrush through her hair with quick, almost violent strokes. "Are you going to be here when I come back up?"

"Unless there's a solar eclipse, yes, I'll be here waiting for you, Lover."

"This is not happening again. So, you can stay as long as you know that it is not happening again."

"If you say so, Buff."

"I say so. It was a momentary bout with insanity, I just missed kissing you so much," she said, slamming her brush down on her dresser. She turned to look at him then. "Stay up here. My mom cannot know you are here."

"Yes, ma'am," he said with a sardonic grin. "Are you sure you don't want to go again, Lover? With your blood in me I am feeling pretty good." She left her room, practically slamming her door behind her as he laughed at the dismayed look on her face in response to his question.

Return to Top

***Part 7***

His Slayer had not returned to her room before the sun set, probably intentionally, and so Angelus left her room via the window. He was not going to sit there waiting for her like a lost puppy dog. If avoiding him made her feel better about what had happened that morning he was not going to fault her. He would certainly let her hear about it the next time he encountered her.

He walked in the direction of The Bronze, feeling up for a bite to eat. He rarely left the area around The Bronze needing more. It surprised him how many turned a blind eye to the happenings in their town, yet he was always able to find someone willing to be a repeat customer. He did not feed off of the same person twice unless he was unable to find anyone else willing.

"Hey Buffy," Willow's werewolf boyfriend called to Angelus' back.

Angelus turned around to face the boy after discarding the willing donor on the ground in a heap. She would wake up in a little while and be fine. He had not fed for as long as he normally would have, but long enough to render her unconscious. Normally, he enjoyed testing his control, pushing the limit and seeing just how far he could take the feeding without actually killing the person. "While I've been called worse, I've certainly never been mistaken for a woman before."

"Oh, Angel, hey" Oz said with a slight frown. "Buffy's not with you?"

Angel tried to get upset at Oz's use of Soul Boy's name, but for some reason found it difficult to do so. He was the only one of Buff's little group that Angelus could stomach. He would love to see Oz out in the open, running free on the next full moon instead of caged up in the school library. "Why in the world would I have her with me," he said wiping his mouth clean from any remnants of his feeding that might still be there.

"I don't know," Oz said clearly puzzled. "You smell like her, I just assumed she was on a date or something. I didn't realize it was you." Angelus growled low at the date comment, taking Oz's words to mean the werewolf thought his Slayer would stand out in a darkened alley letting some boy stick his tongue into her mouth.

"Oh, that," Angelus said. "I was with her last night and most of the morning." He smiled wickedly at that, glad that one of her little friends shared Angelus' acute sense of smell and would know just what Angelus meant with that statement. There was no mistaking the scent of sex. Oz was perhaps not as keen to different smells as Angelus was given he was new to the preternatural world, but Angelus gave him credit for knowing at least that much.

Oz's surprise was apparent. "I was just looking for Willow really."

"She's not here either."

"You didn't," Oz said, apparently trying to be delicate which was amusing considering it was Oz. "They're both okay, right?"

"Last I checked, yes, they were both fine. I didn't touch your girlfriend if that's what you're asking me. No offense, but redheads have always tasted bad." Oz frowned at that, apparently not sure if Angelus was being sincere or not.

"And Buffy's okay?"

"Yes, what is it with you people? If I wanted her dead I'd have done it by now."

"From what Giles has told us you enjoy the torment leading up to the kill not the actual death of your subject so much."

"It all depends on the subject," Angelus said simply.

"Right, whatever, I can't wait until Buffy feels better so she can deal with you."

"And what makes you think she will deal with me?"

"She's not going to let you stay here and feed, you know it."

"She hasn't been able to stop me yet, wasn't able to even before she wasn't feeling well." Angelus stepped menacingly closer to Oz. "And you know damned well why I smell like her. She's not going to kill someone she's fucking because she wouldn't fuck me if she didn't still love me. So, I think I'm fairly safe from the tip of one of her little wooden stakes."

"Until you piss her off, or kill someone she actually cares about," Oz said taking a step back. Angelus was curious whether the boy had enough control over his shapeshifting to be able to do it at will without benefit of the full moon.

"But you see, Oz, I've got myself a little insurance policy."

"What's that?" Oz asked.

"The baby."

"What baby?"

"My baby, our baby. Oh, didn't my Slayer tell you that little detail? I knocked her up, so I don't think she'll be killing me anytime soon."


"Apparently not, unless you're telling me she hopped into bed with someone else."

Oz shook his head at that. "I can't say whether she did or not."

"You would have known and you know it," Angelus said simply.

"I'm not exactly on your side in this, so I don't know that I'd tell you anyway."

"Oh, I think you would, Wolf Boy. But back to the freak of nature she's carrying," Angelus said with a wry smile. "I think she'd let me do whatever I damned well pleased if I promised not to hurt the baby." Angelus had every intention on doing as he told his Slayer and leaving once the baby was born and knew that his Slayer would be all right. There was no reason to let her friends know that, though.

"I think you're wrong. She loved Angel, not you."

"Then why did she let me into her pants, Wolfie? Why did she give it up so easily, let me feed off of her. You've tasted blood before, haven't you? You should try a Slayer's blood, it's intoxicatingly powerful stuff. You'll never want to go back to just plain ol' humanoid blood again."

"All right, you're trying to get a rise out of me, which is fine, but what Buffy does is Buffy's business, not mine. I can't say I approve of it and I know Giles wouldn't, but so long as it doesn't get Willow killed I just plan on staying out of it."

The girl he had fed off was starting to stir and Angelus decided perhaps now was a good time to go. "So long as your girlfriend doesn't interfere or try to stop me from having what is mine, she'll be fine."

"She doesn't belong to you," Oz said evenly.

"Is that right? Do you think it was just a fluke that she and Soul Boy could not resist and eventually gave into their feelings? She's mine, the baby is mine, and no one is going to keep me from them. Not you, Wolf Boy, not her Watcher, not your girlfriend and certainly not my Slayer's mother."

"I can't speak for the others, but I'm not stupid enough to try and keep you from her, Angel."

"Good doggie," Angelus said sarcastically. "I'll be seeing you, I'm sure," he said before jumping onto the top of the dumpster in a fluid motion. From there he made it to The Bronze's rooftop where he could escape and go about his business without Oz knowing where he was headed.

He would love to be a fly on the wall when Oz told Willow that Buffy was pregnant. "Sorry I spilled your secret, Lover, but it is about time they all know the truth."

Return to Top

***Part 8***

Buffy was a little disappointed to find Angelus gone when she returned to her bedroom. She was not surprised, but for some reason she had expected him to be waiting no matter how long she had remained downstairs. Willow had left a while ago and Buffy had procrastinated going back upstairs by volunteering to help her mom with the laundry and lunch dishes.

Joyce Summers was trying to be patient with Buffy, but Buffy could see the look of disappointment in her mother's eyes whenever her mother thought Buffy was not looking or not paying attention. It was one of the reasons that Buffy stayed in her room most of the time now when she did not have any friends over, she could not stand to see that look on her mother's face any more than she had to.

How was Buffy to know that she and Angel would do the impossible? Having a vampire as a lover should have been safer than safe. She had hoped that Giles would find something on his own without having to consult the Council about this happening in the past. So far, though, Giles had come up with nothing.

She spotted a piece of paper on her pillow and picked it up. She would recognize his handwriting anywhere. It was funny, really, there were times that she thought of Angel and Angelus as being two separate, independent beings who just happened to occupy the same body. But times like this when she was staring at evidence - this time it was a note written by the man she loved - that she knew they were one in the same.

He had merely written the name, address and telephone number of the doctor he had mentioned on the piece of paper. Giles had not uncovered doctors that specialized in babies from situations like hers. But she imagined Willow and Oz would need a doctor like this if they were to ever have kids.

She placed the note underneath the bottle of prenatal vitamins her mother's doctor had prescribed for her, determined to make an appointment with the LA doctor tomorrow. Hopefully, Giles or Willow would be willing and able to take her.

Buffy would be glad to have a doctor that did not know her mother, someone Buffy could feel comfortable confiding the truth in. She certainly could not tell her mom's doctor about vampires and slayers, at least without the doctor thinking Buffy was crazy.

She sat on the edge of her bed and felt her cheeks grow warm as images and feelings from that morning came back to her in a rush. She had let Angelus feed off of her, she had sex with him. She did not like admitting that he aroused her by feeding off of her. She could understand how he could find willing donors now. She was embarrassed that she did not mind having sex for sex's sake.

Willow had looked at Buffy strangely when she finally came downstairs. Her best friend knew what had taken Buffy so long and she had seen the puncture marks on her neck, too. Her mother, thankfully, had not. Willow seemed to understand that her friend did not want to talk about it and had helped Buffy cover her neck.

She walked to her dresser and started to tear away the bandage Willow had placed at her neck when someone knocked on her door. "Come in," she said, quickly fixing her hair so it covered the bandage. "Hi Mom," Buffy said.

"How are you feeling, Buffy?"

"I'm okay, really, a little tired."

"I know, but you're still getting your strength back." Buffy rolled her eyes, her mother had no idea how strong Buffy truly was or she would not be worrying about her daughter's bout with pregnancy sickness. It was not merely morning sickness as up until yesterday she had been sick around the clock. The baby did not seem to be able to tell time or know that it was not supposed to make it's mother miserable all day, every day.

Giles had scolded her repeatedly the past few weeks afraid that she was not providing proper nourishment to the fetus. She tried explaining to the man that what she did manage to eat probably did the baby no good anyway since she just proceeded to throw it up right away. She had made it through the entire day yesterday and so far today without getting sick, so she could hope that she was past that.

"What do you want, Mom?"

"Willow, Oz, Xander and Cordelia are here, they want to come up."

Buffy frowned, Willow had left not too long ago and had said nothing about coming back, and since Buffy was boyfriendless at the moment she had been set to spend the night alone. Maybe her friends were taking pity on her and were coming to spend the night with her.

"Send them up."

"Are you sure you're up to company? You already spent all day with Willow and you did more today than you have lately."

That's an understatement considering what she had done in her bedroom that morning, Buffy mentally added. Her mom did not need to know that Angel had spent the night and she certainly did not need to know what had happened between them this morning. "I'm fine," she said, not meaning to sound frustrated but she was tired of her mother's drastic changes in how she treated Buffy. There were times her mother seemed fine and treated Buffy normally or at least without the pity she seemed to give her the rest of the time.

"Okay, I'll send them up." Buffy straightened up her room, which really only amounted to having to make up the bed still mussed from having sex with Angelus that morning, so it did not take long. And it was not like her friends were going to pass judgment based on the condition of her room when she was not feeling well anyway.

A light knock at her door came followed by her four friends entering, none looking too happy. If Angelus had gone off and done something to get back at Buffy for what had happened between them that morning or to ensure she did not think anything had changed between them she would personally hunt him down tonight, baby or not.

"Hey guys, what's with the long faces?" she asked as she looked at their solemn faces. Giles, she thought, Angelus went after Giles. "Is Giles okay?" she asked, her voice barely audible from the bile that threatened to rise at the thought of Angelus harming the one person who was being understanding about this mess. If Angelus had one person on his side right now, one person in favor of keeping the vampire alive, it was Giles.

"He's fine," Cordelia offered. "He and Miss Calendar are on a date."

Buffy was glad to hear that Giles and Miss Calendar were both okay. There was no one else for her to worry about since everyone else she might worry about was with her. She had been waiting for the day that Angelus stepped up his harassment and actually did something to someone Buffy knew and cared about.

"Okay," she said and took a seat on her bed Indian style. She wondered how much longer she would be able to sit this way knowing that sooner or later she would be too big to do much of anything. In truth, as glad as she was to see her friends, the day had taken a lot out of her. The doctor had assured her that she could continue to have sex, not that until today she believed that was going to happen. But that combined with Angelus feeding off of her, the hours she spent studying with Willow so that she could take and pass two tests on Monday, and the laundry and kitchen cleanup she had helped her mom with had exhausted her.

"Do you have something to tell us, Buffster?" Xander asked and Buffy frowned.

"Not really, no. Why?" Was she missing something? Had she forgotten something? Giles had removed her from patrolling until further notice, so she did not think that had anything to do with this.

"Well, you might want to have a little talk with your undead ex-boyfriend the next time you see him then," Xander said with contempt.

"Willow says you seemed pretty chummy with him this morning here in your room," Cordelia added with distaste. Great, just what she needed Cordelia Chase and Xander Harris ganging up on her about Angel.

"Having a vampire for a boyfriend wasn't good enough for you, you have to let the evil soulless thing that replaced him when you got with the happy feed off you, too?" Xander added, overlapping Cordelia's statement.

Buffy looked at Willow, surprised and hurt that Willow would tell anyone. Willow whimpered softly and looked away, though Buffy did not miss the flustered look her friend had on her face. "Guys, that's not what we came here about," she said.

"Why did you even tell them?" Buffy asked, curious why her best friend would reveal something like that to anyone, especially Xander. Willow knew how distraught Buffy had been in the morning.

"Buffy, I wouldn't have normally, but when Oz came to talk to me about Angel I had to tell him what I saw."

"Why did you have to tell Oz something that's none of his business?"

"I'd say it is our business when we're patrolling for you, picking up the slack for you because you're sick." Xander said.

"And I appreciate it, guys, all of you, I really do. And I've told you that, maybe not as often as I think it or should but I thank you. You know I'd be out there with you if Giles would let me."

"See, that's the thing," Xander continued. "None of us mind doing it, but when we find out that you're not really sick we got a little upset."

"But I have been sick," Buffy replied defensively. She and Giles had talked at length when she first found out she was pregnant about telling her friends, both had decided that until she knew that she was out of the woods as far as miscarriages and other complications went she would not tell them. She still had weeks to go before she was out of that gray area, particularly considering this was not a normal baby. "All of you have been with me and seen me."

"Yeah, but Buffy, we thought you had the flu or something. Why didn't you tell us you were pregnant?"

She clutched her pillow to her lap, wishing now she had never let them come up. The fact the pillow smelled strongly like Angelus made her rethink why she had grabbed for that pillow. She closed her eyes to try to push aside the memories of that morning that came rushing back to her, wanting nothing more than to push them out of her mind but found she was unable to. It was like he was there in her head, planting the images there, wanting her to see them, wanting her to remember. Did he know she was having this conversation right now? And why did the idea that he did, that he was somehow there with her, even if it was mentally, relieve her of some of the stress she had felt a moment ago. And she did feel it leaving her, stress was of the bad for pregnant women she knew that but still could not help it sometimes. "How did you find out?" she asked quietly. Giles would not have told them, he had agreed it was better not to let them get emotionally involved in the situation or too attached to the baby.

"Oz ran into Angelus outside of The Bronze and thought that you were with him."

"What?" Buffy asked incredulously.

"I smelled you," Oz added for clarification. "I didn't realize it was him until he turned around."

"Was he? Did he?" Buffy could not finish either question.

"Yes, he had just fed and no he did not kill the girl," Oz offered, seeming to know what she was asking even if she could not ask the questions outright.

A girl, Buffy thought and wondered why that bothered her so much right then. It was not the first time he had fed off a woman, she had seen some of Angelus' victims herself. There were a few that bore a startling resemblance to Buffy, just as he had chosen Tom Parks the night he had seen her at The Bronze with Jeff.

Somehow she felt betrayed that he would feed off another woman after he had fed from her just that morning. She kept that to herself, knowing her friends would not understand it anymore than she did. In her head, though, she thought she could feel him embrace her. There were some things that even if she did understand them with regard to her relationship and connection with Angel-us that she was just better off keeping from her friends. If Angelus was there in her mind, even more reason not to tell them much. She was not sure how she could explain this even to Giles. Oddly, though the feeling that she was getting was that Angel not Angelus was with her.

"So it's true?" Xander asked, his voice indicating the idea was sending him into a state of panic.

"Yes," she said softly. "We didn't tell you for a reason, guys."

"We? You mean you and Dead Boy got together and decided not to tell us?"

"No, Angelus had nothing to do with the decision. He did not even know about it until a few days ago, and he found out by accident. It was Giles and I who decided."

"Giles knows?"

"Yes, we both thought it was better you not know until we knew for sure just what this means."

"I'll tell you what it means," Xander said. "It means that you are going to give birth to a vampire, Buffy. You're the Slayer, how can you even contemplate having that evil thing's baby?"

"It's not going to be a vampire," Buffy countered, though she had no proof to offer him. She had no idea what this baby was going to be, but still could not stomach the idea of ridding herself of it.

"And I suppose the two of you are going to set up house together and raise it." Xander said with disdain.

"No, he knows about it, but no, I wouldn't do that."

"Right," Cordelia interjected. "And if he walked up to you right now and professed his undying love and devotion to you you'd throw him out."

"Well, no, I wouldn't do that either. He is the baby's father, guys. I don't know what you want me to do. If he did come up to me and say that, I'd listen to him, sure. You know I love him, you know how much I love him. And I do love him, soul or not, he's the same person, but I won't be with him if he continues killing."

"Is that why you had sex with him today?" Oz asked.

"What?" Buffy asked, shocked that Oz knew about that. Had Angelus told him? This was one aspect of the split personalities that were Angel and Angelus that she was still getting used to. Where Angel was hesitant to offer much information to anyone, even to Buffy, Angelus seemed all too willing to tell everyone everything.

"I smelled you, Buffy. I mean, normally I wouldn't care or even say anything in front of everyone else, but which is it? Are you with him or aren't you?"

"No, it just happened, all right?"

"See, that's where I have a problem," Xander said his tone condescending. "I don't think it's all right for you to be having sex with him and I don't think Giles would like knowing you let Dead Boy get a taste of you either."

"At least Giles seems to understand my feelings better than any of you do. Do you have any idea what the past two months have been like for me?"

"But Buffy, you have to get past it," Cordelia said.

"Right, Cordelia, and I'm supposed to get past it how exactly?"

"Don't have the baby," Xander offered, as if the answer was so obvious.

"And if this is the only chance I ever get to have a baby? Are you God now, Xander, that you get to make my decisions for me? I've already died once, you were there."

"All the more reason for you not to have it. What happens if you die again, Buffy? Who's going to take care of the baby when you're gone? Your mom? I don't think so."

"She would," Buffy said with conviction. She had no doubt in her mind that her mother would take care of Buffy's child if it came to that. They might have their problems, Buffy might hate the way her mother was treating her right now, but Joyce Summers would not turn her back on her flesh and blood.

"Were you ever going to tell us, Buffy," Willow said, her voice calm as if trying to reel the conversation back to the fact that she had kept her pregnancy a secret. Buffy knew, too, though that Willow was upset that Buffy had not confided in her.

"Yes, I was, when Giles and I thought it was safe. I mean, Slayers having babies is not common, so I have no idea if I'm even really going to have this baby. Anything could happen, and I didn't want to worry you guys. We didn't want to risk you getting as attached to the baby as I already am only to have me lose it."

"So you would rather lose it and suffer alone, Buffy?" Willow asked, her tone betraying the hurt Buffy knew she felt and Buffy all of the sudden felt bad for withholding the information from Willow.

"No, of course not, but I already have my mom looking at me with pity, I don't want it from you guys, too. Mom has no idea what the truth is as far as what happened, she just thinks Angel abandoned me. You guys know the truth, and it hurts a little more, I don't want you all feeling sorry for me."

"Oh," Willow said softly and glanced at the three others in the room with them. "Are you okay? Have you been to a doctor? Can I do anything? Is Angel going to help?"

"I'm okay, better the last couple of days, I've been to a doctor. I'm hoping you can help me, Will. And Oz," she added glancing at Oz. "Angelus gave me the name and number for a doctor in Los Angeles who specializes in children of non-human parents, so I think I should go to him but I need a ride. I can't ask my mom to bring me, she'll want to know why the local doctor isn't good enough."

"Yeah, sure, we can come up with some story I'm sure," Willow said.

"Like the Dingo's having a gig or something."

"I don't know that I like the idea of you going to a doctor Dead Boy recommends, Buff."

"Well, I have to find one other than the one my mom goes to," Buffy said, frustrated. "I won't take anything he gives me to take until I have Giles or Willow check out what they are. I've thought of that, too, believe me. It would be real easy for him to send me to some doctor and have him prescribe something to cause me to abort the baby, but guys," she said looking pointedly at each of them. "You haven't seen him when it comes to this. He's very possessive of me and the baby right now."

"I saw it," Willow said softly. "This morning, I had no idea why he was acting like that, but it makes sense now. He really was concerned about you, Buffy. At least we know one thing, Angel or Angelus, they both think about you all of the time and they're both inclined to protect you no matter what."

"That would make me feel better if I didn't think he'd go from protecting me against you or someone else to killing me himself if I made him mad."

"So what we're supposed to be happy for you? Will, Buff, you're crazy," Xander said.

"Xander," Buffy said, clutching the pillow against her chest. She was practically hugging it, wanting Angel with her. She'd take Angelus right now if it would make her stronger and enable her to get through this confrontation with her friends. And just like that she felt him again. If she wasn't the Slayer and if she and Angel-us did not share some sort of mental connection that enabled them to experience and star in one another's dreams she would be scared instead of soothed by it. She was sure it was Angel, though, not Angelus, she could feel the concern and comfort he was trying to offer her. How was this possible? Better not to dwell on it, ask Giles later how Angel could still communicate with her even though Angelus was in control. Giles knew about the dream Buffy had when Angel-us practically told her outright that Jenny Calendar had the answers to Buffy's questions. "The last thing I need right now is for you to pass judgment on me. I'm stressed enough because I need to pass these tests that Willow is tutoring me for. I don't need you being difficult about this. Believe me, it's difficult enough. Say whatever you want to Cordelia or to Willow and Oz when I'm not around, but please keep your remarks to yourself when I'm around."

"I can try."

"Please. This is part of the reason Giles and I figured it would be best if we didn't tell you, there was no sense in getting you all upset about it when we don't know what's going to happen."

"Don't the people you and Giles work for have some information?" Oz asked.

"We haven't told them either," Buffy admitted softly. "I don't want them coming here doing tests on me and I don't want them capturing Angelus."

"Capturing the undead bloodsucking fiend who has gone on a killing spree since you gave him his happy moment would be bad because?"

Buffy tossed the pillow aside and stood in a fluid movement, grateful that she had not been sick all day and that sudden movement no longer made her dizzy. She grabbed a hold of Xander by the front of his shirt and looked him in the eye as best as she could given their height difference. "Because I love him, Xander. Soul or not, I love him. I'm not saying that I couldn't drive a stake through his heart if I had to, but I love him and he's my baby's father. I'm not going to let the Council get their hands on him." She released him and stepped away. "And I honestly don't know what would happen to me if he died."

"What?" all four of them asked in unison.

"Just what I said. We have this connection, you know we've shared dreams. I don't know what would happen to me if he died."

"That's a better reason than the first one you gave us. I can't believe you can stand here and tell us you still love him, Buffy. He's a vampire, he's what you've been killing for a couple of years now, and from what Giles has told us he's one of the worst ones out there."

"I know all of that, Xander, but I can't change the way I feel. I could ask you how you could go from hating Cordelia to being her boyfriend."

"That's different."

"No, it's not, Xander. It's your heart, it's my heart. I can't turn my feelings off anymore than you can."


"Xander, we're here to talk to Buffy, not make her feel bad or patronize her. She's right, feelings don't just go away. We have to trust that she knows what she's doing."

"She's pregnant, women who are pregnant are not exactly known for being rational."

"And Giles is irrational?"

"She has a point, Xander. If Giles knows about this, then we really have nothing much to say."

"But how do we know Giles really knows?"

"Like I'd lie to you about it, but call him and ask him if you don't believe me."

"We believe you, Buffy," Willow offered, though Buffy was not overly convinced Xander believed her.

"I'm tired, guys, is there anything else?"

"Is he coming back?"

"Angelus?" It surprised her how easily his name was rolling off her tongue now. In her mind sometimes she had a hard time calling him Angelus because in her mind he would always be her Angel. "I don't know, I couldn't tell you. He was gone when I came back up here, so I have no idea." Had her not coming back up to her bedroom sent him off on the hunt? She hoped not and if it had been the reason, she was glad that Oz had come across him when he had. Angelus had said he had not killed in the past week, but Buffy had no reason to believe he was doing that for her or for any reason other than because he wanted to for now.

"You're going to let him in?" Xander asked.

"Xander," Willow said softly. "It's really not our place to tell her she can't see him. It's his baby, and if you saw him this morning you'd have seen that hurting her was the furthest thing from his mind."

"Then why did he bite her?" Cordelia asked.

"It wasn't a violence thing," Buffy said sheepishly, feeling her face grow warm again from the color creeping into it.

"What do you mean?" Xander asked and then apparently understanding got him. "Oh," he said and blushed himself.

"I'm sorry, guys, really. Giles and I just thought it was for the best if we kept it between ourselves for the time being. It was nothing more than that."

"I believe you, Buffy," Willow said, but Buffy could tell her friend was still feeling hurt. Buffy would make it up to her later, right now she was exhausted and just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for days. Her mother would probably let her do it she was so concerned about Buffy and her health right now.

"Thanks, Will," she said giving her best friend a hug. She did not bother to offer Cordelia or Oz a hug and she was still mad at Xander to bother giving him one. "I'll see you guys Monday, I guess."

"You're coming to school?"

"Well, I have those makeup tests to take and if I keep feeling as good as I've felt yesterday and today, yeah I think I might be back to school."

"Cool," Oz said with a simple nod of his head.

"Thanks. Night guys."

"Night Buff," Xander said overlapping with Cordelia's, "good night, Buffy." Buffy heard Cordelia say to Xander, "I don't know why I needed to come with you."

"Because you're part of the club, too."

Buffy did not bother saying anything to that, and did not need to as her bedroom door was shut behind her friends once they had left the room. Peace at last, she thought to herself as she went to lie on her bed. It still smelled like him, like them, and Buffy quickly fell asleep hoping the feeling of safety she had experienced earlier would last all night long.

Return to Top

***Part 9***

Buffy was so focused on staring out at the street below that she almost did not hear the telephone ring. In truth she did not want to answer it anyway, she knew it was her mother calling to say she had arrived in Atlanta safely.

"Hello," she answered distractedly.

"Hi, Buffy. Are you going to be okay, sweetheart?"

"Yeah, Mom, I was just resting."

"Are you're sure."

"I'm sure, you put off going on this trip when I wasn't doing well, but I haven't been sick or anything in over a week. I'm back at school and everything so please don't worry about me." Buffy did not claim she was fine, because it would be a lie and she did not want to risk her mother hearing the lie in her voice and coming home out of pity for Buffy. Buffy had not seen Angelus since the morning they had sex right here in her bedroom. On the very bed she currently sat on, she mused.

"Okay then," she said. "I just wanted you to know I made it here."

"Thanks, Mom. I'm glad you had a safe trip."

"I'll call you in a day or two, if you need anything you have the hotel number."

"And I promise to call Giles if I have any problems, Mom," Buffy said, glancing at her bedside clock. "I'm going to go to bed early anyway," she said hoping to ease her mother's mind. In truth, Buffy was set to go on a hunt. On an Angelus hunt. Buffy could not be sure which hurt worse, the morning after when she had woken up to find Angel gone only to encounter him later that night and have him say the things he said or this time. "So much for caring about your baby," she muttered to herself.

"What was that, Buffy?" she heard her ask.

"Nothing, Mom, sorry," she said softly. "I'll talk to you in a few days. I'm going to go to bed now," she said and hung up the phone.

"So, you think you can just come and go from my life as you wish, huh," she said bitterly. "You should know better." She walked to her closet and picked out what she hoped was an effective outfit. She would not be doing any slaying tonight, so she dressed to look good not for practicality.

She slid into a form fitting black mini-dress with a scoop neck that revealed a good deal of cleavage and left her entire back so bare she had to be careful which panties she wore or they could be seen. She took off the choker chain she had taken to wearing and put the silver chain with the cross on it Angel had given her around her neck.

The past week had been horrible not because Angelus had not visited her, but because whatever connection they shared seemed to have grown stronger since that morning. For a day or two after her friends confronted her about her being pregnant she had felt Angel with her and it had soothed her, calmed her. Angel was gone now all she got when she sought him out was Angelus. While he did not necessarily try and deflect her mental invasions she was not warmly received either when she initiated them.

She sensed it was because Angelus was actually concerned about Buffy and the baby and he wanted her out of his head afraid she would know this. It was sort of too late for that, but Buffy still had a problem differentiating between thoughts that were Angel's and those that were Angelus'. "So you want me out of you mind, Lover?" she said as she worked at styling and teasing her hair before applying her makeup. After that was done she put on her black leather knee-high boots, which served to emphasize just how short her dress was.

Normally, she sort of enjoyed the thoughts and dreams they shared, for brief moments in time she had Angel again and she did not feel so utterly alone. As Willow had pointed out, Angelus obviously thought about Buffy as much as Angel had. Today while at school, though, it was Buffy who had to sever their connection and close her mind to the mental images Angelus was sending her. They were sexual and wicked enough to make Buffy blush. Ordinarily, she might not have minded, but she had been in chemistry class and needed to concentrate. She could still hear his howl of frustration and protest when she began shutting him out.

Her friends in LA would have called her outfit an ‘out to get picked up or laid' outfit. She was not trying to do either, but she did want Angelus to notice she was still the same person that Angel could not keep his hands off of. She walked to her mother's bedroom and looked at herself in the full-length mirror. She looked good, which was the point.

She turned to her side, both hands falling to her abdomen and resting there as she studied her profile. She was about seven weeks along now and she appreciated like never before being able to wear dresses and outfits like this. In a matter of weeks she would not be able to anymore, and while it devastated Buffy she could not help but realize that Angelus could not take this part of Angel away from her. No matter what he said, and despite her realizing that they were the same man just with and without the soul, the baby was Angel's. "Well, baby, let's go make sure Daddy realizes that he can't invade Mommy's thoughts like that while she's at school," she mused to herself and the fetus as she left the house and headed in the direction of The Bronze and Angel's old apartment.

"Well, lookie, who we have here. I guess the rumors that you are dead or took a hike since your boyfriend turned bad weren't true after all."

Buffy turned to face the vampire. "Stupid," she muttered to herself when she realized she had left without a weapon of any kind. She had no intentions of slaying tonight, but obviously her intentions had no bearing on whether or not she would have to slay. "How do you know I'm not dead? Maybe he turned me," she said hoping to either buy some time or confuse the vamp enough to avoid his engaging her in battle. He was newly risen, not fresh from the grave but he had an air about him that Buffy recognized well as someone new to the world of vampirism.

"I would have heard."

"You think? You think Angelus, the Scourge of Europe, would swagger around town bragging about turning me?"

"I think he would, yeah. Who wouldn't want a turned Slayer under their belt?"

"Angelus wouldn't," she said simply, her eyes scanning the alleyway for anything she could use as a weapon or a shield in case he attacked. "To turn me would mean he couldn't live without me."

"From what I've heard that's basically the truth."

She scoffed. "No offense, but I really don't want to stand here and talk about my ex with a blood sucker tonight."

"I heard you like blood suckers, Slayer," he said, his eyes traveling the length of her body. "You certainly do look like you had other things in mind, sweetheart. You know when Angelus is done with you," he said in what Buffy imagined was supposed to be a seductive tone of voice. Buffy was too busy listening to the low but threatening nonetheless growl coming from the other end of the alley to pay the vamp much attention beyond boredom and disdain. She could not see who it was but she did not need to see him to know it was Angelus. "I know a few who would volunteer to give you a go."

Buffy did not see Angelus move until it was too late. He had the much younger vampire by the throat, his back pressed against the building's brick wall and a stake to his heart. His game face was in play and his eyes were more frightening than Buffy had ever seen them before. It was not the deep amber color that scared her, but rather the look of complete fury and rage in them. She had never seen him look so angry, and it made her realize that the anger he had toward her was because he shared Angel's feelings for her. He was angry with her because he could not move on anymore than she could.

"That's my mate you're propositioning, Rudy. What are you even doing talking to her?"

"No one said anything about talking to her being off-limits." Buffy noticed that Angelus did not seem too pleased the vampire had just said that, and she realized why. It sounded as if Angelus had put the word out in Sunnydale that the Slayer was off limits to all vampires. Interesting, she thought and wondered if there was any way she could test her theory out without pissing off the already furious vampire.

"She's mine, that means no one talks to her, no one looks at her, no one walks near her, no one even thinks about her. You see her, you make yourself scarce."

"Angelus," Buffy said softly.

"Stay out of this, Buffy," he said shortly. Buffy noticed he used her true name, not Buff or Lover, but Buffy. He regarded her briefly, glancing at her from his peripheral vision at first and then he turned his full attention to her. Without any apparent thought or remorse, Angelus drove the stake home, right through the younger vampire's heart and they both watched until the dust was gone. "What in the hell are you doing walking around dressed like that," he bellowed. "Are you trying to attract the attention of every male, breathing or otherwise, in town?"

"I dress like this all of the time, Angelus. You never complained before."

"That fool Soul Boy never complained. You're dealing with me now, and I am complaining. You're not a whore, Buff, and no mother of my child is going to dress like a bitch in heat."

"What in the hell are you talking about? You have some nerve thinking you can tell me what I can and cannot wear. There is nothing wrong with my outfit."

"Oh no," he said, grabbing her and pushing her back up against the wall in the same spot the vampire he had just dusted had been.

"No," she said as his hand dropped the stake he had been holding and clutched her lower thigh. Her breath hitched and her eyes fell closed as his hand slid higher along her bare thigh, reaching underneath her skirt. "Oh god, no, no you don't. You haven't been around for a week. You can't just do this to me when you feel like it, Angelus. You proved I still want you, that I still love you, there's nothing left for you to prove to yourself about me or my feelings for you."

"I've been around, Buff, you know I have. How do you think I came to be here tonight?"

"I," she paused and frowned, her eyes flew open. "You were following me?"

"I was watching you."

"You were following me. That still doesn't give you the right."

"You're carrying my child, Buff, that gives me every right," he said using his finger to push the fabric of her panties away from her womanhood. She tried not to move against him, tried not to encourage him to enter her, but when his fingertip pushed against her opening she could not help but thrust against him. "See," he said in a low whisper as he kissed her ear. "Even your body knows I have every right."

"No, not here," she said breathlessly, surprised she was capable of protesting any longer. He was right, she wanted him, recognized him, and she began crying at the realization that he had such complete control over her mind and her body. She shuddered almost violently as the crying increased.

"Buff?" he asked, drawing his hand away from her womanly core. God, she was on fire for him, she knew she was wet without having to touch herself. She watched as his still amber eyes met hers and he licked his finger clean, a pleasurably wicked grin on his lips.

"I hate you. I hate this. I hate that I want you. I hate that I still love you. I hate that I still need you. I hate it. Why can't you just leave me alone?"

"And had I not come along, who would have killed that vamp for you, Lover?"

"I could have handled it."

"With what weapon?" Busted, she realized and she had no reply, she was in no position to do acrobatic Slayer stunts. "I will leave you alone when the babe comes, Lover, not a day sooner. If you continue walking around Sunnydale dressed like a whore I will take matters into my own hands."

"What matters?"

"Proper training in how to respect your mate, of course."

"You don't respect me, so why should I respect you?"

"I respect you enough to try and help you get information. I respect you enough not to kill you and the unborn child we created. I respect you enough to look out for you even though it goes against everything I should be doing."

"What should you be doing?"

"I should be plotting your death, your demise, something to bring you down."

"Instead you're dreaming about me."

He smiled wickedly, a gleam in his eyes as his game face disappeared. "Yes, pleasant dreams wouldn't you say? You tuned me out before I could finish that one, Lover."

"I was in chem. class," she protested.

"So you liked it then? You wouldn't have closed me out if you hadn't been in class?"

"No," she admitted almost involuntarily. Angel had told her that Drusilla had the ability to put people under thrall with her eyes and she wondered sometimes if Angelus had that ability as well. It was the only reason she could explain her need to speak to him so frankly.

"So you're back in school then, Lover?"

"Yeah," she said, missing his body as soon as he pulled away from her and hating herself for missing him.

"Good, that's one thing I don't need to be concerned about then."

"Concerned about?"

"You can't very well raise a child without an education, Buff, surely you know that."

"I'm not going to be able to get much of a job with a high school diploma, either," she replied bitterly. She had thought about this at length. She was due in late September, which would mean that she would be out of school for a little while at least. Hopefully, the school would let Willow tutor her like they did recently so that Buffy could stay current.

"You'll go to college when you're done."

"Oh, right, and who's going to take care of the baby while I'm at class? You? For that matter, you know full well Slayer's don't live past the age of eighteen very often. So, I could very well have this baby and die within a matter of months."

He growled, his eyes flashing yellow though his human disguise stayed intact. "You will not die, do you hear me?"

"You're powerful enough to prevent me from dying?"

"I'm powerful enough, Lover, powerful enough. You will not die, at least if you do it won't have anything to do with your being the Slayer."

"How can you be so sure of that?"

"I grow tired of repeating myself, Buff, I've told you this already. You are mine and I won't let anyone but me kill you."

"How could I forget."

"What are you doing here exactly? And where are your little do gooder friends?" he asked, seeming to realize for the first time that she was alone.

"They're patrolling I imagine, and I was looking for you."

"Miss me, Lover?"

"Hardly, you hadn't been by in a week, I was worried you were dead."

"Right, you know damned well you'd know if I was dead, Lover. Why can't you admit that you still want me?"

"Why can't you?" she spat back.

"I do want you, Lover, but it would never work. Again, I'm repeating myself as I told you this in your room last week. Unless you're up to my turning you there's no point."

"What about this mate thing?"

"It has nothing to do with it."

"What does it mean exactly? I let you feed off of me, I'm not, you didn't?"

"No, Lover, you're educated enough about the ways of my kind to know that I did not come close to draining you and you did not drink from me."

"So what does it mean? Why can I feel you? Why can you communicate with me, plant your thoughts and dreams in my head as if they were my own? Why do I feel Angel?"

"You've described it as best as I can, Buff, I don't know that I can give you an explanation. Perhaps your Watcher could. As far as feeling the pathetic being that inhabited my body for close to a century, I imagine it's his soul you're connected to as you are connected to the rest of me. The soul is gone, but it's still there in the etherworld, and it would still call to you I imagine."

"Oh," she said softly. His soul was still out there? Could it be restored? Oh God, why had she paid so little attention to his story about the curse when he had told it? Of course, his sire and former lover was attacking her moments later, so that could be the reason she had forgotten most of what he had said beyond the girl he had fed off of was a gypsy. A gypsy who was related in some fashion to Jenny Calendar, Buffy knew now.

"What are you thinking, Buff?"

"Nothing," she said softly.

"You're lying."

"I'm not."

"You never answered my question. What are you doing here?"

"I did, I told you I was looking for you."

"Dressed like that?"

"Well, yeah, I wanted to punish you," she said feebly, realizing how lame that sounded now. She was not quite sure how dressing like this was supposed to punish him, but at the time it had seemed like a good idea.

He gleamed wickedly at her once again, and Buffy was reminded of Little Red Riding Hood and what she must have felt like looking into the eyes of the Big Bad Wolf. "Whom are you trying to punish exactly?" he asked, reaching into the scoop top of her dress and cupped a bare breast with his hand. He rolled the hardening peak in between his thumb and forefinger and Buffy could not help but whimper at the sensation. She groaned in frustration as her body betrayed her, her nipples grew harder under his touch when they were supposed to not react to him at all. He pressed against her, his body crushing hers into the wall and she felt his hardness at the juncture between his legs and moaned as he lowered his mouth to kiss her. His other hand reached for the hem of her dress while he continued his attention to her breasts with his other hand.

"Someone will see," she mewled in protest against his mouth.

"I'll smell them before they get close enough and if they dare come near us I'll rip their heart out," he growled as he slid his fingertips into the waistband of her panties at her hip. He cupped her behind, palming it with his large hand and drew her against him. "Did it work," he whispered against her ear before seeking the spot on her neck he had bitten a week ago. He laved the mark with his tongue.

"Yes," she cried out as he trailed his elongated fangs lower from her neck and throat to her breast, imbedding his fangs into the swell of her breast. His hand at her backside slid lower along her ass and she whimpered as he entered her once again with the tip of his finger. Had this been what she wanted all along? Not to punish him but to attract him? She had no idea and she felt herself just give into the sensation his feeding off of her created in her.

She was aware distantly of the hand that had been at her breast working the fastenings on his leather pants. "Here?" she cried out knowing he could not answer her unless he stopped feeding. "Don't stop," she groaned, not wanting him to stop. She had her answer soon enough anyway as both hands cupped her behind, his strong arms lifted her up high enough so that he could enter her.

He was violent as he entered her, an uncontrollable animal that impaled her body with his hard length causing her to cry out again from the pain. It hurt, but it was a good kind of hurt, something Buffy did not bother to try and understand. She was growing weak, he was taking too much from her as he pounded into her again and again. She would have bruises on her back from the brick wall behind her and on her thighs and bottom because of the vice-like grip his hands had on her there.

He came inside of her, spilling his seed inside of her with a roar as he retracted his fangs from her breast. His eyes met hers, holding her gaze as he continued to pump into her battered body. The visual of seeing her blood on his fangs and around his mouth should have repulsed her, should have sickened her but it did not. "Should I stop yet?" he bit out apparently sensing she was close to her own release.

"No," she said and he laughed.

He ran his fangs over his wrist, tearing at the flesh to open a wound and offered it to her. "Drink," he said. "Drink of me as I have drunk from you, Buffy," he said uncertainly, the look in his eyes just then raw and vulnerable. She could not grab a hold of his wrist without losing the precious balance she had at the moment, but she nodded her head and he brought his wrist to her mouth which she licked. After a moment she clamped down with her mouth, sucking hard as if trying to give him a hickey for lack of knowing what else to do given she had no fangs. He let out a primal king of the jungle like roar just as her orgasm rocked her to her very core. Her muscles tightened around him, including the one around his now spent length and she whimpered, ashamed at what she had just done. He set her down on the ground, releasing her without bothering to ensure she was okay to stand and began to lap at the puncture wounds on her breast, closing them.

"Taste so good," he murmured, and for a moment she sensed that he was troubled, caught between wanting her and wanting to wreak havoc on the world as revenge on Miss Calendar's clan for forcing him to spend the last century tamed.

"What if I offered myself to you?"

"What?" he asked, glancing up at her sharply.

"I don't want to be turned, but what if we could be together, you could feed off me, so you wouldn't have to feed off anyone else?"

"What makes you think I want to be with you, Buff?"

"What is this then?" she demanded.

"Good sex, Lover, with a warm human who can take me without my killing her." He was lying, she knew he was, she could see it in his eyes. She could see the conflict there, too, he knew what she had just offered him had not been easy for her to offer. A look of knowing passed between the two confused lovers, both knowing what the other was thinking but afraid to confront the other for fear whatever this was they were doing would come to a screeching halt. Buffy had to admit this was better than no Angel in her life. How pathetic is that? she mused to herself.

"That's it?" she asked.

"I hate to disappoint you, Buff, but that's it. No white picket fences for us. I'm through being housebroken," he said stepping away. He adjusted his shirt, tucking it into his leather pants before fastening them. "Straighten up," he said curtly.

"What?" she asked stunned at the change in him.

"No one came by but we don't need to give anyone who might happen by now a peep show."

Tears formed in her eyes again. Why did she let him do this to her? Why did she give into him and allow herself to hope that he wanted her? That his love for her would overcome his love for blood, the hunt and the kill. She adjusted her dress, smoothed it down and fixed the top before running a hand through her hair. His back was to her, his shoulders slumped as he lit a cigarette. The cigarette was a ruse, a distraction, Buffy knew it was. He was thinking about what she had just offered him. He was thinking about the fact that he could not seem to stay away from her anymore than she could stay away from him.

She took a step toward him when a sharp pain ripped through her body. "Angelus," she cried out when she experienced another stabbing pain totally different from the somewhat pleasurable one she had experienced minutes ago. "Angelus," she cried out again, clutching her abdomen before everything around her faded into darkness.

Return to Top

***Part 10***

"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?"

"You're leaving?"

"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."

Return to Top

***Part 11***

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.

Return to Top

***Part 12***

It was well into the morning when Buffy finally came to. She felt as though she was coming out of a fog as she rolled onto her side and stretched expecting the heaviness she was experiencing to diminish as she became more awake.

"I know you're awake, Buff," his voice was soft yet raspy as if he had not used it in a while. Had he brought her home? And he was still with her. It was a good thing her mother was gone.

She groaned softly. "I don't want to get up." In truth, she did not want to face him knowing she would just see amusement in his eyes for what had happened the night before.

"You don't have to get up, but I need to make sure that you talk to me for a while."

"Why are you here?"

"You are with me, Lover, not the other way around."

"What do you mean I'm with you?" she asked. Visions of his giving her to Drusilla and Spike flashed before her eyes and he laughed, almost as if he knew what she was thinking.

"You're safe."

"With you?"

"Yes, with me," he growled. "You didn't seem to question that last night when I took you from the hospital."

"You didn't bring me home?" She had realized since she woke up that she was not at her house, or at least not in her bed.

"No, we wouldn't be left alone there."

"Why do you want to be alone with me, Angelus?" she asked, placing a protective hand over her abdomen.

"I assure you I have no desire to harm our baby, Buff."

"Why should I believe you?"

"You told me on the way here that you trusted me."

"I was lying."

"You were not, Buff, you might be able to lie to Rupert or your friends but you don't lie well to me. I want to ensure you recover and won't go back to slaying or doing anything else to risk harm to the baby."

"Like what you did to me, you mean?"

"It wasn't intentional, Lover." He pushed himself off the window ledge he had been leaning against. "You were far too tempting dressed as you were. It was as if you were daring me to take you. I merely accepted the challenge."

"You fed off me. Again."

"And you fed off me, Lover. That's what mates do. Didn't you enjoy it?"

"No," she lied.

He laughed and walked to the side of the bed, sitting next to her. "Oh, Buff, and after I just got done saying you don't lie very well. At least not to me. I was there, remember? Both times."

"I'm surprised you remember either time. One girl twice in two hundred forty years can't be that special."

"You're not just one girl, Buff, you know that."

She was quiet as she tried to figure out what he meant. Was he saying that he still loved her? Angel had been confusing, but at least Buffy had understood why he was confusing. She knew, now, that he was trying to prevent from happening what happened. True, Angel did not know that they would release his soul back to wherever it disappeared to, but he sensed somehow that bad things would happen.

Her hands traced along the seams of the comforter. It was a deep blue in color and while soft to the touch it smelled as if it had just been removed from the packaging. Had he bought these things for her? She did not want to dwell on why Angelus would be so generous with her and what he might hope to gain in return. "Why did you feed off that girl?" she asked, her eyes downcast.

"You'll have to be a little more specific than that, Buff."

"Last week," she glanced up at him and realized he was going to make her say it. "After we were - together - in my bedroom, Oz saw you feeding off a girl that night."

"Jealous, Lover? How touching."

"It's just that you had fed off of me that morning. From the things Spike has said I didn't think you'd have needed to feed again so soon."

"Spike has come after you lately?" he growled. His eyes turned yellow, not the deep shade that usually accompanied his game face dropping into place. She had no idea what she had said, but he was clearly not happy.

"No, but he's mentioned the blood of a slayer a time or two when he's tried to kill me."

"Yes, it is very empowering."

"So why did you then?"

"Because I needed to get the taste of you out of my mouth. I was angry with you, because you didn't come back to your room," he added.

"I was scared to. What if I had come back?" she asked. She probably sounded pathetically hopeful with that question.

"I don't know," he admitted. "Is that why you made the offer last night?"

"I'm not sure. I don't like the idea of you feeding off people, and I don't like the idea of you going from me to some vampire junkie."

"I have to feed, Buff."

"So what's wrong with me?"

"I think you need all of your blood for the next few months. I have no problem feeding off of you like the two times I have. But that was for fun, to heighten the moment, it wasn't truly feeding. Hell, I can't deny I haven't thought about seeing just how close I can get you to that point. I get hard thinking about it. I get hard thinking about hearing you beg me to do it, to finish the job and turn you."


"Because it's the only way we can be together, Buff. You know it, I know it."

"It's not, Angelus. It's the only way we can be together because you choose to be evil and do evil things."

"It's what I am, Buff. It's what I'm good at. I'm not the same man your boyfriend was. No soul, remember?"

"So? Why does not having a soul have to mean you're evil? You still have a brain, you still have the ability to think. The soul just erases your conscious and any remorse. I know you know right from wrong and are capable of doing some good. I know Angel, his soul or whatever it is that's left of him is still there inside of you. I heard him last night. I feel him with me sometimes. I know it wasn't the soul that wanted to do right, to do good. He could have gone on killing despite the soul."

"Buff," he said cupping her face with both hands. "It can't happen. Soul Boy might have been tempted to take his relationship with you for a spin and see how far it went, but I am not."

"Why?" she cried out.

"Because it would never work, Buff. I can't stop feeding, can't go back to drinking pig's blood or the swill that Willy serves."

"But you love me."

"I'd love to deny that, I'd love to tell you it was the soul and without it those feelings are gone. But, Buff, you have to believe me, it's for the best."

"How can it be for the best if you feel it too? I can't imagine my life without you."

"We're not going to talk about this anymore, particularly right now, Buff. I'm not going to argue with you, which is all we would do. You need your rest, but I wanted to show you where we were in case you wake up and I'm not here."

"You're going to leave me?" she asked, shivering at the thought of being somewhere strange alone.

"I need my rest, Buff."

"Oh, I just assumed," she felt her cheeks grow warm then and looked away.

"You assumed I'd sleep with you? I can, but you'll still be awake at times when I am not given you don't sleep days. And I need to feed."

"Where are we?" she asked, not wanting to think about where he would go to feed. She was the Slayer, she was supposed to stop him from feeding off innocent humans.

"Few are as innocent as you'd like to believe, Buff."

"What?" she asked, confused.

"A benefit of the blood exchange, I believe."

"You know what I'm thinking?"

"Not all of the time, but you had your mind open and receptive to my probing."

"I don't want you probing me," she said, horrified that even her thoughts were not protected against him.

"That's not what you said last night, Lover," he said as he tucked a few strands of her hair behind her ear. "But to set your mind at ease, I don't particularly like knowing you can touch my mind and know my thoughts either."

"I can?"

"How do you think you heard the little conversation I was having with your boyfriend last night?"

"I don't know, I didn't think."

"That's the problem with you, Buff, you don't think."

"Fine, insult me. I know I'm not the smartest person."

"That's just it, you're not as dumb as you would like people to think you are. I know, I've seen you in action at times when your instincts take over and you don't seem as concerned over what people might think of you."

"You think I want people to think I'm dumb?"

"No, but I think you like the fact that people underestimate you, your teachers expect mediocrity from you, it allows you to merely get by which I think you like for some reason."

"No reason to do much more than get by when your life comes with an expiration date."

His hand which had been pressed lightly against the side of her face, his thumb stroking her cheek for the last few minutes grew rough at her words. He jerked her face so she was forced to look at him. "Don't talk like that."

"Why not? It's true."

"Not if I can help it, Buff."

"What can you do about it? No one else can perform my duties, Angelus."

"I'm working on it."

"You're working on it?"

"I am," he hissed. "Don't question me, Buff. I'm working on it. Do you think I want my child to grow up not knowing its mother because she died at a young age? I might be an arrogant son of a bitch, but I don't know the first thing about children beyond the fact that I like how they taste."

"Let's not talk about your preferences as far as food goes."

"You'd never accept me. The true me, Lover. You were okay with Soul Boy because he did not talk about our past."

"I don't mind hearing about your past, Angelus."

"Only the approved for younger audiences version, though. And that's nowhere near as fun."

"No, that's not it. I just hate the sound in your voice that indicates you miss those things. Feeding off children. And you wonder why I'm afraid of what you might do to the child?"

"I enjoyed doing them, Buff. I can't say there's a thing I regret."

"So why haven't you gone off on a torture spree then?"

"Because I have you to deal with."

"I'm sorry to interfere."

"As soon as the baby comes I won't have to worry about your interference any longer. I can wait a few more months. At least I don't have to be broody and pathetic like I was with the soul."

Somehow she had to make him change his mind, see that he was supposed to be here with her otherwise she would not be having this baby. But he was so stubborn, he was not going to give in today. "Is there another bed made up somewhere for you?" A change in the subject seemed appropriate. He was right, after all, they would do nothing but argue about this and she was not in the mood to argue.

"No, I was going to sleep on the couch. Did you want me in here with you?"

"It would make the time go by a little better I guess, since you're ordering me to rest."

"Not my orders, doctors orders. Two of them."

"Do you mind?"

"I can't say that I mind a warm, willing, human woman wanting me to sleep beside her, no. But don't get used to it."

"This mind thing, is it going to get any worse?"

"That's up to us, I think, and how proficient we get at controlling it."

"We'd have quite an advantage over opponents if we were actually working together," Buffy said. He stood from the bed and began removing his clothes.

"What?" he asked.

"You aren't getting undressed?"

"What did you think that I would sleep in my clothes? It's a little late to worry about your virtue, don't you think?"

"No, but I just wanted you to sleep here. I don't want to have sex with you."

"That did not seem to be the case last night, Lover. But you have nothing to worry about, the doctor said that sex was out of the question for a while." He met her gaze, almost daring her to look away as he shed his leather pants. "There are things we could do if you were of the mind. There's a world of things I could teach you."

"I don't know that I would like anything you could teach me."

"You seemed to like it rough last night, Lover. If you were truly a good girl you would not have let me take you like that." He joined her on the bed and with lightning quick speed had her top up, revealing her breast and the bite mark there. "You got off on this. I felt it. So cut the innocent school girl act with me."

"I am innocent," she said willing her body not to react to the fingertip he traced along the bite mark there.

"Not any more," he said with a low growl.

She tugged on her top, pulling it down and sighed softly. "You know, maybe this isn't a good idea. You were nicer to me when I was getting sick all of the time. Now you're just being mean."

"You want me here, don't try and deny it."

"I don't hear you protesting, Angelus," she said mockingly. "You could have gone to sleep on the couch if you really wanted to. Or maybe my warm human body appeals to you more than you'd care to admit."

"You overestimate your appeal, Buff."

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and swallowed her pride for a moment. "Oh really," she said coquettishly as she cupped his member with her hand. "Then why do you react so easily to my touch?" she asked as she felt him harden under her ministrations.

"I'm a man, Lover, what do you expect? You'd have to be damned ugly for me not to get hard."

She smiled wickedly as she met his gaze. "Then why were you just thinking that you wished Drusilla's hand felt this good?"

He growled and pushed her off of him. "Get out of my head."

She knelt near his legs facing him, her left hand mere centimeters from the cool expanse of his thigh. "My drinking from you was your idea, Lover," she said with a smirk.

"Clearly, I wasn't thinking coherently at the time or I wouldn't have done it. I don't need you in my head. It's bad enough I have to worry about Drusilla getting into my head."

"Just think what we could do together if we were fighting together instead of each other," she said, tracing a fingernail over his bare thigh. She had never really taken the chance to look at him before. Not naked as he was now. He really was nice to look at despite his body being pale from lack of sun.

"It's not going to happen, Buff," he quipped as her hand slid higher along his thigh. She was not sure if he was talking about them fighting together or something else.

"It could happen, though."

"I had no idea it would be so strong," he said.


"The bond. I should have known, it was strong without our drinking from each other."

"Well, you can just stay away from me and then we won't have to worry about it."

"It doesn't work that way. I hate to tell you that, but I could be on the other side of the world and hear you."


"I think so," he admitted with a nod of his head, looking at her from underneath hooded eyes. "I've never done it before."


"No, not in the same way as with you. You're my mate, I don't know how I happened to come by a human mate."

"The soul."

"Probably, but it shouldn't have happened even with the soul. Let's not argue about it anymore today, Buff. I brought you here to rest, to get your strength back, not to weaken your physical or mental state."

She snorted and rolled her eyes at that. "Since when?"

"I'm trying to do what's right here, Buff."

"I ask again since when," she teased.

He growled again, but she was not scared by it. He seemed to sense this and frowned at her. "Are you going to let me sleep sometime today or are you trying to drive me crazy so I'll go to the couch after all?"

She pouted and sighed heavily, stretching out alongside of him. "If I have to."

"It's not going to work, Buff. You need your rest, probably more than I do. The doctor says you've put both you and the baby at risk."

"I put us at risk?"

"I helped perhaps, but the point is you need to be careful. Rest. When does your mom get home?"

"Wednesday I think. It might be Thursday, I don't know for sure."

"So that means you'll be here with me until then."

"Where is here?"

"I'll show you later. There's a bathroom through that door," he said gesturing to a closed door. "You shouldn't need anything else before I wake up."

"Hello? What about food?"

"There's fruit over there on the table and one of those little refrigerators with some other things in it. So you should be fine for a while considering you're supposed to be resting anyway."

"Thanks," she said glancing at the table he mentioned. It was not exactly a smorgasbord, but she saw a couple of oranges and apples as well as a few bunches of green grapes. She had been craving grapes for the past couple of days. So far her cravings had not been anything abnormal or disgusting. Grapes she could deal with.

"I know," he said with a shrug.


"You wanted green grapes, not the red ones. And you don't like the black ones at all."

"Ew," she said wrinkling her nose and he chuckled lightly. For a moment she could have believed this was Angel she was looking at, laughing at her.

"Get some rest, Buff."

Buffy did not find it difficult to get back to sleep. Her last conscious thought was wondering if Giles or any of her friends knew where she was. Unfortunately, she was never able to ask the question.

Return to Top

***Part 13***

Late April 1998

"So, that's it?" Willow asked. Buffy could hear the wariness in her best friend's voice.

"Yeah, as soon as the sun finished setting for the day I left."

"And he saw it, too?"

"Yes, Will, I don't know how else to explain it. I felt him come awake and I felt him inside of me, knew he was seeing what I was seeing."

"That's just creepy."

"You don't think I find it creepy that the vampire wearing my boyfriend's face can enter my mind? That he can see through my eyes if he wants to? I've never been a big fan of sunsets before now, I always reacted to sunrises more because that was what took Angel away from me. I've always been able to sense the sunset, not like Angel can, I just know when it's close even if I'm in a room with no windows. But since that day I have this compulsion to watch the sun go down. And every day, I feel him watching it set with me."

"But you haven't seen him since that night?"

"Haven't seen him exactly, no." Buffy knew she should be happy that she had not seen Angelus in a month. She should feel safer knowing he was staying away, but she missed him. He had cared for her in a way that surprised her during that week with him. She knew that he felt foolish for doting over her as he had and that he had genuinely been concerned for her welfare. She guessed that was why he was staying away. During that week with him she knew without a doubt for the first time since he found out about her pregnancy that his concern was solely for her. He did not care if the baby survived as long as she did, and considering how egocentric Angelus was it was surprising to believe her well being ranked above a potential child.

"And you're sure he hasn't left town?"

"He hasn't left town," Buffy said with conviction. "I can see what he sees, too," she added softly.

"You can?"

"Yeah, I try not to, because I'm always afraid." She paused and shrugged, looking away. "I'm always afraid I'll catch him doing something I know I should kill him for doing. But I know he's still local."

"What does he do when you do it?"

What could Buffy say to that? Sometimes Buffy felt like Angelus welcomed her intrusions. It seemed occasionally like he was waiting for her, almost as if he had willed her to seek him out. There were times Buffy wondered if Angelus truly did have so much control over her that he could will her to seek him out and let her believe it was her idea. "Usually nothing. I've seen Drusilla and Spike a couple of times, but he shuts me out immediately when they're around."

"You mean, it's like he closes a door?"

"Something like that, yeah, closes it."

"He's protecting you then, if he doesn't want you in his head when Drusilla and Spike are around."

"I wouldn't go that far, Will. I think he's protecting himself, he doesn't want Drusilla to see me and get a vision about the baby."

"So everything he can do, you can do?"

"Yeah," she said with a slight shrug. It was sort of disturbing, but she did not want to tell Willow that. Willow had been the most supportive person she knew of her dating Angel, but Buffy suspected even that support would have its limits.

"It's too bad he couldn't get sick when you were getting sick all of the time."

"What?" Buffy asked.

"I mean, in your place, you know. I mean, maybe he would have left you alone or something if he knew how rotten you were feeling."

"Will, he protected me. He comes by the house every night before the sun comes up."

"I thought you haven't seen him."

"I haven't, but that doesn't mean I don't know when he's been here."

"This is just too confusing, Buffy. I'm sorry. I don't know what to do for you."

"You're doing it, Will," Buffy said, turning onto her side. She rested her hand on her slightly swollen abdomen and could not help but look at it before going on. "You're helping me get through school, you and Oz are going to be driving me to the doctor, and you promised to eat ice cream with me so I don't feel like I'm pigging out alone all of the time."

"As long as there aren't pickles involved with the ice cream, I'm with you. When is your next doctor appointment?"

"Next week," Buffy said with a frown. "He wanted to see me twice this month because of the whole bleeding thing."

"So does he know you're the Slayer?"

"Yes, I had to tell him, Will. I know it's supposed to be a secret, but I didn't think he'd be able to treat me. You know?"

"Have you talked to Giles?"

"I asked him to see what he could find out about the doctor, but he hasn't found out anything, or at least nothing he's told me about."

"And you still don't want the Council to know?"

"No, which may be why he hasn't been able to find anything out. I don't want them to take it away from me, Will." She lowered her gaze to her abdomen again, pushing back tears. "It's the only chance I'll get."

"You don't know that."

"Willow, I still love Angel more than anything even without the soul. I'm never going to trust someone again enough to," she trailed off and looked away as the tears she had been trying to stop began leaving wet paths along her cheeks.

"Oh, hey," Willow said, apparently feeling embarrassed. "I didn't mean. I agree with what you're doing, Buffy. I can't say I understand it or even like it." Wordlessly, she handed Buffy a tissue.

"What's not to like?"

"Well, what about college, Buffy? I mean, what about your future? A baby will change all that."

"I was destined to be different, Wills. I don't think college is in the cards for Buffy Summers and I don't know how much of a future I have. That's why I'm having it. Why can't anyone understand that?"

"I guess it's hard for me to really understand it, Buffy, I'm sorry. I try, really I do, and I know I should being your best friend and all. But maybe because I wasn't there when Angel and Xander found you - you know that night - I just have a hard time realizing your life may not be as long as mine is."

"Maybe, but that should just make you realize all the more that this may be the only chance I get."

"Okay, maybe I can understand that. But, Buffy, he's a vampire, I mean, what kind of baby can the two of you produce? How are you going to explain to the child who his father is?"

"I don't know, Will, I'll tell him the truth, that I loved his father very much."

"Say the baby is normal, Buffy, human with no side effects from being the product of vampire and Slayer. Do you want to have a daily reminder of Angel?"

"If that's all I get to have of Angel, is his baby, Will, I'll take it. It's better than the nothing I've got now."

"You don't have nothing, Buffy. You have us, and you still have Angel whether he wants to admit it or not. He loves you. He took you from the hospital to protect you, even I know that."

"It doesn't matter, Will. He's going to leave as soon as the baby is born and he believes we're both safe."

"How do you know that?"

"That's what he says, Will, and I don't think there's anything I can do to convince him he should stay. He's probably right."

"About what?"

"I'm the Slayer, he's going to continue to feed off humans, Will. I can give him a pass for the next five or so months as long as he doesn't kill anyone."

"Does Giles know you feel that way?"

"Yes, Giles knows," Buffy confessed. "But he's not going to go forever without killing, I know that. And I don't really want to have to choose to kill my baby's father. A part of me would rather he be away from Sunnydale, too."

"Maybe he'll change his mind, you know, once the baby is here."

"I don't know, Will. It's weird, Angel wants him to stay."


"Well, the soul, I guess, I don't know how to explain it. But I've had dreams and I've felt him, Angel not Angelus. It's like his soul is still communicating with me, and it communicates with Angelus, too."


"Yeah, I can hear him when he talks to Angelus, too. It's sort of weird. He only appears to me in dreams or with feelings, he's never talked to me."

"Have you tried?"

"No, I thought about it, but I think it would hurt too much."

"Maybe you're right."

"What?" Buffy asked when her friend seemed almost too quiet.

"Nothing," Willow said cheerily. "I was just thinking I guess as your best friend I need to plan your shower. I've never planned a baby shower before, do you think your mom would let us have it here? I'm pretty sure Mom would freak out if I had a baby shower for one of my friends at our house."

Buffy knew something was up, but she was not going to press Willow tonight. She had not exactly been completely honest to Willow about everything either. She would never admit to anyone that she had liked Angelus feeding off of her. Willow might suspect, but that was the most she would be able to do on that subject. "I'm sure Mom would even offer to help, Will. She's been better since she got back from her buying spree in Atlanta."

"Good, can we invite boys? I mean, Xander I think would be kind of hurt if we didn't invite him?"

"I don't know if he'd be hurt or not, Will, but you can invite whoever you want. It's not like it was in LA, I don't have too many friends."

"Do you miss it?"

"Sometimes. But I do know that none of them would have supported me like you are. When everything started, my being called and everything, they just sort of disappeared like I had a disease or something."

"I would never do that."

"I know you wouldn't, Will."

"Good," her friend said simply. Buffy was not sure what it was they had just accomplished, but she knew that she felt better whatever it was. For a few minutes she had almost stopped thinking about the fact that Angelus had been avoiding her for weeks.

Return to Top

***Part 14***

Mid-June 1998

Angelus had waited for what seemed like an eternity for the day his mate finished school for the year so he could take her away until after the babe was born. Joyce had been easy enough to lead into staying late at the gallery tonight, one phone call from a potential big spending buyer was all it had taken. Angelus had been in his mate's mind when she talked to Willow about looking forward to having the house to herself, so he knew tonight was it. Perhaps she had expected him to visit, but he knew she had no idea what he had in mind. He had been very careful about not revealing anything to her.

He and his mate had grown quite proficient at their mind communication by now and Angelus found it somewhat reassuring at times when he was cooped up indoors waiting for the sun to go down. They still entered one another's thoughts at inopportune times occasionally, but overall both seemed to recognize when they encountered a barrier that they were meant to be kept out.

Usually it was Angelus who needed to keep his mate out. He had managed over the past few months to convince Spike and Dru that he was merely biding time until his mate believed she was safe and then he would strike. Angelus had never been into team playing anyway, so it was not too farfetched. Of course he was not the pussy whipped Soul Boy. If his mate was not pregnant with his child things would have taken a different turn. How Buff's condition had escaped Drusilla's visions was beyond Angelus, but he was not about to tempt fate any more than he had to.

Angelus had learned after a good deal of pain and suffering on Doctor Gagne's part that he had informed Buffy's Watcher's Council of her condition. Why the doctor had done that, Angelus could not fathom. A doctor being involved in the prenatal care and delivery of a baby between vampire and Slayer had to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Angelus had allowed Doctor Gagne to live, but only after the Watcher's Council had been contacted and told Buffy Summers had decided not to have the baby and her medical records were marked accordingly.

It had been a fluke, Angelus going to LA to visit Doctor Gagne about his mate. He had been curious to know how Buff was doing now that she was into her second trimester, and in his attempt to avoid direct contact with her he had sought out the one person who could answer his questions. That had been last night, and Angelus was not sure he would have waited until school had let out for the summer once he knew her Council knew.

He entered her house through the back door where she stood in the kitchen, apparently waiting for him. Would she argue with him? He was not sure, but believed her Council of Watchers knowing might be incentive to get her to leave with him.

"Well, look what the cat dragged in," she said sarcastically, her arms crossed over her chest.

"It's not like I disappeared on you, Lover."

"No, but I can't exactly seek you out if I need to."

"Do you ever stop bitching? You can seek me out whenever you want to, all the damned time, and you complain because I haven't seen you in a while."


"I didn't know you were keeping track."

"Well, I have been."

"You left me last, remember? You were the one to walk out the door after we had watched the sunset together, so don't blame it on me."

"And had I stayed, then what? I was feeling better, Mom was coming home from her trip and there was no reason for you to stay with me anymore. I left before you could send me away. You've made it clear you're leaving once this is done."

"Well, I'm here to take you away again."

"What? I can't go with you."

"Yes, you can, and you will. If I have to tie you up, gag you and drag you by your hair, you're coming with me."

"Why all cavemanish on me all of the sudden? The baby is fine, the doctor said I'm fine."

"Your doctor told the Council."

"He did what?" Buffy asked wide-eyed.

He let her digest that for a bit, he could see the realization of just what that might mean when she got to that point. "Yes, I paid him a visit yesterday and discovered that piece of information. I want to get you out of here before they come for you."

"I have to tell Mom. I should call Giles and let him know, so he expects them if they come."

"I'll call Giles, you go pack some things. Only the essentials, I'll buy you whatever you need when we get where we're going."

"You're going to call Giles? That will go over real well."

He glanced at his mate's growing abdominal area and smirked. "And I have no idea what fits you anymore, so if you want clothes that fit you need to get them yourself while I call your Watcher, Lover."

"Where are we going?"

"I don't know."

"The mansion you brought me to before?"

"Did you tell anyone about it?"

"No," she admitted and seemed almost shy about it. "I couldn't. It was the nicest you'd been to me since Angel left; I didn't want to tell anyone about that place."

He grimaced. "I'm not nice, Lover. Now, go get your things and we can go there at least for a night or two, if you're sure no one knows. Not even Willow or Xander?"

"No, Angelus, I swear I didn't."

"Go. Pack. Get ready and be back down here as quick as you can."

"You are not giving me orders, Angelus."

"Don't argue with me on this one, Buff. Go. Now," he growled his demon close to the surface. He was not used to insubordination by those he told what to do.

She opened her mouth to argue again but all that came out was, "rude much," before she went upstairs.

Angelus had no intentions on calling her Watcher, he would allow her to write a note to her mother but that was as much as he was going to allow. The less Giles knew the better as far as Angelus was concerned.

"All set," she said about twenty minutes later. "We're going to look rather obvious walking around carrying bags."

"That's why I brought a car, Buff."

"You drive?"

"Yes, I drive. Soul Boy did not completely live under a rock for all of those years before you."

"I didn't think he did," his mate replied defensively.

"I'll get the bags, write your mother a note, just tell her you went somewhere safe. Don't mention the mansion or me. I'm not sure she'd think you were safe with me."

"She doesn't know what you are, Angelus."

"Right, I forget sometimes that she doesn't know you're the Slayer. Hurry it up. I tried to buy us some time, had the doctor call whoever he had contacted about you and tell them you had decided to have an abortion."

"You did what?"

"Buff, I had to do something. They may not buy it, and the doctor may have gotten back on the telephone as soon as I left and called them back to tell them he lied. Even if they do believe you had an abortion, they may come here to find out for themselves."

"Shit," she muttered under her breath as she began writing a note to her mother.

"Exactly," Angelus said as he grabbed the two bags she had packed. "Is this all you are bringing?"

"You said to pack lightly. I don't have a huge selection of maternity clothes anyway, a few outfits that I just keep washing. Mom didn't want to spend too much money on clothes I'll only be wearing for a couple of months."

"Right," Angelus said. He guessed it made sense. "I'll be out in the car." He paused at the back door and turned to look at her. "You are coming, right? You're not going to run off on your own."

"As much as I'd love to do just that just to get back at you for everything you've done and said the past few months, I'm in no position to defend myself. Giles can't do it, Willow and Xander can't do it either. Once again, I have to trust you to keep me safe."

"I'm glad you see things my way."

"You aren't keeping me, are you? I mean, once the baby is born, you are going to bring me back here, right?"

"Yes, Lover, believe me I'll be glad to be rid of this whole ordeal. I can't tell you how depressing and upsetting it is to actually feel the need to protect you, the Slayer."


"He's right. You'd better go out to the car before you insult me enough that I do leave on my own." She turned her back to him, to finish writing the note he assumed.

Angelus paused briefly at the threshold. He had seen unshed tears in her eyes. What in god's name was she crying about now, he mused to himself as he left. He chalked it up to pregnancy and hormones.

{She knows that with the baby comes your leaving.}

"Damn right I'm getting the fuck out of here as soon as the child is born. This town is not big enough for the both of us, and you know it, Soul Boy, so get used to it."

Return to Top

***Part 15*** (Rated R for some language)

July 4, 1998

Buffy was tired of living in seclusion. She had gone with Angelus because she hoped that time together would make him at least want to stay in Sunnydale. She could not have been more wrong. Over two weeks had gone by and Angelus was even broodier than Angel had been. She had not set foot off the grounds of the house since the night he brought her here. Of course, he could come and go as he pleased; he was not the one that was supposed to have left Sunnydale.

She ran her fingers over the well-worn ebony and ivory keys of the grand piano in the music room lethargically, realizing she would sound like a spoiled child if she complained. The house was huge and certainly gave her plenty to explore during the day when Angelus was doing the vampire thing and sleeping.

Bored, Buffy closed her eyes and concentrated on Angelus lying in his bed. His room was in the dark and musty basement, which Buffy found gave her the wiggins every once in a while. Having his room there gave him ample room and allowed Buffy to be as loud as she wanted to be all day without waking him. There were no windows in his area of the basement either, so he had complete darkness in his room. He told Buffy this way he did not have to worry about her opening the drapes one day, sending him to a crispy ending. She liked to think he was joking, that he knew she could not kill him - at least like that.

He was still asleep when she melded her mind with his, but his body was coming awake as it usually did this time of day. She could tell now by the subtle differences in the way the blood flowed through his body. When he was in his deep sleep, the blood was very still almost unmoving. The closer the sun got to setting the faster it coursed through him, giving his body what it required to animate him. At first it had completely grossed her out that she could feel the blood as it moved through his body, that she could smell the coppery scent of it and even taste it, but it no longer did.

They were both learning as they went along just what the blood exchange meant and did. There were days Buffy knew full well Angelus regretted having done it. Each day brought them closer together and seemed to strengthen whatever bond they shared. Being in the same house seemed to accentuate it, she was more in tune with him after being with him day in and day out for over two weeks than she had ever before. Buffy was aware of most every movement made by Angelus unless he worked at blocking her out.

Her eyes flew open when she felt him awaken fully, clutching her throat instinctively with her hand. She felt his hunger and instantly grew ravenous along with him despite having eaten less than an hour ago. Buffy stood from the piano and left the music room, heading in the direction of Angelus. She hated how much she needed him, especially now that she had to rely on him for everything. But he needed her, too, and that gave her some power.

"Good morning, Lover," he called to her from the bed. She felt the heat of a blush spread to her face. It was not so much because he was lying in bed with the top sheet barely covering his waist and upper thighs, one arm behind his head as if he was purposely putting himself on display. But rather she was embarrassed because she could not stop from staring at the pale smooth perfection that was his form. He still managed to take her breath away, even knowing that at the drop of a hat that he could turn as nasty as a starving piranha.

"Good morning," she said, finally drawing her gaze away from his bare thighs and torso to his face.

"What's on your mind, Lover, that has your thoughts so completely closed off to me?"

"I want to go out."

He sighed and got a look on his face that Buffy had seen several times on her mother's face when Joyce Summers thought her only daughter was being unreasonable. "Buff, we've been over this. If we want everyone to think that you've left town you can't be seen walking around the mall."

"It's the Fourth of July," she said.


"I don't want to go to the mall. I was thinking you could take me to see the fireworks."

"I don't think so, Buff. I'm not much for crowds of people, particularly when I can't kill or eat any of them."

Here, when he did not have to put on airs, Angelus was able to have conversations with her. He still had his moments when he was rude and downright cruel to her, or said things like he just did about killing people. Buffy believed, though, that he enjoyed the time when they just talked without having to be the swaggering and boasting Angelus. She learned more about Angel and Angelus in the past two weeks than she had in the months prior when they had been in love and at least somewhat happy. If she was unable to convince him to stay in Sunnydale she was glad that they had this time together, that she was able to find out some things about him.

She gathered her hair and tied it in a makeshift knot at her nape as she walked to the bed. "I'll give you my blood," she said coquettishly, tilting her head so the expanse of her neck was visible to him.

"And why should that convince me?"

"I think it's a pretty fair exchange, Slayer blood for a night of some Fourth of July goodness." She saw the interest flash in those deep brown eyes, saw him lick his lips, felt hunger and arousal flare through him, and was aware of him trying to squelch both.

"And how do you know I won't agree to fireworks, feed and then back out on the deal?"

"Because I'm not going to let you feed now."

"But I'm hungry now, Lover, you feel it."

"At the fireworks."

He frowned and shook his head. "Now I think it's you who is trying to deceive me, you who plans to back out on the deal."

"I do not. I offered it. I've let you before."

"Both times were in the heat of the moment, Buff, while we were fucking. We're not fucking now and we can't fuck at the fireworks."

"That's assuming there are going to be people around us while we watch the fireworks."

"You don't have enough money to arrange for a private display, Buff, so what is it you're planning."

"Do you trust me?" she asked, a little afraid of the answer. Neither talked much about what they felt for one another, certainly not about the fact that both obviously trusted one another to some extent to live together like this.

"I trust you not to stake me."

"That's the extent of it?"

"Just tell me your idea, Lover."

"Well, I was thinking we could find somewhere, you know, out of the way. I'd say a cemetery, but my going to one seems foolish if I'm trying to hide. But you're stealthy. Vampire and all. I can be, too."

"So if I find us somewhere reasonable to watch the fireworks display without being out amongst the masses I get to feed off you?"

"Yes," she said, biting her lower lip. She was not altogether sure she should be letting him feed off of her, but she had little else to bargain with.

"Do I get the fucking, too?"

"It's not enough I give you my blood?"

"I suppose it is, but blood and sex go so well together, Buff." As if in a trance, Buffy watched as he reached with his hand and gave his hardening shaft a long, slow stroke. She looked away, but it was too late. He had seen her watching and if Buffy had learned nothing else about vampires - and this particular vampire - he would know she had enjoyed the show. With his heightened senses he would know.

"All I'm promising is the blood, Angelus."

He sighed, sounding exasperated and threw his legs over the side of the bed as he sat up. He clutched the mattress with his hands. "All right," he said, avoiding her eyes.

"Did you just say yes?"

"Yeah," he mumbled and Buffy could not help but laugh. "I didn't think it's that funny."

She regarded him for a moment, her head tilted to one side her neck still exposed to him. "No one is going to see us together, Angelus."

"Stop reading my thoughts, Buff."

"I don't do it on purpose, but the look on your face was obvious even without knowing what you were thinking."

"What time do they start?"

She was beginning to get excited. And anxious. He was really going to bring her somewhere, even if it was to another secluded spot. He had until tonight avoided talking about sex, Buffy had no idea why. There were times when she craved him physically and wanted him to come to her bed. Sometimes she was embarrassed about feeling that way. Did needing sex, wanting sex, make her a slut? She had no idea. Sure there had been guys before Angel she had thought were cute, but Angel was the first - the only - guy she had ever gotten serious enough about to think about having sex with.

"You're not a slut," Angelus said with a low growl.

She stared at him for a moment, trying to figure out what motive he could have for easing her mind.

{I would never have gotten involved with you, loved you if you were easy, Buffy.}

"Thank you," she said softly.

"Who are you thanking? Me or Lover Boy?"

"Both of you."

"Get out."

"What?" she asked surprised at the sudden change in his attitude.

"I need to get dressed, Buff, so unless you're going to give me the fuck now to satisfy at least one of my appetites get out."

"What if I said yes?"

"The doctor said no."

"That was weeks ago, Angelus."

She had a quick flash of his hands covered in blood, a hallway that looked sterile and white like a hospital and Giles but then the images were cut off, he had shut her out. "You've come too far to risk the baby now, Buff."

"So why even ask me if I would?"

"I didn't think you'd want to." He stood from the bed, and Buffy spun around quickly and he laughed, a deep, throaty laugh dripping with bitterness. "You can't even fucking look at me, Lover. I can smell your desire, your arousal, but you can't even look at my body."

"We're talking, you're a little underdressed, don't you think?"

"So, you're just being a cocktease, is that it?"

"No, I'm not," she said, turning to face him again. "Because I'd like you to have some shorts on I'm teasing you? You don't have to be rough about it, do you?"


"Making love to me."

"You may have done that with Soul Boy, Buff, but I don't make love to anyone."

"Okay, then, sex."

"I don't know."

"What do you mean, you don't know."

"I don't know. I've never tried it."

"You mean to tell me in two hundred plus years you never tried to be nice to the person you were with?"

He snickered, "appropriate use of the word person, Lover."


"Soul Boy's appetites tended to be pretty vanilla, a Blonde virginal Slayer, all nice and gentle like with love and other emotions involved. I'm not quite so picky. Though he sure did like it when you were on top, flexing those Slayer muscles around and milking our cock for all you were worth. I thought for a moment there he was going to give me what I craved, some of your blood with the sex."

"Stop it, you're being crude."

With lightning quick speed his hand was at her cheek, cupping it. He was so quick, it had happened so fast she had no chance to retreat, which she would have done had she known he was going to touch her. "But it turns you on to hear me say those things," he said his voice gruff in a vain attempt at a whisper.

"It does not," she replied defensively. "The man I love is standing in front of me nude and you think your crude words are turning me on?"

"She notices," he said mockingly before kissing her.

Expecting one of Angelus' bruising, possessing-like kisses that bordered on violent Buffy prepared herself to push him away before he hurt her. It was her fault it had gone this far, she had taunted him knowing he was hungry so she could not exactly get angry at him.

But the kiss did not turn rough; it was gentle, deep, and sincere. She felt the love and devotion being relayed to her wordlessly with his lips. Her hands at his bare chest relaxed, a thumb gently stroking his male nipple as her eyes fell closed and she gave into the moment.

This was Angel. Buffy had no idea how she knew the difference or even how it was possible, but she was kissing Angel. A soul could not kiss, it was just not logical and made no sense but she knew the difference between the two men that possessed her boyfriend's body.

Her mind opened to him, letting him in to see how much she still loved him and kissed him back with a fervor brought on by months of pent up confusion and frustration, relishing in the gentleness he gave her. She took the momentary protection and warmth he offered her and wrapped her mind and her very soul around it, wanting this moment to last forever but knowing somehow it would be over too soon.

His hand slid from her waist to her almost six month along abdomen and Buffy felt the baby kick for the first time. Was the baby responding to her or to its father's soul temporarily being in charge? She would never know, nor did she particularly care, she was able to share this moment with Angel not Angelus.

She drew away, still a little stunned by all that had just happened. "Did you feel that?" she asked, her eyes focused on his face wondering if she would be able to tell when Angel left the building. Was Angel fighting for control? Is that what was going on? She had no idea, she wished she could talk to Giles, she would like to know just what a soul is capable of doing.

"What was it?" he asked, his hand still pressing against her swollen belly.

"The baby."

"Is that normal?"

"Yes, I was told at my last visit any day now I should expect to feel movements. I was beginning to wonder if there was something wrong that I hadn't yet, but the doctor assured me that every woman was different and the heartbeat was strong, proving he was okay."

"He? Buffy, did you say he?" And with that question, Angel was gone and Buffy was violently shut out of his mind.

"Welcome back," she said bitterly. That brief time with Angel made her miss him even more. It was just like him to do something like this, to get her hopes up that Angelus was gone.

"I couldn't let that touching scene go on for too long."

"We wouldn't want that." She strode to the door, knowing even then he would be able to smell her arousal, hear how rapidly her heart was beating against her chest. Were he to ask now, Angel or Angelus in charge, she would be in his bed in a second. That frightened her, because after the little show she and Angel had just put on with Angelus privy to every thought, word and deed of it Buffy sensed he would be particularly brutal with her just then. "I'll be ready by nine. We are still going, right?"

He snickered, his lips curving up into a wicked snarl-like smile. "I'd love to burst your bubble and disappoint you by saying no, but for some unfathomable reason I will enjoy watching fireworks with you."


"I don't know your childlike enthusiasm for such things maybe. It reminds me of how innocent you still are despite all that you've seen and done. That night I took you to the skating rink."

"Angel took me."

"I was there, too, damnit. I was there with you every damned time, through it all. Can you please stop differentiating between us, Lover?"

"I'm going to get dressed," she said, sensing somehow she had pushed him to the limits just about then. "I'll see you at nine."

Buffy opened the door and then turned around to face Angelus once again. "I remember that night, too, Angelus. It was the night I first kissed you when you were all bumpy. It was the best night of my life. You gave me a piece of my childhood again, something I hadn't really realized I missed. I don't know if I ever thanked you for that night because things went a little screwy what with Spike hiring those assassins to kill me and everything."

"You're thanking me?"

"Yeah," she said softly, looked away not wanting him to see the tears forming in her eyes. She missed Angel now more than ever. "I'm thanking you." With that she left his room, leaving what she knew was a somewhat confused Angelus in her wake.

Return to Top

****** (NC-17 for some language and sex)

The view of the fireworks was perfect from the overlook Angelus had brought his mate to. She wore her hair back, exposing her neck to him yet refused to let him feed until the fireworks were over.

It was a good thing he had more control than most, because being this close to her would be enough to drive most mad. He had to admit the fireworks were not as lame as he thought they might be. He noticed with his mate around things never seemed as dull as he imagined. He was surprised about an hour into them when she slid her body in front of his, leaning her back against his chest. Her hands betrayed their strength as she squeezed his lower thighs, almost as if she needed to remind herself that they were not here as a couple.

Instinctively, his arms went around her as if to protect her. He had avoided contact with her since he had relinquished control to Soul Boy earlier in the day afraid that it would happen again, for good. He would rather walk into the sun than live his life as Soul Boy had lived it the past hundred years. He was a pathetic excuse for a vampire even one with a soul. It was only when the Slayer, his mate, came into the picture that Soul Boy had started doing something worthwhile even if it was on the wrong side of the good versus evil game.

He heard her give a contented sigh and felt her hands relax followed by the rest of her body. He gave a soft groan as her head rested against his shoulder and the scents of her shampoo, perfume and a scent that was just her were potent in the still night air. Who needed aphrodisiacs when he had a mate that smelled this good?

Perhaps it was due to his still feeling out of sorts after what had happened earlier that day, perhaps it was the way she looked with the night's sky full of various colored fireworks as a backdrop, or perhaps he just wanted to have her, Angelus would never know. His resolve was all but gone as it was when she inched closer against him, wiggling her tight ass against his cock. As was so often the case where his mate was concerned, without conscious thought his game face fell into place and his fangs were imbedded in her neck.

Distantly, as if she was on the other side of the world instead of right in front of him, he heard her cry out, felt her body bow away from his and then collapse against him as if she resolved herself to this fate. One of his hands supported her neck while the other slid underneath the white peasant top she wore, cupping a bare breast. He rolled a nipple between his thumb and forefinger, pinching it, which caused her to cry out again.

"Angelus," she cried out, and it took him a moment to realize she sincerely wanted him to retract his fangs from her succulent flesh. He stopped feeding, but did not move away from her. He could not just then. "Pull out."

She tried to pull away from him, but he held her tight. He growled in response, still unwilling to retract his fangs from her neck.

"I want to face you." She sounded breathless and more than a little aroused. She reached behind her with one hand, finding the crotch of his leather pants and gave his cock a squeeze. "I want you in me."

He did not need to have that offer repeated twice; his fangs were out of her neck as quickly as he could without causing her too much pain, the less he hurt her when he fed from her the more apt she was to let him again. A quick swipe or two with his tongue to stop the bleeding and he was more than ready for her to turn around, lift the skirt she wore and impale herself on his hardened cock. It had been weeks since he had gratified himself, so he was more than ready for her.

She must have needed him as badly as he needed her because she did exactly what he had pictured her doing. She unfastened his leather pants, pushed them down around his hips as low as necessary to gain access to his cock. She gave his tip a squeeze before stroking his shaft a few times and he had had enough of the teasing. "Buff," he said hoarsely.

She stood, lifted her skirt up and started to pull the pair of panties she wore down, but he stopped her. He placed one hand at her hip, using the nails of his other hand to rip the crotch of the panties so she did not need to bother with removing them. He drew her down then, guiding her above his cock while she placed her hands on his shoulders.

She tilted her head to one side, sweeping her hair out of the way. "Now," she whispered. How she had the willpower to wait he did not know, but she waited to take his length inside of her until his fangs broke the skin on her neck. She clutched his shoulders as she adjusted to having him inside of her again. He could feel her inner walls pulsating against him and her blood pumping faster into his mouth as her excitement and arousal grew. If he had not before this moment, he would from this point forward appreciate his mate's muscles.

He had never had her like this, on top of him, riding him and he found it exciting as hell despite knowing in the recesses of his mind that his being inside of her in this position might not be wise in her current condition. Her stamina was amazing, there were days he worried about her because all she seemed to do was sleep and yawn when she was awake. There was no evidence of her being tired here and now, Angelus imagined she might just be able to go all night. Thankfully, he had enough stamina to last a good amount of time.

He stopped feeding after a while knowing he had taken too much as it was, though it did not seem to slow her down. He lost track of how many times she had gotten herself off, and it was her doing all of the work so he could not - as much as he would have liked to - take credit for sating her so thoroughly.

"Love you," she said in an exhale of breath as she came again. Apparently, she had decided she was done, because she nuzzled his neck like a contented cat. He placed his hands against her hips and thrust inside of her so that he could have his turn at coming. Her muscles were still working well, clenching and unclenching against his length as he moved in and out of her.

"Mine," he gritted out through clenched teeth as he came inside of his mate. It was not the "I love you" she probably wanted back, but when it got down to it, her being his was as base and primal as love could get. He lowered her to the ground next to him, she had moved very little since her last orgasm had ripped through her. "It looks like the fireworks finale is getting started," when he looked at the sky.

"Hmm," she said as she rolled onto her side, a position she favored at the moment due to her pregnancy.

"The fireworks you begged me to take you to see, you've missed the last part of them."

"Sorry," she mumbled without opening her eyes.

He carried her back to the mansion where he placed her on his bed, undressed and joined her there since he did not need to feed.

{Wake up.}

Angelus opened his eyes, irritated as hell at Soul Boy.

{Can't you hear her?}

"What the hell are you talking about? She would have woken me if something was wrong."

{Listen to her, asshole.}

Angelus listened to her in the bathroom, only to hear nothing. He slid off the bed and padded to the bathroom door. "Buff," he whispered. No response beyond a whimper. "Christ, I knew that had not been a good idea."

{But you did it anyway. That's you, thinking with everything but your head.}

"Shut up, Soul Boy."


"Yes, Buff, what's wrong?"

"I think the baby's coming."

"What?" he roared. He did not know much about babies, but he knew it was early.

She cried out, a cry having nothing to do with pleasure. "They're close, too."


"I need your help on this, Angelus. You need to get me to the hospital."

"Buff, it's close to sunrise."

"Then call Giles, he'd do it."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure," she said right before crying out again. "Get him here, now."

Angelus was not stupid enough to ask her again or to ask anything else. He had tortured people in the past, had ripped one finger off at a time or whatever form of punishment appealed to him, and never had a scream affected him so deeply.

"Shut up," he hissed before Soul Boy could make some witty comment.

"Hello?" came his mate's Watcher's voice over the phone.

"You need to come get your Slayer."

"What have you done to her?"

"Nothing, but she's in labor and it's almost sunrise."

"And you are just calling me now?"

"If I had known about it sooner, Giles, I would have taken her to the hospital myself and bypassed informing anyone else."

"You would do that, too, wouldn't you? Do you realize how worried we've been about her?"

"Are you going to stay on the line and lecture me about how irresponsible and negligent I've been? Or are you going to come get your Slayer?"

"Tell me how to get to her."

Angelus gave him directions to the mansion and hung up the phone, returning to the bathroom door. The door was ajar, but like the first time he had approached her he did not go in without an invitation. "Buff?"


"Giles is coming, I need to bring you upstairs and get you dressed."

"Why? I'm just going to take them off again there."

"Buff," he said, not wanting to point out that her clothes would clearly reflect that she had engaged in some sort of vigorous activity.

"Just leave me alone."

"No, Buff, I'm not going to leave you alone. You wanted me to get Giles here to get you to the hospital. You're the Slayer, damn it."

"Oh, so that means I can't feel pain?"

"I didn't say that, obviously you can. I'll carry you upstairs."

"Why, so you can dump me on a couch somewhere until Giles gets here?"

He had thought of that, but now that she said it aloud it did sound rather callous, even for him. "No, I'll stay with you until he gets here."

"He's so going to want to kick your ass," she hissed while she tried to stand.

"Yeah, well, let him try, Buff, I think he'll deem getting you to the hospital more important."

She clutched onto his arm, squeezing tightly but made no sound, so Angelus was not sure if it was another contraction or what. "Come on, Lover. Let's get you upstairs and presentable for your Watcher." He took her into his arms carefully and brought her upstairs to the living room with the least amount of windows.

"He should be here any minute, are you sure you don't want me to get you some different clothes?"

"Some new underwear maybe," she said without even a stutter or a blush. Apparently, labor got her over her embarrassment.

"Done," he said and retreated from the room as another scream of pain tore from his mate's lips.

Angelus had just finished helping his mate into fresh clothes when the pounding at the front door started. He knew it was Giles and was tempted to be a prick and make him wait, but when another contraction came causing Buffy to grab onto his hand with every ounce of her slayer strength, Angelus knew now was not the time to play games. He walked to the front door, which he opened mindful to stay out of the sunlight. "She's in here."

"You've been here all of this time?"

"That's none of your concern. She's here now and needs to get to a hospital."

"What would you have done if I hadn't been home? What has her doctor said about her giving birth?"

"Not much, like any delivery it could be easy or not."

"I'm glad you recommended such a specialist then."

Buffy stood from the couch before Angelus could stop her and walked toward them, placing a hand on Angelus' forearm. "Stop it. Both of you. Giles, the sun is out and I need a ride to the hospital. Can you do that or not?"

"What are you doing up," Angelus and Giles asked simultaneously. Angelus asked the question because her grip on his arm was hard enough to cut off a human's circulation. Good thing he did not have any.

"Good to see you both can agree on something. Now, if the man who does not want me on my feet can take me to the hospital we'll be set."

"I don't know how you can be so calm about this, Buffy. You weren't meant to be having babies, neither was Angelus."

"Giles, I'm about to have a baby. I don't care what I am or am not supposed to be able to do. I was supposed to die, but that didn't happen either. Just get me to the hospital. Please."

"Yes, yes, of course, Buffy, I'm sorry, I don't mean to make you wait. Do you have everything you need then?"

Angelus turned his back to his mate when he saw tears in her eyes. She knew with the end of her pregnancy she would go back home to her mother and Angelus planned on leaving Sunnydale. He did not need her to see his eyes at that particular moment, because despite no longer having a soul she seemed to be able to read him better than anyone sometimes. She would know he was having doubts about leaving. How many chances would he have to become a father? It defied logic and any scientific know-how he was aware of that he was about to become one to begin with.

"Yeah, I guess," she answered finally. Angelus could see her reflected clearly in the mirror he stood before, she had given him a chance to say something, anything, but he remained quiet. It was for the best, for both of them. He was not a vampire that could be domesticated. The taste of her blood was like none other he had tasted before, but it was not enough incentive to live like an obedient puppy. "Angelus?"

"Good bye, Buff," he said simply, his voice devoid of any emotion.

The tears were falling rapidly when she turned away from him. Giles' look of scorn was not missed by Angelus either. As if he cared. "Take care of her," he said to the empty room as soon as his mate and her watcher had gone. He would never forget the look of longing and heartbreak in her eyes at that moment, and strangely instead of making him feel elated he felt like a heel.

Return to Top

***Part 17***

Mid-August 1998

"Buffy," Joyce called up the stairs. "She might be in the shower. Why don't you come on back to the kitchen with me? I was making us some lunch, so she should be down in a few minutes. You can join us if you'd like to."

"That sounds great, Mrs. Summers, thanks," Willow said and followed Joyce to the kitchen.

"How are you doing, Willow? Are you ready for school to start?"

Willow knew it was pathetic that she brightened at the idea of going back to school, but she was excited. "I am," she said. "We're going to be seniors this year; I get to start applying to colleges and everything."

Willow could not miss the look of disappointment on Joyce Summers' face, and realized that chances were good that Buffy would not only not go to college but that she would be pretty well stuck in Sunnydale until the day she died. Eyes older from age but not necessarily life experience met eyes younger and the realization was shared between both women, though neither spoke it aloud. Joyce had been told about Buffy's being the Slayer while her daughter was gone. Giles decided it was best she knew the truth, the full truth, and why her remaining at home might endanger all of them.

"That's great. Do you have any idea where you'd like to go?"

"Well, my mom would like me to go to one of the Ivy League schools out east, but I don't know," Willow said with a shrug as Joyce set a tall glass of milk in front of her. Willow loved coming to Buffy's house, her mom actually paid attention to her. She could not remember the last time that her mom had poured a glass of milk for her or the last time that they had shared a meal together.

"I think that's great that you even have a chance at getting in those schools, Willow, but I know it's not my place to say anything."

"No, Mrs. Summers, you're fine, thanks. I'll apply to them and make my choices from acceptance letters. You never know, I might not get in."

"I doubt that will happen." Buffy said from the doorway. Willow turned to face her best friend and offered her a smile.

"You don't think so?" she asked.

"I know so," Buffy said as she settled Ryan into his bouncy seat. "Is his bottle ready, Mom?"

"Yes, it should be cooled by now."

"Thanks," Buffy said and walked to the stove where she took an already prepared bottle out of a saucepan. Willow watched as Buffy tested the formula's temperature by shaking some droplets onto the underside of her wrist, never growing tired of watching Buffy being so responsible. "We didn't have plans today, did we?" she asked Willow.

"No, I just came to see my godson."

"Well, as you can see," Buffy said as he removed Ryan from the bouncy chair, "he is doing just fine." Willow watched the subtle transformation in Buffy from friend and daughter to mother. It still astounded Willow though she had been witness to it now for over two months. It was hard to believe this was the same girl who went out nightly to slay vampires and kill demons. "I'm going to take him into the living room to feed him, want to come keep me company?"

"Sure. Thanks for the milk, Mrs. Summers," Willow said as she set the now empty glass on the island countertop.

"You're welcome, Willow. Lunch for us grownups should be ready in just a few minutes."

"Thanks, Mom," Buffy said. Willow took hold of the bottle so that Buffy did not have to and followed her into the living room. Looking at her as she walked most people would be hard pressed to believe she had just had a baby. Maybe it was one of the benefits of being the Slayer, but Willow thought Buffy looked better now than she had before she got pregnant.

"I picked up your schedule and everything while I was at school."

"Thanks, Will," Buffy said. Willow waited while Buffy sat on the couch and got Ryan positioned to take his bottle before giving it to her. "Thanks again," Buffy said offering her a smile.

"My pleasure. So, tell me, how are things with you?" She lowered her voice, though she doubted Joyce would really eavesdrop on their conversation. "Any word from You Know Who?"

"Things are fine, and no not a word though I don't know that I expect to hear from him anyway."

"What does your mom say?"

"What can she say?" Buffy shrugged, pushing back some of the baby fine hairs on Ryans' head while he chugged down his bottle. "She says what any mom in her position would say, that I need to get him to take responsibility."

"Does she know he's a," Willow paused. "Well, you know, grrr arrgh."

"No," Buffy said simply.

"And he hasn't come to see you? He hasn't called you? Nothing?"

"There were a dozen white roses in the hospital room when I woke up the morning after the day I had him. No card, no note, no nothing, but that's it."

"Do you think he's gone?"

Willow regretted asking the question when she saw the pained look on her best friend's face. But they were about to start school, Willow thought it was time Buffy dealt with the Angelus issue head on. She did not claim to understand the relationship Buffy and Angelus had developed, but Oz agreed with Willow that if Buffy was going to actually pull off graduating while being the Slayer and a single parent that she had to move on. It was clear Buffy still loved Angelus, but Willow, Giles, Xander and Oz were all afraid that her love for him would lead to her getting distracted and careless.

"I don't know, Will. I want to believe he's not gone, that he's just avoiding me to punish me or something. I don't know."

"Do you think he's…" she paused. "Dead?"

"No!" Buffy said just as she took Ryan's bottle from him. She placed him over her shoulder and burped him; Willow hoped she was not so upset by the question as to hurt the baby. "He's not dead, Willow. I'd know, I'd feel it. I think his soul would let me know he was gone for good and not just avoiding me."

"You really believe that, don't you?"

"Yes," Buffy said matter of factly and Willow believed her. Willow believed it, too. She had been working with Jenny Calendar lately and had learned a lot during that time, not just about witchcraft and spell casting. She did not understand the bond that Buffy and Angel had or the bond that Buffy and Angelus currently shared, but the bond was there nonetheless. Soul or not, a part of Angelus recognized and needed Buffy just as Angel did. Willow would lay odds on that need for her was part of the reason Angelus had stayed away from Buffy since their son had been born.

Xander still had yet to see the baby. He had visited Buffy in the hospital, but he had not gone by the nursery to see Ryan. Willow did not press him, but she knew that it hurt Buffy to think that Xander would so totally hold something against not just her but her son.

Willow had been nervous about seeing Ryan the first time. Buffy had maintained that he was perfect, normal and healthy, but Willow was a little afraid that it was motherly pride and bias talking rather than fact. Giles and Willow had talked at length about the possible outcomes of Buffy's pregnancy. Ironically, the child turning out normal had not been something they planned for. Both were expecting something to go terribly wrong.

The only things different Willow noticed about Ryan were his eyes. His eyes were a bright green, reminding her of fresh grass and springtime. The irises were surrounded by a ring of yellow that appeared only when he got real upset. Whether this had something to do with his father being a vampire or it was just a fluke birth thing, Willow would never know and she would never ask Buffy about it.

"Do you want to hold him?" Buffy asked when he was fed and burped.

"Sure, you know I love to hold him." She took Ryan from Buffy, holding the baby carefully in her arms. She no longer needed to support his head as fanatically as when he was first born, but Willow was still nervous she would do something horribly wrong. "Have you gone back to the mansion you stayed at? Maybe he's still there."

"No, I haven't. I haven't even patrolled Restfield since I've been back on active Slayer duty."

"Maybe you should, Buffy. It's not good for you to not know."

"And what if I go there and find out he's gone?"

"Then at least you'll know, Buffy. I know you don't want it, I know you love him and I know you had hoped Ryan would change him somehow, but it didn't work. You're starting your senior year, Buffy. You're going to be taking college prep exams and everything else, you need a clear head."

"I know," Buffy said, chewing on her lower lip. "Like I'm going to college anyway," she muttered under her breath.

"Lunch is ready, girls," Joyce said from the kitchen.

"We'll be right in, Mom."

Ryan gave Willow an irresistible smile when she drew him away from her to give him back to his mom. "You're a little cutie, aren't you?" she cooed at him and stood to go have lunch with Buffy and her mom.

Return to Top

***Part 18***

Buffy walked through the cemetery near the mansion Angelus had taken her to twirling her stake nervously. She had been patrolling alone for the past two nights after accompanying the gang for the five nights prior to that. Giles insisted she wait until her doctor said she was okay. Not that she would have gone out slaying the day after Ryan was born, but within a few days after having him she felt fine.

Her hand instinctively went to her abdomen where Ryan was still supposed to be. Her doctor had indicated that sex was more than likely the cause for her going into labor early, particularly since it had not been too long after she had been hospitalized with bleeding and contractions. She was just thankful that Ryan was all right, even if it had taken over twenty hours of labor for him to get here.

He was just over seven weeks old now. Being a premie he was tiny for his age, which served to remind Buffy how fragile he was. She was responsible for him. Her mother was helping and would continue to help until Buffy finished school and was able to get a job, but Buffy was not going to shirk her responsibility onto her mom.

Thinking of school reminded her of the fact school started in a couple of days, her senior year. Buffy believed that Willow's little pep talk at lunchtime was Willow's way of telling Buffy she needed to find Angelus. She twirled the stake again, reacquainting herself with the feel of the wood against the palm of her hand. "And get it done," she said simply. She was not exactly sure what that meant, she imagined it would depend on Angelus a great deal.

Buffy was impressed Giles had gone along with the lie she had told her mother. Joyce Summers had no idea Angel was still around, had no idea that Buffy had spent those weeks with Angel, and she certainly did not know that Angel was a vampire. Buffy had told her mother that she would be out on an all-night patrol tonight and Giles had gone along with it. He must have sensed what Buffy's intentions were, which made Buffy wonder if Giles had not sent Willow to talk to her.

She did not even bother to go through the motions of patrolling at Restfield. It was close enough to sunset that Angelus might be awake, but he would not have been able to leave the mansion, if he was there. That was a big if. For all Buffy knew he went right back to Spike and Drusilla the night she was in the hospital giving birth to their child. She did not want to believe that, but when it got right down to it, Angelus was a mystery to her.

She paused outside the door and did not want to go any farther despite having come this far. She liked it better in some way, not knowing, at least the chance was there that he might show up one day. If she went in there and he was gone, then what? It was a big world and she was stuck in Sunnydale guarding the hell mouth. She would never find him if he did not want to be found. The large door swung open, surprising her. "Are you going to stand there all night?" He was a sight for sore eyes, looking evil and sinful, representing everything that Buffy knew she was supposed to stay far, far away from. He looked totally gorgeous, too, with no shirt and a pair of extremely faded low rider blue jeans that looked as if they would be as soft as a feather to the touch they were so well worn. "Well?"


Angelus stood there waiting for her to make her decision. He was growing impatient, but he did his best not to let her know that. It had taken her far too long to come back to him and he had almost given up on her.

"You look good," was what she finally said.

"Likewise, Lover," he said, one side of his mouth curling up to form a sneer.

He was telling the truth, she had recovered extremely well and quick from having a baby. He imagined there was not a stretch mark to be found on his mate's body, it would be a pleasure to find out whether he was right.

"I'm surprised you're still here," she said as she took the few steps that brought her inside the house. The house was cool, he had been expecting her so he turned the air conditioning on knowing that she was more susceptible to the varying temperatures than he was.

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"You were going to leave as soon as I had the baby, remember?"

"My plans have been delayed some. It's not as easy as you might think to get passage on a ship that will me to bring a coffin on board."

"Oh," she said. "Do you really travel like that?" she asked.

He chuckled with a shake of his head. "I have to travel by ship, yes, but I do not require a coffin. It's a safety precaution, though, so I don't get dusted accidentally."

"We wouldn't want that," she quipped.

"What a thing to say about the father of your child."

"Like you care about our child," she said following him into the living room.

He shrugged as he sat on the couch in one fluid motion. "Ryan Patrick Summers, born July 6 at just after three o'clock in the morning."

"You came to see him, didn't you?" she asked as she sat beside him on the couch. It was the only piece of furniture in the room, so she had little choice but to sit next to him.

His game face fell into place at her question. "Is there someone else who would be leaving you roses? I'll bet even Harris considers you used goods now that you've had my baby."

"No reason to get all game facey on me, Angelus, I was just asking the question. What did you think?"

"He was pretty scrawny looking, but I guess that's to be expected given you were early and all. I've never seen a newborn before, not that fresh anyway."

"You should see him now," she said, unable to keep the pride out of her voice.

"Why didn't you bring him?"

"Bring him patrolling? Are you nuts?"

"You're patrolling already? That's pretty fast. What does Giles think?" Her watcher would not let any harm come to his mate, Angelus was confident of that.

"The doctor cleared me, Xander, Willow, Giles, Cordelia and Oz have been doing my work for long enough."

"If you say so." That was not exactly the answer he had been looking for, but if she felt well enough to do it he really could not stop her. She had a point, too, civilians could only do the Slayer's job for so long.

"I do."

They sat in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes. Angelus had no idea what to say now that she was here. He had been overwhelmed by the need he felt in her when he opened his half of their connection that he had been so careful to keep closed off for the past few weeks.

He had been by to see Ryan at the hospital every night until he was released to go home. He recalled vividly the first time he had held Ryan in his arms. The nurse had been hesitant to let him, but Angelus had given her a sob story about just getting back into town and wanting to see that his son was truly okay. His story worked and he was able to hold living proof of the impossible in his arms. Ryan had been so tiny, his skin reddened and splotchy with a few downy soft tufts of dark hair on his head. Despite the boy being premature, he had opened his eyes that night and Angelus was quite sure he would ever be the same.

He had fed on babies, had thought nothing of draining a newborn in front of its mother before he turned his attentions to her. By then they were ready to die, to join their son or daughter, but Angelus dished out torture that could last for hours if not days when he was of the mind to. The idea of making a parent watch the light go out of his or her son or daughter's eyes made Angelus wretch now.

"I start school Monday."

School was a good topic one that would stop him from thinking about what he was becoming. He was not sure if it was the connection he shared with Buffy who just so happened to be the Slayer causing it, but something had changed over the past few months. He no longer craved the mayhem, merely the blood. He did not like thinking that he and Soul Boy really were not that different after all. "You're going to pass, right?"

"I plan on it, yeah."

"You need to pass, Buff."

{Tell her you want to see her and the babe together, you idiot.}

"Do you?" she asked quietly.

"The fact that we managed to hide it from Spike and Drusilla is pretty amazing, I don't think we should push it."

"Oh," she said, sounding disappointed. That part of him that Ryan's gaze had touched did not want to see the look of disappointment on her face. He touched her face lightly, his fingertips grazing her lips and her breath caught. "What are you doing?"

"I've stayed away to keep you and Ryan safe, Buff, no other reason. Soul Boy and I are in agreement on that point, no one can suspect I'm the father."

"You're ashamed."

The idea was blasphemous. "I'd love to say yes to that, I'd love to tell you that it tears me up inside that of all people I was able to create a baby with it was you, the Slayer, my mortal enemy. But I'm not ashamed. I can't begin to understand how it happened, but you got Ryan out of Soul Boy's love for you."

"Does that mean you will come see him?" she asked.

"Maybe you can bring him here."

"And that wouldn't draw attention to me or the baby?"

"You have a point," he said, dropping his hand so it touched her shoulder. It had been weeks since he had touched her. He searched for the reason behind his missing her, but could not blame it on Soul Boy. He missed seeing the sun rising and setting through her eyes. He had never admitted how much that meant to him, she gave him a little piece of humanity. "I don't want to be human," he growled, his lips curling up as he dropped into his game face once more.

"I don't think I have the power to do that, Angelus," she said. She was scared now, he could smell the fear on her, but it made him feel sick instead of exhilarated.

"Would you do it if you could?"

"Make you human?"

"Yes," he said his voice a whisper, for some reason her answer was very important to him.

"No," she said after a moment's pause.

"Why not?" he asked, surprised but not disappointed at her answer.

"I don't want to think of you dying, of losing you. I want to die knowing you're still here, that you'll always be here."

"I think you have me confused with Soul Boy who would continue working in your name after you were gone. He would probably adorn your burial site with pretty roses and what nots as well."

"Angelus, I'm no fool, I don't plan on living for very long, Slayer here. I know in your own way you'd look out for our son, even if it was from a distance."

She had a point and he felt a moment of panic at the thought of her being gone. "I could still turn you," he said, though the idea no longer held the appeal to him it did months ago.

"We both know that wouldn't work, Angelus. I'm light, you're dark, it's the way it has to be. I wouldn't work as a vampire."

"You could try it."

"And what? If I don't like it, you promise to stake me? No thanks."

He had no response to that, he would not turn her unless she was willing.

"We need to talk, Angelus."

"About what?"

"Ryan. Me. You. What we're doing."

"There's not much to say."

"We've had sex since you lost your soul and claim you're no longer my boyfriend, more than once. You won't let me near another guy. School starts and I want to know what's going on. I want to go to Prom and do all of the things girls my age do."

"I'm not your boyfriend."

"Fine, then what are you? I mean, either we're together in some way or we're not and I'm free to go out with other guys."

"You'll never be free to go out with others, Lover. Going to Prom I could give you, but our son will have no other father but me."

"But you're not going to be here. What type of father is that? Am I supposed to show him a picture, let him wear your leather jacket and hope that he gets whatever it is he's supposed to get that way?"

He stood from the couch and walked to the fireplace, leaning an arm against the mantle. He should go, it would be the best thing for all three of them. But a part of him did not want to go, the part of him that had not bothered to feed off anyone in the past six weeks who was not a willing donor. Things had been different ever since Soul Boy took over his body and he had felt the baby move in his mate's belly. Angelus had felt it, and it had changed him somehow. He had spent the past seven months trying to undo the rights Soul Boy had done. He had not stopped to realize that he was in essence trying to deny that he himself had changed, soul or not. How could he stay in Sunnydale without admitting that to his mate, to her friends, and not look like the pussy whipped boyfriend Soul Boy was?

"What if I told you I might not go anywhere?"

"You mean stay here?" she asked softly.

"I might, but you'd have to let me see him."

"You know I'd let you see him."


"I don't know how safe that's going to be Angelus."

"I don't think your mom is going to like my coming to see him."

"No, Mom thinks you need to marry me and be all responsible man."

He scoffed. "I haven't been responsible a day in my life."

"You were with me," she said softly. She must have stood from the couch at some point, but Angelus had missed the movement. Her hand at his back took him by surprise. "You were always responsible with me."

"If that were true you wouldn't have lost your boyfriend, Buff."

"That wasn't your fault, it was mine. You told me we shouldn't and I didn't listen."

"God, it was good, though," he whispered.


He turned to face her then, saw the need in her eyes. He had spent the last seven months insulting, berating and trying to bring her down a notch that the spirited look in her eyes Soul Boy had found so appealing was rarely seen any longer. "Really," he said gruffly.

"But you said," she started and he placed a finger over her lips.

"I know what I said, Buff."

"So you're staying?"

"I'm thinking about it, I haven't decided yet. Do I still have the freedom to feed?"

Her eyes narrowed and she took a deep breath. "Yes," she said after a moment's hesitation.

"No more offers to let me feed from you?"

"No," she said softly.

"Why not?"

"It feels too good," she said softly. He started to say something but she placed her finger over his lips this time. "I love you, I will always love you, and I know it's just Slayer blood to you nothing more. It hurts too much when you're done and I know that we're back to being Slayer and vampire."

"You are the Slayer, Buff, and I am a vampire."

"But you're staying? I don't get it."

"Nothing to get, if I do decide to stay."

She stepped away from him, walked toward the doorway as if she was ready to go. Angelus really did not want her to go yet. He had always been a loner, preferring his own company over that of others, but there were things about her being here he missed. "You can feed, but if I find out you're killing I will come after you, Angelus. No more free rides."

"You'd do it?"

"If you made me, yes. I would rather Ryan grow up not knowing you than grow up knowing, suspecting you are a monster. You can come tonight at midnight. He usually takes a bottle about that time, which I always do because Mom does it while I'm out patrolling. I'll be waiting up, but if you start coming now Angelus there's no turning back."

"I don't walk away from something once I decide to do it."

"You walked away from me."

"Maybe I never decided."

She laughed with a shake of her head. "Go ahead and convince yourself of that Angelus, but I know better. And so do you," she said before he left the room.

Seconds later, Angelus heard the front door close and knew she was gone. He had all night to think about her ultimatum. She could stand his coming in and out of her life, she was stronger than she thought. She was right about his involvement with Ryan. He would like to believe he did not care if their child turned out messed up, but he did. He imagined it was paternal pride rearing its head and he would probably live to regret the decision, but he had to know how this turned out. If he left Sunnydale and never came back a part of him would always wonder how his mate and their child were doing.

Return to Top

***Part 19***

"Well, look who we have here." Angelus recognized the voice immediately and wondered how he had been so careless as to come to the one place he knew Spike would frequent. Angelus had not needed to come to The Bronze for donors in weeks. He was here tonight in search of his mate. She was not at home or patrolling, so Angelus started looking for her at The Bronze figuring she was allowing herself a night out.

"Spike," Angelus said with disdain.

"If it isn't my sire. And here I thought you'd left town. It appears Drusilla was right," the peroxide blonde said. "Care to grab a bite with an old chum, mate?"

"Not right now," Angelus said gruffly, hoping Buffy did not walk past about now. Angelus could feign nonchalance with her but he was not very good at fooling Spike, at least where his mate was concerned.

"Drusilla and I have a delicious treat picked out, Angelus, I think you should join us. You might find it very," he paused as if for dramatic effect. Spike had always been into theatrics. "Enlightening."

They had Buffy, though he did not think that was true. He would know it, feel it, she would have tried to call out to him if Spike and Drusilla had her. If not to try and save her, she would have wanted him to get Ryan out of harm's way. He spared The Bronze's door another glance and then decided he should see what Spike had up his sleeve tonight. If Drusilla was in on the game, there was no telling what it might be. "I guess I have nothing better to do. I see you're out of that pesky wheelchair, Spike. Has Dru returned to your bed?"

"That's none of your business, Angelus, now is it?"

"I'll take that as a no. Your problem, William my boy, is that you're too damned nice. Dru likes it rough and not so nice. She doesn't want your love."

"Shut up, or I'm not going to bring you to see what our special treat is, Angelus. And this is one surprise I think you are going to want to be in on."

Angelus had to force himself to lay off Spike in the event they had Buffy somewhere. He had sworn his days for fighting for her side of the game were over, but he could not let Spike or Drusilla get their hands on her. Was defending her, wanting her to live fighting for the side of good? He was probably splitting hairs by thinking it was not, but it really did not matter. "Lead the way, William the Bloody," he said sardonically.

//Buffy?// Angelus tested the connection he had with his mate as he followed Spike. He had nothing to say to the other vampire anyway, and if he got all conversational on him Spike would find it odd. She did not respond to him, but he was able to see her at Giles' surrounded by her friends. They all seemed upset and agitated about something, even Giles which was odd for his mate's watcher. Did Spike's surprise have something to do with this? Did he know about Ryan and was trying to separate them from the babe so that he could take him? He did not have the same type of connection with his son as he had with his mate, so he would not be able to tap into the boy's mind as he could Buffy's. He breathed a little easier knowing she was all right, at least for now.

Angelus entered the factory behind Spike and felt little when he saw Drusilla. She was dressed as if she was royalty and Angelus wondered just what was going on.

"Look who I found, pet, your sire."

"Angelus," Drusilla said in a dreamy, far-off sounding voice.

"Dru," he said evenly in response. "Where's the surprise then Spike? I'm not here to reminisce with you and your girlfriend."

"Branched out on your own, did you, Angelus?" Spike queried. There had been a surge in murder and mayhem in Sunnydale of late, Spike was apparently assuming Angelus was behind it.

"I guess I just got used to being on my own."

"Well, even though you haven't been sharing with us, we're willing to share with you," he said gesturing to a set of curtains that were drawn closed.

Angelus sniffed the air, which was filled with the scent of something vaguely familiar, whoever it was they were human and female, but beyond that Angelus had no clue as to who was behind the curtain. "Get on with it, boy. I don't have time for all this pomp and circumstance, when knowing you it's nothing worth getting all excited about anyway. At least that's what Dru says about you."

"Angelus," Dru faux protested as she licked her lips and gave him a wink. She was trying to be seductive, but Angelus just did not get into sharing anymore. He had grown accustomed to having a woman who would be loyal to him no matter what. Drusilla could not be loyal to one of her dolls let alone a man.

Spike drew on the cord, the curtains slowly parted horizontally. He was so focused on the fact that the evidence of Spike and Drusilla's torture to the woman had very little effect on him that he did not take the time to truly focus on who the duo's victim was. "Is this supposed to be impressive, Spike?"

Truly, it should have been impressive. She was bound and gagged tightly enough that circulation in places was a problem. There was visible evidence that she had been subject to being burned, cut up, and beat on with fists and larger things. Her face was beyond recognition it was so bruised and bloodied. And for some strange reason instead of Angelus wanting to join in on the fun he found he wanted to look away, to look at anything but the woman bound to the chair.

"You don't know who she is, do you?" Spike drawled, obviously proud for some reason and so Angelus regarded the woman. Spike would surely realize that Angelus would know who Giles' lady friend had been. She was no harlot, though, she was no cheap whore. He had sensed that Jenny Calendar was a decent person. Why had Spike chosen her?

"She was the Slayer's Watcher's squeeze, so what of it?"

Spike laughed loudly, an insane tone to it and shook his head as he stalked toward Jenny Calendar. "No, Angelus, she is not the watcher's main squeeze. She's what stands in between you and being cursed with your soul again."

{It's about time someone figured out how to put it back.}

"Shut up," Angelus hissed in an effort to silence both Spike and Soul Boy. He frowned, curious now what Spike meant.

"Angelus, meet Janna Kalderash," Spike said with obvious pride.

"Those magicks have been lost long ago, I'm quite sure of it." Angelus said. Of course he recognized the name, Kalderash was the clan of people who had cursed him with the soul all those years ago.

"Then why did Dru get one of her visions that something was about to happen to you?"

"I don't know, Spike, maybe Dru just didn't want you to know she missed me."

"I'm trying to do you a favor here, mate, but she's a tough bird this one is. She hasn't said a damned thing other than she was buying supplies."

Angelus glanced at the unconscious Jenny Calendar and made a decision. "I'll take her to the watcher's house and leave her on the doorstep. They'll take the hint not to toy with my soul again."

"Are you mad?"

Yes he probably was mad Angelus could not help but think. He did know one thing, though, if something happened to one of Buffy's circle of friends and helpers she would come after Angelus full force, Ryan or not. "As far as the Slayer and her little crew go they think I'm still here with you, so yes, I think the message will be received loud and clear. They'll know we went easy on her," he said evenly. She'll live to tell them that Angelus was not a part of tonight's games.

"You're serious?" Spike spat.

"Angelus, the lady teacher's up to no good, I feel it here," she said placing a hand over her heart. "And here," she continued placing the other hand against her forehead.

"I'm telling you both this will work," he scowled and gazed at them both intently. "It's my soul, why are you both standing here arguing with me?"

"Because we don't know where you've been or what you've been up to the past few weeks, Angelus."

"Oh Christ," he muttered under his breath. "I left town for a little while trying to do you a favor, Spike my boy. I knew the longer I stayed around the more your girl would want to be with me. Sloppy seconds are fine temporarily, but I don't want to handcuff myself to the loon again."

"You'll bloody well talk about her with some respect, Angelus. You're the one who turned her into that loon."

{And we're going to put an end to that problem very soon.}

Angelus had no idea Soul Boy had thoughts like that but did not have time to think on that matter just now. "Give me the watcher's woman and let me get on with my evening. I've got places to be."

"I want to go with you."

"No," Angelus roared, game face dropping into place. He was across the room with his hand around Spike's throat in a matter of seconds. "I'll do this one by myself."

"Right, whatever, she's of no use to us in this condition anyway."

"I'll make sure the message to leave well enough alone is gotten loud and clear," he spat before kissing Spike on the forehead and drawing away. "It's a good thing you stopped her before she could do anything, just in case," he said as he strode toward Jenny Calendar.

"Where can we find you, Angelus?" Drusilla asked.

"No where, Dru. I know where to find you if I need to."

"You're leaving us again," she pouted.

"Yeah, Dru, I'm leaving again. Spike will take care of you." Angelus gathered Jenny Calendar into his arms, trying to be careful without being obvious about the care he was giving her. He tugged on one of the velvet curtains, pulling it from the rod and used it to cover her.

"You're taking a lot of care for a measly message, Angelus."

"I don't want anyone to see the condition she's in, Spike. The less people see the better." Angelus was not sure Spike was buying it, but Angelus could not stay any longer. He could tell by Jenny's breathing that she was not fully unconscious anymore, which meant she could come to at any moment. It would not do for her to see him here with Spike and Dru. He walked to the door and turned around to back out the door with Jenny Calendar in his arms. "I appreciate your help, Spike, but if I ever find out you were trying to help without my permission or knowledge again I'll come back and kill you. Are we clear?"

"We're clear, Angelus," Spike said though he did not look happy about it. Angelus would have to remember to tell Buffy to be even more careful than normal, particularly where Ryan was concerned.

Angelus left taking the sewer tunnels as far as he could before he had to go up to the streets and walk in plain view the rest of the way to Giles' apartment. Jenny Calendar had remained unconscious so far, thankfully. Her injuries were abundant and would take her some time to heal from. There was a gash at her temple that Angelus knew would leave a wide and long scar.

He paused by a tree in the courtyard outside of Giles' apartment. //Buffy, I need you out here in the courtyard now.// There was little question he expected her to obey him in this without question. Moments later she appeared, alone and he was deeply relieved.

"What is it, Angelus?"

"I needed you to see me before I went in there."

"What? You're so not going into Giles' apartment, Angelus."

He stepped into the light then, though he had to wonder why she did not notice he was obviously carrying something body sized in his arms. "I think you'll let me in," he said, his voice low. "I can smell her blood, Buff, let me in before I have too much time to sit here and hold her and think about how tasty she would be."

"Who?" she asked and Angelus could read the fear in her eyes clearly. "Who is it?"

He walked up to her, game face fully in place. "It's your watcher's woman, Buff. I had nothing to do with it, but I managed to get her away from Spike and Dru. They thought they were doing me a favor."

"A favor?"

"You don't know?" he asked


He looked at her, really looked at her and read the sincerity there. "She's a part of the clan of gypsies I told you about who cursed me."

"I knew she knew something, but I didn't know that."

"Can I bring her in? We'll talk later if you want to, but she needs medical attention, Buffy, she's badly hurt."

"I'll take her from here Giles and the rest can't see you, Angelus, they'll flip out."

"No, they'll think I'm involved if they don't see I'm the one bringing her."

"Why are you worried about what they'll think?"

"Because I don't want them to convince you that I'm no good for Ryan."

"I don't know that they'd have to say much to convince me of that, Angelus. I let you see him because he's your son not because I think you're going to win any father of the year awards."

"Buffy," he contested.

"Thank you, Angelus, for saving her. Give her to me and I'll come by tonight and make it up to you."

He handed a still unconscious Jenny Calendar to his mate and scowled as he looked into her eyes. "Now who's ashamed," he said before stalking off into the night.

Return to Top

***Part 20***

"Buffy?" Giles voice posed an unspoken question when she returned inside holding Jenny Calendar's battered body in her arms.

Tears began to spill from Buffy's eyes onto her cheeks, cascading in droplets onto Jenny's face. "I'm so sorry." She set Jenny gently on the couch, leaving the curtain in place over her body.

"What did he do to her, Buffy?"

"He didn't do anything to her, Giles. It was Spike and Drusilla."

"And you believe that?"

"Giles he brought her to us. He wouldn't have if he was involved." Willow picked up the phone on Giles' desk to call an ambulance while Buffy was in a stare-down with her watcher. "Did you know she was a part of the gypsy clan that cursed Angelus with his soul?"


"That's what Angelus said and that Spike and Dru did this to her I guess to stop her from trying to restore his soul."

"She was," Willow said, her hand resting over the phone's receiver. "I was going to help her with it."

"Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't she tell me?" Giles queried.

"We weren't sure it would work, so we didn't want anyone to know. We figured if we tried it and it worked, great, Buffy and Ryan get Angel back. If not, no one but us would know."

"You can really do that?" Buffy asked, unable to keep the sound of hope out of her voice.

"Miss Calendar seemed to think so."

"Buffy, I think we've got more important things to worry about," Xander said from the armchair. "Miss Calendar is obviously hurt and needs to get to the hospital."

"An ambulance is on the way," Willow offered as she hung the phone up. Buffy met the eyes of her best friend and held them. "Xander, Miss Calendar really wanted to do this."

"And look where it got her. I don't believe Angelus had nothing to do with the attack on her."

"Can you do it, Will?" Buffy asked her best friend again.

"Yeah, I think I can. Miss Calendar walked me through it and the Orb of Thesulah she bought this morning is at the library."

"Would you try? We can't all be with Miss Calendar at the hospital anyway."

"Yeah, let me call Oz, he can be my anchor in case something goes wrong."

"Is it dangerous, Will?"

"There's always a risk with magic, Buffy, you know that," Giles said toying gently with Jenny's hair.

"Do it," Buffy said.

"And then what, Buffy? You do the horizontal mambo with your boyfriend and we're back to where we are now. Things could be worse in fact."

"I don't want my boyfriend back, Xander. I'll be content with Ryan having a father. I don't need to have sex with him."

"You two can't keep your hands off one another now. You think he's going to go back to going without?"

"Xander has a point, Buffy," Giles offered. "Ordinarily I would keep my opinion on this to myself. I don't like the idea that you've been having relations with a vampire, but the next time could be even worse. He never got past taunting you this time around, we might not be so lucky if there is another time around dealing with Angelus."

"But it's what Miss Calendar wanted."

"Should we really be sitting here talking about this when Miss Calendar is in the shape she's in? Maybe he wasn't involved with what Spike and Drusilla did to her, but if she dies it's just as much his fault because he brought her here and not to a hospital."

"Xander!" Buffy and Willow both exclaimed.

"Willow, I want you to get the things you need together. Call Oz and take Xander with you to the library in case you need more than Oz. I'm going to go talk to Angelus. If you don't hear from me by," she paused glancing at Giles' wall clock, "midnight go ahead and do it."

"You think you can walk in there and tell him that you want to restore his soul and he's going to let you."

"No, Xander, I don't, but he's changed. I feel it. He's not the same as he was back in January when it first happened. He's not Angel either, but I'm going to find out if I really need to ask Willow to take the risk."

"In other words, you don't know if you can keep your hands off him so you're hoping that your bad boy, soulless boyfriend can curb his evilness just this side of acceptable so that you can keep him around."

"If that's what you believe, Xander, then you don't understand me at all. I love him. Can you not understand that? Is my loving Angelus, soul or not, any more bizarre than you being with Cordelia?"

"Cordelia's human."

"Is she really," Buffy shot back. "And if she is what's her excuse for being so rude and unforgivably cruel to people?" Buffy stormed to Giles' front door. "I'm so out of here. Willow, will you do it?"

"I'll be ready at midnight, Buffy."

"Thanks, Will."

"Sure, Miss Calendar really did feel bad, Buffy."

"I know, I believe that now," Buffy said casting a glance at Miss Calendar on the couch. "Tell her I'm sorry, Giles," Buffy said softly before she left the apartment.

Return to Top

***Part 21***

"That didn't take long," Angelus said from the garden. Buffy had known when the living room was empty that this was where she would find him. He was unable to come out here during the day, but for some reason whenever he needed time alone in the evening this is where he came.

"Well, I didn't see the point in going to the hospital with her. Giles would want to stay there with her anyway. When it comes down to it, Xander, Willow and I are just kids."

"You're right," he said simply. "Though you've moved up a notch on the ladder to adulthood, Buff. You're a mother now."

"Care to talk about it."

"You being a mother? I don't know that there's much to say."

"No, about Miss Calendar."

"I don't know that there's much to say there either."

"How did you find her?"

"Are you accusing me of having something to do with what Spike and Dru did to her?"

"No," she said and was surprised at the truth behind her words. "I'm curious how you found her."

"I was looking for you at The Bronze and ran into Spike in the alley actually. He said he had an enlightening surprise for me. I thought they might have had you, or Ryan, so I went."

"Why didn't you let them kill her?"

"What makes you think they were going to kill her?"

"Come on, Angelus, you don't inflict that much damage to someone that you intend to let live."

"Unless they wanted to make her live scarred and imperfect."

"You I could believe that of, but not those two. I don't think either of them could think that far ahead."

Angelus laughed softly. "You're right," he said as he stood and walked to the fountain in the middle of the garden. He let his fingertips graze the water causing it to ripple. "Spike was never one for plans. You saw how capable he was of going along with plans the night of your teacher conferences."

"So, you went with Spike?" Buffy prompted not wanting to dwell on Spike or memories of Angel.

"Yeah, I went with Spike. I knew if they had you you'd have let me know somehow, but I was afraid maybe they had Ryan and you didn't know it yet or something," he shrugged.

"But they had Miss Calendar instead."

"Yeah, I had no idea at first why Spike thought I'd find her enlightening." He laughed again, clutching the edge of the fountain with both hands.

"She wanted to restore your soul."

"That's what he said. Dru had one of her visions."

"And yet you stopped them from killing her."

"I knew if something happened to her that you'd believe I was a part of it and retaliate against me."

"You think I'd kill you without uncovering the truth?"

"If you had to choose between me and Giles?" She found the vines on the walls suddenly very interesting when normally she avoided looking at them because they sort of creeped her out. "Well?"

"You," she said softly. "I'd always choose you, Angelus. I wish I wouldn't."

"Buffy, I don't pretend to understand any of this, anything that you make me feel. I certainly can't pretend to know why I connected with my soul that day I felt the baby move."

"Do you want your soul back?"

"No," he said though he was not overly convincing.

"Why? We could be together."

"But not in the way a man and a woman were meant to be together, Buffy. I've had you around me, tasted you, and felt you respond to me. I've felt your heat and your love when I'm buried inside of you. I couldn't knowing I could never have you again."


"Really," he said with what Buffy thought was sincerity. It was hard to tell with Angelus, he could appear very sincere and not be.

She walked toward him, placing a hand over his and squeezing it. "Show me," she said softly. She had to remember to call Willow about not doing the spell. If Angelus changed and went back to his sadistic ways Buffy would kick herself but knowing that the soul could be restored gave Buffy hope that she would not have to kill him.

"Show you what?"

"How much you want me," she said running fingernails up the length of his arm. "How much you would hate not being able to be with me again."

"That's an easy request to fulfill. Shouldn't you be checking on our son?"

"I'll call Mom and tell her I'll be a little late, but he should be fine with Mom until I get home."

Buffy found him in her bedroom after she had used the phone to call both Willow and her mom. Willow had not said much when Buffy told her not to do the spell; maybe she had expected Buffy not to go through with it after all. She did ask Willow to make sure to have the supplies and the actual spell ready were it to ever come to it. She hoped it would not come to that, but she was fully aware that she was playing with fire.

The night was a perfect one. The moon shone brightly through the windows in the room, making the vampire lying on her bed look ethereal. This unworldly being was waiting for her and she suddenly felt a little frightened. This was not spur of the moment sex between the two of them, this was planned and thought out. What did that mean? Should she be willingly having sex with him?

"Your Mom thinks your patrolling?"

"Yeah," she said with a shrug. She let her hair down, apparently having answered her own question about whether she should be doing this without realizing it.

"And Willow?"

"What about Willow?"

"Come now, Lover, you can't lie to me about this. You were going to give me one last tumble in the sheets."

"I told her not to do it," she said under her breath.

"Good girl," he said, offering her a wink. "Come to bed then, Lover. Let me show you."

It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him they needed to set up rules for their relationship and for him, but all thoughts left her mind when he pushed the covers back revealing he was complete nude and very happy to have her there with him. Rules could wait, she decided, Angelus obviously could not and she was not sure she could either.

Buffy lay next to Angelus, her head tucked into the crook of his arm while her hand toyed with his smooth and pale chest. She wondered what he would look like with a tan, but realized he was not from an era where tanning was done so she imagined it would look odd on him.

Tonight had been better than she had hoped, even better than the night of her birthday seven long months ago. It was better because Angelus did not hold back yet tonight was about more than sex. She was placing her trust and faith in him completely and without question, something Buffy did not believe anyone had done with Angelus before now. His lovemaking tonight seemed evidence that he needed her to trust him. It was something soul or not he needed.

"I love you, Angelus," she said softly before she succumbed to sleep in his arms. Distantly, she heard Angelus whisper, "Love you, too, Buff."

Angelus woke her a little while later. "You need to get home, Buff."

"I don't want to go."

"I know you don't want to, but I'll walk you home."

"You will?" she asked, sitting up feeling lazy and in no way ready to get dressed yet.

"Yeah, I will," he said meeting her gaze evenly. His eyes were unreadable as they usually were.


"Do I have to have a reason?"

"No, but you rarely do things without a reason, Angelus."

"A man wants to walk his mate home and you think he has to have a reason to do it?"

"Not a man, Angelus, you."

"I'm afraid Spike and Drusilla might retaliate or seek you out to see if you got the message."

"And you want them to see you with me?"

He was quiet for a moment. Buffy hated moments like this since he did not breathe he was completely still. It freaked her out. "Yeah."


"Because I may have been trying to run from it for the past seven months. I have rebelled against the very concept. I have tried to forget it. I have tried to use violence to change it. You're mine, Buffy, and despite everything I've done to you and put you and your friends through you still love me and you are still good to me."

"I'll always love you."

"I'm starting to realize that I'll always love you too, and it's pretty frightening."


"I have a lot longer to worry about than you do, Buffy."

"Oh," she said feeling stupid for not thinking about that.

"That's the worst thing about it. You made me feel human, made me want to be a part of your life, and that's very dangerous for someone who has an eternity to live. I can't promise much, but I'll be around for you. And for Ryan, even if it's only through pictures and letters."

"It's more than I thought I'd get."

"It's less than you deserve." She shrugged slightly, yawning.

"Is that a promise?"


"That you'll be around for us."

"Yes," he said simply his eyes meeting hers. "Do you want us to seal it?"

"With what a kiss?"

"No," he said softly moving her head so her mouth was at the base of his neck. Buffy bit down and he cried out in response as her dull teeth broke the skin and finally drew blood. "Blood," he groaned as she drank from his neck, baring her wrist to him so that he could feed as she was feeding from him.

Return to Top

***Part 22*** (Contains spoilers for Season 4 through Pangs (The Initiative plot))

November 1999

"Giles," Buffy called out, grabbing her jacket as she went for the front door. If what Spike had told her was true, she had to get to Angelus.

Giles came out of the kitchen drying his hands on a dishtowel. "Yes, Buffy."

She glanced from Spike who was tied securely to the chair to her watcher. Spike did not know about Ryan and Buffy thought it was better that way. If he did not look so much like his father perhaps she would not be so adamant about it. Given how well Spike knew Angelus she doubted he would be fooled that his father was someone else.. "I've got to go. Will you watch over everything for me?" She met his eyes, conveying that the everything she was asking him to watch was upstairs sleeping.

"Yes, of course, I'll hold down the fort." He offered her a sympathetic look, he knew she was taking a chance letting Spike stay here with Ryan here, too. But what choice did she have? She could bring Ryan with her, but Spike would see that she had a child along and wonder who's it was.

"What you got a hot date or something, Slayer? You sure are in a hurry to get on out of here."

"It might have something to do with the company, Spike," she shot back.

"Don't forget the blood," Spike piped in from his chair.

"I'll get right on that," Buffy said as she put her jacket on, fixing the collar before leaving Giles' apartment. She knew Giles would do whatever it took to keep Ryan safe, even if he was still unhappy over one year later with Buffy for preventing Willow from resouling Angelus. She took a deep breath outside in the courtyard before heading in the direction of the mansion.

Buffy would have to remember to ask Angelus whether Spike knew Angelus was still here or not. She could not imagine he did, or he would have gone to Angelus for help not Buffy. Then again, Angelus was not known for helping the needy, and Spike was weak and needy at the moment. Or at least that's how he portrayed himself to be, Buffy was not sure yet whether she believed his story. Maybe it was not so odd Spike had come to her for help instead of Angelus after all.

She entered the mansion through the back door like she always did these days. Gone were the days when she felt the need to knock or she felt like an intruder on Angelus' property. She had no idea if he actually owned this place or what, she should ask just out of curiosity.

She found him in the music room, his fingers stroking the keys aimlessly. "Good evening, Lover," he said without looking at her.

"Hi," she said removing her jacket and tossing it on a nearby armchair. He probably thought she was coming here for sex. She rarely came to visit him without Ryan along, the few times she had come without him they had ended up having some of the most amazing and passionate sex. "This isn't a social call."

"Oh really," he said with a low laugh. "Getting right down to business then, Slayer?"

"Hardly," she said and walked so she faced him while he remained seated at the piano.

"What's wrong," he finally asked.

"You don't know?"

"What am I supposed to know?"

She looked at him, really looked at him and he seemed genuinely in the dark. "You're in danger."

"What did I do now? Did I piss off Giles or Xander, or maybe it was Willow this time?"

"Nothing like that. Spike showed up at Giles' house today."

"You think I'm in danger from Spike?" He sounded a little too amused by that concept, not that Buffy could blame him exactly.

"No, Spike says he was abducted."

"And the people didn't drive a stake through his heart?"

"Would you listen to me, Angelus, this is serious."

"I wouldn't believe a word Spike tells you, Buffy."

"This group of people have a containment area somewhere in the tunnels full of all sorts of demons, including vampires. Lots of vampires, Spike said."


"Angelus, they're altering these demons and vampires somehow so they can't hurt anyone."

"Spike unable to hurt anyone? I'll bet he's jonesing real bad." She slapped him across the face, not with her full strength but enough to get his attention and glared at him. He grabbed her hand before she could pull it away and stood from the piano bench, knocking it to the floor due to his momentum. "What the hell was that for? I knew you liked it a little unconventional but I didn't know you got into that type of thing."

"Stop talking about our sex life for a minute. Spike escaped, Angelus. They're doing these things to these vampires, but they're keeping them confined he said. He's at Giles' house because he got lucky and was able to escape."

"What do you want me to do about it? Help him? I wouldn't trust him, Buffy."

"I want you to leave Sunnydale."

"What?" he asked eyeing her suspiciously?

"I don't want you to get captured, Angelus. I want you to go until we can figure out what's going on."

"You're serious?"

"Yes," she said softly. She hated it, she did not want him to go. He could still be downright cruel, but they had come to some sort of unspoken agreement over the past fifteen months. She brought Ryan to see him every day. "We're researching it. I've seen some guys dressed in commando type gear around town, but the first time I saw them was on Halloween so I didn't think anything of it."


"But, Angelus, I need to know you're safe. Just like when I told Mom to get out of town for graduation, I can't concentrate on my work if the people I love are in the thick of it."

"What about Ryan?"

"He's human, Angelus, he's not in any danger."

"True," he said. "And then what, you'll call me back like a dog who you expect to heel?"

"No, Angelus, that's not it. Do you want to get captured and have something done to you? Do you want to drink drugged blood? Do you want to find out what these people are doing to the demons that they're holding captive by getting captured yourself? I'm guessing with Spike's escape security is tighter than ever. If you don't want to come back when it's over, then don't."

"Why don't you and Ryan come with me? Giles, too, if he feels it's necessary."

"What about school? And my mom?"

"She'd understand."

"No, she wouldn't, she still doesn't know what you are. She's accepted the fact you're involved and that we're not getting married and stuff. I don't think she'd be okay with my going away with you indefinitely."

"Screw her, Buffy."

"Not, but Mother aside, I can't just up and leave when there's something going on, Angelus. There's someone at least remotely organized abducting, drugging, and somehow altering demons. Something tells me they're not on the side of good or they would not be doing this covertly."

"You're the Slayer, you're supposed to kill demons and vampires, what do you care?"

"Because I kill them, I don't toy with them before I kill them."

"You've toyed with me, Lover."

"That's not quite the same, and you know it."

"I know, you just couldn't resist my charm."

"Right, that's it. You caught me. So untrue."

He chuckled lightly. "You're worried about me."

"And you wouldn't be about me?"

"Now it's you who caught me," he shrugged.

"I should get back to Giles', Ryan's there and Spike doesn't know about him."

"You left Ryan there with Spike in the house? Are you insane?"

"No, I'm not insane. Was I supposed to tramp down the stairs holding a baby that looks just like you and not expect Spike to question me about it?"

"I won't be able to see him before I go."

"I know," she said softly.

"Come upstairs with me, I want to at least be able to say good bye to one of you properly."

"Where do you think you'll go," she asked, following him up the stairs to her bedroom.

"LA, it should be far enough away and yet you could get on a bus so that I can see Ryan every once in a while."

"Is that all you care about, seeing Ryan?"

He growled, low and predator-like as he lifted her shirt over her head and off, tossing it aside. She could tell by the look in his eyes that he wanted her. And badly. "God I hate you," he whispered. His actions to follow were a direct contradiction to that statement and Buffy realized how true the saying actions spoke louder than words was.

"You'll call me when you find somewhere to stay?" Buffy asked while she got dressed. She felt his eyes on her, following her every move and it sent shivers down her spine to know he was watching her that intently.

"Don't close me out of your mind, Buffy. Our ability to read one another's thoughts might come in handy."

"I don't anymore unless I need to concentrate on a fight or something."

"I know," he said. "I'm just saying. With my being so far away, it might be the quickest way for us to at least ensure the other one's okay if we need to."

"Ryan's going to miss you."

"Thanks," Angelus said softly and Buffy was not sure what he was thanking her for. "You be careful, Buff. Watch Spike, I don't trust him. Watch your back and keep your guard up all of the time."

"I don't trust him either but I can't turn him out knowing he can't feed."

"A sympathetic Slayer," he said with a low chuckle.

"I guess." She walked to the bed, knowing the longer she prolonged this it would only get worse.

"Go on now, Lover, I'll call you when I've gotten somewhere."

"Thanks," she whispered, fighting the tears that were threatening to fall. She would not let him see her cry. Not tonight.

"Oh and Buffy?"

She paused, her hand on the doorjamb. "Yeah?"

"I don't hate you."

"I know," she said. She stared at him taking in every inch of him, committing him to memory in case she did not see him again for a long while.

Return to Top

***Part 23***

July 4, 2000

Angelus knocked on the front door to his mate's home and waited for an answer. He had gotten into town early that morning, too close to sunrise for him to do anything but seek shelter in the mansion until the pesky sun disappeared for yet another evening.

He had not been in Sunnydale for seven months now. Their son, his son, was going to be two in just a matter of days. Buffy and her helpers had defeated the creature the government agency responsible for taking Spike, and others, out of the demon game had created. From what Buffy had told him, Spike was the only one who had managed to actually escape the government's clutches. He had been free to return to Sunnydale for a few weeks now but had taken his time, not wanting to appear too anxious.

He held the wrapped box that was his son's birthday present under his arm growing impatient. The sales girl had thought he was an adoring father the other night when he spent over an hour looking before picking out the atrociously expensive truck. When he went from shopping for Ryan to shopping for Buffy was when he realized he had stayed away too long and that he missed not just his son but his mate.

Finally, the door opened and Buffy stood there, obviously surprised to see him. "May I come in?"

"What are you doing here?"

"You said the last time we talked that it was safe."

"I'm about to go out," she said.

"Out?" he queried. It was too early for patrolling. She looked nice and smelled even better. "As in a date out?"

"It's not a date."

"But it's with a guy?"

"Well, no," she said chewing on her lower lip.

"What's going on, Buff?"

"You didn't come back, so I assumed you weren't going to. We're going to the fireworks with Xander, Anya, Willow and Oz," she shrugged. "Giles and Miss Calendar might come, too. So, I asked someone if he wanted to come with."

"Because I took a few weeks to get here?"

"Well, yeah, LA is only a couple hours away from here. And that's by bus."

"So you made a date?"

"It's not a date!"

"Uh huh," he said. "Fine, then I can join you."

"I don't think that would be a good idea."

"Why not if this isn't a date?"

"Because he's sort of one of the government guys?"

"He's what?" he roared.

"He's here by himself, Angelus, stuck here until the Army or the government or whoever closes the file on The Initiative and everything that happened here."

"So you've invited this guy who was a part of the group that made you decide I needed to leave Sunnydale to go to the fireworks with you? But it's not a date?"

"Right," she said.

"And you're bringing my son with?"

"Yes, it's sort of his birthday celebration, like we did last year. Remember?"

"Yes," he growled. "I do remember, I was there for it last year. And the year before that when he was still inside of you. Do you remember?"

"You should have called, told me you were coming back."

"Did I say I wasn't?"

"No, but you didn't say you were either."

Angelus sniffed the air and looked over Buffy's shoulder to the man who approached them carrying his son. This must be the non-date she was talking about, Angelus had to remind himself that this man was in on disabling Spike. Angelus did not want to be left without a choice as to whether he could harm people, he liked knowing he could and just chose not to.

"Hey," the approaching guy said as he reached the doorway. He was tall with dark hair and eyes, and while he was not a perfect likeness to him there were enough similarities that it did not escape Angelus' notice that she had chosen a guy similar to him in appearance.

"I'm Angelus," he said offering the other man his hand. He did not want to shake his hand, but it was either that or wring his neck here and now for looking at his mate in that way and pawing their son like he had a right to.

"I'm Riley Finn," the guy replied, taking Angelus' offered hand. He had a firm handshake, Angelus had to admit that he thought the way a man shook hands reflected a lot about his personality. This guy was strong and confident. "Are you here for Buffy?"

"You might say that, yes. I came for my son's birthday." Understanding crossed the guy's face just as Ryan started struggling in Finn's arms.

"Your son? You're Ryan's father?"

"Daddy," he squealed answering Finn's question.

"He just got into town, Riley," Buffy added as she took Ryan from Riley while Angelus glared at her. He knew this man was a danger to him personally, so he worked at keeping control but he did not like seeing another man so cozy with his son.

"Is he coming with us?"

"I wouldn't miss it," Angelus said.

"If I'm intruding," Riley interjected.

Angelus sneered as Ryan struggled in Buffy's arms, opening and closing his fist as he gestured toward Angelus behind him. He imagined it helped that Buffy had traveled up to LA at least once a month and sometimes twice a month before she realized just what it was she was up against. Ryan would not stop until he had been held by Angelus for a few minutes.

"Not at all, Riley, you can come, too. It'll be fun, and Ryan loves to have as many people around him as he can get."

"Just give him to me, Buff, you know he won't stop until I hold him," Angelus said dryly. "Here," he said handing the package to Riley, "make yourself useful."

Buffy handed Ryan to him and he heard a murmured, "rude much," as she did. "It's good to see you too," he said warningly. He was not going to take well to her pushing this, whatever it was. "Don't I even get a kiss?" he asked, placing an arm around her waist and tugging her toward him.

"Angelus," she hissed at him.

"I thought he wasn't a date?"

"He's not."

"Then why are you acting like it is and my being here is an inconvenience?"

"Because you didn't tell me you were coming. You can't just walk in here after weeks of my not hearing from you and expect me to be pining away for you."

"I'll just bring this inside," Riley said and went back inside with the package Angelus had given him.

"You do that," Angelus grumbled.

"You're being rude."

"He's making moves on my mate and you think I'm rude?"

She took Ryan from him and Angelus hated the feeling of loss that washed through him. "He is not making moves on me."

"No man is going to walk around carrying a woman's child that's not his if he's not after something."

"Riley's not like that," Buffy said as she set Ryan down.

Angelus watched Ryan as he ran the length of the porch and then back again. "He's a man, he's breathing, and he knows what you are, right?"

"Yes," Buffy said and Angelus shook his head in amazement.

"When are you going to start understanding the effect you have on men, Buff?"

"What effect is that?"

"They all fall in love with you and want them for themselves."

"Not all."

"Those that know who and what you are."

"Oz doesn't."

"That's because he has Willow. Be reasonable."

"Ryan, stay up here, sweetie," Buffy called out. "I don't think I'm the unreasonable one, Angelus. Why did you come here?"

"I figured you'd be doing the fireworks for Ryan's birthday like you did last year."

"So you thought you'd show up and then what, disappear again?"

"I'm not going anywhere. You're the one who told me to leave, remember?"

"I do remember, but I also recall telling you in May that you could come back."

"And here I am."

"Six weeks later!"

"Have you had sex with GI Joe?"

"No," she exclaimed too quickly for her to have had time to really react and lie.

"Buffy," he said grabbing her by the upper arms and tugging her toward him. "I came back, I didn't have to, I didn't want to at first. That's what took me so long. I thought that I could just keep seeing you and Ryan once a month and be okay with that. But I can't. Soul or not, damn it, I want you, I love you. There's a piece of him and the soul in here," he said taking one hand off her arm and placing it over his heart. "I feel him and it. I look at Ryan and my heart, as dead as it might be, bursts with pride that we did that. For the longest time I thought it was my ego, but it's not, I'm proud of something I've done. I've never felt that before."

"So you came back for Ryan because you want to play the part of the proud daddy?" she asked just as Ryan grabbed onto Angelus' leg and smiled up at him.

"I can only play the part so well, Buffy. I will not be perfect, I don't have a soul to act as my moral compass or a chip or whatever device is in Spike's head to keep me in check. I can offer you this, Angelus as he is. Can you accept that?"

"I've never wanted anyone but you."

{Me, too.}

As much as he hated to admit it, Angelus agreed with both of them on this one. "Me, too," Angelus echoed Soul Boy's thoughts. "Now about those fireworks, does he really have to come with?"

"I want to go, Daddy."

"Not you, Ryan, your mommy's friend."

"I invited him along, Angelus, I can't renig."

"But you're going to make it clear it's a friendly invitation, nothing more, right?"

"And how do you suggest I make it clear enough to please you?"

"You could start by kissing me and we'll go from there."

"In front of Ryan?"

"He will need to know how he got to be here some day, might as well get his feet wet with the most innocent part."

"There's nothing innocent about you, Angelus."

"You got that right, Lover." He placed his hands at her hips and drew her to him, claiming her lips with his. Her arms went around his shoulders as he drew her closer against him. It had been a long time since they had kissed like this, like true lovers back when they're relationship was new and pure, back when he had the soul. She responded to him so passionately and Angelus found himself giving in to it, letting it surround him, and wanting more of it.

"It's getting late, Buffy, if we want to see any fireworks," Riley said. Angelus' game face fell into place but neither of them broke the kiss so it went unnoticed by the other man. "Come on, Ryan, let's go see if your Grandma has some ice cream or something."

"But I want to see fireworks," Ryan whined.

"Yeah, me, too," Riley said as Ryan followed him indoors where Riley wisely closed the door, leaving Angelus and Buffy alone on the porch in the dark where Angelus believed they belonged.

~The End~

Return to Top

Buffy/Angel Index Page | Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fan Fiction Index Page | Fan Fiction Index Page | Home
Send Feedback

Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/