**Part Eight**

February 2000

Buffy stared at the wall, clutching the paper gown to her still shocked. She wasn't stupid, she understood that no form of birth control was perfect. The doctor was saying that she was further along than she thought she was, though. She tried to mentally calculate things in her head, but it still didn't add up. There'd been about a month or so there where she and Lindsey hadn't had sex. As far along as her doctor was saying she was put her during that dry spell.

Maybe she'd forgotten one time? Lindsey did have a habit of waking her up before taking his shower at times. Usually, she was able to get to the bathroom first, but maybe there'd been once or twice she hadn't and she'd forgotten? Or maybe she'd been so sleepy that she hadn't thought. What were the odds? She knew all it took was once.

"Do you have any questions, Mrs. McDonald?"

"I, no, I'm just surprised is all."

"I was under the impression you and your husband were trying again."

"I, yes," Buffy shrugged. She'd gone to a different doctor for the diaphragm out of guilt. "You're right."

"I can recommend a counselor if you're feeling apprehensive about it after your loss. I think that was caused by whatever virus your body was fighting off, though."

"No, I'm fine, really."

"Okay. Take the prenatal vitamins every day. I can't recall if you had problems, but some women find taking them at night with a meal works best to avoid nausea. And I'll see you in four weeks."




She dressed and left the exam room, stopping by the appointment desk before she walked to her vehicle. It was all done on autopilot. She was still in shock. She had been stupid. When did anything ever work out the way she wanted it to? Why would she think that sneaking a birth control device into her marriage would work? Had he found it and done something to it? She didn't think so. She was careful about keeping it hidden in with her other feminine supplies. As far as she knew, he didn't go near those.

It would certainly explain the fatigue and sore breasts she'd been experiencing for the past couple of months, though. Thankfully, she didn't suffer from morning sickness. She hadn't the first time either.

Lindsey was out of town for the next couple of weeks. There was a training session or something in Europe. She'd been invited to go, but she and Lindsey both agreed she'd probably get bored. He was going to be tied up in meetings most of the time. He promised her a trip to Europe as a vacation soon to make up for it.

It was a good thing, because Buffy didn't want to go home. There was only one place she wanted to be right now. It was late enough in the day that Cordelia should be gone. She took out her cell phone to call first just in case. Angel had shown her an access route to his apartment from the sewers, which she'd yet to have to use thankfully. She wasn't sure she wanted to start today.

"It's me."


She smiled. He always sounded so genuinely happy to hear from her. She called him so seldom. They didn't talk much either for that matter. If it wasn't about training they kept things pretty casual. She figured it was a defense mechanism for both of them. Until things started falling into place as far as Wolfram & Hart went, there wasn't much to say.

"Up for a visit?"

"From you?"

"No, the other blonde who visits you."

"Oh, I thought I was better at being discreet than that."

She smiled with a laugh. "No such luck, buddy."

"Sure, come on by. It's all clear."

"I was hoping you'd say that. See you in a few."


It didn't take that long to get there. She was much better at the whole driving thing than she used to be. Having an SUV that Attila the Hun could hit and she'd survive probably helped. She was always amazed to see him living so human-like when she visited him. She wished she'd been able to meet Doyle. She was pretty sure Angel wouldn't be in business for himself if it weren't for the demon with the visions.

"Hello," she called out when she entered.

"Hey. Lock up."

She did and followed him to the elevator.

"How are you?"

"Good. You?"

"Fine. Anything new going on?"

"No, happy to say. I could do without Cordelia getting pregnant again for a while."

She must have made a face or something, because it was obvious he knew he'd said something wrong.


"Nothing." Why did he have to mention pregnancy today of all days? He routinely filled her in on cases he'd worked and things that happened around the office. She still couldn't believe Wesley was in town.

"Buffy. Talk to me."

"It's nothing."

"I can see on your face it's not nothing. You know I wouldn't have any problem if Cordelia got pregnant by a human."

"What about me?"

"What about you?"

She put her hand to her head and rubbed her temple. It was like that sometimes, talking to him. They tried so hard not to invade one another's personal thoughts that they sounded stupid.

"What if I was pregnant?"

"Well, you said you're. Are you?"


"Oh, well, I guess there's no need for the what if game then."

"Not with me anyway."

"How are you? Here, sit down."

"Angel, I'm fine."


"I'm fine."

"You lost the last one."

"I think that was beyond my control. Somehow we're connected and when you were poisoned I suffered with you."

"Does Lindsey know?"

"No, I just came from the doctor. Lindsey's out of town for a couple of weeks."

"Is that why you came here?"

"Maybe. I don't know. I don't really have anyone else to talk to. I know that bothers you, but the women I've made friends with all know Lindsey. So, I have to watch what I say, you know? I know you hate it."

"It's hard and not very fun, but I don't hate it." He reached for her then, resting the palm of his hand over her stomach. "Are you sure?"

"I'm sure. I heard the heartbeat and everything."

"This sort of changes things."

"Not really, Angel."


"Angel. I'm confused about something."


"I guess this is what I came to talk to you about. I just need a sounding board. The doctor is someone one of the lawyers recommended to Lindsey, so again I don't feel comfortable being forthcoming girl."


"The doctor's saying I'm like ten weeks along."

"All right."

"Angel, that puts it at about the time I saw you for the first time."


She blushed deeply. "I didn't. I mean," she ran her fingers through her hair and turned away from him. "It took me a while to have sex with him again after I saw you that night."

"And you're saying what?"

"That ten weeks ago is during that time we weren't."

"Maybe you forgot a time."

"I suppose it's possible. I just," she shrugged.

"You're worried after what happened with Cordelia?"

"A little. I mean, I used a diaphragm and spermicide. I'm not sure how much more protection I could have."


"Sorry, too much information. I'm just trying to sort this out. I guess it's my fault. That's what I get for going behind his back to try and avoid getting pregnant. I just wasn't ready again."

"You don't have to have it, Buffy."

"I do, Angel. It's a living thing. I heard it's heart. I can't get rid of that."

"All right. This kind of throws things off balance."

"Yeah, it does."

"You have to be even more careful."

"I know."

"Don't tell him."


"Don't tell him about the baby. Not yet."


"Just don't tell him. Can you do that for me, Buffy? I can't answer a million questions. Just don't tell him."


"You should go. I have some things to do tonight."

"Are you mad at me?"

He laughed then. She saw his shoulders slump and she wondered what she'd done wrong.

"I'm not mad, Buffy. Go home."

She was admittedly disappointed he was dismissing her. She had hoped he'd let her hang out here for a while. Her house was so big and empty with Lindsey gone. There was no one she really considered her friend enough to call and invite them to do something fun. Not like Willow.

"Okay." She gave him a quick kiss, happy to note he did kiss her back. "Night, Angel."

"Night, Buffy."


It was one of the hardest things he'd ever had to do, sending Buffy away. What he'd really wanted to do was kiss her, hold her. Things he couldn't do. He did the only thing he could do when he had questions he needed answers to. He sought Wesley out. Wesley knew of his day as a human. He knew that Angel had some contact with Buffy, just not how extensive. Angel wasn't willing to divulge Buffy's secrets to the former watcher and betray her trust that way.

"Angel. Come in."


"What's wrong? You look irritable."

"That about sums up how I feel."

"So tell me."


"What about our missing slayer?"

"She's pregnant."

"Oh. I."

"I want to know if it's mine."

"What do you mean yours?"

"She says the doctor told her she's further along than she thinks she should be. It fits in about the time I had my day as a human."

"Oh, I see. And you think that for some reason while the day was turned back, that somehow impregnation was overlooked."

"Is it possible?"

"Well, you were human. I assume you didn't use protection."

"No, Wesley, I wasn't thinking about anything but Buffy. I'm not at my most logical at those times."

"Yes, well. Is there someone else who could have fathered the child?"

"I can't tell you who, but yes. She claims they weren't together like that though for a while. Our time together fell in that I guess."

"Well, this is interesting. And she still insists on staying hidden?"

"I've tried, Wes. She did go to Sunnydale a while ago, but she has to make the decision to get back into the game on her own."

"I understand. You think she will?"

"I know she will."

"Are you planning on telling her?"


"That you might be the father?"

"No, I can't do that."

"Why not?"

"I'd have to tell her everything."

"Yes, and what a shame that would be."

"You don't understand."

"I suppose I don't, but if it's your child she's carrying she has a right to know that. As does the other gentleman."

"They're married."


"You heard me."

"You slept with a married woman? Angel."

"I don't need lectures, Wesley. She was going to leave him. I was human. I thought we had a chance for the things we'd talked about in Sunnydale."

"So, you'd let another man raise your child?"

"I don't know that I have any other choice. If I tell her the truth, she'll hate me. And then I'd never see the kid. At least this way, I have a shot at seeing it. I'll just never know if it's mine for sure."

"I see your dilemma."


"I don't know that there's anything you can do, beyond telling her the truth. She might surprise you."

"I asked her to hold off telling him about the baby for a while. I think it's mine. As soon as she told me about the timing, I knew."

"Well, then, you'd better work at getting her out of the situation she's in."

"How do you know she's in a situation?"

"I'm not dumb. Nor am I blind. You're concerned about her welfare. I can see it. You don't need to tell me what you're thinking about when she's on your mind. It's written on your face."

"She's in deep. And I feel bad for her. She tried to get away from slaying, to have a normal life. I can't blame her. She didn't ask to be the slayer."

"Being the slayer is an honor."

"Wes, not now, okay?"

"Right. Sorry."

"It's okay. I know what she should be doing. I think she knows what she should be doing, but she's in deep. So, walking away isn't really an option."

"Well, you'll just have to find a way to get her out of it."

"I'm working on it."

"You'll have my help if you need it."

"I'm counting on it."

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