"I was, yeah." Buffy answered Willow's question carefully, watching Xander as she did. "Until last night I guess."
"And you're really pregnant?"
"Yup. My second time around, actually. I lost the first one."
"What are you going to do?"
Leave it to Xander to be logical. Buffy knew this conversation had to be bothering him. And the fact that it was Angel who had helped her out of a potentially bad situation.
"Stay here I guess. Have the baby. I got my GED so I don't need to go back to high school. Lindsey helped me do that."
"I guess I could go to college. Lindsey would have sent me to college if I'd wanted to go, I just never did."
"And you're sure Angel's right? About him I mean?"
"Yes, Wil, I'm sure. I wouldn't have left him without proof. There was no question once I began researching the law firm they were corrupt. I wasn't sure he knew, or how long he'd known. But he knew Angel was a vampire when they first met."
"Wait, this guy met Angel?"
Buffy's eyes darted to Xander. "Yeah, not knowing he was married to me. He was getting rid of a vampire who preyed on young girls. Lindsey was his attorney."
"Well, that kind of seals the did he know or not question, doesn't it? I mean."
"Yes, but I wasn't sure he knew his client was a vampire. That was what I had to find out. That's all they represent, though, Wolfram & Hart. Oh, they have some regular, human clients sprinkled in to appear normal. They cater to demons, though, letting them do whatever they want. They get paid obscene amounts of money to get them out of any tight spots. Lindsey knew."
"I'm sorry, Buffy," Willow said, squeezing Buffy's hand.
"What are you apologizing to her for, Willow? She married the enemy."
"She didn't know, Xander."
"How could you not know? That's what you do!"
"I don't look for evil in humans, Xander."
"If he's even human."
"Xander, I slept with the man for over a year of my life. Yes, I'm sure he's human."
That not only shut him up, but turned his face beet red. It was kind of funny. Bad Buffy, taking pleasure in her friend's discomfort. She saw the warning glare Willow shot him and knew that Willow thought he was being hard on her, too.
"So, now you're on bed rest."
"Yup. No strenuous activity, no heavy lifting, no nothing."
"Well, that leaves slaying out."
"That leaves pretty much everything out that involves leaving this house. And Mom, she's freaking out. I'm sure she thought she'd never have a grandchild. The fact she already lost one. Protective is an understatement."
"Well, can you blame her?"
"So, did Angel go all, you know, grrr on him?"
"I don't know what he did. All I know is Lindsey signed the papers and Angel had a judge sign off on them last night. Someone who owed Angel a favor or something. I don't know."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah. I feel a little stupid."
"Xander," Willow said, her voice low.
Buffy glanced at Xander. "All I wanted was a normal life. I hurt so bad after I thought I'd killed Angel. Knowing that's what you guys wanted me to do, I couldn't go back to you and pretend to be happy. Lindsey came along one day." She smiled, recalling the day. "He came in to get out of a sudden rainstorm. I don't think he planned on coming in there or anything. He was so nice. Charming. And he seemed so normal. I spent a lot of time with him. It's not like we got married two days after we met or anything. I never saw any clues. I met one of his clients. The one Angel killed. I knew he was a vamp, but I couldn't say anything."
"Not without Lindsey wondering how you knew about that stuff."
"Right. And I think I wanted to think he didn't know either. That he didn't know the guy was a vamp. He was so good to me. We were happy, Wil. I mean, I could see myself living with him. The forever Angel and I had talked about once. I saw it with Lindsey. He treated me like a queen."
"Too bad he was in bed with demons."
"Xander," Willow said again.
Willow hugged Buffy. They weren't real cuddly friends, but Buffy took the hug and hugged her friend back. Tears formed in her eyes and she began to sob. She heard her door open and close and without looking knew Xander had left. Willow drew away once Buffy's tears subsided.
"I'm so sorry, Buffy."
"I know. I just feel like an idiot. And I really liked him. I was on my way to loving him. I thought I'd done it. Put being the slayer behind me and grabbed a normal life."
"I can't blame you for wanting it."
"That first time you saw Angel. That must have been a huge shock."
"You're telling me. I think I knew, though. We had shared some dreams, and when Faith poisoned him."
"That's right. Giles said he got a phone call from someone. He'd completely forgotten about the blood of yours he had. There was no way we were going to deliver Faith to Angel."
"And you shouldn't have. He could have killed her."
"How did you know?"
"I was going through it, too. That's when I lost the baby the first time. Fever, poison, but I'm sure if they ran tests they would have found nothing."
"So, you're like connected somehow?"
"It would seem so."
"That's kind of cool. Or not, if you want to get over him. And you were dreaming about him while married to Lindsey?"
"Well, yeah, I dreamt about him all of the time. It was hard to tell which ones were real and which were just dreams at first. But, it was like he was dreaming and I was there with him as he went through his past bad deeds."
"That must have been pleasant."
"Not so much."
"So, now what happens?"
"I don't know. He went back to LA. He's determined to take on the law firm, especially now. He doesn't want them to find out who I am."
"Wil, are there any spells or anything that you could do to find out about my baby?"
"After I saw Angel at my house, Lindsey's house, I couldn't," she glanced at her hands on her bedspread. "Lindsey and I didn't, you know, for a while."
"Okay," Willow said. Buffy glanced at her and Willow's eyes widened. "Oh. Okay. I get it."
"I couldn't forever, I mean, we were married, and before Angel came we were good like that together. We were good every which way, to be honest. But there was never a problem there."
Buffy wondered if she was as red as Willow was right now.
"When I got pregnant, the doctor seemed to think I was further along than I thought I was. And the ultrasound they did at the hospital last night proves it. I'm like halfway along."
"I even went so far as to go behind Lindsey's back and get birth control. I was really careful, Wil, even when we did again. I'm not sure he would have been mad, but we both agreed when we got married that we weren't going to go out of our way to prevent kids. I'm sure he would have understood if I'd used the miscarriage as an excuse or something."
"You don't have to explain, Buffy. He sounds like a nice guy."
"He is. Was. I wish I knew for sure what he was."
"So, what about the baby?"
"Well, Angel thinks I probably forgot. And it's possible. Lindsey did have a habit of waking up early and sometimes that would be the way he'd start off his day."
"Sorry, is this too much for you?"
"No, it's just so strange. The last time I saw you."
"Yeah, I know. One time with Angel, ended badly, I'd sworn off it forever."
"I just don't know. I was pretty careful. I didn't want him to touch me knowing Angel was here. So, I don't think," she shrugged. "I just don't understand how I can be this far along."
"Well, I'm sure Angel's right. You probably forgot or something. I mean, if you guys were used to being frisky and making with the smoochies. Maybe you had a bad dream or one of your slayer dreams and he comforted you."
"It's possible." It was. She hadn't thought of that. There were times that waking up from her dreams she was a bit out of it. She always sought comfort from Lindsey after those dreams. "You're probably right."
"I mean, it can't be anyone else's."
"No. I just have this," she shrugged. "I have this weird feeling that something happened I should know about."
"I don't know. If I knew I wouldn't have the feeling."
"I mean, if Angel and I can star in one another's dreams. If I can feel and suffer the effects of him being poisoned. Could I get pregnant? I can't remember a dream like that with him, but is it possible?"
"I can research, ask Giles."
"Sure. So, did Giles tell you about the soul?"
"Being permanent? Yeah."
"I don't know. I'm pregnant with another man's baby. A man who was working for the other team. I'm not sure I'm exactly top of Angel's list right now."
"Oh, Buffy, he got you out of the marriage. He trained with you, right?"
"Yes, but that was because he was worried about me."
"That was because he loves you and was worried about you. You didn't see him and Giles last year. They were frantic to find you. I have a feeling Angel did some things that weren't exactly on the up and up to try and find you."
"I fell off pretty good."
"Yeah, you did."
"I'm so sorry, Wil. I wanted to call you. So many times. The women I had as friends. I couldn't talk to them."
"Did you have a best friend?"
"Only the one sitting right here."
"Oh, good. I mean, you know."
"Yeah. I had to be so careful, and they weren't the people I'd hang around with. I just couldn't hang out at the country club all day. Or shopping. Lindsey gave me money, set up accounts at stores and stuff. I very rarely used it, unless he had a dinner or party or something. The only thing I used was the gym membership he paid for."
"It sounds like he cared for you, Buffy. Even if he wasn't on the side you'd want him to be. I mean, maybe if things had happened differently he would have chosen you."
"I don't think that was an option, Wil. Angel and I think that the lawyers know full well what they're getting into at the time they're hired. And we don't think there's a way they can get out."
"He hired Faith to kill Angel."
"What? Wait, you know about Faith?"
"Yeah, I even visited her in prison before coming here yesterday. I had to see her."
"How'd she end up in prison?"
"Long story, but she put herself there. She had a change of heart I think."
"Good. I mean, she's a slayer, it was pretty scary having her be on the bad side. If she hadn't been in that coma at graduation, I'm not sure we would have won."
"I know. I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry, Buffy. I understand, at least I want to. And think I do."
"You're great. The best friend a slayer could ask for."
"You're not just saying that because I'm here?"
"I'm not." She glanced at her door, wondering if Xander had left completely. "So, do you think Xander's going to forgive me anytime soon?"
"Eventually, I'm sure. He'll come around. It was hard on him, I think, because he was there with you when you died the first time. We thought you'd died. I mean, none of us could think of any other reason you'd be gone for so long with no word. So, I think he felt if he'd been with you."
"He did what I asked him to do. He got Giles out."
"I know that. You know that. He's a boy, who has feelings for you."
"I know. And it doesn't help that I'm married."
"You've moved on. You've grown up. He'll have to deal with that."
"So, tell me about you. Why isn't Oz with you?"
"Oh well," she started and filled Buffy in on the whole Oz and Veruca thing. And Tara. It would seem Buffy's life wasn't the only one that had changed.
It felt good to be sitting here catching up with Willow. Maybe things would work out after all.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com