"Good grief," Giles murmured as his phone rang. As if he wasn't busy enough. So few people actually phoned him that it couldn't be a good thing. Buffy wanted him to research immaculate conceptions. Willow was wanting books, too, probably for the same reason though she wouldn't say. Xander was stewing as only Xander knew how to do.
Of course, they were all relieved Buffy was not just alive but well. It was just a shock to find out his slayer, their friend, had taken the time away from them to establish roots. An attempt at permanent ones at that. He wondered if this Lindsey fellow hadn't worked for a corrupt law firm if they would have ever heard from Buffy again. He liked to hope she eventually would have contacted somebody, if only to let them know she was all right.
The night he'd gotten a phone call from a complete stranger telling him to use Buffy's blood he had been suspect at first. He wished to speak with Buffy about that at more length when she was feeling better. It seemed she and Angel had a deeper connection than he realized.
"It's Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. We met briefly in Sunnydale."
Giles rolled his eyes. "Yes, Wesley, I remember you." It hadn't been that long since Wesley had left Sunnydale behind when it was clear there was no slayer for him to work with. Giles suspected the realization that he was not suited to be a Watcher played a role in the younger Watcher's departure as well. "What can I do for you?"
"Well, I have some information for you. I've been working with Angel in LA and I think it's important, for the safety of Buffy, you know the truth about something."
"Please bear in mind, I don't violate the trust someone's placed in me easily. And I only just learned this recently myself."
"I understand, Wesley."
"You're going to find this hard to believe."
"After the things I've seen on the hellmouth, Wesley, I assure you I wouldn't be skeptical about much."
"The baby Buffy is carrying is Angel's."
"Now that I find hard to believe, merely because Buffy insists she and Angel have not been intimate. I may not trust Angel very much, but I trust my slayer would not violate her wedding vows."
"She doesn't remember it. Angel had the day reversed."
"What?" That piqued his interest. Buffy hadn't been too far off base then it would seem.
"I hate to disappoint you, but your slayer did in fact violate those vows. But from my understanding, she was going to leave her husband. She was planning to wait until after the holidays. Angel became human."
"I've seen him, Wesley. He's not human."
"That's what I'm trying to tell you. If you would listen instead of interrupting this would go much faster."
"Very well," he said with a sigh. He removed his glasses, setting them on his desk and poured himself a glass of scotch. He wasn't sure there was a quick version of things where Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was concerned. "You have my undivided attention."
"That was sarcasm, wasn't it?"
"No, Wesley. Just get on with it before Buffy has her baby or I die of old age."
"Apparently, Buffy and Angel have been meeting for a few months to train. Angel was aware that Buffy was married to Mister McDonald and was afraid her identity might be in danger through the law firm's interest in him. So, they trained together so that Buffy would be prepared in the event something unexpected happened. Are you with me?"
"Well, on this particular day, Cordelia was out for an extended lunch and a Mohra demon attacked them."
"Yes. They defeated it, but Angel exchanged blood with it, unwillingly of course, and it left Angel human. Apparently, Angel felt that he could not be of assistance to Buffy in the fight as human. So he appealed to the Oracles to reverse the gift he'd been granted. The Oracles did so at a price."
"Buffy wouldn't remember."
"No one remembers, but yes, you're exactly right. Evidently, her becoming pregnant did not enter their minds."
"Or it did."
"What do you mean?"
"His soul is bound, Wesley. You and I both know how they feel for one another. Perhaps they were hoping it would be the catalyst to get her to leave this McDonald fellow. They can't very well have wanted the slayer in bed, literally, with someone like him."
"My God. I hadn't thought of that. They're more deeply connected than I would have believed. They experience one another's dreams Angel told me. He's worried one day he'll dream about that day and she'll share the dream, finding out."
"That something isn't right. That the baby isn't her husband's."
"Yes. That was expedient of Angel to get it done so quickly."
"He called in a favor or two. He wants her safe, Rupert."
"She'll be safe here. As safe as she can be on the hellmouth at any rate."
"Will you tell her?"
"I think Angel wants her to come to him on her own, for her own reasons."
"Yes, I could see that, but this changes everything. If he finds her, the ex I mean, he could say anything to get her back. She's raw enough she might just fall for it."
"I don't think so. She knows there's no leaving the firm. I suspect that's the only way she'd consider it."
"I would hope so. She does seem to have cared for him."
"As he did for her from what Angel indicated. He was more worried about repercussions on her because of him. He's made it his personal mission to take the firm down. I'm surprised their research hasn't netted them information on Buffy to be honest."
"Let's hope that remains the case."
"She was using a different name, perhaps it will help."
"Thank you for calling, Wesley."
"You're welcome, Rupert. Like I said, I thought someone should know the truth. I understand Angel's feelings on the matter, but given a pregnant woman's emotional state I thought you should have all of the facts."
"I appreciate your candor. I will think on it and decide whether to tell her the truth. She's on bed rest for a while. And Angel has returned to LA?"
"Yes. He's talking of visiting Buffy in a few days. He needs to exercise caution, though, in the event someone follows him."
"I doubt that will happen. He's got the protective instincts of a vampire and his woman is pregnant. He's not going to stay away from her anymore than necessary."
"Yes, I fear that's the truth. I just hope he doesn't lead the danger right to your doorstep."
"We'll be prepared."
"Very well. Should you need anything further here's my number."
"Thank you, Wesley. Good night."
Giles hung up the phone, staring at it for a moment in disbelief. Angel had given up being human and with it a life with Buffy for the greater good. It was one of the noblest things he could think of someone doing. Very few people would have sacrificed such a thing. Love was a powerful emotion. And someone with Angel's lifespan knew how rare it was to find the truest form of that emotion. It had taken the vampire almost two and a half centuries.
He wasn't sure how Buffy would react to such news, though. It would devastate her. Wesley had indicated Buffy had come to the decision to leave her husband. He wondered what happened to alter her decision. She had left him, but not as soon as the holidays were over. Perhaps he should talk to Angel the next time he came for a visit. And Giles knew that would be very soon considering it was his child Buffy was carrying. If he knew anything about the vampire, he would not let any harm come to Buffy or his unborn child.
He took a sip of his scotch. He'd poured it initially for the diversion while Wesley rambled on. Now he found he needed it to take the edge off. Good lord, was nothing simple? He had to admit he envied Buffy a little. She had a chance at a normal life, she took it, apparently accepted it and welcomed it. He doubted she expected it to come tumbling down around her as it had.
The only thing left to discover was whether this hiatus would make his slayer a better one. He imagined Angel would have a strong influence on her and hoped the vampire planned to encourage his mate to throw her hat back into the ring. They'd lucked out with Mayor Wilkens. They'd had to involve civilians and the number of casualties still astounded Giles. It could have been far worse. At least those that survived were not being served as a true demon's meal. The Initiative blokes had turned out to be more bark than bite. They were fortunate in getting Spike's aid in defeating the Frankenstein like monster, Adam.
Giles doubted they'd get lucky a third time. In cases like this, the third time would not be the charm.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com