Summary: AU. Crossover. Angel finds out that he was Buffy's true happiness in Heaven. Buffy ventures to LA only to make a startling discovery.
Disclaimer: Yes, I know that I don't own anything or anybody. Besides, that costs money, right?
Spoilers: Flooded. Offspring.
Genre: Drama, Angst
A/N: This is my first B/A ff, so bare with me (plus, I don't get UPN). I'm just acting a a creative vision, ok?
Unforgivable Mistake: Chapter 1
Buffy gripped the steering wheel even harder. /Concentrate on the road, Buff. You don't need to kill yourself again./ But she couldn't help but to let her mind wander. She was going to meet Angel... her angel.
He had called her after he learned that she was alive-and back. At first, this sent a pang of guilt through her, wondering why she hadn't called him earlier. But all that mattered was that she was going to see him now.
She pulled her car into the parking space of an old, dingy bar about 50 minutes away from Sunnydale. As soon as she opened the door, she could feel Angel's presence. She spotted him sitting with his back turned in a booth in a dark corner of the bar. She walked slowly over to him, and gently put her hand on his shoulder.
Angel jumped, startled. He could feel her warmth going through his cold, dead body. It had been so long since he had felt her touch. He had gone through every different scenario of Buffy returning through his mind since he found out of her death. He couldn't really believe she was alive, and now with her hand on his shoulder.
"Hey Angel." There was something in her tone that made him worry. She sat down slowly in the seat opposite Angel.
He didn't need to say 'So...you're back.' He didn't need to restate the obvious. The look in her eyes explained a lot.
"Willow did her magic and brought me back. I know they were all trying to help,..."
She couldn't hold back the tears anymore. She had kept all of her emotions inside around her friends and Giles. Now she was with someone who she could share everything with.
Angel went around the table and sat down beside her.
"Everything is going to be okay, Buffy." Angel said with his arms wrapped around her-rocking her.
"No it's not. It will never be. They took me away from heaven...they took me away from you," she managed to choke out through tears.
Angel looked down at her, astonished. How could he be in heaven? He had been an awful person in his lifetime.
"Heaven was a place for you to experience true happiness... to have that warm feeling all over. For me, that was you. You were my true happiness, Angel. And it wasn't about the sex, it was just us being together without all of the extra baggage hanging around us, just you and me."
He knew how hard this must be on her, to experience bliss and then have it ripped away from you.
"They couldn't have known, Buffy. They were just trying to help."
"I know, but it feels like they were being selfish. They were only thinking of themselves and what they needed. I can't help but to think of what they took away from me when I see them. I try to hide my resentment, but sometimes it just gets overwhelming." Buffy managed to slow down the sobs, and tried to gather herself.
"Buffy, you know you can always come to me. You can come down to LA, or I can come to Sunnydale. I am always here for you, whether you just need to talk, or to listen, or just have someone near you. "
Angel meant those words more than anything. As much as it hurt him to see her, to know what he couldn't ever have, her happiness came first. It always had. If he could take away just a little bit of her pain, it was worth his.
After a few more minutes of holding and crying, they both thought it would be best if they left.
"Willow and Dawn will get worried if I'm not home."
"Yeah, and the sun will be up in a few hours, so I better get back to LA."
They awkwardly got out of the booth and walked out of the door.
"Well, I'll see you." Angel said outside the door. This was the hard part, saying good-bye to her when everything in him wanted to reach out and grab her forever.
"Yeah." Buffy lowered her head and began to walk to her car. But before she could get very far, she fealt a cold hand grab her shoulder and turn her around.
"You know I am here for you whenever you need me." Angel managed, in as neutral voice as he could muster.
"I always need you Angel. I never stopped and I never will."
With that, Buffy walked back to her car, leaving a hurt Angel standing alone, speechless. She knew her words hurt him- they hurt her to. Heaven showed her how much she really did need Angel when she was alive. Now that she's back and can't be with him, it made her resent her friends even more.
Angel didn't know what to think while driving back to LA. To know that he was her true happiness just made him want to be with her even more. But he knew he couldn't, for the same reasons he left her after the Ascension.
Unforgivable Mistake: Chapter 2
"Building a Mystery"
Angel sat at his desk with lost eyes. Cordelia had kept asking him what happened when he got back, but he couldn't tell her. He couldn't tell anyone. It hurt him so much to know that he can never make Buffy happy. If he was her true happiness, then Buffy could never be happy, could she? And that's why he left Sunnydale, to put her well being before his. He didn't know what to do. He most definitely couldn't leave now, not with a pregnant vampire sleeping upstairs, which Buffy could never find out about, not until it was born and was sure that it was safe. /Not that she would even want to look at me after she found out. /
Cordy, Gunn, Fred and Wesley knew not to tell anyone. Cordy especially knew what harm it would do to Buffy if she knew.
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sounds of his co-workers returning. He left his office and went out into the lobby to greet them.
"So where did you guys go?" Angel asked, even though he knew exactly where they went because he could see the remnants of down the front of Fred's shirt.
"We just grabbed some ice-cream, which Fred decided to wear home." Cordy responded, noticing the sad look in Angel's eyes.
/Buffy. I had ice cream with Buffy, when I was...human. /
"Well anyways, what have you been up to?" Cordelia tried to change the subject quickly. "Wait, no, let me guess.You were doing to brooding around here!"
"Maybe, but why do you always assume that's what I do?"
"Because that's what you always do, Angel. You brood and sulk. That pretty much sums up your personality."
"Does not." Angel got that hurt puppy look on his face.
"Whatever you say. But I'm right. I'm always right!" Cordelia replied triumphantly. She knew just as well as anyone that he sat around sulking because he couldn't be with Buffy.
"So how is Darla? Still asleep?" Gunn asked, really wondering if she had tried to do something brutal while they were gone.
"Yeah. The false labor really took a lot out of her."
"Are you sure she just didn't get enough of me to drink?" Cordy snapped.
But before Angel could reply, the sounds of the opening door and footsteps interrupted the conversation.
Buffy stood in front of them, carrying a small duffel bag in one hand and her purse in the other.
'Buffy' was all that Angel could manage. He was too surprised to see her here, in LA, at such an in- opportune time.
"Hey. Don't stop talking because of me."
"So you're the famous Buffy,"Gunn spoke, trying to break the awkward silence. "I'm Gunn. I've heard a lot about you, although not much of it came from Angel. But Wes and Crody do act it out pretty well."
"Yep. That's me. Famous Buffy." She said sarcastically, but was really still wondering what Wes and Cordy were acting out.
"Oh and this is Fred." Angel stated, bringing her back from her wandering thoughts.
Angel gave Fred a gentle nudge in the back.
"Hi. I would have introduced myself sooner, it's just that it's a bit overwhelming for me to be in the same room ass all you heroes." Fred finally lifted up her head to see Buffy eye to eye.
"Heroes?" Buffy knew she had stopped a few apocalypses, but she wasn't sure she had reached hero status yet.
"Yeah, I mean, Cordy has her visions, Gunn and Angel and Wes fight everything, and now.you're here. The Slayer."
Wesley decided that it was about time someone asked her.
"So Buffy, why ARE you here?"
"I came to talk to Angel."
"Well, we'll be leaving now. We've got some scrolls to read."
Wes turned to walk out of the room, silently telling the others to follow.
"But I want to stay and listen! This could get very interesting, you know." Cordy wasn't really catching on that quick.
Everyone turned and yelled at her. "CORDELIA!"
"Fine, fine. You don't have to get all hostile. But Buffy, if you're going to stake him, please do it outside because I just cleaned in here." She reluctantly headed downstairs with the others.
After the others had gone, Angel and Buffy just stood there, staring.talking into nothing.
/He looks so tired.distraught. I know that there is something wrong with him. Something he doesn't want to tell me./
/God. Why did she have to show up now? It's not that I don't want to see her. I don't think I've ever NOT wanted to see her. Even when I lost my soul my life still revolved around her. But still, she'll never want to see me when she finds out, which she will, because I can never keep this from her, lie to her, she'll find out./
The silence was deafening. Angel's guilt just kept building up by the second. He had to tell her.
"Um...Buffy, I have something to tell you. A few months ago, almost a year ago, I made a big mistake."
"Angel, what did you do?"
"Well, I was going through a really tough time in my life. Really tough. I was so lost...I...I..." but before Angel could get the rest out, the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs interrupted them.
"Well well. If it isn't the Slayer. I haven't seen you in a long while."
Buffy looked up at the voice, scared. She went from her cold eyes down to the big, round belly being held up by her hand underneath. Darla saw the startled look in Buffy, and immediately saw her opportunity to get back at Buffy and Angel.He was the one that had staked her in the first place.
"So, I see he didn't tell you?" Darla had a wicked smile across her face.
"Angel?" Buffy's look was pleading for it not to be true, but his eyes told her the worst. "Tell me this isn't what I think it is. Tell me please Angel!"
"Yeah, Daddy, why don't you tell her how you knocked me up. Wait a minute, I just did," Darla said as she ran her finger up one of Angel's arms then across the back of his shoulders.
"Angel. you did this?"
"Buffy, I meant to tell you. I was TRYING to tell you."
"I'm sure you were Angel." Darla's sarcasm came ripping through. "I'm sure you were."
Darla walked around Buffy and Angel, sensing the anger, resentment, fear, and sadness between the two.
Buffy continued to stand there, stunned. She didn't know what to say. All kinds of thoughts ran through her head, none of which she knew how to put into words. Darla pacing around her with a pregnant stomach didn't help either.
"Darla, just leave us alone. Go upstairs!" He had a harsh tone in his voice that almost never cam out. He didn't know how to ever apologize for the pain he had just caused her, but getting Darla out of the room was a start.
Darla turned and walked upstairs silently. Her work was done, and she was genuinely tired. She had only stayed because the look on Buffy's face was an image that she would remember forever.
Suddenly, all of Buffy's emotions wrapped themselves up into just one: anger. Anger at Angel for not telling her, and for having sex with Darla in the first place. Anger at Darla for. just being Darla and rubbing it into her face. But most of all, anger at herself for letting him get to her this much, after promising herself that she would at least TRY to get over him.
"Angel, how could you do this? How could you go and sleep with someone and not tell me? Ok, so maybe you couldn't have tole me while I was dead, but there was still plenty of time before that! And DARLA of all people? Did you forget that she tried to kill me?" The tears crept back into Buffy's eyes. Her voice, as shaky as its outer tone sounded, was strangely resolved and determined.
"That's not fair, Buffy. You have been with TWO other guys since me."
"Not fair? You wanna talk about not fair? How fair is it that you can go and have sex with Darla, keep your soul, and get her pregnant, when vampires can't even HAVE babies. She's having your child Angel, a child that I always thought. I always dreamt that WE would be having. And the only reasons I was with them was because I couldn't be with you. Because you left me." The tears were flowing freely now, and Buffy made no attempt to hold them back.
"Buffy, you know that I was only doing it for YOU to be happy."
"Yeah, Angel. That's what you've told me. I clearly remember you telling me that I should be with normal boys. And that's what I was doing, trying to be with normal, HUMAN guys. But they didn't reach me, reach my soul, the way you did, Angel. Why do you think that I let Riley leave? I thought you felt the same way too." Hurt, pain, anger, all the emotions she had kept locked up inside her since her senior prom, in a place she rarely ever wanted to visit, were all being released now.
"You know you always were, and always will be my girl, Buffy."
/She thinks I don't love her anymore. I never stopped loving her. I never did. I never will. I just make one damn mistake and my whole world comes crumbling down? I guess that's what happens when you've done as many bad things as I. You walk a thin line, and one tiny step off, and everything goes to Hell. But maybe Hell was better. At least there I knew that Buffy loved me, and I had told her I loved her. /
"Yeah. That's what I thought too. But you know? You had choices. You CHOSE to have sex with Darla. You knew the risk you ran and you did it anyway. I was only with Riley because I thought that's what you wanted. I thought you wanted me to be with normal guys. Why you didn't lose your soul I don't know, and don't really want to talk about tonight." She took a deep breath and tried to wipe away the tears with her sleeve.
"I never wanted you to be with other guys. I wanted you to be happy, and that's what I thought would make you happy, because you deserve that."
"You're wrong Angel." Her long rant and the expelling of emotions that had just taken place had made her fell empty and used up. Everything seemed to rush out of her and she felt completely numb. Her eyes got hazy and her movements slow and mechanical.
"Buffy, I'm so sorry." Angel reached out to take her arm, but she pulled away.
She walked slowly over to the basement door and went down, taking each step at a time. She looked around for the others. Her presence had silence everyone- Cordy and Gunn flipping through some old books, Wes and Fred hovered over a laptop with some old scrolls laying beside it. They just stared at her tear-stained face and now-soaking sleeve.
"Umm...can I stay with someone tonight?" she managed to get out, meekly.
Without saying a word, Cordy got out of her seat and headed up stairs, with Buffy following a distant second. Cordy grabbed Buffy's duffel off the couch and headed out the door to her car.
The ride to Cordelia's was silent. Buffy didn't notice the bright neon lights whizzing past her, a little quicker than average, since Cordy wasn't exactly going the speed limit. All she could see was a pregnant image of Darla, and her calling Angel 'Daddy.'
They both walked silently into Cordy's house. Buffy walked into the room Cordelia had designated as hers for the night, and immediately lay down on the bed. She didn't notice that the room was probably Cordelia's, telling by the decorating. She didn't notice the ghost gently pulling the blankets up around her. She didn't notice herself shaking, or the kleenex floating around her head, trying to wipe up her uncontrollable tears.
"Angel?" Her lover slowly turned and walked away.
"Angel come back! Please!" Her voice was straining, pleading.
"I'm sorry Buffy." he turned his back to her, then spun back around with his vamp face on "...but I have a family now."
Now he was standing beside Darla, who was holding something in a bundle of blankets.
"No! NO! Angel. PLEASE!" But he couldn't hear her; she was being pulled away by some inexplicable force, away from her Angel. >>
Cordelia walked into Buffy's bedroom to the sound of her pleading "No, please come back... but I need you." She was having a dream about Angel. She gently shook her awake.
"Hey, Buff, it's OK." Cordy's voice was strangely mother-like, a sound that even she surprised herself with.
"No, it's NOT okay Cordy. And it will never be." Then Buffy proceeded to tell Cordelia about dying, her friends, and heaven. She told her what she told Angel and what happened when she told him.
When she was finally finished (surprisingly without tears), Cordy was astonished.
"So you were like... together? In heaven?"
"Pretty much, at least I think so. I know we were together in heaven, but I'm just assuming the heaven part."
"Wow." Cordy didn't even bother to close her mouth.
"Yeah, that's pretty 'Wow.' That's also why I can't go back to Sunnydale.not just yet. Everytime I look at my friends, especially Willow, I see people who were being completely selfish. I came here to see Angel. He said he'd always be there when I needed him, he just left out the part about not coming when Darla was going to have his child."
"He didn't tell me either, Buffy. Anyway, you know that you can stay here as long as you need to."
"Thanks for the offer, Cordy, but Angel is still here with Darla and I don't think I can see her like that."
"Just because you're in the same town, doesn't mean you have to see them. It's a big city, so just don't go to the Hyperion."
"Where else do you have to go?"
"Fine. It's settled. You're staying here with me."
Buffy wasn't in the mood to argue with her, and doubted it would be of much use, anyway.
The rest of the day consisted of site seeing, from the Walk-of-Fame to the mansions of the stars. This seemed slightly foolish, though, since Buffy had grown up in LA, and lived there longer than Cordelia. But it seemed better than the alternative. Buffy earnestly tried to enjoy the sun-drenched city and Cordy's narrations, but she was still slightly distant, and rightfully so.
After sundown, Cordy headed off to the Hyperion and work. She told Buffy that she would be happy to stay at home with her (which she would really love to do, since work would entail listening to Angel sulk all night), but Buffy insisted she go. Buffy explained that she didn't want to be a burden and that she should stick to standard operation.
Buffy had just settled down on the couch for a nice, long night of TV watching, when she heard a knock on the door.
/Should I even get it? I mean, they probably want Cordelia, anyway, and if I answered the door, there would just be questions to answer. /
But more thumping on the door ensued, so she got up and went to open it. But as soon as she opened the door, she regretted it.
Seeing his face brought back a whirlwind of memories from the previous night, ones that she had hoped to keep inside her for at least a few more days.
"Buffy, we need to talk." He tried to walk through the open door, but couldn't. There was an invisible barrier blocking him.
"Buffy...what did you do?" His surprise and pain was evident.
"I had a feeling you'd stop by, and I just can't be around you right now. There's probably more I need to know about this.situation, but I can always find out later. Remember that spell I used on the house when you lost your soul? The best thing is for you to just stay away from me for now."
"I'm sorry, Angel, I really am." With those last words, Buffy gently shut the door on a stunned face standing outside. She walked cautiously back to the couch, taking one deliberate step at a time. She was afraid that she might turn around and run after him, making him tell her everything, so she could begin the process of forgiving. But she wasn't quite ready to forgive and forget, not just yet. The thing she needed most right now was some good 'ole Buffy-time.
Angel drove back to the hotel, stunned. He knew that she was infuriated at him, but he never thought that she would go this far. She wouldn't invite him in. The hate and contempt for himself grew and grew the farther he drove.
When he walked back into the offices of Angel Investigations, he was very upset.
"Cordy, I need to talk to you."
"OK, in a minute, 'cause I have to."
"Now Cordy!" he said with an edge in his voice.
They both went back into Angel's office.
Angel started ranting with his back turned.
"She wouldn't invite me in."
"So? I invited you in a long time ago." Cordy wasn't quite following.
He turned around to face her. "No, I mean, she cast me out. She used that spell so I couldn't come in!"
"I'm sorry Angel."
"Cordelia, you have to go home and invite me in. I need to talk to her. There are a lot of things she still doesn't know. She told me that I should just stay away from her, but I can't."
"Angel, I think she's right. What she needs now is some time alone, away from here and from Sunnydale."
"I'm sorry Angel, but I can't. I'm trying to do what's best for Buffy right now."
That's where the conversation ended, to Angel's dismay.
/Buffy won't see me, Cordelia's still mad at me, and Darla's still upstairs, still pregnant. Maybe if the Oracles were still alive I could go back and time and change everything.stop myself from sleeping with Darla. I wish I could just leave her. But I can't. It's my fault she's like this. And if it weren't for her, in some weird twisted way, I never would have met Buffy. /
The next couple of days went about the same. Cordelia spent the day with Buffy, trying out new activities to keep her mind off of Angel, Darla, and Heaven. Then she went to work for the night, leaving Buffy alone at the house, warding off visits by Angel. Darla lay upstairs in the Hotel, inching closer and closer to labor every day. Gunn, Wesley, and Fred were translating some new scrolls that they had discovered, which might have more insight on the birth of the baby.
Buffy awoke to sunlight creeping through the drapes and sprawling itself across her bed. It felt warm and cozy, and Buffy didn't really want to leave it. But it was a new day, and lying in bed during it would get nothing accomplished, not that she was going to get anything done in the first place.
/ I might actually go and rent a movie, sit around and watch some more TV, or maybe go to the grocery store. Yup, that's it. I will go get some food,some real comfort food, packed with tons of calories, fats, and sugar. /
Buffy got ready and headed out. Cordelia called and said she wasn't coming home the night before, she was staying all night at work. She walked up and down the isles, picking up some popcorn, frozen pizza, and Ben & Jerry's.She passed by the baby food isle, and thought she saw somebody she knew. She glanced back and eyed Gunn, carrying a basket of baby supplies. She walked up to him to see him trying to pick out diapers.
"Hey Buffy." He said with a cool smile on his face, even though she could tell he had no idea what he was doing.
"Need some help?"
"Yeah, I'd love some. I didn't realize that there were this many different kinds of diapers."
"I know. Wide varieties, huh? They've got them with aloe, Sesame Street characters, lotion, and ultra absorbent, you name it, and they've made it. So anyway, who's the little baby?"
"It's for Darla's upcoming baby boy. We figure that she's going in to labor sometime soon, so you gotta be prepared, ya know?"
What Gunn wasn't prepared for was the look on Buffy's face- a look of surprise and utter shock.
"You mean. the baby's..s human?"
"Oh God, Buffy, you didn't know? I'm sorry, I figured that Angel or Cordelia told you. Well, I suppose you were bound to find out anyway. The baby is human. It's a little boy. We saw him on an ultrasound."
He tried to make his voice as comforting as possible.
"Angel tried to tell me, but I sorta wouldn't let him in. It's. human? How is that even possible?" She was more stunned now than she was when she saw Darla a few days ago.
"Yeah, he told us about you not inviting him in. But we don't know how they had a baby. That's what we've been trying to figure out. reading through scrolls and old dusty books. But no one knows how two vamps can make human baby. It's mentioned in this big ole prophecy thing, but we still don't understand it."
Buffy hadn't noticed that she dropped her basket of food, which Gunn gathered up for her.
"I think I need to talk to Angel." She and Gunn walked to the checkout line. She didn't buy any comfort foods, she left them sitting in the baby isle. She left her car in the parking lot and drove back to the Hyperion with Gunn.
As soon as she entered, everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at her, just like the last time she was there. This time, though, the everyone didn't include Angel.
"Hey guys. Buffy needs to talk to Angel." Gunn announced.
"Hey Buffy. I thought you were going to chill at home? Anyway, Angel was pretty tired this morning, so he's upstairs sleeping. I doubt he'll be down for a while." Cordelia walked over and helped Gunn with the bags of baby stuff.
"Okay, I'll wait. What are you guys doing?"
"Well, we're trying to translate an ancient Nyazian scroll in an attempt to calculate the precise time of the birth of Darla's baby, among other things," Fred voiced from behind a book.
"In other words, it's research mode." Cordy said so at least she could understand it.
"OK. I can help. I used to be a very proficient research mode girly." Buffy tried to put on a half-smile, and almost succeeded.
With everyone around her's head buried in an old book, it started to remind her of high school, everyone sitting around the table in the library racking their brains.
After countless hours of flipping through old, moldy books, they were all startled by the presence of Angel.
/She came. She came here. /
"Buffy, we need to talk."
"I know. Gunn has told me some stuff already."
"Sorry, man. She saw me at the store buying diapers." Gunn interjected.
"That's ok. I should've told her already. We can go downstairs."
Leaving the group took away a slight safety net the two had. They would have been more careful about their words with others around.
Once downstairs, Buffy decided to start the conversation.
"I already know that the baby is human. What I don't know is how that's even possible."
"I don't know either. I knew that something was different about it, other than the fact that a vampire birth is unprecedented, when I could see Darla's maternal instincts kicking in. I didn't even know she could care for something like that."
"So are you going to take care of him?"
"Of course I am, what other choice do I have?" Angel started getting defensive. How could Buffy even ask if he was going to take care of his baby? Because of him he's got a child, so he can't just neglect its well- being.
"I don't know, none, I suppose. But...how did you not lose your soul?"
"Becasue...Because I wasn;t with you.I didn't experience a true moment of happiness. With Darla it was empty, utter despair."
"Oh." Buffy really wasn't sure what to say next. She didn't want to say something she would regret. She didn't have to worry about that, though, because they were promptly interrupted by Wesley.
"Wes, we're kind of talking right now." Angel wanted to continue to talk to Buffy, to tell her how he didn't enjoy one moment of being with Darla.
"Yes, I know, but I've discovered something. Something you DEFINITELY need to know." Wesley's voice sounded urgent.
"OK. What is it?" Wes had caught Angel's attention.
"You might want to come upstairs and sit down."
Angel and Buffy followed Wes quickly up the stairs. Fred, Cordelia, and Gunn were already on the couch.
Wes began to address the group.
"Well, I've discovered something. Something quite startling actually." Everyone could sense that Wesley was about to start rambling about something that probably didn't matter.
"Just tell us Wesley!" Cordy grew impatient.
"Alright, I will. It turns out that the Baby isn't yours and Darla's after all." Wes motioned toward Angel. "It's Buffy and Angel's."
The shock of Wesley's last words was radiating out of the room. Some many questions.
/Mine and Buffy's? How is that feasible? The baby is IN Darla's stomach. Besides, we haven't had since I was human, and that doesn't even count, since it was all reversed by the Oracles. /
/How can I have a baby? Does Wesley not see the whole lack of pregnancy thing surrounding my relatively flat stomach? /
Everyone went to ask Wesley questions, but he stopped them before they could.
"Yes, I know you all have many questions, but just wait and let me finished." The entire group shut up quickly. "A child was created by the Powers That Be when you to first.um.had sex, which I suppose was about four years ago, when you lost your soul, Angel. Well, they created the baby, but they didn't have anyone to implant the child with. They couldn't give the baby to you, Buffy, because they needed you to continue your slaying duties. They needed a carrier who could protect it more- someone who was immortal. So when you had sex with Darla, the child was implanted in her, to be carried to term like a normal infant. Nevertheless, it's not a normal infant in any sense of the word. A child between the Slayer and the Vampire with a Soul is even more unfathomable than between two vampires. I haven't yet deducted what the destiny of the child is, all I know is that it must have quite a future in store for the Powers to go to this length to conceive it."
"Oh. My. God." Cordy could be counted on to say something at a time like this, even though it usually wasn't quite appropriate. But this fit.
/Buffy. I'm having a baby with Buffy. /
/I'm going to be a mom. I am going to be responsible for two lives now? Dawn and the baby? /
All thoughts were halted by Darla coming down the steps, finally awake.
"Hey. What's the little pow-wow about and why wasn't I invited?" She asked, being as nosy as possible.
"Darla, there's something we.no, I need to tell you." Angel was afraid of what her reaction might be, so he decided to tell her as gently as possible.
He pulled her over to the side and told her everything that Wesley had just told him.
"So what am I? Just the UPS service for the Powers That Be or something? This is bullshit Angel. I did not and am not going through all this damn pain just so I could carry your and Buffy's love child!" She was so furious all she could think of was killing that baby in her stomach.
Angel could sense that. "Darla, you know that you can't hurt the baby. You've tried, and it doesn't work. The Powers are protecting it. You know that I didn't do this to you on purpose. I didn't know. You didn't know. Know one did."
She turned to run away from Angel and the hotel, but he grabbed her arm and wouldn't let her leave.
"I know you don't want to do this, Darla, but you're going to stay here and have this baby."
He took her upstairs and tied her on top of the bed. He'd decide what he was going to do when she went into labor later. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang tried to ingest the new information. Buffy was going to be a mom to Angel's baby.
"Love is Forever; Life is Less Considerate"
Buffy had once fallen off the monkey bars when she was 6 and got the wind knocked out of her. That's how she felt now, except she kept falling over and over again every 10 seconds. Its not that she was unhappy to find out the baby wasn't Darla's. Hell, that's a relief. She was just so overwhelmed with the new information that she was in a state of shock. She was going to be a mother of a baby boy. She wasn't completely positive that Wesley wasn't on something, but she wasn't in any condition to argue. Pronouncing two-syllable words was becoming a problem. But some part of her heart and soul was screaming with joy.
/Angel is going to be part of my life now, again, permanently. We'll be some distorted family or something. /
Darla was upstairs, thrashing about on top of the bed. She tried so hard to rid herself of the shackles containing her, but they never lost their grip. She finally gave up, without a long fight. She didn't know what to do. She had developed an emotional attachment to the being inside of her that she didn't think she could have with anything. She was just beginning to accept her impending motherhood, and now the entire concept was being ripped away from her.
/Damn that Slayer. Fuck it, fuck it all! /
She thought about taking the baby after it was born, but she could never fight all of them. She really had no options, her future was really dependent on whatever Angel and Buffy thought should happen to her. She couldn't let that happen; she couldn't let them control her.
A few hours later, Buffy had regained most of her comprehension skills. She wasn't quite sure she was ready to be a mother, though. She would soon be accepting responsibility for another life. She began wishing that her mother were still alive to help her through all of this. There were lots more obligations that went along with raising a baby instead of a teenager. What if she was an awful mother? She didn't know if she could live with herself knowing that she had inadvertently allowed harm to come to her child.
The screaming sounds coming from upstairs suspended Buffy's train of thought. The outcries were Darla's for sure, but the didn't sound like the previous ones she omitted while trying to free herself. These were different, more painful screams. Darla was going into labor. Everyone had heard them and rushed upstairs. There lay Darla, hunched over in pain. They quickly began setting pillows under her head and feet and helping her with the la maz breathing.
"God...Make it stop!" she screamed, in the middle of her longest contraction yet.
"Let's take her down to my room."
Gunn undid the restraints around her wrists, then Gunn, Wesley, and Angel carried her down the stairs and into Angel's bedroom. They tucked all of the pillows they could find behind her and propped up her legs.
"Maybe that wasn't the greatest idea, Angel." Wes observed. Judging by the beating they had taken while carrying her, he might have been right.
Buffy noticed that no one really knew what they were doing when it came to actually delivering the baby, though. But they were trying, hard. Darla's contractions were getting closer and closer together.
"C'mon Darla, breathe. Whoo-whoo-heeee, Whoo-whoo-heee." Gunn was trying to help in any way that he could.
"Did you...forget..." she let out a long yell, "that I don't.. BREATH!"
"Well, it could help you relax a little bit."
"I have a god damn baby coming out of me... I can't exactly relax!" Darla spat back.
Gunn retreated to a nearby chair, with her attempts to help shot down. He had tried, but he had no idea how to deliver a baby.
The contractions went on for another hour, pretty intensely. Then Cordy yelled at everyone that the time was near.
"Ohmigawd ohmigawd!" Cordelia started yelling. She was the one trying to deliver the baby.she was the only woman other than Buffy.
"What is it Cordy?" Angel was worried.
"I...I have a head! I mean, I see a head!" she stammered.
"C'mon Darla, PUSH!"
"I'm trying, I'm trying!" You could see the pain on Darla's face.
"Just a few more pushes. On the count of three, one big push, OK?" Cordelia coached her along.
"I can't do this anymore!"
"Yes you can, Darla. Just a little while longer and it will all be over." Angel tried to be encouraging, but the look that Darla shot back at him screamed 'I don't need your advice.'
Darla gave another big push and almost all of the baby was visible now.
"OK, now Darla, one more big push and it will be over."
With one final push, a baby boy appeared in Cordelia's arms, crying. With that last push, something jolted through Angel, causing him to collapse to his knees. Buffy immediately ran over to the new father, who was holding his chest- his heart in pain.
"Angel? Angel what's wrong?" Buffy was so concerned, so scared.
"Buffy?" The look that washed over him was similar to that he had before she sent him into hell, when he got his soul back.
"Angel! Angel! Look at your new baby... our new baby." Fear washed over Buffy. She sensed that she was losing something- Angel.
"Buffy...I love you." He said as he took her hand and kissed the palm. "I love him, too." He held her hand over his heart- his now beating heart.
"You're, you're... human?" The tears began to swell.
"I'll never stop loving you, Buffy. Never forget that. And let him know how much I loved him and his mommy, OK?" Angel fell on his back to the ground, gasping for air. He was slipping.
"No, Angel, you can tell him. You can tell him everything." Buffy collapsed on top of him, still holding her hand over his heart, her tears falling on his chest.
"B...B...Buffy." With those last words, Angel slipped out of her reach, out of her world. She continued to lay on top of him, crying for her lost love.
Everyone around her didn't dare to move. The baby was silent. Even Darla, who had just gone through a whole new kind of pain, didn't dare say anything. They just stood there, staring at Buffy, trying to absorb what had just happen. Angel had become human. and died before their eyes.