Buffy sat outside the ice cream shop at a small table with Manning, soaking in the sun's rays. Her hair was in a long, high ponytail; she didn't have a lot of time to worry about her looks. She watched her son attempt to eat his chocolate ice cream, but most of it was all over his face. She had to try to save his shirt from a sugary death, so she picked up a few napkins and gently wiped off his face.
"Hey Buffy!" A familiar voice came from down the street. It was Cordy, who had a rather angry look on her face.
"Hey Cordy. I though that you had somewhere to be." Buffy replied, looking at her quizzically.
"Yeah, well, I thought I was meeting Jackson- that guy I was telling you about, the one I met at the club. Well, as soon as I got there, he called my cell and said he couldn't make it. Something about work. Can you believe he didn't show? On ME?" She was very annoyed. Although she had made major improvements on her personality, she still had some room to grow. She didn't quite understand why any man would want to do anything other than date her.
"Well, I'm sure he had something very important to do." She said, trying to cheer Cordelia up.
"Yeah, hopefully life or death." She sighed and ran her fingers through her hair.
"You know you're welcome to eat some ice cream with us, right Manning?"
"Wight." Manning stated, still very wrapped up in his ice cream.
Buffy smiled and pulled over a seat. Cordelia put her purse down on the table and sat down, relaxing.
Manning smiled in triumph as he looked down at his now empty ice cream cup.
"Mommy, can I have more ice cream?" he said, employing his puppy-dog eyes to the best of his ability.
Buffy looked at her son's eyes and knew she just couldn't say know.
"Well, OK. But only because it was your first day of preschool." She said reluctantly. She got up to take him inside, but he shook his head no at her.
"What's the matter?" She raised an eyebrow at her little boy
"I wanna go by myself!" He said sticking out his hand.
"Well, I suppose so. Now here's the money..." She reached into her bag and pulled out a few dollar bills, "...And ask for one scoop of chocolate chip," she finished, placing the money in his tiny hand. She knew that he would only be inside, and she could see him through the glass windows, but she still worried. She always worried. She knew of all of the bad things and people inhabiting this dimension, and she wanted to do everything she could to protect him. But she needed to let him grow and learn on his own. Someday he would grow up and move out, but for now she was just trying to let him buy ice cream on his own.
"So how is your non-existent love life?" Cordelia joked, while Buffy still looked at Manning through the windows. "You want to order by yourself?" She said, worried. She new her little boy was growing up, but she was still worried about him doing things by himself.
"Yup." He said as he nodded his head up and down
"It's going great. At the rate I'm going now, I'm going to be an old spinster who stays in their house all day." She replied, trying to joke her way off the subject. There was no way the Buffy though she was ready to date again. She had tried too early after Angel had left for the very first time. She had learned (unfortunately from experience) that it would take her wounds a long time to heal, and she wasn't in any really hurry to date anyway. There aren't a whole lot of guys interested in single mothers.
"C'mon, Buffy, it's been three years since you've had a real date." She said, giving her a glare and turning her tone slightly serious.
"But there aren't that many guys who want to jump right in and be dads. And I don't want some to come in Manning's life and then leave." Buffy looked down at her ice cream, which was almost all gone, but now melting.
"OK, I realize that, so I won't push. But you should at least consider it." Cordy ended the conversation there. She knew how much it hurt Buffy to try to move on. The last thing she needed was to be hurt again, and that usually happened in Buffy's relationships.
Manning returned with a cup of ice cream in one hand and some wadded up money in the other.
"Here mommy." He handed Buffy the wad of bills, which she discovered was also sticky.
She lay the money down on the table. Manning climbed back into his chair and started in on the second cup. He was completely wrapped up in picking out the chocolate chips.
"Well, I have to get going." Cordy voiced, looking at her watch. "I have an audition in a few hours, and I have to find the perfect outfit."
She stood up and collected her purse.
"Oh, Cordy, I almost forgot. I can pick up Manning next week. I don't have to work." Buffy almost yelled as Cordy was turning to leave.
"OK, I'll have to find some other way to get my quality Manning time," Cordy replied with a big and almost wicked smile on her face.
Cordelia turned and walked off down the sidewalk. Manning was almost done with his ice cream. Buffy decided he could eat the rest on the way home.
"You ready to go? You can eat the rest in the car on the way home." She tilted her head to the side and glanced at her son.
"Alwight." He jumped down off her chair. His mother picked her bag and took his hand as she led them to the car. Buffy safely buckled him into the back seat, then got into the driver's seat and looked around for her keys. After they were found in the bottom of her bag, she started the engine and drove home.
Buffy got back to her new house. It wasn't really a home yet, since it had barely been lived in and there were boxes seemingly coming out of every wall. She unlocked the door and laid her keys on the table near the door. She didn't notice a piece of paper slip under the table after she accidentally kicked it. Manning followed behind her. For once he was actually tired and ready for his nap. Although Buffy knew it was odd for him to be tired after having all that sugar, he must've just had a hard first day. She picked her son up in her arms, with his arms wrapped around her neck. After kicking a few boxes to the side, she took him into his room and put him in bed. Buffy slowly walked out of the room and shut the door gently behind her.
An hour later, Buffy went back into Manning's room to check on him. He was fast asleep, lying on his back and holding on to his pillow.
/He looks so beautiful and peaceful. /
She stood in the doorway, trying to etch that image of him in her mind forever. She gently walked over to the side of the bed, trying not to wake him. Crouching down beside his bed, Buffy ran her hand over his head, smoothing his hair. She loved him so much. She now understood how her own mother must have felt. There was no way she could've handled herself all that her mother had gone through. The thought of any harm coming to her son was scary and frightening. Knowing the he was in mortal danger every day of his life would have torn her to pieces. She didn't know how her mother did it.
Buffy could feel some tears coming on and she didn't want to wake her child up. After planting a gentle kiss on his forehead, she left her son's bedroom and headed to her own. In the very top of her closet, she found a large book- a photo album. She carried it to her bed and curled up with her blankets. On each page held precious memories: a picture of herself, her mother and Dawn on a pick-nick; her best friends, Willow and Xander; a picture of Manning when he was just two days old.
After she finished looking through the whole book, she closed it and held it tight to her chest. After a few moments, she drifted asleep, letting her dreams take over.
~A Week Later~
/Oh God. I'm going to be late. Great first impression- be the last one to pick up your child. /
Buffy jumped into the car and sped toward the preschool. After narrowly missing a few pedestrians and 'almost' running a stop sign, she arrived at the Solee Pre-Kindergarten Academy.
/Why can't they just call it preschool anymore? People like to make thing so complicated these days. /
She had arrived there on time (barely) and saw the other parents standing in the doorway as she walked in.
She followed them down the hall, hanging in the back of the pack. They made it to a large room filled with toddlers. The rest of the parents headed straight to their children, but Buffy didn't see Manning anywhere. A small, older woman noticed her searching and approached her.
"Hello, may I help you?" she asked with a warm smile.
"Yes, I hope. I'm looking for my son, Manning." She was still looking throughout the large room.
"Oh, so you're Manning's mother. We've been waiting to meet you. Your son is darling."
"Thanks... I guess he takes after his father." /I shouldn't have said that. Just leads to more questions. / "So, where is he?"
"He's in the back with Matthew. Manning seems to like him a lot. The seem to have taken to each other." She pointed past a bookshelf, which separated a small section in the back from the rest of the room.
/He's taking to a teacher, not another kid. That's cool, though. I mean, I spent most of my school days hanging out in the library with Giles. But then again, I could speak in complete sentences, too. /
She walked back there, glancing at some of the fathers interacting with their cons and daughters.
/Angel would've been a wonderful father. He would have loved Manning so much. /
She peeked around the bookcase and found her son playing with a toy plane. There was a man facing him, presumably Matthew, with his back to her. Something about him looked familiar.
"Mommy!" he yelled, and ran to Buffy. He wrapped himself around her leg.
"Hey little man." Buffy reached down and picked him up. She gave him a big hug.
Matthew stood up slowly. He put away the plane and then turned around to meet Manning's mother. He'd hope to meet her sooner. Only a good person could have a son as wonderful as Manning.
"Hi. I'm Matthew. You must be Mrs. Summers." He extended his hand towards Buffy, but she didn't move. She just stood there, speechless.
/How could he be here? And not even know me? And MATTHEW? Ohmigawd. /
The last she had heard he was somewhere in the middle of nowhere in some government-run demon-fighting posse. There was no way it could be him, though, because there was no way he could NOT know her.
"Uh--- Excuse me? I'm Matthew Loudon."
"Oh sorry. You just remind me of someone I know-errr- used to know."
/C'mon Buffy. All this time outside that's NOT at night or in a graveyard must be getting to ya. It's just a close resemblance, that's all. I mean, if it was him, he would have the. /
Matthew ran his hands through his hair nervously. Then he let his strong, tan arms dangle loosely by his side. Just then, Buffy noticed a small scar on Matthew's arm- one that looked like a teeth print- a fang print. It wasn't a coincidence that someone who just happened to look like her ex also had his vamp print on his arm. No, because coincidences don't happen to Buffy Summers.
/Oh My God. It is him. It's Riley. The same hazel eyes, the same sandy hair. But he doesn't know you, so you've got to just play it cool. Be calm. Be nonchalant. /
"So, that's a pretty wicked scar on your arm. How'd you get it?"
"It was a dog bite. Pretty vicious dog, huh? Too bad I don't actually remember the dog. It would make the story a whole lot more interesting."
Buffy needed to leave. She wanted to know what had happened to Riley, but it was obvious that talking to him wasn't getting anywhere. He didn't remember a thing.
"Well, I've got to go home and put Manning down for his nap."
She gave the child holding on to her boost.
"It was nice meeting you." Matthew said, in a hopeful tone. He had wanted to get to know her better. When he first saw her, she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen.
"You too." With that, Buffy turned and walked away from her last real boyfriend, whom she hadn't seen in about four years.
After putting Manning to sleep at least for the time being, Buffy shut the door to her room and picked up the phone. After dialing numbers she knew by heart, another familiar voice picked up at the end of the line.
"Hey Will. It's me."
"Oh hey Buffy! Long time no talking! So how are things in LA?" Willow's voice perked up. She hadn't talked to Buffy in what seemed like ages, and wanted to know the scoop on LA and her godson.
"Things are good. But that's not why I called."
"Oh. What's up? Something's up, I can tell." She was getting ready for the worst, some big evil doer that had popped up in LA. The whole 'Buffy's not the Slayer' thing was hadn't completely sunken in yet.
There was a pause at the other end of the line.
"You mean 'vampire- popsicle who ran off to be a commando again' Riley?" Willow was becoming more interested and dumbfounded by the second.
"That's the one. I found him. I mean, I met him. He is a teacher at Manning's new preschool."
"So how did he take seeing you again?"
"That's just it, Will. He didn't take it, at all. He didn't know who I was. He said his name was Matthew Loudon."
"Are you sure it was him? I mean it could be someone who, you know."
Buffy interrupted her.
"I'm sure. I saw his scar from the vamp he paid on his arm."
"Oh." Willow didn't know what to say. Buffy's brainwashed ex-boyfriend shows up as one of her son's teachers?
"I want you to do something for me."
"Sure, Buffy, no problem. What is it?" Willow was eager to help. It had been a while since she had gone into Scooby Gang-mode and she was beginning to miss it.
"Can you go through some of the government's and Initiative's files to see what ever happened to the Belize thing? Maybe they tampered with his memory?"
Buffy really hoped that Willow could find out what was up with Riley.
"Sure! I can hack into the government's files!" The whole thought of breaking into some top-secret files sounded like fun for Willow. She was now in grad school (still at UC Sunnydale), which didn't involve much illegal computer work.
"Thanks so much Will!" Maybe the government did something to him. They had already put a chip in his chest, and she wouldn't put it past them to do it again. She wasn't sure what they were completely capable of.
"Well, anyway, how's Dawn doing?"
"She's good. I mean, she's totally diving into this whole 'senior year' thing. A lot more than we did, but then again we had the Mayor and Faith and Ang-"
Willow stopped herself before she could finish.
"Yeah. We had big issues back then. Is she there?"
"No, she's over at a friend's house."
"Tell her that I called and that I miss her."
"Well, I should go. I think Manning will be up soon."
"OK. I'll call when I find something."
"Bye. It was really good to talk to you again."
Buffy hung up and took a big, deep breath.
/I hope she finds something soon. /
It was just so odd to see him again, especially the way they had left things. But none of that mattered, since he didn't have a clue who she was. She sat on her bed, waiting on her little boy to awake from his nap.
"The Beginning of Nothing"
Buffy picked Manning up from preschool for the rest of the week. It was odd, though, to see Riley, but not SEE Riley. What could have happened to him: amnesia or military chips or traumatic shock? She would walk in and find her son playing with Matthew in the same spot in the back. There would be a lot of odd glances and pauses, at least on Buffys part. Even though he wasnt exactly the boy she had almost fallen in love with four years ago, he still had the same sincere eyes and protective gestures that made her want to be with him in the first place.
/Maybe its better for him this way, not to remember the pain or the loss. Sometimes I wish I didnt remember some things; that may have been for the better. If I forgot some things, maybe it wouldnt hurt so much. /
Friday afternoon came, and Buffy went to pick her little boy up. It would be the last time in awhile- her classes started again next week and Cordelia would pick him up.
Buffy found Matthew and Manning in their little part of the room. Manning seemed so happy when he was with Matthew.
/Manning doesnt have a father figure. I suppose hes just trying to find one himself. God knows Im not getting one for him anytime soon. /
Matthew gave Buffy a nervous glance he saw her.
Hey little man. Buffy kneeled down to Manning and gave him a kiss on the forehead.
Hi Buffy. Matthew dug his hands into his pockets.
Hey R Matthew. I guess this is the last Ill time Im gonna be seeing you.
Yeah, I suppose, unless you want to-
Want to what?
Well, I was wondering if you wanted to go to dinner sometime. With me. I was wondering if you wanted to go to dinner with me.
Buffys first thoughts screamed NO. Go out on a date with your ex-boyfriend who you let run off to the jungle and now doesnt remember anything? Sounds like fun. But maybe if she went, she might learn more about him, see what he actually does remember.
So, against her better judgment, she said yes, and was scheduled to have dinner at some Italian restaurant on the next night at eight.
/Geeze, what have you gotten yourself into now? But hey, maybe itll be good for you, getting out and about. /
It was 7:38 on Saturday night, and Buffy was applying the finishing touches to her make up. She heard the doorbell ring, and screamed Its Open, to her visitor.
Hey Buffy! Wheres my favorite little boy? Cordelia shouted from the doorway.
The footsteps of the little boy littered the halls, followed by a squeal of delight as he was being lifted into Cordelias arm.
Hey little man, how are you? Cordelia gave his tiny nose a tickle.
Hey Cordelia. Thanks so much for watching him for such short notice. Buffy walked down the hall toward her son and Cordelia, her hands around the back of her neck latching her necklace.
No problem. Jackson hasnt called me in a week. A week! Can you believe that? Cordelias voice was getting louder and higher. She probably would have been making huge hand gestures, except she needed both hands to hold up Manning.
Yeah, well, some guys are just like that.
So, whens Riley coming? Ive heard way to much about him to not know him. She was changing the subject to pull herself away from another rant about men.
First of all, his names Matthew now. And should be here around eight.
Whatever his name is, Im still looking forward to meeting Mister Strong, Studly Iowa. She gave Buffy a sly, inquisitive look and set Manning to the ground.
Cordelia followed Manning into the living room, which had a little more room to live in now, since Buffy had had time to unpack that week. Buffy went back into her room to finish her hair.
How are things on the acting front? Buffy yelled from her bedroom.
After Angel had died, Cordelia stopped getting her visions. Without Angel, what was the point of the visions? The one sent to help wasnt there anymore. Wesley, Cordelia, Fred, and Gunn had tried to continue on without him, but it had become fruitless. Four mere humans, no matter how much experience they possessed, couldnt hold together enough to take on the more dangerous aspects that the job entailed.
Wesley and Gunn started out working out Caritas, but eventually, the Host made them full-time employees, almost partners. While without the thrills and spills of Angel Investigations, they could still keep a tab on the doings of the underworld. Angels death drove Fred back into a corner of her world that she had tried so hard to flee from. She tried to stay in LA for a little while, but she now had no room to lock herself into. She moved back to Texas to live with her parents.
Without the visions to interfere with her regular life, she now needed an everyday job to fit a normal life. She started the acting bit again, landing a few minor jobs here and there, but still not getting her big break.
Its OK. I have another audition next week.
The doorbell rang at 7:56. Cordelia eagerly answered the door. There stood Riley, in a long-sleeve black shirt that seemed to cling to his chest and outline his muscles, and a pair of your usual khaki pants.
Hi. Im Matthew is Buffy here?
Yeah, she should be out in a minute. Im Cordelia. Cordelia had a big smile on her face as she gave Matthew the once over.
/Hes good, raw material, but a little to down-on-the-farm for my tastes. But hey, whatever rocks the dock/
Im Matthew. He said, but his attention was soon diverted by a small blonde figure walking slowly down the hall. Buffy was wearing a dark brown silk halter-top with camel colored leather pants. Her hair hung perfectly straight down her back.
Hey Matthew. Buffy added a small, nervous smile.
I see youve already met Cordelia.
Yeah, we were just introducing ourselves, until I my mouth sort of stopped working when you walked in. There was something about Buffy that just drove him wild. She seemedwell, different then other women he had met, yet eerily familiar.
Oh. Flattery was good, it just made her a bit nervous, though.
Well, I guess we better be going.
Buffy grabbed her coat and gave a few last minute instructions to Cordelia.
He has to be in be early. And dont let him have too much sugar she clamored as she headed out the door.
Dont worry about us! Well be fine! And were going to talk when you get back! Cordelia shouted as Buffy headed to Matthews car. She couldnt wait to know more of what happened with Iowa boy.
She slowly climbed into Matthews car, and embarked on a very interesting night with someone she used to know.
Chapter 5 of Better Than Heaven
Buffy slowly shut the door behind her, and let out a long sigh. She leaned against the door for a few more seconds, trying to digest the past few hours. She walked into the living room and found a sight she probably never would have envisioned. Cordelia and Manning were on the couch, both asleep. Cordelia's head was resting on an outstretched arm, while the other arm was wrapped around Manning, who had evidently fallen asleep on her lap.
Buffy slowly walked over to her son and picked him up. She carried him gently into his warm, trying not to wake him up. After tucking him into his own bed, she walked back into the living room, where Cordy had woken up.
"Hey Buffy. Sorry,we were just--- I guess we just fell asleep," Cordelia rubbed her eyes and slowly stood up.
"It's fine. I put him to bed."
"So what time is it?" she asked with a yawn.
"Late. It's late."
"But not to late for you to tell me what happened on you date with soldier- boy." She eagerly sat down, awaiting the details of Buffy's date.
"Ex-soldier boy. And it was really a date, per-say. If you wondering if anything happened, the answer is an astounding 'NO.' There was absolutely nothing between us."
"Doesn't sound like much fun."
"It wasn't bad. Just no sparks, that's all." Buffy sat in the chair adjacent to the couch.
"So, more importantly, what does he remember?"
"Not much. Nothing about being in the Marines, or the Initiative, Adam, or me. He just said he went to UC-Sunnydale."
"So I'm guessing no future dates planned with Riley or Matthew or Whoever?"
"None whatsoever. Besides, I don't want Manning to get to attached to him. He should just be someone who works in his preschool, that's all." Buffy thought of the little boy asleep a few rooms away. She knew what it was like to have a missing father. After her mother had died, he was nowhere to be found. He had run off to Spain with his secretary.
"You know, I think I better be going home." Cordy said as she got up off the couch.
"You can stay here."
"No, but thanks for the offer." She grabbed her coat and walked out headed towards the door.
"Bye. I'll pick him up Monday."
"Bye Cordy. Thanks again!"
She shut the door behind Cordelia and went to her own bedroom. After changing into her PJ's, she climbed into bed and tried to go to sleep. Instead, all of th evenings events played back through her mind. Riley had been so sweet- a complete gentlemen. He had taken her to a nice little Italian restaurant, where he opened doors for her and pulled out her chair. It had been a long time since she had been treated like that, and it felt good and comforting. He was so great that part of her wished that she still had some feelings for him, but her heart belonged to someone else. She knew, though, that someday she would have to move on. He was gone, and all of her hoping and dreaming couldn't change that. She finally drifted off, letting her subconscious take over.
<< "Angel?" She couldn't believe her eyes. He was here, standing right in front of her.
"Is it really you?"
"It's me, Buffy. I'm right here." He took her hands in his.
"But you left. I thought you left me." She said, running her hand down the side of his face. It felt so
good to be able to touch him again. She missed the feeling of her his skin under hers.
"I could never leave you." He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. It felt so good to be back with
/Where---where am I? /
He was cold, and could feel a needle sticking into his right arm. He heard a small beep coming from somewhere. He went to move his arm, but all he could muster was a slight wiggle in the fingers. His head was throbbing. Slowly, he began to open his eyes. Everything was blurry at first. The room was dark, and slowly coming into focus. He was in the hospital, with wires sticking him everywhere. There was a heart monitor off to his left, which was showing his heart beat.
/ I have a heart beat. That means---I'm alive. /
Better Than Heaven: Chapter 6
/Oh God. My head. Hurts. I can almost feel the throbbing up against my skull. My eyelids are so heavy, it seems like I can only get them half open. /
Angel remained still, wincing ever so often as the hospital bed lifted his head and shoulders upwards. Footsteps outside caused him to slowly roll his head towards the door. A short, rather plump nurse made her way over to the foot of the bed, filling in the charts attached.
Err---whe---whe---. Angel let out an exasperated breath, but he couldnt seem to make any words.
So, youre awake now. She said with a polite smile. Youve been asleep for a long while now, almost three weeks. She talked about it like it was no big deal.
A---C---c--- coma? Angel managed.
Nope. She said, shaking her head, Just asleep. That was what was so unusual. You werent in a coma or anything, just asleep. Every time someone tried to wake you up, youd mumble something about a bunny and go back to sleep. She added with a little laugh.
/ Not a bunny, Buffy. And our baby. /
The nurse continued to scurry around him, checking numbers on all the machines he was attached to. She finally returned the charts to their place at the end of the bed.
Whe---where--- Where am I? That was the most Angel had gotten out.
Well, youre in the hospital, which youve probably realized, in LA. Someone found you in an alley unconscious and brought you here. I should go tell the doctor that youre awake now. As she hurried off, Angel was thinking of ways to get out. If he stayed, there would most definitely be questions, like your name, social security number, and insurance, none of which he had. He wanted to be all manly, like in the movies, where they just ripped the IV out of the arm and marched out, but thought the better of it. Hed be happy if he could make it to the bathroom.
/But where I would I go? I dont know where Buffy is. /
He thought that she might still be at her house, but with a bay and all, she mightve moved. But that was the only place he could think of. He reached over to the table to grab the phone, which hurt a lot less than he had expected. He slowly dialed the numbers, hoping to hear that all to familiar voice pick up at the other end of the line.
Hello? It was a familiar voice, just not the right one.
Willow? he said he said, only slightly surprised.
AAAngel? Is that you? I thought you had.. you know..
I did. But Im not anymore. He said, not completely knowing why he was here, and alive.
So youre.. human? she said. She was too surprised to complete sentences together.
Yeah. Wheres Buffy? His voice was urgent. He needed to see her again, and to see his baby.
Oh, she moved out a few weeks ago. She and Manning.. her voice trailed off, realizing what she has said.
/Manning? Who is Manning? Maybe its her boyfriend. I mean, did I expect her to stick around and remain celibate in memory of me? Be real, Angel. Look how long it took her to start sleeping with the farm boy. /
Angel cringed at the thought of Riley. He hadnt like him from the beginning, but then he would probably never like anyone who was with Buffy. He had been jealous of Xander, for Gods Sake.
Mannings Buffys son, Willow said, thinking what he might be thinking, Your son, you and Buffys son.
Relief spread through Angel. He couldnt help but to be jealous and possessive. /Its not like we were actually together, though. / But Manning was his son, his baby.
Where is she? Angel needed to find her, to see his son and his love again.
Shes in LA. Where are you?
/LA. Shes here. Right here. /
Oh. Willow had a feeling of what was probably in the future. There would be some major catching-up smoochies after she got over the human factor. And then there would be the human factor. A lot of it.
Willow gave Angel Buffys new address and phone number without asking any further questions. Angel was never much of a talker, so she doubted that he would say that much. And that was even if he knew anything. Which was probably a negative, since he didnt the last time he came back. But when he did, it was a rather rude awakening.. .
Four Days Later
Angel slipped out of his room, still fully clad in hospital garb. In less than a week, Angel had become almost a fully functioning person. The walking and talking bit he had gotten down. The hospital food wasnt exactly his idea of a first meal back, but it had helped him get better. It had to have been a lot better than whatever they had fed him through an IV or tube or something.
Clutching the address Willow had given him in one hand, Angel slowly opened the door to the male doctors locker room. After dressing himself in some clothes he had found (not stole, exactly), he headed out onto the streets of LA. He was forced to walk around, looking for the address, since he had no money for a cab. /Shouldve grabbed some cash out of there, too. / LA hadnt really changed that much in three years. Some stores had changed, but nothing really substantial.
Angel finally found the small, white, house. There was a picture window in the front, and the light was on inside. Angel slowly walked up and peered inside. The TV was on, but it wasnt being watched. Buffy was lying on the couch, asleep. She had a small smile spread across her lips.
/She must be having a good dream. /
Lying on top of her was a little boy who was also asleep. He had dark brown hair, which was sticking up at every odd angle imaginable. It was Angel's first glimpse of his son.
/He cant be my son. My hair is way better than that. /