by Saber ShadowKitten

"Angel, get your ass out of that bed! I'm not going to tell you again!"

Angel groaned and pulled the pillow over his head.

"Angel," Cordelia snapped, entered the bedroom. "Up! We have to leave in a half-hour."

"I don't wanna go," Angel whined. "Why do I have to go?"

"Because the invitation was for both of us and you wanted to make sure nothing with bad mojo was being auctioned," Cordelia answered. "Not get out of this bed, or I'm going to take drastic measures."

He heard her leave the bedroom and he quickly turned onto his stomach, the pillow still over his head. Sleep. He wanted to sleep.

"AAAHH!" Angel exclaimed, shoving himself up to his knees. "Cordelia!"

Cordelia smirked, holding the empty water glass in her hand. "Get. Up."

The cold water drops clung to his back and soaked the bed around where he'd been laying. "Wench."

"I love you, too," she said sarcastically. "Twenty-five minutes, Angel."

As she left the bedroom, Angel sighed, got up and trailed after her. He snatched a Frango mint from the box on the end table, bought on their most recent trip to Chicago. He shook his head as he popped the chocolate into his mouth. Cordelia had spent twelve hours in Marshall Fields and managed to only buy the box of candy and faux silver watch that had gotten broken the other night.

"You're absolutely positive we have to go?" Angel asked again.

"Yes," Cordelia replied.


Cordelia sighed and faced him. "Look, Angel, I know that you're uncomfortable, what with the whole 'I haven't seen Buffy since high school graduation or even talked to anyone from Sunnydale' thing, but they may not even be there."

"That's about as likely as finding an anatomically-correct Ken doll."

She glared at him. "Twenty minutes."

"I'm going, I'm going," Angel said, then headed for the bathroom


"Ready, luv?"

Buffy rolled her shoulders, then tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "No."

Spike glanced at the clock on the wall. "We have to get going if we're going to pick up Red and the wolf, too," he said around his cigarette.

She reached out and took the smoke from his mouth. "You know you're not suppose to smoke inside," she scolded. She looked at the cigarette, then put it up to her mouth and took a drag. She began coughing almost immediately.

"Um, Slayer," Spike said, taking the cigarette back from her. "You don't smoke."

"No," cough, "duh," cough.

He moved to the sink and ran the water over the cherry of the cigarette, putting it out. "You don't have to go," he began. "You could stay home with Abby, finish watching The Exorcist with her -- er, I mean..."

"You let her watch The Exorcist!" Buffy exclaimed, the greenish-tinge leaving her face to be replaced by the red of anger.

"It's a good picture." Spike held up his hands when Buffy came at him with clenched fists. "Slayer, it's not like it's uneducational..."

"Uneducational?" she said incredulously.

"Er, right," Spike said, backing towards the kitchen door. "I'm going to go wait in the car."

"When we get back, I'm going to beat you until you bleed," Buffy told him.

"And here I thought you didn't like me," Spike teased. She took a menacing step towards him, and he turned and hurried out the door.

Buffy looked up at the ceiling and let out a small moan. "Why did you have to make him help us? Ok, I'll give you points because he's a good fighter and I guess he's been a help, but The Exorcist?"

The door opened again and Spike stuck his head in. "I just bloody stepped in Moxie's shit. Why do you insist on keeping that soddin' mutt?"

"You're the one who gave Moxie to Abby," Buffy said, grabbing a paper towel and passing it to him. "It's not my fault that the dog insists on pooping on the steps."

"The dog is a bloody vampire, for cripes sake," Spike grumbled. "He should be out draining other dogs, not leaving presents on the steps."

"Why did you vamp Moxie anyway? You never told me," Buffy said.

"An experiment," he answered, wading up the paper towel. "Now, are you ready? Or should I drop off Abby on the way out of town?"

"No, I'm ready," Buffy said. She grabbed her purse from the table and exited the three-bedroom house they had bought when it was decided she and Abby would be safer with Spike living with them.


"Um, Oz, you hair is...normal," Buffy said, as Oz and Willow climbed into the Explorer.

"Accident," Oz said, running his hand through his natural red locks.

"It was going to be green," Willow explained. "But I kinda added some rosemary and Dragonsbane to the bottle as part of a spell, and it pulled out all the dye in his hair."

"Don't get that stuff near me, Red," Spike commented, adjusting the sleeping girl against his side. "I like my hair the way it is."

"Spike, you can't even see yourself," Buffy pointed out, looking into the rear view mirror where the vampire would be if he had a reflection.

"Your point?"

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Wills, can you get the map out of the glove compartment? We should probably know where we're going before I get us lost."

"Uh, Buffy, when was the last time you cleaned this out?" Willow asked, staring into the packed glove box.

"You're suppose to clean it out?" Buffy asked, putting the car in drive.

"You still have the baby name book in here," Willow said, taking the book out. "It's been six months now."

"We should have named her Esmerelda," Spike said.

"What is this 'we' stuff?" Buffy asked.

"Oh goddess," Willow squeaked.

"What?" Buffy said, looking at her friend beside her. The redhead held a photo in her hand and was blushing heavily. "Oh no. No one was suppose to find that."

"What is it?" Oz said, leaning forward to look over the seat. He arched his brow when he saw the picture, then looked back at Spike. "I didn't peg you for a bath person."

"What?" Spike said, confused.

"Oz!" Buffy said, snatching the picture from Willow's hand and putting it under her leg. "Shush!"

"How can you live with him when you know he looks like that?" Willow whispered. "And not want to jump him, I mean."

"Map, Willow," Buffy said pointedly.

"Right. Map. I'm getting the map."


Angel looked around the exhibit room, noting all exits, and keeping an eye out for Buffy. He couldn't decide if he wanted to see her or not. One part of him wanted to scoop her up in his arms the second she appeared and never let her go. Another part wanted to run very far away. Looking down at the auction program in his hand, he read the quote on the front to himself. "She fills my life like air, laden with the smell of honeysuckle and my insatiable soul she fills with longing for eternity."

"God, can you believe this music?" Cordelia complained, her hand resting on his arm. "Doesn't anyone know that Lillith Fair ended months ago?" She looked at him. "Calm down, Angel. You're annoying me."

He watched as she walked away from him with a shake of her head. He sighed and headed over to the hors d'overs table. He looked at the Cheez Whiz-covered crackers and smirked. If he wasn't at a museum, he'd think that Doyle was trying to play another bad practical joke on him. The last one the half-demon had played included stealing all his furniture save a single torn bean bag chair and a lamp that only worked if he clapped. He had wanted to kill the little snot.


Angel turned around and saw Willow standing there. A large smile crossed his face. "Willow, hi," he said, impulsively hugging her. "How are you?"

"Good," Willow replied, looking up at him with a furrow between her brows. "Um, you're smiling. Should I be worried?"

Angel chuckled. "No," he told her. "It's a new trick I picked up."

"And you're joking, too. You made a joke," Willow said. "This is too weird."

"What's too weird?" Oz asked, joining them. "Hey man."

"Oz," Angel greeted.

"Angel smiled and made a joke," Willow said.

Oz arched a brow. "Is there something we should know?"

"You have to develop a sense of humor when you're stuck with Cordelia day-in and day-out," Angel said. He looked beyond them, his eyes flitting over the people in the room. "Is, uh, anyone else here?"

"Buffy's here," Willow said with a knowing look.

Angel's lips twisted up wryly. "Am I that obvious?"

"As a demon doing the charleston on a birthday cake," Willow replied. She turned to Oz. "Remember that? I swear, Buffy has the worst luck with birthdays."

"At least the party hats came in handy," Oz said.

"Yeah. Who knew how sharp they really could be?" Willow said.

Angel, however, was no longer listening. He was completely focused on the blond who had just entered the room. "Buffy."

He watched as she squatted down to speak to a little girl with long, midnight hair who had run up to her. Buffy pinched the girl's nose and she laughed, then scampered away. Buffy straightened and looked around the room. Her eyes met his and it felt as though someone hit him with a two-by-four.

Slowly, she walked towards him, her hands twisting nervously in front of him. He was barely aware of Willow and Oz saying goodbye, then leaving, as she kept moving towards him.

"Hi," she greeted quietly.

"Hi," Angel responded equally as quiet. "You look good."

"So do you," Buffy said.

"How...how are you?" Angel asked. "It's been awhile..."

"A year," Buffy told him. "Almost to the day."

He looked away uncomfortably. "Yeah."

Buffy put her hand on his arm, then took it away quickly. "So, uh, what have you been up to?"

"Slayer, all they have to drink at this shindig is a bunch of pansy-arsed concoctions, like pina colatas. There's a bunch of nonce's at the bar plastered on the things."

Angel turned quickly when he heard Spike's voice behind him. The blond vampire blinked in surprise, then smiled mockingly. "Angel, you old sod. What a pleasant surprise."

"Spike," Angel practically growled.

Spike handed Buffy a frothy drink, then grabbed Angel by the lapels of his jacket and planted a big kiss on his lips. Angel shoved him away and wiped his mouth on the back of his sleeve, as Spike laughed.

Buffy swatted Spike on the arm. "Behave," she told him.

"Not a chance," Spike replied. She glared at him and he smiled innocently.

"Do you want to wait in the car?" Buffy said threateningly. "In the trunk?"

"Only if you're going to join me, like last Thursday," Spike replied.

Buffy shot her eyes to Angel and saw the hurt and anger in his expression. "Spike, cut it out. Angel, don't listen to him. We're not-"


Angel, Spike and Buffy all turned at the same time. The little girl Angel had seen talking to Buffy ran right towards them. His mouth dropped open as Spike bent and picked her up, settling her on his hip.

"What's up, pumpkin?" Spike asked, tweaking her nose the same way Buffy had.

"There's a whole bloody mini-golf course in here," the girl said.

"Abigail Summers, I told you not to use that language," Buffy said firmly.

"Sorry, Mommy," Abigail said, leaning her head on Spike's shoulder. "I won't do it again."

Buffy glared at Spike. "And you-"

"Sorry, Slayer," Spike said, completely unapologetically. He looked at Angel and smirked. "Angel, I don't think you've ever met Abby, have you?"

Angel's mouth snapped shut and he backed away slightly.

"Oh god, Angel, it's not what you think," Buffy said. She looked at Spike and gestured with her head, a pleading expression on her face.

Spike nodded and set Abigail on her feet. "Come on, pumpkin. Why don't you show Dad where this mini-golf course is?"

"'K," Abigail replied, taking Spike's hand. She waved at Buffy, then pulled on Spike's hand and led him away.

"Buffy?" Angel said questioningly.

Buffy took a deep breath and let it out quickly. She looked the way Spike and Abigail had went, then up at the dark-haired vampire. "That was Abigail. My daughter."


"Shortly after you left, I got...involved...with someone," Buffy said, walking beside Angel outside of the museum. "Little did I know that he was a demon."

"Are you ok?" Angel asked immediately.

"I'm fine," Buffy replied. "And Parker -- that was his name, well, the name he used...anyway, he's dead." She sighed and stuck her hands in her pockets. "But he left me a present. Abigail."

"She's not human."

"Obviously," she said. "I would have to have been like fifteen when I had her, otherwise."

She shook her head. "She was born in November. On the twelfth. She seems to age about a year per month. That and the fact that her ears are pointed are the only signs she's not normal."

"What about Spike?" Angel said, almost spitting the name out.

"Jealous?" Buffy teased. She saw him grind his teeth together. "Spike is our protector. That's all he is to me. We decided it would be best if Abby thinks Spike was her father, considering we live together. She adores him, much to my dismay. The good part is that she has him wrapped around her little finger. I never thought I'd see the day Spike would voluntarily allow himself to act as a horse."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Angel asked.

"Because I didn't want to burden you...or disappoint you," she answered.

"You couldn't disappoint anyone if you tried," he told her.

Buffy laughed humorously. "That's what you think. I disappointed everyone by getting pregnant by a demon. Giles yelled so much, I swore that he was Ripper. Not someone you want to get on the bad side of."

"You still should of told me," Angel said. "I may not have been able to do anything, but I would have been there for you."

"Slayer." Spike stepped from the door they were coming upon, Abigail in his arms. "They're starting."

"Right," Buffy said. "The reason we came. Got it. I'll be right in." Spike nodded and retreated back inside. She glanced up at Angel. "How about after the auction, I introduce you to her."

"I'd like that," Angel replied. He bent his arm in invitation. "Shall we?"

Buffy smiled and hooked her arm through his, and the two went back into the museum.

End 1