Kathleen pushed open the doors to the library and looked around. "Hello?"
Giles came out of his office. "Yes, may I help you?"
"Are you..." She searched for the name of the Watcher. "Giles?"
"Y-Yes," Giles replied. "And you are?"
"Kathleen," she said.
"Ah, Angel's friend," he said, then frowned and looked towards the sun filled window. "How is it that you are...er, here during the day?"
"I take it the red head told you my age," Kathleen said. Giles nodded. "I'm not a vampire...well, not a full fledged one anyway."
"I-I see," Giles responded. "If you don't mind my asking, what are you then? And how do you know A-Angel?"
"That's what I'd like to know," Buffy said, entering the library behind her.
Kathleen sighed. "Look, I'm a 94 year old half-vampire. I stopped aging when my mom died in 1924, when I was 19. I'm not a ‘bad guy' and, like I told Buffy last night, I've known the old coot all my life. I came here to find out more about the curse and to tell Buffy not to be jealous. Angel promised he'd tell you everything later tonight."
"I'm not jealous," Buffy stated angrily.
"Sure you are, little girl. But there's no need. Our relationship is more of a...father/daughter one," she said, tongue in cheek.
"How is it that you are a-a-a half-vampire?" Giles asked.
"My mom was human," Kathleen answered. "Dad was not."
Giles removed his glasses, giving her an astonished look. "Are you certain?" Kathleen gave him a look. "Of course you are. Silly me. But this is fascinating. Never recorded has there been a child born of a vampire and a human."
"Giles, can you give us a minute?" Buffy asked.
"Certainly," Giles said. "Kathleen, it's a pleasure." He nodded to Buffy once then retreated back into his office.
Buffy didn't waste any time in turning on Kathleen. "Why are you here?"
"The curse," she answered. "D-Angel has had it as long as I can remember and I didn't think he could ever lose it."
"Neither did we," the Slayer whispered painfully.
"Hey, don't cry. My da...he loves you a whole hell of a lot and I hate to see him suffering like he is," Kathleen said quickly. "I mean, he's never been in love, not even with my mom, even though he loved her...but in a good friend kind of way and I'm babbling on just a little bit, aren't I?"
"Um, yeah," Buffy said "But that's ok. I really don't know much about Angel's life before he came to Sunnydale."
Kathleen's face lit up devilishly. "What do you want to know?"
Buffy wiped the tears from her cheeks from laughing too hard and Giles hid his own chuckles while he shelved books as Willow and Oz entered the library after school. Willow looked at the two girls, then at the window, then back with a frown on her face.
"Hey, Willow, hey Oz," Buffy greeted. "You won't believe some of the stuff Kathleen's been telling me about Angel."
"Have you been here all afternoon?" Willow asked. "You weren't in science or math."
"Yeah. I've been here," Buffy replied.
"So, Willow, I take it you're the woman I'm suppose to see about a curse," Kathleen addressed the red head.
"What kind of curse? I don't do curses. Curses are bad. I can't even get Amy back to human," Willow said nervously.
"She means Angel's curse, Will," Buffy told the hacker.
"Oh. Well, I still have Ms. Calendar's disk, if you want to look at it. I have some of her other stuff, too."
"That'd be great," Kathleen replied. "I left my laptop at the mansion. I still can't believe the old man lives in that place. I'm use to small apartments with barely enough room for me when I would visit."
"His apartment near the Bronze was tiny. One room and a bathroom," Buffy said.
"I hate to interrupt," Oz said, studying the brunette. "But I was kinda wondering if you would clue us in on who you are. You kinda left us with a bombshell last night."
"Ok. Here's a little bit of history on Kathleen Gardenson. I was born, grew up, stopped growing, faked being dead, then came here. Any questions?"
Buffy snorted and Willow and Oz exchanged looks. "Did you saw your last name was Gardenson?" Willow asked.
"Because that's what you said Angel's last name was," she pointed out.
"Actually, that's my mom's name. Emily Gardenson. My mom told me that when she first met da-Angel, he didn't speak. So, she named him ‘Angel' because he resembled a fallen angel," Kathleen said.
"When was that?" Oz asked curiously.
"Um...1903. I guess he was stalking a rat and ended up pouncing on my mom," she told them with a grin. "She said he was a skinny thing, with tortured eyes, and the ladies sort of adopted him."
"Ladies?" Buffy queried.
"I grew up in a brothel," Kathleen said. "Although it wasn't called that back then. We came to America in 1916, I think. That's when he took our last name, for the Ellis Island records."
"Wow," Willow said. "That must have been neat."
"Actually, it was dirty, smelly, crowded and I really had to use the john," she quipped. "Plus, I was already really tall for my age, which made me stick out like a sore thumb. But you should have seen my mom. She hated having to let Angel talk for her. She was a very independent woman. Or headstrong. He says I take after her just a little bit."
"Hey all, Xander be here," Xander said, entering the library. "What are we researching today? Evil caterpillars? Rabid Chihuahuas? Deadboy's..." He spotted Kathleen. "Er, hello. Again."
"Hi," Kathleen greeted.
"Xander, Kathleen. Kathleen, Xander," Buffy made the introductions.
"Ah," Xander nodded. "So, has she explained how she knows our resident bloodsucker?"
"Xander-" Buffy warned.
"Who?" Kathleen asked at the same time.
"And are you sure she's not one of Deadboy's crazed ex-lovers who's going to go schizo on us the second she gets a happy?" Xander continued without thinking.
Buffy's face became a hard mask as the insult clicked in Kathleen's mind. With a low growl, she stood and grabbed the teen by the neck and raised him off the ground. "Do not talk about my father like that again, especially to Buffy," she hissed only loud enough for him to hear through her long, white fangs, then dropped him back on his feet and stepped away from him with an evil glare.
"Sorry," Xander said, rubbing his neck. "What is it with people and my neck?"
"Hello, what have we here?" Wesley said as he entered the library, looking pointedly at Kathleen, or more so her fangs. His eyes widened comically and he whipped out a cross from his pocket. "Buffy, there is a vampire!"
Buffy snorted derisively and walked over to Kathleen. The tall brunette looked down at the Slayer and made a face with her fangs, which caused her to giggle. "That's kinda an interesting look."
Kathleen reverted to normal and smiled. "It's the new fad in the goth clubs," she said, then looked over at Wesley. "Who's the suit with the shaky hand?"
"My Watcher," Buffy told her.
Kathleen arched a brow as Wesley made a panicked noise. "But I thought Giles..."
"Long story," the Slayer said.
"Buffy, does anyone not know you are the Slayer?" Wesley asked, his eyes about popping out of his head when Kathleen snatched the cross from his hand.
"She's a friend of Angel's," Buffy explained, watching Kathleen. "I take it conventional vampire repellents don't have an effect on you."
"Nope," Kathleen replied, tossing the cross back at Wesley, who barely managed to catch it. She glanced at the clock on the wall. "I better get going before pops notices I'm AWOL. Since I've been dead, he's grown a little bit overprotective."
"If you walk with me home, I can give you that stuff," Willow said as she gathered her backpack.
"Sure," Kathleen answered.
Oz squeezed the red head's hand as she turned to go. "I'll see you later. Although I won't remember it's you."
"Giles has first watch, I'll be in around midnight," Willow told him. "I'll be reading Watership Down tonight."
"Cool," Oz replied.
"I'll probably see you later, Buffy, up at the mansion," Kathleen said to the Slayer as she and Willow began to leave.
"Ok," Buffy replied.
The half-vampire made a sudden move at Wesley, who jumped a mile high, then smirked at him. "I think you have a long way to go, Watcher," she said. She looked back at Buffy. "Good luck. Bye Giles!"
"Goodnight, Kathleen," Giles replied, emerging from the stacks. He spotted Wesley and muttered under his breath, "Oh, joy. Look who's here."
Kathleen and Willow left, Oz glanced at the clock and decided to make one last trip to the restroom, Xander picked up some books and started to shelve them with Giles as Buffy smiled at her new Watcher. "I bet you didn't cover this in your Watcher's training."
"Er...no," Wesley replied. "Perhaps we'd best see about creating a list of all those who know you are the Slayer."
"You mean, besides Giles, Willow, Oz, Xander, Cordelia, Angel and Kathleen?" Buffy said innocently. "Well, there's Amy, who's still a rat, Pike, my mom, Mr. trick - except he's dust, Faith, Lily, who goes by Anne now, and we can't forget Drusilla and Spike..."
Twenty minutes later, Wesley and Buffy left together, Oz was getting undressed in the cage and Giles had retreated to his office when Xander's head shot up. "My father?!"
Kathleen was on her cellular phone, talking rapidly in another language when Buffy arrived at the mansion later that night. She had decided to go right from her patrol, rather than return to the library with shaken Wesley. The tall brunette waved to the Slayer, not pausing her conversation, and she saw the laptop on the couch along with several colored disks.
"Buffy," Angel said, walking towards her from his bedroom. He gave her an uncharacteristically long hug, surprising the girl, before he led her over towards the couch. Then, he kicked Kathleen lightly in the leg and motioned with his head for her to get lost. Without a word, she tucked the phone between her ear and shoulder, grabbed the laptop and disks and disappeared into Angel's bedroom, talking the whole while.
"Who was she talking to?" Buffy asked as they sat on the couch together.
"I have no clue," Angel admitted. "She hasn't been off that thing since she got back this afternoon." He studied her for a moment. "I take it she doesn't bother you anymore."
"She said you would explain later, but that I shouldn't worry because you had this big old thang for me," Buffy replied with a small grin. "It's later."
He gave her half a smile, then templed his fingers together and stared at the fire in the fireplace. "You know I love you, right? Even though I'm not suppose to."
"I love you, too," she said. "But why do I get the feeling you're going to tell me something bad."
"Not bad," Angel corrected quickly. "It'll just...change things again."
"How?" Buffy asked.
Angel took a deep, unneeded breath and sighed. "Kathleen is my daughter."
Buffy sat there staring at him with a slightly amazed and confused look on her face. "She's what?"
"My daughter," Angel repeated.
"But I thought...but you told me..."
"That I couldn't have children," he completed. "I lied."
"Why?" Buffy asked, her voice getting choked up. "Why did you lie to me?"
"Because I thought Kathleen was dead and I was the one to kill her, I was the one who didn't stop her, who didn't protect her," he said. "I couldn't go through that pain again."
"Do you have any other children running around?" Buffy asked caustically. "Should I be looking for half-breeds and point them in your direction?"
"Buffy, stop," Angel said, grabbing her hands. "There are no other children. Kathleen was an anomaly. The only way I can figure that she was conceived is because I have a soul."
"Did you love her mother?" Buffy said in a small voice.
"Yes, but not like I love you," he replied. "Emily was a good friend. She took care of me, brought me back to the land of the living, convinced me to help protect people. Of course, in exchange I ruined her life by making her pregnant the one night she decided she wanted to have sex with me." He gave her a sad look. "And before you ask, or even think it, I did not enjoy myself. It was awkward, embarrassing, and I was constantly reminded of the fact that I was not human. I was then celibate until you - which was the most wonderful experience in my long life."
"Even though you lost your soul because of it?"
"Buffy, I do not regret taking that step in our relationship," Angel told her. "Nor will I ever regret it or feel guilty about it."
Buffy smiled shyly at his statements, her hands still clasped in his. "Me either, though I could have done without the whole soul lossage."
Both Buffy and Angel looked at each other in surprise at the shout coming from the bedroom. Suddenly, they saw a flash of brown and black run by out the door, a sentence trailing behind her. "Willow. She would know. I think this is it. Bye dad, bye Buffy! I hope the red head is still at her house..."
Angel closed his eyes and sighed. "My daughter is so strange."
"Do you know how wiggy it is to hear you say that?" Buffy asked. "Your non-girlfriend is...um, 76 years younger than your daughter, even though she only looks my age. And that's another thing. You don't look old enough to have a teenage-looking daughter. I think I'm going to have issues."
Angel chuckled. "Come on, I'll walk you home."
"How about to the library, instead? I want to see if Wesley managed to get that stain out of his shorts," she said, grinning evilly.
"What?" Angel asked as they stood and started out of the mansion.
"He came with to observe me earlier, and our undead friends thought it would be fun to hang him off the roof of the magick shop by his feet..."
Oz-wolf growled at the new Watcher, who was eyeing the beast with trepidation as he wrote in his diary. He could hear Xander and Giles talking in the librarian's office when Buffy and Angel entered. He could swear the vampire licked his lips when he looked at him as Buffy went into the office.
"Giles, you'll never believe who Kathleen is," Buffy said without preamble.
"Deadboy's daughter," Xander answered.
"How do you know?"
"When the jolly brunette giant went Faith on me, she told me not to insult her dear old dad," Xander said.
"Oh," Buffy said. "Well, I guess my news is ancient." She turned to Giles with a grin. "And I know you're itching to ask questions."
"I do have a few in mind, yes," Giles replied.
"Angel's out there," she said, then lowered her voice. "Giving the evil eye to Wesley."
Giles covered his smile and made his way out of the office, putting the check out counter between him and the re-souled vampire.
"I'm going home," Buffy said as she and Xander exited the office, as well. "And maybe actually study for the history test tomorrow."
"Goodnight," Wesley said, not looking up from his writing.
"We have a test?" Xander asked. "What test?"
"Goodnight Buffy, Xander," Giles said. "I shall see you in the morning."
Buffy gave a pointed look to Angel, who nodded slightly before the two teens went out the door. "Bye guys!"
"We'll have to hurry over to the magick shop before it closes," Willow said as she read the laptop screen. She grabbed a pad of paper and pen and began to write down supplies.
"So, you think this'll work?" Kathleen asked.
"If your friend overseas translated correctly," Willow answered.
"Well, he isn't from the same clan, but he is a gypsy," Kathleen said as she began to pace. "This has got to work."
"Well, we'll find out in a few hours."
"Are you ready, Michael?" Willow asked her fellow witch. He took a calming breath and nodded. "Ok, then let's begin."
"Hi," Angel said as he climbed through the window of Buffy's bedroom.
"Hi yourself," Buffy greeted, looking up from her textbook. "How was the interrogation?"
"Brutal," he grinned slightly. "I did your second patrol so you could study."
"I don't know whether to thank you or not," she joked.
"...permanently, irrevocably and irreversibly do we bind his soul to him..."
"How long do you think Kathleen will stay in town?" Buffy asked, tossing her book aside.
"I don't know," Angel answered. "I hope that she'll stay...aargh." The vampire grabbed his stomach as a jolt of electricity shot through him.
"Angel, what's wrong?" Buffy said, jumping off the bed to put her arm around him.
As suddenly as the pain came, it disappeared. Angel straightened up and looked at Buffy. He was about to say something when the phone rang.
"Hello?" Buffy said into the receiver.
"Buffy? It's Kathleen," Kathleen said on the other end of the line. "Is dad there?"
"Did something happen to him in the last few seconds?"
"How did you know?" Buffy asked.
"I think it worked," Kathleen said to someone in the background. "Put dad on, will you?"
Buffy held out the phone to Angel, who took it with a quizzical look at her. "Hello?"
"Dad, did something just happen to you?"
"Yeah. It felt like a lightning bolt hit me," Angel replied.
"Yes!" Kathleen shouted at the other end. He could hear happy cheering in the background.
"Little Bit, what did you do?"
"Oh, not much. We only re-cursed you again...with a non-refundable soul," Kathleen answered excitedly.
The phone almost dropped from his hand as what his daughter just told him sunk in. "Are you sure?"
"Sure as the sunlight will kill you," she replied.
"Oh," Angel said dazedly. "Well, ok then."
"Is that all you have to say?!"
"Huh? Oh, uh, thanks."
"Goodbye, dad," Kathleen said with a laugh, then hung up the phone.
"Bye," Angel whispered, disconnecting at his end. He stared sightlessly at the wall across the room.
"What was that about?" Buffy asked, taking the phone from him. When he didn't answer, she put her hand on his arm. "Angel?"
Angel snapped out of his daze and looked down at the petite blond who was staring worriedly at him. He felt his heart expand with utter delight as he grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off the ground. He laughed at the startled expression on her face, then captured her mouth in a passionate kiss.
"Wow," Buffy said, breathing heavily when he broke the kiss several minutes later. "What did I do to deserve that, so I can do it again?"
"I love you, Buffy," Angel said in reply, a huge smile on his face.
"I love you, too," Buffy said, confused by his attitude. "What are you so happy about?" Her eyes widened when she realized what she said. "Oh, god. Don't be happy! Be miserable...er, not happy! Happy is bad."
Angel chuckled. "I don't think I can't not be happy at this moment," he told her.
"But your soul..."
"Has just become a permanent fixture in my life," he said.
Buffy's eyes became huge. "What? Are you serious?"
"Buffy, if I get any happier than I am right now, I'd burst," Angel said. "I think it's suffice to say I'm serious!"
Buffy squealed in excitement and hugged him tightly before grabbing the back of his head and kissing him soundly.
"Buffy, what's wrong?" Joyce said, opening the bedroom door. "I heard you...oh!" She looked at the two kissing passionately, seeming not to hear her, then quickly re-shut the door with a shake of her head.. "I guess everything is ok."
"Thank you guys so much!" Buffy exclaimed, hugging Willow and Kathleen the next morning when she met them at the entrance to the school after a long talk with her mom.
"The look on dad's face when he came in this morning is all the thanks I need," Kathleen said.
"So, I guess you two are officially together again?" Willow asked with a grin.
"You guess correctly," Buffy replied, smiling widely. "Now I have to tell Giles, who's not going to be too thrilled."
"We'll do it together," Kathleen said, taking her arm and pulling her into the school. "Giles, where are you?!"
"I am right here, no need to yell," Giles said, closing the weapons locker and exiting the cage.
"Last night, we anchored dad's soul to him so he could be with Buffy and he did tell you he was my dad, right?" Kathleen said in one breath.
"They gave Angel a soul, Giles," Buffy told him. "Without a happiness clause."
"Oh," Giles said, trying not to look unhappy. "That-that's nice."
"Listen, Giles," Kathleen said. "I know that you have issues with my dad, but he needs to be there for Buffy as well as needing her. If you think that he'll forget everything that happened, you're wrong. He can never forget because that's the kind of man he is. Hell, he blames himself for me ‘dying' back in 1991 even though there is no conceivable way for him to be at fault."
"I take it you two are to-together?" Giles asked Buffy. She nodded. "Please, be careful. I don't want anything to happen to you."
"I will," Buffy said as the warning bell rang. "I better get to class. I actually studied for this test."
"Bye, Buffy," Kathleen said. She watched as the blond exited the library, then turned back to Giles. "If you would have told her not to be with dad, she wouldn't. Your opinion means everything to her."
"So I have learned," Giles replied. "And I can never begrudge her happiness, especially since Slayers live such short lives. If Angel is who she wishes to be-be with, then I will not stand in her way."
"This is like a second chance for dad, you know," she told him. "And he's not going to allow anything to harm her. Hell, I bet she lives to be my age."
And she did.