Hi everyone! So sorry it's been so long. I've had some health issues that prevented me from sitting at a computer for a prolonged period of time. This chapter is not my favorite. In fact, it's 2 half chapters that weren't long enough to be their own chapters. But it's been so long, I wanted to update for you guys. The next one should be faster since I'm feeling better.

Please let me know what you guys think. I love hearing your thoughts!

Ch. 23

"You," Buffy groaned, burying her face in the pillow as their baby cried.

"It's 4 am, Buffy," Angel whispered.

"What happened to you waking up in the middle of the night for me?" Buffy whimpered rolling over until she was pressed up against him. "Please?"

"I would, but I'm not exactly equipped to handle this one," he reminded her.

"Aren't we supposed to let her cry it out?" Buffy wanted to know and Angel ran his hands through Buffy's tangled hair.

"I don't think that applies at 11 days old."

"After 4 am I think she's 12 days old," Buffy argued when a loud wail interrupted their argument. "Ugh, that is her hungry cry, you're right."

"Do you want me to bring her to you?" Angel offered and Buffy smiled to herself.

"No. You sleep. I'll get her," she told him slowly getting up out of bed. As Angel watched her disappear from the room, he wondered how he got so lucky. He heard the crying stop, and he smiled slightly. He'd had three hours of sleep. More than enough, he decided as he got up to join Buffy in the nursery.

XXXXXXXXX

"Hi, Baby," Buffy whispered as she scooped her daughter up from the crib. "Time for breakfast, huh? And to think, we were worried you wouldn't eat enough."

"At this age, they don't always have the sucking reflex," the nurse explained to Buffy and Angel.

"What does that mean?" Angel asked.

"It means she won't be able to eat. We can feed her through a tube, but we're not at that point yet. We just need to see how things go."

"I want to see her," Buffy demanded trying to sit up more in the bed, but wincing at the movement.

"We'll take you down to her in a little while. We still have to get you taken care of," the nurse said.

"No. I want to see her right now," Buffy insisted.

"They're taking good care of her."

"It's okay, Buffy," Angel assured her, but Buffy shook her head.

"You go to her," she told him.

"Buffy….I'm staying with you," he said, although she saw him waiver for a moment.

"No, I want you to go to her. She's never been away from me before," Buffy pointed out squeezing his hand. "If I can't be there, I need you to be there. It's the only way I'll feel better."

"Buffy-"

"Please, Angel," Buffy said and Angel nodded.

"Okay," he said leaning down to kiss her forehead. "I love you." Unable to respond, Buffy just nodded. She watched him leave and took a deep breath.

"I need to see her," Buffy said to the nurse.

"We need to massage your uterus and change your pad. Then-"

"Oh god. I'm glad I sent Angel away," Buffy muttered.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

"Baby Girl O'Connor," one of the NICU nurses told Angel.

"Is she okay?" Angel asked, worried that she was hooked up to monitors and IVs.

"She's doing really well so far," the nurse told him. "Everything looks good. We need to make sure she can eat. When mom gets down here, we can give it a try."

"Can I touch her?" Angel asked and the nurse smiled.

"You want to hold her?" she offered and Angel nodded. "Sit right here," she gestured to a nearby rocking chair. "Just be careful of the IV. Here you go," she said, taking the baby and handing her to Angel. "Congratulations Daddy. Your first?"

"Yeah," Angel smiled down at his daughter. "I can't believe she's finally here."

"Does she have a name?"

"Sure. About eleven of them. We can't agree on one though," Angel admitted. "We were supposed to have more time."

"Kids don't like listening to their parents," the nurse smirked, but Angel just grinned down. "She has beautiful eyes."

"Yeah, she does," Angel agreed.

"Most babies have blue eyes when they're born, but I love when babies are born with brown eyes."

"I wanted her to have my wife's green eyes, but now I don't care," Angel shook his head. "I'm just glad she's okay."

XXXXXXXXXX

Buffy wanted to deny the wheelchair, but she had to admit, that she was incredibly sore. She was dying to see her baby again. They hadn't wanted her to leave so soon, but she'd been adamant about going.

When she got to the NICU she saw Angel holding their daughter, and her eyes welled up with tears. It was the most beautiful sight she'd ever seen. They made her change into a sterile gown, and in a few minutes, she was wheeled in next to Angel.

"Hi," he smiled. "How are you?"

"Better now," Buffy smiled down at their daughter.

"Here," Angel got up so Buffy could move over to the rocking chair. He let the nurse help her, and as soon as she was settled, he handed their daughter over to her.

"I know this sounds crazy, but I missed her so much," Buffy whimpered as a few tears escaped her eyes. Angel wiped them away for her.

"It's not crazy. She's perfect."

"Are you ready to try feeding her, mom?"

XXXXXXXXXXX

"How are my two girls?" Angel asked. Buffy smiled as she saw him in the doorway.

"You should have stayed in bed. This is one thing you can't help with," she gestured to where their daughter was nursing.

"I'd rather be in here," he said honestly as he walked over to Buffy. Bending down next to the rocking chair, he gently stroked his daughter's tiny foot. "Hi Princess," he whispered with a smile. "You ready for your grandmas to come over this afternoon?"

"No, she's not," Buffy laughed softly. "But, we will definitely get a break. I doubt we'll get a second with our own baby when our moms are here."

"They'd be thrilled if we just left them with her for the night," Angel agreed, but Buffy held their daughter a little closer.

"I'm not leaving her yet. She's barely been home!"

"I didn't say we were leaving her," Angel assured his wife. "Although a nap would be nice," he chuckled.

"Hmm, it really would," Buffy rested her head against the back of the rocking chair. "We could leave her downstairs with her grandmas and just take a short, like, six hour nap."

"That's what good parents would do," Angel agreed eagerly. "We need the rest because Katie Colleen O'Connor certainly got her mother's fussiness," he teased. Buffy gave him a playful glare, but she knew he was right.

XXXXXXXXXXX

"Shut the blinds," Buffy instructed as she crawled under the blankets of their bed. "I don't want to see the sun." Angel did exactly that before crawling in next to Buffy.

"Much better," he mumbled tiredly.

"Do you have the baby monitor?" Buffy asked and Angel sighed.

"No, my mom has it because they're babysitting," he said patiently.

"Do you think we should have it?" Buffy worried and Angel rolled onto his side so he was facing her.

"No," was all he said but he could see Buffy wasn't satisfied with that. "Would you trust our mothers to babysit if we weren't here?"

"Yeah, but-"

"Then that's what we're pretending is happening," Angel said firmly as he pulled her closer. "As far as our moms are concerned, we are not home. We are out on the town, partying, and being cooler people than we actually are."

"But what if they have questions? Or can't get Katie to quiet down? You know sometimes you're the only one that can get her calm," Buffy said, her worry increasing with each word.

"Then one of our parents can take the long trip up the 13 stairs and come get me," Angel said, his eyes falling shut with exhaustion.

"Angel, I don't feel-"

Buffy was cut off by Angel's lips as he kissed her gently. His hand held her face close until he felt her relax. She whimpered into the kiss, feeling immediately calmer under his touch. He eased her down until she was flat on the bed before slowing the kiss.

"Very convincing," Buffy mumbled.

"Good. Now sleep," he urged with one more soft kiss.

XXXXXXXXXXX

"Peek a boo!" Angel cooed and Buffy grinned as she saw him playing with their daughter. At one month old, Katie was a total daddy's girl. Buffy couldn't blame her. Those strong arms were very comforting. When Katie squealed with delight, Buffy moved closer. She didn't think she'd ever been this happy. The only problem was-

"You haven't left yet?" Angel accused and Buffy blushed.

"You guys were so cute, I didn't want to miss anything," she told him and he chuckled.

"You're only going to the grocery store. It's four minutes away," he pointed out. "What do you think you're going to miss? A dirty diaper?"

"I just hate leaving her," Buffy frowned wondering if all mothers went through this or if she was having some sort of separation anxiety.

"Do you trust me to stay with her?"

"Of course I do!" Buffy answered quickly. "I just…I'm being stupid," she muttered.

"You're not stupid. But it worries me a little that you haven't left her side since she was born."

"I know," Buffy sighed. "It's just that the three of us, in this house, it's the happiest I've ever been. Why leave?"

"I know," Angel said wrapping an arm around her waist. "Going back to the gallery last week wasn't easy. And coming home to you two is the best part of my day."

"I love you," Buffy whispered, leaning her body into his.

"I love you too. But we are completely out of ice cream, so you need to go to the store."

"Don't tempt me," Buffy elbowed him in the stomach. "I'm trying to watch what I eat."

"I don't know why. You look great," Angel told her, capturing her lips in his. She responded to the kiss, moaning lightly when their tongues met. "Feel great too," he muttered against her mouth as his hands slid down to her ass.

"You're incorrigible," she scolded, but she couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face.

"I'm honest," he shot back, his own smile wide and innocent.

"And horny," she teased, giggling when a slight blush tinted his cheeks. "Just two more weeks and we'll have the all clear," she assured him. "And maybe we could do some other things a little sooner," she hinted as her hands slid low on his stomach.

"Buffy," Angel groaned as he grabbed her hands. "Don't start something you can't finish," he practically begged. "Now go to the store," he said firmly and distantly she heard Katie fussing. "But hurry back."

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Angel had just returned from dropping Katie off at her grandmas' and he was excited. Tonight was the night he and Buffy were finally clear to make love. He had a romantic night planned, and nothing was going to get in the way.

"Angel," Buffy spoke as she stepped out of their bathroom. He turned to look at her, surprised by the slightly nervous tone of her voice. "Angel, we're um, we're going to need some sort of birth control for the next week or so until I've been on the pill long enough," Buffy pointed out. His eyebrows shot up. He hadn't even thought of that.

"Condoms?" he asked smoothly, and Buffy shrugged.

"I guess."

"I'll um, need to buy some," Angel realized out loud.

"We could just do it on the way to dinner. Or on the way home," Buffy suggested but Angel shook his head. That would probably kill the romantic mood of the evening. 'Hold on Honey, let me just go get some rubbers.'

"No, I'll go do it now," he said grabbing his keys and Buffy nodded. He hurried down the stairs, but when he got to the door he realized he had no idea what kind of condoms his wife liked. She probably had a preference, right? Heading back up to their bedroom he called out for Buffy.

"What's wrong?" she wanted to know and he let out a breath when he saw her come out in only her bra. They really did not have time before dinner to do what he wanted to do. And they had no condoms. That was why he was here. Right.

"Uh, what kind of condoms do you like?" he asked, finding it odd that he had to ask that of the woman he'd been with for almost two years.

"Um, the kind that don't get me pregnant," she replied.

"I'm serious," Angel said and Buffy rolled her eyes.

"So am I. Wouldn't you know more about this than I would? You know, being the wearer of the condoms and everything?"

"Well I know what I've used in the past, I was just wondering if you had a favorite or something," he said and Buffy felt a little uncomfortable. How many kinds of condoms were there?

"I don't know. I mean, I haven't used any in a really long time," she shrugged turning away from him. "And I don't know what kind I did use."

"How do you not know?" Angel wondered and Buffy sighed.

"I just don't, okay? Would you like me to call Spike and ask?" she offered. Angel glared at her, his face turning dark just as she knew it would. "I don't like any," she muttered under her breath as she turned to head back into the bathroom.

"Buffy, what do you mean?" Angel asked, following her into their bathroom.

"I don't like condoms," she shrugged, picking up her curling iron and wrapping a piece of hair around it. "They…kinda hurt."

"How?" he wondered and Buffy sighed.

"I don't know. I just know that sex always kind of hurt when I used a condom. I started the pill, so I quit using condoms, and it was much, MUCH, better. A LOT less dry down there," she explained as she unwound her hair, moving on to the next piece.

"Did you try different kinds?" Angel wondered, not sure what to say.

"I don't know. A couple I think. I had just started having sex so I just thought that was how sex felt. Once a few months later when I missed a pill, we used a condom again and I realized the difference. I hate them, Angel," she said shakily as she set her curling iron down. "And I'm already kind of nervous about tonight. After having a baby and everything so-"

"Hey," he said gently as he turned her around to face him. "We don't have to do this tonight. I can wait until-"

"No Angel. I want to be with you," she said earnestly as she ran her fingers into his hair. "I miss you. I miss feeling you. I'm just nervous, and the thought of using condoms isn't helping."

"So, what are our other options?" Angel wondered, not seeing any himself.

"Well, the only feasible option is condoms-"

"No, I don't want you to be uncomfortable," he cut her off. "I'd rather wait another week," he told her and she smiled up at him. He was so sweet. She couldn't help but lean up and kiss him. And when she felt his big hands on the bare skin of her back, she remembered she was still only in her bra. He pulled her closer, and her nipples hardened against his chest.

"Mmm, no. We're not waiting another week," Buffy insisted as she broke the kiss. "We could always…not use anything."

"Isn't that risky?" he raised an eyebrow, but was already pretty convinced.

"Well, it's unlikely I'd get pregnant while breastfeeding anyways. And it's only a week. The chances I'd get pregnant are actually really low," she explained and Angel nodded.

"Okay," he agreed and Buffy smiled.

"Then go. Let me get ready so we can get back here," she grinned as she pushed him out of the bathroom.

Someone brought to my attention that earlier in this story Buffy told Angel the first time she'd had sex without a condom was with him. I apologize, I'm working on like 5 stories at once, and I confused myself. Normally I'm so good with consistency, but I made a big error here. Correcting it will mess up everyone who has alerts set up/has already read the update, etc. so I'm just going to have to ask you guys to go with it. Forgive me!