*** Well, here it is, the epilogue. FBA is finally done! I want to thank everyone who has sent me feedback for this fic. Your support has been wonderful! I hope you all will enjoy the epilogue...its pretty much just fluff, with a little fun character-bashing thrown in :)

If anyone's curious...my next fic project will be a post-s3 alternate universe series...it's not a rewrite of the seasons after that, but a completely different universe. There's more about the series on my site. I will probably start posting the first fic in about a week and a half.

Author's Notes: Thank you to: Buffster14, Summersgal125, TK, Shahid, colicakes58, Tariq, Karin, LisaAnne1, BA4eva, mickimojo, and L.J. for their feedback on Part 24!

Warnings: a little bad language, some character bashing, and fluff




~one year later~

"It's been so long since I've been here!" Willow exclaimed as she sat down next to Oz.

"I know, but we've all been so busy," agreed Buffy, her head resting on Angel's shoulder.

The entire gang, Buffy, Angel, Willow, Oz, Xander, and Cordelia, were seated on several couches in one corner of the Bronze. It was the first time in months that they had all been able to go out together for a night of fun. They had seen each other often, but life had kept them from enjoying a night out like used to.

The past year had been extremely busy for all of them. Willow and Oz had gotten married in a small ceremony at the local courthouse three weeks after Buffy's return from England. They bought a small house in a quiet part of town and a few months after the wedding their baby girl Layla was born. Since then the couple had been dealing with the rigors of having a baby in their lives.

Xander and Cordelia had hit a rough spot for a few months not long after Buffy returned. Anya, Xander's ex-girlfriend from his junior year of high school, had suddenly reappeared in town and caused trouble for the couple. For a while it had looked like their relationship was permanently over, but in the end, they had worked things out and were now closer than before. In fact, they were currently planning their wedding which, in Cordelia's words, was *only* three months away.

As for Buffy and Angel, they had married only a month and a half after Angel's proposal. They had debated having a long engagement and planning a huge wedding, but in the end they decided that they didn't want to wait, and that neither really wanted some big elaborate wedding with tons of people they hardly knew watching. Instead, they were married in a quiet ceremony on the beach with only their close friends and family present.

As a wedding gift, Giles and Joyce had bought them a house near theirs and after their two week honeymoon in Ireland, Buffy and Angel had spent most of their time moving and getting settled. The couple could not have been happier. After all they had been through, they were finally together and moving on with their lives.

The year had not been without it's hard times, though. Buffy had decided to speak at Riley's sentencing, ensuring that he would be behind bars for a long time, and it had taken a toll emotionally on her, but with Angel's and Wesley's help she had made it through the ordeal. Even though it had been hard, the act had given her some closure to that period of her life.

They'd been dealt another blow when Giles suffered a mild heart attack almost two months after their wedding. Thankfully, Giles had made it through okay. The doctor had assured them all that with a healthy diet and regular exercise that Giles would be fine.

Even though there had been some tough things for them to deal with, the past year had been the happiest of their lives for Buffy and Angel. Being married to each other was all that they could have dreamed it would be, and more. It was the little things they seemed to enjoy the most: waking up in each other's arms, eating breakfast together, bickering over insignificant idiosyncrasies, etc. Maybe that made them a little boring, but it was what made them happy.

"So Willow, whose taking care of the little munchkin?" Xander asked while munching on a platter of nachos.

"Joyce is watching her," answered Willow. She missed her daughter, but it was nice to have a night out.

"I think she is enjoying having a baby around," added in Buffy. A smile grew on her face when she felt Angel's hand lightly rub the small but noticeable bump on her abdomen.

Buffy was now in the fourth month of her pregnancy. It hadn't been planned, and when she had first realized she was pregnant she'd been terrified. Memories of her miscarriage had instantly popped into her mind. And then there was the part of her that wasn't sure if, after all she'd been through, she was ready to be a mother. Then as she had stood there in the bathroom looking at her abdomen, she realized she had her and Angel's child now growing inside her. All the fear and worry had melted away at that moment.

"That's good. You'll be able to hit her up for babysitting once you pop the kid you're carrying," smirked Cordelia, shuddering at the idea of having a child.

"She's already offered her services," chuckled Angel, his fingers lightly stroking over his unborn child.

It seemed as if Angel hadn't stopped smiling since Buffy had told him she was pregnant. Not only was he married to his soul mate, but they were now going to have a baby. He knew she'd been worried in the beginning, but they had talked about it and worked through it. It was only natural to be scared of such a drastic life change like having a baby, especially considering her past.

"Yeah, she's even getting a room ready for the baby when it's there." Buffy shook her head at her Mother's antics.

"Speaking of 'It'. Have you guys found out what it's going to be yet?" questioned Willow, thinking back on how her and Oz had found out they were having a girl.

"Actually, we decided that we want it to be a surprise," answered Buffy with a look toward Angel.

"You don't want to know?!" Cordelia nearly shrieked. "How are you going to get the baby's room ready without knowing what it is?"

"We're just going to go with neutral colors," shrugged Buffy, fully aware that not knowing the baby's sex did make planning a little tougher. Her and Angel had talked about it though and decided they didn't want to know.

"Your choice, but it's going to make shopping a real pain in the ass," sighed Cordelia in exasperation.

"Hey Buff, what's up with the Scooby Doo Band-Aid?" Xander asked, pointing to the brightly colored strip on Buffy's right hand.

"Oh, I got a nasty paper-cut at work today." She held up the finger in question.

"How is work going?" spoke Willow, referring to Buffy's job at the women's shelter.

"It's good. I like it. I mean, it's hard sometimes...seeing women like that and having been through it myself. But it's rewarding to help out in any way I can," Buffy explained about her job.

"Are you going to keep taking classes after the baby is born?" wondered Oz from his spot next to Willow.

"Don't know yet. I might take a semester off just to get adjusted, but I do want to keep taking classes part time," she clarified even though the idea of working, going to class, and taking care of a baby was a bit daunting.

"I'm going to get another drink. Anyone want anything?" Willow asked, standing up from the couch.

"Yeah, wait, I'll come with you," offered Buffy, untangling herself from Angel. "Be right back, sweetie."

Buffy and Willow walked off in the direction of the bar. Willow ordered herself a strawberry daiquiri while Buffy opted for a Sprite since anything with alcohol or caffeine was not allowed due to her pregnancy. After receiving their drinks, the two females turned to go back to their friends and significant others when a sudden loud voice interrupted them.

"Well, well...if it isn't Buffy Summers," an obnoxious, half-drunk man spoke.

Buffy turned around to face the person speaking. "Parker."

"Aww, I'm touched, Summers. You remember me." The dark haired man placed a hand on his heart.

"Unfortunately," mumbled Buffy, her eyes searching around for Angel.

Parker's eyes drifted down Buffy's figure, stopping when he noticed the bulge at her abdomen. The mocking leer made Buffy suddenly wish she hadn't worn such a snug fitting shirt that evening.

"Now isn't this a surprise. Knocked up Summers?" laughed Parker, shaking his head back and forth.

"What do you want, Parker?" Buffy spoke angrily. With her attention focused on the man in front of her, she didn't notice Willow creeping away.

"What makes you think I want anything from *you*," he questioned sarcastically.

"Then why the Hell are you standing here talking to me?" she spat out forcefully, growing more angry from the conversation.

"Jeez, chill out." His eyes again drifted down to her pregnant stomach causing him to laugh heartlessly. "I always knew you were just another slut."

Buffy's jaw dropped at the harsh words, but before she could reply a booming voice came from behind her.

"I suggest you shut the fuck up, NOW, and apologize," a furious Angel growled out with Willow, Oz, Xander and Cordy standing at his sides.

"Mind your own business, asshole," glared Parker, not the least bit threatened by the larger man.

Angel walked right up to Parker, not caring about the audience that had gathered around them, and stared him in the eyes. "It *is* my business when you call my *wife* a slut."

"Wife, huh?" Parker smirked, looking from Angel to Buffy. "What did you do? Fall for that 'I'm pregnant' line and marry her? You should know better than to fall for that. She's just a whore. Trust me, I should know."

Angel's eyes darkened with rage. Before anyone could react, his fist shot out, slamming into the side of Parker's face. The stunned crowd watched as Parker flew backwards into the bar and then down onto the ground.

Stalking up to where the boy had fallen, Angel stared down at him with serious eyes. "If you ever speak to my wife that way again, or speak to her period, you *will* regret it."

Angel turned to face Buffy, ignoring the onlookers. "Come on, let's get out of here."

The couple walked quickly out of the club, not bothering to look back at the scene they'd left. Willow, Oz, Cordelia and Xander followed them out, trying to hold back their laughter at Parker's body sprawled out on the ground from one punch.

"What a sissy," whispered Xander to his companions.

"Shh! Shut up, Xander!" snapped Cordelia, not wanting to aggravate Angel further.


A short while later, Buffy and Angel lay on their bed with Buffy holding an ice pack on Angel's hand. Lifting the ice pack up, Buffy studied the reddened skin beneath. She gently ran her fingers over the tender skin, shaking her head slightly.

"It's going to hurt for a few days," she told him, putting the ice pack back on his hand.

"I know," Angel shrugged, shifting against the pillows on the bed. "Are you mad at me?"

"What? Why would I be mad at you?" she asked him in confusion.

"Because I hit him. I know how much you hate violence," Angel stated, looking down guiltily.

"Angel," sighed Buffy. "I'm not mad at you. Not even a little bit. He deserved what he got."

"He shouldn't have said those things about you," Angel spoke in a near growl, still angry about what had happened.

"No, he shouldn't have," agreed Buffy. Taking the ice pack off Angel's hand, Buffy placed it on the night stand and lay down next to Angel. "But let's just forget about it. I don't want to talk about Parker."

"Whatever you want, beloved," smiled Angel, kissing her lightly.

Buffy watched with curious eyes as Angel crawled down the bed. She grinned as he lifted her shirt and laid his head on her now bare stomach. A slight giggled escaped her lips as his breath tickled her skin.

"What are you doing," she asked, running a hand through his soft hair.

"Talking to the baby," answered Angel, placing small kisses over their unborn child.

"I see. Is it talking back to you?" she teased even though she found Angel's actions unbelievably cute and sweet.

"Uh huh," Angel shook his head yes, and then moved back up the bed to face Buffy. "It told me its mother is the most beautiful women in the entire world."

Buffy's heart melted at Angel's words. Instead of answering him, she pulled him close and kissed him tenderly, expressing through action what words could not. Slowly, her mouth trailed down, nipping lightly at his jaw-line before moving back to his mouth.

"I love you," she murmured against his lips.

"I love you, too," Angel whispered back to her before engaging her in a passionate kiss.

As the moon rose higher in the sky, the couple made sweet love to eat other, exploring their bodies as if it were for the first time. Later that night, they laid tangled together, contented smiles on their faces. One of Angel's hands gently stroked Buffy abdomen as he drifted off to sleep.

For a few minutes, Buffy simply watched as Angel slept. It was almost impossible for her to believe that she was married to her Angel and that they would soon have a child together. There were times when she wondered if it was all a dream, but then she only had to look at Angel or at the baby growing inside her and she'd realize that it was all true...that she finally had everything she ever wanted.

Snuggling closer to Angel, Buffy wondered if she would ever get used to falling asleep in his arms. No, she didn't think she would. It would always seem like something new and special. And she had forever to find out if she was right.

With a smile on her face, Buffy too fell into a peaceful sleep, dreaming of the happy future that lay ahead.