DISCLAIMER: All Buffy and Angel the Series characters are the intellectual property of Joss Whedon, et al.  I own Hopie, Leo Bunny, Nicolaa, Maddy, Clay, and Colette (and since they may or may not be making an appearance, I also own Anni, Chance, Kendall, and, ironically enough, Joss). 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is a fluffy companion piece to my Hopie/Anni series that includes Only Hope, Le Bella, and Things Unseen, as well as another companion, A Very Hopie Christmas.  If you haven't read those stories, the Cliff's notes version is that Hopie is Cordy and Angel's adopted daughter, who also happens to be inhabited by their essences and a magic called Shanshu Itzca.  Cordy and Angel are engaged, season four of Angel never happened, and Faith and Lindsey are currently away on their honeymoon.

The Potentials from Things Unseen split into two groups, half to train in Sunnydale with Buffy and Co and half to LA with Faith and co.  Currently, Nicolaa, Maddy, and Colette are in LA, as is Maddy's brother, Clay. 

This is a St. Patrick's day fic and will probably be around three chapters long.  Enjoy, and remember to review if you'd like to see more, because I'm about to go on Spring break, and I've been abandoning fics like crazy lately.

The Luck of the Irish: Chapter One

            Connor put his tongue in between his lips in concentration, sinking deep into thought.

            "Hurry up, My Connor," his little sister pleaded, shooting him her very best pleading Hopie eyes.

            "I'm concentrating," Connor said, narrowing his eyes a bit.

            Cordelia laughed.  "Connor, it's Candy Land.  You don't concentrate in Candy Land."

            Connor shot her a very deliberate look.  "Well, you obviously don't," he said, "because Hopie is kicking you're as- er, butt."  Connor, knowing better than to face the wrath of Cordelia, corrected his language at the last instant.

            "Just go, Connor," Angel said, rolling his eyes a bit.

            Connor reached for a card and ended up getting sent back two places.  "Thanks a lot," he said, glaring at Cordelia.  "I was almost  Queen Frostine, and now I'm back near the stupid plum guy again and Hopie's going to win."

            Hopie picked up the next card and carefully counted her way to victory.  "Green.  One, two, three, four, five!  GREEN!"  She was about to announce that she had indeed won, when pity for Connor took over. 

            "You can win if you want to, My Connor," she offered.

            An increasingly familiar smiling face poked her head into the room.  "Hey Angel.  Gunn said that there's a thyrixidol demon in the parlor, wanting to make nice for some reason."  The girl turned her light brown head toward Connor and gave him a sympathetic grin.

            "Hopie's giving you a pity win at Candy Land, huh?" she commented.

            Connor glared at Maddy, and she beamed at him, very glad that Dawn lived in Sunnydale.  At first, Maddy had been crushed when the group had separated the Potentials and Clay had decided they would be going to LA, away from Kendall and Chance, Maddy's closest friends, but then Maddy had realized that living in LA meant living near Connor, with no other girls around except for Nic, who was too practical to go after a guy with a girlfriend, and Colette, who was too quiet to go after anything at all. 

            "Don't feel bad," Maddy consoled Connor, "yesterday she beat me at Monopoly."

            Cordy grinned at the girl.  Not many twelve year olds would confess to losing a game of skill to a four year old, but there wasn't a shy or dishonest bone in the young Potential's body.

"Aunt Anya taught me how to play," Hopie said happily. 

            "Let's hope no one ever teaches her to play poker," Angel commented, getting up to go see about the demon.  "Hopie would become a little card shark."

            Hopie's mind briefly wandered to the kind of sharks that swam in the ocean, but she dismissed the notion as boring.  Sharks were way less interesting than the demon downstairs.

            She bounded after Angel, but he turned around, planted a quick kiss on her head, and instructed her to stay upstairs.  Then he quickly left the room, because, despite all of his super abilities, the en-souled vampire was defenseless against Hopie's batting eyelashes.

            As her daddy left the room, Hopie challenged the others to a game of Go Fish.  They politely declined, and Cordy talked the little girl into taking a bath and getting into her pajamas.

            As Hopie splashed in the tub, a thought struck her.  "Hey Momma," she said.  Cordy shampooed the little girl's hair up as she answered.

            "Yes, baby?" she said.

            "Do you think," Hopie asked, "that if there was such a thing as a shark demon, it would be a demon with the head of a shark, or a shark with demony teeth and claws and stuff?"

            Cordy thought for a moment, her mouth turning up in a smile as she did.  "Probably the first one," she said after a minute.

            Hopie grinned wickedly and splashed Cordelia with some water.  "Silly Momma," the little girl giggled.

            Cordelia wrapped a towel around Hopie and began to tickle the little girl.  Throughout the hotel, Hopie's screaming giggles could be heard.

            Downstairs, Angel's demonic visitor paused, listening to the sounds of his giggles.  "Imagine," he said out loud, "Angelus, a family man."

            Angel glared at the demon, who was known, for some inexplicable reason, as Clever Hans.  The name certainly hadn't come from his ability to judge the temperaments of those around him.

            Angel glared at the short, fat demon, right in the center of his third eye.  "Listen, Hans," he said, addressing the harmless demon as an acquaintance, if not a friend.

            "Clever Hans," the demon interjected politely.

            "Whatever," Angel said.  "I'm not Angelus anymore.  Thanks to Hopie, I never will be again."

            "Would it be 'Liam' again, then?" the demon asked, remembering the young man Angel had once been.

            Angel's brow wrinkled with the memory of the poor excuse for a human being he had been in his pre-vamp days.

            "It's not Liam either," he said.  "It's Angel."

            Hopie ran down the stairs, her wet hair dripping water onto her lavender pajamas.  "Who's Liam?" she asked.

            "Nobody, baby," Angel replied.  Hopie would never know about that.

            Hopie squinted at the demon and looked at him for a minute.  "Not target practice, right Daddy?" Hopie asked Angel, trying to confirm that this wasn't a bad demon to be shot with her crossbow.

            Angel cast a look at Clever Hans.  "That remains to be seen," he muttered.

            Clever Hans held something out toward Angel.  Angel took the parcel into his hands, recognizing it as what it was.

            "I recognized the dra--" Angel caught Hans off before he could finish.

            "Thank you," Angel said coldly.

            "Goodbye, Liam me boy," Clever Hans said, walking out the door.

            Hopie shot a questioning look at Angel as Cordy came down the stair after her.  "Sorry, Angel," she said, "this little wiggle worm got away from me."  Hopie giggled, forgetting all about the Liam incident.    

             Cordy picked Hopie up and leaned her head toward the aged parcel in Angel's hands.  "What's that?" she asked.

            Angel's eyes darkened.  "Nothing," he said, a broody expression settling over his face.  "It's nothing."

            "Daddy is brooooooooodiiiiiiiiiiiiiing," Hopie said in a stage whisper to Cordy, stringing out the word.

            Cordelia watched as Angel walked into his office.

            She kissed Hopie on the nose.  "Yes," she said.  "Daddy is."

            An hour later, Hopie was snuggled in bed, and Cordy came into Angel's office.  He was staring at the wall.  She put her hand on the back of his neck and rubbed for a minute.  Angel turned his head into her caress, and after a minute, he lifted his eyes to hers.

            "Sorry," he said sheepishly.  "Clever Hans wasn't exactly a welcome sight."

            "Clever Hans?" Cordy raised an eyebrow.

            Angel shrugged.  "Let me tell you, he's not named for his vast worldly knowledge or his control of philosophy."

            Cordy smiled and brought her lips to Angel's.  They kissed and fell into the sweet connection between them, lost in the tenderness of the moment.

            The next morning, Angel got up and banished the thought of the package and its contents from his mind.  He wouldn't be that person.  That life, that country, that family had no place in his life now.

            Hopie came bounding down the stairs, her backpack slung happily over one shoulder, wearing a mint green dress that set off the green flecks in her eyes.

            A second later, Maddy came tearing into the room, wearing a green t-shirt.  Angel wrote it off to coincidence.

            When Cordelia came in, wearing a kelly green belt around her waist, he began to wonder.  When Connor entered the room wearing lime green, he knew something was up.

            "Ouch!" he said suddenly.  He looked down.  Maddy was looking up at him, beaming like a Cheshire cat.

            "Happy St. Patrick's Day, Angel," she said mischievously.  Clay came in and, ruffling his little sister's hair, ordered her pinching fingers away from the poor besieged vampire.

            "Where's your green, Daddy?" Hopie asked.

            Not feeling up to an explanation, Angel looked around the room until he found another person not wearing green.  "Lorne's not wearing green," he said quickly.

            Everyone stared at Angel in silence for a moment.

            "Angelcakes," Lorne said, "don't take this the wrong way, but I am green."

Fred looked at Angel curiously.  "You're Irish, Angel," she commented.  "Isn't St. Patrick's day supposed to be a big thing for you?"

            "I'm not Irish," Angel said shortly.  "Not anymore."

            He turned to Cordelia and gesturing toward Hopie asked, "Does she really have to dress up for this stupid holiday?" he asked.

            Cordy shot him a warning look as Hopie looked curiously at her daddy.  "The other kids will pinch her if she doesn't," she pointed out reasonably.

            Angel raised one eyebrow.  "Like there's a kindergartener on this planet whose ass Hopie couldn't kick."

            "Angel!" Cordy said, shooting him her special don't-use-that-language-around-the-kid dagger eyes.

            Hopie batted her eyelashes at Angel.  "Be careful, Daddy," she said in a whisper that everyone in the room heard.  "I think Momma might kick your ass if you're not."

            "Shall we have a round robin ass-kicking then?" Maddy asked, relishing the word.         "Maddy," five people said warningly at once.  The youngest Potential had a weakness for curse words and for making the adults say her name warningly.  She was able to do both quite proficiently.

            Angel crossed the room and planted a kiss firmly on Cordy's lips.  After a moment, she smiled into the kiss and laid her head on his chest.  Angel took that as a sign that he was forgiven.

            Elsewhere, someone was less forgiving.  Angel had forgotten his heritage.  They'd gone to the trouble of sending him the package, and he wasn't even going to share it with his son and daughter.

            "The wee one, she's the answer to all this," Clarence commented.  "Methinks Angel might rethink his position on tis special day if we give him a bit o incentive."

            "Are you suggesting we kidnap the Shanshu child?" A younger leprechaun named Spelke asked.

            Clarence smiled a happy grin smile.  "That's exactly what I'm suggesting.  Val, Wynn, go with Spelke and see it done.  I think it's about time we met the wee Angel.  After all, we are nigh to kin with the wee lassie."

            The kindergarten teacher gasped as little Hopie Chase Angel disappeared from the classroom.  She heard giggling coming from behind her, but when she turned around, no one was there.

            "Darn leprechauns," one of the little boys said.

            The teacher looked at him oddly.  "My daddy says that when something goes wrong on St. Patrick's Day, it's always the leprechauns' fault."

            Spelke stuck his tongue out at the child, forgetting the boy couldn't see him.

            A split instant later, Hopie looked around the cave she was sitting in.  Just outside, she could hear a waterfall, and the cave sparkled with gold dust.

            She shot the leprechauns around her.  "Where am I?" she asked, not in the least afraid and glad that she was sure to miss nap time now.

            "Welcome," Clarence said majestically, "young Shanshu, to our herd."

TBC… a herd of leprechauns?  YUP.  More Angel/Cordy fluffiness, and some interaction between Hopie and the leprechauns coming up soon!  It will, I promise, get sillier and fluffier from here.

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