Disclaimer: Since my name is not Joss Whedon, 'Buffy: The Vampire Slayer', 'Angel' and all the characters associated with both shows belong to someone who isn't me. I also don't own the storyline - that's taken from Elisabeth's 'The Other Woman' Challenge (details below), posted on the Chocolate Covered Strawberries Challenge Archive.
The Other Woman Challenge.
Buffy, after her union with Angel, became pregnant. After hiding it from everyone, she gives the baby to Angel when he leaves Sunndale. Years later, when she finally thinks it's time to go back for her child. Only, when she does go back to LA, she witnesses something, her child calling someone else "Mom".
-Buffy's feelings about seeing this.
-The other woman can be anyone: Faith, Cordy, Fred, Nina, other.
-The child can be almost any age
-The child can be male or female.
Angel cradled the tiny bundle in his arms, touching the small, flowerlike face with awed fingers, marveling at the softness of the silky wisps of dark hair on the delicate skull.
"She's beautiful." His voice was barely above a whisper.
The baby yawned widely, displaying her toothless gums, opening her blue eyes for a brief instant before drowsing off in her father's arms, completely at peace with the world around her.
"Do you want to hold her?"
The young woman in the bed shook her head firmly, fixing her gaze on the window, refusing to allow herself a glimpse of the newborn.
"Buffy, please, just look at her. She's beautiful. She has your eyes."
"Don't." The Slayer's voice was as hard as iron. "Don't tell me about her. I don't want to know. You shouldn't have told me what it was. It'll just make it harder."
"Don't do this, Buffy, please." Angel spoke in a low voice. "This is something you're going to end up regretting, I know you."
"I can't." Buffy sounded tired. "I'm seventeen, Angel, I'm not ready to have a baby. Besides, I'm a Slayer. I can't be a mother too."
"Buffy . . ."
"Stop!" Her eyes sparkled with a fierce anger. "Don't try to talk me out of this. If you won't take her, then I'll put her up for adoption, I swear it. Either way, I'm not taking her – it – back to Sunnydale with me. I can't."
The baby, as if sensing her mother's distress, whimpered softly in her sleep.
Angel clutched his newborn daughter to his chest, rocking her protectively, smiling slightly as she curled into his chest.
She was his child, probably the only child he would ever have.
He couldn't let her go to strangers.
"I'll take her." He kept his voice low, so as not to wake the baby.
"Good." Buffy lay back on the bed, exhausted.
The birth had taken a lot out of her and the strain of keeping the existence of her child from her mother and her friends had brought her close to breaking point.
Nine months of making up excuses about stomach bugs, of wearing baggy clothes to hide the bump, of lying awake at night, wishing that she could just wake up and find out that it was just a bad dream, and worst of all, having to lie to the people she loved, living in terror that they would see what was happening and confront her, had left dark shadows under her eyes, making her look older than she was.
All she wanted now was to go home and pretend that none of this had happened.
The baby would be alright.
Angel could take care of it and she could get on with her life.
"What should we name her?" Angel asked, stroking the infant's cheek with a gentle finger.
"I don't care!" Buffy exclaimed angrily. "Call it what you like. Just don't tell me its name. I don't want to know."
Angel sighed. "I'll take her back to the nursery." He offered, knowing that he had no hope of persuading Buffy to change her mind, to stay with him and their daughter in Los Angeles. "Then to my place when the doctor says she can go. I'll take good care of her, Buffy, I promise." He paused. "Would you like me to send letters?" He asked gently. "To let you know how she's doing. Maybe some pictures."
"No." Buffy was adamant. "I don't want to know. I just want to forget about it."
"Fine." Angel's response was curt. He tucked the pink blanket around his sleeping daughter, shielding her from a nonexistent draught. "If you change your mind, let me know."
He turned on his heel and strode out of the room.
Buffy waited until he had left before burying her face in her pillow and letting the tears she had been bottling up flow.
Further down the hall, the baby echoed her mother's cries as she was borne away in her father's strong arms.
Two days later.
His baby in one arm, half a dozen bags of infant paraphernalia in the other, Angel staggered into his suite, tossing his shopping on the bed.
His daughter cooed happily as he unwrapped her blanket, waving her tiny hands in the air and burbling at him.
Angel sat down on the bed, his baby, still unnamed, in his arms.
He was going to have to do a lot of work redecorating his place to house a child.
He had cherished a hope that Buffy would change her mind and that the three of them would stay together, enjoying some semblance of normality but the blonde Slayer had been adamant in her refusal to play a part in their child's life.
He sighed, allowing the baby to grip his finger.
"I guess it's just you and me now."
Should I continue with this? Be warned that the next chapter will have a significant time jump.