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 Sunnydale. 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".

Requirements:

-Buffy's feelings about seeing this.

Options:

-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.

Author's Note: I know it's been absolutely forever since I updated, but I've finally managed to finish this story. A big thank you to everyone who reviewed it.


Chapter 7

Evening.

"Evie?" Buffy knocked on the little girl's door before hovering on the threshold, unsure of her next move. "Can I come in?"

"I don't want to talk to you." The four year old set her jaw stubbornly.

"Please?"

"No!" Evie scowled at her. "I'm not talking to you 'cause you hit my Mommy and didn't say that you were sorry."

"She did." Faith spoke up from behind the other Slayer. "Downstairs." She glanced at Buffy, who seemed unsure whether or not she should resent the other woman's interference and her white lie. "And I forgave her."

"That's alright, then." Evie said, mollified somewhat. "So long as you don't do it again."

"I won't." Buffy would have promised anything to get her child to talk to her.

"Good." The four year old beamed at them both, happy to have everything sorted to her satisfaction. "Now we're all friends."

"I'll be downstairs if you need me." Despite Lorne's assurances, Faith was reluctant to leave Buffy and her daughter alone and it took a great effort on her part to be able to walk out of the room.

Buffy took a seat on the bed next to Evie, a wary expression on her face. "What are you up to?"

"Drawing." Evie proudly displayed her sketch pad. "This is me and Daddy and Mommy." She pointed towards a colourful trio, the figure in the middle much smaller than the other two before gesturing towards another two figures, dressed as a bride and groom. "And this is Uncle Wes and Aunt Fred like they'll be on their wedding, and these are Uncle Gunn and Uncle Lorne."

"These are really good." Buffy felt a surge of maternal pride.

Although Evelyn Cecilia Angel was not an infant da Vinci by any means, her pictures were bright, colourful and clearly the work of a happy child.

/I guess Faith hasn't done that bad a job. / She conceded grudgingly.

"Want me to draw a picture of you?" The little girl was eager for a new subject.

"Please."

"Hold still, then." Evie caught Buffy's chin in her small hand, tilting it until she decided on a pleasing angle.

"I'd like us to be friends, Evie."

"Of course we are." Now that Buffy had been forgiven for the crime of slapping her mother, the four year old was more than willing to make friends. She began on the hair, making full use of the yellow crayon.

"Did your Daddy teach you how to draw?"

"He showed me a bit, but he always draws dark pictures with no colour. Those are boring. Mommy says she likes mine 'cause they're prettier."

"Do you like Faith . . .Mommy?" Seeing Evie's slightly confused look, she gave Faith the name she so resented her using. She hadn't wanted to talk about Faith but, despite everyone's assurances to the contrary, she couldn't help fearing that the other Slayer was somehow hurting or neglecting the little girl.

"Of course I love Mommy." Evie couldn't understand why she was being asked this question. "She's the bestest."

/I should never have let you go. /

Try as she might, Buffy couldn't keep a tear from falling.

"Don't cry." Tender hearted little Evie dropped her sketch pad and hugged her, patting her back soothingly and kissing her cheek. "There, all better."

All Buffy wanted to do was to scoop the little girl up into her arms and run away with her, but she couldn't, she wouldn't do that.

She had hurt her daughter once by abandoning her, she wasn't going to hurt her a second time by taking her away from her home and family, even if it was a family of which she herself was not a part.

/I guess this is what Lorne meant when he said that we all had to put Evie first. / Buffy reflected, returning the little girl's hug. /And the best thing I can do for her is to leave her where she is. /

"Will you come and visit us again? You can come to Aunt Fred and Uncle Wes's wedding if you like." Evie shamelessly usurped the bride and groom-to-be's privilege of issuing invitations.

"I'd love to visit." Buffy managed a smile. "If it's alright with your Daddy. . ." She paused, swallowing. "And your Mommy."


"Are you okay?" Angel's voice was soft as he asked the question.

"I'll live." Faith leaned across to kiss him. "This was going to happen sooner or later, and when she's older, Evie'll be glad that she got to know B. You know," She said thoughtfully, looking far older than her years. "In a way, our daughter is very lucky. Most kids only have two parents to love them - some don't even have that. Evie has lots of people to adore her."

"She has the best mother she could ever ask for."

"And the best father. . .What are you doing?"

Angel had dropped to one knee and was looking up at her with a hopeful, boyish smile.

"Will you marry me?"

Grinning, Faith knelt down next to him, pulling him forward for a kiss.

"Is that a yes, then?"

"What do you think?"


Two days later.

The Magic Box.

Knowing that none of the others were aware of the true reason for Buffy's trip to L.A., Willow managed to restrain herself from dragging her friend aside and asking what had happened as soon as Buffy set foot in the magic shop but, after approximately five minutes her curiousity got the better of her and, making an excuse about having something she wanted to show her, pulled her into the training area set up in the back room.

"Well?" She prompted, studying her friend's face. "How did it go?"

Buffy gave her a small smile. "Evie. Her name is Evie."

THE END