Chapter 19

Two years and one mysterious death of Cordelia Chase later…

Buffy sighed as the hot afternoon sun shone down on her as she sat outside waiting for four o'clock to come around so she could leave this place once and for all and just go on with her life.

"I'd like to congratulate the class of 2004!"

All the students rose with smiles on their faces and threw their hats in the air. Catching them they exited the stage and respectively found their families to celebrate the joyous occasion.

Buffy's smile faded when she saw all of her friends go to their parents and have them be enveloped in hugs and kisses and see all of their extended families with them. She smiled to herself and walked over to where Willow's family was sitting.

"Hi Mrs. Rosenberg," she greeted.

With a smile on her face, Mrs. Rosenberg congratulated Buffy, "We're so proud of you Buffy. After all that's happened, we're extremely glad that you decided to go back to school."

"Me too," Buffy said happily as well. After the fiasco with Angelus, Buffy had decided that going back to school was going to be the best thing for her in the long run. She had to take some tests to go back, but she'd passed them with flying colors.

Looking down, she took the little boy standing next to Mrs. Rosenberg and placed him in her arms.

"Can 'e go 'ome now mommy?" the little boy asked.

"Sure baby, I'll stop and let you get an ice cream cone on the way," Buffy told the little boy.

"YAY! Thank 'ou mommy!" he cheered as he hugged his mother tightly around her neck. He had been quiet like she told him to be. He clapped and cheered for her when her name was read off to receive her diploma. His big brown eyes shining with pride; she had waved and made him blush but he was so happy for him mom.

"Anything for you my little Connor," Buffy told him as she kissed his cheek. As they turned away from the crowd in their own world, Buffy didn't notice the pair of eyes watching her intensely.

Pulling into her apartment, Buffy helped Connor out of his car seat and held his hand up the stairs so he wouldn't fall down. When they reached her apartment, Buffy unlocked the door and walked inside shutting the door behind her.

Connor immediately ran to his room to play with his toys and to change his clothes. He was in a nice shirt with dress pants and he wanted to get dirty! He pulled out a pair of old shorts and an old shirt to wear.

"Mommy!" he shouted.

"What baby?" she asked him as she checked the messages on the machine.

"Can 'ou help me pwease?" the two year old asked his mother.

Chuckling to herself, she went to his room and helped him change. After changing his not very wet diaper she'd decided to get a copy of that book, "Potty Training in a Day". Maybe it was time to start Connor.

Shrugging to herself, after putting on his shorts she received a kiss from her son and rubbed his dark chocolate hair. Every time Buffy looked at him, all she saw was his father. The only thing about him that looked like her was his chin and it wasn't a chin to be proud of.

Walking back out in the living room, she was about to grab some food when the door knocked.

Thinking "ugh," she asked who it was and got no answer. Looking through the eyehole she saw no one. Deciding against horror film rules, she opened the door to see who was out there if there was anyone.

Looking to the right to the left, a hand shot out and captured her mouth to keep her from screaming. He pulled her outside the apartment and up against the wall. Covering her mouth, in the soothest voice he could muster, he said, "I'm not gonna hurt you Buffy,"

Her mind and body were in total shock. He couldn't be here, could he? He couldn't be standing in front of her holding his hand over her mouth, could he? He couldn't be here fifty feet away from him son, could he?

"I'm gonnna remove my hand Buffy and I want you to promise me you won't scream," Angelus coaxed her. "Do you promise?"

Quickly nodding her head, she agreed.

He removed his large warm hand from her tiny mouth and stood in front of her like a man that had been tortured for the past two years. He had a few days growth of a beard on him with a tiny mustache, still the same short spiky hair, but there was just something different about him. Something about the way he moved, his eyes, they told a new story. One she had caused.

The look of fear still evident in her eyes as he stood in front of her. Seeing it, he apologized, "I'm sorry Buffy, but I didn't know any other way to get you to talk to me. I didn't think that just a casual "hey how ya doing?" was going to be the way to talk."

"But scaring the shit out of me was?" she asked him.

Feeling anger boil up inside of him, he took a breath and calmed down. Looking at her, she was exactly how he remembered her. She was even more beautiful as she had gotten a few years older. She was eighteen now. She was a woman on the edge of her adult life. She had graduated high school today. He had watched her from the back and applauded her as she received her diploma. He always knew she was smart.

"I really am sorry Buffy but I needed to talk to you," Angelus apologized again.

Trying to hurry along, she told him, "Well what is it?"

Placing his hand to his forehead he rubbed it a few times and then looked at her. "I just wanted you to know that whatever pain or hurt or anger I caused you, I'm sorry, I know I don't deserve your apology but I'm asking for it."

Feeling a chill go up and down her body, Buffy looked at Angelus and didn't see the once cold hearted bastard that she had been with. She saw a man who had been through something and felt like he needed to make amends.

"Well Angelus, I accept your apology. I won't ever forgive you for the things that you put me through and what you almost did to me, but I do find it brave of you to come talk to me and ask for forgiveness when you REALLY don't deserve it. Whatever it is that you've got going in your life, I hope you're happy," she told him. She turned away from him ready to go back inside her safe haven when she was stopped.

"Wait," he said.

He didn't grab her arm or put a hand in front of her, he was asking her to wait. The Angelus she remembered rarely asked. He demanded.

"Please?" he begged.

She stopped in her tracks. She had to admit that she was intrigued at this new Angelus. Whatever had happened to him, it clearly was for the better. She had never seen anyone so desperate.

"Look, I just want you to know that what happened, with the wire and everything, I don't blame you Buffy. If I was in your position, I would have done the same thing," he admitted.

She looked at him skeptically raising an eyebrow at him and asked, "Really?"

He shrugged, "I don't know. What I do know is that couldn't have been an easy decision to make and if there was enough of a reason for you to even think about doing it, then I guess that I deserved it,"

She looked at him and was about to say something but was stopped by him saying, "I did and do miss you Buffy if it counts for anything,"

"Angelus, please," she whispered clearly the topic touchy for her; still.

Immediately he backed off. Backing away from her physically as well, allowed her to breathe a bit easier. The intense close proximity between the two was starting to make Buffy a little nervous.

"Mommy!" Connor called out. He hadn't heard his mom in a few minutes so he went out to search for her. Seeing the door opened he came to it and saw his mom on the side talking with a man he'd never seen before.

"Mommy?" he asked.

Buffy wiped her tears and focused on her son. "Yes baby?"

"I did't 'ear 'ou. I 'ot 'orried." He told her as best he could.

Smiling at her son, she ran her hands through his hair and told him, "I'm okay baby. I'm just talking, that's all." She smiled and picked him up to hold in her arms. Holding him close to her, she didn't want to take any chances that Angelus was just here to snatch his son.

"'i!" Connor greeted the man in front of him.

"Hello," Angelus greeted the little boy in front of him.

Buffy looked at her son and told him, "Connor, mommy's talking but she'll be in, in a minute, can you wait for me?"

Nodding his head, she set him down and he ran back inside shaking his little butt as he ran as fast as he could.

Smiling at her pride and joy she turned her attention back to the person responsible for him. The proud smile on Angelus' face said enough for her to know that he wasn't there for him. She could see that he hadn't even known about him until now.

"He's two isn't it he?" Angelus asked.

She didn't even have to nod for him to put all the pieces together. Quietly he turned to her and her own quiet form.

"Did you know?" he asked.

Understanding what he meant, she shook her head. "No. I didn't know until two weeks after. By that time, I didn't even think about you honestly."

While the truth hurt to hear, he couldn't have expected any more from her. He understood that he didn't deserve anything from her at all. He didn't deserve to ask for forgiveness, he didn't deserve to tell her that he missed her, he didn't deserve his son.

Nodding his head, he turned and started walking down the steps and out of her life forever.

"Angelus?" she asked him feeling the tears start to splash down on her cheeks creating little puddles of water.

Turning his head to face her she asked him shakily, "Did you ever care about me?"

Looking up at the mother of the son he'd never know, the love of his life that he'd had and lost, the woman that had changed his life, he swallowed thickly and told her the truth. A truth that even he hadn't admitted to himself back then.

"More then you'll ever know,"

Nodding, her tears flowing freely down her face she turned away from his as he continued his path down the steps and out of life as she went back to her happy life with her son.

The End