Disclaimer: Joss owns everything.
A/N: This story is centered around Wesley, Fred and their adopted, autistic, child, Sophia, who they adopted in my fic 'It's An Adoption.' And it's also set in my SaraiVerse in which Angel and Darla have a teenage daughter named Sarai (like a female Connor, birth and QuorToth wise.) And Cordy, Lindsey, Spike, Darla, Dawn, Faith and Doyle are around (although I am not sure how much they'll actually appear in this one, if some will at all, with the exception of Faith and Cordy, who I know be around quite a bit.) Also an appearance by 'Blair' (or 'mini' if said by Sarai) might happen, and she's Sarai, but as a child. That's all you really have to know, you don't have to read the other stories to understand this, really.
After a long day of going to speech therapy and then playing 'jump on the bed' with her baby sitter Sarai, Sophia Wyndam-Pryce was unusually more than willing to get into bed when her 8pm bedtime came around. She laid in her bed as her mother read her part of 'The Little Prince,' before she fell asleep. Her mother liked reading to her, she didn't understand why, but she didn't object. When the story finished up, and the lamp was about to be turned off, another person entered the room.
"Looks like I am right on time," Wesley said as he walked in the room, and sat on the edge of the bed.
"Punctual as ever," Fred agreed.
"Well I didn't want to miss bedtime," he replied, turning his attention back to the child. She vaguely looked in his direction, and then returned to cuddling her pillow. He sighed. It wasn't intentional, he knew that. It wasn't something he liked of course, but he accepted it. After all, it's not like she was affectionate and attentive with the two people she had managed to form somewhat of a bond with. Before either parent could say goodnight, she was fast asleep.
They left the room, and sat together in the livingroom. Fred leaned up against Wesley, and he put his arms around her in return. "She's adorable," Fred commented.
"I highly agree," Wesley said, followed by sniffing the air. "What's that smell?"
"Taco sauce, I made some before," she answered. "I saved you some."
"Okay, one. Sorry. I was hungry. I can make you something if you'd like," she offered.
"Oh, no thanks. I actually took a dinner break before with Cordy." He paused for a minute. "What else happened here tonight, besides taco's for dinner?"
Fred thought. "Not much. Oh, played Hungry, Hungry, Hippo's. it was a tie," she giggled slightly, "she likes hitting the hippo-eater-lever."
"I wouldn't know," he muttered.
"Nothing," he brushed off.
"No, tell me what you said."
"I said I wouldn't know," he repeated. "We've never played that game, or any game for that matter." Okay, so he wasn't as okay as he liked to think he was.
Fred sat up and faced him, "are you alright? What's wrong?"
He shook his head, regaining control over what came out of his mouth, "never mind. It's nothing."
"No, it's something. Is this about before?"
"No...yes... no," realizing Fred was not going to let the topic go anytime soon, he decided to just speak. "I know she can't help it. But yes, it bother's me that she feels nothing toward me."
"You don't know that for a fact," Fred said. "And I know that..."
"Do you think it's my fault?" he interrupted.
"That was a bad choice of words. Do you think I'm contributing for nothing changing? I'm not... around for her like you are."
Fred was confused. "Of course you are. You're here all the time. What are talking about?"
"Well, I've only gone to therapy sessions six times, for starters."
"You don't know that has anything to do with it, and even if it does, that's not your fault though. I've just always scheduled them whenever I knew I was available. I'm sorry."
"Don't be. When's the next appointment? I want to take her."
Wesley narrowed his eyes, "damn," he swore. "I have a meeting."
Fred shrugged, "okay, so then I will make the next one for whenever you'd like," she told him.
"No," he shook his head, "I'll make the meeting for another time."
"Are you sure?"
Thursday morning came around quickly. Sophia awoke to a surprising change when she saw her mother getting ready to leave. Her mother rarely left her in the mornings. "Mama?" she questioned, as her way of asking what was going on.
"Mommy's going to work now, sweety," Fred explained, "you're going to spend the day with your dad, is that okay?"
Sophia was silent. She'd been alone with her father before, and it wasn't bad, with the exception of an incident in which he accidently knocked something over and it hurt her ears and scared her, but it was not the same as having her mother or Sarai around. "Yes," she finally agreed after a while.
Fred smiled. "Great. Be a good girl, not that you're ever not, and have fun. I'll see you later on," she blew her a kiss goodbye, and left just as Wesley came out of his bedroom after getting dressed.
"Good morning," he greeted cheerfully.
"Hi," she replied plainly.
There was an awkward silence. "I heard your mother explain about today. I am going to be taking you too speech in a little while. But after we can do something fun, if you'd like," he eventually told her. "Does that sound okay?" She didn't reply, so he took it as a 'maybe', and then moved on. "Which would you like to do first, get dressed or have breakfast?" Sophia went straight into her bedroom. "Dressed it is," he concluded. Careful consideration went in to deciding what to pick out for Sophia to wear, because surely Cordelia would beat him if they happened to see her later in the day and Sophia was dressed in something that could be considered unfashionable. Finally he grabbed a pale green shirt and black jumper, black goes with everything, he knew that much. He showed the clothes to Sophia, who insisted on putting them on herself. It wasn't long until she ran into a problem, when she got her head stuck in the right armhole of the shirt, but she still didn't give up. "Would you like help?" Wesley eventually offered. She declined. He waited a few minutes, with utmost patients, until she stopped. "Would you like help?" he offered again. This time, she accepted. He did his best to straighten out the problem as best he could with only using the parts of the shirt that weren't up against her skin, as to make sure as little distress as possible was caused to her from the closeness. For the most part, he succeeded pretty well. "Are you alright?" he checked.
"Yes," she mumbled. The jumper part was easy, as was the slip-on shoes. After that was breakfast and then they headed out. As they walked to his 5-door Element SUV, parked three blocks away, he silently griped about the location of the car. Not too many little things bothered him, but a bad parking space really got to him. When they finally reached the car he belted her in her car seat and they went to the appointment. The session went well, and ended at twelve-forty-five. By one o'clock, they were having a bite to eat at a close by coffee shop. No major breakthroughs were achieved, but nothing bad happened either, so Wesley considered it to be a good afternoon. And it was a nice topper for him that there was a spot right outside their apartment building when they returned, which was a rarity. "See, Sophia, this is what's called excellent luck," he told her as he pulled in the space. She didn't seem to care about the space, as any 4 year old wouldn't.
A nap was suggested to her when they got into the apartment, but she turned it down. Instead she decided to bounce up and down on her 'Bouncey-Ball', in which he closely watched her use, as to make sure she didn't fall off or knock into anything with it. Eventually she stopped and Wesley decided to try and talk too her. "Come and sit here," he gently instructed, telling her to sit on the chair in their livingroom. He knelt down in front of the chair so they were about the same height. "I just wanted too tell you that I thought you did very well today at your session, and I am proud of the progress you have made," he said to her. No matter how she felt, and her restrictions on feeling, he wanted to make sure she knew it had no affect on the fact that he loved her. "And, I enjoyed spending the day with you. Maybe, one day, we can do it again sometime."
He didn't expect her to say anything in return. So, when she did, he was surprised. "Okay," she whispered, after all she didn't have a bad day, she thought it could be okay if it happened again. He was pleasantly surprised."Potty," she then said. He moved out of the way, enabling her to get to the bathroom.
Yes, it was a good day indeed for Wesley at that point in time. He couldn't imagine something happening that could take that away. Then he heard the knock on the door. Assuming it was one of his friends dropping by for a visit, as they often did, he swung the door open with a smile, which faded right away. He was very wrong. The good day had taken a turn for the worst. "Father," he gasped upon seeing him standing on the other side of the door.
A/N: Up next, Wesley and his father talk, and Roger finds out about and meets his granddaughter for the first time. In the mean time please review.