A/N: Thanks to Imzadi, for reviewing the last chapter. Everyone else, feel free to do the same. And now, after way too long, is the end of the story.
Harmony's very important task of nail filing was interrupted when she had something interesting to watch right in front of her; Sarai and Spike bringing Bret into the lobby. "Don't think of running!" the teenager warned.
"I wasn't," Bret answered.
"What's going on?" Harmony asked.
"We're being detectives, and damn good ones," Sarai explained.
"Do you want to call Fred, or should I?" Spike inquired to the teenager.
Just then, Angel stepped out of his office to see what all the noise was. "Who's calling Fred and why?" he asked.
"I solved the case, dad!" Sarai exclaimed as an answer, as if he was suppose to get it right away.
"Huh?" the vampire sighed. "What'd you do now?"
"You know," she scoffed, "I go out of my way to crack this guy, using excessive force to do something nice for people, and you go all broody as if it was the time I told you I charged eight-hundred dollars to your credit card. I am offended by this," she continued to rant.
"Which you still never even expressed remorse over," he reminded her. "Or returned anything you bought."
"You're petty today, aren't you?"
"Wait," Bret cut in, "is this your father?" he guess to Sarai.
"Yes, hence why I called him dad, genius" she answered.
"Your daughter assaulted me!" Bret told Angel. "She punched me in the face, and kicked me in the ass. You're lucky I'm not pressing charges. The blonde guy, too."
"You did?" Angel questioned.
"First of all, it was a slap," she clarified, "and secondly, it was done with good reason. This guy, is the one who's claiming to be Sophia's father, and he's lying about it, he was put up to it. That's really why he's not pressing charges, cause then his scam story will be known to cops."
"In that case, good work, and also," Angel finished his statement by slapping Bret once himself.
"This is a very violent group you've offended," Harmony added from her desk.
"I can tell," Bret replied. "Roger did not warn me about this," he then mumbled.
"That's cause Wyndam-Pryces suck," Sarai informed him, "except for Sophia of course."
"If you hate Wesley so much, why are you doing this?" the man wondered.
"Because, I have good reasons to hate him. I just don't want other people without good reasons doing so. And, I like Fred and Sophia," she explained. "Also, I'm bored and there's nothing good on TV. And, you're evil so you don't get to question me!"
"Do Wes and Fred know yet?" Angel asked.
"Nopie, I'm about to call them," she replied.
Following through, Sarai called them and within ten minutes they were back at the offices and in Wes' office. "What's going on?" Fred asked when Sarai entered the office.
"Someone needs to talk to you," she answered. She left the room, shoved Bret in as hard as she could, causing him to fall on the floor, and shut the door.
"What are you doing here?" Fred asked. Wes just sneered in his direction.
"We need to talk," Bret answered.
"Unless you're about to say you realized you were wrong coming here and are about to leave, without Sophia, we have nothing to discuss," Wes informed him.
"I am," he replied, using his real accent. "I've been lying to you. I'm not her father... I was put up to this."
Fred was confused. Wes got it right away, without a need for him to continue further. "Where is he?" Wes questioned, his anger rising.
"I don't know at the moment." With that, Bret found himself slammed up against a wall, with Wesley's hands around his throat.
"Oh my god!" Fred exclaimed.
"I'm being honest!" Bret swore.
"You haven't been honest since you set foot in here!" the other British man replied.
"I am now," Bret choked out. "Why would I lie when I've been found out?"
Wes loosened his grip, but not completely to make sure he didn't run.
"Found out by who? One of you clue me in!" Fred demanded.
"I was sent here to pretend to be Sophia's father. Your friends... the teenager and the blonde man, they came to my hotel, knowing everything. They interrogated me and everything."
"Sarai and Spike?" the couple questioned at the same time. "How'd they find out?" Fred went on to ask.
"From what they said on the way over here, some lawyer friend of yours figured it out."
They both naturally assumed it was Gunn. He was getting a very good birthday gift from them that year.
"It wasn't anything personal. I just doing what I was told. And I am so-"
"Don't," Wes cut off. "Don't apologize as if that makes everything alright. We know the truth now, and there is no more use for you. Get out of here before I stop feeling generous. And if you clue him in on the fact that we know, you'll see what happens when I'm really angery," he finished, giving Bret's throat one final squeeze, causing Fred to wince a little. She didn't let him when he was violent and angry other than in battle with a demon, but in this case, she made an exception. However confused she still was.
Bret ran out of the room. Fred sighed. "So we're not going to lose her," she declared, relieved.
"I told you we wouldn't."
"But I still don't get it. Who made him do it? Who would want Sophia away from us? Who would want to do that to us."
"Not us," he corrected, "me." Fred still looked puzzled. "Come on Fred, you're smarter than this. Think," he added. She got it.
"Oh," she gasped. "I-"
"Don't," he cut off. "Don't say anything."
Before either could speak, Fred's cellphone went off. "Hello?" she answered.
"Fred," Lindsey said on the other end, "you might want to get over here," he finished, seriously.
A million horrible mother-thoughts raced through her mind. "Oh god, what happened? Is Sophia okay?" she panicked, causing Wes to have the same thoughts.
"No, well yes, but no. Don't worry, she's not hurt or having a problem." The lawyer paused to look over at the two sick little girls on the sofa. And then the sight of Darla on her hands and knees cleaning up puke. Honestly, the second image kind of amused him. "Anyway," he went back to the conversation, "apparently Blair and Sophia have incredible stealth and eating powers because they managed to eat an entire box of cookies in the minute we took our eyes off them to answer a question Angel called us with about a Grinish demon. Needless to say, they're not well children at the moment, throwing-up included," he explained. "Really this is all Angel's fault," the lawyer couldn't help but add in a mutter. How the two managed their cookie escapade would forever remain a mystery.
"Oh, my poor baby," Fred sighed. "I'll be there soon." They hung up.
"What's wrong?" Wes asked immediately.
"Fever? Chills?..." he cut off, paranoid.
"Vomiting, from sneaking off to eat with Blair, from what I understand, was an ungodly amount of cookies," she explained.
"Oh," he sighed sympathetically. "You should go see her." He wanted to go to, but he had another issue to deal with.
"Are you sure?" Fred asked. "I mean, believe me, I want to go up there, but..."
"I wanted to do this alone anyway," he cut off.
"Just want exactly are you going to do?"
He kissed her. "When you go upstairs, tell Sophia I said to feel better," he responded, actively avoiding what he was asked. Fred didn't want to press further. He was getting the dangerous look he once had for a year, back on his face.
"Fred," he called to her as she left the room. She turned around. "Since she's sick... that's enough, right? I mean, we won't have to... punish her or anything, later, for eating the cookies, will we? I think throwing ups enough." The dangerous look briefly turned to soft, and, borderline pathetic. Fred said nothing. She did, however, giggle, and then walked away.
Once alone, Wes sat at his desk and put his above-average-intelligence-mind to work. More thoughts flowed through his head that he could count. Some violent, some weren't. They all involved seeking revenge on the same man. The thoughts stopped at once as, what seemed like the perfect answer, came to him in one shot. All that was left to do was put it in motion.
Playing clueless, Wesley called his father and invited him back to the office, sounding like the perfect polite son. It made him sick, even though it was just an act. When Roger entered the office, Wesley became extremely close to throwing his plan out the window, and simply killing the man. But, he managed to restrain himself. "What is that about, boy?" Roger questioned.
"Bret," his son replied, glaring at him intensely.
"Who?" he played it off.
"Don't you dare try and act like your little plan doesn't-didn't- exist," Wes warned. "I know you hired him."
"With good reason."
That comment caused his son to leap up from his chair, enraged. "Good reason? You actually think you have a good reason to attempt to take my child away from me?!"
"Oh, for God sakes, Wesley..."
"If you even think of saying she's not my child, I will kill you," he promised. "Just like how I am yours. So, you see, father I am having trouble understanding where you're coming from, now more than ever. I would do anything, anything, to make sure no one hurt Sophia. I can't even imagine ever thinking of doing it myself. So would you care to enlighten me?"
"Are we really suppose to have a discussion about our feelings?" Roger replied, defiantly.
"No, no, not at all we don't have to," Wes replied, before giving him an almost Angelus-like smirk. "We can talk about the future. Namely, yours."
"And just what do you think you can do to me?"
"I know I could kill you, if I wanted. And, honestly, father, I thought about it. But you see, I'm not letting you off that easily. Instead, I'll let you return to your empty home in England."
"Oh yes, it's vacant at the moment. Despite how you may see me, your wife never shared that view, did she? Mom was appalled when I phoned her to inform her of what you tried to do." He left out the part that she was appalled, after ten minutes of yelling at him for not telling her about Sophia to begin with.
"Think, do you really think she'd ever leave me? She'd be homeless, and pennyless."
"Think, do you really think I'm not rich enough to change that? However, I decided it would be more appropriate to have the Wolfram and Hart London division to make sure the house eventually transfers to her, and her alone, and she gets all, and I mean all, the assets you two have acquired over the years." he countered. Roger's face fell. "Oh, and don't think that you'll have a job to help with the empty bank account and homelessness. I actually have more connections to the New Watchers Council than you do. While I am not friendly Buffy Summers or Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenberg is a rather good friend of mine. She was just as appalled as mom was, if not more so, and has made sure you're banned for the rest of your life."
To say Roger was stunned, was an understatement. "Y-y-you've..." he tried to speak.
"Taken away everything that's brought joy to your mostly miserable life? Exactly," Wes finished, leaving out the karma-is-a-bitch part, as he was pretty sure he got that point across. "We have nothing more to discuss," he added, before walking out of his own off, and away from his father.
He took a moment to take in what had just happened. The life-long battle with his father was finally done with and he won. He felt... accomplished, complete. However, it lasted shortly as his attention quickly refocused back to sick Sophia. He called Fred to tell her he was done, and to come down so they could take her home. Knowing in Fred-time he had at least a ten minute wait, he decided to go talk to Angel.
"You busy?" he asked, entering his friend's office.
Angel pointed to the phone he was on. "Yes that's right, a dozen Get-Well Soon Balloons made out to Blair Angel." Angel, like Wes, chose to treat the sickness as if it wasn't self-induced. "Hold on," Angel put the phone down for a sec, "you want in on this?" he then asked Wes.
"Yeah," he decided. "Do they have teddy bears too?"
"Good idea!" Angel agreed. "And another dozen for a Sophia Wyndam-Pryce, plus a teddy bear each, if you have," Angel went back to the phone conversation. After giving the each delivery address he hung up. "They'll be delivered anytime within the next three hours."
"You know, I probably should apologize, I'd put money on Blair being the instigator in that little mission. Well, actually, I'd put money on Sarai, but she was with me at the time."
Wes sat down and waved a hand dismissivly. "Please, they're kids. Don't apologize."
"Speaking of kids, and fathers..."
"Sarai told you wants been going on?"
"I got a full re-enactment of everything I missed from her and Spike," Angel clarified, rubbing his head at the memory of the two of them running around the office doing said re-enactment, or at least their version of it.
"Ah. Well, I'll tell you the ending quieter. I spoke with my father, and took away his home, wife, money, job, ect ."
"You didn't kill him?" Angel didn't mean to question that out loud, especially not as surprised as it came out.
"No. No shots were fired this time. I thought about it though."
"I don't blame you."
"Honestly, I just want to forget about it. It's over. And, more importantly, I can stop worrying that Sophia could be taken away," he explained, "now I can just go back to the everyday worrying," was then added in a mutter.
"Yeah, well, don't think that will ever be over."
"Believe me, I don't. Although, I really do believe that as she gets older, she'll improve."
Angel snorted, "yeah, but when she's older the boys will then be factored in," the vampire griped, referring to the cause of his near heart attacks; despite that it doesn't beat.
To say his British friend was horrified, would be a massive understatement. "I'm sorry, the WHAT?!" he freaked. That awful thought never entered his mind until that moment.
"You heard me. And don't think your weapons collection can stop it. It can't," Angel spoke from a lot of experience.
"N-n-not even a flame thrower?" Wes had to inquire.
Well, then it was settled. Sophia simply would not be allowed to age past five. Logically, he knew it was not possible, but a guy could dream, right? "Boys," he sighed bitterly.
"And mini skirts," Angel added.
"STOP!" Wes yelled at his friend. His mind could not take another terrible thought. The sound of Fred talking to Cordelia in the hallway, caught his ear. "Well, I'm leaving for the night."
When he approached the three girls in the hallway, he acknowledged the youngest first. "Feeling any better?" he asked, kneeling down to Sophia's height.
"No," the child replied sadly.
"I'm sorry. Don't worry, we'll be home soon and then you can rest in your own bed."
"And you and Fred can plan the wedding," Cordelia added, interrupting the conversation.
"What?" he questioned, as Fred shook her head, slightly amused and in awe of the forthrightness Cordelia was born with.
"Oh, yeah, Fred was telling me all about your little phobia, and I added it to the list of reasons why you're a dork, and then I decided that you two are officially engaged," the seer explained. Wes looked over at Fred, who shrugged in response. "Oh, and don't worry, I'll help pick out the ring," Cordy added. Suddenly, he felt sorry for his Visa card.
"Do I get any say in any of these plans?" he questioned, letting them know he was on board with this plan.
"Best man, and tux," Fred told him. "And don't you dare let Spike and/or Doyle throw anything resembling a bachelor party. No matter how much they beg." Her now-fiancee was going to reply, but they were distracted by a moan from below. "Oh, baby, we're sorry we got carried away talking," she quickly said to her daughter, "we're taking you home right now."
"And I am off to visit Angel. Knowing him he's probably ordering Blair a get well wreath or something," Cordy said.
Fred laughed. "He's such a pushover."
"Um, right, let's get going," Wes quickly stated, avoiding the new topic, and eye contact with the two women.
The three walked away, and Cordy went to Angel, who was listening in on the hallway conversation. "Doyle's going to be depressed when he hears about the bachelor party rule," he told his girlfriend.
"I know," she grinned evilly. She really had fun torturing the Irishman. However, she had other plans for the Irishvamp. "I had a vision," she told him.
"Really? Of what?"
"It takes place after you're inevitable babying of Blair until she goes to sleep, and it involves you, me, and that large bathtub you own."
"Well if you had a vision of it, it must come true," the vampire smiled.
An hour into being home, Fred heard a knock at the door. "I'll get it," Wes called to her from the bathroom, hurrying up.
"I makes more sense for me to," she logically told him, going to the door. She was face-to-face with a delivery man. When Wes existed the bathroom, Fred was holding the balloons, and a rather large bear. "Care to explain?" she questioned.
"I didn't know the bear was huge," he told her.
"You need to stop playing with Angel," she teased, speaking as if he were a child.
"Aw, even with supervision?" he played along.
"I'll think about it."
"And I'll be taking these," he said, taking the gifts from her and bringing them to Sophia, who was in bed.
"Oh, while you're in there," Fred stopped him for a moment, "talk to her about not eating another entire box of cookies."
"Why me?" He knew it had to be done, he just really hoped Fred would be the one to do it.
"Because you're the one who's most against it, and holding the balloons and bear."
"Oh, I thought it was because you'd feel like a hypocrite lecturing about over eating," he couldn't help but point out. She never confessed it, but that was also a factor in her decision.
Sophia rested uncomfortably in her bed. Her tummy was not being very nice to her, with all its pain. On the bright side, it had been forty-five minutes since she last vomited. Her mind get distracted from the pain with the sight of her father coming in, with gifts. "I brought you some things," he announced to her. The balloons didn't interest her in the slightest bit. Teddy, however, had possibilities. "Here you go," he held it out to her. She was slightly hesitant at touching the object, even though it looked nice. "It's very soft," she was then promised. That's all she needed to hear. The bear was quickly taken, and snuggled.
"Thank you," she said softly.
"Not a problem," he replied, sitting on the edge of the bed. Wes had to smile at the fact that Sophia and the bear turned out to be almost the same size. "We need to have a talk." Sophia was too preoccupied with her new stuffed friend to pay attention. "Sophia." Maybe, the bear should've been given after the talk, he thought. After a few more tries, he finally had her attention again. "Are you still feeling sick?" he then asked. She nodded. "Do you know why that is?" He got no reaction, and had no idea how to take it. "It's because of how many cookies you ate with Blair. Do you ever want to be sick like this again?" he asked, making sure he didn't sound mean at all.
"No," she spoke.
"Then you can't do it again. Okay?"
"Yes," she agreed.
"Good girl." Taking a deep breath, he moved on to the other matter that had to be settled. "And, also, in the future, there will never, ever, be mini skirts and boys. Understand?" he said with utmost seriousness.
Sophia didn't know what the hell her father was talking about that time. However her mother, who had been standing in the doorway the entire time, did. "Seriously, you need to cut back on the time you spend with Angel," Fred said laughing, before turning her attention to Sophia, joining the two on the bed. "Don't pay attention to that part, your dad's just being silly," she told her in a childlike voice.
"Am not," Wes muttered, unintentionally sounding childish.
"So, I see you have a new toy," Fred changed topics, pointing to the bear.
"Yes," Sophia confirmed.
"I like him," Fred stated.
"Her. No boys, remember."
Despite it was over the top, and unnecessary, Fred had to smile at the sudden overprotective father. Not to mention, in an odd way, it made him even more attractive. Sophia was still confused, but wasn't interested enough to attempt to inquire about it. She was also getting tired. It wasn't bedtime, but feeling sick was slowly making her sleepy. It was obvious to her parents when she yawned. "Do you want us to leave so you can sleep?" Fred asked.
"Feel better and sleep well. If you can't sleep, come and find us, okay?" Wes reminded her. She nodded.
"Goodnight," Fred said, blowing her a kiss. After a few months, Sophia thought she might understand what the gesture meant, and she wanted to see if it would work, so she reciprocated, to each of her parents.
Little did she know, her little experiment, helped turn the worst day of their lives, into one of the best ones they'd ever have.
A/N: Hope that was worth the read. Feel free to let me know by reviewing.
And soon enough, the first chapter of the next, and last, Sarai story will be posted. Like, really soon. All I'll say about it is that some of it is based off a certain Angel episode, with Sarai's actions finally having big consequences.