A/N : Thanx so much for all the awesome reviews:-) Now, a small jump forward in time to get us to this final, fairly short chapter, and thats it - The End! Hope you like:-)
(For disclaimer, etc. - see chapter 1)
"Mr and Mrs Harris, you have a beautiful baby boy" said the nurse as she handed the child to his mother.
"Oh my God" Anya gasped, breathing unevenly from the exertion of giving birth, and yet smiling widely at the sight of her own child.
"Hey there, junior" Xander smiled down on his son, "Ahn, I love you so much" he assured his wife then, kissing her temple.
Right now Xander Harris was sure he was the proudest man alive. Just as soon as he could bear to be parted from his wife and child, he pelted down the hospital corridor and burst into the waiting room where his friends all sat together; Buffy and Spike, Willow and Tara, Giles and the no longer possessed Doris, all holding onto the hands of their loved ones, jumping violently when the door suddenly flew open and Xander appeared.
"It's a boy! I have a boy! A son!" the young man gasped delightedly as his friends gathered around him, shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.
"Is Anya okay?" Buffy checked, hoping all had gone well.
"She's great, wonderful" Xander grinned, looking decidedly like he had a hanger in his mouth right now, "They're both perfect" he told them, with tears of joy glistening in his eyes, "I should get back to them, I... I'm a father!" he said joyously like he'd only just realised it, before running back down the hall towards Anya's room, sliding so much in his hurry that he almost fell on his butt twice before he even got to the door!
"I think he's a little over-excited" Willow laughed, and the others joined in.
"I should say so, yes" Giles agreed, "I would think it is a most excellent feeling" he mused, a hint of regret in his voice at the realisation he would likely never experience it.
"It's a bloody good feeling" Spike nodded in agreement, "Best in the world"
"Speaking of" Buffy said, looking up at him from under his arm where he was holding her close to him, "We should call Annie. She'll want to know about the baby"
Spike agreed, glad that it was dark out as he and Buffy headed outside in order to use his cell phone and call his daughter. She still lived with himself and Buffy most of the time but made regular visits to LA to visit Connor, just as he in turn came to stay at Revello Drive quite often.
This particular weekend, Annie, as they were all learning to call her, had gone to visit with Angel's crew, but since Anya's due date had been Friday, she made her Dad promise before she left that he would call the moment the baby came.
"Hey Dad" she answered on her own phone, having seen his name flash up.
"Hello, luv" he smiled as he did every time she called him that, so terribly proud to be not only a father in general, but a father to such an incredible young woman, "You havin' a nice time with Connor and Uncle Peaches?" he asked her.
"I heard that!" Angel snapped in the background, his finely tuned hearing picking up both ends of the conversation with ease.
"You were meant to, you old git" Spike yelled back, laughing into his response.
"Dad!" Annie reprimanded him lightly, as Buffy slapped him across the arm, giving him a warning look.
"When are you girls gonna learn, me and Angel have an understandin'. 'S a bit of fun is all" Spike assured them both, "Anyway, pet, had a reason for calling"
"Oh, is it Anya?" Annie asked excitedly, "Did the baby come?"
"Yes, sweetheart, the baby came" Spike told her, "Harris' have got themselves a son, all happy and healthy as far as we know"
"That's so great" the raven-haired girl enthused, "I'm so happy for them!"
"Want me to send your congratulations, luv?" he checked, and she was bouncing up and down on the spot as she told him that yes, she really did, plus Connor sent his best wishes too.
A few moments later when the pair said bye for now, Annie turned to Connor and threw her arms around him, hugging him tight.
"It's so wonderful" she said joyously, "I can't wait to see the baby"
"It is great" Connor agreed as he hugged her back.
When she finally stopped bouncing and they looked at each other, the strangest feeling passed between them. All their lives they'd known each other, grown up together, closer than any two people could be. Though they remained the best of friends, closer than most family members might be, things were different here in this world. They had seen a different way of life, they'd seen what love could be, love between men and women, those that would be both his parents and hers.
Out of the rags they wore as demon hunters in the hell dimension, they saw each other differently too. Over the weeks and months that had passed, they'd realised what they truly meant to each other, how they could be together in this new way.
"Connor" Annie breathed, "Do you... do you want to kiss me?" she asked shyly.
Uncertain as to whether she was offering him the chance or just trying to make out his thoughts, Connor didn't know what answer to give for the best. With no verbal response coming to mind, he went on instinct alone, something he had done all his life, though this particular manoeuvre was new to the both of them.
As he pressed his lips to hers, it felt to Annie like an electric bolt shot through her whole being, and all at once a hundred emotions pulsed through her. The thrill of fighting felt good, the wonder of finding her family again back in this world was amazing, but this was another feeling altogether. She wondered briefly if this was how Willow and Tara felt when they performed spells, pure magic pulsing through their veins, and then suddenly the moment was over.
"Wow" she gasped as air rushed back into her body.
"Yeah, definitely" Connor agreed with her less than literate reaction.
He had never felt anything like that either, and suddenly it was as if the world was different, as if he was different and Annie too, all in a good way, but definitely different.
"We could maybe do that again sometime" Annie suggested, feeling ridiculously shy suddenly.
"Yeah, we could do that" Connor agreed, also wondering why he suddenly didn't feel quite so comfortable as he usually did around the girl he had grown up in the company of.
They both plucked up the courage to meet each others eyes at last and that was all it took. Eyes met, and lips followed, as they enjoyed the new activity they had discovered together.
Nothing felt better.
"Should they be doing that" Angel whispered to Cordelia from their place on the balcony, watching Connor and Annaliese.
"Oh come on, Angel" she rolled her eyes, "It's not like they're really related" she reminded him, "And they're not exactly kids anymore"
"I guess not" the vampire sighed, as he looked down upon his teenage son and smiled, before turning to Cordelia, "Y'know maybe he has the right idea" he told her.
"Really?" she asked, hopefully, not really expecting this conversation to lead where she wanted it to.
Though the ex-cheerleader had always been full of herself, and not at all shy about telling anyone what she thought or felt, things were different here with Angel. Oh, he still got the sharp side of her tongue when necessary, she was not at all afraid to tell him when she thought he was wrong, or acting stupid, but when it came to their relationship, that she would not venture too many opinions on. It wasn't fair to push him, not the way things stood. They couldn't be together in the true physical sense, the temptation just wasn't worth the risk, but if they just had some kind of contact, if he could just admit he felt something…
"Cordelia" he said softly, and her name had never sounded so sweet and he stepped in closer to her and whispered against her lips, "I love you" he admitted as he finally kissed her.
It was all she'd wanted for so long now.
Finally, everything was perfect.
"Everything's working out pretty perfectly" Buffy smiled as she and Spike headed back into the hospital, his arm around her shoulders, and hers around his waist.
"Not looking so bad from where I'm standing, luv" he agreed, "Who'd've thought, eh? You and me, a daughter, friends and all"
"Would've seemed pretty crazy a couple of years ago, when I had you tied to a chair for Thanksgiving" she remembered with a smirk.
"You ever feel like getting kinky like that again, Slayer, you feel free" he smirked back at her.
"Eeew, Spike" her expression was a picture as she batted him across the arm with her hand, "Sometimes you are so gross"
"But you love me anyway" he said confidently, as he spun her around suddenly and pinned her to the wall by the waiting area where their friends were.
"I really do" she agreed, as they kissed each other hungrily right there in the hallway.
Life, and unlife, were good right now, and whatever else the world chose to throw at them in the future, Buffy and Spike would deal. They had each other, plus family and friends on their side.
No power in the verse could stop them.