Disclaimer: The Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon. Not me. Which is why none of my second generation madness will ever be canon. I think someone aught to point out to him exactly how awesome it would be to let that next generation happen; the potential would be limitless.

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Have you ever pondered your existence? I have. Whenever things get quiet, like in those moments before I fall asleep, it's all I can think about. Every person has thousands upon thousands of ancestors. They exist today because every single one of those thousands survived long enough to build the next generation. If one, just one of them had made a fatal misstep anywhere before that crucial juncture, that person would never have existed. If they had met someone else, had different children, who knows what would that would have changed? Every individual you meet, then, is a statistical miracle. Despite overwhelming odds against them, in play eons before they were even born, here they are. And that's just the average person.

Me? Not so average. The thought frightens me far more than it makes me feel special, so don't think me pretentious. I've got those thousands of ancestors like anyone else, but the impossibilities didn't start piling up quite so high until my parents came along.

My mother has been in mortal peril almost nonstop since she was my age. She even died, not once, but twice, and managed to come back—or was dragged back. No matter what the world threw at her, she not only survived it, but she did so only after ensuring the survival of others. Do I seem impossible yet? That's not even the half of it.

My father, well, for starters, should have crumbled into dust in his grave over a hundred years before my mother was even born. Funny thing, though, about living in a world where the paranormal is all too normal; instead of living out the rest of his miserable life in the taverns of Galway, my father was killed. Killed to make way for the most sadistically cunning vampire the world would likely ever see. How many lives might have existed today if it hadn't been for that monster with my father's face? Surely they would be numberless. And that's not even considering the residual effects of the other demons he made.

Lucky me, my dreams tend to consist of little other than theatrical clips of his gruesome past. No, I don't sleep well most of the time. You might find it odd that after all those dreams, I can look into his face and not cringe or shy away. My father was not the cause of any of those things, and I have always seen the polar distinction between the good, noble man who loves my mother with all of his being, and is the most amazing dad Liam and I could ever have asked for—and the monster who gleefully destroyed any life he could touch. I'm glad I've only seen the demon in my nightmares, and that I can have the immeasurable comfort when I wake that he's gone forever.

But I've digressed. After a century and a half, my father's existence took yet another turn. His soul, the soul of that useless layabout from Ireland, was yanked back from wherever it had been, and chained to the demon that had taken his body lifetimes before. Even now, strong vestiges remain of the guilt that then crippled him; drove him to the rat-infested alleys for decades. Is it really a wonder that, if left alone for longer than a few moments, his brow furrows, head bows, and shoulders hunch under the horrible weight of it all? Hardly.

After almost another full century with nothing but that crushing weight for company, eating away at him like some monstrous psychological parasite, one of the demons working for our side showed him my mother. I ask him to tell me that story so often, I could probably repeat it, word-for-word, the way he tells it. She was the first beautiful beam of sunlight to shine on his world of darkness. Without even realizing it at first, she began to heal his wounds. She gave him a reason. Suddenly it seemed a reasonable price to pay to have borne his guilt for a century so he could be there to touch her life. He knew he wasn't good enough for her. He was the very thing she was chosen, of every other girl in the world, to destroy, after all. The mere idea of the two of them together was depressingly laughable. But she thought otherwise.

From the moment of their first actual meeting, even if we leave out what quickly developed between them, he began to affect her life, and the lives of those around her. I fingered the necklace I wore; the one I'd worn every day since they gave it to me—the one he gave her that day. It saved her, and she lived on to save others. Others who would carry on beside her—others who, after surviving countless more perils of their own, would eventually become the parents of my dearest friends: Daniel and Tara Osbourne, and Jesse Harris.

My parents weren't to have an easy time of it, though. If it was anything remotely resembling easy to begin with. The chains binding my father's soul to his body had a weak link, which my mother inadvertently broke. Once more, the demon was free, not to mention resentful and desperate to make up for his century of dormancy. After doing irreparable damage to those touching my mother's life, he was finally re-shackled to my father's soul. Too late, though, to spare him from what his demon had brought forth. Completing the cause of a long downward spiral for my mother, she sent him to hell to save the world. And there he may well have remained for eternity, but it was not so.

I haven't asked him to tell me what it was like there. Not that I have to. I have seen it, heard it, almost felt it many times over in my nightmares. I've never told him about any of those dreams. He doesn't need to feel guilty that I have to remember all of it too. Sometimes I think he knows anyway. It's not like I can help it if I wake up screaming, and he hears and comes running. No matter how many times it happens, he always comes running. He never asks what woke me up, he just holds me, and I feel safe again. Even at fifteen, I still feel like a little girl in his arms.

I've gone and digressed again. When he did return to this world, Fate had still not seen fit to smile down on them. As he was, they could never be together. They tried, but even love like theirs wasn't enough. It proved a good choice as far as the world was concerned, for had my father attempted to remain at her side then, he would never have been in Los Angeles to fight the evil there. In those five years of separation, they each found others with whom to share their hearts, but while she destroyed Hellmouths and he the demonic legions of Wolfram & Hart, they never forgot each other.

Finally their moment came. Even when he thought it no longer possible; someone else's reward, my father's mortal life resumed at last. My mother's burden was no longer so heavy to bear; the threat of Hellmouths quelled and two thousand others called to share her destiny meant that a life of her own might at long last be possible.

Everything fell into place after all; every last excruciating and intricate piece of the puzzle. So here I am: Kathy Winifred Gallagher.


Author's Notes: So, now that you've met my existential little wishful thinking creation here, I'll fill in a couple of blanks. Kathy was named after Angel's--or rather, Liam's--sister, who was murdered by Angelus. Her middle name is in honor of Fred. Her last name used to be "Angel", because I personally don't usually like inventing last names for canon characters like Angel, and it actually does work as a last name. Also, I'm a traditionalist, so Summers wouldn't work. But since then, I wrote the third episode of "Season 9", in which I caved and gave Angel the last name of "Gallagher", so there you are. Anyway, Kathy is pretty much a carbon copy of Buffy, except that her hair and eyes are exactly the same color as Angel's. Like with Tara and Daniel, I've done some drawings and photomanipulations of her on my deviant art page. About her nightmares. She's a Slayer like her mom, but since Angel is her father, I thought I'd shake things up and give her nightmares of his past instead of the standard issue prophetic/ancestral Slayer dreams. Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, Daniel and Tara are Willow and Oz's kids, and Jesse is Xander and Renée's son.