Disclaimer: I own nothing except my imagination and collection of Buffy DVDS.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except my imagination and collection of Buffy DVDS.
Chapter One: Happiness.
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
The words spoken by Albus Dumbledore, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, always held a special place in my heart. One of the reasons for that was because it seemed that the words could have easily been wrote for me, trying to urge me to switch on the light. Only now, a year and a half later after confessing my love for Angel, did I realise how inspirational those words had been to me.
Ever since Angel and I had joined together as one, life seemed to have brightened fiercely. I was no longer a lonely woman, fighting the horrors of her past, with no one there to understand me. I had found my best friend and soul mate in one, banishing away all the loneliness and horror that had consumed most of my life. And then, three months after we had declared the bond of our love, I fell pregnant. I still remembered how I was scared when I first saw the little pink plus sign. I sat down with Angel that night and told him straight out. Seeing the love shine blindingly in his eyes, the fear instantly disappeared. I realised, after everything that had happened with Spike, Angel was my second chance to actually have the family I had always dreamed of but yet never been able to reach.
My nine months of pregnancy had been a magical time. I had lost out on so much with my first pregnancy, barely even getting to come to terms that I was having a child, that this pregnancy had been all new and adventurous to me. Before I had even had my second scan to determine the sex of the baby, I firmly told Angel that we were having a girl. We started discussing names and the best way to decorate the nursery. Willow happily gave us a few of Sky's things from her newborn baby days – to which Angel and I were thankful for. Even though I had missed out on Willow's pregnancy, she seemed to be claiming the experience back through mine. Mom was obviously overwhelmed with joy, however was deeply saddened when I told her I was moving out to go live with Angel so we could be a properly family. But she still continued to stick by my side like the amazing Mother she was.
When our second scan date finally arrived, I stuck out my tongue at Angel when the doctor told us that we were having a daughter. With the gender of the baby confirmed for definite, and not just through my 'Mommy's intuition' as Angel called it, we were ready to get started on welcoming our daughter into the world. Cordelia took me clothes shopping, as I knew she would, and had me buying almost three hundred dollars worth of clothes in one shop alone. Willow and Xander accompanied me when I went to buy the cot and all the other appliances that needed to be fixed together – which was where Xander came into it as the building was all his expertise.
Eventually, nine months later, I was blessed with a tiny baby girl on the seventeenth of February. Holding her in my arms was an indescribable feeling. This time I had succeeded in my responsibility to protect my child. And, even though I still loved my first child who had been sadly lost along the way, I knew that life was complete…
'Angel, your daughter is crying,' I mumbled into my pillow.
Evelyn Willow O'Conner, our six month old daughter, enjoyed waking us up in a tsunami of tears every morning through the baby monitor situated besides our bed. Evelyn was a Daddy's girl all over, which was why on this early morning I ordered Angel to go and attend to our daughter. Though, as I should have known, he was a man and would do the complete opposite of what he was told.
I glanced out of the corner of my eye to find Angel deeply asleep, his mouth slightly agape with a hint of drool pooling the corners of his mouth. I smirked at the sleeping form of my soul mate. Knowing that I would be unable to penetrate his sleep, I threw the covers off me and rolled out of bed. Grabbing my dressing gown that was hung over one of the bed posts, I shuffled out of the room.
The hallway was now littered with pictures of Evelyn. My favourite was the first picture we had ever taken of her where her tiny thumb was stuck in her mouth whilst she slept peacefully. As I continued to walk down the hallway towards Evelyn's room, the pictures became more recent. The closest one to her door was one that had been snapped earlier this month when she first sat up without Angel or me assisting her.
I pushed open the door.
Evelyn lay in her cot, her legs lifted in the air, as the cries continued to erupt from her tiny mouth.
I was by the cots side in mere seconds and had swept her up in my arms before she could even blink. As soon as I held her tightly against my chest, the crying silenced. I felt her small fingers wrap around one on my blonde curls, twisting it between her fingers as she babbled happily in delight.
I pressed a kiss to the blonde tuft of hair on her hair. Her hair was one of the limited features she had inherited from me. She had Angels' deep, brown eyes, which I was pleased about, and his pale skin, along with the structure of his jaw. From me she had inherited my blonde hair, my nose and my attitude – according to everyone else. It was true - Evelyn Willow O'Conner was the most beautiful girl on the whole planet.
'You hungry, baby?' I asked.
Evelyn replied in a loud babble of sounds.
I laughed and took it as a yes. Hitching her on my hip, I stalked out of the room and made my way downstairs.
'What would Evelyn like for breakfast?' I said, entering the kitchen.
I had ready many baby books throughout my pregnancy. I had learnt that talking to your child like an adult helped her to recognize certain words and the sound of your voice, to wait until your child responded in some way before making a decision – like breakfast for example, and to identify objects with her in a slow and clear voice so she would learn them. I wanted to be the best Mother I could possibly be.
I placed her in her high chair, fastening her in so she wouldn't fall out, and headed over to the fruit bowl that was set in the centre of the kitchen table. Evelyn's favourite food at the moment was banana pieces in milk. Angel wrinkled his nose every time he saw her eating it – he didn't like bananas, unlike Evelyn whose favourite fruit it was at the moment.
Evelyn clapped her hands together in enthusiasm, as she always did when she wanted me to know when she was happy.
I set to work on her breakfast, listening as she mumbled quietly behind me.
As I threw the banana peel in the bin and began cutting it up into pieces, I heard the distant sound of footsteps padding across the floor upstairs. I guessed that Angel was up. Seen as it was a weekend, he usually stayed in bed much longer than Evelyn or I. Most weekdays he had to be up rather early to get to work on time, even though his Father owned the company and I was pretty sure Mr O'Conner wouldn't mind if he was an hour or two late. Nevertheless, Angel was never one to slack off.
I dropped the cut up pieces of banana into a My Little Pony bowl and headed over to the fridge, noticing Evelyn's big brown eyes follow my every move. I knew she was aware that her breakfast was coming because of the concentration she was watching me with. I poured some milk into the bowl, allowing the banana pieces to float to the top, before grabbing a spoon and heading over to Evelyn's high chair.
'Now, who's hungry?' I smiled.
Evelyn let out a beautiful shriek of delight. It was a sound that I cherished.
I grabbed a chair that surrounded the breakfast island and spun it in one swift motion so it was facing Evelyn. I took a seat and scooped up one of the slices of banana, carefully directing the spoon towards her mouth. Just as her little lips enclosed the spoon, Angel sauntered into the kitchen.
'Morning, love,' he said, pressing a kiss to my cheek. He turned to Evelyn who was munching on the soggy piece of banana. 'Morning baby girl.'
After she swallowed the remainder of the banana, she leant forward with her arms outstretched. Before I could even blink, Angel had swept Evelyn up in his arms, littering her face with soft kisses. I heard the musical sound of her babyish giggles, instantly brightening up the room. I couldn't contain the heavy grin that plastered my face. Seeing Angel with our daughter, the love gleaming in his eyes and the beautiful giggles that erupted from Evelyn's mouth was enough to have my heart swell to twice its size. I had never been so happy and content in my whole life. I had the family that everyone dreamt of having. A husband who was for certain my soul mate, who loved me and protected me, a beautiful little girl who was a gift from God himself, and friends who stuck by me no matter what crazy situations life threw at me. I couldn't think of a better family than that.
'Are you able to take Eve for a while today?' I asked, looking up at Angel.
He carefully placed Evelyn back in her highchair, strapping her in, placing one last kiss on her forehead before turning back to me. Rising from my seat, I passed him the bowl of soggy bananas and milk, smirking as his nose scrunched up in disgust at the sight, and wandered over to the sink.
'Sure, where are you going?' Angel said, taking my previous seat.
With a flick of the tap, hot water began pouring into the sink.
'I promised to go with Giles, didn't I?'
The confused expression immediately turned into one of understanding and realisation. I held no secrets from Angel, he was aware of everything that went on in my life. After all, my life was his life – we were tied to each other in such a way that one would be unable to exist without the other.
'Are you sure he's ready, Buff?' Angel questioned, concerned.
I quickly turned the tap off and turned my back to Angel, grabbing the sponge. I picked up a plate and began scrubbing at it, letting my mind wander free.
It had been months since Giles had revealed his past secret to me. And, I had to admit, I had been extremely surprised. For the first time in a year, I felt the burning sensation of pain tear at my mended heart – yet this time, it wasn't because of my own pain. As I gazed deeply into Giles' brown orbs, I found the lost little boy staring back at me. It was undeniable that his past was haunting him in the way mine had. And, after he had expressed the most horrifying day of his life, it seemed that the weight of it hadn't escaped. I knew that the only way he could finally move on from his past was to break through his fears and go to the one place he had always avoided.
'It's the only way, Angel. I should know,' I said, placing the plate in the rack to dry.
I heard Angel sigh from behind me. 'I can't imagine what he's been going through. I don't know what I would do if it had been me … and to say that he's never spoken about it until now.'
Even though Willow, Mom and Xander had all known about it, they had each decided that it wasn't their story to tell. Xander, who was able to understand Giles' pain on so many levels, told me that it had been all over the news and that was how they had been aware of everything. Though, he admitted, that ever since that day … no one had dared spoke about it to Giles. Being the first person to actually hear the story escape from his lips, I felt honoured that he had that much faith and trust in me.
'I will give him back his life, even if it is the last thing I do,' I promised.
After cleaning up Evelyn, putting a fresh diaper on her and dressing her up in a beautiful pink and white striped dress with white tights, she was ready to spend the day with her Daddy. Placing her on my hip, I quickly packed her diaper bag with extra dummies, bottles, diapers and everything Angel possibly needed.
'Is Evelyn going to have a fun day with Daddy?' I cooed.
'And Aunty Cordelia,' added Angel as he leant against the doorframe.
Before I had been unaware of how Angel was going to spend the day with his daughter, however now I knew Cordelia would be involved in the day-out there would be definite shopping involved. Angel laughed at my expression.
'She has enough clothes, Angel, make sure that I don't have to buy her a third wardrobe,' I commanded.
At first, we only had one set of drawers for Evelyn's clothes. Obviously, over the course of the weeks, we would buy another set of drawers for new clothes, though, only a month after her birth, Cordelia had thrown those plans straight out of the window. With her constant need to shop and wad of cash in her back pocket from her decent job at the firm, Cordelia took it upon herself to get Evelyn about three new outfits every time she went out. We had no other choice but to buy a wardrobe to fit in the many clothes. Along with the clothes that Evelyn received off Willow, Grandma Joyce and Uncle Xander, we had then needed to purchase another wardrobe. Now, whenever Angel spoke to Cordelia or if Cordelia came round, I liked to make it clear that I didn't have any more room in our house for clothes.
'No clothes, I promise.'
I hadn't even noticed Angel stride across the room to stand besides me until his smooth lips pressed against forehead.
The sensational feeling of his lips disappeared quickly as the sound of the door opening issued from downstairs.
Evelyn leant forward, her arms outstretched towards Angel. Angel gracefully took her in his arms, blowing a raspberry on her cheek, whilst I made my way downstairs to greet Cordelia – who I guessed it was judging by the sound of high heels pacing against the hard laminate flooring.
'Buffy, is my brother and my beautiful niece ready?' asked Cordelia, flashing me an impatient look.
'Hello to you too, Cordelia, and yes … they should be coming down in a minute,' I replied.
Like I predicted, Angel waltzed down the stairs a few moments later with Evelyn strapped in her car seat, a pacifier now firmly in her mouth, with the diaper bag slung over his shoulder. He winked at me as he walked over to where Cordelia and I were stood in the hallway. Cordelia, being the loving Aunt she was, began to fuss over Evelyn – even complimenting her outfit! Which, trust me, was a first.
'Come on, Cordy, we better go now,' Angel said.
Cordelia straightened up, running her fingers through Evelyn's tuft of hair one more time, and turned to Angel.
'My car or yours?'
'Might as well take yours, Buffy can take mine,' answered Angel.
Cordelia nodded. She outstretched her arm and happily took the car seat from Angel, saying her goodbyes to me she exited the room. Angel turned to me and wrapped his arms around my waist, resting his chin upon my head. It was times like these that I adored; when we would just stay mutely in each others embraces for as long as we could, letting the bond of our love fill the silence. He pressed a kiss to my head, then my forehead, pressing another at the tip of my nose, before resting his lips upon mine. Feeling slightly playful, I sunk my top teeth into Angel's bottom lip. He leapt back with a shriek, sounding quite like the type of annoying girls you saw in horror movies. I smirked at him, before walking over and pressing a quick kiss to his lips.
'Have a nice day,' I said.
With that, I all but nearly threw him out of the door. Watching through the window as they drove off in Cordelia's red Mercedes convertible, I hoped that Angel would remind his sister of the limited space we had for clothes at the moment.
I swivelled back around on the balls of my heels and let my eyes fall upon the clock resting on the mantelpiece.
'Shit,' I muttered.
It was eleven o'clock. I was supposed to pick up Giles at half eleven.
I looked down at my stripy, kind of childish, pyjamas and gulped. Instantly I ran towards the stairs, almost falling on my arse as my socks slipped slightly on the laminate floor.
I sped up the stairs, deciding to just throw on an outfit that would disgust a fashion-lover like Cordelia. As I entered mine and Angel's room, I heard my cell phone vibrate loudly on the bedside cabinet. I dived onto my bed, reaching out to grab my phone. I flicked it open and noticed the unread message from Cordelia flash across my screen. Hoping that there was nothing wrong with Evelyn, I opened the message.
I rolled my eyes.
'Wear your white summer dress. C x'
Trust Cordelia to know half of my outfits off by heart.
3,000 words! This is how long I am hoping to do every chapter. Anyway, this is just setting the scene kind of – showing you the happy lifestyle in which Buffy and Angel live with their daughter … before I go and ruin it for them haha. Give it three, maybe four or five, chapters until the action kicks in! Also, the name of Buffy and Angel's child is dedicated to Silverspoon - whose daughter is also called Evelyn! Anyway, I hope you like this and aren't disappointed! Lots of love, Beth x