Tears For A Fresh Start

Author: Nitrowugs

Rating: PG-13 (I'm not sure.)

Pairings: A/C B/A G/Jo hinted at

Feedback: Please. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with BtVS or AtS. (Characters, plots, and dialogue from the shows are borrowed with no infringement intent whatsoever.)

Distribution: Please ask and let me know where it's going.

Started: 03/08/2010

Completed: 03/11/2010

Summary: Buffy wakes up in the hospital (not in Sunnydale) with amnesia and pregnant; how does she cope? And where is Angel?

A/N: Story starts after the end of IWRY and goes AU after that. I must warn you that this is not always a happy story, but it does end with a positive outlook. Tissue warning for soft hearted readers like myself.

Four and a half hours after she left home the day after Thanksgiving heading for Los Angeles Buffy pulled into her driveway on Revello Drive. "Well that was a big waste of time," she thought to herself as she unlocked the door. I don't know what I expected to accomplish in LA, but it wasn't for Angel and me to agree that the best thing for both of us to do was to forget. How can I forget all that he means to me, all of the love that we shared?

For the next few days Buffy was distracted. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she was sure that she was missing something, some piece of information that she should remember but didn't. One night while on patrol she tracked two demons into Bayville, the next town west of Sunnydale. Instead of concentrating on the task at hand her mind kept wandering back to the same thought – 'what is it that I'm trying to remember?'

She stumbled and almost fell just as she was attacked by a hoard of demons and found herself fighting for her life. Fortunately an off-duty police officer heard the noise and came to her rescue just as she was knocked unconscious by one of her attackers. He drew his weapon and fired shots at the attackers until they fled. Without waiting for an ambulance he carried an unconscious Buffy to his car and rushed her to the nearest hospital which happened to be Bayville General.

Buffy was unconscious until later that day and since she carried no identification Bayville police did not know who she was and so listed her as Jane Doe. When she woke up in the hospital, Buffy discovered two important facts, one she had amnesia and two she was pregnant. Since she didn't know who she was, of course she didn't know who the father of her unborn child was.

The policeman who had rescued Buffy, Officer Donald Morgan, and his wife, Susan, who was a nurse at Bayville General, took a liking to Buffy and when she was released from the hospital they offered her the second floor apartment in their home in Bayville. Buffy, who had chosen the name Jane Donovan, was overjoyed. She went home with Don and Sue Morgan and soon was like a member of the family. At first Jane (Buffy) tried taking odd jobs against the Morgan's wishes but she had to stop working as her pregnancy progressed.

Jane found it almost impossible to find suitable maternity clothes for herself and because of her small frame the average clothes that she found were too big and unattractive on her. One day while waiting in her doctor's office she struck up a conversation with one of the other expectant mothers. She complemented the woman on her attractive attire and asked where she bought her clothes. The woman explained that she and her husband had their own online business selling high end clothing for men and women and that their supplier wanted them to branch out into another line of sales. Because they had all of the volume that they could handle they were looking for someone who was interested in starting their own online business selling maternity and baby clothes. Jane was immediately interested. After getting as much information as she could before the woman was called in to see the doctor, they made an appointment to meet with the woman's husband for lunch to discuss further details about the business.

That evening Jane explained the business opportunity to Don and Sue. Don asked her not to commit to anything until he got back to her. He had his attorney research the couple and their business and found them to be reputable people and well known in Bayville society. He and Sue loaned Jane the money she needed to start her online business and helped her convert her third bedroom into a well equipped office from which she would run her business.

In the meantime in Los Angeles Angel and Cordelia had entered into a relationship. It had started out as friendship and gradually grew into something more, perhaps because they were both lonely since each had lost someone important. Cordelia had lost Doyle and Angel had lost Buffy. Cordelia had not realized how deeply her affections went for Doyle until he was not around anymore and Angel knew that he would never be able to have a complete relationship with Buffy as long as the curse on his soul held. He truly cared for Cordelia, but he knew that he was in no danger of losing his soul with her.

In Sunnydale Faith had come out of her coma and Giles had convinced the Watchers' Council to give her another chance. The Council agreed and Faith was now the slayer on the Hellmouth. Giles did not tell the Council that Buffy was missing and he never gave up hope that she would return. It did not make sense that she could leave for patrol one night and just disappear without a trace. He, Willow and Xander had checked with everyone that they knew and all of the Sunnydale cemeteries; they had gone to Sunnydale Hospital, the police department and, as a last resort, the morgue. Nothing. After six months they were no closer to finding Buffy than they had been the day that she disappeared.

Buffy's online business took off like she could not have expected even in her wildest dreams and at the rate that the sales were coming in, she expected to net over one hundred thousand dollars by the time her baby was born. The real beauty of the online business was that she was not responsible for stocking inventory. She had contracted with a company that would direct traffic to her web site where shoppers would then be directed to various sites depending upon what they were interested in purchasing. She concentrated her business on special sizes and styles of maternity and baby clothes. Of course, she was one of her own repeat customers.

Four months after Buffy visited him at Thanksgiving Angel asked Cordelia to marry him. After a brief two-month engagement they were married in a small but beautiful ceremony in the ballroom of the Hyperion surrounded by their closest friends. Wesley and Lorne were skeptical about the couple, but wisely kept their thoughts between the two of them.

When Jane was seven months pregnant she started seeing images of herself and a man she did not recognize. The images were extremely vivid and they frightened her at first. Her doctor told her that she might be getting her memory back. Jane knew this was not the case because she did not recognize the man or the places that she saw in the images. When she was eight months pregnant Jane bumped her head getting into Sue's car when Sue was taking her to a doctor's appointment. Jane was dizzy in the car during the drive to the doctor's office, but by the end of the appointment her complete memory, excluding the missing day, had been restored.

The first thing Buffy did when she got home was to call Giles. She needed to know how she was pregnant. Her due date timed perfectly with her getting pregnant the day after Thanksgiving when she visited Angel, but that wasn't possible, she wasn't in LA more than a few minutes. She asked Giles not to say anything to her friends and her mother about her; she wanted to contact them when she was ready. Giles disagreed with her decision but he decided to abide by her wishes.

Next Buffy called Angel. She needed to tell him what had happened to her and to ask him some questions about the day of her visit. To her surprise Angel was not thrilled to hear from her.

A/N: I know that his reaction to Buffy's call seems out of character for Angel, but just go with, it is necessary for the story to work.

"Angel, hi, um, I need to talk to you. I need to ask…"

"There is nothing else for us to talk about, Buffy. Whatever we had is over. I am getting on with my life and so should you."

"Angel, please, you don't understand, I…"

"No, you don't understand; it's over. Don't contact me again. Goodbye, Buffy."

The next thing Buffy heard was the dial tone when Angel hung up the phone. She stood there with the receiver in her hand trying to understand why he had been so harsh when he spoke to her.

When she told Giles about Angel's behavior, he informed her that Angel and Cordelia had been married for about two months. Buffy was devastated. Sue urged her not to let it upset her too much; she did not want it to have a negative impact on the baby.

Buffy met with her mother, Willow, Xander, Anya, Giles, and Tara at her mother's house on Revello Drive. Everyone was happy that she was alive and well and had her memory back. There were mixed reactions to her pregnancy and, except for Tara, none of them were good, but she took them in stride, defended her decision to keep her baby even if she wasn't sure who its father was and returned to her home in Bayville much to her mother's displeasure.

When they heard Buffy enter the house Don and Sue went up to her apartment to see how things had gone with her family and friends. They found her in tears. She told them about her family's reaction and about the phone call to Angel. Don and Sue rallied around her; they told her that they would take care of her and her baby until she was back on her feet. Buffy was so happy to have them and their support; they had been wonderful to her ever since she woke up in the hospital with no memory.

Joseph Donovan Summers was born on

August 23, 2000 at 10:23 a.m. and once Buffy took a look at him she knew right away that he was Angel's son. She didn't know how it happened, but she had living proof that it was a fact.

After time as Joseph grew his mother's family and friends to varying degrees came to accept him and love him as the wonderful lovable child that he was. Don and Sue, who had no children of their own, could not have loved Buffy and Joseph more if they had indeed been their own children.

Angel and Cordelia both soon realized their mistake and agreed that their love for each other was more friends and family love than the romantic everlasting kind of love; less than a year after they were married they agreed to divorce but remain friends.

A few months after their divorce Cordelia noticed how miserable Angel was and she knew the reason. At first she didn't say anything about it. After another couple of weeks she couldn't stand his brooding any longer; she suggested that he go to Buffy and beg for her forgiveness.

Angel's first reaction was "After the way I talked to her the last time, I'm sure she doesn't want to ever hear from me again." He eventually gave in and called Sunnydale. He got nowhere fast. He started looking for Buffy but was unsuccessful. Because they knew how he had treated her when she called him, Buffy's friends and family in Sunnydale would not tell him anything.

Angel would not give up. He searched for Buffy for years. One of the reasons that he could not find her was because Buffy was still using the name Jane Donovan.

Eight years after his divorce from Cordelia, Angel was granted his humanity. After all this time he still dedicated his life to helping others and after all this time he still searched. And sometimes, in the wee hours before dawn, when he was alone with his thoughts, he allowed himself the luxury of remembering, remembering what it had been like to love and to be loved. He remembered a kiss in sunlight, gentle caresses and whispered words of love. And he wept, bitter tears, for he knew he would never have those things again, with the one person in the world who could make his life complete. Buffy Summers.

He had never been able to fall in love again.

And neither had Buffy.

She dedicated her life to her son, her family and friends and her business. That was enough. It would have to be enough. But it wasn't. Sometimes, late at night when Joseph was asleep, when she was caught up on her business related activities, when she was alone with her thoughts, she allowed herself the luxury of remembering, remembering what it had been like to love and to be loved. She remembered sweet passionate kisses, gentle caresses and whispered words of love. And she wept, bitter tears, for she knew she would never have those things again, with the one person in the world who could make her life complete. Angel.

Buffy and Joseph were so happy where they were that they did not want to move into a house of their own so they remained in the second floor apartment with the Morgans.

Officer Morgan was injured during a shootout while on duty at work and was forced to retire early. When Buffy found out that medical bills were putting a strain on their finances, she stepped in and was able to pay off their house and all of his medical bills thanks to the success of her online business.

On her dressing table Buffy kept a copy of her prom picture where she was dancing with Angel. When Joseph first noticed it, she explained that Angel had been her date for her senior prom and let it go at that. When he got older and asked more and more questions about his father, Buffy had to tell him the complete story, including how they broke up and her last conversation with him. Joseph knew that Angel was his father and was certain that one day he would be able to confront him.

Joseph grew up to be a fine young man and graduated from high school at 17 with a full scholarship to college. His goal was to become an agent with the FBI. Everyone was so proud of him, especially Don and Susan; they thought of him as their own grandson.

Buffy and Joseph decided to celebrate his graduation from high school at Joyce's house in Sunnydale instead of at their home in Bayville. Family and friends were gathered in Joyce's living room when the doorbell rang; Faith answered the door and without knowing that he was not welcome, she let Angel in.

All hell broke loose when he walked into the living room. He stopped short - in the middle of the living room was Buffy sitting in a chair with a young man who looked like a young version of himself standing next to her.

Angel rushed to Buffy. "Thank god you're alive; I have looked everywhere for you, where have you been?"

Recognizing Angel right away from photos he had seen, Joseph stepped between Angel and Buffy and demanded, "Get away from her."

Angel stopped. "Buffy, who is this?" he asked.

"This is my son. Joseph."

Reeling from hearing that Buffy had a son Angel naturally asked, "Who is his father?"

Buffy didn't answer but her eyes filled with tears.

Angel quickly stepped around Joseph and kneeled in front of Buffy. "Baby what is it? Is his father dead?"

"Take a close look at him Angel."

"Buffy, what…" Angel stood and looked at Joseph; it was as though he had lost his sense of speech.

"I have a…you're my son?" Angel stammered. He couldn't believe it. He had a son with Buffy. The overwhelming joy that he felt was dashed like a stake through the heart when Joseph answered him.

"You may have impregnated my mother, but I am not, I could never be, your son," he said through clenched teeth with cold hatred in his eyes and a sneer on his face that even Angelus would envy. Buffy placed her hand on his wrist to halt his words. He looked at her, his entire body language softened immediately, love, pride and admiration clearly visible on his face; he raised her hand to his lips. "Forgive me, mother; I meant no disrespect to you."

To relieve the tension in the room Joyce asked everyone to come into the dining room and be seated since dinner was ready. She added another place at the table for Angel but made sure it was as far as possible away from Buffy and Joseph.

Joyce pulled Angel aside and asked him to wait until after the party was over before approaching Buffy again. Angel agreed. He did not want to disrupt his son's graduation party. Dinner went smoothly with no additional outbursts from Joseph. He received a ton of gifts accompanied by kisses from the ladies, hugs from everyone (except Angel) and congratulations from all present. Most of the guests left soon after dinner; Joyce and Giles excused themselves so that they could clean up the dining room and kitchen. This left Buffy, Joseph and Angel alone in the living room.

Buffy spoke first. "Angel why did you come here? Why were you looking for me?"

"I have been looking for you for years and I couldn't find you. No one in Sunnydale would tell me anything. I knew that you couldn't be dead because I would have known, in my soul I would have known.

"…and I would be dust," he added quietly.

"And why would that be? The last time I spoke with you, you told me not to contact you again and you hung up in my face. It isn't likely that I am going to ever forget that." Buffy spoke quietly, her voice was firm and steady. It did not betray the turmoil that she felt inside. Angel was here, only a few feet away from her; but why? What did he want and where was Cordelia, his wife?

"I was wrong, Buffy, gods I was so wrong. The feelings that I had for Cordelia weren't true love. They were born out of loneliness and despair because I couldn't be with you; I have never stopped, I could never stop loving you. She and I both realized that and we were divorced less than a year after we got married. She was the one that suggested that I go to you and beg for your forgiveness." Again he got down on his knees in front of her. "I'm begging you, Buffy. I love you; please give me another chance to prove myself to you and to get to know my son."

Before she could answer Joseph interrupted with, "You bastard; you think that you can come here after more than eighteen years and expect her to take you back? Do you know how many nights I lay in bed listening to my mother cry herself to sleep because of you? She didn't know that I heard, but I did and there was nothing I could do to ease her pain. You nearly destroyed her. As for getting to know me, I told you, I am not and could never be your son and I am in no way interested in getting to know you. Go back to wherever you've been all these years and leave my mother and me alone. If you ever come near us again, I will kill you."

"Joseph, don't. Please."

"I'm sorry, mother, but I will not let him hurt you again."

Angel stood and faced his son. "Joseph, you have every reason to hate me; if I was in your shoes, I would hate me too. I would hate anyone who hurt my mother. I am not only begging your mother, I am begging you, too; please don't send me away. Please give me a chance. I love your mother so very much and I love you, too. I want to spend the rest of my life making up to the two of you for all of the pain that I caused you both. Please let me try."

Tears ran down Angel's face as he pleaded with his son. Joseph tried to keep up the hard exterior that he presented, but he could feel himself weakening as he looked at his father and when he looked at his mother and saw tears streaming down her face as well, he crumbled. He threw himself into his mother's arms and wept. "I'm sorry, mother; I didn't mean to hurt you. I never want to make you cry."

"Neither do I, Buffy; I never want to make you cry or ever cause you pain again."

Buffy still held her son in her arms as she said, "I have never stopped loving you, Angel, but it's been a long time, I don't know if I can ever trust you again."

Her heart broke when she looked up into Angel's face. She held onto her son with her right arm and opened her left arm for Angel. He went to her, to them, enclosing the two of them in his arms and together the three of them cried tears of gratitude, tears of forgiveness and tears of hope and promise for a future together as a family.

The end.