Disclaimer: I don't own. This is for fun only.

Sorry, this is a little short, but I needed to get something done. I'm not entirely happy but this gave me severe writers block. Please let me know what you all think.


Chapter Seventeen

Buffy sat in her bed in the hospital looking down at the tiny bundle in her arms, amazed that she helped create such a beautiful creature. All the pain of labour was forgotten in the moment she set her eyes on her little girl, her tiny face, her little fingers and toes. She had Buffy's nose and chin, while her eyes were the same shape as Angel's. Buffy traced her fingertips across her daughter's tiny features and Buffy marvelled at the sight. The midwife and the nurses had left her alone with Angel and the baby at last. Dawn had left as well to allow them bond with their child. All the medical checks had been done and both mother and baby were perfectly healthy.

"I can't believe we made her," Angel said.

Buffy nodded. "Yeah – I mean I knew she was coming, but it's not the same as her actually being there."

"We should probably name her. We can't call her the baby forever."

"Good point," Buffy said, with a smile.

In the past few months and the lead up to the birth, they had gone through various child names books and failed to decide on a name. The one thing they had agreed on was that their child would have Buffy's surname.

"How about Joan?" she suggested.

Angel shook his head, "No! What about Mary?"

It was Buffy's turn to shake her head now. "Meh!"

"Alice," Angel said,

Buffy smiled. "I really like that. Could we give her Joyce as a middle name?"

"That's a wonderful idea," Angel replied.

They both gazed down at their daughter, Alice Joyce Summers.

An hour later, there was a knock on the door. Dawn and Michael walked in. Buffy laughed as she saw they were loaded down with gifts. Michael was carrying flowers and large envelope, presumably with a card inside, while Dawn was holding a teddy bear and a bag from Mothercare.

"I'm back," Dawn announced, heading over to the bed. "I brought presents."

Buffy rolled his eyes. "You don't say."

Dawn handed the teddy and bag to Angel. She held out her arms. "Come on, let me have a proper look at this little cutie."

"Alice, this is your Aunty Dawn," Buffy said.

Dawn scooped the child carefully from Buffy's grasp. "Aw, you named her at last."

"Congratulations." Michael presented Buffy with the bouquet of flowers and the card.

Buffy put the flowers on the table and opened the card. "Thank you."

Dawn was rocking Alice gently in her arms. "Good choice for a name. Alice is a lovely name."

"We gave her Joyce as a middle name," Angel added.

Buffy could see the tears well in Dawn's eyes and Buffy felt tears prick at the backs of her eyes too. How she wished her mother was here to see her grandchild. Angel reached for her hand and squeezed it. She shook off the feeling. This was supposed to be a happy day after all.

Buffy was exhausted and when a nurse came by to check on her, she insisted she be left alone to sleep. Michael and Dawn were shooed out by the nurse.

"We'll see you tomorrow," Dawn said as they walked out the door.

Angel tried to stifle a yawn.

"You should go home and get some sleep too," Buffy suggested. "Come back in the morning."

"Okay, but if you need anything you let me know."

He turned to leave. He got as far as the door before she called his name. He turned around to look at her.

Buffy smiled at him. "Angel, thank you for everything."

He blushed and she had to stifle a giggle. It was weird to see Angel blush. She was gratefulf for all the support he had given her over the past couple of months. Angel had insisted she have the best people looking after her and it was due to his money she was in a private room. She normally didn't like taking people's money, though as he had pointed out it was his duty to provide for his child. He waved at her before exiting the door and she closed her eyes in an attempt to sleep.

When Buffy woke the following morning, she was still drained as Alice had woken her several times in the night. She checked on Alice and smiled to see her still sleeping peacefully. She climbed back into her bed and closed her eyes. Sleep wouldn't come. After a few minutes of attempting sleep, she heard the door creak and she turned over on the bed to see her father in the doorway with a sheepish expression and bunch of flowers.

"Hi princess. Where's my new grandchild?"

Hank Summers was the last person in the world, except Spike of course, she would have expected to see. Buffy was so taken aback by his appearance that she was unable to form a response and he walked over to the bed and went to look in the cot, where Alice lay sleeping. She felt her anger rise at his unexpected appearance. The last time she spoke to him, in fact the only time she had spoken to him in years, he had only been able to spare her five minutes of his time. She had told him she was having a baby and he had acted as if he was puzzled as to why she was calling him. She had been inconsolable after the call, and now the asshole was acting as he had the right to barge back into her life despite his long absence and his apparent indifference.

Hank gazed at Alice before looking over at Buffy. "She's beautiful."

It was then Buffy finally managed to speak. "How did you find out?"

"Dawn," he replied. "I just knew I had to be here. She called me when you went into labour yesterday and I got the next available flight from Spain."

Buffy fixed him with a glare. "What makes you think I'd want you here?"

Hank froze at her words, the smile on his lips wiped away immediately. Serves him right, she thought.

Buffy continued, "You think you can just walk back into my life and start acting like a father when you feel like it. Giles is more of a father to me than you ever were. You can't imagine what it took me to make the phone call to try and reconnect with you, but you could barely spare me a few minutes."

Hank bowed his head. "I'm sorry, Buffy. I've been really busy. Can we start over, sweetheart?"

Buffy balled her fists angrily. She was on the verge of crying.

She took a deep breath to steady herself. "You were never there for me or Dawn when Mom died. I was barely more than a child myself and I had to look after Dawn and cope with providing for her. I couldn't do it and she went out of control for a while. I'm lucky she didn't go into care."

Hank's eyes were wide with horror.

Buffy knew she should stop but she couldn't. "And as for me, Dad, I was in a really dark place and did some terrible things you could never imagine. I hurt the people that loved me and I wanted the pain to end. Where were you then?"

Hank looked like he had been slapped and Buffy felt satisfaction that the selfish bastard might finally realise how the devastating impact his behaviour had on her life. She knew she was being cruel. All the things she had wanted to say to him over the years were finally coming out.

"You should leave," she said.

Hank shook his head. "Buffy, sweetheart. I am so sorry. I never realised."

He tried to put his hand on her shoulder. She shrunk away from him. He eventually got the message and stepped back from the bed.

A nurse entered the room. "I heard raised voices. Is everything ok in here?"

"Tell him to get out," Buffy told the nurse. "I don't want him here."

"But Buffy-" Hank protested.

The nurse took Hank by the arm. "I think you should leave, sir."

Angel came running in, wearing a concerned expression. "What's going on?"

Taking one look at a tearful Buffy and a shameful Hank, he ushered the man out of the door. When Angel came back inside, he rushed over to her and put his arms around her. She relaxed into his embrace and finally let out the tears that had been threatening to fall. She pulled herself together after a couple of minutes.

"I'm sorry I cried all over you." Buffy wiped her eyes.

Maybe she was being a little hard on Angel after all? She had been keeping him at a distance but that was going to be impossible now that they had a beautiful little baby to look after.

Buffy returned home with Alice and Willow moved in for a week to give her a chance to get settled. Willow encouraged her to gather up all of her and Spike's things and put them into boxes. She knew her friend was right. There was no point clinging to the memory of a broken relationship. She had a child to concentrate on now. Her broken heart would mend in time. She put the photographs, the jewellery and the stuff Spike had left behind into the attic. She held out hope for so long that things between them would be resolved, but she had finally come to terms with the breakup of their relationship. Spike was gone now and she had to deal. Buffy was going to be a single mother and she had to start behaving like an adult. Thinking on the whole situation with Spike now, Buffy knew he had been right. Angel was a part of her life for good now as he was the father of her child. How would Spike have coped with his presence in their lives? He wouldn't have been able to. The moment she had slept with Angel, she had ended their relationship even though she didn't know it at the time. The option of a termination was there of course and if she had done that then neither Angel nor Spike would have had to know. However, she would have known and she couldn't have dealt with that. Besides, there was always the possibility that the fact she slept with Angel could have come out anyway. She thought she was done with being normal when she finally admitted her feelings and hooked up with Spike. Yet, there was still this part of her that craved normal and you don't get more normal than having a family. Spike might think this was about wanting Angel's baby, but it's never been about Angel. Buffy was lucky she had her friends and sister to lean on. She didn't know what she would do without their support. Dawn had given her a lot of her books and a lot of practical advice. Willow was providing her with much needed chocolate and dropping by for girlie nights in with ice cream and movies. Xander had helped build a crib for the baby and decorate the room she was going to make into the nursery. Angel was a little put out when he had found out that Xander was helping her with preparations but graciously accepted it wasn't his house or business. Buffy and Angel had a lot of long talks about their relationship. He was talking about them moving in together somewhere but she wasn't keen. There was a thin line between living together and sleeping together. That confusion was the last thing she wanted to deal with.