Chapter 38 Great High Mountain
A/N: Last chapter! I know it's sad but this is a happy and fun chapter. I'll do my acceptance award speech at the end so you readers can enjoy.
Angel, Buffy, Liam and Isabella cheered as Connor scored a goal. Hockey was exciting to watch. This was Connor's last year playing in the little league the last year he would play with his bother Patrick and cousin Keegan. Next year he could play with Colin who also played hockey too. Their team was winning by two points and the game was ending as long as the defense could hold then the game was theirs. Angel like with Buffy skating really got into these games. Buffy then turned to Angel as Isabella sat in her lap smiling.
"Are we like soccer parents now?" She asked and Angel looked to her smiling and shook her head no.
"One you're hotter than any soccer mom, two Hockey is cooler than soccer and three we don't wear sweaters around our shoulders." Angel explained.
"Oh and we don't drive mini vans." Buffy quickly added and Angel nodded.
"Yes that's true too." Angel then went back to watching the game. Even for the younger kids it was a bit brutal.
"Connor!" Isabella screamed pointing to her older brother. Liam played too but he was just a year too young for this team. Next year he could join and then it'll be Patrick and Liam. Tomorrow the rink would be cleaned and ready for an ice show that Buffy would perform at. It was just something fun nothing to stress about although she was more worried about her outfit. It was a two piece to be exact meaning it showed off her middle. She was a little worried about that. Angel said not to worry because she's back to her normal size when they first met. But a woman is self conscious about those things. It was a pretty skating outfit it just showed off a little more than would like after four children. But for most people she didn't look like she had four children so when she told them they looked shocked.
Every day was never a dull day with the kids around. All four were unique in their own way and it was fun but sometimes it was difficult even though Buffy was veteran at kids by now they still surprise you. It was a typical Saturday afternoon, no school and the kids were home. Later tonight the family would be going out to the estates for dinner. But Tuesday night there would be another dinner a special one. After ten years Joyce and Giles were finally getting married and Tuesday afternoon was the big day. But right now Buffy was on a mission to solve a problem. It helps if Angel was here with the kids but he was at the tavern helping with the new supply of alcohol. Buffy held a dresser knob as she stood in front of her two younger boys plus Keegan was here too so it spelled out disaster.
"How did this get here?" Buffy asked the boys but all three looked at her. "How did this get here?" And Liam shrugged.
"It's from Izzy's room." Liam spoke up but was afraid too.
"Ok but how did it get in this room?" Buffy asked because she was in Patrick's room and all three boys looked up at her.
"Nobody did it." Patrick answered.
"Someone did because I'm holding it." Buffy stated but she knew no one was going fess up. They learned real quick that if they blame each other then no one gets in trouble. Buffy sighed and left the room. Isabella was downstairs with Connor and Buffy heard a huge scream that meant she wasn't happy. She was a diva half the time. Buffy set the knob in Isabella's room and headed downstairs and she was in her coughing fit.
"Don't you dare." Buffy stated and Isabella stopped coughing. To get attention Isabella would cough until she threw up also she drop things preferably something that would make noise to get attention. Buffy learned that when Angel was little he'd do the same thing so she blames him for the vomit. But Buffy also learned how to stop Isabella if she was about to throw up because of a tantrum, "You throw up you wear that dress for the rest of the day." And Isabella stopped and sat there. Buffy looked at her daughter and her daughter looked back up at her and Buffy headed into the kitchen. Cordelia would be by to pick up Keegan soon so that was one less kid. Colin was Cordelia shopping and Keegan didn't want to go so he was here.
Connor came into the kitchen not to talk to his mom but to ask a very important question.
"What's for dinner?" He asked and Buffy shrugged.
"Supper." Buffy answered and Connor sighed.
"What's for supper?"
"The kind you eat." Buffy finished and took out a pie to take over the estate. Connor sighed again and nodded then there was a knock. "It's your aunt let her in." Buffy told her son and he did. Keegan and the other boys came downstairs and Cordelia greeted everyone.
"Thanks Buffy," Cordelia said and Buffy smiled.
"Ok see everyone tonight." Cordelia said and waved to her mob of nephews and her niece. The boys and Isabella waved by to their cousins and then they scattered to the four winds. She was praying Angel would get home soon otherwise she would be getting them ready by herself. She could do it no doubt but Angel was the enforcer sometimes so the job got done faster. Then there was another scream, screaming was like breathing around here. "Share Patrick!" Buffy yelled having an idea what was going on.
"Mommy!" A voice cried and Isabella came crying in. Buffy turned around and scooped up the little princess. "Mommy, mommy."
"What is it?" She asked.
"Pat, Pat," She sniffed and Buffy walked into the living room. It was getting to that magical hour of hungry kids and when kids are hungry and getting cranky it can get ugly. "I peed." Isabella stated and Buffy nodded before she could really assess the situation.
"Of course you did." Buffy then headed upstairs to Isabella's room to change her diaper. Isabella wanted to be out of diapers she even gave a list of reasons why she needed to be out of diapers but it was convenient if mommy changed her plus having to stop what you're doing to use the bathroom well that just took time out the little girl's busy schedule.
Downstairs the three boys were just hanging out with their toy trucks and cars. Connor was sitting on the couch with a book reading it. Buffy came back downstairs and set Isabella down and headed back into the kitchen to finish wrapping the pie and then she'll get the kids ready. Just as she finished wrapping the foil over it she heard the alarm go off indicating that someone was on the property, Angel was back. Isabella came running into the kitchen giggling.
"Daddy's home." She stated and Buffy smiled and she ran back out and then Liam came in.
"Dad's home." He informed his mother.
"I know a million and one people told me." And the little boy left.
Angel was greeted by his kids and he liked it. He loved coming home to four people screaming that they missed him, who wouldn't want to come home to that? While all four kids were telling him about their day and it just a jarble mess he headed into the kitchen where he and Buffy ran right into each other. He cupped her cheeks and kissed her and she giggled.
"You made pie?" He asked and was on the hunt to find it.
"No it's not yours so don't even." Buffy stated.
"I want a banana." Isabella stated as she came in.
"Please?" Buffy asked and she smiled.
"Banana?" She asked and Buffy waited. "Pease?" She asked and Buffy nodded and went to grab one.
"Ok we need to get ready." Buffy stated and Angel nodded as it was time to get the kids dressed and out the door.
Angel was up early he had to get three kids off to school and that was a job in it of itself. As Angel got the coffee going he heard someone coming in and turned around and smiled.
"Morning," He said to Buffy and she smiled as she walked up to him and they kissed. Waking up and getting out of one another's embrace was still hard to do. But for Angel the best part of waking up was still Buffy being right there. Her smile was the first thing he saw in the morning and her beautiful face was the last thing he saw at night, it didn't get much better than that.
"Morning." And she started to pull out cereal bowls knowing the boys would be up soon. Today was going to be long day. Her mother was getting married tonight at the estate. Angel left the kitchen heading upstairs to see who was waking up. As he neared the top Connor was on his way down, he was easy to get ready for anything. Liam was still in that stage where school was fun so Angel saw the light on in his room but Patrick well that was a different story. Angel opened up Patrick's door and it was still dark, he wasn't awake he was like a vampire he liked to sleep during the day and stay up all night. Angel had that phase and once in a while he would fall back into it.
Angel bent over slightly shaking his son he got a moan.
"Alright dude come on school." Angel said but Patrick didn't move. "You're a pain." Angel said smiling and then reached and picked him up, Patrick was dead weight as Angel sat him up and he fell back over. Angel shook his head as he went to pull out some clothes for him. Patrick sat up and got off his bed and took his clothes from Angel and he left Patrick's room.
Buffy was serving breakfast as Angel came back down to help pack the lunches. The boys would be going to school but would get taken home about an hour or two early. The boys tried to talk their way out of not going to school but there was enough time. Patrick finally came downstairs like a zombie, this was a normal routine. Then there was a pitter patter of Isabella making her way down.
"Which one of them doesn't like carrots?" Angel asked as he started to pack their lunches.
"Liam loves carrots, Patrick hates them. Connor likes tomatoes on his salad, Liam doesn't. Patrick doesn't like dairy products," Buffy sighed as she put the milk away. "But I think he likes strawberry milk." Buffy finished and Angel looked at her. "What?" She asked and he smiled.
"Hi," Isabella said as she walked passed her parents and headed to her seat. The boys were eating and Isabella noticed that even though she had a bowl of cereal Connor had a bagel. "I want a bagel." She said as she watched her older brother eat one. Angel heard what Isabella was saying but ignored it as he finished the lunches. "I want a bagel." She got a little louder.
"Izzy," Angel said in a stern voice.
"I want a bagel." She got louder ignoring her father.
"Izzy one more," Angel warned her knowing now it was just for attention but she stopped and went back to her cereal. Isabella was a passionate one, she'll beat you down until she got what she wanted. Angel knew that was a Buffy quality, Buffy would fight for what she wanted and that was one quality that made him fall in love with her. It was a typical morning here. The boys finished their breakfast and grabbed their lunches and headed out to school as Doyle was out front to pick them up. Once the boys left it was just Angel, Buffy and Isabella. Angel would be off to the tavern for a few hours before the wedding and Buffy and Isabella were going with. But first they were going to back tonight's clothes to take with. The boys would be picked up from school later and brought to the tavern and then they would go to the estate for ceremony and reception.
The wedding wasn't going to be a big fuss like Angel and Buffy's wedding. Joyce and Giles were getting married at the house and the party was outside. Connor, Patrick and Liam went to school for most of the day until they had to get ready. Buffy helped Isabella into her dress and she smiled.
"Please don't get this dirty?" Buffy asked and Isabella nodded. Buffy zipped it up and Isabella smiled at the red dress. Buffy stood up smiling and wore a blue dress as she was the Maid of Honor.
"You, you pretty mommy." Isabella said and Buffy smiled.
"Thank you." Buffy replied to the comment and then Angel walked in trying to tie his tie. Buffy sighed and made him stop and started to do it for him.
"Excited?" He asked and Buffy smiled and then tighten the tie. "Thanks."
"Anytime." And Angel kissed her and Isabella giggled.
"You pretty too daddy." The little girl said and Buffy laughed while Angel nodded.
"I'm pretty?" Angel asked and she ran up to him hugging his leg nodding. "Thank you."
"Welcome." She responded and Angel reached down and picked her up. But then she reached for her mom.
"Oh right lipstick." Buffy said and she kissed her daughter. "Show daddy." And Isabella turned to her dad smiling.
"Daddy needs lipstick." Isabella said.
"Dad needs lipstick?" Buffy asked and Isabella nodded Angel kissed Isabella on her cheek and set her down and then the boys came in and Buffy smiled doing the last minute inspection on them.
"I don't like ties." Liam informed his mom.
"You and me both buddy." Angel said as he fixed Connor's jacket. The kids would always say interesting things that made Angel and Buffy laugh all the time.
Everyone sat outside as Joyce and Giles stood before one another about to exchange vows. Buffy and Angel sat next to one another and Buffy couldn't help but smile as her mother told Giles how much she loved him. Then she reached out and grabbed Angel's hand and he squeezed it. They could still remember their wedding day and how perfect it was. Then the bride and groom kissed and everyone clapped.
The reception was like any O'Brien party, food, kids running around, music and laughing.
"Patrick no don't lasso Liam." Angel said as he chased after them before they got hurt. Buffy saw the scene and smiled. Then Isabella was running around and ran to her grandma laughing. Angel came walking over saving the day yet again. His boys were a terror to all, they would descend on something and destroy it kind of like locus. Isabella then spotted her father and indicated to her grandma she wanted and down ran to her dad and he picked her up and she smiled resting her head on his shoulder.
"Someone tired?" Buffy asked as she tucked some hair behind Isabella's ear. "Oh look at that look." Buffy stated, Isabella looked up set. "Want mommy to hold you?" She asked and Isabella turned away. "Oh never mind." Buffy smiled, she wanted her daddy and if she wanted her daddy well she was going to get him and not share with anyone. Angel rocked a little knowing Isabella would perk up in bit once something interesting in her eyes happened. Buffy kissed Isabella's head and she moaned and little and then she kissed Angel and went to hang out with her boys.
The party was slowing down as Angel sat in a chair still holding Isabella, she was trying to explain something to him then a slow song came on.
"Izzy will you let me dance with mommy?" Angel asked and the little girl nodded and then Connor came walking up to his dad. "Watch your sister." Connor nodded and picked Isabella up and Buffy stood there waiting for Angel. He smiled and took her hand but Buffy noticed all three of her boys were wearing their ties wrong, Connor had his tied around his head, Patrick was wearing his around his waist and Liam wore his like a sash.
"What's up with the ties?" Buffy asked as they made their way to the dance floor and Angel looked back and shrugged smiling.
"Fashion statement?" He added and Buffy shook her head knowing Angel probably had something to do with it. Angel spun Buffy and brought her close wrapping one arm around her waist. They swayed slowly together and Buffy spotted her mom and Giles holding one another close and she smiled they both found happiness. When these two danced they very rarely spoke because the closeness, their eyes and their bodies did the talking. Buffy pulled herself closer wrapping both arms around his neck and he held her close sharing a quiet moment between them. It was a wonderful day.
The car ride home was quiet but mom and pops knew that once they get home the kids will wake up a little before going to bed. They pulled up to the house and the kids made their way inside and just like that they perked up a little. The short burst of energy wouldn't last but it would last long enough to bathe and change them. Bed time was always a little hectic.
"No pink." Isabella said as Angel brought out a blue night dress.
"Oh sorry," He said and went to get her the pink one. Angel then started to dry her hair when Isabella had a question.
"Why, why do girls have boobs?" She asked and Angel said nothing as he went to put the night gown over her head. "Daddy I talkin to you." She said as he fixed her hair. "Why I have little boobs?"
"Uh," Angel didn't know how to answer. "How about you ask your mother?" He suggested and she nodded as he set her down on the floor and she went to go ask her question until she saw Liam playing with dinosaurs and that question was forgotten. In another minute it would be time to herd them back to their rooms. It was a crazy day but it was a normal crazy day. Angel was in his room and then Buffy came in shutting the door and sighed and he smiled. She walked over to them and hugged.
One Year Later
Buffy stood on the edge looking out to the landscape and to this day is still took her breath away. She could remember seeing the rolling hills so long ago it felt like a life time. She had never seen anything so beautiful and peaceful until she listen to her heart and went to Ireland chasing after a boy a boy that gave her purpose in life. She could remember standing here with Angel and it was in that moment she fell in love it had to be. Then on the same hilltop she answered the biggest question in her life and yes to marry Angel. And just when you think it's all done they shared their wedding night up here and created not only a new chapter in life together but a little gift came from it. Buffy truly believed Connor was conceived on this hilltop. Many moments and happy memories happened on this hilltop. Just like Patrick and Clair she had a feeling this would be hers and Angel's final resting place but that would be years from now.
As she thought about the memories and the years that have past a pair of arms wrapped around her middle and she smiled. Today was a special day, twelve years of marriage, twelve happy years. Connor was now eleven, Patrick nine, Liam seven and Isabella three, her kids, their kids were growing up too fast. Angel gave her everything she could want in life but most of all he loved her. Angel then kissed her cheek and she smiled.
"Twelve," He said and she nodded and then she turned to face him. His eyes were dancing and hers sparkled, they still had that fire of passion between them. And now standing here before one another it was like they fell in love all over again. Maybe it was the cool air or the purity of the land but when they stand here the world fell in place and they felt so close. This place was covered in life and if Buffy never followed her heart so long ago she wouldn't have been a part of it. They found each other, something brought them together and they fit like two puzzle pieces. Their journey was far from over but the future was only bright for them, they were still young. And then to see their kids growing up to see them happy and to hear them laugh and to share that together it was something they would never give up and were always thankful for. This time of year March, Spring it was so full of life and so beautiful. Angel leaned in and kissed her and like the first time he kissed her on the balcony back in Sunnydale her heart started to race.
Finally the couple made their way back to the estate as a huge lunch was being prepared for their anniversary. Their four kids were running around the property as the table inside was being set up. The kids followed their parents inside as the table was going to be a fest. Angel grabbed Isabella and set her in a chair as everyone took their seats and like before every meal in this place they prayed and then dug in.
After everyone ate Angel got up to get his gift to her and she smiled as it was hidden in the back. Angel was traditional person and came back with the gift. Each year had a different meaning and twelve linen and silk the flowers were peony and then if he got gems or stones it would be Jade and opal. He came out with a bouquet of peonies and Buffy smiled as people clapped. Isabella smiled at the pink flowers and then Angel handed her a box that was wrapped. She opened the box and instead of it being filled package wrapping it was filled with jade and opal stones. Buffy smiled as Angel sat next to her.
"Mommy the flowers are pretty." Isabella said and Buffy nodded. Buffy reached in and pulled out smaller box and opened it. It was a dress a silk one. It was white with a swoop neck. It could be worn as causal or formal depending on how she felt.
"Angel it's beautiful." She said and leaned in and kissed him.
"There's more." He said, of course there was and she had to dig and then found a smaller box which made her heart race. She opened the box and it was a pair of diamond earrings.
"Angel," She couldn't say anything, he always knew how to please her so she just kissed him. Buffy then got up to get her gift and then gave it to him. Angel was excited her gifts were simple but it held meaning that meant so much. He opened the gift it was canvas, Buffy still painted after all these years. It was a painting of them but it was at a distance of them sitting on that hilltop and on the painting it had words. 'Once I stood at the foot of a great high mountain and at the top of this mountain was a beautiful fountain that flows with the water of life. I started climbing upward taking one step at a time. The higher I got the harder I climbed. I'm nearing the top and you oughta see the view. Please climb this mountain with me.'
Angel smiled and kissed her, he loved it. They were still climbing a mountain and they would continue to do so and they would reach the top together. Buffy can see herself watching her kids grow and go off to college and she and Angel would sit and watch the ocean as they grow old together. She smiled as the festivities went on thinking about what if she didn't meet Angel. She might have married Riley and probably would have divorced him too. She wouldn't have become the champion skater she is now, she wouldn't be happy and she wouldn't have these four amazing children. Her life wasn't perfect but she saw pass any imperfections.
They were not the perfect family, there were arguments and fights but at the end of the day everyone would be ok and life moved on. Patrick was right he told Buffy once before he passed away if just loved Angel he would return it and he did. Angel was taught by his father many times to love a woman and you'll be more than surprise what you'll get in return. Angel was teaching that to his boys now as they got older. Angel also taught them and Buffy learned quickly that family was the foundation. Angel taught his children to look around that these are the only brothers and sister you'll ever have and if he or Buffy were not around they would need to take care of one another. Family was always there no matter how bad things got and how far down you fall in the end you had family.
Buffy never had family until she met Angel and this family welcomed her with open arms. That was the first time she felt loved, safety and belonging when she first came to this country and now she was surrounded by it. She now had a family of her own four children who were witty, talkative and funny.
"Every body's Irish." Isabella said as the kids of the table were in a heated discussion about who was Irish and who wasn't. At home the four would have this discussion and Angel and Buffy had some kids who thought they were more Irish than others and some thought they were the only Irish person in the house and the other kids are white. And at this dinner table other kids like Doyle and Cordelia's would join in. It was interesting who was determine Irish and not Irish. Usually it goes down to that Isabella and Buffy are not Irish which isn't true sometimes it was just Cordelia and Buffy who weren't or all three girls. But Isabella considered all her stuffed animals to be Irish.
After the lunch everyone was outside playing, talking and just being normal. Buffy sat in a chair with Isabella on her lap trying to fix her hair. The high ponytail was coming loose.
"Shake it out." Buffy said as she took the tie out. Isabella looked up at her and Buffy shook her head so Isabella could mimic. And then Isabella did and her thick brown hair went all over the place. "You're hair is amazing I wish I had it." Buffy said and started to fix it back up as some of the family members talked. Then Isabella started to make noises and just waving her hand arm around and Cordelia looked over. "She's off in her own little world." Buffy explained as she tied her hair back up. "At any given moment." Buffy finished and Isabella looked up smiling. "Wanna go find dad?" And she nodded.
Angel was tossing a foot ball to the boys along with Colin, Keegan and Doyle.
"Connor go long." Angel said and Connor ran to catch the ball and Colin went to tackle his cousin.
"And he scores the crowds go wild!" Doyle said and clapped. Liam then came charging to his dad and Angel caught him and he laughed as Angel tossed him in the air. Then there was a scream and it was Isabella running to him. Angel set down Liam and Isabella jumped into her dad's arms and he tossed her up in the air and she giggled.
"Again, again!" Isabella asked and Angel tossed her up again. Buffy watched from afar and smiled. Angel put Isabella down and she ran down Liam. Connor and Isabella were close and Liam and Isabella were close. Then Connor came running up to his dad and wrapped his arms around his father's waist. Angel then picked him and tossed him over his shoulder and Patrick came over hugging is father. Angel loved it all of it he loved his kids and was a proud father. Isabella got up laughing and then Liam came back for more and Isabella took him to the floor. She was a strong one. Buffy made her way out to them smiling.
"You should tackle mommy." Liam suggested.
"I should shouldn't I." Angel smiled and from across the way Buffy saw Angel form that mischievous smile and stopped dead in her tracks. Angel set down Connor still smiling.
"Mommy run!" Isabella screamed while giggling and Angel started to walk up to her.
"Angel don't you dare," Buffy warned her husband but he did a laugh a laugh that meant he was up to something. "Angel," She warned but too late she tried to dodge him but he grabbed her and tossed her over his shoulder. "Angel!" She screamed and laughed at the same time. "This isn't funny." Angel laughed as he held Buffy and then pretended to drop her but then cradled her. He leaned in and kissed her and she playfully slapped his arm and then he set her down and then all four kids ran to their parents, it was a very good day.
The kids were finally asleep after a long day. The house was quiet finally and Buffy sat on the edge of the bed and Angel came in and shut the door smiling at her. He still couldn't believe twelve years of marriage but they've been together for fifteen or so. He walked over to her and she looked up at him smiling, they were both tired but that wasn't going to stop the night. Angel knelt down so they were at eye level and she smiled. He cupped one cheek and while they both wanted to speak there was no need to.
Looking back on the day and years ago everything was good. They were not the perfect couple, they had their fights but at the end they loved each other and four kids were proof. Buffy won everything sure the gold medals were amazing but Angel and the kids were the true prizes. Angel leaned in and kissed her and didn't hold back. It was time to re-consummate their vows they exchanged so long ago not in words but in action and touch. Angel pulled her off the bed and into his lap with breaking the kiss. He loved her and found ways to fall in love with her over and over again. He was looking forward to celebrating twenty, thirty, sixty years with her. He stood up hold her and they fell onto their bed still kissing.
Angel held Buffy close as she was still awake but sleep would take her very soon. She then thought about the first night they made love and Angel did promise that they would make more like it. He kept that promise they made more and even better ones. But the first she'll always remember that first night. Angel could remember it too. He was so nervous but as he continued he knew this was the woman. Buffy then propped herself up and Angel looked to her running his fingers through her hair.
"You love me?" She asked a question she asked so long ago.
"Always, I'll love you always." He responded just like he did on their first night together. She leaned in for a kiss and he pulled her close as if his life depended on it and closed his eyes and they held one another close letting whatever was to come happen and in the end they would still be together.
"Love you always," Buffy repeated back to him and she closed her eyes smiling she was still that normal girl falling asleep in the arms of not her boyfriend but her husband the way it should be.
And we're done *sniffs* I can't write anymore they have their happy ending that they deserved. So now I continue to finish one story and rewrite another but this one was so much fun to write. I am planning on making another AU and two ideas are stirring one might be Angel and Buffy meeting in high school and the other is Buffy already having a kid and she comes to town meeting Angel. Have to see where all that goes so stay tuned.
Next I want to thank everyone for the 180 some odd reviews…WOW amazing. And here goes all the thank yous for the ones who review: Angellufy, ba2006, spyagent001, SMGbest, Sarah Giansanti, xxdawnbreakerxx, kelly990999, Sinangeled, meg9766, Boreanaz-Girl1991, TwoBecomeOne, anon, AmyCrown, sarah4ever, Anapeque, BS, and angelsemily. Thank you for everyone who added this story to their favorites list and thank you to anyone I failed to mention. Thank you readers you make writing fun and I'll continue to write as long as I get ideas.
Poem that Buffy put on her picture is a song. Great High Mountain sung by Jack White.
Thanks once again.