Sorry how long this took. I just had a lot of difficulty writing it.
"It was so gross" Buffy lamented softly while she gently rocked Connor in her arms. "I never, ever want to see ground up demon again."
"I was so scared, Angel," Buffy whispered into the phone, "And I feel so awful about Dawn. She thinks I don't care about her anymore because of Connor. What do I do?"
"Spend time with her. Let her know she's loved. But don't push it. She needs time."
"I gave her time," Buffy countered, "You know what happened? We all got trapped in our own house."
Angel sighed. "Ask Willow to watch Connor sometime soon and spend the day with Dawn. Just… do sister things."
Buffy laughed. "And what exactly might that be?"
"I'm a centuries old man, Buffy. I have no idea." They talked for a little while longer, only stopping when Buffy's long day finally caught up with her and she started to yawn loudly into the phone.
"Happy birthday, Buffy," he said softly, "Now go to sleep."
"Okay," she mumbled sleepily, "I love you."
"I love you, too. Goodnight."
Buffy was home alone with Connor. The others had gone to see a movie, but Buffy had decided she'd rather spend some alone time with her son. He was sleeping, cradled in her arms, when there was a knock on the door. Gently shifting Connor to one arm, Buffy stood and looked through the window.
Riley. Riley was back, and standing on her porch. She stepped back from the window, thinking. 'I could pretend I'm not here' she thought. Unfortunately, Connor chose just that moment to start wailing loudly. Sighing, Buffy gently bounced him while she went to the door. "Hush," she whispered to the boy, grabbing the knob and pulling it open. "You're welcome to come in," she said to an obviously shocked Riley, "but I won't be able to talk until I get him settled.
"You have a baby," he said dumbly.
"I do," she replied, "Are you coming in?" He nodded and went inside, closing the door behind him. Buffy left to warm up a bottle for Connor, then joined Riley in the living room where he had perched on the couch.
"So," she said, sitting on the coffee table and situation Connor with his bottle, "You came back."
"Yeah, um, you have a baby," he said again, still slightly shocked.
"His name's Connor," Buffy told him, smiling down at the baby.
"He's beautiful," Riley said, offering her a small smile.
"Thanks," she replied, shifting her focus back to him, "Why are you here? You just took off, didn't write, didn't call… It doesn't make sense that you'd just show up."
He at least had the decency to look abashed. "I'm sorry," he whispered, "I know that was pretty scummy of me."
"Got that right," she muttered under her breath, looking down at Connor. They were both quiet after that, until Riley finally spoke.
"I need your help," he said quietly. He explained the situation, and Buffy agreed.
Riley and Sam were getting ready to leave. They'd called in for their ride and gathered their things, and were just waiting for the call.
"Buffy," Riley said after pulling her into a quiet corner, "I was thinking, and the timeline, it adds up and… Connor's not mine, is he? I wouldn't ask but you haven't mentioned—"
"No, he's not," she replied, gently shaking her head.
Riley looked outright relieved. "Then can I ask who."
"I'm sorry," she said, "but no. If I told you it would compromise his safety; I just can't do that."
He smiled. "I understand."
Buffy was the first one to leave the wedding. Xander and Anya were happily enjoying dancing and opening their gifts, and told her that it was perfectly alright for her to leave take Connor home. Spike had walked her to her door then, citing 'things to do', turned and walked away. Buffy went inside and put Connor to bed, then crawled into her own.
Her phone rang an hour later.
"You need to get out of the house," Angel said the moment she mumbled a hello, "Get Connor and leave. He's coming."
"Who's coming?" she asked, mind still clouded from sleep.
"The man who wants to hurt Conor." Buffy was fully awake in an instant. "I'm on my way, too, but he had at least a 30 minute head start."
"I'm getting," Buffy told him, hurrying to collect Conor's things, "I love you."
"I love you both," he whispered, "So much."
She'd decided to walk. She needed to get to Spike's crypt ( 'Of all the nights to decide to not stay over...') and walking was a good twenty minutes faster than driving.
She hadn't counted on Holtz having already arrived.
"Ms. Summers," he said coldly, slowly stepping into the alley that he and his (human) workers had managed to corner her in, "We meet at last."
"Didn't know you were so eager," she quipped. He didn't laugh.
"You have something I want."
She kept quiet, trying to stare him down. Finally, the said quietly, "I won't let you hurt my son."
"I'm not going to hurt him, Ms. Summers," he said, feigning surprise, "I'm going to take him."
"No," she insisted, shaking her head, "I won't let you."
"You have no choice." He stepped to the side and swept his arm out, gesturing behind himself. Buffy gasped. Angel was there, being held by two people while a third held a stake to his chest. It was obvious the moment that the moment he saw Buffy and Connor he intended to change that.
Then they both heard the click.
Holtz had a handgun aimed at Buffy. "I know you're fast, Ms. Summers," he droned, "but, as limited experience as I have with this newer weaponry, I do believe it's faster."
Time froze; Buffy and Angel locked eyes. 'There's nothing we can do.' They were just about to give in when a body dropped from the rooftop, a loud CRACK echoed through the alley, and both Holtz and Spike fell to the ground.
It didn't take much effort after that. The action had shocked Holtz's people, and Angel had been able to dispatch them easily.
Spike woke up three days later. They'd taken him back to Buffy's house where they knew he would be safe until he could take care of himself. "I really hope I never have to do that again," he mumbled, hands pressed to his head, "this headache is killing me."
Buffy and Angel were hiding in her room, Connor tucked between them on the bed. "It'll blow over," Angel assured her, "They'll accept it." Not ten minutes earlier the couple had revealed the exact nature of their relationship, which had resulted in the expected yelling.
"I know," she griped, "That doesn't mean that I like that it's happening." Angel smiled and leaned over to kiss her. "We'll be okay," he said confidently.
Buffy returned the kiss eagerly, a happy smile on her face. "I know."
That's it, folks. Thanks for bearing with me. I really appreciate you all.
I may do a sequel at some point, but I've got other fics I like to write first.
Again, thanks for all the love and support.