Rating: PG for off-color words
Pairings: B/A, C/Gr, Fr/Gu, Li/We
Feedback: Please. Constructive criticism is always welcomed and appreciated.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with BtVS and AtS. (Characters from the shows are borrowed with no infringement intent whatsoever.)
Distribution: Please ask and let me know where it's going.
Summary: Baby Connor has a new guardian angel.
A/N1: Seasons 1 through 5 of BtVS happened with the exclusion of Dawn (I assumed that Buffy still jumped to her death) and AtS happened up through 'Dad' in Season 3 with some changes to show Buffy's presence. After this the story takes off with a mind of its own.
A/N2: I left out the idea of Buffy having to claw her way out of her own grave; that was just too traumatic for me.
A/N3: I also smudged the time line a little regarding baby Connor.
A/N4: Thoughts are in single quotes ('').
From above Buffy watched the happenings in Sunnydale and Los Angeles so she knew about what had happened between Angel and Darla and Darla's pregnancy. She was happy for Angel and she could just see the look on his face when he found out. She knew that he never thought he would have children; she would just prefer not to see Darla as the child's mother. 'That's selfish of me, I know,' she thought to herself; 'it's just that I wanted to be the mother of Angel's children.'
Her mother had cautioned her several times to let go of the life that she left behind and enjoy her current existence. "It can be quite pleasurable, Buffy, if you give it a chance. There is no limit to what you can do here, there are so many of your relatives here who are anxious to see you and your cousin Celia wants to come and visit when you're ready."
Buffy's reply was always the same, "I know, Mom, I just need a little more time to get adjusted."
She gave a deep sigh as she watched her friends in Sunnydale; out of the corner of her eye she saw someone approaching. "Buffy, you need to come with me, you're being paged," the messenger said when she reached Buffy.
She was surprised; this was the first time since she arrived that she had been paged by someone other than her mother. "Must be the welcoming committee," she chuckled.
"I don't think so," the messenger told her; "the page came from the Power that's in charge of earth's slayers."
Buffy followed the messenger quietly; she didn't know what to expect from the head slayer herself. She entered the chamber she was directed to by the messenger and found herself facing not one of the Powers but a panel of seven. The Power in the middle spoke. "Welcome, Buffy, we are happy that you are here."
"We have an assignment for you, if you're interested. It involves helping one of our future warriors."
"I'm interested in helping earth's warriors in any way that I can." Buffy made what to her was the obvious assumption that her assistance would be from her current location. She certainly did not want to return to the hell that had been her life before she died. As she was soon to find out, things were not quite so simple.
"We want you to assist a future warrior that has not yet been born. He already has powerful enemies who seek to do him harm, including his own mother."
The speaker waved her hand and a window appeared before them. "Behold."
Buffy saw and heard a very pregnant Darla speaking to a group of beings dressed in red hooded robes; she could not tell whether or not the beings were human.
"Well, can you do it," Darla demanded; "can you get this thing out of me?"
After conferring among themselves, the leader spoke. "What you ask cannot be done. It cannot be done by anyone on earth. You must leave here at once and not return." With that the beings disappeared.
"Just great," Darla complained as she waddled out of the room; "I am running out of options here."
"She wants to abort Angel's baby?" Buffy asked as if the very idea of killing Angel's child was the most incredibly stupid thing she had ever heard.
"Yes," the seventh Power spoke for the first time, "and we want you to convince her otherwise. In addition to that, one of the child's parents' old enemies, Daniel Holtz, has bartered with death and time to come forth two hundred years to exact revenge. We want you to stop him as well."
"How much time do I have?" Buffy asked.
"The child will be born in less than a month and his father's enemy will take him to a hell dimension if you don't stop him. Are you still willing to take this assignment?"
"Absolutely." Buffy was never more sure of anything.
The Powers continued to detail Buffy's assignment and to provide her with the options available to her. However, according to them, her friends, who were not aware of what was going on in LA, had planned to attempt resurrecting her some time after the baby was due to be born. Since the Powers could not just send her back to earth, if it was necessary for her to return, they would have to allow Buffy's friends to think that they had succeeded.
This meant that Buffy had to convince Darla not to abort her baby and change the mind of a man hell bent on revenge or she would have to return to earth.
The Powers made sure that Buffy knew what was ahead of her. If she could not convince Darla and Holtz to change their plans concerning Angel's child while she was still in the upper realms and it was necessary for her to return to earth, then she would have to remain on earth and live out her life as a mortal. She would still have her slayer and angelic powers and she would still be the baby's guardian if she returned; however her angelic powers could only be used if needed to protect the child.
"No problem," Buffy said aloud, but to herself she thought, 'Oh, boy!'
Buffy outlined her plan to her mother who thought the plan was sound. One of her concerns was that Buffy had to have her timing down exactly in order to save the baby from Holtz; time in the upper realms moved quite differently from time on earth and Buffy could not afford to make a mistake. Joyce was also concerned about Buffy herself, about the impact on her daughter should she have to return to earth. She knew that Buffy was still in love with Angel, she just didn't know how he would take her return, whether or not he was still in love with Buffy.
From her perch in the higher realms, Buffy followed Darla's actions closely and she was appalled at the extent to which Darla was willing to go to get rid of her baby. 'She is actually trying to kill the baby.'
She followed Darla and saw her as she approached a shaman's tent; a few minutes later she heard Darla tell the shaman, "Yeah, yeah, like I haven't heard that before. I guess there is only one thing left to do. I'll cut the damned thing out of me myself if I have to."
Buffy was standing outside waiting for Darla when she left the shaman. "Hello, Darla."
Darla was too shocked to speak, but she recovered quickly, "You! Slayer! Angelus killed me to save you; well he's not here to save you now."
All of the frustrations and anger of the past eight plus months overcame Darla as she vamped out and went after Buffy. She passed through the apparition and crashed into a tree. As she struggled to get up from the ground she asked, "What are you?"
Buffy gave a little smirk but did not answer her; instead she proceeded to tell Darla that she had to stop trying to kill the baby she was carrying because he was destined to be important to the world.
"Go to Angel; he will help you and the baby."
Darla was finally able to stand up. "I thought about it, but Angelus hates me; he tried to burn me alive the last time I was in LA."
"Angel is not a monster, Darla, you drove him to that; you know you did."
Angry now, Darla fired back, "I know that, so what? I just don't think he'll help me after all I did to him this time; plus, I've tried to kill his baby."
"You know better than that, Darla. All he has to do is see you pregnant, he'll know that the baby is his and there is no way he will not protect you; he would give his life fighting for you and his child."
"I tried to kill you, slayer; why are you helping me?"
"The child that you carry is destined to save the world. He will be a champion for the Powers That Be; there is no way for you to destroy him, the Powers will not allow it. So stop trying."
"But how can I give birth to him? What can I do?"
"You'll figure it out." Buffy smiled briefly as she disappeared.
End of chapter 1