Chapter 18 What Might Lie Ahead

A/N: Ambiguous title huh? Yeah means you might want to read the chapter and figure it out. But this chapter asks well not directly asks but it does create questions. Also have an announcement at the end of the chapter. Enjoy.

Buffy was in her room making everything looked ok and then she looked to Dawn who was on her bed wiggling around.

"Big sis is going out tonight, long week at school." Buffy said to Dawn and Dawn waved her arms around smiled which made Buffy smile. Buffy went to her and picked her up. "Do I look ok?" She asked and Dawn made some babbling noises. Buffy then walked to her mirror and then pointed. "Who's that?" Buffy asked and Dawn looked at herself but looked so confused. "Who's that pretty girl?" Dawn kept looking in the mirror and Buffy smiled. Buffy then looked at the mirror looking at herself and then back to Dawn. Dawn waved her arms still looking in the mirror and Buffy sighed thinking. She then went and sat down on the bed with Dawn in her lap. "If you could pick anyone to be your daddy who would it be?" Buffy asked her sister and Dawn looked up at her. "Would you pick Angel?" And Dawn smiled; Buffy wasn't sure how she should interpret that. Buffy then stood back up and headed down stairs with Dawn trying to shake off the thoughts of really raising Dawn as a little sister and more so a daughter that could be Angel's.

Buffy headed into the kitchen where everyone was at and Xander, Fred, Gunn and Angel were ready to go. Buffy then handed Dawn off to Lorne and he was more than happy to take her.

"Ready?" Xander asked and Buffy nodded with a smile they were off to the Bronze. Angel came up to her and she wrapped her arm around his arm and they were off. Lorne and Wes would be researching with Dawn while they were out. Part of it was just to have fun the other part was watching and afterwards they would go patrol and then call it a night.

Nothing occurred at the Bronze except for some old times and then patrolling was normal well as normal as patrolling could get. The gang was back and Lorne was making drinks while Wes was still reading. Dawn was put to bed for the night and everyone was in the kitchen as Lorne poured some drinks. Angel came into the kitchen to help knowing where the good stuff was kept and he took out a bottle of whiskey.

"Be careful dude can't get completely wasted." Gunn warned the vampire as Angel poured some of it in a glass. Lorne passed around the wine glasses and Buffy took one. They began to talk about the day and what was found around here but it wasn't anything new. Maybe the Hell Mouth was losing its touch? Wes found nothing in the books to warn them of any danger as of now. They were sitting around the table talking trying to make sure they didn't get too loud and wake the baby. Angel noticed Buffy was looking at his drink. She's had beer and wine but nothing more.

"You might not like it." Angel said and Buffy shrugged.

"Oh baby doll whiskey can be rough." Lorne added but if Buffy wanted something then she would try it. Angel then handed her the glass and she took it.

"Sip it, no big gulps" Angel told her and she nodded and took a sip. She let the taste take over and it was both strong and had a taste that she wasn't ready for and she coughed. Angel smiled and took the glass rubbing her back. Everyone smiled a little at Buffy's reaction. "Stick to wine for now."

"How do you drink that?" Buffy asked him and he shrugged.

"You acquire it plus been drinking whiskey for two hundred years." Angel answered and Buffy did that look meaning it wasn't for her so she sipped on her wine. Angel downed the last bit and set down the glass meaning he was done for the night although he could probably have more. He had a few beers at the Bronze but he knew how to hold his liquor. But there was a baby in the house so he needed to be alert. The group started to relax which meant bed time was here.

"Well I'm off got be at work in a few hours." Xander said and everyone stood up to see him out safely. Once Xander was gone everyone made their way to wherever they were sleeping. If there was nothing here in Sunnydale then they would leave soon. Dawn was put in her old room so no one would wake her. Gunn and Fred had Joyce's old room and Wes had the guest room while Lorne took the couch. Buffy and Angel checked on Dawn and she was asleep peacefully. Angel walked in further making sure everything was ok and then looked down to the sleep baby. Buffy then leaned against the entrance watching Angel as she leaned over making sure Dawn was covered so she wouldn't get cold. Angel then leaned in and gave Dawn a kiss and then left the room and followed Buffy into hers.

Buffy walked to her dresser and made sure the baby monitor was on so if Dawn needed anything she could hear her. Then when Buffy turned around Angel was literally on top of her and she smiled. Going back to school and slaying took time away from them so he needed something and she wasn't going to say no. Angel pulled her closer and she smiled as he leaned in for a kiss. He pulled away and Buffy reached behind her and took out the clip holding her hair up and Angel liked it when her hair was down. Angel ran his fingers through her hair and Buffy got on her tip toes planting another kiss on his lips.

Angel wrapped his arms around her waist and picked her up and took her to bed. They looked into each other's eyes both smiling. He should have stayed in Sunnydale he thought, maybe she wouldn't have died, and maybe they'd be married now. But sometimes you had to make mistakes to find your path. Angel leaned in for another kiss while taking off his jacket and Buffy pulled away and took off her shirt and then went up unbutton Angel's as they kissed. He wished he could give her more but he couldn't and she didn't complain that it wasn't enough. Angel sat up with Buffy never breaking the kiss just pulling her closer and turned around so he was sitting on the bed and she straddled him. Buffy pushed him back so he was lying on her bed and kept kissing him.

Buffy opened her eyes and looked around the dark room. Her head was on Angel's chest, he made the best pillow in the world. Buffy looked around the room and slowly sat up. Angel was asleep and looked peaceful so she did her best not to wake him. Buffy looked around the room and felt unnerved and cold. She then rolled over and looked to the ground picked up Angel's shirt and put it on. Buffy then left her room quietly and went to her mother's room. She listened and heard nothing from Gunn and Fred and then she headed down the hall to Dawn's room and opened the door. Little Dawn was sleeping peacefully. Then Buffy went to the guest room and listened in and heard Wes snoring through the door. Buffy had one more person to check up and went downstairs and she heard the TV going. The TV was on but Lorne was completely out on the couch.

But what she noticed was that the TV was playing static which was odd. She walked over to the coffee table and shut the TV and walked away to the front door. She made sure it was locked and then looked out the window and saw nothing. Buffy then headed back upstairs to her room and didn't get back into bed she sat at her window. Buffy looked outside and couldn't go back to sleep. She had a strange dream that scared her more than anything at the moment.

Angel rolled over to reach for Buffy but stirred awake not feeling her warmth. Angel opened his eyes and sat up slowly and turned over seeing Buffy at the window.

"Buffy?" He asked in a sleepy voice and Buffy turned and looked to him. The look she had meant something. "Buffy are you ok?" She didn't say anything and got up and Angel laid back down as she sat on the bed and leaned in and kissed him. The kiss wasn't the typical Buffy kiss, it was the 'I am concern for you don't leave me type kiss.' Yes Angel knew each kind she had and he needed to know why she was feeling this. She pulled away looking into his eyes and he tucked some hair behind her ear. "Talk to me." He insisted.

"Just a dream," Buffy started but the look Angel gave her meant he needed more from her than just that. "I really don't know, a girl," Buffy paused trying to remember it. "There was a girl screaming, running from something and," She then looked at Angel. "The screaming stopped." Angel looked to her knowing her dreams are serious as a slayer. They then just gazed into each other's eyes for a moment. "Something's coming Angel I can feel it and," She paused again. "I can't lose you,"

"You won't." Angel assured her and took her hand into his squeezing it. "I'm not going anywhere, I'm staying here." Buffy nodded and he kissed her hand she couldn't help but smile a little. "You're not going to lose me; you're not going to lose Dawn." What he didn't mention was his son and while Buffy found that odd she brushed it off for the moment.

"You love me?" Buffy asked and Angel reached out and touched her cheek and nodded.

"I do," He said and Buffy's heart started to race. "You need me to prove it?" He asked and Buffy shrugged.

"If you're not too tired." Buffy said and Angel smiled.

"Never too tired for you." Angel then leaned in and kissed her pulling her close.

The next day was a big day. Willow was returning home for the first time in three months. Everyone was nervous but excited to see her again. While they waited to go to the airport Buffy went to the old magic shop where Anya kept it going. She hadn't seen Anya since Willow's evil episode so Buffy walked in. The girls barely conversed; it was awkward because Buffy to this hadn't picked sides. She wasn't on Xander's side for leaving Anya and she wasn't on Anya side either, Buffy was neutral. But she had her own wedding to plan if she could sit down and get around to it. She wanted a big wedding, the whole nine yards. But the Hell Mouth and Connor were top of the list at the moment.

After trying to talk to Anya and not getting much from her except she was back to being a vengeance demon Buffy headed to the cemetery to see if Spike was lurking around. Xander told her Spike left Sunnydale about three months ago and hasn't been seen since. That wasn't something Buffy liked especially after that night he came to her. Buffy found his old crypt and walked around, still dark and dingy. She looked around and he wasn't here so she went to turn around.

"From beneath you it devours," A voice said and Buffy stopped dead in her tracks and turned around and saw a shadow. "It eats and burns." And then Spike came from the shadows.

"Spike?" Buffy asked and he stood there nearly naked. But something wasn't right. He looked so different like almost homeless. "Xander said you went on vacation, where did you go?" Buffy asked needing to know to make sure he wasn't a threat of any kind although she shouldn't be worried she had Angel around.

"Vacation," Spike scoffed and walked around. "What have you've been doing all summer? My Sire?" Spike asked and Buffy said nothing. "What's with you women?" He asked and Buffy stood there. "You leave and give me the cold shoulder."

"After what happened that night," Buffy started.

"What do you think that was?" Spike asked.

"Oh I know what it was Spike and I guess we'll go through this again, I don't love you." Buffy made it clear and he stood there.

"Right you love Angel but now I have something that he doesn't and I did it for you." Spike then turned his back and Buffy saw the scars and bruises. There was something different. "I thought it would bring you back but it all does is hurts and burns."

"Oh my god," Buffy said softly realizing what he had done. "You…you have a soul."

"It's what you wanted." Spike said and Buffy stood there. "I'm what you want not Angel."

"No its not." Buffy stated and Spike turned around not understanding. "You're not what I wanted, I have that now." Spike laughed a little.

"Angel," Spike scoffed. "I know what you like Buffy. Dawn can be ours, when I held her I felt it." Buffy didn't move as Spike stood there. "You want me Buffy I know you do that's why I went to get a soul to be better than Angel. He's not good enough for you, he can't keep you safe. I can Buffy; I can keep you and Dawn safe. We can finally be together." Buffy said nothing and turned her back and went to walk away. "He never asked for a soul! It was punishment!" Spike yelled to her and Buffy kept walking and left. "I love you Buffy!" Buffy left the crypt and thank god it was sunny today. Buffy shook it off and kept walking.

Buffy came home and Wes on the couch with his feet on the coffee table watching TV.

"Hey feet off the table." Buffy said and he took them off and looked at her. Wes then looked to Buffy as she looked a little frustrated as she sat next to him.

"Well, Angel and Dawn are napping and everything is quiet…" Wes started and Buffy looked up to Wes. "Something wrong?" And Buffy shook her head no. She then stood up and looked at the clock.

"It's going to be a long night I think I'll nap too." Buffy said and headed upstairs and Wes studied her, something was up. Buffy went to check on Dawn but she wasn't in her room so Buffy walked to her room and saw Angel on the bed with a little sleeping on top of him. Buffy smiled seeing the sight and walked in quietly and crawled in. She was careful not wake them and laid next to Angel. Buffy smiled and reached out gently touched Dawn's face and then she closed her eyes to sleep.

The evening was coming and Buffy was downstairs in the kitchen as they were waiting to go to the airport to get Willow. Buffy sat on the computer looking at some wedding dresses on the computer. Each one she saw she wanted it; this was going to be tough. Then Buffy looked up seeing Angel coming into the kitchen with Dawn and Buffy smiled. The house was busy again and Buffy liked it.

"Ok so I say after we pick up Willow we go out and eat before we slay some vampires." Xander suggested and Buffy smiled. As much as she liked it here and this feeling of being home they had to get to LA again.

Everyone but Lorne and Dawn headed to the car to get going and get Willow. Xander was driving with Angel and Buffy and then you had Wes, Gunn and Fred in Gunn's truck. They were off and going. Buffy was looking out the window with a small smile on her face. It was sort of like a family outing. Xander saw the diamond ring on Buffy's hand as she sat there. Angel really did ask her and as of now they were following through with it. Then Xander saw Angel reach over and took Buffy's hand into his, interlocking his fingers with hers. It was a sweet moment but it lasted for a moment.

"Ow," Angel said as he turned to Xander after Xander hit him.

"What are you doing?" Buffy asked more annoyed than angry.

"Just making sure he's not perfectly happy." Xander answered and Angel gave a little faint growl. "See,"

"Thank you Xander for thinking of us." Buffy deadpanned and then looked back out the window. Just then she saw Spike walking around and it really unnerved her. "Angel," Buffy started and she pointed and Angel saw him. Angel didn't like it either so he pulled over. Gunn pulled over to and everyone grouped together.

"What never seen a vampire wonder around before at night?" Xander asked.

"It's Spike." Angel said meaning any other vampire wouldn't be so bad but Spike it could mean trouble. After that night of Spike trying to rape Buffy he wasn't going to stand for it. So Angel started walking and Buffy followed. She knew Spike wasn't at his best; something wasn't right like he was going through a break down. Spike was rambling on about something as they followed and he didn't either know that they were following him or he didn't care as he walked. Then Angel realized what he was tracking. Buffy could tell Angel picked up on something and followed a little closer.

Spike then stopped and Angel walked closer. They faced a huge rock.

"Ok what the hell is going on?" Gunn asked and Spike turned around facing the group.

"End of the line, don't smell it anymore." Spike answered but that didn't answer any question. Then Spike looked to Buffy and then to Angel. "Congrats to the new happy couple now I'm off ain't going in there." And Spike started off but Angel stopped him. "Hey,"

"What are you doing?" Angel asked.

"What are you doing?" Spike asked looking to his sire. "You smell it don't you?" Spike asked and then he left and Buffy walked over to Angel.

"Blood," Angel said and looked to the rock. "There's blood coming from the cave." Everyone let out a sigh meaning they needed to go see what it was. Buffy went first but Angel stopped her as he peered in. Then Angel crawled in followed by Buffy. The rest of them joined in and Angel looked around the cave as it was lit with fire, someone was here. He helped Buffy down and she looked around too.

"Why do I get the feeling this is bad?" Gunn asked looking around.

"Because it's the Hell Mouth," Wes answered as the group stayed together but still veered away looking around. They looked around and Buffy could tell Angel was tracking something so she knew to be ready. Then Fred let out a scream and Gunn went into full protection mode. Both Gunn and Wes went Fred's aid as she was sliced on the stomach and Angel vamped out ready to fight. "It's not deep," Wes said as he and Gunn lowered Fred to the ground but they did notice she wasn't moving.

"What's happening?" Gunn asked in a panic and Xander came over to help as Angel and Buffy stood guard waiting for this thing to attack again.

"It has something that paralyzes its victims." Wes said fast that was the only explanation he had as Fred wasn't moving. "We need to get her out of here." But that was a no brainer. Gunn went to lift Fred up when Angel heard something and turned to it and sniffed the air slightly.

"He's got something." Xander announced.

"It's Willow," Angel said and turned to Buffy. Buffy looked confused but she knew to trust Angel.

"Get Fred out." Buffy ordered and the rest of them did just that as Buffy went to help Angel. She caught up with him as they rushed to find Willow. The big question was how did Willow get here? She should be on a plane right now. "Not sure this is how I wanted to spend the night." Buffy said as they ran down the rocky path way. Then they came to another opening and on the ground saw Willow laying still as creature was over her.

"Stop that." Angel said and the creature looked up and Angel vamped out and Buffy was ready. The demon got up and charged at them and Angel held out his hands and grabbed the demon holding it back. Angel managed to shove it back and kicked it. Then it swiped at Angel but missed. Buffy ran to Willow's aid and saw the demon had already started on her.

"Willow its ok," Buffy assured her friend and she looked up seeing Angel dodging the swipes of the demon. "Snap its neck." Buffy told Angel.

"I'm trying." Angel quickly stated and then dodged another swipe and then bent forward and grabbed the demon and then slammed it to the ground. The demon then kicked Angel away and Buffy was getting antsy waiting so she got up and then kicked the demon away.

"Take its eyes out!" Wes called to them as he came back to see what demon they were up against. "It's the Gnarl demon, take out its eyes it's the only way to kill it!" Wes shouted and Buffy ran up to the demon and shoved her thumbs into eyes and it screamed. Just then it fell to the ground and Buffy looked to her thumbs and saw the eyeball fluids on them.

"Oh that's gross," Buffy said and shook her hands to get the fluid off of her thumbs. She turned around and saw Angel and Wes with Willow. "Willow, Willow are you ok?" She asked and Willow nodded.

"Let's get her out of here." Angel suggested and he reached down and cradled her and picked her up. "You should be at the airport."

"Caught an early flight, wanted to surprise you guys so surprise." Willow laughed a little and Buffy smiled.

At the Summers house Wes read to everyone what the Gnarl demon was and it's good thing it's dead. Then Buffy came into the dining room holding baby Dawn and Willow smiled.

"Here's Willow," Buffy then handed Dawn to Willow.

"She got big." Willow commented and Buffy smiled as she saw down. "And you and Angel are engaged wow so much has happened." Dawn cooed a little in Willow's arms as everyone seemed content at the moment.

"So anything out of the ordinary?" Xander asked and Fred looked up. "I mean not normal for the Hell Mouth." Xander rephrased it.

"What's going on with Spike?" Angel asked. "He's different,"

"He has a soul now." Buffy answered and everyone looked up at her.

"Uh is that possible?" Gunn asked and he looked to Wes.

"I'm not the knower of all." Wes made it clear that he didn't know. "But if he has one then yes it can happen."

"We'll keep an eye on him." Xander assured them meaning the group needed to head back to LA but it looks like they'll be back and forth depending on what was going on. Slaying was now truly as full time job for Buffy. But for the last three months the Hell Mouth was quiet so if it's becoming more active like this then she needed to be ready it meant something was brewing.

The sun would be up soon so it meant bed time for Angel. They would leave tonight and head back to LA to find Connor and work it out. Angel opened the door to Buffy's room and closed it as Buffy was changing into comfortable clothes to sleep. She smiled seeing Angel and he started to change as Buffy sighed and lean up against her dresser.

"What a day." She said and Angel smiled and tossed his shirt away and sat down on the bed. But what they really wanted to talk about Spike. Spike could be dangerous even with a soul. "We need to talk about Spike." Buffy decided she'll say it. Before leaving Sunnydale with Dawn, Spike seemed pretty set on taking care of Dawn. Then the almost rape and now he went off and got a soul meaning he was doing whatever he could to get Buffy.

"What about him?" Angel asked, he didn't want to talk about it but if they were going to be a couple, get married then they had to talk. Buffy sighed and wanted to spill her feelings right now.

"He thinks…" Buffy paused because it was hard to say but it's what she felt. "He thinks Dawn should be his." Angel sat there listening and inside he felt his protection mode start to take over. "No matter what Dawn's yours and I've been thinking," Buffy paused again. "Dawn's never had a father and," If Angel's heart could flutter it would be right now. "I want a family and…Dawn's yours." Meaning if possible she wanted everything to shift from Dawn being her little sister and raise her more like a daughter and Angel be the father.

Angel held back the gloating and excitement because there was more and Spike might be a threat. Buffy sighed again letting her emotions out but it felt good.

"Then Spike is just going to have to accept it." Was Angel's answer to the situation.

"You're going to have to make him because I know he won't listen to me." Buffy made it clear. "He's dangerous and he went out and got a soul just to be more like you thinking it would make it better. I mean he even tried," Buffy paused remembering that night Spike tried to rape hoping that would bring her back. "He's scaring me, just because he has a soul doesn't mean he's not dangerous." Angel listened knowing Buffy was concerned and he needed to listen in order to fix it. "I don't want him around Dawn or Willow or Xander, anyone. He was acting weird when we found him and I don't know." Buffy looked to Angel. "He went out and got a soul not to be good not to atone for anything. He did it because he…loves me."

"You don't know that," Angel wanted to jump in but Buffy wasn't done.

"And he thinks we're supposed to be together and that Dawn could be his." Buffy was now finished and Angel nodded thinking. It all made sense but what did that mean?

"Buffy," Angel looked up at her. "When I came back from my little…cruise, I was ready to…I might have killed Connor. I know he's my son but he threaten you, he could have hurt Dawn, everyone and just because he's my son…I don't feel like I should…"Angel didn't know what to say or at least how to say it. "The father son thing I don't feel it not enough." Buffy walked away from the dresser and climbed into the bed and got behind Angel wrapping her arms around him and rested her head on his bare back. "I don't know what I feel for Connor and it feels like the more I try to let him in the more he pushes away." Buffy kissed his shoulder trying to assure him.

"You're a good father Angel." Buffy told him but Angel didn't feel it. "I see how you try and how you hold and look at Dawn. If Connor can't see it then he's losing out." That actually felt good to hear. But then Buffy had to take a step back and remember what Angel said just seconds ago. "You were going to kill Connor?" Angel didn't answer because honestly he didn't know. Maybe he would if it meant Buffy and Dawn's life because the bond that should be there isn't with him and Connor. So killing him might not be so difficult. "You would kill to protect what's yours?" Buffy asked and Angel nodded. He would do whatever was necessary to keep Buffy alive.

"Yes." Angel confirmed even if it meant killing a human. Buffy wasn't quite sure how to take that in but if someone threaten Dawn, human and nonhuman she'd kill it.

"Spike thinks I am his, he thinks Dawn should be his and he says you're not good enough." Angel let those words sink in and it made him mad. Spike thinks Angel's not good enough for Buffy when Buffy said yes to marrying him and just asked if he would raise Dawn like a daughter.

Team Angel was coming up to LA and Angel looked in the review mirror and saw Dawn in her car seat asleep. He then looked to Buffy and she was asleep. If it's a car ride that's more than forty five minutes Buffy will go to sleep no matter how much she's slept prior to the ride. Angel found that to be very cute. The only problem was he had no one to talk to but then again it felt like a normal family. But it being quiet allowed Angel to think and his thoughts dwelled on the conversion he and Buffy had early in the morning about Spike. Also thinking about Dawn and the idea was laid out to raise her as if she was their own. It wouldn't be hard to do that. There was a lot to think about for Angel and his priorities were changing. Once they reach LA Connor would be on their list to deal with. Angel wasn't going to keep giving Connor the benefit of the doubt nor keeping giving extra chances. Pretty soon a choice would have to be made.

Angel pulled up to the hotel and got out of the car. Buffy slowly stirred awake knowing they were back. She sat up and saw Angel coming around the front of the car and opened up Buffy's door for her. Who said chivalry was dead. Buffy got out waking up and saw everyone else pile out of Gunn's truck and it looks like Fred and Lorne went to sleep as well. Angel reached into the car and took Dawn out of her car seat and held her. Buffy started to grab some of their bags and Angel took one and in that moment they both felt like a real couple.

Everyone headed inside and not turn in for the night but not jump back into anything right away. Angel reached for the keys and sort of fumbled with them until Wes took them and unlocked the doors. Angel flipped on the switch as everyone walked in but something wasn't right. They all stood there as someone was standing in the lobby. It was a woman dressed all in white and everyone stood there and she turned around.

"Cordelia?" Angel asked and she looked up to everyone. Wes' jaw dropped, Fred and Gunn's faces were in shock, Lorne said nothing and Buffy looked beyond surprised. Cordelia looked at each of them but she looked so confused.

"Who are you people?" She asked and everyone looked to each. This wasn't good.

So Cordelia is back but what's in store? This won't be the same as the canon, a little bit the same but not really…you'll see. Willow came back but I completely changed that episode and made it more a Buffy and Angel chapter trying to layout their foundation and what they are going through. They still have a lot to deal with before they seal the deal. Also that little talk about Spike, put that on the back burner and let it simmer a bit. As before not everything is going to follow the canon of the two shows I'm going to veer off but still true to it and it'll get a bit darker.

I didn't mention it in my last post but I did in my other story I have a forum up. And I'm excited about it. It is a Buffy/Angel blog but it's also about the entire universe of both shows. It's also about my stories and any other stories you want to talk about that's appealing. So what can you do on the forum, I've got some basic categories set up and you can chat to me, to other people. I've gotten several requests for it and because school is done forever I've got time. So please post topics and we can chat. It's better than sending me emails because I'm pretty sure others have the same questions and ideas. For the stories that are in progress though we can talk about them but my answers and information will be limited. Anyways check it out it's called the BuffyAngelWhedonVerse, here's the link myforums/nurjen08/2065276/ I've got one topic going to get the ball rolling so hope to see you all there.

Also on my profile I got a poll going and I'll have more polls up later both Buffy/Angel related and other topics as well. So happy reading, posting, blogging and polling.

More to come on this story, thanks for reading once more and comments and reviews are most welcomed.