Welcome to Denial of Destiny!
By Mark Jones
Disclaimer: The characters, images and concepts herein are property of Joss Whedon and the WB network. Buffy and Angel, together forever is all I continue to ask for.
Picking up on "I Will Remember You":
Angel stood in front of the Oracles again, pondering the chance and the fate that had brought him to this point in his still-tortured life. He was born 242 years ago, was killed and made into a vampire, then was given a soul to show him what horrors he had done. He wandered for a long time, came to a place called ‘Sunnydale’ and then done something that he never thought he could do… he fell in love. With a woman who was destined to kill others of his kind. A slayer.
It was because of this slayer that he left Sunnydale, to let her have a normal life and family. And now she had come to Los Angeles where he was, and through an encounter with a Mora Demon, Angel was human once again. He lived, breathed, grew older. He had made love to his Buffy again… several times. He slept with her, and woke with her by his side. But the demon was still out there, and more were coming. He had to be changed back again. It was the only way to protect Buffy, himself and those he loved and cared about. It would mean giving her up. And that, more than anything, was tearing him apart.
"We don’t care about the requests of lower beings." The male oracle said.
"No, you’re wrong." The female oracle said, chastising her companion. "Here is a warrior who would give up all his human happiness, all that he loves, to become a demon with a soul again." She looked at Angel, intrigued. "He is truly a higher being."
"Are you sure you will do this? Give up your chance at happiness? Once it is done…" the male oracle warned.
"I’m of no use to you like this." Angel said.
"Then here is what will happen. The day will be reversed. You will never have turned human, you will never had been in the sun with your love, you will never have created the life you created."
"That should…" Angel stopped in mid-sentence, then recoiled as if he were physically hit, his mouth open and staring at the oracles. "What did you say?" he managed breathlessly.
"None of this day will have never happened."
"No… about creating life." Angel ventured.
The female oracle spoke up. "You have created a life with your warrior that you have mated with. She will bear a strong child." Angel leaned back against the far wall now, holding his head.
Buffy was pregnant. With his child. A child! Angel couldn’t believe it… but part of him could. She was the slayer, he was a warrior… it was a right thing. But moreso, it was a product of their love. A love that had gone on for this long, that could not be denied, that would not die…
Die. If Angel took this step, and did not became a warrior again, she may die. He may die. But the oracle never mentioned a child before… the child could live. And a… a child… Angel felt his eyes start to tear up as another, unsaid dream of his started to take shape.
"I see by your heart, you have made a decision. You may go." In a flash, Angel was out of the oracle’s chambers, and landed on top of Doyle again. He looked at Angel.
"What happened, man?" he asked. Angel stood there, in more of a daze than he did when he first turned human. Angel just stared back, tears running down his face.
Angel looked at Doyle across the table. It already had several empty beer bottles on it, and Angel was feeling a little more than just tipsy.
"Pregnant? Damn, Angel, you have some potent stuff down there…" Doyle said.
"Tell me about it." Angel smiled. "She was… she’s just… God, she’s so beautiful." He sat back smiling. "And she’s gonna have a baby… our baby." Angel grew silent, almost like he used to be for a moment. "Am I doing the right thing, Doyle? Should I go and change myself back? Reverse it? Lose the love, the life that I have now? The life that I made with Buffy?"
Doyle took another sip of his beer, brow knitted in thought. "Angel, that’s something that we all want. To be able to create life, to leave something behind in this world that has a better tomorrow than we had." He, too, grew almost remorseful now. "When me and Harry got married, I was so ready to have little offspring with her. Nothing like a quarter-demon running around, right?" He grinned, and Angel grinned back.
"But I couldn’t do it. I need to be freed of my fealty to the powers that be before I could have children." Doyle leaned forward on the table to Angel. "Which is why I’m so jealous of what’s happened with you. You’re free, man!" He gestured with his hands. "Here’s this beautiful woman who wants nothing more than to hold you. And now you can!" He leaned back again. "Have you noticed the way she looks at you across a room?"
Angel nodded subtly. He had, on more than one occasion, seen her across the Bronze in Sunnydale, staring at him. When he was in the kitchen, getting ice cream and food for each other, he felt her eyes on him. And what’s more, he stared back at her just the same. He couldn’t take his eyes off her, either. Something in that face, in those blond locks of hair, in those eyes that he’d seen tears come out of too much…
Way too much.
"Let’s go, Doyle." Angel said, standing.
Buffy paced back and forth in the backroom of Angel’s office, stopping only when she noticed him walking down the stairs with a long look on his face.
"I take it that look doesn't mean they were out of fresh OJ at the deli…" she started. "What happened?"He held his hand up, and stood in front of her.
"Nothing. I... I went to see the Oracles again. To ask them to change me back." Buffy’s mouth dropped open, and a look of panic spread across her face.
"What???… Why?" she said, her eyes already starting to tear up. Angel shook his head softly.
"You know what happened last night. I thought it was the only way… you’d always be protecting me, and I wouldn’t be able to protect either of us like this."
"But I feel so different now… we have a chance now… this is my dream!" Buffy said, tears now running down her cheek. Angel used his thumb to wipe on.
"I know. That’s part of the reason why…" He swallowed, trying to go on. "…why I couldn’t do it." Angel now emitted a soft sob, and tears rolled down his cheek now. Buffy returned the favor by wiping his tear away.
"You mentioned… you mentioned that my dream was only part of the reason… what was the other part?" she asked him. He smiled softly.
"Because it’s my dream as well. And…" he trailed off, almost afraid to tell her.
"And?" she prompted. He looked deeply in her eyes.
"The oracles told me we could both die. But then they told me a way that we can on…" Buffy looked puzzled.
"How…???" Angel took her closer into his arms, laying his forehead against hers. Then he whispered to her.
"A child…" Buffy’s eyes grew wider than normal, and she broke down, hugging Angel close and sobbing on his chest. Angel became concerned when she didn’t pull back to let him know it was all right. He managed to pry her away from his chest, and lifted her chin, looking for some sign.
She smiled at him, glowing more in life than she had ever before. "I dreamed of this, too." She managed to whisper in between sobs. "I wanted to have your child. I… I never thought I could…" Angel joined her in renewed crying, hugging her close again, happy at last.
A few moments later, They looked into each other’s eyes, and Angel reached to her neck. He picked her cross up in his palm and cradled it, looking from it to her eyes. They both shared a smile.
Angel smiled, leaning on the edge of the bed where his wife, Buffy Anne Summers, lay cradling their child, Angela Elizabeth Summers. Angel had assumed her name when they married ("Angel Summers? How gay…" Xander had said.) and he wouldn’t hear otherwise. Angel had his dreams come true in the past year… Buffy, his beautiful wife, who he walked on the beach in the sunshine daily; Angela Elizabeth, his beautiful daughter, who he already had the feeling was going to be another Chosen One; and his life, his human life. Slaying was still there, the dark powers were still there, and maybe fate had plans for them to die.
As Angel leaned down to kiss his child, then his wife on her forehead, he thought that wouldn’t be so bad a time. If this is a dream, then it’s the sweetest he’d ever had.
It’s a good life.