Chapter 34: Bombshell.
“The baby’s mine.”
Buffy felt all of the air sucking from her lungs as the mother load of all surprises was dropped on her. This couldn’t be happening. She had been incredulous about Darla being pregnant in the first place… but now this?
“The baby’s mine.”
A shiver rolled through her body, images from her past haunting her like photographic flashes.
Their first meeting in the alleyway, their first kiss, seeing him in vamp face holding her Mom, dusting Darla, getting coffee, patrolling, kisses, more kisses, the factory and Dru’s party, making love, heart break, Angelus, Acathla, heart break, The Mayor, Faith, the Prom, heart break…
She gasped as she inhaled a much-needed breath, not having been fully aware that she was holding it in the first place. Her past, their intertwined past was filled with so much violence, and pain, and heartache. And now this…
“The baby’s mine.”
Buffy blinked her eyes, trying to clear the fog in her mind. She turned her back on the two vampires, walking several feet away from them before she managed to think clearly enough to speak. Her voice was barely above a whisper. “How?”
Angel moved to her side, the tranquilizer gun hanging limply by his side as he reached out with his other hand to touch her shoulder. Buffy flinched at the touch, and stepped away from him, her hurt filled gazed turning on him. “How?” She repeated.
“Well that part is actually quite simple.” Darla drawled. “There is a joining of bodies.”
“Darla…” Angel growled menacingly.
“What?” She replied innocently. “Your slayer here wanted to know how and I was just --“
Angel turned swiftly, aiming and firing a dart from the tranquilizer gun, which imbedded in Darla’s neck. Seconds later a thump signaled Darla’s fall to the ground.
“Buffy…” He began softly, once more reaching for her arm.
“You slept with her?” Buffy asked, her stare accusing as she stepped away from his grasp again. Her tone was accusing, angry, her disbelief evident in her eyes. “You slept with her?”
“Buffy I was in a really bad place and --“
She cut him off as her anger sparked again. “Oh don’t feed me that I-was-in-a-bad-place crap.” She spat out, her eyes blazing.
“You went to her? Of all the whores in LA you could have turned to. Hell, you probably could have visited Faith in prison. I’m sure they allow conjugal visits to murderers… that’s your type right?” She turned away from him and began walking towards the exit.
Angel blinked at the mention of the other slayer. “Are you… are you jealous?”
“NO!” Buffy retorted a little too loudly. Even though she knew Faith had turned herself in, and was trying to do the right thing and pay for her crimes, she still wasn’t the brunette’s biggest fan. “What was it then? Did you just need to scratch an itch?”
Angel grabbed her arm and yanked her back. He was sorry for hurting her, he knew that this revelation was a shock, but she had to understand why this happened. And her spiteful words weren’t helping him reign in his temper.
Buffy pulled her left arm out of his grasp, swinging her balled right fist around faster than he could react. The blow connected with Angel’s nose. He let go immediately to hold his bleeding nose, giving Buffy the opportunity to put some distance between them.
“Well I hope you got your satisfaction.” She spat out.
His tone was low, irate, as he tried to explain. “Buffy… It wasn’t like that.”
“Then what was it like?” She demanded.
“It was about YOU.” Angel roared in response.
Jake snarled as he turned to face his attacker.
Dawn had scurried away from Jake the moment his grasp had left her forearm, and she now was behind Spike.
“Well if it isn’t the slayer’s lap dog.” Jake mocked.
Spike swung out with the umbrella, slamming it into Jake’s head for the second time. This time the object bent in half. His weapon now useless, Spike threw it off to the side as he prowled towards Jake.
His whole body felt on fire from the wounds that had opened up, and he was in a great deal of pain, something he hid carefully from his opponent. And Dawn.
“What? No witty comeback?” Jake taunted.
“Niblet. Back away a bit yeah?” Spike warned.
Dawn nodded even though Spike had his back turned to her, backing several feet away and clutching a tree as she watched the two vampires circle each other.
“You’re pathetic.” Jake spat out. “What kind of loser follows around someone who clearly isn’t interested in them?”
Spike’s right hook shot out and connected with Jake’s nose, blood immediately gushing from his nostrils.
“You don’t know a thing about me and Buffy.” Spike growled.
“You and Buffy?” Jake laughed. “There is no you and Buffy. Hell I probably got more play from the whore and we just danced a couple of times.”
Spike’s face clouded with undisguised rage as his fist shot out again. Nobody spoke about Buffy like that. But this time his punch was blocked, a return fist catching him in the middle of his chest.
Spike doubled over as searing pain followed, stretching its tendrils out from the stab wound in the middle of his chest and throughout his body.
“Spike!” Dawn cried in alarm, taking two steps towards her fallen friend.
“Stay BACK bit.” Spike ordered as he dragged himself to his feet.
“Oh did that hurt?” Jake mocked, sticking his bottom lip out in a pout.
“Not as much as this is going to.” Spike retorted. With a feral yell he launched himself at Jake, pushing him with all of his might towards a young tree that grew behind him.
Jake’s eyes flashed wide as he was propelled backwards, pain shooting through him as he felt something sharp puncture through his back before breaking through the middle of his chest. He had enough time to look down and spot the badly pruned branch sticking out from his chest.
Jake exploded into dust as Spike fell to his knees.
The last vampire was dusted on the Summers front lawn, the weary fighters slowly approaching the front door.
Giles did a head count as those from inside the house met the others on the porch, noting the two absences. “Where’s Dawn? And Spike?”
“Someone took her, and Spike ran after them.” Xander filled in.
“Why didn’t you follow them?” Giles demanded.
“Spike said he could handle it, it was just one vampire.” Xander said defending himself. “He told us to go get Buffy.”
Giles clenched his jaw, knowing that Spike had a point. Buffy was in more grave danger at the moment, but if anything happened to Dawn…
“I can do a locator spell on Dawn?” Willow offered. “We can go get them while you guys go get Buffy and kick some Darla shaped butt?”
“Oh I’m liking that plan.” Cordelia said with a smirk.
“Spell won’t be necessary cos the cavalry’s returned.” A British voice called from the shadows.
A limping Spike emerged with Dawn at his side, helping him shuffle from the darkness and across the lawn.
“Jake’s toast.” Dawn said proudly.
“I hated that guy.” Xander said with happy smile.
“No you didn’t.” Anya insisted. “You and Willow were the ones who set him up on that date with Buffy. If I remember rightly I was the one who didn’t like him because of his desires for a military career which we all know those guys with their experiments on demons and hatred off all things non human is what came between Buffy and Riley and --”
Xander silenced Anya with a kiss.
“Not shy is she?” Gunn said with a shake of his head.
“Her babbling can sometimes even outrun my babbling and I’m pretty certain I’m the biggest babbler in the group.” Willow supplied.
“I like your babbling.” Tara said shyly.
“Well.” Giles said removing his glasses, and turning away from the kissing couples.
“What’re you lot waiting for? There’s a slayer that needs retrieving.” Spike pointed out.
“Yes, of course.” Wesley said with a nod. “Gunn can you retrieve the shackles from the trunk of my car. I’m afraid we’re going to have to borrow your van Rupert.”
With the impending sunrise not too far off, they were going to need safer transportation for bringing both Darla and Angel back to LA.
“It’s a rental.” Giles informed. “So long as it’s returned to a depot for the company in LA, it’s all yours.”
“Excellent.” Wesley said with a nod. “I’d say we’re prepared. Where exactly are we headed again?”
“Weatherly Park.” Spike informed. “Just bring her back safe.”
“She’ll be tied up but relatively unharmed.” The Watcher supplied automatically, before catching the quirked brows in response from almost everyone there.
“Oh you meant Buffy…” He realized. “Of course.”
Gunn, Wesley and Giles headed towards the van whilst the rest of the group walked inside the house.
“I am not taking the blame for this mess.” Dawn pouted.
“Oh that’s rich.” Buffy snapped in response. “You’re blaming this on me?”
“I’m not blaming…” He trailed off, running his fingers through his hair. “You’re not letting me explain.”
“So explain.” Buffy said bluntly, folding her arms over her chest.
“There was this prophecy.” He began only to be interrupted by a snort from Buffy. His eyes narrowed. “What?”
“Prophecy’s don’t seem to hold a lot of weight these days is all.” She replied flippantly.
“This prophecy was about my redemption. It says that one day the powers will absolve me of my crimes and I would be rewarded with humanity.” Angel paused for a moment, waiting for a response from Buffy but all he got was a surprised blink.
“I was helping all these people and a small part of me knew it would all add up to my ‘reward’. I guess the longer time went by with nothing I became a little jaded. Everyone was living their lives, moving on…” He said with a pointed look in her direction. “And I was waiting for mine to begin. I almost wish Wes had never stumbled across it. Because knowing that final outcome, yet waiting for it to happen…”
As his words sunk in Buffy understood the meaning of that pointed look. She lifted her chin in defiance. “You were the one who ended things between us Angel, I wanted to be with YOU. So you can’t blame me for moving on.”
Angel rolled his eyes when he thought of the soldier boy who had replaced him. “And what a fine choice my replacement was.”
“Your replacement?” Buffy snapped. “Riley wasn’t…” Buffy cut herself off. She wasn’t going to into this with Angel, not after what he had just done.
“How dare you criticize who I date?! You gave up that right two years ago. If anyone has the right to criticize poor judgment here it’s me. Your deranged lover…” She spat the word out. “Was trying to kill me. AND my sister.”
“She’s not my lover.” Angel said bluntly, knowing that Buffy was right. He didn’t have a right to pass judgment on her, but that didn’t make seeing or hearing about her being with someone other than him, any easier.
“One night stand?” She asserted.
“You’d know a lot about those wouldn’t you?” He retorted angrily, instantly regretting the words when he saw how Buffy’s face crumpled.
Spike had told him all about her fling with the college boy early last year when he had come to town for the Gem of Amarra. He hadn’t ever brought it up with her, and at the time he had tried to hide how much that knowledge had hurt, that she had moved on so suddenly. And he only had himself to blame for that.
It seemed that he still wasn’t very good in dealing with matters concerning Buffy. The times it could have been discussed that he had passed up on, only to fling it in her face now? When it came to her he reacted without thinking, and the outcome was not always the best. Now was a prime example of that.
Buffy’s fist shot out and connected with the side of his face, his head reeling backwards from the force of her blow. That was the last thing she ever would have thought he would throw in her face.
“Buffy I didn’t mean…” He apologised immediately. He took a slow step towards her, his arm extended to touch her.
“Don’t touch me.” Her voice was barely audible, filled with anger, and pain. ”You take one step closer and I’ll…” She trailed off.
She purposely ignored his apology. It hurt, what he said to her. Because if she took his statement literally, then their relationship boiled down to a single coupling, and the morning after that night had been one of the most painful of her young life. Angel wasn’t referring to them, she knew that. But it was what she thought when he said it.
He was talking about Parker. A shiver of revulsion ran down her spine at the thought of the college boy. That was one mistake she wished she could take back. How Angel found out about it she could only guess.
So now here they were, back in their old routine of avoidance when a painful topic was raised that neither wanted to deal with. So she did what she always did. Changed the topic.
“What are you going to do with her?” She asked as she nodded at Darla’s unconscious form, her tone cool.
Angel studied Buffy’s face for a moment before looking over his shoulder at the inert vampire. “Take her back to LA, lock her up until the birth.” He said quietly.
Buffy nodded once, about to ask a question when voices from behind her alerted them to the presence of Giles, Wesley and Gunn.
A/N: Buh-bye Jake...
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