Near You Always
A Son Is Given
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Part Five

The gown seemed to gleam in the mirrors and Buffy marveled over her friend’s blushing beauty. Cordelia was genuinely happy and Buffy was incredibly jealous of her marriage. Everything had fallen into place for the Prom Queen, and even though she could never begrudge Cordy’s happiness, it wasn’t fair. Cordelia and David had never had to prove their love for one another. They’d never been forbidden and they’d never had to suffer for one another.

 

She’d killed Angel, and died (or almost died, been willing to die) at his hands, for him. She’d lost him and he’d lost his humanity. They’d fought and made up and she’d raised their son, alone, when he’d wanted more than anything to be a part of Connor’s life. And their only saving grace was that he would no longer become a monster if they made love.

 

And our son, Buffy reminded herself, Connor. You never even expected that much.

 

But he was still dead. His skin was still cold, would still burn to ash with just a touch of the sun or a cross. They could still never marry, or have a second baby. They would never have what Cordy and David could expect without question.

 

Still, the love Buffy and Angel shared was stronger than any other she’d seen and she would never trade their passion for the Nabbits’ (or the couple soon to be the Nabbits’), easy companionship. Her love for Angel was different from everything she had ever known; it had given her the wings to soar above everything in the world. It had given her her son.

 

“You okay?” Harmony was standing next to her, both in their bridesmaids gowns as Fred pinned Cordy’s hair in place.

 

Buffy smiled at the blond and nodded. “Just thinking,” she responded softly.

 

“He loves you too,” Harmony assured her. “Even when he’s grumpy.”

 

~*~*~*~

 

He was about to be walking down the aisle at her side. Granted, it wasn’t their aisle – they weren’t even together - but it was an aisle and that was enough for him at that moment. He still hoped for Shanshu and a very different aisle and a honeymoon in the sun, but for now, a possibility was enough.

 

Fred, with Wesley at her side, and Harmony, with one of David’s friends, stepped through the doors, and it was their turn. Just before they started to move he felt a soft flutter against his cheek, and realized she’d kissed him. They exchanged smiles, secretly thinking to themself that this was maybe all they would have.

 

~*~*~*~

 

Cordelia watched from David’s arms as her two friends sat to the side of the dance floor, playing happily with their miracle son, and hoped she would find that happiness soon as well. “Connor’s going to be spoiled rotten,” David muttered in her ear, seeing who she was watching, “Buffy, too, when they get back together.”

 

“She deserves it,” Cordelia answered, turning to face her husband. Husband, wow, she thought before returning her mind to the subject at hand. “She made him who he is. She made me who I am. As long as I’ve known her she’s been fighting for someone else and she’s never asked for anything but him. They should have each other. She deserves him twenty times more than I do you.”

 

David kissed her gently, but soundly on the lips, and Cordelia melted into him. “Don’t sell yourself short,” he whispered into her ear. “I happen to think you deserve more than me.”

 

Cordelia flashed him a blinding grin and murmured “You bet your life I do.”

 

~*~*~*~

 

“Are you my Daddy?” Connor asked Angel solemnly. Angel looked down at him in surprise, and the young boy stared back. “Well? Are you?”

“Uh, yes, I am,” Angel nodded dumbly, unsure of what else he should or could say. He couldn’t explain their situation to himself, let alone a five year old.

 

And of course, Buffy had chosen that minute to go off and speak with her friends.

 

“Are you gonna take me away from my Mommy?” Connor continued, oblivious to Angel’s dilemma. “’Cause I don’t wanna go ‘way.”

 

“No, Connor,” Angel promised with certainty. How could he? Buffy was Connor’s mother; even if they never reunited, he would always be in love with her and she had lost too much for him to take Connor. Not to mention the damn prophecy. “I’ll never take you from your mother. But I would like to know you both better.”

 

“Okay,” Connor shrugged. “I like trucks,” he offered with a smile. “And Mommy likes to cry.”

 

“I doubt your mother likes to cry,” Angel managed to say; Connor looked doubtful.

 

“She does it on her birthday every year,” he told his father. “And when it’s raining. Uncle Spike said it’s ‘cause she likes to.”

 

Angel frowned a little, but he didn’t let Connor see that he was worried. Instead, he continued to ask about his family’s lives. “What else does your Mommy like?”

 

“Salad,” Connor made a disgusted face. “We always hafta have salad. And raspberry ice cream.”

 

Cookie dough fudge mint chip…

 

“Salad is good for you,” Angel told Connor. “You should eat all your vegetables,” he paused in thought, trying to remember what modern medicine had to say about children. In his day, salad hadn’t even been a factor. “And drink lots of milk,” he added, realizing that was what the posters meant. “And an apple a day…”

 

“You really are a Daddy,” Connor cooed, crawling into his lap. “Are you gonna sleep on Mommy’s couch? And buy her chocolates? And make her dinner?’ The boy was staring up at him seriously. “That’s what Shelley says her Daddy does.”

 

“Shelley?”

 

“Ah, the ex-girlfriend,” Buffy smirked as she walked back over, Willow and Fred at her side. “We still have to talk more about that, Connor.”

 

“Yes, Mommy,” Connor looked down at his hands. “Am I gonna be in trouble?”

 

Buffy knelt down and took his small hands in hers. “There are some things worth fighting for,” she told him firmly, exchanging a glance with Angel over Connor’s head before looking back to her son. “But words, even mean words, aren’t, baby.”

 

“How do I know what is?”

 

“You will when you’re older,” Angel told him firmly. “Right now you shouldn’t fight at all.”

 

‘Thanks,’ Buffy mouthed as she took the seat  beside him; Connor immediately shifted so that he was on both his parents’ laps, staring adoringly up at them.

 

“Mommy, I like Daddy,” Connor announced, throwing his arms around both their necks and kissing each in turn.

 

“You guys are so cute,” Fred cooed. “My family’s not that cute.”

 

“Family,” Angel echoed. “My family.”

 

“Duh, Daddy,” Connor’s voice was so much like Buffy in that moment that Angel couldn’t doubt his parentage.

 

~*~*~*~

 

TBC

  

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