Disclaimer: Yes, my name is really Joss Whedon and I own all the characters in the story. Iım mean and on way too much crack. Umm...hello? Not mine, never will be. Unless Joss leaves them for me in his will. Which wonıt be happening anytime soon. I only own Adia and Katrina. No one else. They belong to Mutant Enemy and Twentieth Century Fox. I also own Buffy and Angelıs house, it was my creation! You canıt have it. :-)
Author's Notes: This is the seventh story in my fluff series. Cool, huh? I thought so. Okay, I don't want to say too much about the plot but Buffy's dad makes an appearance. I'm sorry it took so long for me to write this, I'm having a major case of writer's block and have no will to write. That's why I've been quiet lately. I'm gonna dedicate this to Felicity, just because she's making me break through my block by writing my scenes fast. Luv ya!! And Michelle, I hope I'm being mean enough to Harmony! In case anyone is wondering, it was Michelle's idea for me to be incredibly bitchy to her. So there ya go! Okay, and feedback will definitely motivate me to write, so I expect to get lots of it!!!!
Buffy changed the channel, not wanting to watch anything in another language at three in the morning. She couldn't sleep--hadn't been able to for the past hour and a half--and was downstairs drinking milk from a wine glass, huddled on the couch with Adia. The kitten was curled in a ball at Buffy's feet and purring loudly.
/Click/ "Porn...porn...infomercial...infomercial...guy with extremely bad hair...porn...8o's videos...black and white...wow. I wonder if that's even possible," Buffy said aloud, twisting her head to try and understand the position on screen. Shaking her head she continued channel surfing. "More porn, geez. Enough horny TV programmers? Actually, that looks kinda interesting. I wonder if I could get Angel to do that...ooh. Bewitched. I love this show," Buffy informed the kitten, who ignored her and continued purring. Buffy brought a hand down to caress Adia's black fur and the kitten rolled onto her back, wanting her stomach to be petted. Buffy sipped some more of her milk, waiting for it to make her tired enough to return to Angel's sleeping arms.
A sound on the stairs caused her to jerk her head up from the TV. Angel walked down them clumsily, fuzzy from just waking up. He yawned and stretched as he walked into the living room and plopped down next to his girlfriend.
"Buff, it's three in the morning. Why aren't you sleeping?" Angel asked as he curled up next to his girlfriend, who sat in the apex of the L-shaped couch. Buffy leaned into his arms and sighed, sipping again at her milk.
"Couldn't," she said. "The question is, why aren't *you*? You'd be surprised what kind of movies are on this late."
Angel snorted and buried his head in the warmth of her shoulder. "No, I wouldn't be. It's all porn. They can't show it during the day so they show it at night. I was reading that they get good ratings, too. And I felt that you weren't in bed with me," Angel said, his voice muffled in Buffy's silk pajama shirt. He yawned again and Buffy felt her eyes growing heavy. She finished off her drink and stood, the blanket that had covered her falling to her feet. Angel stood as well, wrapping his arms around his girlfriend and walking with her to the kitchen. Buffy deposited her glass in the sink and together the couple walked upstairs to their room.
Adia had moved from the couch to the bed during this time, sleeping stretched out in the center of it. Buffy giggled slightly at the sight and slid the kitten down to the end of the bed as she turned her side down again. Angel climbed in next to her and gathered her in his arms.
"Sorry I woke you," Buffy muttered as she drifted of.
" 'S okay," Angel said, his voice slurred by sleep. Buffy snuggled in to the warmth his arms created and drifted off, thinking just how lucky she was.
"Can anyone tell us what the meaning of this poem is?" Mrs. Williamson asked her English class the next day. "Buffy? Maybe you can share your thoughts."
Buffy jerked her head out of the palm of her hand, where it had been resting comfortably. Having no idea what she was talking about, she glanced around wildly.
"Buffy?" her teacher prodded.
"Is it about cows?" Buffy asked, her hands twisting helplessly in the air. Mrs. Williamson frowned.
"Cows? No. Try to pay attention next time. What Shakespeare is trying to say is that..."
Buffy tuned her teacher out as she desperately tried to stay awake. A note came flying onto the top of her desk, and she snatched it up before grumpy Mrs. Williamson saw it.
\\Rough night?\\ Willow's flowing penmanship dotted the page. Buffy grabbed her own pen and wrote back.
\\Did this have anything to do with your boyfriend?\\
Buffy looked sharply to her right, giving Willow a look. She looked as if she was about to burst out into giggles. \\*No.* Get your mind out of the gutter.\\
\\It seems to be firmly stuck there these days.\\ Buffy grinned when she read that.
\\Why am I not surprised? I knew you were hiding something from us.\\
The bell rang, signaling the end of fourth period. Buffy stood and grabbed her books and shoulder bag, carefully stepping over the other book bags that were on the floor. She, Willow, Xander, and Cordelia stepped out of English and sighed together.
"Cows, Buffy?" Cordelia asked, her eyebrows raised as they walked to the cafeteria. Buffy shrugged.
"It could've been," Buffy replied. "I couldn't understand it. I probably should've asked Angel. He was around when they spoke like that."
The four friends walked through the lunch line, paying for their food before heading for their normal table. Buffy examined what the school liked to call macaroni and cheese and shuttered.
"Unless my memory is failing me, macaroni and cheese isn't supposed to have little green and black things in it. Is it supposed to be a sorry excuse for parsley?" Buffy commented as she pushed the food around her plate with her plastic fork.
"You just think it's parsley. It's probably something different entirely," Xander said as he took a huge bite of his pizza.
"Didn't your mother tell you to chew with your mouth closed?" Cordelia asked. Xander shrugged.
"Maybe. I have a bad habit of not listening to my parents," Xander replied as he shoveled the sorry excuse for macaroni and cheese into his mouth. Cordelia grimaced.
"Remind me again why I'm dating that?" she groaned, jerking a thumb in Xander's direction. He smiled and returned to his food. Buffy watched them silently with a small smile on her face.
"This seat taken?" Angel's voice asked from behind Buffy. She turned and grinned at her boyfriend as she shook her head. He returned the love-filled smile and sat down in a chair, his tray sliding onto the table.
"Is this kosher?" Buffy asked, glancing around the cafeteria for Principal Snyder. "I mean, if the president of the Hair Club For Men finds you here he'll freak."
"Nowhere in my contract does it say that I can't sit in the cafeteria with students," Angel retorted playfully as he popped up the tab on his soda and took a swig. "It's just an added bonus that it gets to be with the beautiful woman I love."
"Aw, that's so sweet. And I can't even give you the kiss that deserves," Buffy pouted. Angel gave her a sly smile.
"You can make it up later," he told her. A gleam grew in her eyes.
"Yo. Nymphos. We're in a public forum here. Kindly keep all disgusting comments to yourselves," Cordelia snapped as she picked at her salad. "This is definitely *not* what my doctor prescribed. Those toothless lunch ladies can't even make a salad right," Cordelia moaned. Xander patted her arm gently.
"It's okay, Cor. They can't speak English. That's a Mexican salad," Xander said as he took a swig of his chocolate milk. "Mmm, I love chocolate milk."
"Yeah, I heard they're making it from chocolate cows nowadays," Oz remarked in typical Oz fashion. Willow grinned.
"You're so cute when you make jokes," Willow said, leaning over to kiss his lightly on the cheek. She tugged at her tank top, trying desperately to make it stay up where it didn't show as much skin.
"Willow," Cordy said, exasperated. "The *point* of a low cut tank top is to show as much skin as you possibly can without it being illegal. Stop playing with it."
At Cordelia's tone, Willow snatched her hand away. She blushed sheepishly.
"I think you look very sexy," Oz told her slyly. She smiled broadly.
"Sexy was what I was going for. I think."
Buffy and Angel looked up to see Principal Snyder glaring down at them. Or, for Angel, staring him in the face. Buffy sighed.
"What? Are we not allowed to speak in school?" she snapped. Snyder's glare got colder.
"You know what. No touching in school," he replied in his nasally voice. Buffy gave him a weird look.
"Yeah, and we're really touching now," she said, shaking her head. She held up her fork and soda. "Oh, look. All out of hands. Touching seems kind of impossible, don't you agree?"
Snyder gave her a look that would've reduced a vampire to dust before speaking in a menacing tone. "I'm watching you. Both of you."
"That man really needs to get some," Buffy remarked as she watched his retreating form. Angel choked on his soda. "What? He does."
"Gotta agree with you there," Oz said. The three couples began talking quietly when a snotty voice interrupted them.
"Aww, look. Cordelia's hanging with the cool people now," Harmony said as she and the 'cool'--clueless--clique stopped by their table.
"Again, Harmony? I have that exact same shirt," Buffy snapped. Harmony looked at her with wide eyes, panic setting in. "I know you want to be like me, you think somehow you'll get my boyfriend or something, but it's just not cool anymore. All you have to do is ask and I might let you hang with me."
"Yes, it's good to know you've seen Clueless. Any other lines you remember from it? I think that and whatever are pretty much the extent of your vocabulary," Buffy said as she smiled sweetly and turned back to her food. Harmony shot her a venomous look before turning and fleeing in the other direction.
"Meow much," Cordelia said. Buffy shrugged.
"That girl just bugs me."
The telephone ringing caused Buffy to leave her boyfriend's side. She had been trying to explain to him how to do laundry. Again. She picked up the portable they had bought for the basement and continued talking to him as she was about to answer it.
"No, Angel. That doesn't go in there. The other one does. Yes, that. You use that for the--Hello?" she asked, breathless.
"Pumpkin?" Hank Summers' voice responded on the other end.
"That's for the drying process. Daddy?" Buffy squealed, trying to hold up two conversations at the same time. It proved to be quite the challenge. "Daddy, is that you?"
"Yes, Pumpkin, it's me." Her father didn't sound exactly thrilled.
"How did you get this number?" Buffy asked hesitantly. She walked over to the washing machine and showed Angel silently how to work it. He gave her a questioning look which she ignored for the moment.
"Your mother. Care to tell me what's going on?"
"Umm, okay. What do you want to know?" Buffy questioned. She heard her father sigh and she moved to sit atop the pool table. Angel sat next to her, listening to her side of the conversation.
"Let's start with why she says you don't live there anymore," Hank replied. He *did not* like the idea of his little girl living with a man. Naturally.
"I moved in with my boyfriend," she said directly, then winced when she heard how it sounded.
"I see," he said, even though he really didn't. "And when did this happen?"
"Umm, we've been living together for about two or three weeks now," Buffy answered.
"Okay. Next question. Who the hell is this boyfriend of yours?" Hank demanded. Buffy winced at his tone. He was taking no prisoners today.
"His name is Angel, Daddy, and before you say anything I want you to know that I love him. And he loves me. He's twenty one and we've been dating for about six or seven months," Buffy replied. There was silence on the line.
"He's twenty one? How old are you again, Buffy? Seventeen? You're not even old enough to vote!" her father cried. Buffy cringed.
"I know, Daddy, I know. But age has nothing to do with it. We're in love and wanted to live together. We live right next door to Mom and Katrina. It's not like I'm living in a trailer or something. You can even come visit if you want!" As soon as the words were out of her mouth she regretted them. Of course he'd want to come visit and grill poor Angel for hours. Her father was silent on the other line. Buffy didn't dare look at her boyfriend.
"I think I'll do just that. I have to work this week, but I'll be coming down as soon as I can on Friday," Hank said. Buffy nodded and closed her eyes.
"Okay, Daddy. We're the house right before Mom's. I love you," Buffy said.
"I love you too, Pumpkin," her father replied as he hung up. Buffy stared at the phone as she clicked it off.
"We've got company coming," she told Angel. He nodded and put his arm around Buffy.
"I take it he's not exactly thrilled?" Angel asked as they stood and walked up the stairs. Adia was in the kitchen attacking some poor, unsuspecting bug.
"That's the understatement of the year," she replied as she gazed around the messy kitchen. "We have some *major* cleaning to do."
Buffy stood in the kitchen, scrubbing the counter clean. She and Angel had spent the week tidying up the house so it was presentable for her father. Looking at the clock, she realized they only had about an hour and a half before he arrived. Angel came up behind his Slayer, wrapping his arms around her small waist and placing tiny kisses on her neck and shoulder line. She swatted him away.
"Angel, we *so* can't do this now. My dad's coming in an hour and a half and we both have to shower. I don't think he'd appreciate walking in on us," Buffy said as she pulled off the rubber gloves she had been wearing and placed them on the divider in the sink.
"And I'm guessing the shower's out, too, huh?" Angel asked, feeling defeated.
"Yep," she replied with a grin. It sounded *very* tempting but they would be playing with fire if they did. Angel groaned.
"Damnit. I hate cold water."
Buffy laughed and patted his shoulder reassuringly, placing a soft kiss on his nose. "I'll make it up to you, honey, I promise."
"I'm holding you to it," Angel grumbled. Buffy laughed and left her boyfriend in the kitchen as she went upstairs to shower. Angel groaned again and went into the living room, plopping himself down in front of the TV. Adia jumped up onto his lap, circling around before settling herself comfortably. Angel sighed.
"Hope you're comfy, 'cause I'm not. I have to take a *cold* shower. Do you have any idea how uncomfortable that is?" Angel asked the black kitten. She looked at him quizzically. He sighed. "Of course you don't."
Buffy and Angel sat outside on their porch swing expectantly. Hank Summers was to arrive at any second. Adia, on her leash, was busy inspecting and stalking an insect. The kitten was growing in leaps and bounds, even though she was still small and fluffy. Buffy sat comfortably on Angel's lap, enjoying his company.
"I love you," she said softly, her head nestled perfectly against his face. He brought a hand up to trace the golden tresses of her hair.
"I love you, too," he replied just as softly, gently kissing her forehead and cheek. Their sweet moment was interrupted by a black Toyota pulling up uncertainly in front of their house. Buffy jumped out of Angel's lap and ran down the stairs to greet her father. Hank Summers got out of his car and removed his sunglasses as his happy daughter rushed into his arms.
"Daddy!" Buffy squealed as she hugged her father close. He returned her sharp hug before holding her out at arm's length to look closely at her.
"You've gotten even more beautiful, if that's possible," Hank said as he hugged her again.
"How was your trip down?" Buffy asked as she picked up her father's overnight bag and took his arm to lead him up the walk. Angel was standing by one of the small pillars on the porch, Adia cradled in his arms. She was intent on chasing a butterfly that flew lazily by, but Angel wasn't letting her go. Hank regarded him warily.
"Daddy, this is Angel Giles. Angel, this is my father, Hank Summers," Buffy said, introducing the two. She and Angel had decided it would be best if they stuck to their cover story, which was that Angel was Giles' nephew. Angel stuck his hand and Hank took it, shaking it firmly. The two men looked at each other for a few tense moments before Angel spoke up.
"It's great to finally meet you, Buffy talks about you all the time," Angel said as he shifted Adia. The kitten was trying desperately to break free.
"Funny, she's never said a word about you," Hank replied evenly.
"Yeah, isn't that hilarious," Buffy dead panned. The tension was quickly growing and Buffy needed a distraction. "Daddy, I'd like you to meet your grand-kitten."
Hank smiled at his daughter as he took Adia from Angel. Holding her up, he looked into her eyes. "And what is this beauty's name?"
"Adia," Angel replied. He took Hank's bag from his girlfriend and carried it inside as Buffy brought her father. He set it down in the foyer and waited. Hank unclipped Adia's leash and set her down gently. The kitten gazed up at him before bounding up the stairs. Buffy took her father's arm and began the tour.
"Welcome to our lovely home," she joked as she led him into the living room. The light gray furniture stood out in the blue room, contrasting with the black of the entertainment center. The room was freshly vacuumed and Buffy had lit a few candles to give it a vanilla scent. She could tell her father was impressed by the expensiveness of the room. On that note, she brought him into the matching dining room, soon followed by the kitchen. Angel followed close behind, pride swelling as Buffy chattered on about the house and their relationship.
Buffy brought him upstairs and placed the bag she had picked up from the foyer in his room. "We haven't had time to redecorate all the rooms, so the two guest rooms are like they were when we bought the house. Actually, when Angel bought the house. I have exactly no money to my name," Buffy said. "This is the other guest room," Buffy pointed to the door across the hall as they moved out of the room, "And this is the bathroom. You can use the one downstairs to take a shower in, there are towels and everything down there. And last, but not least, is our room."
Buffy opened the door slowly for a dramatic effect. An inaudible gasp escaped her father's lips when he saw Buffy and Angel's room, the burgundy of the bed and the light brown of the oak. The red walls had light white and gray swirls on them. An open door showed a glimpse of the lavender bathroom. Hank Summers stood in the doorway for a long time, simply staring at the room.
"Wow," he said finally. He gave his daughter and Angel a smile. "This is really something."
"That's the reaction we were hoping for," Buffy laughed.
"How about I take you kids out to dinner? It'll give Angel and I a chance to get to know each other better," Hank suggested. Buffy nodded and ran to grab her sweater and bag from the closet. She closed the door and they walked downstairs and out the door after making sure Adia had food and water.
"Which car should we take, yours or mine?" Angel asked softly. Hank's eyes nearly bulged out of his head when he saw Angel pointing to the Beamer.
"Why don't we walk? The restaurant that I want to go to isn't that far away," Buffy asked before anymore tension broke out. The men nodded. She slipped her hand in Angel's and together the three of them began the ten block walk to The Millrock.
"So, how's school?" Hank asked Buffy as they walked through the streets of Sunnydale.
"Okay, I guess. I have the principal from hell--figuratively speaking of course. It's not like he's an actual demon or anything...well, not that we've figured out anyway," Buffy said, catching herself when Angel squeezed her hand. Her father looked confused and she gave him a reassuring smile. "It was a joke, Dad." He looked at her again before shrugging.
They reached the restaurant and were quickly seated at a small table. After ordering drinks and looking at the menu Hank began the grueling.
"So, Angel, what exactly do you do?" he asked, sipping his club soda and looking intently at Angel. The ex-vampire shifted slightly in his chair.
"I began working at Buffy's school last week. I'm the secretary to the Guidance counselor," Angel replied, looking over at Buffy. Her hazel eyes drank in his chocolate ones and shone with love.
"Why don't you tell me a little about yourself, your parents, and how exactly you had all that money to buy a house, furnishings, and a new car," Hank said with authority in his voice.
"Well, I was born in Ireland and then my parents moved to Philadelphia. I was sent off to school in England," Angel said, retelling the lie he and Giles had formed. He felt bad about lying to the man, but he couldn't exactly tell him the truth. "I went back to Philadelphia when my mom got very sick and I stayed with her. I didn't have time to go to college because I had to care for her while my father worked. When she passed," Angel paused, honoring her memory, "My Uncle Giles brought me out here. And that's how I met your daughter."
Hank sat back, his hands folded in his lap. He was silent for a time. "Are you pregnant, Buffy?" he asked suddenly. She gasped and looked at her father with wide eyes.
"Of course not! Angel and I are careful," Buffy replied sharply. "And I don't plan on getting pregnant anytime soon," she added, answering her father's unspoken question.
"Well, that's a relief. Angel, tell me again where you got all your money."
"I don't believe I told you the first time, sir," Angel said, adding some of his 18th century manors in. It couldn't hurt. "My mother left me a lot of money in her will. I've been saving it for a while now, and after my apartment got burned down I needed a new home."
"Why exactly did your apartment get burned down? Are you in a gang?" Buffy's father asked accusingly, leaning forward to look Angel in the eye. Angel wasn't the least bit fazed.
"Hardly. There are a few gangs around here who like to cause trouble. My apartment got in their way," Angel replied coolly. Hank was silent, thinking of other questions to ask.
"How did you meet Buffy?"
Angel started to answer but was cut off by Buffy. "We met at this club called The Bronze. I had just moved here and I was there one night with some new friends," Buffy said quickly. Her father didn't need to know that she had knocked him on his ass in a dark alley in the dead of night.
"And you've been dating ever since?" Hank asked as their food arrived. Buffy and Angel nodded. The table was silent as they ate, and Angel couldn't help feeling anxious. He really wanted Hank to approve of their relationship and it looked as if that wasn't in the cards for the day. When coffee and dessert came Hank spoke up.
"Well, I can't say I'm exactly thrilled that my baby girl is living with an older man, but I suppose if I had to choose anyone it would be you, Angel. You're a good man and I can tell you love my Buffy very much," Hank said as he sipped at the hot liquid. Under the table, Buffy rested her hand on Angel's thigh. He gave her a look and she giggled slightly and removed it.
The night was crisp and clear as they walked home. The Hellmouth didn't faze the town, there wasn't the usual sense of urgency and evil in the air. Buffy was grateful for that, she was perfectly content. Angel's arm was securely around her shoulders as they walked, and she felt closer than ever to him.
A growl was heard behind them about a block away from their house. "Slayer," the breeze whispered. Buffy was on alert. She moved her hand into her bag, gripping the stake tightly in her right hand. The growl was heard again, but Hank was oblivious to it. Angel heard it this time and dropped his hand off his love's shoulder.
Together the two swung around, coming face to face with two vampires. They were both burly men, who probably practiced the fine art of truck driving when they had been alive. Their game faces were visible and they stood with their arms crossed over their chests, false power and confidence radiating from them. Buffy groaned.
"You know, I don't ask for much. Just once I'd like to be able to go out to dinner with my father and my boyfriend and not be reminded of the whole Slayer gig," Buffy groaned as she faced off. Angel reached into her bag and grabbed a stake as well.
"Tonight's not your lucky night, Slayer. Prepare to die," the dark haired one said. Buffy faked a yawn.
"How many times have I heard that one? Geez, do you guys have a book of cheesy phrases? And every single vamp who's ever said that to me is now floating around in the atmosphere, and I'm still here. So I think there's something a little wrong with your statement," Buffy said.
"Honey? What's going on?" Hank's nervous voice asked.
"Don't worry, Dad, just stay out of the way. We're about to get R-rated. Caution, the following program contains graphic violence. Last chance to run for your lives," Buffy said. When they didn't move, she attacked. She went after the dark haired one, leaving Angel to take care of the fair haired one. She delivered a sharp punch to his midsection. The blow didn't faze the vampire in the least, and he swung back at her. Buffy ducked as her fist shot out in a right hook. She felt it connect soundly with flesh and heard a tooth pop.
The demon roared and clutched its mouth. He began raining blows down on the Slayer, forcing her to be on the defense. A sharp kick caught her in the shin, and she stumbled slightly before looking up with murder in her eyes. She faked a punch at the demon and brought her stake up, driving it swiftly through the demon's heart. He looked at it, stunned.
"Damn, lost that bet," he said as he dissolved into dust. Angel finished off the one he had been fighting. Buffy glanced over at him and saw his split lip. Blood dribbled down his chin and caught on his t-shirt. Otherwise he looked fine. Buffy turned back to her father, who stood in shock.
"Does someone want to tell me what the hell that just was?" Hank asked. "I didn't even have any alcohol tonight."
"We'll explain when we get home. C'mon, let's go," Buffy said as she picked up the pace, wanting to get her father indoors.
Hank sat quietly with Angel while Buffy went into the kitchen to get her father a cold drink. Angel shifted uncomfortably on his side out the L-shaped couch, holding the cool wet cloth Buffy had given him on his sour lip. Adia was settled in Hank's lap, purring contently as he stroked her soft fur. Hank glanced up to see Angel fidgeting in his seat, alternately playing with the couch cushion and glancing nervously at the kitchen, where Buffy moved, placing cool glasses of iced tea on a tray and carrying them and a bowl of pretzels into the living room. She set the tray down on the glass table top and handed her father a tall glass dripping with condensation. Picking the other two glasses up, she handed one to her boyfriend and sipped her own, soothing her parched throat. There was an awkward pause in the room before her father finally spoke.
"So, are we going to sit here in awkward silence all night or are you two going to tell me what that was all about," Hank said as he took a sip of his iced tea as well. Buffy and Angel looked nervously at each other, their eyes full of questions. Buffy finally decided to speak.
"Umm...okay. Dad, do you know what a vampire is?" Buffy asked. Her father nodded cautiously. She sighed slightly. "Okay...well, that's what those two guys were. Vampires."
Hank stared at his daughter as if she had grown a second head. Which on the Hellmouth was very possible indeed. He opened his mouth several times to reply, closing it each time a sound failed to escape his lips. Finally he spoke.
"Vampires?" he asked in an incredulous tone. Buffy nodded, stealing another glance at Angel. He nodded slightly, indicating she should go on.
"Yeah, and you see, I was fighting them because it's my job. To fight vampires..." she said, stumbling slightly over her own sentence. "I'm the Chosen One."
"It's your job to *fight* vampires? Vampires are real?" Hank asked, what his daughter had just told him not sinking in totally yet.
"Yeah, Dad," she said with a sigh, leaning back into the couch cushions, "Vampires are real. I'm the Vampire Slayer. I have been since I was fifteen."
Hank breathed out heavily and brought a hand up to rub his eyes. What his baby girl had just told him *could not* be true. She was a Vampire Slayer? Had been at just a child? Impossible. And yet, he had seen two of them die at the hand of her and her boyfriend...
"How do you fit into this?" Hank asked Angel. Angel looked up, startled. He seemed at a loss for words and glanced at his girlfriend for support. She shrugged.
"It's up to you, Angel. Tell him or don't tell him," she said simply. Angel sighed and ran a shaky hand through his dark hair. He knew if he didn't tell Hank now it would come up again and this was *not* a subject he wanted to discuss.
"Well...I'm not exactly twenty one," Angel said hesitantly, glancing up at Hank to see his reaction. Suspicion quickly etched across his face and he stared at Angel evenly.
"What do you mean by that?" Hank asked, his tone also even. Angel swallowed before speaking, wetting his suddenly-dry throat.
"I'm a little older than that."
"*How* much older?"
"About two hundred and twenty one years older," Angel said with a grimace. Hank stared at him in complete and total shock, Buffy glanced quickly at Angel and picked up the conversation.
"Now before you say anything, Daddy, let me explain," Buffy said as Hank moved to speak. He grumbled slightly but remained silent. "See, Angel used to be a vampire, you know, the whole blood sucking, stake-through-the heart-will-kill-you vamp. But then he fed off the wrong girl and was cursed with his soul, because when someone becomes a vampire their soul leaves their body. But Angel had his returned and so he roamed around for about a hundred years, feeling guilty and stuff." Buffy paused to sip her drink, partly from nervousness and partly from thirst. Angel had spent a long night talking to her, revealing details about his past he had never told anyone. Which, in turn, allowed her to explain it to her father. "And then he was offered a chance to be someone again and he took it. He came out to California and was shown me, Little Miss Chosen One. He saw when I was called and watched me slay my first vampire. Oh," she suddenly remembered, "I wasn't with Tyler that night I was late for dinner, I was in the graveyard slaying. Anyway, he fell in total love with me--not hard, I mean, I *am* pretty irresistible--and began helping me out. Or thinking he was helping me.
"He'd show up and give me these little cryptic comments like 'The wolf cries at midnight, beware,' and stuff like that--"
"I was never that bad," Angel argued. Buffy shot him a look and he quieted, allowing her to continue her story.
"And finally one night we kissed. Now I had majorly fallen for him but I didn't know he was an evil bloodsucker," she said with a giggle. Her father sat, rigid, as he listened to her tale. "But when we kissed he showed his true face and I finally knew his secret. We agreed to part ways, but we ended up back together when he resurrected me after I died--"
"YOU DIED!?" Hank cried. Buffy cringed.
"Did I forget to mention that?" she asked innocently. Hank nodded vigorously, running a hand through his brown hair. "Oh, well you remember last summer when I was really bitchy? It was before that. So anyway, I come back and act all stupid around him, even though I'm totally drooling over him ever chance I get. He told me about his past and stuff and everything was going perfectly until my seventeenth birthday." Buffy paused, not sure how to go on. She really didn't want to come right out and *tell* her father she and Angel had slept together, but there was pretty much no other way to say it.
Angel sensed her hesitation and took over. "We decided it was time to...take the next step." Hank didn't seem to understand.
"What, you told her you loved her?"
"Well, yeah, there was that step too. But that wasn't what I meant..." Angel trailed off, suddenly staring down at his hands. Buffy sighed in frustration and just came out and said it.
"Daddy, the night of my birthday Angel and I made love for the first time."
Hank sat quietly for a few moments, letting what Buffy had just said sink in. He seemed to be in more shock than when she had told him she was the Slayer. But these were two totally different subjects...his *baby* had had sex with a man before she had gotten married. His hands were folded in the lap Adia had vacated for her cat toy and they were wringing together. Angel took Buffy's hand within his own and squeezed it reassuringly.
"You had sex with him? On your seventeenth birthday? What did your mother say about this?" Hank demanded. Buffy averted her gaze from his eyes.
"She kinda...she didn't know. She thought I was at Willow's," Buffy whispered. Hank fumed.
"You lied to you own mother and slept with a man who could be your great, great, great, great grandfather? I *cannot* believe this," Hank snorted. Buffy's eyes threw sparks.
"What's so hard to understand?" Buffy cried. She tightened her grip on Angel's hand. "*We were in love.* Why're you making a bigger deal out of that than me being the Slayer? I was kicked out Hemery because of it, I *died* because of it, and I could be dead tomorrow because of it. Sleeping with my boyfriend pales slightly compared to that, don'tcha think?"
Startled by Buffy's outburst, Hank sat quietly, contemplating her words. Although he fought with himself, he saw truth in them. This whole Slayer thing she had told him about was much more dangerous than sleeping with a man who obviously adored her. He grumbled slightly and crossed his arms, waiting for her to continue.
"Well, you'll be happy to know that because of it Angel lost his soul. His curse was designed so that if he received a moment of true happiness he would lose it," Buffy told her father in a slightly strained tone. "I knew I had to stop him before he hurt anyone, but I couldn't, I still loved him more than anything. I thought I was finally ready to when Angelus killed Ms. Calendar--"
"Who's Angelus?" Hank suddenly asked.
"The demon that lived in my body was called Angelus," Angel told him. He nodded.
"But I really don't know if I could have gone through with it. Then Willow found the curse Ms. Calendar had left behind, which made Angel human. So we turned him human and that's the end of my exciting story," Buffy said as she took a swig of iced tea to soothe her throat. Hank sat in silence for a long time.
"And Angel helps you with the killing?" Hank asked, terrified that his baby girl went out at night on her own.
"Yeah, only that's the first vamp we've come across since we got back from Romania," Buffy replied. Her father's eyes bulged.
"Romania?" he demanded. Buffy laughed.
"Dad, I don't think you'll be able to handle that story tonight," she said. He nodded and dropped his head into his hands.
"Wow," he said finally. Buffy stole a glance at her boyfriend to find him gazing intently at her. She returned his love-filled gaze before looking at her father questioningly. "I think I need to sleep on this."
"Believe me, Dad, I know how you feel. I think I'm gonna turn in, too, but I want to go grab a snack. Slaying always seems to make me hungry and horn--I mean, hungry...for Hershey bars. You know, because of...the sugar!" she said, quickly covering up her mistake. She didn't dare look at Angel for fear of his reaction. Her father didn't seem to notice her slip, however, and simply nodded before rising. He placed a kiss on her forehead and shook Angel's hand before trudging up the stairs to his room.
When he was out of earshot, Angel turned to Buffy and spoke. "Hershey's huh?" he teased. She felt her cheeks grow rosy and she gave him a sheepish smile.
"So, ready to go get some well-deserved rest?" she asked, changing the subject. Angel laughed and stood, sweeping her off her feet when she rose next to him. Carrying her up the stairs, he let her down once they were in the privacy of their room. Giving her a quick kiss, he stripped down to his boxers and crawled into bed. Buffy turned the light off before crawling in next to him and as he wrapped his arms around her she felt safe. And now that her father knew of her calling, she felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
Those thought firmly implanted in her mind, she fell into a dreamless sleep.
Buffy and Angel stood on the porch with Hank the next afternoon. His bag was in the car and he was about to go back to L.A. He pulled his daughter in for a strong hug, which she gladly returned.
"You be careful with this Slayer business, Buffy. You and Angel should come visit me in L.A. sometime," Hank said as he reluctantly pulled away. Buffy nodded and smiled. Turning to Angel, he stuck out his hand.
"If I was to choose anyone for my baby, I can't think of anyone better than you," he said as they shook. "I hear that you've hurt her, though, and you'll be seeing me again."
Angel laughed and nodded. "I *couldn't* hurt Buffy even if I tried," he said. Giving his daughter one last kiss on the cheek, he turned and walked to his car. Climbing in, he waved as he pulled away from the curb. Angel wrapped his arms around Buffy as she waved until her father was out of sight.
"That went well," he commented as they stood on the porch.
"Yeah, he was surprisingly okay with it," Buffy replied as she rested her head against Angel's chest. They had had a long talk that morning with her father when everything had sunk in and he finally knew what kind of life Buffy had had to lead.
Angel gazed down at her with a gleam in his eye. "Still up for a 'Hershey bar'?" he asked. Her eyes reflected his gleam.
"With you? Anytime," she said as they raced into the house and up the stairs. "I'm never gonna live that down, huh?"
"Nope, not a chance," Angel laughed.
Adia sat on the bottom step, watching her two owners take the stairs two at a time. Bored, she turned and padded into the living room, intent on finding a bug to stalk.
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