Title: Congratulations
Author: Dusk (dusk@goldserve.net)
Fandom: Angel
Pairing: A/H [implied]
Rating: PG
Archive: Usual places. Elsewhere, ask.
Disclaimer: Not mine. No profit made from borrowing them.
Summary: The losses nobody knows about are the ones that cut the deepest.
Warnings: General spoilers for Angel, season 3.
Comments: I have only seen the first two eps of the season, so this may not fit in with later canon. It just seems appropriate.

***

I was in the middle of 'The Shady Dame of Seville' when it hit me. And that's not a metaphor... I felt like I'd been slugged in the stomach.

Set the scene for a moment... I'm at the bar, because when am I ever elsewhere? I'm upstairs, and it's morning, just me. Which is probably for the best, because I'm a lot of things, but a soprano isn't one of them.

I can't read my own future. Did I ever tell you that? At least, not directly. Not deliberately. I can sing to my heart's content and ninety-nine times out of a hundred, get nothing. It's a little luxury I enjoy... it's not often I hear a voice unaccompanied by background thoughts. You don't want to know what a lot of singers are thinking about when they sing. A hint - it's rarely music.

When I do pick things up, they're fragments, and they're rarely about me... more often about people I know, care about. The info - it's trivia. Sometimes entertaining - I get up-to-date gossip as it happens, like live news coverage - but rarely anything more.

Not this time.

Angel, what have you done?

She's pregnant.

I had to sit down at that point. How? I can't take it in. Do you even know?

I can answer that one for myself. No, of course you don't. Because if you did, you'd be here asking *me* about it. Nobody knows. I don't even think she does, yet.

And I can't even tell you, which is why I'm stuck here, alone, repeating it... like it's suddenly going to make sense the forty-second time I hear it. You're having a baby, Angel.

You're having a family.

It's not the Brady Bunch, but there's a father, and a mother, and a kid, tied by blood. That's a family.

I know. You have a family. In fact, technically, you've had three... the one that spawned you, least said the better. By vampire definitions, you've sired a few baby vamps, created a family for yourself. And now your expanding crew of humans, which is my personal favourite so far.

But this is different. Your roots are in humanity and this is the human definition of family. Your girl is having your baby.

I can't even tell you the number of reactions I have to that. Mind-numbing terror is a big one. Disbelief. Shock. Amazement. Hysteria, by way of terror again. Loss.

Envy.

That has to be the most ridiculous of the lot. How can I possibly envy this strange and unnatural mess you've gotten yourself into?

I guess I don't. Not really.

Yup. There's a 'but' coming.

You're a loner, Angel. You are one of a kind. You have friends, but they're human. You have blood kin, but they're the soulless kind of vamps. They're different.

Now there's going to be another of you. Or even if it's not like you, it'll be a part of you. Flesh and bone. Body and... dare I say it... soul.

There's only one of me in this world. There can never be more than one of me.

I sacrificed a lot to come here. Everything. And I wouldn't change that. I had the chance to go back, and believe me, no power on this or any other earth could make me go back and stay back. You've seen my family, you know why never seeing them again doesn't exactly bring me to tears.

But when you leave one family behind, you have the chance to make another. That's what adulthood is about.

Kids are meant to be a part of that. And true, I never exactly wanted them, but back there... they were an option. It was almost taken for granted that one day there would be a few mini-Lornes running about the place, freaking people out and being screamed at by my mother, may she burn in Tarkna.

I left that behind, and I really don't see myself as the fathering type anyway. But I never thought you were, either. Look where you've ended up.

We're nothing alike, you and I, but it was our uniqueness that we had in common. In all the world, each the only one of our kind.

We've lost that.

Now there's just me.

I've lost you.

You won't even know it. You've never considered that I ever had you, but I did, I had this part of you, and this little thing that isn't even a person yet has just... taken it, just by existing.

Despite all the trouble this will bring you, I honestly and truly couldn't be happier for you. Humanity is what you strive for, and having a baby is a very human thing. And when you finally find out, I'll tell you as much. Congratulate you. Maybe even make some faux-masculine traditional remarks about the incredible amount of skill and effort that goes into creating a life.

I won't tell you how long I cried for when I first heard the wonderful news.

[end]



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