Angelus sat behind his desk and stared at the mountain of paperwork that his assistant had just piled directly in front of him moments earlier. He had planned on going home, if not early then at least on time and spending the evening with his family unit, but he had no hope of that at this point. As he hurriedly scanned the documents in question, he realised that it was all high priority work and needed tot be completed by the morning.
Precisely as he had premeditated a few months earlier, he was little by little wooing his wife, spending time with her, taking her places – doing things that conventional couples did while they were dating – and it seemed to be working. Things were less stressed and more… well, just more pleasurable. And now he had to interrupt his plans and call Buffy with the information that he might not make it home before the early hours of the morning, if at all.
Submerging himself in his toil – as a method to keep Buffy’s disenchanted voice from ringing through his ears – he managed to finish the pile by three o’clock. Rushing down to the parking lot, he got into his car to go home only to find that it would not start. Perturbed he went back upstairs to his office and bedded down there, knowing full well that if he lived anywhere else but sleepy old Sunnydale – where the two garages close by ten and no auto-club could be found - he could have gotten someone out to fix the damn predicament.
His slumber was agitated and not deep, so when he heard the footsteps approaching he was instantaneously wide awake. Part of him fervently wished that it was Buffy coming to surprise him, but he knew as much as his wife loved and trusted his sister she would not leave Meghan alone with her overnight – yet. Opening his eyes he saw that his visitor was without a doubt blonde, just not the one he wished for, but the one he detested.
“Let me guess,” he spoke shocking her into motionlessness. “You are to blame for my car trouble?”
As he sat up on the bed, revealing his bare chest she smirked. “Darling… I had to give you a plausible excuse for the Barbie Doll.”
She took another step towards him, “Don’t bother. If you are not out of here in thirty seconds, I will make sure that you never see the light of day again.”
“Why are you denying what we both want?”
“I don’t want *you*, Darla. No matter where I was or who I was with… It was always her.”
“You’ll regret this, Angelus. I was the best thing…”
He cut her off, “Go back to Europe, Darla. Find some conceited, superficial old man to fuck over and leave me and my family the hell alone.”
She glared at him, but in the end followed instructions. However as he watched her go he had a ghastly feeling that she was not going to leave him or Buffy alone. Reaching across to his cell phone, he called an old friend, Doyle and after explaining the circumstances was forgiven for the early wake-up call. By the time he had hung up he had arranged protection for his wife and daughter, he could only hope that he was being paranoid and it was not essential.
Both Kathy and Dawn knew something was up with their respective siblings and contrary to fashionable conviction they could and did notice things going on around them – principally when it had an emotional impact on them. And Buffy and Angelus’ inconsistent behaviour definitely impacted on them. Buffy’s mood swings could be put down to the powerful concoction of pregnancy hormones flooding her system, but Angelus was a different story. So the bothersome duo decided amongst themselves that they would each speak to their sibling and report back as to what was going on.
Dawn was comforted that she was related to Buffy; even though she dearly loved her brother-in-law she had the feeling that getting whatever thing out of him would be worse than a trip to the dentist for a root canal. It was in addition easier to corner her sister – more than ever in her condition – to talk. And that is what she did, ambushing her virtually due pregnant sister after she sat down on the living room settee.
Standing over Buffy she asked, “What the hell is going on with you two now?”
Her sister stared at her with surprise, “What do you mean?”
Dawn flopped down onto the couch next to Buffy, “I mean that Angelus is all of a sudden… weird. What happened?”
“You’re asking me?”
“Well… you re married to the guy,” Dawn replied acerbically.
Buffy sighed and rubbed her tremendously bulky abdomen, “I don’t know. One day we’re fine and the next he’s just gone all… paranoid. Do you think…”
Buffy shook her head, “Nothing.”
“Buffy Anne,” Dawn said in a forceful manner, causing her sister to look at her apprehensively.
“Did you just channel mom?”
“I was just gonna say,” she told Dawn. “Do you think he’s guessed how I feel about him?”
“Of course he knows. You’re in love… that’s why you got married… isn’t it?” Dawn scrutinised her sister and came to the obvious conclusion, “Mom was right, wasn’t she? You married him for the money…”
“I couldn’t let you and mom down. Not if I could prevent it.”
“Does Angelus know?”
Buffy shot Dawn a look of ‘duh’, “I saved you guys and he got something he wanted…”
“Please don’t tell me it was sex? Some bizarre kinky stuff…” Dawn replied looking somewhat sickened.
Her sister shook her blonde head, “No.”
Dawn jumped up and looked at Buffy, “I don’t think I want to know what he required. There is one thing though?”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone? I mean… I know I’m not the most mature person…”
“I told Willow.”
“And she let you do it? She’s supposed to be your best friend.”
“Sorry,” she muttered sitting back down. “So why you? No offence or anything, but Angelus is dangerously studly… Why did he need to buy a wife?”
Buffy crinkled her nose in confusion, “I don’t know…”
“This doesn’t fit to what Kathy told me,” Dawn said out of the blue. At Buffy’s look she continued, “Kathy said that Angelus had been nuts about you for years.”
Buffy snorted loudly, “Giles told mom the same thing.”
“Mom told me a few months ago about a conversation she and Giles had about my marriage…”
“And Giles told mom that Angelus…”
“Had been in love with me since we were in high school.”
Dawn looked at Buffy, “Maybe that’s why he’s acting out of the ordinary. He loves you and thinks you don’t feel the same way…”
“Don’t Dawn me,” she told her sister. “We need to get this sorted before my new niece or nephew arrives. You need to tell him that you love him. You do love him, don’t you?”
“What if you’re mistaken and I make a fool of myself?”
Dawn grabbed a hold of Buffy’s hand, “Aren’t you the same girl that once told me, ‘love makes you do the wacky’?”
“Okay. I’ll tell him tonight.”
“No, you have to do it now or you’ll talk yourself out of it.”
Buffy sighed, “He’s at work and I can’t exactly tell him this on the phone.”
“Go to his office.”
She pointed to her abdomen, “Even if I were supposed to drive… I can’t fit behind the damn wheel.”
“I’ll drive. I have my permit and you are a fully licensed driver.”
Buffy nodded, “Let’s do it.”
It took a small amount of minutes to get Buffy up and prepared, but before Dawn knew it they were sitting in Buffy’s BMW. Apprehensively Dawn eased the powerful – and tremendously expensive – car out of the driveway and onto the road, heading towards Sunnydale’s undersized business district. The whole thing was going along very well and they very nearly reached their destination when from out of nowhere a black Mercedes hit them from behind, forcing them off of the road and into a metal barricade and all Dawn saw was the white of the airbag and the black of unconsciousness.
When she came to she almost gagged on the volumes of material surrounding her, encasing her in the protection of the airbag. She fought her way past the protective device and screamed when she saw a man peeking in the driver’s window. He opened the door and asked if she was okay, before helping her out of the vehicle and sat her down on the ground nearby.
“Is Buffy okay?”
“Your sister’s in the car with you?”
Dawn looked at him suspiciously, trying to focus past the wooziness, “How do you know Buffy’s my sister?”
“The name’s Doyle. I work for Angelus,” he answered. “Are you going to be all right for a minute? I need to check on your sister.”
“All ready have the police and paramedics are on the way.”
She sat there in a daze while that Doyle person checked on Buffy. Putting her palm up to her head, she tried to clear away the fuzziness, but was unsuccessful and when she pulled her hand away she glimpsed at the brilliant red blood that coated it. If she was bleeding what was wrong with Buffy… and the baby? She wanted to call out, to ask about her sister, but could not find her voice as once again blackness overtook her.