By Jessi Roberts
Summary: Buffy has a surprise for Angel.
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to the WB and Joss Whedon. No infringement intended. The song 'Black Balloons' is off the Goo Goo Dolls' album "Dizzy Up the Girl". No infringement intended upon them.
"Baby's black balloon makes her fly
I almost fell into that hole in your life
And you're not thinking about tomorrow
'Cause you were the same as me
But on your knees"
Buffy glanced at her watch as she locked up her apartment in New York.
"Great, 20 minutes late! Sean is going to kill me!" she muttered under her breath.
Picking up her bag she rushed down the steps and headed off for her job as Assistant Buyer at Bloomingdale's department store. Upon entering the store she stifled a moan when she saw her very upset boss Sean walking towards her.
"Buffy! You're late!" he said quietly, but forcefully.
Buffy smiled broadly and grabbed Sean by the arm.
"I know, but that's why you love me right?" she continued smiling.
Sean couldn't help but smile himself and let her lead him back to the office.
"You're lucky you do such good work here, or you'd be on the curb before you could say 'But Sean!'" he teased her.
Buffy nodded and sat down at her desk and pulled out her date book. After making some new entries she put it away and turned her attention back to Sean.
"How's Michelle doing?" she asked him.
"Really well, how is Meredith?" he asked her speaking about Buffy's two-year-old daughter.
"You know the terrible twos. She stayed with Rachel and Brian last night. I had that late meeting with production," she answered him.
"What time do you leave for Sunnydale tomorrow?" he asked her.
"We leave bright and early at 6. Hopefully Meredith will sleep most of the flight. Don't worry about the perspectives for Jim, I'll have them on his desk by 5 today," she answered, once again returning her attention back to work.
Sean wished her a happy trip and left her office.
"A thousand other boys could never reach you
How could I have been the one
I saw the world spin beneath you
And scatter like ice from the spoon
That was your womb"
The day ended way too quickly in Buffy's opinion. After turning in the perspectives to Jim, she stepped out into the cool June evening and headed to Rachel's to get Meredith. Since it was a nice night she decided to walk instead of hailing a cab. She began thinking about her life as she walked. Being a single mom isn't so bad. Just seeing Meredith smile at me reminds me why I do what I do everyday. I can't wait to get back to Sunnydale and visit everyone again. I miss Willow so much. I haven't been back in so long. It's been since graduation. I can't wait to see mom.
Arriving at Rachel's she knocked on the door only to be greeted by Rachel's dog Digger.
"Hi there Digger! Whatcha doing today boy? Was Meredith a good girl today?" Buffy asked the dog.
"She most certainly was a good girl, quite unlike her mom though," came Rachel's mocking voice.
Buffy looked up at Rachel who was holding Meredith and laughed.
"Gee Rache it's as if you know me. My secret life as a hooker getting too much for you?" Buffy teased.
Rachel rolled her eyes and handed Meredith to Buffy.
"There's my big girl! Mommy missed you today," Buffy told her her daughter.
"So when will you get back from Sunnydale?" Rachel asked Buffy.
"Ummm, I got an open ended ticket so I really don't know. I told Sean possibly two weeks. I'll call you if we decide to come back sooner or later. Has she eaten?" Buffy said.
"Yeah, I think she's about ready to crash on you," Rachel answered. "We'll see you when you get back okay Buffy? Have fun in the sun!" Buffy nodded and took Meredith home.
The next morning they were winging their way westward and Meredith was cuddled up in Buffy's lap. Willow had called the previous night and told Buffy she'd pick them up around noon at the airport.
The plane landed on time and Willow spotted Buffy walking very slowly helping Meredith walk.
"BUFFY!" Willow screeched and rushed up to her friend.
Buffy smiled and enveloped Willow in a hug, still carefully holding onto Meredith with her other hand.
"Hey you," Buffy whispered, trying not to cry. The two stood there just hugging until a tiny voice interrupted their moment.
"Mommy? Mommy?," Meredith's baby voice questioned.
Willow and Buffy pulled away and Buffy picked her up.
"Willow this is Meredith, my pride and joy. Meredith, this is mommy's friend Willow, can you say hello?" Buffy introduced the two.
"Hi Meredith," Willow smiled at the infant.
Upon Willow's hello Meredith buried her head in her mom's shoulder and peeked out at Willow.
"Someone's shy," Willow mused. "The car is this way."
Buffy, Willow, and Meredith went to the baggage claim and got Buffy's bags. Soon they were in Willow's Toyota Camry and heading towards Buffy's mom's house. They pulled up outside and Willow asked Buffy a question.
"Have you talked to him lately?" she asked.
"No, not since he was in New York last. We sort of lost touch." Buffy answered looking down a little.
"Does he know about Meredith?" she went on.
Buffy shook her head no and climbed out of the car. She opened the back door and pulled Meredith out of her car seat. Willow went around to the trunk and pulled out Buffy's bags.
"Do you want me to stay?" Willow asked Buffy.
"No, come by later tonight though. I need to talk to mom alone for a while." Buffy answered.
Willow nodded and got in her car and drove off. Buffy stood on the sidewalk with Meredith and their luggage. Running a hand through her shoulder-length blonde hair she shrugged.
"Better bite to bullet and get it over with," she mused out loud, "Come on honey, let's go see grandma."
It took them a while to reach the door since Meredith was still toying with the idea of walking. Knocking lightly, Buffy awaited her mom to answer the door.
"Buffy?" came the voice of her mother.
Buffy smiled and gave her mom a hug.
"Hi mom, we're here!" she announced.
"That I can see," came a male voice from behind Buffy.
Whipping around, Buffy saw Angel coming up the steps. He looked so good. Ever since he had become human about two and a half years ago. Buffy swallowed heavily and smiled a little.
"Angel," she whispered.
He smiled at her with his sparkling brown eyes. Looking down he saw a miniature Buffy with black hair.
"And who is this?" he asked, squatting down to the little girl's level.
Meredith eyed him before latching onto Buffy's leg and peering at him.
Buffy couldn't help but laugh at her daughter's shyness.
"This little munchkin is Meredith. Our daughter." she answered quietly.
Angel thought he heard her incorrectly.
"Our daughter?" he choked out.
Buffy smiled softly.
"Ours." she said again.
"Comin' down the world turned over
And angels fall without you there
And I go on as you get colder
Or are you someone's prayer"
Well the bombshell had been dropped. The scene had moved from the porch into the living room, but the reaction remained the same. Angel sat in a chair and it looked as if he was trying to memorize the palm of his hand. Buffy sat opposite of him on the couch, engrossed with her nails. Joyce had taken Meredith to the park so the two could talk.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Angel asked finally, ending the silence.
"I didn't know how." Buffy answered quietly.
Angel ran his hand through his hair and rested his elbows on his knees. "It was that time I was in New York wasn't it?" he asked.
Buffy nodded, not taking her eyes off of her hands.
"Rumor had it you had a kid, but no one confirmed it, at least not to me." he went on.
"Meredith and I are doing fine Angel, I didn't tell you about her just now because I wanted to entrap you into becoming a family," Buffy said, "I just thought it was time you knew."
Angel got up and moved over to sit beside Buffy.
"I always wanted you and me to be a family Buffy, I still do." he whispered.
Buffy smiled softly. Reaching over she grasped Angel's hand lightly.
"I do too," she whispered, "I've always loved you Angel."
"I love you too Buffy," he returned.
He leaned in and kissed her gently. Smiling, Buffy kissed him back. They were so engrossed in each other, they didn't notice the door open and close.
"Mommy!" Meredith called out.
Buffy pulled away reluctantly from Angel and gave him a sheepish grin. She got up and picked Meredith up.
"How was the park honey? Did you give grandma a hard time?" Buffy asked. "Nope," Meredith answered.
"Give mommy a kiss." Buffy said.
Angel crept up behind Buffy and wrapped his arms around her.
"Don't mind if I do." he answered her.
He kissed the side of her head and Meredith watched him with big eyes.
"Meredith, this is Angel, he's your daddy." Buffy told her daughter.
Meredith stared at him for a minute before burying her face in her mom's neck and peeking out at him. Angel couldn't help but chuckle.
"Hiding from people. Obviously my child." he smiled.
Buffy smiled broadly. They took Meredith into the kitchen to get ready for dinner. Before they could set Meredith down, Joyce walked into the kitchen with Giles.
"Buffy, Giles and I are getting married!" Joyce told her daughter.
Buffy couldn't believe it and promptly fainted.
"You know the lies they always told you
And the love you never knew
What's the things they never showed you
That swallowed the light from the sun
Inside your room"
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