Learning Curve by Suzee

1. Introductions by Suzee

2. He Won't Do It by Suzee

3. Interlude: Time by Suzee

4. Chapter Three: Will (S)he? by Suzee

5. Chapter 4: Art by Suzee

6. Chapter 5: Work by Suzee

7. Ice Cream by Suzee

8. Chapter Seven: Into It by Suzee

9. Chapter 8: School by Suzee

10. Interlude: Learning by Suzee

11. Chapter 9 by Suzee

12. Chapter 10 by Suzee

13. Chapter 11: Discoveries by Suzee

14. Chapter 12: Cooking by Suzee

15. Chapter 13: Family by Suzee

16. Chapter 14 by Suzee

17. Chapter 15: Part One by Suzee

18. Chapeter 15: Part II by Suzee

19. Chapter 16: Field Trip Time by Suzee

20. Chapter 17: Going Out by Suzee

21. Chapter 18: Night Out by Suzee

22. Chapter 19:The Bronze by Suzee

23. Chapter 20 by Suzee

24. Chapter 21 by Suzee

25. Chapter 22: Craft Day by Suzee

26. Chapter 23: Birthday Party! by Suzee

27. Chapter 24: Follow Me by Suzee

28. Chapter 25: Past is past…..or is it? by Suzee

29. Chapter 26: Decision Time by Suzee

30. Chapter 27: (She Looks into My Eyes and She Sees) A Man She Used to Recognize by Suzee

31. Chapter 28: Reaction Time by Suzee

32. Chapter 29: Explanations by Suzee

33. Chapter 30 by Suzee

34. Chapter 31 by Suzee

35. Chapter 32: Homecoming by Suzee

36. Chapter 32: Homecoming Part II by Suzee

37. Chapter 33 by Suzee

38. Chapter 34 by Suzee

39. Chapter 35 by Suzee

40. Chapter 36: Aftermath and explanations by Suzee

41. Interlude by Suzee

42. Chapter 37 by Suzee

43. Chapter 38 by Suzee

44. Chapter 39 by Suzee

45. Chapter 40 by Suzee

46. Epilogue by Suzee

Introductions by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Don't want to forget the disclaimer: I own nothing (at least in tems of BtVS and AtS).. All characters (except for Sam) property of Joss Whedon and ME. So don't sue me :) But this is my story, so don't you steal it ;-)

A/N: I'm still writing this and I was going to wait until I finished to post any of it, but I wanted to know if anybody thought it was worth me continuing it or not. So please, please, with Spike on top review.
Pairing: Buffy/William (A/U)

Rating: for now up to R

Chapter One:Introductions

"Let me get this straight, you want to send my 6-year-old daughter to a boarding school?"

"Buffy, honey, calm down. It's just across town, so you can visit anytime. And it's really the only choice we have-"

"The only choice? Are you suddenly forgetting the elementary school not five minutes from here?"

"That's a public school, sweetheart, St. Luke’s is the only private school in the area and there's no way anyone with the last name O'Connor is ever going to go to a public school."

'Then it's a good thing here name is legally Summers-O'Connor,' Buffy thought, but she didn't dare say that to her husband. Instead all she said was, "Well then, figure something out because she's not going to boarding school, even if it means I have to finish getting my teaching degree and teach her myself." 'Take that Liam O'Connor.'

"No, no, you can't do that. I'll figure something out."


10 Days Later

"Buffy, are you sure this is a good idea." What had he been thinking giving her this much responsibility?

"You came up with it." Was there seriously something wrong with him? First he tells her to do something, she does it, then he thinks it's a bad idea. Huh? Did she miss something?'

"I know. It's just, what do we even know about him? He could be some nut job for all we know."

"Don't worry. I got his name from an excellent teacher at St. Luke's" 'Hopefully Giles filled whoever this guy is, in on that little bit, can't get caught in you lie now can we, Buffy.' "As for the rest, he'll just have-" they were cut off by the doorbell, "-to tell you."

*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&

William stood in front of the huge, ornate door--finger poised just over the door bell--not sure if this was a good idea. Sure he needed a job and he'd been thrilled when his father told him he'd found something for him. But now, standing in front of this huge house, with everything perfectly manicured and cared for, he wasn't so sure. Was taking care of some rich couple's spoiled brat really how he needed to spend his time? Sure the money would be good, but- "Oh sod it. No other way to find out," he muttered and finally rang the doorbell.

Any doubts he had were almost-- almost --dispelled as he was the beauty that opened the door to him. 'Please don't let her be married.' His father hadn't told him anything about who he would be working for and all he could hope was that either she was a single mother or wasn't the mother at all. 'Please don't let-' his mantra was cut short as a tall hulkish man appeared next to her and extended his hand.

"Liam O'Conor." And that's all he said. 'A little rude,' William thought.

"And I'm his wife, Buffy Summers," at the slight throat clearing from her husband, she quickly added, "O'Connor. You must be the tutor, I'm sorry, but St. Luke's didn't tell me your name."

"William Giles, please to meet you Ms. Summers-O'Connor. And you too of course, Mr. O'Connor."

"Well, Mr. Giles, you come very highly recommended." 'I'd better he though, it was my own father recommending me.' "Please do come in," Buffy finished.

'Interesting,' William thought, 'she feels like she has to identify herself as his wife, but still introduces herself with her maiden name. Gonna have to figure what that's all about. And she's obviously lying to her husband because ol' Rupes has nothing to do with that ?Stuck-up? St. Luke's.'

Buffy opened the door wider and William walked through, slowly looking around the foyer, and waited to be shown where to go.

"Why don't we go sit in the living room, it will b more comfortable than Angel's office." Buffy started to lead William with Angel trailing behind, "I'm not sure how much they told you about what this job entails. Basically we need someone who can teach Sam everything she would learn if she were in a regular school," here Angel interrupted his wife.

"Buffy, why don't you go check on Samantha and maybe get us some drinks. I'm sure I could fill Mr. Giles in on what would be expected of him should he get the job." Buffy looked a little off put, but also looked like she'd learned long ago not to argue with her husband. So, after finding out what the two men wanted to drink--a scotch for Angel and water for William--she excused herself and said she'd bring the drinks in before she checked on Samantha. The two sat in an uncomfortable silence when she'd gone with William getting the feeling that Liam--or Angel as he was apparently called--was trying to intimidate him.

Once Buffy had brought the drinks and left, with a nod from Angel and a "thank you" from William, Angel got down to business. "Now let's get one thing straight. Buffy may think she knows what she's talking about just because she took some 'I-wanna-be-a-teacher classes'-"

"Education classes," William interrupted, not much liking how this man was talking about his wife.

"Yeah, education classes, whatever. But she doesn't have the same views on education as I do. And I'm assuming since she got you name through St. Luke's that you share those views." When William said nothing Angel continued, "Buffy's a great girl, but she's and I don't come from the same kind of families, I mean her mother's a painter for a living and her father-let's not even go there. Basically what I'm saying is, she doesn't know what's necessary to raise a proper young lady." William would have laughed at that if Angel wasn't so serious. "So before we even get started, you need to know that if you're Samantha's instructor--and it is Samantha, not Sam--then you report to me, even if Buffy thinks otherwise."

"Now about you-not that the fact that St. Luke's recommended you isn't enough for me-but you know how it is. Do you have a résumé or anything?" William handed him the piece of paper hoping he wouldn't somehow figure out he had no affiliation with St. Luke's, if only for Buffy's sake. "Ah, Oxford, joint degree in English Literature and education. Graduate degree in English and four years teaching at Thames Lower School in Yorkfordshire Very impressive. Why did you decide to leave England?"

He didn't notice the tightening of William's jaw, "Personal reasons."

Angel looked up from the paper then, "Very well, it's really of no consequence anyway. I'll need to check your references of course, but for now why don't you take this," Angel handed William a packet of several papers, "and look over it, it's the job description--requirements and expectations--you know all the obvious stuff, you can take that and go over it and after I check your references, I'll get back to you. If you have any questions just call. Anything else you can think of?" Before William could even say anything, Angel continued, "Pay is $50,000 a year, insurance and everything like that is there," he gestured to the papers.

Buffy came back into the room then and couldn't help but notice the difference between Angel and William's demeanors. William looked like he was within an inch of doing...something to Angel while Angel looked very pleased.

"How are things going?" She asked.

"Actually, I think we're finished. I'm just going to check Mr. Giles' references and the get back to him, but it seems to me like we have everything pretty much set. Isn't that right William?"

"Sure, Angel. Listen, I don't want to be rude, but I really do need to get going." He didn't actually have anywhere to be, in fact he'd cleared his schedule for this interview, but he didn't think he'd be able to stand another minute with Mr. Liam "Angel" O'Connor. William was just glad Buffy hadn't been in the room, 'because the I might have actually considered taking this job,' he thought.

Buffy walked William to the door and told him she hoped to see him again soon before returning to her husband. "So really, how'd it go?"

"Honestly, Buff, it was great. I'll admit, I wasn't so sure you could handle this, but you went above and beyond. With him teaching our daughter, she'll get the same kind of education she'd get at and English boarding school. He'll be perfect."

Too bad William didn't feel the same way.

TBC

A/N: In case you couldn’t tell I made up the school name and location ;)
He Won't Do It by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I own nothing (at least in tems of BtVS and AtS).. All characters (except for Sam) property of Joss Whedon and ME. So don't sue me :) BUt this is my story, so don't you steal it ;-)
Learning Curve by Suzee

A quick note before the chapter, I put up the right version of Chap 1 after I realized I'd posted the unedited one, thanks to those that pointed it out.

Chapter 2: He Won't Do It

"William, how was the interview? It was yesterday afternoon, was it not?"

"Buffy was the one that told you about the job, right?" William asked
instead of directly answering his uncle's question.

"Yes, isn't she a dear. I tutored her some in history while she attended
here, very bright girl." Giles couldn't understand why William wouldn't
just tell him how the interview had gone, "But son, do tell me how the
interview went."

"Well, Buffy was sweet, I guess-"

"What do you mean you guess? She's lovely." Now he was really confused,
he'd just seen Buffy a few days ago and she'd seemed like the same sweet
girl she'd been years ago; what was William on about?


"She was only in the room for about two minutes but she was sweet
for those two minutes. But I'm not so sure about her being bright--she
married a moron."

"Oh certainly not, maybe you just misinterpreted some tings."

"Come on Rupes!" William was starting to get exasperated with his
father’s constant defense of Buffy. It was like she could do no wrong,
like she was his golden child, but "She's not your daughter, even if you
are acting like it." Not giving Giles a chance to dispute what
he'd just said William soldiered on, his voice getting slightly louder.

"The Buffy Summers you knew might have been a perfectly wonderful girl,
but there's no way that she can still be that girl after marrying an oaf
like she did. Buffy Summers-O'Connor is obviously a very different
person than Buffy Summers. It was obvious, dad, that she lets him do
whatever he wants, I mean he basically dismissed her and she just went
along with it. Now maybe it's just happened that over the last six or so
years he's broken her down to that or maybe she was just weak to begin
with, I can't really tell since I didn't know her before. But the way
Liam treated me and the way he spoke about his wife and his daughter,
add to that the way Buffy follows his every word and I don't think I can
work in that house. Not only would I go insane, but it would go against
everything I believe in, to teach that little girl by that man's
standards. There’s no way I could do that."

"Come on, son, it's not like you'd be leading some cult or another,"
Rupert really wanted his son to have the chance to see that he was wrong
about Buffy, "Just teaching a six-year-old the way her father wants her
to be taught. You can do that."

"But he shouldn't have to." Both men were surprised when they heard the
feminine voice from the other side of the room, neither having heard
Buffy come in to the library. "I could tell yesterday that you hadn't
really been impressed by what Angel said, but I didn't know you were
that opposed to taking the job. He's really that bad?"

"No, he's not that bad." William knew he was lying (and so did everyone
else in the room), but he just, for some reason, couldn't let Buffy
Summers think her husband was that bad of a person. Even if he was.
"Really, he's not," he added when she looked incredulously at him, "I
just don't have the same views on things as he does so I don't think I'd
be able to teach Samantha the way he wants her to be taught. Or the
things he wants her to be taught. And I'd rather not have getting fired
on my résumé so I'll not take the job and that'll solve that."

Buffy could tell he was trying to be respectful, to her or her husband
she couldn't tell, though. "Don't play dumb Mr. Giles; I heard what you
said to your father before I came in here. You think I'm some kind of
idiot for marrying him and that Sam and I deserve whatever we get
because of it, right?" William at least had the tact to look ashamed.
"And I know that Angel told you that I took education classes in college
and I also know that you know I didn't get your name from St. Luke's
like I told my husband. Am I getting things right so far?" William only
nodded, not sure where she was going with this. "And I heard Giles tell
you that he thought I was smart. So add together that I'm not an idiot,
IQ wise at least, with the fact that I have nearly a degrees worth of
education classes and it would make sense that I could teach my own
daughter. But see I did marry Angel, which was my choice not Sam's
by the way and since he's not letting me teach her, I need to do all
that I can to see that she gets an education that won't turn her into
her father.

This has probably left you wondering why I married Angel, but that's not
something I'm going to go into at the moment. And I know that I'm not
necessarily being the most eloquent person ever, but, well I didn't have
this planned very well. I guess what I want you to know is that I don't
want Angel choosing who educates my daughter, I want to be the one
making that decision. And I have, I chose you--and he did too, granted
it was with a bit of wrong information, but he wants you to teach her,
too William. So what's the problem?"

Sure, she'd had a good argument, but she'd still missed his main point,
"The problem is," William snippily began, "that your husband also made
it quite clear that he was the one in charge of his daughter's
education, not you, no matter how much you wanted to be." He knew he was
sounding like an asshole, but the woman just wasn't getting it, "And
sweetheart, it doesn't matter how much you want me to teach her
certain stuff, if he's the one making sure that I teach her
things. He's going to know what I teach her and how. And that, my dear
will get me fired."

"There's one thing you can trust me on," Buffy knew she was going to
sound like a complete bitch, but she didn't care, she needed to convince
him to teach her daughter, "when it comes to Sam, or me for that
matter," she laughed humorlessly, "follow through is something that
Angel is not familiar with. If he kept up with things regarding my
daughter and I half as much as he does with those cases of his, he would
know that you're not from St. Luke's for one. But he doesn't so when he
says he'll be in charge of what you teach Sam, it's basically going to
be a conversation of, 'is Buffy telling you what to teach her?' 'No'
'Okay is Buffy doing any of the teaching?' 'No' 'Sounds good, you're
teaching her all the right stuff and she's doing well?' 'Yes' 'Good job,
William, maybe I should pay you more.'

He's not going to ask you for any proof he's never going to sit in on
you or anything. He's never even going to be there, hell he probably
won't even ask you anything after a week or two. Please, William, if you
don't do this, he's going to send her to that damned boarding school."
Exit bitchy Buffy, that apparently never really showed up and
enter weepy Buffy. "I can't lose my daughter like that, sure he says I
can visit her whenever I want, but that's not going to happen, he's
going to drag me to all these work parties and then when I do actually
have time, they won't let me see her-I looked into it, I'll only be able
to see her between 8 and 9 at night, what kind of crazy schedule is
that. My baby needs to go to bed at 8 o'clock for Christ sake. And I've
seen Angel's family. They were all sent to those kinds of boarding
schools, I've seen how they came out. I can't have my little girl being
taught that her main purpose in life is to get married and give some man
heirs to his family fortune."

William hated to see a woman cry, but he still didn't really think he
could do it, there was still too much that wasn't for sure. And who knew
how much of what she'd said she actually meant. All of those rich trophy
wives were drama queens weren't they? "I'm sorry Buffy, I just can't do
it, I'm sure you'll figure something out."

"You know I'm this close to telling you to go fuck yourself. But since I
know who your father is and what he said about you, I'm going to try
just one more thing." Buffy really was about to tell him where to stick
it, but something told her that she needed him to be the one that
taught her daughter. "I'm going to be back in twenty minutes. Don't you
dare go anywhere. Giles," what she had just said to his son seemed to
flood her mind as she turned and looked at the older man, looking
contrite she amended what she was going to say, "I'm sorry about the
language and the yelling and everything." Once he'd assured her, with a
look, that it was okay, she continued, "Would you make sure he doesn't
leave, please."

"Sure, Buffy.” Giles ignored the look his son was giving him and smiled
at Buffy, “I’ll make sure he stays right here, but make sure it is
twenty minutes or it might become a tad difficult.”

“Thanks Giles and I promise twenty minutes.” Buffy turned and left the
library, ignoring what William called after her.

“What are you doing?” William was starting to think he’d missed
something. He had no idea what was going on, but it seemed like Buffy
was very sure of what she was doing and that it was somehow going to get
him to take the job.

’What could it be?’ he though, ‘more money, something to bribe me with,
maybe her husband to prove to me again what an ass he is?’






TBC :-) Please Review. Thanks to SoulNyte, Caitie, Charlene, Elanor, and Mari for reviewing.
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A/N: I thought I should also let you know that I'm going to be updating the chapter on my Livejournal (Suzee_05) a day early and they might be firiends only. So if you want to read the chapters a day early, head on over to my LJ and friend me.
Interlude: Time by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I own nothing (at least in tems of BtVS and AtS).. All characters (except for Sam) property of Joss Whedon and ME. So don't sue me :)
Interlude: Time

"That stupid, arrogant, self righteous bastard. Thinks he knows who I am after meeting my husband for like a half hour. I'm so nothing like Angel. Yeah I married a prick, doesn't make me one." Buffy stopped for a
second, thinking, "well technically it wouldn't no matter what because-

Okay Buffy stay on topic: Annoying, arrogant William Giles. Right, he thinks that I can't tell him what my husband's going to do. Angel might be an asshole, but he's a predictable asshole. And yeah, so what if I
didn't stand up to him today, that's the only way I can get what I want out of this.

If I push him on stuff, he'll send Sam to that damn school just to spite me. The only reason he's agreeing to this tutor thing is because I used his own logic on him or something and somehow convinced him it was his idea." Buffy stopped her angry muttering as she reached the door of her house.

"Sam, sweetie." She called as she opened the door, "Where are you?

Meredith?" she called the babysitter's name as well. She was, after all, on a time limit.

Sam can running down the stairs, dragging her 16-year-old babysitter behind her, “Mommy, you’re home. Look what Meri and I did.” Sam held out the picture to her mother. Buffy looked at the marker drawing and
couldn’t tell what it was. But it was beautiful.

“Meri thinks it’s a house and a dog, but I told her it’s just a picture, she won’t listen.” Buffy knew she should probably reprimand her daughter for talking about her babysitter like that, especially when she was
standing right there, but what Sam had said was also very true.

“Sam, honey, don’t be rude, maybe that’s what Meredith sees in it. Did you ever think of that?” Buffy could see that her daughter was about to
argue with her, so she quickly continued, “But we’re not going to talk about that right now. I need you to come do something with me. Okay, sweetie?”

“Sure mommy, can I bring Katie come with me?” Sam looked up at her mother with hopeful eyes, wishing that here friend would be able to tag along.
“Not this time, maybe next time, though. We don’t have enough time this time; we need to leave right now.” Buffy said, handing the babysitter a twenty dollars.

“Mrs. O’Connor, that’s too much-“Meredith started to protest.

“Mer, I know I’ve told you before to call me Buffy, so please try not to use the “Mrs. O’Connor” stuff anymore. And as for the money, that’s what
I’m giving you, this was on really short notice and I’m sort of pushing you out of the house right now, so just take it, okay?” Despite her words, Buffy couldn’t have sounded any sweeter.

When she saw that the babysitter wasn’t going to protest any further she turned the two girls towards the door, “Come on, time’s a wastin’.”

Sam and Meredith hurried out the door in front of Buffy, both not knowing why she was in such a hurry; she usually was the one telling Angel to calm down, that they had plenty of time. But today she couldn’t
get them going fast enough.

Buffy had already gotten Sam buckled in the backseat and was about to getting in the drivers’ door when she thought of something, “Meredith, you can get home okay, right?”

“Yeah, Mrs. O—Buffy, mom let me borrow her car to come over here so I can drive myself home.” Buffy smiled at the girls slip up and turned in the direction she was indicating. Buffy saw Meredith’s mothers SUV
parked on the opposite side of the circular driveway, the side she hadn’t used. ‘So I’m not totally oblivious for not seeing it,’ Buffy thought with a sigh.

“I’m sorry Meredith, I’m kind of distracted today and I gave myself a nearly impossible time limit for something. And, of course, it’s something really important, so I need to get going if I’m going to make
it on time, I’m sorry about being so spacey.” Buffy didn’t want their best and most reliable babysitter to think she was ungrateful or crazy or anything else not of the positive, and decide to quit babysitting for
them.

“It’s alright, just glad I was home today so I could help.” Meredith thought she knew what Buffy was thinking and wanted to make sure the woman knew there was no way she was giving up this job simply because her “boss” was acting a little strange. They paid her way too much, Buffy was too nice, and Sam was too sweet for her to ever quit working
for them. “I hope you make it to wherever you’re going and that everything works out.” She went to get into her own car.

“Thanks, Mer,” Buffy called out of her car window as she backed down the driveway and turned onto their narrow road. She was going to make it there on time.

*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*)*)*)*)*)*)*)*)*

“What in the world is that girl doing’ Giles thought as he looked at the clock for at least the tenth time in the last, ’12 minutes now, she’s got eight minutes left now, what is she doing? Oh, she better get here in time, William’ll leave if she doesn’t and while I said I’d do my best to keep him here, there’s now way I’m going to be able to when her twenty minutes are up.’

‘Well, da’ doesn’t look like you girl's necessarily going to make it,” William said a few minutes later, “if I have this figured correctly, which I do, ‘Wonder Woman Buffy’ only has a little less then three minutes to get here. “ There was no way William was going to admit to the little part of him that wanted to see what it was she was going to do, eve if it did take her longer than twenty minutes to do. He’d never met another woman who’d been so forceful (and yes, he was going to
ignore the imagery that came with that, the fairly NC-17 rated imagery) with him and he wasn’t quite as immune to her pleas as he appeared Still didn’t mean he was going to take I job just so he could make her happy only to get fired by her arrogant husband.

Nope, he wasn’t going to stick around for a second after her twenty minutes were up, no way to lose his resolve then. He went to his father’s office to retrieve his coat and put it on before continuing what he was saying, “Twenty minutes. Then I’m leaving, damn her plan because if she’s not here on time…”


TBC..
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A/N:Please review. Thanks to Brat, Mari, Caitie, and BuffyandSpikeForever for the reviews--hope you like this chapter, too :) And thanks to everyone who friended me at my LJ (suzee_05) I hope you like the chapter as well.

Sorry if this is a bit shorter than normal, but I've been really sick the last week and knew that if I wrote the next bit now, I wouldn't be happy about it. Sorry :( But, I have already started on it--and reviews will make me write faster, really they will. :D

And are people still reading this, I got a lot fewer reviews for this last chapter, so even if you don't like it, let me know why (nicely, please). And yes, I do realize I might regret saying that later.
Chapter Three: Will (S)he? by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Before we get to chapter 3, a few notes: a)I've realized that I haven't put a disclaimer on here yet, you'd think after reading so many I'd know to do that, guess it just slipped my mind: All characters (except Sam and any others I come up with) are property of Joss Whedon and ME (mutant enemy). I own nothing, just play around with them a bit becuase it's so much fun. b)If anyone's interested, my personal lj is Ciley c)This is probably the one I should have put first since it pertains to the story, I'm going to have a lot of really big, really important, really stressful stuff going on between now and maybe the middle of the month so updates might be a little slow, but after that everything should clear up and I should be able to get back to normal. So if next weeks' update is a little later in the week, that's why--I'm sorry to be doing this so early in the story, but it's not something I can or should postpone. But a do have about four more stories I'm working on and a really short thing that's already done, so I'm not going away. I know that was a really long explanation, and I'm sorry, but I think it was mostly because I feel bad about doing this to everyone. Thank you everyone for the reviews (Brat, Mari, BuffyandSpikeForever, Caitie, and Mariana) and now...on to the story:

And, one more--I've made a few more changes to Chapter One, thing's that I'd thought I'd changed but obviously hadn'd, i'm sorry about that. I'll probably mention this in the next chap as well.
Chapter 3: Will (S)he?

“See you later, Rupes” William said as he turned towards the library door.

“How many times must I tell you not to call me that? I am your father not some..some friend of yours.” William couldn’t help but laugh at the disdain that his father had put into the word ‘friend’, “What’s the matter Rupes’” William emphasized his name, “don’t fancy you and me being mates or friends and here I thought you liked me.?”

“Why must you always do that William, you know that’s not what I meant?” Suddenly an idea struck him, “But if you do think that I don’t like you maybe we should talk about it for a few minutes, I wouldn’t want you thinking-“

Apparently William had thought of the same thing, “Save it da’ I’m not letting you trick me into sticking around just so I’ll be here when you’re precious Buffy shows up. She’s already had her twenty minutes so I’m leaving, I’ll see you later.

Giles had assumed that the days when he wondered how he and William could possibly be related would have ended with his son’s teenage years. Good to know he’s been wrong.

He couldn’t understand, for the life of him, why Will wouldn’t just stick around for a few more minutes, the poor woman was obviously very desperate and was counting on whatever she was doing, working. And his son couldn’t even stick around to see what it was? It was rude is what it was.

But it wasn’t his decision to make, William was a grown man (whether he acted like it or not) and could make his own decisions.

However horrible they might be.

And he, Giles, was going to be left with the aftermath—dealing with Buffy and dealing with William when he complained in a few weeks because he didn’t have a job, yet or the one he did have didn’t pay nearly as much as this one.

Being a father was hard work.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

William had made it down the hallway and was nearly at the doors that would free him from this situation when his conscience—which he’d managed to push aside the last hour or so—made itself known. And boy, was it not happy with him. ‘What are you doing you idiot? A beautiful woman comes in here begging you to spend nearly all day Monday through Friday in her house and you’re going to get paid a hell of a lot of money for it, just for teaching one six-year-old.

And what do you do? Do you do the smart, sensible, not completely asinine thing and take the job? Noooo!’ how was it possible for a voice inside his head to sound sarcastic when he wasn’t feeling remotely amused? ‘You come up with a bunch of bull reasons about her husband firing you. And then she seeks you out and begs you to take the job and you still don’t take the job. But what’s dumbest of all, she’s got something that might actually prove to you that it would be a good idea and what do you do? Well, of course, you run away like a little girl. No, not even a little girl would do this. Can’t you just give the poor woman the benefit of the doubt and see what it is she wants you to see? Would that be so hard?’

William looked up to the ceiling before muttering aloud, “Yes, it would be so hard.” ‘Because then I might agree with her, take the job, who knows probably really, really like her and the kid only to get fired by her husband and then I’d never be able to get a job anywhere else. If what I’ve heard about Mr. Liam O’Connor is right, then he’s no ‘angel’ and I’ll be as good as blacklisted if he fires me.’

Before he could let his own ‘angel’ get the better of him her pushed the door open—and promptly crashed into the little girl that came tumbling through it.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

As she sat at yet another red light, Buffy began to nervously tap her fingertips on the steering wheel. Just a few more minutes and she’d be late.

And William would be gone…..and she’d never be able to get him to agree to teaching Sam.

“Dammit,” she muttered under her breath so her daughter wouldn’t hear, “Why do all of these lights have to be red, it’s not like there are any cars going the other way, hell I’m practically the only driver out today—which is weird by itself, but also not the point.”

If her daughter hadn’t been in the car, Buffy probably would have gone through the red light, since there didn’t appear to be any cars coming, but she’d never endanger her daughter like that. “So, basically, instead of getting her killed in a car crash, I’m letting her be turned into an O’Connor snob.” Buffy said sardonically, “what a choice!”

Just then the light turned green, though and Buffy decided that a little bit of speeding would be okay, all of the cops in town knew her car and knew that she was Angel O’Connor’s wife so there was no way she’d get a ticket for a little speeding. Not if the cop wanted to keep his job.

There were sometimes when having a rich and powerful ass of a husband could be a good thing. She’d never taken advantage of his hold on the police department, but if there was ever going to be a time to be a little less than law abiding, it was now, when her daughter’s life hung in the balance.

‘Way to be dramatic, Buff.’ She was almost, almost there, ‘But it’s true isn’t it?’

Deciding that she should probably give Sam a little talk, she caught her daughter’s eyes in the rearview mirror. “Sam, sweetie, this is something very important for mommy, so you need to be on your best behavior. Okay?”

Sam looked at her mother curiously, “like when Meredith comes over or for Daddy’s friends?”

Now, Buffy really knew that she needed to get William to teach her daughter, “Like when Mer comes over, sweetheart, these are some of mommy’s friends and she wants them to see what a good girl you are, but they like little girls so you talk to them too.”

“Okay.” Buffy knew that finding out you didn’t have to act the way around your mother’s friends that you did around your father’s shouldn’t make a six-year-old so happy, but obviously when it came to her daughter, it did.

“Okay, we’re here now sweetie, but we have to hurry because one of mommy’s friends has to leave soon and we’re already late, so how about we race to the front door.”

“Yay!” Sam loved it when her mother played with her like this, she didn’t really care why, she just thought it was fun. And she wished her dad would do something fun with her sometimes, but he always told her she was getting too old to run around like that and she had to act like a “lady,” she didn’t know what that was, but it didn’t sound like much fun.

Buffy pulled the car into the parking space that was closest to the door, still about 40 feet away, and turned got out of the car, waiting until Sam was out before locking the door. “Okay, see that door,” she pointed to the door that was just down the hallway from the library, “That’s where we’re racing to. Think you can beat me?” Buffy loved to goof around like this with her daughter.

“Of course,” Sam smirked.

”Alright, ready? Set. Go!” And they stared to race towards the school, Buffy letting Sam keep just a little bit of a lead on her.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Sam knew she was going to beat her mother! And just as she was about to reach the door, it opened and so she went running through it. And into the person who had opened the door.
*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*


“Sam!” Buffy was about to yell when she saw her daughter run through the door, sure there weren’t really that many people at the school since school hadn’t started yet, but she didn’t want anything to happen to her daughter. She started running at full speed to get there and was about to yell her daughter’s name when she saw just who it was that had opened the door—and where her daughter was.

“So, you thought you could leave, did you?” Buffy asked William, smiling when he looked up from her daughter to her, in surprise.

“You are late, luv. I gave you twenty minutes and those are gone now, so if you and the Bit’ll excuse me, I’ve got places to be.” He was going to leave, really he was.

“But I told Sam that she’d get to meet some of my friends. You wouldn’t disappoint a little girl would you?” Buffy didn’t know why she was suddenly acting so playful with him, she suspected it had something to do with Sam being there, but she didn’t have time to analyze things right now.

He looked down at the grinning little girl, ‘Should have known the chit would have an adorable kid, good thing she looks like her and not her father,’ before he looked back up to Buffy, “Fine, let’s go to the library and talk, it’ll give the girl somewhere to sit and all that rot. Not guaranteeing you anything, though.”

“Fair enough,” Buffy said before telling Sam to come with her and leading them all into the library.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*
TBC....

Please review :-D
Chapter 4: Art by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Sorry this is late..... And please go read my new short story If It Wasn't For Your Love, the end should be up in a few days.
Chapter 4: Art

“Hey da’,” William said as he reentered the library, ignoring his father’s shocked look at seeing him again so soon as he came out of his office, “You have some markers? Maybe some highlighters or something?” When his father looked even more confused, he pointed to Buffy and her daughter, whom he had failed to notice, who were now sitting at one of the library’s tables.

Not wanting to examine why he was being so nice to the little girl, he just continued with his request for is father, “You know, some markers and some papers so she can draw or whatever it is little kids do.”

Finally accepting that his son was being nice to Buffy—okay technically her daughter, but she was an extension of Buffy so it counted—Giles walked back into his office mumbling something about possibly having crayons somewhere.

“Buffy, pet, Da’s trying to find something for the little bit here to draw with, so she won’t be too bored while I convince you I’m not going to take this job.”

Buffy smiled at him, “Thanks,” before adding, “But you’re not going to do the convincing, I am, and you are going to take the job.”

They were about to start yet another argument when Giles returned with what looked to be a circa 1960 box of Crayola crayons and several sheets of paper, “I hope this is satisfactory…” he realized then that he wasn’t sure of whether he should call the girl by her name or wait for Buffy to introduce them.

“Oh! Sorry. Sam, this is Mr. Giles, he works here and I knew his when I was in high school. Giles this is Sam. And Sam, this,” she looked at William, “is William, his son. William, this is my daughter Sam.”

Buffy hadn’t expected her usually shy daughter to say anything, “But my dad calls me Samantha, he says I should be a lady. I don’t know what that means.” Sam scrunched up her nose before smiling when William began to laugh.

“Is that so, sweet cake?” William ignored the…embarrassed? look on Buffy’s face, “Well, I think you can be a little girl, no need to be a ‘lady’ just yet, bit. And would you like me to call you Samantha, too?” This girl was just too adorable.

“No, I like Sam, Samantha’s too long and only my dad and grandmother and grandfather call me that, I don’t like it very much.”

“Okay, then Sam,” William said, smiling at her. Sam liked this man; he was much nicer than any of her father’s friends. But, Sam realized, she didn’t know what to call him, she always had to call other adults, Mr. and Mrs. but she didn’t know his last name and she didn’t think she was supposed to call him Mr. William.

Sam turned to face her mother and whispered in her ear. Buffy smiled before she said, “Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Buffy knew that other parents might see it as being mean to her daughter, but Buffy wanted to counteract her husband’s influence and teach her daughter that she could talk to adults, as long as she did so politely.

“What’s your last name?” Buffy could tell William had no idea where she was going with this.

“Giles.”

“Okay, Mr. Giles.” Sam seemed to think things over for a minute before she realized something. William could tell because she scrunched up her nose in the same adorable fashion as before.

“That could get kind of confusing, couldn’t it?” at the girl’s grateful smile, he smiled too and continued, “So, how’s about you can call me William, since I get to call you Sam and all and you can call my da’ Giles, like your mum does?”

Sam looked at her mother, who nodded, before her face broke into a huge grin and she turned back to face William, “I like that, William.”

“Alright, now that the names are all settled, is it alright if your mum and I have a little talk for a minute?” William directed his question at Sam.

“Uh huh. Can I draw you a picture?”

“Sure, I’m sure it will be very pretty.”

“We’ll just be over there,” Buffy assured her daughter, pointing towards the table across the room.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Alright, so how about you tell me exactly why you think I should take this job?” William knew that she’d have some good reasons and listening to all of them at once would either really help him turn it down or really hurt his chances of doing so.

And her plan of bringing her daughter there to help convince him, was definitely a good one. He was already about 40 percent closer to cracking.

“Okay, my husband’s an ass, we can all agree on that, that’s my first reason.” She knew that he was going to try to tell her that it wasn’t a reason, just an unfortunate side note, “And it has everything to do with why. His entire family has gone to boarding schools or hoity toity private schools, sure I knew that when we got married, but I thought since I was studying education and he knew I wanted to teach in a public school, that any kids we had would be free to go to a public school. Apparently not.

“And don’t get me wrong, some private schools are just fine and perfectly good people come out of private schools. But not the schools that meet O’Connor family standards. I don’t want her to turn out like them and if I lose her to that boarding school where I’ll never get to see her and she’ll learn about the world from people who see it like Angel and his family do and teach her to be a ‘proper young lady’ or some tutor who’ll do the same thing then that’s just what will happen. She won’t be anything like me, it’ll be like I was never even a part of her life.

“You can think I’m the dumbest woman alive for marrying Angel O’Connor, and I might even agree with you sometimes, but—like I said before that’s not the point.

“What is the point, is that, that beautiful little girl over there,” she pointed to where Sam was having what appeared to be a very engrossing conversation with Giles, a smiles forming on her face, “She’s a wonderful, caring, loving, generous person. She loves her Grandma for being an artist and thinks that painting, or taking pictures, would be the coolest thing in the world to do for a job. She doesn’t see the world in terms of how much money can be gained from certain things, or who you need to be friends with to get further ahead.

“She’s still a sweet, innocent, little girl who loves her art and watching horse shows on TV and wants a pony, but doesn’t really expect one. She still thinks you should be friends with people if they’re nice to you, not because you’re going to get something from it.

“If you don’t agree to be her tutor, either Angel will find one or—more than likely—she’ll got to St. Joseph’s and spend her life growing up with girls who actually have ponies, even if they’re never home to see them. She’ll learn to only make relationships that provided the most power and influence for her. She’ll give up on art, throwing away her dreams and believe that the only place art has in your life is to impress people who come to your house or so you can brag about your ‘collection’.

“If you’re anything like your father, which, despite the evidence to the contrary, I think you are, then you’ll understand where I’m coming from. At the very least, you have to recognize how much I love my daughter.” Buffy had almost succeeded at holding back her tears. Almost.

‘Great, you made the girl cry. Wanker!’ “Buffy, luv, don’t cry. It’s not that I doubt your love for your daughter, at all. I can tell how much you love her; you wouldn’t be going through all of this if you didn’t. It’s just,” he wasn’t sure how he was going to convince her of what he was about to say, he wasn’t even sure he really believed it anymore—Buffy Summers-O’Connor was a very convincing woman, “You tell me all of this, all about your husband and his family and it seems, to me at least, that you’re underestimating him when you say that he won’t really pay attention to how or what I’m teaching his daughter.”

“I told you,” Buffy was becoming exasperated, “his family’s idea family relationships differs greatly from that of any rational minded person. To them, a wife is there to make dinner and do the social thing with, somebody to help them keep up appearances. And as for kids, well if they’re boy, then hey, heirs; as for girls, well they’re supposed to be good young ladies from the time they’re born, they never really get to be kids and they’re supposed to help their mothers with the appearances part. There’s nothing personal about any of it. Trust me.”

“I wish I could…”

Buffy was about to respond when she looked over at her daughter and noticed that she was staring at the two of them and seemed to be waiting for the opportunity to do something, “Sam,” she called, “Is everything alright?”

“I just wanted to give William his picture so I’d know if he likes it or not.” She seemed a little worried that she’d interrupted her mother’s conversation, one that didn’t seem too happy, “Are you okay, mommy?” It looked like her mom had been crying.

“Yeah, you’re mum’s fine, why don’t you give me that picture now?” When her mother didn’t object, Sam came running over to their table and handed William the piece of paper. “Well, isn’t this just beautiful. Very pretty colors, nice shapes and everything. I love it.” William smiled at the picture the girl had made him, a swirl of colorful lines and shapes.

“See, mommy, he doesn’t think it’s a house!” Sam was overjoyed that William didn’t try to convince her she’d drawn something she hadn’t.

William could see that Buffy looked to have come up with a new idea and, since he was pretty sure it involved Sam, he was going to try and delay it. “Of course not, sweetheart, if you’d drawn a house I’d imagine it would look like one.” Buffy wasn’t sure if she’d ever seen her daughter looked more pleased.

It made her that much more determined that he was going to take the job. “Sam, remember how you wanted Katie to come with us today?”

“Yeah, but you said she couldn’t, that there wasn’t enough time.” Sam replied and William looked decidedly uneasy, he had no idea where she was going with this and when it came to Buffy, that didn’t tend to be a good sign for him.

“Have you ever told Dad about Katie?” Buffy asked.

“Uh huh!” the girl said happily, “He said she should come to dinner sometime so he can meet her.” William really didn’t like this.

“How long have you and Katie been friends?” her mother continued

“Since I was two,” Sam said decisively with a quick nod of her head.

“And Dad knows?” Buffy checked with her daughter. ‘Really not liking this,’ William thought.

“Yep!” she said popping her “p”.

“And Katie lives down the street from us,” when Sam nodded, Buffy continued, “But does she live in a house?” Sam shook her head no. William reallllly didn’t think he liked where this was going.

“Silly,” Sam looked at her mother like she’d gone crazy, “You know Katie lives in the zoo. Remember,” she began the way only a six-year-old could, “Katie’s my imaginary friend so she lives in the imaginary zoo?”

“I know, sweetie, I just wanted William to know.” Buffy smiled at her daughter who looked very relieved that her mother hadn’t gone crazy.

“So,” it was William’s turn to ask the girl some questions, “Katie’s your imaginary friend,” Sam smiled, “who your father doesn’t know is imaginary,” another nod, “and she lives in a zoo?”

“An imaginary one, of course.”

“Of course; I only have one question then: Why does she live in a zoo?”

“Cos she’s a giraffe, where else would she live?”

“And your dad doesn’t know that either?”

“Nope.”

“You’re sure?”

“He wouldn’t invite a giraffe to dinner, silly!”

‘Gotta love little kid logic’William thought.

Buffy looked at her daughter, “Why don’t you go draw William another picture?” Sam smiled before running back over to the table and picking up her crayons.

“He really doesn’t know?” William asked Buffy thinking—hoping—that the little girl had missed something.

“Nope,” Buffy said, sounding remarkably like her daughter, “Angel and I have had several talks as to why he hasn’t met Katie yet.”

“And you haven’t told him she’s an imaginary giraffe?”

“Nope,” Buffy repeated with a slight laugh, “It’s funnier this way.”

William laughed a little before he threw in his token protest, “It’s just if he fires me…”

“He’ll fire you the same day Katie shows up for dinner. But if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll promise to find out before he actually does, let you know so you can resign, and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation.”

“Fine.”


TBC......

Please review and thanks to Nikilicious, Mariana, BuffyandSpikeForever, Brat, Jerrica, shippy, Caitie, Allison, lynn for reviewing and to Nikilicious for her help with this chapter--I'm working on the next one for you.


If anyone's having trouble with reviewing, there's always My LJ
Chapter 5: Work by Suzee
Author's Notes:
the next chapter might be a little late I'm having trouble with the next few chapters (I do have 3 1/2 future chapters done, though)
And thanks to everyone for the reviews (Mariana, lynn, nikicious, BuffyandSpikeForever, Caitie, Brat, Spufette, Mari, aribelle, and Allison.) And the sequel to IIWFYl will be updated on my LJ before it will on this site if anyone's interested *will meniton this again*
Chapter 5:

“He’ll fire you the same day Katie shows up for dinner.” Buffy assured William, “But if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll promise to find out before he actually does, let you know so you can resign, and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation.”

“Fine, I’ll take the job,” William smiled at Buffy, knowing that she was right, Angel wouldn’t find out what he was teaching Sam, not as long as he, William, said that he was teaching her what he was supposed to be.

“Really, you’ll really take the job. You’re not just trying to be funny.” Buffy knew that she should have just left once he said he’d take the job and not give him a chance to change his mind or say otherwise, but she didn’t think she’d be able to take it if she found out later he’d changed his mind.

“Yeah,” he sighed, “I’ll take it. You’re one convincing woman Buffy Summers-O’Connor. I don’t really know why I wouldn’t before,” ‘Liar!’ his mind screamed, ‘You were a tiny bit afraid of getting fired, but mostly you didn’t want to work in that house and have her husband find out you were perving on his wife!’ “I think,” he continued, “that I was just worried, honestly, that I’d get fired and then wouldn’t be able to get a job anywhere else.”

“But since we’ve taken care of that…” Buffy wanted to be sure he said it, that she didn’t put words in his mouth; she wasn’t going to give him anything that would provide him with an out in the future.

“I’m taking the job, gee, Summers for someone who worked so hard to convince me I had to do this, you sure seem to be taking a while to accept it.

“No,” Buffy said, glad that he’d dropped the O’Connor, “not, not accepting it, just wanted to hear you say it again so you can’t take it back later.” When he grinned at her, she continued, “Do you have any questions on all those papers Angel gave you, then, or is everything pretty clear?”

Apparently it was down to business now. “Nope, I think he had it all covered, “he’s paying me way too much, giving way too good of benefits, especially considering I’m not technically going to be doing what he wants.” Somehow William knew he could joke like this with Buffy and that it wouldn’t cause any problems.

“Yeah, well Angel thinks the more money he spends on something the better it is, so just take it, if you tell him it’s too much,” she ignored the way he scoffed at the idea, “He’ll think you’re not good enough and then he will fire you.” Buffy was glad they’d gotten over their fighting and yelling, she liked this much better.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Giles,” the little girl started, “Why are William and mommy talking so long?” She didn’t want to sound rude, it was just that they had been talking for a long time and she wanted to make sure that they weren’t fighting, she liked William and didn’t want him and her mom to stop being friends.

“Oh, um,” he stumbled around a bit, “they just had some important things to talk about, maybe you should ask your mother about it instead?” Giles wasn’t used to anyone asking him questions that he didn’t know how to answer, anyone but Buffy that is.

“Okay,” she seemed satisfied with her answer and turned back to watching her mother and William; fascinated by the way they were now laughing and smiling. Her mom and dad never smiled liked that. Well, her mom did, but her dad never did. He only smiled when he was talking to his friends or about work.

And he worked a lot.

But that was okay because it meant she got to spend more time with her mom. And that was fun.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“So what does Sam know about the school stuff?” William didn’t know if she knew where she’d be starting school or even that she was starting school at all.

“Not much, we’ve told her, okay I’ve told her, that’s she’s going to be starting school soon, but that we weren’t sure where so we weren’t sure when exactly she’d be starting.”

“Do you want to tell her now, since I’m taking the job,” he emphasized, “and everything?”

“Sure,” Buffy smiled. She seemed to be doing that a lot, smiling that is, but she just couldn’t help it, things were finally looking up.

“Alright,” William got up and walked over to the table where his father and Sam were sitting, “You okay?” he asked Sam when he saw that she’d been concentrating very hard on him and Buffy and seemed to have spaced out for a minute.

“Uhm hmm. I was just wondering what you and my mom were talking about.” Buffy looked at her daughter in astonishment, her normally shy daughter was being so upfront that she wasn’t sure, in the midst of her confusion, if it was rude or not.

Deciding she could decide later, “Buffy told her daughter, “We were talking about what you were going to do for school. Remember how we’ve been talking about that for awhile?”

“Yep.” Again with the popping the ‘p’ William noticed.

“How would you feel about doing school at home, you’d have a special place that was just for school work, but it would be in the house,” Buffy asked her daughter hoping she didn’t hate the idea as it was what was going to happen.

“Would you be there?” Sam asked her mother in genuine curiosity, not sure if it really mattered one way or the other.

“Sometimes, but not where you were doing school probably, you’d have a teacher for that and you’d have to act like it was regular school” Buffy knew she wasn’t doing the best job explaining this, but how did you explain the concept of home schooling to a six-year-old, “And pay attention to your teacher…you couldn’t play during school time.”

“I could do that, but would I still get to go on field trips? Meredith told me about field trips.” The little girl explained.

“Yeah, pixie, you’d still get to go on field trips, they’re an important part of school,” William hoped he wasn’t butting in, but since he was going to be teaching the girl after all, he felt he could help answer some of her questions.

Buffy was glad that William had answered that one the way he did, she was hoping that Sam would still get to on field trips, those were some of her favorite times in school—and they were educational to boot. But she’d been worried that with her working with a tutor, field trips weren’t going to happen. Good to know they were.

And she didn’t even feel the least bit weird about a grown man spending the entire day alone (well except for the crowds at whatever museum they went to) with her six-year-old daughter.

“Yay!!” the little girl bounced in her seat, “But who’s going to be teaching me?” She seemed to be just a little disheartened when she thought of that.

“William will be honey.” Buff told her daughter.

Sam smiled a face splitting grin before she got up and hugged her mother. Then she turned to William, “It’ll be so much fun! But do I have to call you Mr. Giles now since you’re going to be my teacher?”

“No, niblet, you can still call me William, but you will have to listen to me while we’re doing school, okay?”

“Uh huh.” Sam couldn’t believe that she was going to be doing school and William was going to be her teacher.

“Well, now that that’s all settled, how ‘bout we go get some ice cream? Thing’s have been a little too tense today, I, for one, need to relax.” Okay, so maybe he should have asked Buffy about this first, but he wasn’t ready to see the two of them leave just yet and asking Buffy would have increased the possibility of just that.

“Can we mommy? Please, please, please!” Well it was obvious what Sam wanted to do, “Pleeeeeeeeaase.”

Like she could really deny her daughter, now. “Sure, sweetie, we can go get some ice cream, but this is something special, we can’t do it every day.”

“You sure she won’t ruin her dinner, luv?” William didn’t know why he was asking, he just thought that every mother was worried about her child ruining their dinner by eating ice cream in the afternoon.

“Oh, she might, but she always eats really well so if she does ruin her dinner tonight, it won’t really be that big of a deal.” ‘God,’ William thought, ‘she’s a great mum, but she’s also got some sense.’

“So we can have ice cream?” Sam looked at her mother with the hopeful face that every little girl has mastered simply to manipulate her mother.

“Yes, sweetie, now stop giving me that look, it’s not why I said yes and I don’t want you thinking you can get me to do stuff just by looking at me like that.”

“Yay! We can get ice cream! Ice cream! Ice cream, ice cream!”

“Come on, munchkin, let’s go.” William led the two females out of the library and to his car,

“I’ll drive us, make it easier, and then we can drop you off back here when we’re done.” Buffy said once they’d reached the parking lot. They all got into Buffy’s car and headed towards Alberto’s Ice Cream Parlour.




TBC.....
Ice Cream by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Congratulations to Nikilicious on her nomination for William's Angel ant the Lost in Spike Awards--everyone should go check out her story...and thanks to her for her help on this chapter, she's been crucial to me continuing in posting this story..so everyone should thank her (if you like this story that is) by reading WA and leaving a review--it truly is a wonderful story.
Chapter 6: Ice Cream

“Alright, poppet, what kind of ice cream are you going to get?” William
asked Sam as they approached the ice cream shop.

“Well,” Sam started slyly before looking at her mother out of the corner
of her eye, “I’m not sure if I want bubblegum or blue raspberry….and
since I can’t have both…” she trailed off in a slightly ‘poor me’ voice.

“Did you ever ask whether or not you could get two scoops?” Buffy asked
her daughter, trying not to laugh at her. “Because that might have been
a good idea.”

“So, I can have two kinds of ice cream?” Sam wheedled.

“As long as you don’t think,” Buffy started, giving her daughter a look
that Sam knew she better let her mother finish, “That this is going to
be an everyday thing….I’m only letting you have two scoops now because
this is a special occasion, don’t make me regret it young lady,” she
finished with a stern look at her daughter.

“I won’t mommy I promise,” the girl said before literally bouncing over
to William to ask him, “What kind of ice cream are you going to get. My
dad always gets vanilla, are you going to get vanilla too?”

“And she needs sugar. pet?” William asked Buffy before bending down to
talk to Sam, “Well, pixie, can’t say I’m going to get Vanilla, never did
like it much, but I haven’t gotten ice cream here before, what do you
suggest?”

“Hmm.” Sam said, seriously thinking it over before, “Not the superman
kind, it taste-es funny. So....how about bubblegum?" Sam asked with a
grin, "It has those little pieces of gum in it, and they're actual gum
not the fake kind."

"Yeah, it actually has gum in it, because I wouldn't want you to be
tricking me now?" William said as he looked at Sam.

"I promise, it has gum in it........and it's reaaallly good."

"Alright, cupcake, I think I'll get bubblegum ice cream then. What kind
are you going to get?"

"I'm going to get bubblegum too.....and....um.......hmmmm" she thought
about it seriously in the way only a child could think about what kind
of ice cream they were going to get, "the blue wasberry. It turns my
tongue blue," she finished with a grin.

"Okay, now I only have one more question, what is Superman ice cream?
Don't think we have that in the motherland?"

"It has blue, yellow, and red ice cream all mixed up, but not mixed
together. And what's the motherland?"

"It's England, bit," William said before looking at Buffy, "All mixed
up, but not mixed together?" he asked her.

"It's mixed together as in there's all three flavors, but they're still
separate, like oil and water.....And I'm about as good at explaining as
Sam is, why don't you just have a look, it's right in there." Buffy
pointed to the container of ice cream in the freezer.

William looked into the freezer surprised slightly by the amount of
brightly colored treats. "So, luv, what are you going to get?" he asked
Buffy.

"Well,” Buffy stared, “I always get the same thing.....mint chocolate chip, so I think that’s what I’ll get this time too….plus it’s especially good here.”

“Is that so?” he said, only slightly mocking her for being so serious
about ice cream.

“Hey! Don’t make fun of me….it happens to be very good ice cream.” Buffy
said with a pout.

‘God she’s adorable,’ William thought. “Not making fun of you, just
think it’s cute you girls take your ice cream so seriously.


*&*&*&*&*&

It had only taken them five minutes to reach the ice cream parlor
(everything was extremely close to everything else in Sunnydale) and
then maybe ten more to get their ice cream ordered and purchased, but it
seemed just a bit longer for Buffy. She knew that the only reason
William had suggested the ice cream trip was so that Sam would be more
comfortable around him by the time they started the girl’s schooling,
but she wasn’t sure if she could spend one more second with him.

And not because she disliked him, no disliking him would actually make
things easier. Buffy, in fact, liked him a bit too much. She was a
married woman who shouldn’t be enjoying the company of another man as
much as she was. Sure her husband was a horrible person, but the same
marriage vows still applied.

So, yeah, Buffy was having a wonderful day.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

William wasn’t sure he could stand this any longer. Whether or not Buffy
knew it, she was driving him crazy. She didn’t seem aware of it, but for
at least the last half hour to forty five minutes, she’d been flirting
with him. Maybe it was just her being nice and his brain was
interpreting it wrong, but…..still.

Whether she meant it or not, Buffy Summers-O’Connor, a married (happily
or not) woman was flirting with him. And he was going crazy.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Sam was having a ball. She’d never had this much fun when her father
took her and her mother out, which wasn’t that often, but when he did,
they never had this much fun.

William had even let her get her two scoops in a cone. That was
another rule, she remembered, of her dad’s—she wasn’t allowed
to have blue raspberry ice cream because it made her mouth blue and that
just made her look silly, but she thought looking sill was fun. And she
loved getting bubblegum ice cream here because it had the little pieces
of bubblegum in it.

Sam was having one of the best days ever.

**&*&*&*&**

“Sam, honey, why don’t we walk down on the beach.” Buffy turned her
attention to William, “And we can see if you have any more questions.”

“Sounds like a good idea, luv,” William said before looking at Sam,
“Sound like a good idea to you too, bit?”

“Uh huh, but can I put my shoes in the car? I don’t like sand in my
shoes.”

After they’d put Sam and Buffy’s shoes in their car (William refused to
take off his shoes saying he could get hurt, but they all knew he was
just embarrassed), they went for a walk on the beach.

Sam still hadn’t finished her ice cream, the two scoops were too much
for her, so she did what she always did when she was allowed to get two
scoops of ice cream, she waited until most of the bubblegum ice cream
melted (it was the bottom scoop) and then slowly, carefully poured the
liquid into the garbage and put the bubblegum pieces into her now very
sticky hand and ate the cone before putting all of the gum in her mouth
and chewing happily.

“Is that a good idea, luv?” William asked looking at Buffy.

‘Probably not, but it’s how she always does it….and she eats less actual
ice cream this way,” Buffy answered him.

Once the ice cream was gone and Sam had washed her hands off in the
ocean, they continued their walk for ten minutes before Buffy remembered
the original reason for their little trek.

“I know Angel gave you that whole humongous packet that probably covered
everything, but—assuming you read at least some of it—do you have any
other questions?”

“Just one,” William knew he was really pushing it by asking her this,
but he hadn’t been able to get it out of his mind all day, “Why’d you
marry Angel?”

Taken aback by his question, Buffy paused a minute before answering, “I
had my reasons,” before walking ahead to catch up with Sam who was
running along the edge of the water.

Strangely enough, William didn’t get the impression that Buffy was mad
at him, but he could tell from the curt way she’d answered his question
that it wasn’t a topic that was up for discussion.

William began walking more quickly so that he could catch up to the two
girls, he was going to apologize to Buffy whether it was necessary or
not.

“Buffy,” William said once he’d caught up to them and alerted her to his
presence, “I’m sorry about that, I know it’s not really any of my
business….and, I’m sorry,” he finished quietly.

“Hey, it’s fine,” Buffy said after just a few seconds, “It’s not like
you’re the first person that ‘s asked, I get why people don’t see it,
it’s just that it’s something I don’t really want to talk about,
especially not with Sam right here.”

“I understand, luv, and I really am sorry, I tend to stick my foot in my
mouth a lot.” Any further apology of his was cut off as Sam ran back to
them, grabbing William’s hand and pulling him along as half asked and
half told the adults, “Can we play on the playground, please, they have
a merry-go-round, pretty please mommy? William, please!”

TBC…………………..Please Review


and thank you to everyone who reviewd the last chapter---you really helped me get this chapter written. Thank you to Nikilicious, Caitie, Mariana, Allison, Brat, and Mari.
Chapter Seven: Into It by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Since, it looks like the broke girl will still be able to post here, I shall amend my earlier note....I found out last Friday that A) I was going out of town for the long weekend and B) becuase of a family emergency type thing I'm also going out of town tomorrow morning (the 2nd) until sometime around the 21st...so if I'm not able to update that's why...but you might want to check my LJ (Suzee_05) as I might be able to sneak away to somewhere wiht internet and update.

And please, please, please make donations to the site, it's a wonderful thing Pari's doing by running this and everyone that's able should update so that we can keep this great site going.....

And once more, congrats to Nikki for her FFL nomination.
Chapter 7: Into It

The three of them played on the playground—William spun Sam around on the merry-go-round, Sam spun William around the merry-go-round, Buffy spun the both of them around; Buffy and Sam sat opposite on the teeter-totter, him teasing them that they didn’t weigh enough even combined and laughing when, by putting all of his weight on his end, he managed to keep them trapped up in the air for nearly five minutes; they had fun on the swings; Sam even managed, much to her mother’s amusement, to get William to go down the slide.

And on more than one occasion (many more) Buffy had to stop the thought that tried to make it self known in her mind. The thought that said, “Angel would never act like this with Sam….Angel never HAS acted like this with her.” She couldn’t let herself think that, at least not consciously.

So after their short ice cream trip had turned into a three hour outing, Buffy suggested that they leave soon.

“You know, I think we should get going pretty soon, we’ve been here for awhile and I should tell Angel the good news. Don’t you think?”

And she only felt slightly guilty, upon seeing her daughter’s crestfallen look, that she was only suggesting they leave so that she’d have an easier time with her thoughts.

“Yeah,” William said looking at Sam, “That sounds like a good idea, going to have to get back home and make sure that I have everything all ready for us to start school soon, right bit?”

Sam seemed to brighten at being reminded of just why it was they were celebrating with ice cream and the impromptu playground trip, “Yep, when are we starting again?”

Buffy was the one to answer that one, “Your father and I still have to talk about that….well William too.”

“No, you two figure it out, I’m fine for whenever, not like I’m doing much of anything else.” William assured her.

“If you’re sure,” Buffy waited until he nodded in the affirmative before continuing, “But we really do need to get going….and Sam, you’ll get to see William again, promise.”

“I know,” Sam said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “But when?” she drew the last word out, making her mother smile.

“When you dad and I decide that’s wheeeeeeeeenn.” Buffy mimicked her daughter.

Sam just laughed at Buffy, “I don’t sound like.” Sam cam running over to grab her hand and began pulling her out of the playground leaving William to follow behind.

‘Sorry’ Buffy mouthed to William as she gave him an apologetic look over her shoulder.

He just smiled.

“Hey, poppet, slow down for an old man, yeah?”

He laughed when Sam turned on him with an indignant look, “You’re not old, mister...if you were old you wouldn’t have gone on the teeter-totter, Dad says he’s too old for that, so see, you’re not old.” And for the second time that day, William thought, ‘Gotta love little kid logic.”

Despite he little diatribe the little girl did slow down, waiting until he caught up to them before resuming walking.

Once they’d reached the car they all got in and headed back to the school, in surprising silence, well surprising on Sam’s part at least as she had hardly stopped talking since they’d departed the high school hours before.

During the fifteen minutes it took them to get back to the school (the traffic lights weren’t as kind to them this time) Sam didn’t say a single word. It wasn’t until they reached the school parking lot that she spoke up, “Are you still going to be fun?” she asked with a tinge of fear in her voice.

“What do you mean sweetheart?” Buffy asked her daughter who hadn’t looked at either of the adults in the car when she’d asked her question.

“ I had fun at the playground and you played with me,” she explained looking in William’s direction but not directly at him. “But will you still play with me when I have school.”

“Well, bit, I won’t be able to play with when we’re doing the actual school part but during breaks and after school, then I can…why would you think I wouldn’t?” He didn’t think he’d given her any indication that today’s fun had been going to be a one time thing.

“I still get recess? Even cos there’s no other kids?” Sam asked in surprise.

“Of course you still get to have recess and I think I should play with you especially because there aren’t any other kids. But I can’t promise I’ll be able to everyday, I might have other things that I need to do, okay?” William explained carefully.

Buffy couldn’t believe how well William was handing this, not only had he understood perfectly what her daughter had meant, but he’d managed to explain things clearly and simply without being condescending. Something not everyone could manage.

He was going make a great teacher.

**&*&*&*&**

The next few days were pretty much a blur for Buffy, between convincing Angel that Mr. Giles had called her to say that he was going to take the job—he would never have approved of her going to see him--to assuring Sam that William would be here soon. Luckily Angel didn’t pay much attention to his daughter and she didn’t ask him about William; Buffy wasn’t sure how she was going to explain to Angel why her daughter was calling Mr. Giles, William; to getting everything for her daughter’s schooling prepared.

All in all, Buffy was exhausted by the time, the next Thursday, the day William and Sam were to begin school, arrived. William was to come at 8 o’clock so that he could talk to Angel for a few minutes before he left for work—he was going in several hours late today, but “just this once.”

William was supposed to show Angel his lesson plans for the next few weeks and see if Angel had any question, but as Buffy had expected that’s not exactly what happened.

“Good morning, William,” Angel said as William came into his office, “Buffy, could you come in here for a moment while I talk to Mr. Giles?” Angel asked over his phone’s intercom.

Knowing he wasn’t waiting for a reply, he never did, Buffy sarcastically said, “Of course, dear? Anything your wifey can bring you?” Angel never came to ask her anything, and he also expected her to call William Mr. Giles....’Wonder what he’d say if he knew both Sam and I are calling him William?” she mused.

“Mommy! Mommy! Is it time for school yet?” Sam asked as she came bounding down the stairs;

“Not yet, cupcake, but almost, Mommy needs to go talk with William and Dad for a few minutes about what William’s going to teach you….then it’ll be time for school.” Buffy had been worried about giving her daughter a tutor instead of sending her to school where she’d be able to spend time with other kids her age, but she doubted Sam would have been as excited about that plan.

“Okay, I’m gonna go finish the picture I’m making for William!”

Buffy caught her before she made it back up the stairs, “Going to, Sam, you’re going to finish the picture—not gonna.”

“Sorry, mommy. I’m going to finish the picture for William.” Sam corrected.

“Good girl. Now I’ll come get you when it’s time.” She watched as her daughter made her way up the stairs, a big smile planted on the girls face, making Buffy smile before she made her way to the big mahogany door that led into Angel’s office. “Angel, you wanted to talk to me?” Buffy asked as she made her way into his office.

“Buffy,” Angel said still not believing that he wasn’t allowed to call her Elizabeth, Buffy sounded so silly for someone that was an O’Connors wife, “I was hoping you’d be able to look over William’s lessons plans with me,” He didn’t notice how panicked William looked at the mention of him looking at the man’s lesson plans—no one had told William Angel would be looking at his lesson plans. “But…” Angel continued, “I don’t really think I have the time to do it myself, I really need to get into the office, so could you just do it, hun?”

“Sure, maybe we could go site on the patio, though, there’s more room for him to lay his papers out?” Buffy asked and not just because she was trying to get William to calm down as he looked about ready to burst, but also because there truly wasn’t any room in Angel’s office.

“That’s fine I need to be going anyway. Good luck William.” And with that he was gone, walking out of his office, down the hall, out the front door, and driving away in his fancy Porsche that they could see through the office window.

‘He’s got all this money and he buys a Porsche’ William though, “how cliché, the least he could do was buy a Bentley or some kick ass old car…maybe an Eldorado, yeah, a nice shiny black Eldorado convertible. Now that I could do.’

Turning his attention back to Buffy, William smiled slightly at her before saying, “Just thinking he’s got a stupid car, sorry, luv---shall we go onto the patio now?”

“Sure, we should at least talk about what we’re going to tell Angel you’re teaching Sam so that on the off chance he actually asks me anything, I know what to tell him. But we need to hurry up, Sam’s becoming very impatient. “

Once they’d made it out to the patio, William waited for Buffy to sit in one of the wrought iron chairs before sitting down across from her. “You know,” he started, “I should be very mad at you right about now…had me scared shitless in there. ‘Look over William’s lesson plans with me!’” William mocked in a horrid imitation of Angel’s voice. “I thought I was going to pass out right there…..’Well sir, you know how you told me that I was going to teach your daughter how to be a proper young lady and all that rot. Well I decided you were an arrogant poofter and I didn’t want to work for you, but they your lovely wife Buffy here convinced me that I could teach her actual stuff and you’d never find out, so you see I don’t have any lesson plans to show you, at least not any you’ll find acceptable.’ Yeah, luv, that would have gone over well…..you couldn’t have given me some warning maybe?” He finally stopped to take a breath…and glare at her.

“Relax.” Buffy said with a grin, “I know Angel, I have been married to him for over 6 years after all, he wasn’t going to check anything, just thought that you’d expect him to so he made it look like he was going to…it was all for appearances, so you’d think he actually cared about Sam. And would you have believed me if’d I told you all this earlier?”

“No,” he admitted begrudgingly.

“Well, then, shall we talk about what we’re going to tell my husband you’re teaching our daughter?”



TBC…………………Please Review...and thanks to everyone who's reviewed so far..I'll get the names in later
Chapter 8: School by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I had Sam start school on Thursday because that’s how I’ve always started, half day on Wednesday then full days on Thursday and Friday except usually kindergarten started on Thursday, that way you could get all of the school supplies on the weekend. I also did it that way to sort of ease her into the whole school thing. Hope that clears any questions up. Thanks to Nikilicious for the beta job....
Also, Nikilicious, Spikeshunny1, and I have a new yahoo update group:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dark_seductions_/join

I'm sorry this took so long, I'll try, try, try to updae soon.
Chapter 8: School!

“Well, then, shall we talk about what we’re going to tell my husband you’re teaching our daughter?”

For the next ten minutes they talked about what William would be teaching Sam in the coming weeks and months—first just her general alphabet and numbers—through 20 and then through 50—then reading and writing. Buffy was glad that they’d gotten someone as dedicated and enthusiastic as William to teach her daughter…He was the kind of teacher she’d aspired to be while in college, someone that was teaching solely for the love of it—and who was good at it.

Once they’d decided to tell Angel that William would also be teaching Sam some “etiquette” they headed inside to find Sam.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

The next few days of school went smoothly. Sam was still overly excited to be starting school and Buffy was becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of Sam having a tutor the more she saw how well Sam and William interacted.

Buffy left them to themselves on Thursday and Friday, only seeing them when the three of them ate lunch together on the back patio—ham sandwiches all around.

“Mommy?” Sam asked towards the end of lunch on Friday, “William said I should get folders,” she looked at William for a second, “To keep my school stuff um….”

“Organized,” he supplied.

“Yeah, oar-gah-nized. So, can I mommy, can I get some folders? Pretty ones?” Sam asked, a hopeful expression on her face.

“Sure, we can sweetie, but not until after school, okay?” Buffy was so glad her daughter was getting into school.

“Sam, why don’t you go back in,” William suggested once he’d seen that the girl had finished her lunch. “And work on that name thing, I need to talk to your mum about some stuff for a minute.”

“What name thing?” Buffy asked after her daughter had gone back into the house.

“Just teaching her how to write her name,” he explained. “Was just going to keep it at Samantha, but she wanted her last name too, so now it’s Samantha Summers-O’Connor.”

“Summers?” Buffy questioned in surprise.

“Yeah, I figured I’d compromise, Samantha instead of Sam and Summers-O’Connor instead of just O’Connor. Hope that’s alright with you.” Maybe he should have asked first?

“No, that’s fine, I was just surprised that you were having her include the Summers, is all. Now, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Well, see back home we do school a bit differently…at the age she is, Sam would have already done her reception year and already been in year one. And well what I wanted to ask you is, if I teach her, she’ll get more done than she would a regular school…and I guess what I want to know,” he actually blushed bit and avoided her eyes as he said the next part, “God, I have no idea why I’m embarrassed to ask you this, but can I teach Sam so that she’ll be ready to go into second grade next year instead of first?…I know it’ll make her one of the youngest kids in the class, but I don’t really think we’ll be able to do much if I’m just supposed to teach her the kindergarten stuff. And I know this really isn’t something that I should necessarily be bringing up so early in our schooling, but she seems like an extremely bright girl and I know from experience that if kids get bored in school it leads to them hating it…and I don’t want her to hate school.”

Buffy was touched by how much he seemed to already care for her daughter and by how much he respected her parenting—enough that he asked her about it, instead of asking Angel and just telling her. “I’ll have to check with Angel first of course, he’s gonna kind of notice if suddenly our daughter’s goes into second grade instead of first.” She smiled at him before continuing, “But don’t worry, I can play it up so that he’ll see it as some kind of status thing….as long as you don’t think it’ll push her too hard, I don’t want things to be too stressful?”

“I promise, luv, I’m going to make sure she’s doing okay with it all…if she’s not I can always just stick to kindergarten stuff, no one’ll know if we do since it’s just us, so it won’t hurt her at all.” He assured Buffy carefully.

“Well, then, Mr. Giles, that sounds like an excellent idea.” Buffy couldn’t keep the smile off her face when William broke into a huge grin.

“Right then,” he tried to act at least slightly indifferent, “Guess, I should probably get back inside and check on Sam.”

“William?” Buffy questioned just as he was about to make his way back inside, “Thank you for doing this.” When he only looked at her perplexed, she elaborated, “For taking this job, for not being intimidated by Angel, for letting me have a part in my little girls life…something I honestly thought I was on the edge of losing. Thank you.”

He could tell from the way she turned her back towards him that, that was something that was hard for her to say and not something she wanted to discuss, so he simply said, “You’re welcome,” before making his way inside to find out what kind of progress Sam had made.

“William!” Apparently he didn’t have to find out, after all. “Look what I did! It looks just like the one you did,” Sam exclaimed thrusting the piece of paper towards him, all the while wearing a face splitting grin.

“Let’s see how you did, poppet,” William said bending down and taking the proffered piece of paper. After looking at it for a second, William was sporting a huge grin as well, “Well, pet, looks like you’ve got this one covered… how about we try doing it a few more times, just to make sure…then you can work on writing it all by yourself.”

“You mean not looking at yours?” She asked in awe.

“That’s exactly what I mean, we’ll work on this for maybe the rest of today…and you can practice this weekend if you want. Then next week, we’ll work on writing Samantha all by yourself, then once we get that done, we’ll move on to Summers and O’Connor. That sound like a good idea to you, princess?”

All Sam did was smile before she took his hand and pulled him back into the library that was their school room.

Buffy watched with a sad smile on her face as William told her daughter to slow down. It wasn’t that she didn’t love how well her daughter and William got along, quite the contrary, she could hardly love it more. It was just…well…and she knew this sounded horrible, but she couldn’t understand how William, a man with no children who’d just met her daughter around a week ago could interact with her so well; yet how her own husband, who’d been Sam’s father for more than six years, could hardly spend a few minutes a day with her—and never had much fun with her when he did spend time with her.

She knew it made her a bad wife and possibly a bad mother to think so, but William was definitely better with Sam than Angel was.

But then again maybe William was just doing so well since it wasn’t his kid. The same way some people were excellent babysitters, but couldn’t do it long term. Maybe it was like that.

Maybe.

TBC…….. (A/N: thanks to Spikeshunny1 and Nikilicious for their help regarding UK schooling, it was much appreciated and I hope I got it right)
Interlude: Learning by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Just a short little interlude, I made you all wait for so long and I got such nice reviews that I thought I should give it to you now. I wasn't too sure about how well tis worked out, but decided to post it, please let me konw what you think.

And thank you, thank you, thank you to Allison for reminding me of thisl...the song in this chap was originally in one of William's Girl's fics (In the Still of the Night) and that's where I found out about it.......meant to include that earlier, sorry
Interlude: Learning

“Okay, pet, put that finger there,” William showed her where to put her finger, “And this one here and that one there.” Once she had them all in all the right places, he put his hands over hers and said, “Now see how I bend my fingers, and can move them back and forth without really moving my hand?”

“Uh huh,” she mumbled still watching intently.

“Pretty soon you’ll be able to do that too, as long as we work everyday and you practice even on the days I’m not here. Okay, cookie?”

“I can really be as good as you?” Sam asked him in wonder, finally looking up from the keyboard.

“Sure you can, sweetheart,” Buffy said from the doorway, where she’d stood unnoticed for five minutes. “You just have to do like William says and practice every day, even on days that aren’t school days.”

“I will! I will! I promise,” Sam grinned at first her mother and then William before looking at her mother again, “Did you know that William can play a very pretty song? He played it for me, but he said it takes a lot of practice to be able to play it.”

“Would you play it for me?” Buffy had no idea where that had come from. She hadn’t even registered thinking it, let alone deciding to ask it. “You know what, never mind, I’m sure you two are busy, I’ll just be getting back to what it was I was doing.” ‘Whatever that was,’ she thought.

“Hold up, luv,” William called as she turned and left the room. “I think it would be good for Sam to hear it again and this way you’ll know that I can play at least a little bit. Wouldn’t want you thinking your daughter had an inept pianist as a teacher.”

“What’s inn-eh-put mean?” Sam broke in before Buffy could say anything.

“Inn-ep-tuh, means not good enough, like if I couldn’t play the piano, then I’d be an inept piano teacher because I wouldn’t be good enough to teach you. That make sense, cutie?”

“I think so.” Sam seemed to think about it for a few seconds before nodding her head, “It makeses sense. And you’re not inn-eh-pt, you’re a very good piano player.”

“Thank you, sweetheart, think I should play for your mum then?”

“Yep. I wanna hear it again.”

“Want to,” Buffy corrected before giving in, “If you’re sure that it won’t be a problem, then I’d love to hear you play.”

“Not a problem at all.” After Buffy sat down in one of the chairs near the piano, he began to play. [http://www.locusnovus.com/lnprojects/gymnopedie1/]

Now Buffy had dated a few musicians in college, but they had all been of the “rock” variety. Hearing someone play the piano like this was something totally new for her. He played with so much passion. And, though she was loathe to admit it, it was way sexier than any of her guitar playing boyfriends could have even hoped to be.

Thank god he didn’t play the guitar or sing—or anything like that, or she might just have to leave Angel and run away with William. Along Sam of course.

‘Woah, Buffy! What are you thinking, just because the man can play the piano, don’t go deciding to throw away your marriage.’

“And guess what mommy?” Sam said when William had finished playing, “He can play the guitar, too.”

‘Oh, hell,’ Buffy thought, ‘I have to get out of here!’ “That was great William, really.” Buffy insisted, “But I really do need to get back to my work now.”

“Of course,” William said, trying to pretend that he wasn’t disappointed that he hadn’t seemed to impress Buffy in the least. “Sam and I should be getting back to our work, anyway.”

As Buffy left the room, never noticing the crestfallen look that William tried to hide, she heard Sam ask, “Can you teach me a song?”

“Sure, cupcake,” William said, with a genuine smile on his face. “How about this one, it’s not too hard for someone starting off, but it’s fun too. And I’m sure your mum will love it.” ‘Even if I don’t seem to be able to impress her, I’m sure you will,’ he added silently. “Okay, bit here’s what you do: put these fingers here and then put those fingers there.,” he pointed out the correct keys to her. “That’s right, now do what I do.” And he proceeded to teach her how to play “chopsticks,” all but forgetting his disappointment regarding Buffy.

It wasn’t like he wanted her to fall to his feet and proclaim, “Oh, William, you’re the sexiest man alive! Let’s run away together and start a family. I’ll leave Angel and you, Sam, and I can be together forever.”

Well, okay, he wouldn’t exactly hate if she did that, but it wasn’t like he was expecting it either. While it was no secret, to him at least, that he was quickly falling in love with Ms. Buffy Summers-O’Connor, he also hadn’t forgotten the fact that she was married. ,

He wasn’t trying to change that, not necessarily, but would it have been so hard for her to just say, “That was beautiful William, I’ve never heard anything like it before’?

Okay, so maybe that was a stretch too, but if she’d just said that it was great—which she did—and sounded like she meant it—which she didn’t and then had stuck around for a few minutes, instead of running away like he were the most vile thing on Earth, that would have been enough for him.

Just to know that she could stand to be in his company, could maybe even enjoy it……that would have been enough.

He knew he was playing with fire, falling in love with a married woman, being employed by her husband, and teaching their daughter…but it wasn’t something he saw himself getting out of anytime soon.

TBC … Pretty Please Review
Chapter 9 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Well now I know why I was so set on posting When You're Sleeping yesterday...I was supposed to be posting this.....I forgot, I'm sorry....Forgive me?
Chapter 9:

The few weeks passed by fairly uneventfully, Sam was catching on to nearly everything William was teaching her—she was now able to count to 20 and backwards from 15, able to write Samantha Summers and was working on O’Connor, and she was working on the letter sounds. She got more and more excited with each passing day and Buffy was overjoyed that her daughter was enjoying her education so much. Every evening when Angel got home, Sam would try to tell him what she’d learned during the day, after a few days, Buffy was able to convince him to indulge her for just a few minutes, but even that had only lasted a few days—he was just too busy.

But that didn’t hinder Sam’s enthusiasm, not in the slightest. She now had all of her cute folders and notebooks—Winnie the Pooh and Cinderella; and was enjoying all of the learning she and William were doing.

Buffy had only ever hoped that she would have a child who would enjoy learning as much as Sam was---she only hoped it would last. And Buffy was also glad William was there, not only did it give her someone to talk to during his breaks from teaching, but also because Sam was growing to love him.

The three of them had started to eat lunch together every day and Buffy was enjoying her daily “adult interaction.” And unlike the women at the country club, she was actually able to have “intelligent” conversation with him. Sam would have recess right before lunch and William was usually outside playing with her—true to his word. But today he’d told her he was going to go talk to her mother for a few minutes, “I’m going to go see how your mum’s doing with lunch, okay, bit?” he hoped she’d be alright with it, he really wanted a chance to talk to Buffy; just the two of them.

He wanted to make sure everything was going well with her, he hadn’t had much chance, these last few weeks, to talk to her without Sam around.

“Of course, I’m going to play hide and seek with Katie.” That was another thing he wanted to talk to Buffy about.

“I’ll come tell you when lunch is then.”

“Okay.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Hey, luv,” William said as he walked into the kitchen.

“Oh! Hi,” Buffy said as she quickly turned around, a surprised expression on her face. “Is everything alright with Sam, I mean she’s not hurt or anything is she?” Buffy asked worriedly.

“No, nothing’s wrong,” he quickly assured her, “Just thought I’d come talk with you a bit while Sam’s still outside.”

“Okay,” Buffy said somewhat reluctantly, not really sure what he wanted to talk to her about. “Anything in particular? Or just talking?”

“Well, there were actually a few things I wanted to talk about….um, have you noticed if Sam is talking about Katie less now than before?…It seems to me like she is, but I haven’t been around as long, so I couldn’t be sure.”

“I guess I’d just chalked it up to her being busier—school and all, but yeah, now that you mention it, she has been talking about Katie and “doing” things with her a lot less these last few weeks.” Buffy paused thoughtfully, “Guess that’s a good thing, huh?”

“Might be, but it also might not last….I was just wondering, nothing wrong with her having an imaginary friend, it’s actually good for some kids, helps them cope with stuff. Not that there’s anything she’d have to “cope” with mind you,” he quickly backtracked.

“It’s okay,” Buffy assured him, “I get what you mean—it gives her somebody to talk to….and hey, it’s cheaper than a therapist,” she joked.

Glad that she’d seen what he meant, William brought up his next subject, while she was still in her good mood. “May I ask you a question, luv? Feel free not to answer.”

“Sure, you can ask, but I’m not going to promise I’m going to answer,” Buffy said remembering the last serious question he’d asked her.

“I’ve noticed that you make basically sandwiches…sometimes burgers for lunch and I was wondering…..doesn’t Angel have some sort of maid or cook to do the cooking for you?”

“Well, see, this is our sort of compromise, I can’t cook worth a darn, but I hate to have someone do all the cooking for me, even if I’m not very good. So Angel and I decided that since he has business associates over for dinner sometimes but never for lunch, it would be okay if I was left with making breakfast—which he never eats—and lunch. And we have a maid who makes diner for us, which I guess is a good thing—I’d probably poison one of his clients,” Buffy tried to joke. “And I’m sorry that I haven’t made anything better for lunch, when the only opportunity you have to improve you cooking involves feeding a little kid and yourself, there’s not much room for growth there…..and I’ve never really had anyone to teach me. Rose Marie, our cook, she’s very by the book, used to work for Angel’s mother and all, and she won’t allow me in the kitchen when she’s preparing dinner, let alone let me help.”

“Well, then, kitten, looks like me and that husband of yours have something to talk about then.” At Buffy’s panicked look, he decided to let her off the hook and let her know what he was really talking about. “Calm down, luv, it’s not what you’re thinking, least I don’t’ think it is.”

“Then, what exactly did you mean, you big meanie?” Buffy asked, slapping his arm.

“Ow, luv, you don’t have to hurt me!”

“Oh, quit being a big baby and tell me what you mean already.”

“Angel expects Sam to grow and be a good little wifey…and that would normally require being able to cook well, right? Not that I’m saying you’re not a good wife…oh bollocks, this just won’t come out right. What I’m trying to get to is, I could tell Angel that I’m teaching Sam how to cook so that she’ll be a good housewife, but before I start teaching her, I need to teach you a bit too, so that you can help us. So, see, it helps two things, you learn how to cook and Sam learns how to cook.” ‘And we get to spend more time together.’

“But, how are you going to find time to teach me….I mean you’re teaching Sam all day and the only break you have is recess and then lunch, that doesn’t seem like much time to teach me to cook in.”

“Simple, we’ll take five minutes off her recess on Monday through Thursday and then on Friday, she’ll have a fifty minute recess then lunch, sot that’s an hour and twenty minutes, that should give us enough time….if once a week is okay with you?”

“More than okay! You mean you’re really willing to teach me how to cook? I’ve always felt kid of, oh I don’t know inadequate, for not being able to cook someone a meal.” ‘No doubt most of that is Angel’s fault, never giving me the chance to get better at it and constantly reminding me how I don’t know how to make anything ‘remotely edible,’ yep definitely his fault, can’t tell William that though.’

“Of course I’d be willing to teach you, always have enjoyed cooking….and since you and Sam seem to have a lot in common, teaching you should be just as fun to teach as she is.”

“In that case….” Buffy ran over and hugged him, “Thank you,” she whispered in his ear.

Trying hard…no, not hard…..strongly….yeah, trying strongly not to notice how much having her so close was effecting him, William weakly hugged her back and said a quiet, “You’re welcome.”

“Guess, one of should go get Sam, tell her lunch is ready and let her know about our new plan, huh?” Buffy said stepping away from his embrace…all the while ignoring the little voice in her head saying, ‘Great job, Buffy, go practically jump the guy…now he’s just going to think you’re just some slutty married woman…wonderful….now you’ve probably scared him off, the one ‘friend’ you’ve had recently.’

“I’ll go get her,” William said quickly, “I told her I’d let her know when lunch is ready…” He turned and left the kitchen quickly, making Buffy think he was upset with her for hugging him, when in reality he was trying to get away from her before he could no longer control his reaction to her.

He could handle Buffy-closeness in small doses, but if he’d spent anymore time alone with he, he’d probably make an ass of himself---freak her out and get fired. And that just wouldn’t do…so it was off to get Sam for him.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Sam? Hey, bit where are you? Your mum said it’s time for lunch.” William didn’t see her right away and started to get worried, “Come on Sam, time for lunch,” he repeated worriedly.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*


Back in the kitchen, Buffy was still beating herself up over how she’d acted towards William. She’d been seeing more in his actions than was really there. Any “kindness” he was showing her was just that, kindness. He was a nice, polite person who was just trying to be civil towards her. Nothing more to it.

And she really needed to stop reading more into things. He was her daughter’s teacher and he was doing everything in his power to be the best teacher for her that he could be. That was all.

She’d need to start being more respectful around him. Angel’s mother’s definition of respectful, which could also pass for formal, that is.

It wouldn’t do for him to quit because she’d made him uncomfortable. ‘Try explaining that one to Angel,’ she thought with a grin.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Come on Sam; where are you?” William tried again, looking around the yard, but still not seeing the little girl.


TBC…..

Please Review :-)
Chapter 10 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Sorry this is so late, been having humongous internet problems.....and sorry in advance for the short chapter....also another note: I have a fic LJ: Suzee_05

If there are any mistakes it's cos I'm trying to get this up quick before I lose the internet again :)
Chapter 10:

“Sam, this isn’t funny anymore sweetheart, where are you?” William finally yelled in exasperation.

“I’m up here silly,” Sam yelled from her perch on one of the oak tree’s branches. “But I don’t think I can get down,” Now she sounded more than a little worried, “Will you help me?”

“Sure, honey, you just wait ‘til I get over there okay, then jump down to me.” William said as he walked over to the tree where Sam was.

“You’ll catch me?” She asked in concern.

“Of course, I’ll catch you silly.” William answered, throwing her own word back at her. “Okay,” he said once he was in position, “On three I want you to jump toward me and I’ll catch you, ‘k?” When Sam finally nodded and smiled, he started counting, “One. Two. Three!”

“You caught me!” Sam yelled when she was safely in his arms, before hugging him fiercely around the neck.

“Well, yeah, couldn’t have you hitting the ground, now could we?”

“But don’t tell mommy I was in the tree.” Sam said worriedly.

“Why don’t you want me to tell your mum?” William asked curiously.

“She told me not to go in the tree again, last time she couldn’t get me down because I went too high. She said it scared her when she couldn’t get me down.”

“You worried me too, bit,” William informed her. In fact, he had never been so worried in his life, at least not that he could remember. It wasn’t how high she was in the tree, though he could easily understand how that had scared Buffy, she was such a little thing after all; no, what had scared him was not being able to find her, the prospect that something had happened to the wonderful little girl currently in his arms. And the fact that that scared him as much as it did, scared him in and of itself.

He wasn’t supposed to care so much for a little girl he’d just met.

Or for her mother.

He was a single, fairly good looking guy in his twenties. He wasn’t supposed to be playing “family” with a married woman and her daughter.

He really needed to go on a date.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Mommy!” Sam said as she came running into the kitchen and gave her mother a hug.

“Hi, sweetheart, how was recess?”

“It was fun, Katie and I played hide and seek for a little bit, but she said that she’s going to start school too, so I can’t play with her as much.” Sam said, with only a slight hint of disappointment.

“That’s good that she’s going to start school.” William interjected.

“Yep, I told her how much fun it was so now she wants to do it too. What’s for lunch?” Sam asked, moving on in the way only a child can.

“We’re having grilled cheese sandwiches and William,” Buffy added when he looked slightly surprised, “Can have one too or he can have a ham sandwich.”

“Well that depends,” he said in all seriousness, “Are your grilled cheeses all melty?”

“Oh no, Sam,” Buffy said to her daughter in mock horror, “He’s starting to talk like us!” To which Sam just giggled.

“Well….are they?” William pressed.

“Very melty,” Sam assured him.

“Then I’ll take one.”

Buffy laughed at the two of them, “Three melty grilled cheese coming up,” She said, returning moments later with their food.

“So, luv,” William asked once they’d gotten settled, “What have you been doing today?”

“Nothing much,” Buffy answered with a shrug, “Just some odds and ends, nothing very important.”

“Uh uh!” Sam interrupted before William could dispute what Buffy had just said.

“Sam,” Buffy said, giving her daughter a warning glare.

But Sam continued on, unfazed, “Mommy was going to finish her painting today, it’s very pretty.” Leave it to Sam to be her best publicist.

“Really it’s nothing, just something I’ve been messing around with for awhile,” Buffy insisted. “How’s school been going today?” She asked, hoping to change the subject.

William would let her think she’d won this one—for now—but at some point he was going to see her painting. “I think it’s been going pretty well. What about you bit?”

“William’s teaching me how to tell time….well kind of.” She said unsurely.

“No, I am teaching you how to tell time, don’t sell yourself short, pet. We’re just getting started, but you’re doing a great job so far.” William worked to assure her, “Much better than I did when I was your age.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“Anyone care to fill me in?” Buffy asked, feeling left out, even though she was telling herself it was ridiculous.

“I’m teaching her how to tell time and so far we’ve got it down to the quarter hour stuff, you know—11:15, 11:30, 11:35, 12 o’clock, that kind of stuff….once I’m sure she’s got that down, which shouldn’t’ take much longer,” Buffy didn’t miss the smile on her daughter’s face at the compliment.” Then we’re going to try for the ten minute stuff—10 after, 20 after, 30, 40, you get the drift. Should have her telling time in no time,” William said, wincing when he realized what he’d just said. “OR, we should have her telling time very soon.”

“I’m very proud of you sweetheart,” Buffy told her daughter.

“Thank you mommy,” Sam said sincerely.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” Buffy exclaimed, “William and I have something we need to talk to you about. Do you want to tell her?” She asked, looking at William.

“Either way…Sure I’ll tell her,” he said when Buffy didn’t say anything. “Sam, in a few weeks we’re going to do some cooking too as part of school. But,” he continued before she could interrupt him, “For the first few weeks I’m going to just have to work with your mum so that she can help when I start teaching you. And the way that we’re going to have enough time for it, is your recess is going to be five minutes shorter on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but on Friday it’ll be 20 minutes longer.

That way I can teach your mom on Fridays and have enough time. Then, once I’m ready to start teaching you too, we’re going to add it on after lunch as a part of school.

Does that sound okay?” God, he hoped she didn’t say no.

Sam walked around the table and stood next to William, whispering in his ear so that only he could hear. “Will you help me make mommy a birthday cake?”

“Of course, cupcake.”

“Okay then.” Sam smiled winningly at him.

“What was that about?” Buffy asked.

“It’s a secret,” Sam supplied.

“Yeah, a secret,” William seconded, grinning conspiratorially.

“Well secret or no, it better be something I’m going to like,” Buffy told them, only becoming even more uneasy when Sam and William just looked at each other before smiling.

“Fine, since you two are obviously not going to tell me,” Buffy said in a huff, trying to guilt Sam into telling her.

“Uh uh uh,” William cut in, “We’re not telling you –no matter what you do. Are we Sam?”

“Nope.”

“Fine, since you’re not going to tell me, no matter what I do,” Buffy said dramatically, “Can we decide what it is you’re going to teach me how to cook?”

“I don’t know, I was thinking about keeping it a surprise,” William teased.

“Well, what if I don’t like surprises?” Buffy asked.

“Maybe I’ll just have to teach you to like them.”

“Maybe you will.” And suddenly she became aware of what she was doing…she, Buffy Summers-O’Connor was flirting with someone. Who wasn’t her husband.


TBC……Please Review

(author’s note: sorry for the short chapter, but that’s just how it worked out…and also I know I sort of left last chapter hanging and made it seem like something had happened to Sam, that actually was to serve 2 purposes: to see if Nikki was right that I could write a cliffhanger and also to show just how much William cares for Sam….and a little hint for the next chapter, I’m going to clarify something kazzy_cee pointed out earlier….)
Chapter 11: Discoveries by Suzee
Author's Notes:
A/N: Let’s just say that I got really good news about one of my friends this week, so I just feel like saying yay! It’s hard to write well when you’re in a kind of crummy mood, but she fixed that right up, so thanks you :)
And sorry the updates late...I tried watching the shuttle launch today.
Chapter 11: Discoveries

“Buffy, you up here?” William called as he entered the spacious, well-lit attic.

“How’d you know to come up here?” Buffy asked as she came around from behind the easel across the room.

“Sam said you’d probably be up here….and um, you’re late for our lesson?” At her confused look he continued, “Our cooking lesson.”

“Oh! God, I’m sorry!” Buffy exclaimed, running around, trying to get everything put away quickly. “I totally forgot what day it was, I’m so sorry, it’s just sometimes I kind of lose track of time while I’m up here,” she apologized.

“Now, hold on,” William said, “Way I see it, you owe me….and since I’m up here I think it’s only fair that you show me some of your work.”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Buffy said with a frown.

“Now, it’s only fair. You did make me come all the way up here to find you after all.” ‘When all else fails, go for the guilt trip,’ William thought. “And it’s not like this is a small house…took me a bit to find you.”

“Alright, fine, just give me a minute,” Buffy caved.

William took the opportunity to look around the room; it was entirely different from the rest of the house. It looked more…homey?

He guessed that was the word for it, it was the one room in the house that truly looked lived in. While the rest of the house had obviously been done by an interior decorator in order to look just so; he could see touches of Buffy and Sam in this room.

The majority of the room was obviously utilized by Buffy, there were windows on the south wall and the south side of the east and west walls, providing ample lighting at nearly any time of day. And that was where she’d situated her easel, about half way up the room so that she was facing north.

The north side of the room, to the right of the stairs, looked to be Sam’s area. There were a few dolls, some books, and a little table for her to sit at with some crayons and markers and paper.

“She has her own easel too,” Buffy said when she noticed his perusal of the room, “Right there,” She said, indicating the west wall, between where he’d been looking and Buffy’s easel. “She’s really good too, you sure you don’t want to see some of her stuff instead?” Buffy asked, still trying to weasel her way out of showing him any of her work.

“Not getting out of this one,” he informed her. “Now hurry up and show me so we can get down to that cooking.”

“Fine, fine,” Buffy grumbled. “What do you want to see first, the paintings or the photographs?”

“Didn’t know there was a choice, l-, but now that I do know…how about both?”

“Do I really have an option?” Buffy questioned.

“No.” William answered succinctly.

“Okay, both it is then….let’s see, how about photos first? Sound good to you?”

“Perfect,” William said.

“Alright, fine…just remember you asked,” Buffy told him as she led him over to a bookshelf and pulled out a box. “These are the best of my 8 by 10s and…,” she said taking out a second, smaller box, “4 by 6s. But none of them are that good I know, so just….be nice, okay?”

William didn’t answer right away, instead choosing to begin looking through the photos. There were some pictures of Sam through the years, several pictures of flowers and just the general outdoors, a few pictures of things in the house, but strangely enough—none of Angel.

But they were all superb.

“These are great Buffy,” he gushed, “I mean there’s just the right amount of contrast, but they still work really well…and they’re not too dark, they’re very focused…..and you can see how much you love doing this and the pictures of Sam? You can just see how much you love her coming through in your photos. They’re all just wonderful; I had no idea, I mean I thought, but…” he trailed off, focusing back on the photos.

“Really because, you don’t have to say so just to be nice, plenty of people have told me that they’re not that good or that they just don’t get them, so really,” she emphasized, “You don’t have to say so.”

“Plenty of people like who?” William asked incredulously.

“Like An- like people okay?”

“Sorry, don’t get upset, I was just wondering what kind of wanker would ever tell you, you were anything other than an immensely gifted artist who takes magnificent pictures.”

“Give a girl an ego why don’t you…” Buffy said, blushing.

“It’s true,” he said with a bit of a chuckle.

“Well, maybe, but you don’t have to be so,” he gestured around with her hands, “about it.”

“Yes, I did have to be so,” William mimicked her with the hand movements, “about it. These are excellent, p- Buffy.”

“So you really mean it?” Buffy asked carefully.

”Buffy,” he began slowly and deliberately, “I’m a teacher, I practically have to be an expert on how to let untalented people down easily, that’s not the case here, okay? You honestly are one of the best photographers I’ve seen And I’ve been to art museums and galleries in London, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, hell even some little town in Wisconsin…and you are by the best of the whole bloody bunch. And,” he added when he could see she wanted to argue with him, “I mean it. You wouldn’t want to call me a liar now would you?”

“Noooo,” Buffy wasn’t sure what to say to that.

“It’s settled then, you’re bloody brilliant and you’re going to show me your paintings now so that we can get downstairs and I can turn you into a world class chef,” William said in all seriousness.

“You obviously don’t know just how bad I am in the kitchen,” Buffy said, giggling. “You’re in a surprise!”

“I’m of the mind that if you can paint or draw or take beautiful photographs—which we’ve decided you can—then you can cook. I don’t know, it’s the same part of your brain or some such nonsense. But it’s true.”

“We’ll see,” is all Buffy said as she led him over to the little alcove where her paintings were lined up. “Okay, so, do you want to see the ones I actually kind of like—which is about, oh two,” she said looking at the row of at least 40 paintings, “Or do you want to see them all?”

“Think I’ll go with all, since your judgment obviously can’t be trusted in the matter.”

“Yeah, fine,” the words were dismissive, but he could tell from her look that she was nervous, “Do you want to see them from earliest up to now, or now to when I started?”

“Let’s start from the beginning, that way I can see how you progress.”

Buffy carefully took them out, in groups of five, and laid them the nearby wall, “Just don’t smoosh them okay, they’re oil paintings so some of them have some texture and I don’t really want them flattened.”

“I’ll be careful, I promised.”

As William began to look at the stack of abstract paintings, Buffy quickly turned and wrung her hands together.” I’m just going to go wash my hands…you know get the paint thinner off since we’re going to be cooking,” she said, never quite meeting his gaze.

“Yeah, that’s fine,” he said, not seeing her ulterior motive in leaving. She just didn’t think she could be in there while he was looking at her paintings. To her, the photography was showing everyone else how you saw something, but with the painting it was different, it was like creating something that showed everyone a part of your soul, at least for her. And someone seeing those 40 “pieces of her soul”? It scared her to death.

She couldn’t have stayed in there and witnessed his instinctual reaction to each piece. No, leaving the room was definitely the better plan; at least this way if he hated them or didn’t see anything in them, then at least he’d be able to mask his disappointment by the time she got back. Hopefully.


TBC.....Please Review


Nikilicious, Spikeshunny1, and I have a new Yahoo update group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dark_seductions_/ Please go join!
Chapter 12: Cooking by Suzee
Author's Notes:
this update was not supposed to be so late, but I had a super busy week and then when I tried to update...I couldn't get the internet to work...so, so sorry for the update...but I have been writing: currently I have 3 sequels started and 4 new stories going plus this one...so I havent' quit writing :)
Chapter 12: Cooking

She slowly made her way down to the attic staircase, planning to give him as much time as possible alone, and made her way to hall bathroom. As she made her way into the bathroom, Buffy caught her reflection in the mirror, and God, did she look scared.

“Calm down, Buffy, it’s not like you really care what he thinks. He’s just Sam’s teacher and none of that’s going to be affected by him not liking your paintings. It’ll be oka-“ ‘Are you insane,’ a voice in her head, silenced her, ‘Of course you care what he thinks, he’s more of a friend than you’ve had in the last 5 years, he’s a lot more than “just Sam’s teacher” and you’re crazy if you actually believe otherwise.’

Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Buffy went to the sink and began washing her hands thoroughly with her lavender scented hand soap. When she was still washing her hands nearly two minutes later, she rationalized it by saying she wanted to make extra sure she got her hands clean and smelling good since she was going to be “cooking,” but really she was just buying time.

Back in the attic, William was still looking at the paintings, he hadn’t expected them to be this good. Good sure, but not this good. It boggled his mind that she could take such beautiful photographs and then do these paintings as well. It was amazing.

As he got to the last of the paintings he realized that it had been nearly ten minutest and Buffy still wasn’t back from “washing her hands”. Decidedly worried about her, he carefully sat the all of the paintings back up against the wall and made his way down the attic stairs. When he was in the second floor hallway, he listened to see if he could hear which direction she’d gone. After just a few seconds he heard the water running in, what he assumed to be, the bathroom just to his right.

“Buffy?” he asked, knocking on the door.

“Just a minute,” she said, turning off the faucet. Drying off her hands, she turned, and with a deep, calming breath, opened the door, “Hi,” she said as she placed the towel back on the bar.

“Hi yourself,” William said with a slight grin, “I was starting to get worried about you, though I’d come see how your hands were faring.”

“My hands?” Buffy asked confusedly.

“Well, you were washing them for ten minutes, Buffy, was thinking maybe they’d washed away by now.”

“Oh, that,” Buffy said, a blush creeping up her cheeks, “I…well,” she practically whispered, looking at her feet, “I wanted to make sure I got all the paint thinner off. So, um,” she continued in an even more shy and uncertain tone, “What’d you think of the paintings?”

“I-“ William started, only to be cut off by Buffy who looked up, but still never met his eyes.

“You know, we should really get down to the kitchen, get started on that cooking lesson. There’s not all that much time left.”

“Buffy, wait, we’ll have enough time for cooking, if nothing else, we can give Sam a few minutes of extra recess, not like she’ll mind.”

“I just don’t want to hear it okay!” She snapped; she just couldn’t pretend not to care anymore.

“Don’t want to hear what?” William asked in a concerned tone.

“I don’t want to hear you tell me how ‘nice’ or ‘interesting’ my paintings are, okay?” Buffy said in an exasperated tone, trying not to look upset, “For whatever reason, you’re kind of my friend now,” she continued nervously, not noticing William’s smile, “and I haven’t had a ‘real’ friend in a long time, one that didn’t give a damn about Angel’s money or status….and if you have to stand here and come up with something nice to say about my paintings, when you don’t like them, I don’t think we’ll really ever be able to completely get past that, or, more accurately, I won’t,” she concluded. Seeming to regain a bit of her confidence, Buffy gestured to the door, “So, let’s just go teach Buffy how not to blow up the kitchen.”

William chuckled a little at her comment, but still didn’t let her pass, instead, standing in the doorway and blocking her exit, “Not yet,” he said once he’d finally gotten her to stop trying to leave the small room. “Look at me,” he said when she kept her eyes on her feet. Waiting until she did look at him, he continued, “Now don’t even try to tell me that I’m just saying this to be nice, I don’t do that. And certainly not after your little rant,” Buffy blushed a bit at the memory, “If I had thought they were bad, I would have just said, probably through the door, “Those are some great paintings Buffy, I’m going down to the kitchen now, meet me when you’re done.’ Something like that’s what I would have said. I wouldn’t say this: Buffy, those are honestly some of the best paintings I’ve ever seen. It’s hard, at least I think, when doing abstract paintings to put enough feeling into them that other people will feel something when they look them, but you’ve done it. I’m glad you let me look at them chronologically because it was interesting to see how your style’s changed and to see how you were feeling at different points in time. And I know, being a teacher I should be able to explain it better, but I can’t. Alls I know is that I love them. They make me feel something,” he finished, shyly.

Now he was the one unable to meet her gaze, looking around the bathroom as he waited for her to say something. This was obviously another room not decorated by Buffy. William had noticed that all of her jewelry, save her wedding ring, was silver while all of the accents in the bathroom—including the faucet and towel racks—were gold. Buffy obviously hadn’t had a say in decorating the house.

Which was sad, actually considering her artistic abilities.

“Really?” Buffy asked quietly, breaking William from is observations.

“You’re an immensely talented artist, Buffy. Thought a pretty head like yours would have figured it out by now.”

With a beaming grin, Buffy blushed and looked away from William, “So….should we get to that cooking lesson now?”

”Sure,” William said, deciding to let her whether or not she believed him, slide.

For now.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“So what is it we’re cooking?” Buffy asked as they finally made their way into the kitchen a good fifteen minutes or more after they were originally supposed to start their lesson.

“It’s still a bit of a surprise. Why don’t you go let Sam know she’s going to have a few extra minutes of recess while I get everything ready?” William avoided answering her question.

“You sure that’s okay? We could always put off the lesson ‘til next week,” Buffy said, her nervousness showing.

“No, we’ll still do it today, just tell Sam she gets a few more minutes of recess and I’ll come get her when it’s time for school. And Buffy,” he said as she was about to leave the kitchen, “There’s no need to be worried you’re going to do great.”

“Shows what you know,” she scoffed before heading out to tell Sam the news.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

While Buffy told Sam of the plan, William set to work getting all of the necessary ingredients out, including the few that he’d brought with him that morning.

“William,” Buffy said as she leaned against the kitchen doorway, “I know you think this is a good idea, but you know, maybe you’re overestimating me.” When he just looked at her and shook his head in the negative, she decided to try a different route, “What if I do burn down the kitchen, will you believe me then?” Even Buffy herself wasn’t sure just how much she was joking with that statement.

“Buffy, I promise you, you aren’t going to burn down the kitchen.” When she didn’t seem to believe him, he added, “I pinky swear.”

Through her laughing, Buffy managed to ask, “What?” before she continued laughing.

Pretending to be put out by her laughing at him, William grumbled, “It works for Sam.”

“Because she’s six!” Buffy explained with a grin.

“No,” William said, “It works because you know she means it….and I mean it. You. Are. Not. Going. To. Burn. Down. The. Kitchen.” he carefully enunciated every word, before adding “I pinky swear.”

Thinking he was possibly insane, Buffy nevertheless decided to go along with it. “Fine,” she said walking towards him, “We’ll pinky swear.” They locked pinky fingers, “But you’re so fired if I burn down the house.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” William drawled, “Now get over here and learn how to cook.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Okay, so I put this in there?” Buffy asked.

“Yeah, just like this, William showed her, how to dump the ground beef into the large pot. “Then put the tomato paste and the tomato sauce in as well.”

“How do I know how much?”

“That’s the beauty of this recipe, most of the canned things, the amount you’re supposed to use, is also the amount that’s in each can. Or a multiple of it.”

“Oh, so I don’t have to measure it all out.”

“No measuring required, just open the can and dump it in.”

“Cool,” Buffy said as she did just that.

“Okay, now for the stuff we do have to measure.” Not missing the disgusted face Buffy made, William just continued, “We’ll just work down the list of ingredients. See, we’ve already done those,” he indicated the first few ingredients, “So now we’ll work on these.”

“I’m watching,” Buffy said, hoping he’d do it for her.

“Uh uh uh,” You’re not getting out of it that easily, William said, “You’re going to do it and I’m going to watch. You’ll do fine, Buffy,” he assured her when she turned a nice pale shade at the idea of doing it on her own, “We pinky swore remember.”

“Okay,” Buffy said, “I can do this.” Carefully, she took the measuring spoons and put the proper amounts of salt, pepper, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the pot. “Hey, I can do it!” she said excitedly when she’d finished.

Aided by Buffy’s new found sense of assuredness they made quick work of adding the rest of the ingredients. “Now, everything’s been added, we’re going to turn the burner on between high and medium,” he showed her where to turn the dial and waited until Buffy had done as he demonstrated, “Then stir it for about two minutes, just to make sure everything gets mixed together well. Then take the spoon out and wait until it boils. Once it boils,” he explained, “Turn the heat all the way down to between medium and low and cover it. Let it simmer like that for a few about an hour. Then just turn it off and let it sit for about two hours or more. But don’t take the lid off,” he warned.

“You’re just going to leave me?! I can’t do this on my own!” Buffy exclaimed, worried once again.

“Buffy, listen to me: you can do this, when it starts to bubble a lot, then turn down the heat, cover it with this lid,” he pointed to the lid they’d found earlier, “see what time it is and leave it like that for an hour. When an hour’s passed, just turn the burner off and leave it again for two hours. About half an hour or twenty minutes before it’s done, then just turn on the noodles. By the time those are boiling, Sam and I will be done with school and I’ll come back and help you with it, okay?” he asked carefully.

“Okay, I guess,” Buffy admitted, “But why did we have to put the salt in with the water for the noodles, I still don’t get that.”

“It stops the water from going over the side of the pot when it’s boiling.”

“Oh, well that’s a good thing….okay, you go get Sam and you guys start school. I’ll be fine,” she told him, though she wasn’t sure she believed it.

“And if you really do have a problem, you just come get me,” William told her.

“I know, but I should be fine. Now go!” Buffy ushered him out of the kitchen before turning her attention back to the pot of sauce.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*
TBC…..


A/N: William’s “pretty little head” line is from Nikki—thanks sweetheart.


I've not done this for awhile...bad, bad me. Thank you to Panta_Rei, Mariana, Cordykitten, Blondiebear, Bint, Caitie, Allison, Brat, Dannii, Fibble, Smitten, Nikilicious, 1880girl, DK, carri, mari, lynn, aribelle, spuffette, shippy, buffyandspikeforever, Charlene, Elanor, SoulNyte for reviewing this story.....and thank you oodles to those of you who are reviewing every chatper or nearly every chapter.
Chapter 13: Family by Suzee
Author's Notes:
A/N: Chapter 12 was becoming pretty long (for one of my chapters at least) and I knew that chapter 13 was going to be kind of short, so I’ve decided to conclude chapter 12 in the beginning of chapter 13
And thanks to Cordykitten, Mariana, Jenn, Allison, Caitie, Spuffette, Brat, fibble, Bint, and Kar for reviewing the last chapter...and Nikki for catching up ;)
Chapter 13: Family

Sam and William’s lessons were taking a little longer than he’d expected and he was beginning to worry, just a little bit, about Buffy. He hadn’t seen her since the three of them ate lunch together and he really hoped she was doing okay.

“William, is this right?” Sam asked, showing him her paper for what must have been nearly the tenth time in as many minutes.

“Sam,” he said trying to keep his patience, “I’ve told you since the first time that it’s just fine.”

“I know, but I want it perfect. It’s a present.”

“Why don’t you finish later today then or maybe on the weekend?” he knew he sounded like he was trying to get out of there, but, well, he was.

“I hafta finish it today,” she said never looking up from her paper.

”Okay, but remember, I have to check on your mum and her cooking, so we only have a few more minutes.” He checked his watch and hoped Buffy was doing okay.

Just as he was about to tell Sam she’d have to finish her picture later, she finally looked up, “Done,” she announced, before handing him the paper.

Taking a second to finally look at the picture that he had previously just glanced at, William froze for a second when he saw just what it was Sam had drawn.

In place of the abstract art that he’d been become accustomed to seeing from her, was a very realistic drawing: sitting in what he assumed was a park, were he, Buffy, and Sam having a picnic. They were sitting on a blue and green checked blanket, there was a picnic basket, and they all had sandwiches. Other than the dog sitting off to the side by Sam, it was easily something that could happen.

“Sam?” William asked, “Why’d you draw this picture?”

“I was thinking during recess that it would be fun if we could eat lunch outside some day so I decided to draw a picture of it.”

Berating himself for thinking—wishing—that there had been more to it, William decided to go with the obvious, “The dog. Why’s he there?”

“She,” Sam emphasized, “Is there because after I drew you and me and mommy I though that if it were just us then I could have a dog.”

“What do you mean?” William asked as he got his papers together and started to get up to go to the kitchen.

“Daddy won’t let me get a dog, so if it was just you and me and mommy then I could have a dog. Can I go see what mommy’s doing?”

“Yeah…sure, you tell her, um, tell her I’ll be there in a minute,” William managed to get out as he sat back down in his chair thinking about what Sam had just said. If it were just the three of them.

Just the three of them.

No Angel.

God, if only she knew just how many times he’d thought about what it would be like if that were true. Yeah, if she knew, then she’d hate you…no little girl is going to want to hear that you hope her parents get divorced.

But the picture.

Yeah, the picture. Was obviously just that, a picture. He knew he was turning this into much more than it was….Sam had drawn a picture of the three of them…then her six-year-old mind had thought, “Hey, daddy’s not there, so I can have a dog in the picture.”

Nothing more to it.

Nothing more to it. Nothing more to it. Nothing more to it. Nothing more to it. Nothing more to it.

As long as he repeated that and focused on teaching Sam and helping Buffy learn how to cook and remembered that Angel was the one paying him, he’d be just fine.

God, he was fucked.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Just as William convinced himself that he’d be able to go see what Sam and Buffy were up to with the spaghetti without making an absolute fool of himself, Buffy came running into the room.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you,” she chanted as she launched herself at him, engulfing him in a tight hug. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much, William,” she murmured in his ear. After hugging him tightly once more, she let go and backed up a little to look into his eyes. “I made the spaghetti all by myself and I didn’t screw it up,” she gushed, “And the sauce didn’t burn and I did everything you said and I didn’t mess it up! Sam tried some and she said it’s better than Rose Marie’s spaghetti! God, William, I don’t think you know how much this means to me….I made something other than stupid sandwiches and my daughter likes it. My daughter likes something that I cooked.

I’ve always felt so horrible for not being able to make her a good meal and now I can. Thank you.” And she hugged him again.

Tentatively hugging her, his earlier thoughts coming back in full force, he said, quietly, “You’re welcome Buffy.”

“Come on, let’s go eat some spaghetti,” she said, beginning to walk out of the room.

”I’m really not that hungry,” though he felt horrible about it, he was trying to get out of it.

“I don’t think so mister. No way are you getting out of this.” Buffy said as she took his hand and literally pulled him out of the room and towards the kitchen.

Resigning himself to spending more time with ‘his girls’ as he secretly called them, William gave up and told Buffy, “You don’t have to pull me in there, I’m coming on my own.”

“Just making sure,” she said as she continued to drag him to the kitchen, only letting go once they were safely inside the kitchen. “Now sit and I’ll get you some spaghetti.”

“Aye, aye captain,” William stated mockingly as he sat next to Sam, grabbing a noodle off her plate with his fingers and slurping it up. She just grinned at him when he winked at her.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

William dutifully ate the entire plate of pasta that Buffy served him which he assured her tasted excellent and not just because it was her first time making it, before telling her that he really did need to go. Which was a lie.

But she didn’t know that. And after profuse apologizing by Buffy, William left the Summers-O’Connor residence.

Once William was gone, Buffy decided to have a talk with her daughter.

“How’s school going, sweetheart?”

“It’s great mum!” Sam said with a laugh.

“What’s this ‘mum’ stuff?” Buffy asked Sam, trying not to laugh herself.

“It’s what William says…and it’s cooler.” Sam explained.

“Is that so? Well, then I take it you like William still?”

“Uh huh. He’s a really good teacher. The bestest.”

“I’m glad you’re having so much fun sweetie, but you’re learning stuff too right?” She just wanted to be sure.

”I’ve learned….” And Sam went on to list all of the things that she’d learned over the past weeks. ALL of the things.

Several minutes later, with Buffy assured that her daughter was in fact learning—and learning a lot, Sam wondered, “Can I ask you a question, mommy?”

“Sure, baby, what is it?” Buffy was still thinking about all of the things that her daughter had learned, William and Sam really were a very productive pair.

“Why doesn’t William have any kids?” Sam’s questioned surprised her and broke Buffy from her thoughts.

”What do you mean, honey?” Buffy wanted to make sure she understood what kind of answer Sam was looking for.

“Why doesn’t William have any kids?” she repeated, “He’s nice and he’s old enough…I know I asked him how old he is. And,” she continued in a whisper like she was divulging some great secret, “He’s older than you mommy.”

“Lots of people are older than me, Sam,” Buffy said with a smile. “And I guess William doesn’t have kids because he hasn’t found the right mommy for them yet.” That was the best she could do.

“Oh. Do you think he will soon?”

“I really don’t know sweetheart,” Buffy wanted to ask Sam where all these questions were coming from, but, knowing her daughter, they were just friendly questions. No real reason for them, other than the want to know more. “Lots of people don’t have kids until they’re much older than me, so he still has some time.”

“Okay. Can I have more spaghetti?”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*


TBC……………
Chapter 14 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
btw, writer's block sucks...but dont' worry you all have a few more chapters before my block starts
Chapter 14

William was cordial to Buffy during the following weeks, but avoided any physical contact with her. He was hoping the ostrich approach—basically pretending he had no feelings for her and the avoiding her on top of it would cure him. But apparently the saying was true. Absence did make the heart grow fonder and he was falling even deeper in love with her by the time their Friday cooking lessons rolled around.

And now it was time to integrate Sam into the lessons and the change could not have been more welcome. To him at least, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to spend any more time alone with Buffy without doing something that would constitute “sexual harassment” or at the very least “adultery’ on her part.

But despite loving her so much, or maybe ‘because he loved her so much’ was more accurate…either way, he wasn’t going to put her in a position to have to deal with that from him.

He was going to teach her and Sam how to cook something today and then he’d finish the school day with Sam and go home. It was necessarily playing it safe, but there wasn’t a way to play it safe and keep his job. So he’d do the best he could with the circumstances.

“William, when are we going to have our cooking time?” Sam asked anxiously.

“Soon, cookie, soon, you finish that though,” he said pointing to the writing she had yet to complete.

“Okay.” Sam diligently went to work on her writing and finished it within five minutes. “Can we have cooking time now?” she begged, “I finished my writing.”

“I don’t know, maybe we should wait until next week there are some other things I’d wanted to get done….” William teased.

“No!” Sam, pleaded, “Please, please, please…I promise I’ll be good and have fun. And I’ll listen to everything you say. I promise, please.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” Sam said politely, hoping he would stick with the original plan.

“Then I guess we should get going, don’t want to be late for the cooking lesson do we?” When she didn’t immediately follow him, William asked Sam, “Well are you coming?”

“Yes!” Sam said as she ran up to William, “Let’s go!” She said as she began to drag him into the kitchen by his hand.

“Anyone ever say you and your mum are a lot alike?” William asked, remembering when Buffy had pulled him to the kitchen in much the same manner.

“Daddy says it sometimes.” William couldn’t tell if she was meaning it as a good thing or a bad thing; she didn’t seem to happy about it.

“Being like your mum is a great thing, Sam, she’s a wonderful woman.” He knew he probably shouldn’t be praising Buffy so openly, but he couldn’t bear to think that Sam didn’t find being similar to her mother a good thing. “You should be proud of being compared to her.”

“But daddy only says it when he gets mad at me for not doing exactly what he says,” Sam said quietly.

“I’m sure that’s just when he realizes it, but you really are a lot like her all of the time. All in good ways too, if you have to be like anyone, your mum is definitely the one.” William chose to ignore just how much he saw Buffy as the one.

For that moment anyway.

“I wanna be like you,” Sam said, breaking William from his thoughts…or un-thoughts as the case was.

“What?” William sputtered, “Like me? But why?”

“Cause I like you,” Sam explained innocently. “And you’re nice and you’re smart and you’re funny and you like my pictures. And mommy likes you too,” she added simply. “Don’t you mommy?” Sam asked Buffy when she spotted her mother in the kitchen.

”Don’t I what?” Buffy asked Sam.

“Don’t you like William?”

“I..um…” Buffy faltered, before looking at her daughter’s hopeful expression, deciding to be a grown up about it (she was after all a parent), she said, “Of course I like William.”

“See I told you!” Sam cried triumphantly, looking at William. Not wasting a minute, she continued on, oblivious to the discomfort of the rooms other occupants, “What are we going to cook?”

“We’re going to be making honey mustard chicken, bit.”

“Then I don’t think I should help,” She tried to sound like she meant it because really she did, but she didn’t want to mean it.

“Why shouldn’t you help?” Buffy asked her daughter, “You have to help, this lesson is for you. You have to help, sweetie.”

“But you have to cook chicken and Rose Marie told me I was too little to help with cooking things, she said I’d just ruin them and get hurt. I don’t want to ruin anything,” Sam said, nearly crying at the though of not being able to participate.

“Sam, sweetheart,” William said, getting onto his knees in front of her, “You can help. Your mum and I are going to be real careful that you don’t get hurt and you won’t mess anything up, I promise. And even if you do we can fix it. That’s why this is a lesson, so you can learn how to cook.”

“Why’d she say it then?” Sam asked, still near crying.

“I don’t know. Maybe she just didn’t want to watch out for you. It doesn’t matter though because she’s not the one here now, your mum and I are. So, you going to help?”

“I really can?” Sam asked, sniffling.

“You’d better,” William replied with a grin. The only response he got was an overjoyed six-year-old throwing herself into his arms. “Big on hugs you girls are,” William said, causing Buffy to blush and Sam to giggle.

“So, should we get started?” Buffy asked after several seconds.

“S’pose so,” William said as he got up. “Alright, so Sam you can help me mix together the sauce while your mum defrosts and cleans the chicken, okay?” William asked, looking first to Sam and then to Buffy.

“Sure leave me with the icky job!” Buffy grumbled. When William just gave her a look, she amended her statement, “Yay! I get the icky job!?”

“That’s better, ‘sides I think Sam can better help me with making the sauce and it’ll help her with her numbers.”

“Fine, be all logical about it if you must.” Buffy said, slightly embarrassed that she’d been acting immature about it while William had a good reason for asking her to do the ‘icky’ job, as she so eloquently described it.

As Buffy defrosted the chicken and thoroughly cleaned it, something she still found ‘icky’, Sam and William worked on measuring out the proper amounts of the ingredients for the sauce.

“Now you need to be very careful with the honey, Sam, it can make a really big mess,” William explained carefully. “What I want you to do is hold it just like this,” he demonstrated holding the bottle above the measuring cup, “And give it little squeezes until I tell you to stop. See this line,” he pointed, “We’re trying to get the honey to go right to it, so you can help me watch okay, but make sure the honey only goes in the cup. Think you can do that?”

“I think so,” Sam said as she carefully took the bottle from William and started squeezing, looking alternately between where the honey was going and just how much was in the measuring cup. “Is that good?” she asked after a bit.

“Almost there. Maybe just two more squeezes, pixie.” He waited while she put just a little more honey into the cup, “Right there! Good job,” he smiled at Sam and she smiled back, glad to have done it right. “Now what we have to do is mix these two together,” he pointed to the honey and the mustard.” They carefully mixed them together, Sam fascinated at how the honey looked when they added it to the mustard and then they added the rest of the ingredients.

“Okay, so now we need to soak the chicken in this, once your mum puts the chicken in the pan, we can take the sauce over there and pour it over the chicken.” He checked with Buffy to and when he saw that she’d already put the chicken in the pan and was waiting on him. “Okay, Sam you bring the sauce, careful not to spill it now.”

Sam carefully brought the sauce over in the measuring cup and sat it down next to the dish that Buffy had put the chicken in. “So just out it over the chicken then?”

”Make sure you get all of the chicken covered and don’t spill any,” he warned.

“I know, I know,” Sam said sillily. Carefully she poured the sauce over the chicken, taking great care to get all of the chicken covered with sauce. “Is that good?” she asked William when there was no more sauce left in the measuring cup.

“That’s great, chickpea. Now let’s let your mum turn them over so that they’re coated pretty well, don’t want her feeling left out now doe we?”

“Why thank you.” Buffy said sarcastically.

Buffy made sure that the chicken was well coated with the honey-mustard sauce before looking to William for further instruction.

“Okay, now we’ll put it in the oven at 375 degrees for about an hour. Then when it’s done, Sam, we’ll let your mum take it out, so that you don’t burn yourself and then it will be all done and we can eat it. Sound good to you?”

“Very good,” Sam said, “Can I have some when it’s done, please, please, please?”

“We’ll have to see where you are in school stuff and if what your mum thinks.” William didn’t’ want to tell Sam she could do something that Buffy didn’t agree with.

“It’s fine with me if she has some,” Buffy said, as long as it’s not interrupting anything in school. School really does come first, sweetheart,” Buffy told her daughter.

Sam and William went back to their school work, until Buffy carefully came in and informed William that the chicken was ready, if they wanted any.

Sam of course wanted some, it being the first thing that she’d ‘cooked’ and tore into the kitchen.

“Ummmm, it really is good,” she said after she’d tasted some. “And I made it, mommy and you helped,” she said to William, “But I did too. Isn’t it cool?”

“The coolest,” Buffy said as she tried some fore herself.

William just sat quietly and watched his two girls.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

TBC……….






Please review...and thanks to Cordykitten, Kar, aribelle, Allison (see you do review), Caitie, Calli, and Brat for reviewing....I hope you enjoy this chapter
Chapter 15: Part One by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Just catching up the lost updates....and I had the reviews saved..so I'll be sticking those back up (in case it confuses anyone)
Chapter 15: Familial People

Part I: At Home

“I can’t help it Angel if Meri, can’t baby-sit, it’s not my fault she has a huge test tomorrow, you did kind of spring this no me last minute you know.” Buffy told her husband who was quickly getting on her last nerve.

“Well, it’s not like I could have told you sooner, I just found out for sure myself. It wasn’t a definite thing until just a few hours ago, so don’t blame this on me. It’s not like I could have done anything differently.”

“You don’t have to be yelling at me!” Buffy exclaimed.

“I’m not yelling at you, I’m just trying to figure out why it is you’re not capable of finding a babysitter for our daughter so that you can come to this party with me!”

“Because I’ve called Meri and she’s busy and my mom’s out of town, so that’s really all I know to try. Do you have any other suggestions?”

“I don’t know! It’s not my job oto know this kind of stuff; it’s yours.”

After several minutes of intense staring Buffy came up with something, “What if I called William?”

“Really funny, Buff, like that’s a good idea,” Angel huffed.

“Well do you have a better one?”

“No.”

“Then it’s worth a try isn’t it?”

“I guess,” he admitted reluctantly.

“Then I’ll go call him,” Buffy said as she walked over to the chair and table where the phone in their room was, “William?” Buffy asked when his voice came over the other end of the line, “Yes, this is Buffy….no everything’s fine with Sam…no, school’s the same tomorrow….I just, um, I was wondering, well, you see, Angel and I have a sort of dinner party to go to and Meri, you remember Meri, right?....She apparently has a test or something tomorrow and my mom’s out of town, and well,” she paused for several seconds prompting William to question if she was still there, “Yeah, I’m here. What I was wondering, was…could you baby-sit Sam tonight, I totally understand if you can’t, it’s just- Oh really you can?...Wonderful!”

Angel watched as Buffy firmed up the plans with William, too busy deciding if this was a good idea or not to notice the small smile playing on his wife’s face the entire time.

“Is everything set?” he asked once she’d hung up the phone.

“Yep! He’ll be here in about forty five minutes and he can stay as long as we need him to, but we can’t stay out too long because he does have to teach Sam tomorrow,” Buffy warned her husband.

“I really wish you wouldn’t say ‘Yep’,” Angel told her, “It makes you sound like a teenager. And if he’s going to be here in forty five minutes, then you best start getting ready, you know how long it can take you to get ready.”

‘You know how long it can take you to get ready,’ Buffy grumbled silently to herself, ‘makes you sound like a teenager. At least I don’t sound like some stupid git!’ Okay, so she didn’t know what ‘git’ meant per se but she’d heard William call Angel it (when he thought she wasn’t listening of course) and it just seemed to fit.

“Fine, I’ll hurry and get ready so that I can be done by the time William gets here. Are you going to need the bathroom?”

“Well, I do need to work on my hair a bit,” Angel told her, not really seeing why it was she even bothered asking.

“Alright, I’m going to go get ready in the bathroom by Sam’s room then,” Buffy said as she went to get the necessary make-up out of the bathroom. “I promise I’ll be ready on time,” and she left the bedroom, leaving Angel there, wondering just how it was all of this happened in just ten or so minutes.

Going into the closet, Angel got out his best suit and hung it up on the door. Walking into the bathroom, he took off is shirt and set to work on his hair. It did after all require a great deal of hair gel to get it to stick straight up, the way he liked it.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Buffy had finished her make-up and hair and was making her way, in her bra and skirt, into the bedroom to put her dress on. She didn’t normally walk around in just a bra and skirt, mind you, but she hadn’t wanted to mess up her hair and make-up by taking her shirt once it was already done.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Oooh! William, you’re here! Why are you here?” Sam questioned as she opened the door before he’d even had a chance to knock.

“Well, hi to you too, bit,” William said with an enormous smile. “Didn’t your mum or dad tell you, I’m going to baby-sit you while they go to some work thing I think.”

“Really?” Sam asked, literally bouncing.

“Really; is your mum around by any chance?” William didn’t want to interrupt Sam’s happiness, but he wanted to make sure that he was still needed.

“Yeah, she upstairs, come on!” Sam said as she grabbed his hand and began heading upstairs.

As they made their way upstairs, William got a bad feeling in his gut, “You know, bit, maybe this isn’t a good idea; I’ll just wait for her downstairs, yeah?”

But he didn’t have time to turn around before they ran into Buffy, quite literally. And, William noticed, she didn’t have a shirt on.

Catching her before she could fall, William quickly apologized, “God I’m sorry, I should have waited downstairs. I just didn’t think, I’m sorry. I’ll go now,” he rambled until Buffy interrupted him.

“William,” she held her hands up, trying to cover herself even just a little bit, “I’ll, um, be downstairs in a few minutes.”

William tried to concentrate on what she was saying—really he did—but all he could think was, ‘Buffy in a bra, Buffy in a bra, Buffy in bra’ and it wasn’t one of those matronly types either. No, this was one of those bras that pushed stuff up and hardly covered any of her breasts. And it was black too. Made him wish she were his wife so that he could- ‘No, not going there, not when I have to watch the bit, can’t be thinking dirty thoughts. But, Buffy. In. A. Bra. A dead sexy one—makes it so easy.

If she didn’t look so good in it, it might not have been as much of a problem, but she did. And it was fast becoming a problem.

“I’ll just go downstairs,” he said, finally turning his attention away from Buffy, “You, um, you get ready and I’ll see you before you go. Let’s go Sam,” he said not really waiting for her as he made his way downstairs.

“I’m sorry, mommy, I just wanted you to know William was here,” Sam apologized.

“It’s okay sweetie, I shouldn’t be walking around in my underwear when I knew that he was coming. Why don’t you go downstairs and keep him company until I’m ready?” Buffy wasn’t mad at her daughter, just incredibly embarrassed.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

‘You’re definitely getting fired now.” William told himself, “Why exactly was it you chose a six-year-old’s judgment over your own?” But even is thoughts, couldn’t stay on track, “But you have to admit it’d be worth it. She did look bloody sexy in the whole thing, made you wonder what exactly she had under that skirt….and what was under what was under the skirt……No! No, it didn’t,’ William cut himself off, ‘Didn’t make me wonder any of that, nope, just made me sorry I’d embarrassed her.’

Before he had a chance to continue his inner debate, Sam came in the room, looking contrite. “I’m sorry William,” she said as she stood in the doorway and hung her head.

“Hey, now Sam, I know you didn’t mean anything by it, we’ll just have to be more careful about stuff, yeah?” he didn’t want her thinking he was mad at her, it was his own bad judgment that had caused the situation. “How about you come in here and tell me what I need to know about watching you.”

“Like what?” She said as she looked up and slowly made her way over to sit next to him on the sofa.

“Like,” William started, “What time you need to go to bed and if there’s any stuff you’re not allowed to eat before you go to bed and if I’m supposed to read you a story or anything?”

“|I have to go to bed at eight o’clock and I have to make sure to brush my teeth and I already had my snack….and,” she thought for a second, “Would you read me a story?”

“I suppose I could. Maybe you should go get your jammies on since it’s almost seven o’clock, that way you can be all ready when it is time for bed. And maybe we can play a game or something.”

“Okay! I’ll be right back,” Sam said as she ran out of the room and up the stairs to her room.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Several minutes later Buffy came into the room, looking…………resplendent was the word him mind came up with. She had put on an exquisite pale pink dress and though she looked breathtakingly beautiful, she also didn’t look like she’d tried too hard. But he didn’t dare compliment her on it, not after what had happened earlier.

Deciding to just get straight to the point and trying to avoid and further embarrassment, Buffy said, “I guess I should tell you when Sam needs to go to bed and stuff.”

“Oh, she already told me,” William supplied.

“Sure she did, “Buffy said with a laugh.

“In bed by eight, has to brush her teeth first, I’m gonna read her a story, and oh, yeah, she’s already had her snack so that’s it,” William ticked each thing off on his fingers.

“I guess she’s feeling worse than I thought,” Buffy mused.

“What?”

“Oh, I said I guess she’s feeling worse about what happened upstairs than I thought. She actually hasn’t had her snack tonight, so she can have some ice cream or something if she wants in a few minutes…maybe some cookies. And she actually told you the right bedtime; don’t think she’s done that before.”

“Has anyone ever asked?”

“What do you mean?” Buffy asked, confused.

“Well, have any of her other babysitters ever asked her when her bedtime is, you never know she might tell the truth if you just give her the chance.”

“William,” Buffy said sincerely, “I think you give her more credit than anyone ever has, possibly even more than I do, but you really don’t give her more than she deserves. Thank you for that, it’s really helping me see what a great person she is, not just a great kid because she’d my daughter, but she really is a good person.”

“Course she is, you’ve raised her to be.” He really wasn’t sucking up to Buffy, just telling the truth.

Before the moment could stretch on any longer or get any more emotional, Sam came bounding back into the room, carrying a case of doll clothes and several small dolls under her arm.

”Can I show you my dollies, William? Please? You never get to see them during school time.” Sam didn’t notice the way her mother and William were looking at each other, too distracted by the fact that William was there at all.

“Sure, cookie, but let’s see if your mum has anything she needs to tell us before she goes, don’t want to make her late.”

“I think we’ve covered most of it, or you did, honey,” she said to Sam, “Thank you for telling William everything, but you can have a snack, sweetie, you’re not in trouble I promise,” She really wanted Sam to know that she wasn’t mad at her, not in the least. Embarrassed sure, but not mad.

“Okay,” Sam said, “Maybe I can have some of those cookies we got.”

“I bet William would like them too,” Buffy added.

“Buffy,” Angel interrupted as he came down the stairs, “Are you going to finish getting ready? I don’t want us to be late?”

“I am ready,” Buffy responded, casting a quick glance to Sam and William, she really didn’t want to get into an argument with Angel in front of their daughter.

“Oh,” Angel said in surprise, “I guess I just thought that you’d look, I don’t know, a little dressier, this is an important night for me Buffy.”

“I’ll go put on that blue dress I bought last spring,” Buffy said.

”That’ll do. I’m going to go get my phone, let me know when you’re ready,” Angel replied as he left the room.

“I think you look pretty mommy,” Sam said before Buffy could leave the room. She’d noticed her mother was upset and didn’t like it, so she tried her best to fix it.

“Thank you sweetie, I think I’m going to go get changed now. You and William have fun.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

TBC……………
Chapeter 15: Part II by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Catching up again...this was posted originally on the 10th of August...and reposting reviews as I said for the last part of the chapter
Chapter 15: Familial People

Part II: The Party

“Liam! Great to see you, I was getting worried you weren’t coming,” One of Angel’s business partners greeted him as they entered the hall.

“You know how long women can take to get ready; I wasn’t sure we were going to make it either,” Angel joked.

Buffy hated when he did that, acted like everything was her fault. If you thought about it, it really was Angel’s fault, she’d been all ready—on time and everything—but he’d made her go and change. That’s why they were late.

And they were only like ten minutes late anyway, hardly the eternity the two men were acting like.

“I’m going to go get us some drinks, Angel. What do you want?” She knew he hated it when she called him Angel in public, but she was feeling spiteful at the moment.

“Scotch, Elizabeth, of course,” Apparently he’d decided two could play this game.

“Sure, I’ll be right back; nice seeing you again Mr. Henderson.”

“You too, Mrs. O’Connor,” he said, not noticing the glare Buffy gave him at being called ‘Mrs. O’Connor’ which was, for some reason, annoying her more tonight that it normally would have.

Buffy got the drinks, Angel’s usual scotch and just a club soda for herself and returned to her husband. “Here you go, Liam. The bartender said this was his best scotch.” He’d take that as an apology, but really she was just trying to make it easier on herself—she didn’t want to deal with him in a bad mood all night—she wasn’t actually sorry; she still thought he more than deserved it.

“Thank you, dear,” Angel said as he took the glass from her and smiled, “Mr. Henderson here was just saying that we should get his granddaughter to come over and play with Sam some day after school.”

”I’ll have to check with William, I think he has a few after school things coming up soon,” Buffy lied.

”William?” Mr. Henderson questioned, letting his curiosity override his politeness.

“Mr. Giles she means, William Giles is our daughters tutor, we’re home schooling her. He came very highly recommended through St. Luke’s.”

Buffy tried to hold back a grin as Angel went on to explain to the man how they thought the public school in town wouldn’t give Samantha a good enough education, but they didn’t want to send her off to boarding school just yet.

But as hard as she tried, she couldn’t hold it back when the man’s response was, “Oh, really, my granddaughter goes to the public school, her parents and I agree that the private school’s just too stuffy. We don’t want her raised like that.”

“You know, Mr. Henderson,” Buffy said, suddenly changing her mind, “Maybe we can get your granddaughter over soon, I’m sure Liam has your number, I’ll give you a call once I know if William has anything planned next week. Will that work for you?”

“It should,” he smiled at the young woman, “I’ll have to check with her parents first, but I’m sure she’d love to come over for an afternoon; just ring me when you know.”

“I will,” Buffy said, ignoring Angel’s anger at the turn the conversation had taken.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Buffy decided to play nice and try to be the dutiful, doting wife for the rest of the evening, but Angel was still smarting over their conversation with Mr. Henderson; though whether it was because he’d insulted someone or because she’d shown him up, she wasn’t sure.

“You know Buffy, you really are underdressed tonight, I mean just look around, Mrs. Clark has on a much fancier dress and you can actually tell she has some make up on and Mrs. Rice and Mrs. Nicks are the same.” Angel said to his wife after several minutes of looking around the room.

“You know Angel, most women see it as an accomplishment when you can’t tell they have make up on, so I’m going to take that as a compliment. And as for the dress? Well you’re the one that told me to wear this one.”

“Well, you’re the woman; shouldn’t you have better dress sense than me?”

“I should…” Buffy drew it out, “But sometimes I wonder, you are always telling me what to wear and you spend more time on your hair than I do.”

“Excuse me for caring about my appearance,” Angel snapped. “I actually have to go somewhere every day and impress other people, it wouldn’t do for me to look like I just got out of bed.”

“Are you saying that’s what I look like?” Buffy asked incredulously.

“Not much better some days.”

“Oooh!” Buffy huffed, “You insufferable prat! I can’t believe you just said that to me!”

“What, are you British now ‘insufferable prat,’” he mocked her in a horrid imitation of her voice, “Picking up slang from William really doesn’t suit you Buffy, you’re a California cheerleader, best stick to what you’re good at.”

Buffy honestly would have killed Angel just then, or at least thrown something big and heavy at him or hit him if another one of his ‘business partners’ hadn’t shown up.

“Oh, Angel,” Darla said as she approached the feuding couple, “I was worried you wouldn’t come. I would have missed you,” she said coyly.

Buffy was highly aware that it was only Angel who would have been missed, not herself. Her husband’s secretary never had liked her. And had always more than liked Angel.

“How are you doing this evening, Darla,” Buffy said with false niceness and sincerity, “I do hope you’ve been feeling alright.”

“Of course I’ve been feeling alright, why wouldn’t I have?”

“Oh,” Buffy said, pretending to be embarrassed, “It’s just when I last saw you, you weren’t looking so well, I just assumed,” she trailed off. “I’m sorry.”

“Yes, well,” Darla sputtered, not really sure how to respond, “I’ve been feeling perfectly well, thank you for the concern though.”

“Mrs. O’Connors,” Mr. Henderson said as he approached their table, “I was wondering if I might have the pleasure of dancing with you?”

Buffy had failed to notice that the ‘dancing’ portion of the evening had begun. “Of course, you might,” Buffy replied. “And please, call me Buffy, hearing Mrs. O’Connor makes me think of my mother-in-law,” Buffy said with a slight grimace that could still be seen as polite.

“I hope you don’t mind, Liam,” he said to the other man.

“Of course not, I’ll take the opportunity to dance with Ms. McGuire here, as she is apparently dateless. Have to get in before all the other men sweep her away.” Apparently, only Buffy found it odd that her husband seemed to be half-complimenting, half-flirting with another woman with her standing just inches away.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Buffy decided to put her thoughts of Angel and his behaviour that night on hold and instead chose to enjoy her dance with Mr. Henderson, who later told her to call him Peter. Apparently, he was one of, if not the only, good men with whom Angel worked.

They had a nice conversation about his granddaughter and how she was doing in school and he told Buffy he hoped that Samantha’s tutor was doing a good job and wasn’t teaching her too similarly to how she would be taught at St. Luke’s.

She assured him that William was doing a great job, but didn’t say anything about his similarities or lack thereof to an education at St. Luke’s. It wouldn’t do for anything to get back to Angel.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

After another few hours at the party, Angel finally decided it was time to go home. Buffy only hoped that William would be alright to show up again it the morning, she couldn’t, for the life of her, figure out why it was Angel’s firm had these “parties” on weeknights. It wasn’t like they were necessary, alls they were was a bunch of ego stroking and ass kissing.

She hated them.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

When they got home, Sam was fast asleep in her bed and William seemed to not be too far behind on the family room sofa.

Buffy had been a bit worried when she came in and didn’t hear the television or anything else. As she made her way into the family room, she found out why, though. William was sitting on the sofa, his shoes off, his foot curled underneath him, and his hair mussed as he ran is fingers through it—reading a book.

Buffy thought he looked adorable. Her bad mood (from the wonderful evening with Angel) evaporated and a smile appeared on her face.

“Hey,” she said quietly, not wanting to startle him, as she made her way over to the sofa.

When she stopped just inches away from him, William put his foot on the ground and patted the spot next to him. “Hey, yourself,” he said as she collapsed next to him on the sofa. “Did you have a nice evening?”

“Not so much,” she said scrunching her nose. “What about you?”

“It was nice. Quite, but nice.”

“So, Sam was good?”

“She was great, went to bed on time and everything. And those are some bloody great cookies, by the way.”

”I thought you’d like them…..Do you have anything planned for after school next week? For Sam, I mean,” she clarified when she saw the look he was giving her.

“Don’t think so,” he said, squashing down any hope he’d had that she wanted to know what he was going to be doing. “Why? Should I?”

“No, I just told someone that their granddaughter could come over one day to play with Sam and I didn’t want it to interfere with anything you had planned.”

“Nope, nothing planned.”

“Okay, well I should let you get going; you do have to be here again in the morning.”

”Yeah,” William said, consciously deciding not point out the fact that the last thing he wanted to do at the moment was leave.

“Oh, let me go get my wallet so I can pay you,” Buffy said, moving to get up.

“No,” William said putting his hand on her knee to keep her from standing up.

”No, what?” Buffy asked, not understanding what he meant.

“No, you’re not going to pay me,” William said, “And no arguing,” he cut in when he saw her opening her mouth to do just that, “It was my pleasure, if anyone should get paid for tonight it’s you, you’re the one who didn’t have any fun,” he hoped he wasn’t pushing it by saying that. “I’ll see you in the morning,” and feeling extremely bold for some unidentifiable reason, he leaned over and kissed the top of her head. “Night, Buffy.”

Not even conscious of doing so, Buffy told William goodnight and continued to sit on the sofa until Angel came to find out why it was taking her so long to come to bed.

“Oh,” Buffy said, trying to come up with something to say other than, ‘Because William just kissed me and not only did it make my night, but I’m also not mad at him.’ Finally she managed, “Just thinking about some things, I’ll be up in a minute.”

It seemed to satisfy Angel and he made his way upstairs, leaving Buffy with her thoughts.

Buffy didn’t make it upstairs for another two hours.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

TBC………………….
Chapter 16: Field Trip Time by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Last catch-up posting....and this is an Authors Note from my last post...Panta_rei won't be able to post for awhile--due to parental rules...but she does have a new LJ (selene_90) if you want to say hi........and also I just posted a short story called Something Crazy...hope you like it!
Chapter 16: Field Trip Time

Neither Buffy or William spoke of the ‘kiss’ after that night. Buffy still hadn’t found it in herself to be mad at him. Rather she was getting mad at herself for not being mad.

And she was feeling not a little bit guilty—not that it happened, but that she didn’t feel bad that it happened. If that even made any sense.

That’s why today was scaring her so much.

Today was Sam’s first field trip and had been supposed to go along. She’d managed to get out of the morning part of it by lying that she had some stuff to finish, but she still had to meet them for lunch. And spend the rest of the day after that with them.

She just hoped she could handle it.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Alright Sammy Sam,” William said, earning a laugh from the named girl, “Think we should get going?”

They were currently sat on Sam’s bed and had been talking about just what they were going to do that day while she finished brushing her hair and William thought it was about time they got going.

“I can’t get the knot out of my hair,” she said, turning pleading eyes on William, “Will you help?”

“Sure,” William grumbled, pretending to be embarrassed about brushing a little girl’s hair, but secretly he enjoyed being able to do something so simple for her. “Oh, Sam,” he said once he’d made some progress on the knot, “I’ve been meaning to ask you, how’s Katie doing?”

“Oh no!” Sam practically yelled, continuing before William could ask what was wrong, “I forgot to tell mommy. You have to promise not to tell her.”

“I promise,” William stated hesitantly, nervous about just what it was he was promising not to tell Buffy.

“Remember when you told me that the lions and tigers and giraffes lived in Africa?”

“Sure,” William answered, remembering their lesson on the different continents about a week ago. “But there are lots of other things in Africa too,” he said, not really sure where she was going with this conversation.”

“I know and I remember all that too. But, then on Saturday there was a TV show on about Kenya and how there are a lot of giraffes there. Katie watched it with me and she decided she wants to go there to see if she has any relatives there?”

“So she went to Kenya?” William asked.

“Uh huh!” Sam said with a definitive nod, “And she told me to remember that it was Kenya in case I need the zoo to go find her for me.”

“Do you know when she’s coming back?” William didn’t want to push it too far, but he was curious.

“She might come back to visit, but she might stay forever if she finds her family, “She’s really missed her family.”

“That’s understandable. Sam, I think you should tell your mum, just so she knows.”

“Can I tell her tonight?”

“You can tell her whenever you want as long as you tell her soon.”

“I will; I promise.”

The two sat in silence as William finished her hair, both just thinking.

“Ready to go now?” William asked as he got the last of the snarls out of her hair and set the brush on the table.

“I think so.”

“Alright, then let’s go tell your mum we’re leaving and we’ll be off.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

They made it to the Children’s Museum less than half an hour later traffic having been light. William was glad that he’d decided on a field trip to the Museum as Sam hadn’t been there in a long time and since they redid all of the exhibits every six months or so, it would all be new to her.

“Where to first, pixie?” William had decided to let her have the opportunity to do whatever she wanted on this trip, no matter what she did, given their location, she’d learn something.

“Can I go see the water and sand thing?” she asked pointing at the little station that allowed the kids to build sand castles and then watch them get washed away by the simulated tide.

“Promise not to get too wet or dirty?”

“I promise not to get yucky.”

“Okay, we’ll go do that then.”

William had fun watching Sam play with the sand and water, but refused her desperate pleas that he join her.

After building three or four sandcastles, Sam decided that she wanted to move on to the next thing. Can I go over there, she pointed to the part of the museum that allowed the kids to build things with magnetic figures.

William, deciding that at least part of this trip needed to be educational, tried to explain to her how only one end of one magnet would stick to only one end of the other magnet. After several attempts at an explanation and a few demonstrations, she seemed to understand him.

“But why?” she asked.

“Cause that’s just how it is, sweet bit, don’t really know why,” William wished she didn’t always need to know ‘why’.

“Okay,” Sam said, as if she weren’t quite sure if it actually were or not.

“Maybe we’ll do some more on magnets later in school,” William supplied This seemed to placate Sam and she went back to building abstract little figures.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“That’s a beautiful little girl you’ve got there,” the man next to William said as he watched Sam playing with the bunnies. They’d made their way over to the special petting zoo like area several minutes ago and William had recently moved to stand along the nearby wall, allowing Sam to have fun on her own.

“Yeah,” William said wistfully, choosing not to correct him—wasn’t like it would do any harm.

A few seconds later Sam came running up to him, smiling at him before she noticed the man still standing next to him, “Hi, Mr. Christian,” she said politely.

The man just looked at her for a second before asking, “Do I know you?”

“You work with my dad,” she explained.

The man—Mr. Christian, apparently—turned a questioning gaze to William, “I’m uh,” he stumbled, “I’m not her father,” he said, trying with all his might to not seem embarrassed.

“Yeah, he’s my teacher,” Sam said when she heard him.

“But you,” Mr. Christian started with a look towards William, “Oh never mind…Tell your father I said hello,” he finally said to Sam.

“It was nice meeting you,” Mr. Christian said to William, giving him a strange look before turning to leave.

“You too,” William offered meekly, all the while thinking, ‘Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.’

The one time that he’d indulged in his little fantasy that Sam was his daughter…or step-daughter at the very least….and it was going to get back to Angel. Shit.

“William?” When she didn’t get his attention right away, Sam tugged on his hand, “William?” she repeated.

“Hmm?” He finally looked down at her, a smile returning to his face when he took in her face splitting grin.

“Will you come look at the bunnies with me?”

“Of course, pet, let’s go.” They walked back towards the bunnies and his possible firing was put to the back of his mind for the time being as he focused whole-heartedly on having a good time with Sam.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

They didn’t meet up with Buffy until several hours later and by that time William had totally forgotten about the earlier encounter. Forgotten about it, that is, until he saw Buffy waiting for them outside, leaning against a railing looking as beautiful as ever. And he remembered. Remembered that she was married—to Angel and that he’d implied otherwise just a few hours ago. And now he was going to have to deal with the consequences.

They didn’t talk much while they got their food—okay, Buffy and William didn’t talk much, Sam, though….well Sam was a different story.

“And there was this sand castle thing and it was so cool because the water was right there and when I made the sand castle it would wash it away but not all of it and then I could build another one, but I had to do it before the water came back or I wouldn’t be able to finish and I didn’t make a mess and I didn’t get any water on me ‘cause William said not to and I got to build a bunch of sandcastles and then they all got washed away but it was so much fun and I made them all look different and it was so much fun, it was just like going to the beach except I could where my school clothes and it was inside,” somehow Sam hadn’t stopped to take a breath until she’d told her mother all about the sand castle building.

But apparently Buffy had expected this as she jumped right in before Sam could start up again, “Grilled cheese for lunch sweetie?”

“Yes, please and lemonade, too.”

“Okay, why don’t you and William go find us somewhere to sit and I’ll get the food,” Buffy said after finding out what William wanted.

“I’ll get it,” William said quickly, “You two go sit down.”

“You sure?” Buffy asked, used to being the one in charge of getting food.

“Positive,” he said, “And Sam can catch you up on all of the other stuff we did today.” ‘And hopefully you two will get past that bit ‘bout Mr. Christian before I even get there.’

Watching to see where they choose to sit, William then walked up to the counter and ordered them their food. He was glad that they’d chosen an out door restaurant, it was still warm enough this early in fall for it to be extremely pleasant out.

Once he’d gotten the food, he walked over to their table, carefully balancing the drinks and food until Buffy noticed his trouble and jumped up to help him, grabbing a few of the cups.

“Finish telling your mum about this morning?” William asked once he’d taken a seat at the table.

“Not about the bunnies,” Sam happily answered, not noticing William’s groan at the realization that he hadn’t missed the conversation he’d so hoped to avoid.

“Oh, maybe you can tell her later then, don’t want the food to get cold.”

“I can do both,” Sam was quick to assure him. And then she started telling her mother about the bunny rabbits. Glancing around nervously, William tried to see if there was a way out of this, but by the time he realized that there wasn’t anything that Sam could say to Buffy that would be damaging to him, he’d already been caught.

“What’s wrong?” Buffy asked after noticing that he was looking around as if he’d rather be anywhere but there.

It wasn’t as if he could say, ‘Oh, I basically told a man that works with your husband that I was Sam’s father..now the poofter’s going to find out and I’m going to get fired and then I’ll never see you or Sam again.’ Yeah, couldn’t say that…….

“Nothing, just thinking,” he said instead.

“Oh,” Buffy said, not believing him for a second, “Then can I ask you about something I’ve been thinking about?”

“Sure, lu- Buffy,” William caught himself just in time.

“It’s about that actually.”

“’Bout what actually?”

“You were going to call me luv,” Buffy started.

“No, I wasn’t!” William adamantly denied it.

“Yes, you were!” Buffy insisted stubbornly. “And I want to know why you quit doing that…..I….I liked it,” she quietly admitted.

Not sure he had heard her right, William decided to just assume he had and go on, “Because, Buffy,” he emphasized her name, “I shouldn’t have started doing it in the first place. I’m not sure why it happened….it was like I felt I already knew you…And I started with something that I really shouldn’t have even considered until I knew you better. I’m sorry.”

Buffy might have laughed at how proper he was suddenly being, if only he hadn’t looked so deadly serious. “You’re serious?”

“Well, yeah,” Didn’t she understand what he was telling her.

“But now that we do know each other, do you think you could start it up again? Maybe?” She asked carefully, blushing after uttering the last word.

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.”

“Maybe just sometimes?” she knew she was begging, but somehow hearing him call her ‘luv’ or ‘pet’ had made her feel more cared for than she had in a long time.

“Maybe……luv,” he still wasn’t sure how appropriate it was to call her pet names, but God, did he want to…and after seeing the blinding smile that she awarded him with, he decided to Hell with decorum, he’d do anything he could to get her to smile at him like that again. “As long as you’re comfortable with it, then I guess that maybe I can try it a bit…That okay with you, pet?”

“More than okay!” Buffy said.

“Hey, mommy?” Sam said, turning her attention away from the birds and animals for the first time during the adults’ whole conversation, “I need to go to the bathroom.”

“Okay, sweetie, let’s go,” she and Sam got up, “We’ll be right back,” she said to William.

“Sure, luv, I’ll be waiting,” even he knew that sounded way more flirty than he’d intended.

Buffy walked away, not saying anything else, but she knew that she was swinging her hips way more than necessary, but he’d just put her in such a good mood, that it was just a reaction; not something she put much thought into.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

TBC………
Chapter 17: Going Out by Suzee
Author's Notes:
ummm...don't hate me? and sorry this has taken so long......and I've also posted a new short story "Something Crazy" about Spike rescuing Buffy...it's (gasp!) AU
Chapter 17: Going Out

The following Wednesday Buffy decided to ‘work’ on her marriage. She’d been having fun with William again, but she was married to Angel and she couldn’t ignore that fact.

“Angel,” she said that morning while Angel was getting ready for work.

“Yeah, Buf?” Angel asked, surprised that Buffy had gotten up this early—usually she was in bed until well after he’d left for work.

“I was wondering if I could talk to you for a minute,” she began carefully.

“Yeah, sure. But can you be quick, I have to get ready for work,” Angel said while looking at the clock. The truth was, he had enough time, more than enough actually—but he was wary of where Buffy was going with this, none of the signs boded well for him.

“It won’t take five minutes,” Buffy said understandingly—she knew he had to get to work, but she needed to talk to him about it now….before she changed her mind. “What I was thinking about, is well…..you see, it’s been a long time since we went out on the weekends.”

“We went to that party a few Saturdays ago,” he reminded her.

“I’m talking about something that’s not for work Angel….just us, you know.”

”So, you want to go out on either Friday or Saturdays?”

“Yeah, I do.” Buffy was glad that he seemed to be understanding her.

“Give me some time and I’ll see what I can do,” Angel said, smiling sweetly.

“Thanks,” Buffy said before hugging him and giving him a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll let you get ready for work now.” That had gone much better than she’d expected.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“William,” Angel said the following evening when he came home from work—earlier than usual so that he could talk to William before he left for the evening. “Can you come into my office for a minute?”

“Sure, I’ll be right there,” William answered, looking at Buffy for a minute, worried about just why it was Angel wanted to talk to him, before he followed Angel into his office.

As Angel closed the door, William swallowed nearly audibly. “William, sit down, please,” Angel motioned to the chair across from his desk. “Before we start, I need to know something.”

“Sure,” William said unsurely.

“I’m going to tell you some things and I need to know that they’ll stay just between us. I’m sure,” he said coldly, “That if I find out you’ve told Buffy any of this, that I could find a legitimate reason to fire you. So don’t even think about it.”

William just nodded silently, more than worried now about what it was Angel had called him into the office for.

“Good. Now, here’s the deal. Yesterday morning Buffy asked me about why we’re not going out anymore. Apparently she thinks that the work things we’ve been going to don’t count, though I have no idea why. She gets to get all dressed up for them…isn’t that what every woman wants?” But it was a rhetorical question and he kept going, “She wants us to start going out on the weekends, but I can’t do that.

And not for the reason she thinks. I know that Buffy thinks that I haven’t been doing stuff with her on the weekends because I’m working….And I guess you could say that I have been working,” Angel said with a leer. “The thing is, I’ve got a girl.”

William tried to control his reaction upon hearing that, but obviously didn’t do a great job since Angel just looked at him, “What you think I’m crazy…trust me, Buffy’s not all she seems to be…She’s a bit…uh, frigid I guess is the word. So, I’m a man, I have to get it somewhere. And that’s where I’ve been on Friday and Saturday nights…and a few week nights as well….I’ve been with Darla while Buffy thinks I’m at the office. Well, actually,” Angel said with a smirk, “Sometimes it is at the the office, if you know what I mean—the advantages to your girl working for you. ”

There was an endless possibility of things that William could say to that, but he chose to go the diplomatic route, “So why did you want to talk to me?”

“You don’t have a girlfriend do you?”

“Nooo,” William replied carefully.

“Good, then, let’s go.”

”Let’s go what?” William asked anxiously.

“Just go with me on this,” Angel said as he opened the door. “Buffy, hun, could you come in here for a minute?”

William honestly had no idea what was going on, and to tell the truth, he was more than just a little scared.

As Buffy came into the room, she gave William a questioning glance, but he just shrugged and turned his attention back to Angel.

“Buffy’ I’ve come up with a solution to what you asked me about yesterday.” The bad feeling in the pit of William’s stomach grew. “I haven’t been able to figure out a way to get out of work…I’ve got some really big cases coming up and it’s just not an option.”

“So, what do you mean you’ve found a solution,” Buffy asked, trying to figure out what in the world was going on in her husband’s head.

“Well, seeing as how William’s new to town and he hasn’t had anyone to show him around town and you want to go out….I figured we could kill two birds with one stone.”

“So, what are you suggesting?” Buffy thought she knew what he was suggesting, but at the same time she knew there was no way that he was saying what she though he was saying.

“Simple, I’m suggesting that you and William go out on Friday nights, that way you can have fun and William can find out all about Sunnydale. It’s perfect really.”

“Except,” Buffy started before looking at William, “Could you excuse us for a second?” she asked apologetically.

“Sure, luv. I’ll just go check on Sam or something,” he got up and left the room.

“Except,” Buffy started again, turning to her husband, “You’re telling me to go out with another man. Doesn’t that seem a little, I don’t know, weird to you.”

”Don’t be silly. I trust you and William’s not going to try anything, he needs this job too much. It really is a win-win situation.”

Apparently, Angel had missed the whole point of her bringing the entire thing up—time for them to be together. “Yeah, okay, I’ll just have to talk with my mom to make sure that she’s okay with babysitting…And, I guess, I’ll go tell William the news.”

“You do that babe, I’ve got some cases to work on,” Angel said distractedly.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Well, looks like you’re my date for this weekend,” Buffy said when she saw William sitting on the sofa, Sam nowhere in sight.

”Yeah, about that Buffy,” William never quite made eye contact with her, “I think that we should just do it to appease Angel.”

“Oh, okay,” Buffy wasn’t sure why, but she was hurt to think that he didn’t like the idea of spending time alone with her; never mind that she should be the one uncomfortable with it.

“I need to go, luv, I’ll talk to you tomorrow about tomorrow night, yeah?”

“Um, okay,” he sure was trying to get out of there fast. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” but he was already out the door.

TBC……
Chapter 18: Night Out by Suzee
Author's Notes:
My thoughts and prayers to anyone at all affected by Hurricane Katrina...hope you and all your family are well and accounted for....

I was iffy about posting this on time because I'm a little bit behind in my writing, but since I'm going out of town for the long weekend, I decided to just post it anyway....*hoping I can write some finally this weekend--since I have to write 40-50 pages by Tueday*

To everyone interested or not, I do not at all support the "borrowing" or other people's story lines...especially with no knowledge on their part.
Chapter 18: Night Out

“Mommy! William’s here,” Sam yelled as she heard a call pull up in the driveway.

“Now, honey, how do you know it’s William? You can’t even see the driveway from here.”

“Because it sounds like his car,” Sam explained as if it should have been entirely obvious to her mother.

“Okay,” Buffy said with a smile. “Now remember sweetie, Buffy said as she finished checking her makeup in the mirror, you have to listen to grandma and be a good girl, okay?”

“Okay,” Sam said distractedly.

“You promise?” Buffy asked holding up her hand.

“I promise,” Sam said, locking pinky with her mother, before tearing off towards the door when she heard the doorbell ring.

“Why don’t you get the door, Sam?” Buffy muttered with a grin.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Hi, William,” Buffy heard her daughter say a moment later.

“Hey, pixie, your mum ready?”

“Uh huh, but grandma’s not here yet.”

“Oh” William said.

“Yeah,” Buffy supplied, as she came up behind the pair, “She should be here in a few minutes though.”

“No problem. I’m not in a hurry.”

‘Cause of course he wouldn’t want to spend the night with me…wants to delay it as long as possible, probably hopes that mom will never show and that we don’t have to go at all,’ Buffy thought miserably.

“We don’t have to go, if you don’t want to…” Buffy assured him, still feeling hurt.

When he looked at her and saw how serious she was, William realized that his attitude was making her think something other than what he was intending. “Can I talk to you in private, luv?”

“Yeah, sure,” Buffy replied, having no idea what he wanted to talk to her about and automatically assuming the worst.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

He waited until they were alone and the door closed before he turned to her, a serious expression on his face.

“Buffy, you think I don’t want to do this don’t you?”

“Well, yeah, you’re all with your ‘I’m in no hurry’ and ‘let’s just do it to appease Angel,’” she mocked in a bad imitation of his accent.

”That’s just me being a prat. The thing is Buffy, yeah I want to do this….But the other side of it is, you’re a married woman and I’m dangerously close to forgetting that. I like you alright…and I have fun spending time with you and so far I’ve kept it at a safe level, but if I start going out with you every Friday night and don’t remind myself that it’s because you’re husband suggested it.

I’ve tried to be a good man Buffy, there have been times that I wasn’t, but I’m trying to be now…And having more fun than is appropriate with a married woman, doesn’t go with that. So, yeah, I’ve been acting like a prat, but it’s only so that I can avoid doing something I shouldn’t.”

“Oh, okay, Buffy said, blushing at what he’d implied. “I just didn’t want to make you go tonight if you didn’t want to.”

“It’ll be fun, luv. Why don’t we go sit with Sam, ‘til your mum gets here?”

“That sounds like a good idea.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Joyce arrived around ten minutes later, apologizing profusely for being late, “I’m so sorry Buffy, I had this painting that I’ve been working on for weeks now and I just haven’t been able to figure out what to do to finish it and then just as I was leaving to come here, it hit me! I didn’t think that it would make me this late, I’m so sorry!” It was when she finished that she noticed William for the first time, “Oh, hello!”

‘Oh, great,’ Buffy thought, noticing the smile her mother was giving William and how she’d shifter just slightly closer to him, ‘Now my mother’s going to like him….as if Sam and I weren’t liking him weren’t enough…what is it about him, anyway?’ Except, at least subconsciously, Buffy knew the answer to that question.

“Mom, this is William,” Buffy said, when she saw her mother still staring.

“Hello, Mrs. Summers,” William said.



”Oh, please, call me Joyce…’Mrs. Summers’ makes me feel old.”

“Nice to meet you Joyce,” William was amused by the woman’s flirting, not that he didn’t find it flattering mind you—he just happened to be in love with her daughter.

“William and I really do need to get going mom,” Buffy knew that if she didn’t put a stop to it, her mother would make them much, much later.

“Oh…..Where’s Angel, dear?”

“He’s working late tonight,” Buffy explained.

‘Yeah ‘working’ late,’ William thought, ‘Sure.’

“So, you and, uh, William are going out?” Joyce asked, “Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“Mother,” Buffy hissed, “May I talk to you for a minute….in private.”

“Of course, dear. It was nice meeting you, William,” Joyce said, laying a hand on his arm and making sure he saw her smile, before following Buffy into the other room.

“You’re flirting with him, mother!” Buffy exclaimed once they’d made it to the kitchen.

“Yes, I am,” Joyce replied. “Is there a reason I shouldn’t be?”

‘Yeah, Buffy is there a reason she shouldn’t be?’ Buffy thought, ‘Come on, Buff, come up with something….anything. Thinking….thinking.’

”Because,” ‘because if I can’t you can’t’ “Well, because….because he’s too young for you,” ‘Yeah, that’s it!’

“Buffy, I’m only twenty years older than you and William’s a few years older than you….so there’s not really that much of an age difference.”

“Okay,” Buffy said, trying to come up with another reason for why she found the idea of her mother and William so abhorrent. “Well, it’d be weird for Sam too. How am I supposed to explain that her grandmother is dating her teacher….hmm? How am I supposed to do that?”

“I never said I was going to date him, it was just a bit of harmless flirting. He’s a good looking man and sometimes I like to be reminded that I’m not an old woman.”

“Sorry,” Buffy said.

“It’s alright Buffy, But I think you need to think about something…why were you so upset about it?”

Not giving her daughter a chance to answer, Joyce went back to Sam and William.

“It was nice meeting you William, you and Buffy have fun, okay?”

“We’ll try,” William said, a bit worried about the zoned out expression on Buffy’s face—she didn’t look like she was paying attention to what was going on around her. “Come on, luv, we should get going.”

“Oh, yeah, sure,” Buffy said distractedly. “Have fun Sam and listen to Grandma.”

But Joyce and Sam were already headed to the family room and didn’t hear her parting words.

‘Alright, mate, you’re going to keep this all safe…no breaking the rules and no pushing the girl. Safe.’ William repeated in his head as he drove them to The Bronze.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

TBC…………………………Pretty please review? I'm having a bit of writer's block at the mo so I'm going to beg for reviews again? they really do help me write, even if it's only making me feel like too many people would be disappointed if I didn't update....


Thank you to everyone who reviewed the last chapter (I just love getting all these reviews) Nikki, Kazzy, Caitie, fibble, spufette, lovesbitca37, Cordykitten, Brat, DK, Irishwoman39, Allison, and Carri
Chapter 19:The Bronze by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Wow! You guys absolutely blew me away with the reviews!
Do you know how much those reviews all helped? Seriously, I wrote (including sticking in my already written bits) 32 pages this week.....reviews apparently really do help me write faster.

And thanks to Nikki for beta'ing this for me.
Chapter 19: The Bronze

The Bronze didn’t look any different from the last time Buffy had been there, but still it seemed so…..different.

Maybe it was because she hadn’t been there since she was married and before then it had always been with Angel. Maybe it was just that she never thought she’d be here with anyone else…or maybe, she just had her mind on too many things.

Making the decision then and there, Buffy decided that she wasn’t going to think about her mother’s question that night; she was just going to have fun and worry about it later. She knew it would work too, at least subconsciously, because when it came to her feelings for William, Buffy was the Queen of Denial.

“Care for a dance, luv?”

“Can we maybe get a drink first?” Even the Queen of Denial could use a little alcoholic encouragement.

“Sure, why don’t you get us a seat and I’ll go get the drinks. What do you want?”

“Something fruity and pretty…then I can make myself think it’s not actually alcoholic.”

“Okay, luv…be right back.”

After watching to see where Buffy was seated, William made his way to the bar, “Okay, so my girl wants some sort of, well, girly drink. But don’t put too much alcohol in it, right?”

“Sure…and what’ll you have?”

William wasn’t going to let Buffy get drunk, he’d gotten the impression that she wasn’t someone who could drink a lot, so he’d decided to take it upon himself to protect her. “I’ll have a beer--whatever you have on draft.”

As William waited for the drinks, a young woman quietly sidled up next to him. “Can I buy you a drink, handsome?”

“Think I’ve got it covered,” William said as he took the drinks from the returning bartender, “Thanks, though.”

Not giving the admittedly gorgeous woman a second thought, William took the drinks to Buffy, ignoring all those that tried to grab his attention.

“Here you go, luv. Something nice and fruity. Not rightly sure what it is, but it is girly looking,” William said as he looked at the drink he was holding and made a face at it.

“It’s not like you have to drink it,” she said when she saw the face he made at it. “You have your nice, manly beer, so don’t worry…you’re still the big, bad man,” she giggled.

Deciding that getting Buffy to laugh was worth the slight ribbing that came with it, William decided to draw it out a little, “Sure, say that after everyone saw me carry the drink across the entire club. And you…you!.. picking the table all the way in the corner. Makes a guy think you did it on purpose.”

“And if I did?” But before he could sputter out a response, she continued, “And don’t tell me you didn’t notice all those ‘hotties’ checking you out.”

“ ‘Hotties’, luv?” William asked with a smile.

“Yeah, well, I was trying to sound all ‘manly’. And that’s what guys say, right? ‘Hotties’?”

“Not sure, ‘bout ‘hotties’ luv, think that might be more of an American thing…personally I like…gorgeous…sexy….beautiful….breathtaking….effulgent.” They both knew he wasn’t being rhetorical, Buffy from the way he was looking right at her and the intensity of his look, and he from the fact that he was in love with her, and had ceased to notice other women when she was in the vicinity.

“Well, whatever you want to call them, there’s no way you didn’t notice all of the women checking you out…the same ones now sending death glares my way,” Buffy said as she looked around, ignoring any implications of his former statement.

“I didn’t…honest, pet!” he insisted when he saw her disbelief. “I was making sure not to spill your pretty little drink.”

“Sure, you were,” Buffy said, not really believing him, but deciding she didn’t really care to convince him that other women were checking him out—she didn’t care to make him aware of just how appealing other women found him.

“How’s your drink?” He hoped she wouldn’t notice the reduced amount of alcohol.

“It’s great…I love these drinks ‘cause they’re so fruity and flavorful that I can’t even taste the alcohol. Makes it easier to get drunk…” she trailed off, knowing that she was getting close to rambling.

“I’ll keep you safe..…no letting Buffy get drunk..…check,” William said, easing her tension. She could have a good time tonight…if he wasn’t going to take things seriously tonight, then neither was she.

And she also wasn’t going to tell him that one drink was more than enough to get her well on her way to being drunk…nope, wasn’t going to mention that little tidbit.

“You know William, you don’t have to hang by me all night…not that I would mind,” she added when she saw the beginnings of a hurt expression forming on his face. “What I mean is that if you want to go dance or buy some girl a drink, feel free; I won’t be offended.” ‘Much.’

“Not getting rid of me that easily, kitten. This is our night out…therefore we’re going to spend it together. I’m not even going to let you dance with any other blokes.”

If Angel had acted so demanding and controlling with her, it would have pissed her of endlessly, but with William…with William it was somehow…sexy.

“Well, shall we dance?” Buffy asked trying to sound posh, but ruining it by giggling.

“Lead the way.”

They made their way to the dance floor, William stalling when a slow song replaced the faster one that had been playing. “Um, pet, maybe we should wait?”

“Don’t be silly…we’d be dancing a lot more ‘together’ if it were a fast song anyway…lots more…um...touching…so, this is really no big deal,” she finished awkwardly.

“Right, no big deal…just a dance.” ‘Yeah right, mate…no way you can make this ‘no big deal’…everything to do with Buffy is a huge bloody deal!’


They slowly, awkwardly moved together until they were just a few inches away from each other. Carefully, William put his hand her waist before putting his other on her shoulder. “Don’t be so formal William…we’re not waltzing or anything like that!” Showing no signs of nervousness, Buffy took his hand off her shoulder and put it on the other side of her waist before taking another tiny step closer to him.

Slowly, she put her arms around his neck, watchful not to touch him too much. ‘You’re treading on thin ice here, Buffy,’ she warned herself. ‘You’re still married and even you know you’re starting to push it. Be careful what you’re doing.’

As the song played on, Buffy slowly looked up at William, “This is nice, isn’t it? I haven’t gone dancing in a long time.”

“Yeah, pet,” he replied softly, “It’s real nice.”

“Thank you for coming with me tonight,” Buffy said as the song came to a close.

“Buffy, really it’s no problem…not only is it nice for me to get out and have some fun, but I love spending time with you, kitten. Thank you for coming with me tonight.”

Not responding to his comment—it astounded her that he would be so sweet to her, she didn’t think she deserved it entirely—Buffy instead decided to see what William wanted to do next, “Do you want to keep dancing, William? Or maybe go play some pool or we could just sit.”

“Maybe just one more dance…then we can sit and maybe get something to drink.”

“Sounds,” Buffy started, pausing though when a faster song came on, “Good,” she finished after a few beats of the song. “Not sure I know how to dance like ‘the cool kids’ anymore. Sure you want to be seen dancing with me?”

“New rule for tonight, luv,” William said as he drew her close and started to dance with her, “No more putting yourself down.” Buffy just looked at him astonished, “What? No one’s ever called you on it before?”

“Other than my mother? Nope.”

“Well, always like to be a girl’s first.”

TBC………….Please review.....

and thanks to Panta_rei, baby_goofy1999, LiLi, Cordykitten, DK, Shelly, Carri, Brunettepet, Fibble, Sarah, Tuesday, Caitie, Brat, Allison, Adrienne, Spufette, Bernadette.....you all are absolutely wonderful
Chapter 20 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I'm very sick right now and my vision's nice and blurry from medicine, so please excuse any mistakes...and this is the first chapter where I'm kind of nervous about how you all are going to like it...so please, bear with me :) And thank you Nikki for beta'ing for me
Chapter 20

Buffy decided it would be pointless to try and say anything in response to that statement, so instead she decided to try her own shocking-ness. Stepping as close to him as she could get and dutifully ignoring the voice in her head that reminded her, ‘You’re married!’ Buffy started to grind herself against him. And of course, she totally ignored his startled gasp.

“What are you doing, Buffy?” It wasn’t a time for pet names or pussy footing around, he needed to know what she was up to. But it was time to ignore the feelings that were arising in him with her closeness. And the things she was causing to, uh, rise.

“I’m dancing, silly,” she said…the words sounding like Sam, but the tone far from her daughters. “I thought you said you wanted to dance?”

“Well, yeah…but, luv, do you really think this is a good idea?”

“Think about it like this, William….this is our time to have fun and relax, right? And we’re friends, so as long as we keep this fun, and don’t do anything we’ll regret, then everything is fine. Right?”

He meant to ask her how they would know before they did it, if they were going to regret something or not; he meant to remind her of what he’d said earlier; meant to tell her they should go get a drink and call an end to this dancing. He meant to tell her all of that, honest he did. But what came out was, “Right.”

As Buffy continued to grind herself against him and offered him a saucy smile all he could think about was kissing her. He’d only have to lean down a few inches, they were already so close, and put his lips against hers. It would feel so good, he saw how often she put that lip gloss on everyday, knew her lips would be soft and taste good. It would all be so easy to hold her tiny face in his hands and kiss her like he’d wanted to since that day in his father’s library, he knew she’d kiss him back, he wasn’t sure for how long, but he knew she would. It would all be so easy. So easy, but also so wrong.

Pushing away from her abruptly, William stomped across the room to the only available table and sat down before Buffy even had a chance to process what was happening.

It didn’t take Buffy long to spot where he’d gone, but she was just angry enough that she decided to continue dancing instead of going to join him. She’d show him, maybe she had been out of line in pushing him like that, but it didn’t mean he had to go storming off like that. After all, he was the one who’d given the big speech about control earlier, didn’t he know her well enough to know that she’d need to find out just how much he believed that? Guess not.

Another man came up to her and started dancing and for a second, just a second, Buffy considered dancing with him the same way she’d danced with William to make him jealous, but as fun as that would be, it wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted William to know that she felt something for him, she wasn’t one hundred percent definite what exactly it was, but she didn’t want him thinking she was just some big dancing slut, that was for sure.

Making sure that the unknown man didn’t get too close, Buffy tried to stop herself from thinking about William at all and tried to enjoy her dance.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

William was partially glad that Buffy didn’t seek him out…and partially disappointed. Watching her dance with some ponce, he pushed down the jealousy that flared up in him at the sight. He was about to get up to go to the bar for a drink when a young woman sat down in the seat opposite him.

“Hi will you help me find my lost puppy? I think he went into this cheap hotel room across the street?”

William would have to have been blind not to see what she was offering, hell a blind man would have been able to sense it. “Does that usually work?” William asked as he took in her low cut leather mini dress. She might have been a beautiful girl, if she toned down the clothes and the make up.

“Usually, I mean, what guy passes on the chance to fuck a girl hot as me?”

“Awfully conceited, aren’t you?”

“Well…yeah, but have you seen me? Think I have a right to be. But, you gonna come with me or no?”

“Gonna have to say no.”

“You must have it bad then,” the woman said, sounding surprisingly unfazed by his rejection.

“What?” William asked, having no idea how she could have gotten that just from his refusal to have sex with her.

“That girl you were dancing with, you must really have it bad for her. I mean, I kind of get it, sure, she’s pretty hot—not compared to me of course, but in general, yeah…she’s pretty hot,” she seemed to think about it for a minute, “Don’t think you could get her to join us do you? ‘Cause ‘that’ would be hot!”

William had to laugh at that, “Yeah, it would be. But I’m sure she wouldn’t, and I’m not sure it’s what I’d want either. You see, the thing is, she’s my friend…and she’s married.”

As she broke into uncontrollable laughter, William tried not to look affronted. But he failed miserably, “It’s not funny,” he said grumpily.

“Oh, but it is,” she said with a snort. “You’re a sexy guy who could have any girl you wanted and she’s this good looking woman who obviously isn’t happy with her husband—“

“Wait a minute, what makes you think that?”

“The way you two were dancing. No way she’d dance like that with you unless she felt something for you…either that or she’s a total slut,” she finished with a knowing grin.

“She is not a slut!” William protested hotly.

Faith had to stop him from storming off, “Listen, buddy, I don’t think she’s a slut…I was just trying to get you to see something. If, like you said, she were a happily married woman—“

“Now I never said that,” William corrected.

“So, she’s not happily married and she’s dancing all hot with you, but making that guy keep his distance,” Faith said pointing to Buffy and her dance partner. “Yet you think she has no feelings for you?”

“Well,” William started, knowing how naïve he was beginning to sound.

“Just think about it all right? Blondie’s coming back so I think that’s my cue to be off, but for your own good, think about it.”

William didn’t have much of a chance to think about it because in the next few seconds, Buffy appeared at the table trying to mask her anger. “So,” she drawled, “Who was your friend?” Buffy had decided to see just what was going on when, during her dance, she’d looked over and seen William and the scantily dressed brunette laughing about something—or at least that’s what she’d seen it as.

“Oh! Her?” he asked looking in the direction Faith had gone. “She’s just a girl I was talking to.”

“And what was her name?” So what if she sounded like a jealous girlfriend.

“Well, luv, I don’t know her name,” William answered indulgingly.

“Do you normally sit and flirt with girls and never find out their names?” Buffy asked snidely.

“Done more before,” William muttered, but to Buffy he said, “Buffy, pet, we were just talking, alright? She came over to ask me to um…” ‘how to phrase this right’ he thought. “She came over to see if I‘d be interested in going somewhere with her.”

Apparently, he’d put just enough in his tone that she understood what he wasn’t saying, “Oh,” she mumbled. “And, um, are you going to?” She wasn’t going to admit to the feeling of her stomach sinking as she asked that question.

“Not going anywhere, kitten,” William assured her, “This is our night out…no way I’m leaving you here all alone.”

“But you do know that you could, right? I mean, this isn’t like a date or anything, so if you did want to go with her, you could.”

“But I don’t, so what’s say you and I get a drink?”

“You stay here and I’ll go get them—I think I’m just going to get a coke anyway, that drink is starting to go to my head. What do you want? Another beer?”

“Yeah, sure you can get them?”

“I’m not incompetent I’ll have you know!” Buffy huffed before stomping off, good naturedly, to the bar.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

There were already at least ten people ordering drinks when Buffy reached the bar, so she leaned against the bar and surveyed her surroundings. She spotted the woman that had been hitting on William, apparently having better luck with another man. Buffy watched as she seductively—there really was no other word for it—led him out of the club.

“You know,” a man’s voice came from behind Buffy. She turned to see who was talking to her and found a big, bulky, not unlike Angel, man smiling at her from a barstool. “I ain’t this tall. I’m just sitting on my wallet.”

Buffy had to fight to contain her laugh, “Really? ‘Cause I’m sure my husband has an even bigger wallet than you.”

“You have a husband? Well what’s he thinking let you out alone, he should know that you’re going to attract attention.”

Deciding not to yell at the condescending asshole who was hitting on her, Buffy simply said in response, “Actually, he came with me tonight.” ‘Where the hell did that come from?’ she thought the second she finished saying it.

“Sorry, didn’t mean….just sorry,” the man said when he looked back to where Buffy had come from and saw William, unbeknownst to Buffy, giving him a deadly glare. Quickly the man turned his attention to the girl on the other side of him, making Buffy wonder what had made him so afraid, it surely hadn’t been her saying her husband was there; he’d been fine about her cheating with him before that. ‘Oh, well’ she decided, ‘Guess I should just worry about getting these drinks and getting back to William and worry about all the worrisome things of tonight, later on.’

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

TBC…………………


A/N: Pick up lines from that 'Pick up line generator' that was going around LJ a while ago ;-)
Chapter 21 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
The computer that I have LC on, crashed Sunday night...I'm trying to recover things from it now and most of LC is backed up, but not all of it (this was in my email from my wonderful beta Nikki).....so please, please review so that I can have the energy to keep with all this :) and thank you to everyone who's reviewed so far.

Look for some ficlets to be posted tomorrow if I'm able to get some computer time.
And I have a new site http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/suzee
Chapter 21:

It had been several weeks since Buffy and William's first night at the Bronze. Things had stayed pretty much the same between them—on the outside at least. They still danced when they went to the Bronze and Buffy had even taught William how to play pool the week before.

"William, will you come play pool with me? I haven't played for ages and it looks like there's finally a free table."

"I don't know, luv, I haven't really played in awhile… wouldn't you rather dance some more?…this sounds like a great song."

"William, you can't honestly be saying that you'd rather dance than play pool. I mean, really, you're a guy, guy's don't like dancing, guys like pool!"

"Kitten, I'm sure if they were given the option of dancing with you, any guy would choose dancing over pool."

Grinning at the not-so-hidden compliment, Buffy didn't give up, "Come on William, we can dance after we play, but if we dance now, there probably won't be a table later. Please?" she asked batting her eyelashes at him. When he didn't answer her or make any sort of movement towards the pool tables, Buffy pressed on, "Why won't you play with me William?"

"BecauseIdon'tkonwhowtoplay," he mumbled quickly.

"What did you say, William?" Buffy asked sweetly.

"I said: Because. I. Don't. Know. How. To. Play." William said, clearly enunciating each word, just daring her to make fun of him.

"You mean you, the all knowing, let-me-teach-you-everything-William, doesn't know how to play pool?"

"I get the concept, I know you use the cue stick to hit the little white cue ball and you try to hit all the solid or striped balls into the little holes, leaving the eight ball for last…I get all that…I just don't know how to really do it." He didn't like admitting to Buffy that he didn't know how to do something. He knew she thought that he knew how to do everything and he, well to be honest, he rather liked that feeling.

"I know I haven't played in a long time, but come on, I'll try to teach you."

William was about to argue with her, he didn't really want to be seen getting taught how to play pool by a girl, but he stopped himself.

Not only was Buffy not just a girlgirl, but this would also do her some good. Not only had He had finally found something that she admitted to being good at and believed she was good at, but he had also found something she could teach him. Something that would show her that she was—contrary to apparently popular belief—a very knowledgeable woman who had a lot to offer.

Instead of saying anything, William just started walking towards the open pool table, hoping that Buffy would follow him.

"You're really going to let me teach you?" Buffy asked after she'd caught up with him. 'Dang he can walk fast,' she thought, 'Good thing I have practice chasing after Sam!'

"Course I am. Why wouldn't I?"

'Well,' Buffy thought quickly, 'can't say "Because Angel wouldn't let me" that would give him more fuel than he needs…think fast, Buff!'

"I just thought that you wouldn't want a 'girl' teaching you," she put extra emphasis on the word 'girl,' wanting to see his reaction.


To his credit, William didn't show any reaction, "I'd let you teach me anything, kitten," he said, leering at her.

"Oh, come on," Buffy said, trying not to let his innuendos get to her.

Buffy had in fact taught him how to play pool, and William was immensely glad that he agreed to the whole thing because Buffy teaching him how to play involved a lot of her leaning over his back and pressing up against him. And since he was taller than her, she really did have to press up against him to demonstrate the right way to hit the pool balls.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*


Their weekly outings however hadn't helped to dispel William's want of Buffy any. In fact, it had only made him want her more. He was honestly starting to wonder if he'd be able to make it through the school year.

He was also wondering why he hadn't told her about Angel's cheating yet.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

"William?" Sam asked when she came back from her recess (he'd stayed inside thinking today), "Can I give mommy a birthday party? Please?"

"It's your mum's birthday? She didn't tell me."

"It's not her birthday yet, but if I do it on her really birthday, it won't be a surprise!"

"Okay," William said, assuming Buffy's birthday was sometime soon. "What do you want to do for her?"

"I want to make her a cake. I already told you that silly!"

"Okay, but besides the cake, do you want to make her any presents?"

"Uh huh!" Sam nodded her head. "But I don't know what to make…Mommy always knows the ideas," she finished sadly.

"Well, pixie, just give me a few minutes and I'm sure I can come up with something." just like with her mother, William couldn't stand seeing Sam so sad.

"Really?" she asked enthusiastically.

"Sure, time we use this computer for something fun anyway." William logged onto the Internet on the computer that Angel had provide for Samantha's schooling and went to a website that he would never admit to knowing about.

"Here," he said after a few minutes, "We can make her some lip gloss, a little perfume like thing, a pretty candle, some bath salts, and maybe even some ice cream. How's that sound to you, Sammy-Sam?"

"Can we do it today?"

"How about tomorrow?" William said, continuing quickly when he saw Sam was going to protest, "That way your mum will be out most of the day—she has to go shopping tomorrow, remember? I'll be able to buy all of the stuff. We'll make a day of it, yeah?"

"Really?"
"Course, cupcake, wouldn't say we could do it if I didn't mean it?" William was taken off guard when Sam ran up and hugged him tightly around the legs—as high up as she could reach.

"Thank you, William! Can we make it all tomorrow?"

"Why don't we plan to do the kitchen stuff first, that way we won't have any trouble if she comes home early. The rest we can do in here later."

"Or we could tell her to not come home!" Sam suggested.

"Won't that make her suspicious? Make her think we're up to something?" William asked, not wanting Sam to ruin her surprise.

"Not if we don't tell her it's a surprise…you tell Mommy she's too noisy," Sam stated and nodded her head emphatically.

"Okay, we'll tell her that we need some peace and quiet for the day so she needs to go shopping and not come home until after lunch?"

"Uh huh!"

"Alright, bit, you wait here and I'll go tell your mum that she needs to stay out longer tomorrow…now you can't tell her why if she asks later. Remember that."

"I'll try really hard."

From the look on her face, William knew that Sam really didn't want to let the secret slip, "Well if you do Sam, she still won't know exactly what we're doing…so even if it's not a surprise, it'll still be a nice thing to do."

"But I'll still try really hard."

"I know you will. You work on that writing, while I go talk to your mum. It's a secret remember?" William made sure she'd started on her writing before he left to go up to the top floor and then the attic to look for Buffy.


TBC…………………….
Chapter 22: Craft Day by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Sorry this is late...computer crashing problems mean I still don't have a computer that's mine to use--have to borrow one long enough to post....If I can get enough of this written and get enough reviews *hint, hint* maybe I can see about posting 23 before next Wednesday...no promises though
Chapter 22: Craft Day



"Buffy? Do you think that tomorrow you could stay out 'til after lunch?"



"Any particular reason?" Buffy wasn't saying no, but she did want to know why he wanted her out of the house.



"Just some stuff I want to do with Sam. We'll be all around the house and I think that we'll be annoying to you and that you might be distracting to her."



"As long as it's nothing, you know, illegal, then sure, I can stay out a few extra hours."



William was ready to ask her why she trusted him so implicitly with her daughter…with her daughter alone. But he was also worried that her reaction wouldn't be what he wanted. Wouldn't be that she knew he would never do anything other than love and protect her daughter. Whether it was the truth or just her own denial, William worried that Buffy would say that she'd do whatever possible for her daughter's education.



"Nothing illegal, I promise. Scout's honor and all."



"Do they even have boy scouts in England?" Buffy asked with a giggle.



"I know I never was one."



"So how are you giving me your 'scout's honor'?"



"It's the spirit of it; don't have to be a boy scout to have good intentions. And plus, already used the pinky swear thing once—not sure how well it would work the second time around.


"It might have worked."


"Well, I like to have some variety in my life," William said with a smile, enjoying his banter with Buffy.



"Well, I'll call tomorrow before I come home, but how does about one sound? That should give you a good five hours."



"Sounds great, luv."



"Alright bit, what do you want to do first? Think we should start the cake just in case your mum comes home early?"



"Then can we make the perfume thingy so then I can know how it smells?" Sam asked hopefully.



"Alright, poppet, let's go!" And they mock marched into the kitchen with Sam laughing the entire way.



William had Sam make a cake from scratch and she did a lot better with it than he had expected—she had obviously been paying attention to their cooking lessons.



"William, why does this make it all powdery?" They'd been sifting the flour and Sam couldn't, for the life of her, figure out why they put in a big clump of stuff, and it came out all powdery.



"Well, bit, that's what it does, see how there's that little wire in there?"



"Uh huh."



"It gets the flour to go through those little holes and it makes sure that it isn't in any big clumps."



"That's cool!"



"Guess it is," William said, reveling in her delight.



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



"Now all we have to do is wait for this to finish cooking. We can do the perfume and candles in here so that we don't burn the cake. And that way we won't make a mess in our school room."


"Can I help you get the stuff?"



"That sounds good," William didn't want to admit to her that he hadn't wanted to leave her alone in the kitchen with the oven on.



Once they'd gotten the bag of supplies from William's car—he had to keep the bag there the keep it a secret from Buffy—they made their way back into the kitchen.



Alright, let me poor this in and you pick out some from each of those bags." He handed Sam the bags of grated orange, grapefruit, and lemon peel and carefully poured the rubbing alcohol into the tiny plastic bottle.



"Do I have to put it all in?" Sam asked as she looked at the bags.



"Nope, you can put one kind, or two or three kinds in—but just put a little bit in."



"I'll put the lemon one and the grapefruit one in…that's these two, right?"



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



By quarter after eleven they'd finished most of their present making and only had the cake and the glitter candle left.



"Okay, bit, time to get this candle done, we want the glue to dry by the time your mum gets home."



"Can I mix up the colors?" Sam asked as she gazed in awe at the different bags of glitter—red, gold, silver, purple, pink, green, and blue.



"Sure, it will look pretty that way, don't cha think?"



"Uh huh! So I put it all on the plate?" Sam asked, "And then we put the glue on the candle and roll it around?"



"Exactly. But let me help you get the glue on the candle, it won't work if it's too thick, okay?"



"Okay," Sam answered, already mixing the glitter together on the paper plate. William was glad he'd bought the smaller packets, they would make less of a mess.



After she'd added about half of each packet—except for the pink which she'd added all of—Sam carefully took the candle from William, holding the top and the bottom like he indicated. Delicately she rolled the glue coated candle through the glitter, making sure that the glitter was spread evenly around the candle.



"It's so pretty!" Sam exclaimed.



"Yeah it is sweetheart, now let's sit it over there so it can dry. And then we can decorate the cake."



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



The presents were made, the cake was frosted and decorated, the kitchen was cleaned, the presents were wrapped; now all they had to do was put up the decorations Sam had made and the steamers.



It didn't take them long to put the decorations up—Sam put her pictures up and William hung the streamers. He made sure that they just wrapped things around stuff or propped things up—he didn't want to mess anything up with tape or sticky tack.



Just as they finished arranging the presents on the table, they heard Buffy's key in the door.



"Think we're ready, pixie?"



"Yep! All the presents are done and so is the cake!"



'I just hope Buffy doesn't mind that I did all of this—it wasn't entirely educational. Though maybe I could get her to think of it as an extended art class or something……..Maybe.



'Now why is it William that you don't seem to think things through when Buffy is involved? That's going to get you in trouble you know!'



But William didn't have time to mentally berate himself anymore, he had to help Buffy carry her bags through the door. Buffy had handed half of her bags to William and closed the front door before she noticed the slight change in decoration.



"Um…William? Sam?"





TBC………………





Thank you for all the reviews :) Realy, I'm all sqee over the reviews today especially for some reason...so thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who's reviewed.

And sorry the spacing is all funny, I'm having to copy it from email and that's what happens...I'll try to fix it up soon.
Chapter 23: Birthday Party! by Suzee
Author's Notes:
So, I wasn't going to update 'til Wednesday, but someone has been really mean to me lately about a song fic I wrote and I know you all like LC, so to stop myself from feeling like crap and giving up on posting, you get an extra chatper :-)
Chapter 23: Birthday Party!



"Um…William? Sam?" Buffy asked. "What's all this?"



"Yeah, well….." William said, not sure what exactly to say, "It's a surprise birthday party!" he finished quickly.



"Isn't it pretty mommy?"



"It's gorgeous sweetie, but it's not my birthday," Buffy said carefully—not wanting to upset her daughter.



"Well, I know that, silly," Sam said with a grin, "But it wouldn't be a surprise if it were really your birthday."



Before Buffy could say anything else, William guessed he should ask what he'd been wondering since this whole thing started, "Buffy, luv, when exactly is your birthday?"



"In a few months—January 19th to be exact." Buffy couldn't help but laugh at the horrified look that came over William's face. "Don't worry, William, I think it was sweet."



"Well yeah, that was the intention, but I thought your birthday was like next week or something…not in a few months."



"It was my idea mommy! I told William that your birthday was soon. I'm sorry." Sam didn't like William being in trouble—or thinking he was—for something that she'd started. And she didn't want him mad at her.



"Sam, honey, we're not mad at you, I promise. And I'm not mad at William either. It was very, very sweet of you two to do this for me. What do you say we get these thing put away and then we have us a birthday party?" Buffy asked, smiling at how happy Sam was that her plan worked.



Instead of answering her mother, Sam took the biggest bag she could manage and slowly made her way into the kitchen.



"Sure you've got that?" William asked as he watched her teeter into the kitchen.



"Yup!" Sam said.



Buffy and William shared a smile at her daughter before they carefully picked the remaining bags and followed Sam into the kitchen.



William was glad that they'd found the cake cover—didn't want Buffy to see it now and ruin the surprise.



"You made me a cake?" Buffy asked in awe. No one had made her a cake for her birthday since he mother had made her one for her 21st birthday years before.



"'Course we made you a cake. It's your birthday, you get a cake. It's a law of nature or some such."



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



It only took them fifteen minutest to get everything put away, both Buffy and Sam—and William, though he would never admit it—were eager to get to the party.



"So, what's first?" Buffy asked. "Cake or presents?"



"I think presents!" Sam said.



"You agree, William?" Buffy asked, dragging it out.



"Well, this cake does look awfully good under there," William said looking at the cake. "But then again," he added when Sam looked like he'd betrayed her, "These presents look pretty good as well. Your pick, luv."



"Well," Buffy said slowly, "I think that maybe, well you see, I've decided that maybe, just maybe, we should, ummm, open the presents first."



"Really, mommy?"



"Yep. Now which one do you think I should open first?"



Carefully, Sam picked up a cylindrical shaped object, wrapped lightly in blue paper with a bright green bow on top, "I think this one."



"Alright, cookie, I'll open that one."



Buffy was watchful to not pull on the present at all when she took off the paper. She didn't want to knock off any of the glitter that was revealed as soon as she took the first bit of paper off.



Buffy had been a bit worried when she had seen all of the wrapped presents, knowing that Angel certainly hadn't contributed. But now, despite the great quality, she figured that William had helped Sam make them all.



"Sam, sweetie, did you make this?" No harm in being sure, she figured.



Sam nodded her head enthusiastically, "Uh huh! And William helped. Isn't it pretty? We also made you a-" But William had clapped a hand over her mouth. After a second he removed his hand and Sam continued, "And other stuff…but it's a secret, so I can't tell you."



Soon, Buffy was sharing in Sam's enthusiasm. This was, after all, the first real birthday party she'd had in years. And not only was she getting beautiful, heartfelt presents from her daughter—but William had helped her. And she was hard pressed to convince herself that he wasn't a better man—in a million ways—than Angel.



She knew that she wasn't going to put up with much more of this, but Buffy decided that for now, at least, she'd live comfortably in her plush house in the land of Denial.



Who knows, maybe William would come for a visit sometime.



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



He wasn't sure what made him come up with the idea of Sam making Buffy some bath salts. It had seemed perfectly innocent at the time he was sure. Now, though? Well now, he was having some thoughts that weren't so pure and innocent.



All he seemed to be able to think about was getting Buffy nice and dirty some how and using those bath salts to take a nice smelling bath with her. And that wasn't as far as his thoughts went. Noooo, of course it wasn't…even if his sanity needed him to just shut down the 'Buffy' part of his brain. Especially the 'naked Buffy' part of his brain.



He could just imagine carefully undressing her, he'd be gentle, delicate with her—show her that he cared. He'd slowly undress her and ease her into the warm water before getting in himself. He'd carefully clean all of the dirt and grime off of her, use some of that body wash he imagined she used before…….



And that was somewhere he didn't need to go, especially not with other people in the room. Other people who were Buffy and Sam.



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



After maybe twenty minutes all of the presents had been opened and William was seriously considering whether giving the two energetic girls sugar, would be dangerous in some way.



"Should we wait for the cake?" 'Maybe let you two run around outside for a bit?'



"Now why in the world would we do that? I want some chocolate!"



"Me too!" Sam smiled.



"Alright, alright, just let me get the plates and I'll cut us some cake. You two stay here."



"Can I have ice cream, too?" Sam asked joyfully, glad that this birthday part idea of hers was going over so well.



"You sure you want ice cream? Remember how you said you only wanted cake because it looked so good and ice cream filled you up?" William asked, not entirely sure why he was encouraging the child to eat more cake.



"Maybe just cake first," Sam decided. "I can have ice cream later."



"Sounds good, pixie. You want any?" he asked Buffy.



"Think I'll stick with just cake," she answered, still trying to take it all in.



"Alright, three plates of cake coming right up."



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



Once the cake was cut and served and they'd all had their fill—Sam more than William thought she should maybe have had—and the presents and cake decorations had been oohed and ahhed over a few more times, Buffy and Sam went outside to play while William did the dishes. No way he'd make her do the dishes for her own birthday party! What kind of gentleman would he have been if he did that….easy, he wouldn't be, he'd be Angel.



And no way was that ever going to happen.



But then, left alone with his thoughts and the dirty dishes, William began to have some not so desired thoughts.



Why hadn't he told Buffy about Angel yet? He knew he needed to, knew he couldn't keep it from her forever. But somehow, he just couldn't bring himself to do it yet. He wasn't sure what was holding him back, whether it was the prospect of hurting her or if he just didn't want to risk losing this near daily contact with her. All he knew was that he couldn't do it just yet—something was holding him back.



And he just might have a way of remedying that.



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*





TBC…………Please (with a cherry on top) review--whether I post stories after this may actually rely on it


And I promise that William will tell her about Angel, some things just have to happen first...stick with me?
Chapter 24: Follow Me by Suzee
Author's Notes:
To say I was blown away by the number of reviews Chapter 23 got, would be the understatement of the year. THANK YOU! thank you, all of you so, so, so much :-D You made my week :-)


Also in case anyone missed it, I posted Chapter 23 on Sunday..you should read that one before you read this one.
In case anyone missed it, I posted Chapter 23 on Sunday..you should read that one before you read this one.


Chapter 24: Follow Me



Buffy was driving to the park on Saturday when a song came on the radio that made her stop and pay attention.



You don't know how you met me
You don't know why, you cant turn around and say good-bye
All you know is when I'm with you I make you free
And swim through your veins like a fish in the sea
I'm singing....




William certainly made her feel free whenever he was around. With him there it was easy to pretend that she was somewhere else, was someone else. He made it so easy to forget who and where she was, while at the same time, reminding her who she really was better than anyone had ever been able to. Anyone.



And he really had gotten in her system, it was getting harder and harder every day—hell every minute—to deny her feelings for him; she was just glad he'd decided to be the noble one and keep a lid on things, Lord knows what regretful (she was married after all, not something she took lightly) things she would have done by now otherwise.



Follow me
Everything is alright
I'll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you want to leave
I can guarantee
You won't find nobody else like me




He would make everything alright if she went with him, wouldn't he?



He'd keep her safe and loved and cared for, for as long as she let him. And she really didn't think she'd ever find anyone else quite like William.



When she'd first started to have these 'feelings' for William she'd thought that maybe it was just because he was different that Angel and that he wasn't really that unique. But as she'd thought about it, she realized that there were a lot more men like Angel (maybe not quite like him) than like William.



Won't give you money
I can't give you the sky
It better off if you don't ask why




Except that he could, William wouldn't be just some no good guy that she ran away with, he'd take care of her—monetary and otherwise, she was sure of that. He would give her the sky, too—and anything else she asked for. And that was just it, all she had to do was ask.



And that scared the shit out of her.



It had been a long time, if ever, since she knew that someone had that much feeling for her. Not only would he love her, he'd be there for Sam and take care of her as if she were his own.



But she was still scared that someday he would realize that she wasn't worth it.



And what would she do then?



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



Buffy shut off the radio before the song could finish. "Mommy, why'd you turn it off? I like the fishy song." Sam asked her mother.



"What do you mean the fishy song?"



"He says he's a fish, it's the fishy song."



Buffy realized in that instant how much simpler things would be if only she could see the world through Sam's eyes. Here she has been listening to a song and deciding how it was really a sign for her to leave Angel to be with William, while Sam had listened to the same exact song and just thought it was cool because he sang about being a fish.



If only she could have Sam's view of things.



But even Buffy (or maybe especially Buffy) knew she couldn't very well ask her daughter, "Hey Sam, honey, how would you feel if Mommy left Daddy to go live with William?" Yeah, couldn't ask that.



'But,' Buffy thought, 'you're a resourceful girl, who's good at asking things without really letting on what exactly it is your asking, there has to be a way you can outsmart a 6-year-old to get the answers you need….Even if she is the smartest 6-year-old in the whole world,' Buffy added with motherly pride.



"Sam, honey, can Mommy ask you a question?"



"Yup!"



"Are you having fun with William, doing your school work and everything?"



"Uh huh! And he didn't get mad at me for wanting to give you a birthday party and we made the decorations and the presents and the cake just us. He didn't ask Rose Marie to help us, even though Daddy said she's supposed to make everything. And our cake was way better than hers! And he let me get messy when we made the candles and stuff, we cleaned it up, but he didn't get mad at me for getting glitter on the table!



And, and, and he told me that I was the smartest little girl he knew and I told him he'd have a kid as smart as me, but he said uh uh that I was the smartest little girl. He's so nice, mommy! And he doesn't yell at me even when I do something wrong. He tells me that it was wrong and why it was wrong and why I shouldn't do it again.



And did you know that he used to have a puppy before he moved from England but it was his friends so she kept it when he moved? He said it's name was Kennedy and I told him that was a funny name for a dog and he said that Kennedy was president once, but not the dog Kennedy just somebody with the same name, but that his doggy was a girl.



And he said that maybe I should wait until maybe I'm older to get a dog because it takes a lot of work and you have to walk them a lot and since I have school I wouldn't be able to do it all the time.



And I asked him why some writing looks funny in the book he brought one day and he said because it was…..poe..tree…and that it was supposed to look like that. And I asked him what poetree was and he said it was how they wrote songs, but there's not always music to them. And I asked him if he ever writes songs and he said he has.



And then I asked him what kind and he said he writes love songs and I asked him if he had a girlfriend and he said no.



And he's so much fun Mommy. Why doesn't William have a girlfriend? Then they could have kids and I could play with the baby.



But then I said maybe he should wait to have a baby because I like him playing with me and he said not to worry because he'd need a girlfriend and then a wife and everything before he had a baby. Do you think you'll have a baby Mommy?"



Once again Buffy wasn't sure how Sam had made the connection, but she knew she needed to answer nonetheless. "I don't know honey, I don't think so." Wasn't like she could tell her daughter that she and Angel hardly….yeah.



But she had gotten some good information out of Sam's little speech. It seemed the only time Sam ever talked that much without taking a break was when she was discussing something she and William had done or talked about.



And Buffy realized for the first time just how much her daughter loved William. And she had a pretty good feeling that it was mutual.



Now all she needed to do was figure out exactly how she felt. And more importantly what she was going to do about it.



*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*



Why hadn't he told Buffy about Angel yet? He knew he needed to, knew he couldn't keep it from her forever. But somehow, he just couldn't bring himself to do it yet. He wasn't sure what was holding him back, whether it was the prospect of hurting her or if he just didn't want to risk losing this near daily contact with her. All he knew was that he couldn't do it just yet—something was holding him back.



And he just might have a way of remedying that.





Standing in the grocery store aisle not only could William not believe he was about to do this, but he also couldn't believe he hadn't had the necessary item already at home.



He'd promised himself several years ago, that he wasn't ever going to go back to this. Was going to steer clear of it—be William. But now? Now he knew it was necessary to go back on his word and embrace his former self.



It was only one little thing, but it would mean all the difference in the world.



He picked up the bleach and headed for the checkout.



William was going to become Spike, again.



TBC…….






One more time: Thank you so much for all of the reviews.
Chapter 25: Past is past…..or is it? by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I'm sorry, sorry, sorry about not updating earlier, all the stuff that's supposed to happen on Wednesday didn't and I was sick...and it all led to me forgetting....but THANK YOU so much for all of the reviews :-)
Chapter 25: Past is past…..or is it?

Carefully pouring the bleach into the measuring cup, William nearly changed his mind, but stopped himself from doing so because he knew there really was no other way.

He was going to become Spike again, for better or for worse.

The bleach burned as he poured it over his scalp, reinforcing in him the pain that he’d endured under this moniker. But also reminding him of the toughness it brought to him—erasing the insecurities and unsure-ness of William—outwardly at least.

Several minutes later when he knew his hair was ready, that he was ready, William looked in the mirror and saw who was looking back at him.

Spike.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Buffy was scared.

She knew it was stupid, but she was scared of seeing William again after her thoughts and what Sam had said in the car a few days before. She still hadn’t decided how exactly she felt about him, nor had she decided if she was going to decide.

And she only had several more minutes before he arrived for the morning.

“Come on, Buffy. You can do this.”

She didn’t have a chance to reassure herself more because just at that second the doorbell rang and she could hear Sam yelling, “Mommy! William’s here!”

“Guess it’s time to figure out how well I’m going to deal with this.” Slowly, reluctantly she made her way downstairs, freezing when she saw William.

He looked…well, he looked different.

“William, your hair’s a different color,” Sam said indifferently, not sure how she felt about it yet.

“Yeah, poppet, decided I felt like a change. Do you like it?”

“I don’t know,” Sam said honestly, “it looks kind of funny. But not like a clown funny.”

“Okay.” So what if he wasn’t sure if he’d just been insulted by a six-year-old, it wasn’t like he needed her approval and this was necessary for him.

“Sam, honey, be nice,” Buffy chided as she made her way into the room.

“I was!” Sam whined, “William asked if I liked his hair, but I don’t know…it looks like that guy I saw on TV, but I like William’s better.”

“So, you do like it?” Okay, so maybe he did need her approval.

Looking at him observantly for at least 15 seconds, Sam finally decided, “Yep! I like it lots.”

“Thanks.” ‘Got to get used to this being Spike again thing.’

Buffy knew she should comment on his hair, but something was stopping her, something in the back of her mind.

“How about you pet, you like it too?”

“Yeah. I mean, it’s um, it’s nice…different, but nice.”

‘Well,’ he thought, ‘Might be easier to get back to being Spike if they were a little less, well unsure about this new look I’ve got going on.’

“Guess we should get tot the school work, huh?” Spike asked, wanting to get out of this somehow uncomfortable situation.

“Okay, can I do more writing today?” Sam asked.

“Sure, nibblet, we’ll let you do some writing. And maybe we’ll work on your numbers, too.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

The day passed fairly uneventfully, they ate lunch together (it was still a few more days before their cooking lesson, so Buffy made them all lunch) and Sam told her mother how she’d written a letter to her and to William. At which point Spike had begged Buffy to get Sam to tell her what she’d written in the letter to him so that she, Buffy, could tell him.

He said, after a bit of Buffy’s prying, that Sam told him the letter wasn’t done yet so he couldn’t read it.

”Well, if Sam says it’s a secret, then it’s a secret. Nothing I can do about that. And plus, we’re family, no way I can break that.”

“But, come on luv. I’m here every day and hey, I taught her how to write, that should count for something!” God, did he like being Spike again, gave him a bit more freedom.

“Nope!” Buffy said, laughing as he leaned over to tickle her. “Stop! No fair!”

“I’ll stop as soon as you tell her to tell me what it says.”

“Well, I’m not going to tell! So, tickle on.” Buffy just managed to get it out before he started tickling her again.

Not interrupting his attack on Buffy, William said to Sam, as if it were the only thing he were doing, “Sam, why don’t you go finish up those letters. I’ll be in there in just a minute to help you, if you need it.”

After nearly a minute, Spike decided to be fair and stopped tickling Buffy. “Still not going to tell me?”

“No! It’s Sam’s to tell you if she wants.”

“Well fine then, guess I’ll just have to come up with a way of getting it out of you.”

“You can think all you want, but I’m not going to tell you.” Deciding that now was as good of a time as any, Buffy asked William, “So what’s with the new look? And you’re acting a little different too, not necessarily bad different, just different.”

“Felt like I needed to get back to who I was a few years ago. Were some things I needed to do and this was the only way I could get them done.”

”’This’?” Buffy asked.

“Being Spike again.”

“Oh, so, um what exactly does, ‘being Spike again’ mean?”

“Not that much, just bit of a different look and a bit of a different attitude. Just helps me do some things. Sort of a state of mind, I guess.”

“It wasn’t…it wasn’t because of me was it, I mean it was…” Buffy wasn’t sure what she was asking, but she still wanted to ask it.

“It was just some stuff I needed to do and this was the only way I could do it,” Spike said vaguely. “Nothing you need to worry about,” so, he knew it was a lie, but he wasn’t quite up to telling her just yet.

“So, should I call you William or should I call you Spike?”

“You can call me whatever you like, kitten,” he said flirtatiously.

Knowing that if this conversation went on for too much longer, she’d have to start examining those feelings again, Buffy told William that he might should go check on how Sam was doing.


*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

At Sam’s request and Buffy’s approval, William stayed late that night to watch a movie with the two of them after dinner while Angel was still working late at the office.

But unlike Buffy had hoped, William stayed even after Sam had gone to bed, just talking with her. It should have been one of those nights that she would remember forever, but all it really did was make her worry that she was never going to get a chance to figure out these feelings of hers.

Finally she, politely, got him to go home, knowing that he’d just be back once again in the morning.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

When William got there early the next morning, he noticed that Buffy was still in her pajamas. “Up late, pet?’

“Oh, I was just waiting up for Angel.” Okay, so actually she’d been thinking about William…or Spike. And how she felt about him, but the Angel cover story worked as well.

“He come home late?”

“Not at all. Guess he just had a lot of work again. Wish he would have called though.”

“He didn’t call?”

“Nope, but it’s happened before so I’m sure he just got busy and forgot. Sometimes he gets so into his work that by the time he gets around to thinking about calling me, it’s too late and he doesn’t want to wake me up.” Buffy explained, only somewhat convincingly. “I’m sure he’ll be home any minute.”

“Possibly, but you know, Buffy, Angel’s been spending a lot of nights at the office—the whole night too. Aren’t you worried that he’s maybe cheating on you?”

“Well see, the thing is, he’s got a ‘disorder’ you know, he has ‘problems’ in the bedroom? That and a low sperm count. So while sometimes I think he’s taking Viagra or something to sleep with some other woman, the majority of the time I can’t really make myself care all that much because I know he can’t get her pregnant.”

“But he got you pregnant…I mean Sam.”

“Yeah,” she began.

“Hey, babe, I’m home. Sorry I had to be gone overnight again, but you know this case is big and I need to make sure I get everything done, perfectly.”…………………

TBC…………….



and I'm going to take a page out of Panta's book, well sort of...the more reviews I get for this chapter and teh new ones, will help decide how soon I post my new stories. :-)
Chapter 26: Decision Time by Suzee
Author's Notes:
sorry for updating late last week, I hope you all found the chapter...just a few things:
1) Thank you so, so much for the reviews!
2) I was nominated at VK Awards (for Sam as best original character) so thank you so much whoever did that!
3) if I don't update next week, it will be because I lost power because of the scary hurricane possibly coming at Florida
4) I'm scared for both one of my friends and this hurricane now, so reviews would be very much appreciated...thank you.
Chapter 26: Decision Time

That weekend, Spike made his way to Buffy’s house (he’d quit referring it to Angel’s house a long time ago), he’d decided that tonight was the night. He let himself in, as she’d told him to do the previous day, and waited for her in the living room.

“You can do this, mate. She deserves to know and she won’t be mad at you just because you’re the one that told her…”William was talking to himself, “Or she could blame you and not believe you, there’s always that possibility.” He was really starting to think he’d made the wrong decision, “But she deserves to know and if she hates you for telling her, then so be it.” William nodded decisively before turning around and jumping when he saw Buffy in the doorway.

“Talking to yourself again?” She smiled at him before apologizing, “Sorry for scaring you.”

“You didn’t scare me, I’m just sort of out of it tonight, I guess. You know Buffy,” he said after a pause, “I’m right knackered, I think I’m going to have to cancel tonight, don’t think I’d be real good company.”

“Oh, yeah sure, I wouldn’t want to make you do anything that you didn’t want to or anything. William,” she said, waiting until she had his attention before continuing, “Maybe I’ve been reading this all wrong and you’ve only been spending time with me to appease Angel…if that’s the case,” she continued, as he just stood there, too stunned to say anything, “I can just tell Angel that I wasn’t having fun or something, then you know you can go out and actually have fun and there won’t be any repercussions with Angel. I’ll, um, let you go now. And, um, don’t apologize, okay? I’m just going to go check on Sam, I’ll see you Monday.” And she turned to leave the room, trying to hide how hurt she was at apparently having misinterpreted his actions.

“Um…” he called as she was nearly out of the room, waiting until she had turned around before going on, “Buffy…luv…there’s something I need to tell you.” He paused for a second, continuing once she’d walked back across the room, “You’re not going to like it and I just want you to promise me one thing.”

“Of course,” Buffy said nervously, knowing instinctively that this was something that she needed to pay attention to.

“Just promise me you’ll listen to everything I have to say…even if you don’t want to.” When she nodded that she would, William continued. “Okay, well it, um, it has to do with Angel. Remember when he told you that we should go out on Saturdays?” Not really giving her the opportunity to say anything—he’d lose his nerve his he took too much time—he continued, “Well when he brought it up with me, there was something that he told me, made me promise not to tell you…something that I should have told you a long time ago. And since I don’t know any better way to say it, I’m just going to come out and say it…I’m sorry, luv, but Angel…Angel, he’s been sleeping with Darla for some time now. That’s why he thought it was a good idea for us to go out on Saturdays; he wouldn’t have to explain where he was to you.”

“How long?” Buffy asked calmly.

“A few years now, he didn’t tell me exactly.” William was scared by how calmly she was taking this.

“Would you come upstairs with me?”

“Um, sure….Buffy? Kitten, are you okay?”

“Just come upstairs, huhok?”

“Sure.” William followed her upstairs, neither of them saying anything until they were in the master bedroom and Buffy had gone to her closet.

“I assume that’s where he is now, Buffy asked as she walked into her closet.

As she came out with a large suitcase, William answered her, “I’d assume so.”

“Good. Now here’s what you’re going to do: Call Darla’s, don’t let him know I know, and tell him you’re taking Sam on a field trip to L.A. for a few days, something very last minute, but you have to do it now—make something up, and tell him I’m coming with as a chaperone, okay. Once that’s done then you can help me get everything together.”

William had just stood there, shocked, the entire time she was talking, “Okay,” he said, deciding that maybe after he’d called Angel he’d be able to process things enough to ask her one of the million questions currently flying around his brain.

“But use your cell phone. It’ll solve the caller ID problem and I need to use the phone.” Buffy walked to the small sitting area of the bedroom and sat in the chair before picking up the phone and calling Cordelia, “Cordy? Hey, hun, listen I need a favor from you, but you can’t tell anyone about it. Okay?... Good. Now here’s the deal, I need the name of your divorce attorney…Yeah, I’m leaving Angel…Don’t say ‘It’s about time’…no, he’s been sleeping with Darla for awhile…yeah, I think I’ve known for a while, subconsciously at least, but now I have some proof…he told William and William told me…no I don’t know what I’m going to do now, but I’m leaving, so I need that name so I can get things going as quickly as possible, not give Angel the chance to get ahead of me. And Cordy? Angel thinks Sam, William, and I are going to L.A. for a field trip for a few days so don’t say anything to him…No of course, I don’t think you would, just wanted to make sure I covered all my bases…Simon Chopin…thanks hun. I’ll be giving Mr. Chopin, divorce attorney extraordinaire a call soon…Talk to you soon Cordy and thanks…bye.”

**********&&&&&&********&&&&&&***************

Meanwhile William was busy making his own phone call, out of range of both Buffy and Sam, should she wake up. “Darla? Hi it’s Spike…Angel’s kid’s teacher guy, right…Listen is Angel there?... Fine,” He said when she acted as if there was no reason Angel would be there at 8:30 on a Saturday night, “Let me rephrase that, I know Angel’s there, he told me about you two and normally I wouldn’t call him at your house, but there’s something I need to talk to him about that can’t wait ‘til morning.” He waited as Darla gave the phone to Angel who seemed to be in very close proximity to her. “Angel, hey, it’s Spike…Well, that’s what I want you to call me so get over it,” Not sure where this boldness was coming from, he continued, “Listen, I need to take Sam to L.A. for a few days, starting tomorrow, Buffy’s going to come with as a chaperone, okay?... Hey, it’ll give you more time with your mistress…Yeah, I know you hate when I call her that, but it is what she is, can’t exactly be your girlfriend seeing as you have a wife already and all…Just some museum, nothing you’d be interested in…Being rude? Huh? Didn’t realize it, guess I just don’t like calling you at your mistress’ house to explain to you why I need to take your daughter out of town for a few days.” Angel didn’t say anything to that so he just continued, “So the trip’s fine, right? We’ll probably leave tonight so that we can start all the school stuff tomorrow morning, Samantha can sleep in the car.”

After getting the all clear from Angel, William returned to Buffy’s room, hearing the tail end of her conversation with Cordelia, “I’ll be giving Mr. Chopin, divorce attorney extraordinaire a call …Talk to you soon Cordy and thanks…bye.”

As she hung up the phone, William walked over to her, concern etched on his face, “Don’t you think that might be a little hasty love, maybe you should try to talk to Angel about some things first.”

“You want me to work things out with Angel?” Buffy asked incredulously.

“No!” William assured her, “It’s just…I’m just…I’m worried alright, Angel makes a lot more money than you and he’s a lot more powerful than you…He could get full custody of Sam, couldn’t he?”

“So you really don’t want me to work things out with Angel?” Buffy checked.

“Hell no! I’ve been hoping you’d divorce that wanker since the first day I met you; you’re too good for him Buffy. I’d offer to pay for the divorce myself if I didn’t think it would cause problems. But I am honestly worried that he might get custody of Sam.”

“I can assure you William, although you’ve been a lot more like Spike tonight…I can assure you William, that Angel won’t get custody of Sam, assuming he even wants it.”

“I admire you conviction, kitten, but how can you be so sure?”

“Remember when we had that conversation about wasn’t I worried about Angel spending so many nights over at the office?”

“Of course I do, I tried to tell you all of this then, but Angel came home before I could.”

“And you remember what I said about why I wasn’t worried even if he was?”

“Yeah you said because he wouldn’t be able to get anyone pregnant…and I said that it might not be likely, but it was possible because he got you pregnant with Sam.”

“Well, you see William, the thing is…” Buffy wasn’t sure she could do this.

“The thing is…” William prompted her.

“He didn’t.”

TBC…………



I hope it was all you wanted...and please do review (and read the author's note if you haven't already, please)
Chapter 27: (She Looks into My Eyes and She Sees) A Man She Used to Recognize by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Thank you so, so, so much for the 22 reviews I got for the last chapter, it's was a nice birthday present (my birthday was the 21st)...think I can get that many again?

And this chapter is dedicated to Jojo because it's her birthday today. Happy Birthday sweetie...I hope you like that chapter.
Chapter 27: (She Looks into My Eyes and She Sees) A Man She Used to Recognize

"What do you mean?" William asked her, stunned.

"William, tell me what Sam looks like." Buffy requested.

"Well," he started, "She's absolutely adorable and she looks a lot like you, which only helps her cuteness."

"Ok, but literally, what does Sam look like," Buffy pressed.

"She's about so tall," William indicated on himself, "Uh, she's got a cute little nose, just like yours, there's that scar on her forehead, from when she fell of her bike, and she's got these cute little ears--which I'm supposed to tell you, you should let her get pierced."

"What?" Buffy asked.

"Sam," William explained, "told met the other day that I'm supposed to tell you to let her get her ears pierced."

"Okay, that's something that we can talk about later, but back on topic." Buffy needed to get this out.

"Okay, well I'm not sure what there is left, I covered how tall she is, her scar, her ears, her nose…oh she's missing one of her front teeth…" When William saw that Buffy wanted something else he thought about what was left…. "Oh, her eyes! She's got beautiful blue eyes."

Finally he'd gotten to where she wanted him.

"And do you remember anything from high school biology?" Buffy pressed.

"Probably…anything in particular you're thinking of here, luv, ‘cos I've got to say you're got me right confused."

"Do you remember anything about dominant and recessive traits?"

"Not really, no."

"Well there are dominant and recessive traits. The recessive ones will kind of, take a back seat I guess to the dominant ones, meaning they won't show up against the dominant ones…I'm not really making much sense am I?" When he just smiled at her, she continued, but with a different approach, "Blue eyes are a recessive trait, I think I'm getting this right, which means that if a dominant trait is there to give someone eyes that are some colour other than blue, the blue eyes trait won't be strong enough for them to have blue eyes. For someone to have blue eyes, one of both of their parents has to have blue eyes. Sometimes babies and real little kids will have blue eyes, but they've usually become green or something by the time they’re in school.

Now, William, what colour are my eyes?"

"Green." Spike said not having to look at her eyes after memorising the color and every detail of them.

"Right. And what colour are Angel's eyes?"

"Brown."

"Not blue?"

"Where are you going with this, luv?" William was ninety-nine percent sue he knew where she was going with it, but if he was right, which he wasn't saying he was…but if he was right, this wasn't the sort of thing you jumped to conclusions with.

"I'm saying that Angel isn't Sam's father…He won't be able to get custody of her because he's not her biological father."

"But if it's just because she has blue eyes…"

"I know, she could be the one in ten million kid who has blue eyes without a blue-eyed parent, but that's not the only thing. That was just sort of the thing that let me know it was true," Buffy hoped he would listen to everything she had to say and not judge her before he heard all of it. "Just let me explain all of it before you go thinking I'm some tramp or something." William tried to tell her that he'd never think of her like that, but she stopped him, "Just don't say anything 'til I'm done, alright?"

William just nodded.

"Okay, well I don't really know where to start, this wasn't exactly a conversation I'd planned on having with anyone, at least not anytime so soon, but here goes…When Angel and I got engaged we were still in college, but he was still very much like himself, not exactly or I wouldn't have married him, but…he was still himself. And he had his "sexual" problem even then, sometimes I thought it was a god send, you know I'd found the one college boy that wasn't demanding sex 24/7, but there were also times when I wished we were having more sex…and this is coming out all wrong, making it sound like I just went looking for somebody to fuck…The reason I'm including this is so that when I say that the entire week before our wedding, we never had sex, it won't sound so weird.

“But what happened was around the week of the wedding I started getting really nervous, thinking I couldn't do it…and then I started thinking about all the things getting married would entail…so I went out for a little relaxation, just me, a few days before the wedding. And once I was at the club, I got a little drunk…and you know how Buffy and alcohol are un-mix-y things? Anyway, after I was a little bit drunk I added to the list of things I'd never do, having sex with another man…and when my drunk brain got to thinking about it, I realized that having sex with Angel wasn't that good and I'd never get to have really, really good sex in my entire life--having lost my virginity to Angel and all. So I decided that since I wasn't married yet, cheating wouldn't be as bad.

“So, I decided I was going to sleep with someone that night if the opportunity arose, I wasn't going to go find some random guy just to sleep with him, but if something happened and sleeping with a guy was an option, I was going to take it.

“And, I um…I did. There was this absolutely gorgeous guy there that came over to talk to me, he could have just been hitting on me, but to this day I still think he actually was interested in talking to me. He looked upset and I asked him what was wrong, he just said it was personal, never would tell me, not the whole night. But we talked for hours, just sitting at a table in the corner where it was at least semi-quiet. I know we must have driven the waitress crazy because we didn't really drink that much, just enough that I wouldn't get completely sober and decide it was all a huge mistake. Anyway, once they were closing the club and we'd basically gotten kicked out, he asked me back to his hotel room, apparently he was only in town for a few days, something about visiting family, but needing his own space.

I went with him…not a single part of my brain was objecting, which in Buffy-land is a major accomplishment. So, yeah, we went to his hotel room and spent the night together, I never let him tell me his name and I never told him mine, that would make it all too personal and then I'd really question getting married.

It was…." Buffy seemed unable to find the words for the first time in her whole monologue, "That night, it was perfect, it's made having sex with Angel—the few times that we do—harder because I know what it could be.

“But, the reason I know that's when I got pregnant is because we didn't use any protection, stupid I know, and I'd gotten my period a few days before that and hadn't slept with Angel for a week or so before or after.

“It wasn't until a few months later when I was married and found out I was pregnant that I realized what had happened and by then I couldn't find the guy to tell him, kind of hard when you don't even have name.

“But, every night since then, and especially since I found out I was pregnant, I've been having these dreams…they're not really dreams about that night…more about the life that I could have had if I'd just asked him to stay, exchanged names and numbers…done anything more than what I did.

“They always stay just that, though, dreams, when I wake up I can't remember what his face looks like, not really and it's only gotten worse over time. I think I'd given up ever remembering enough for it to matter.

“Then these last few months I've been gradually remembering more and more of what he looks like when I wake up, but because the person he's looking like is someone I already know, I've been thinking it was wishful thinking, but I've realized in the last few days—maybe the last week, that it's actually him that I'm remembering, not just some wishful thinking.

“So, William, Angel's not Sam's father, it's some guy I slept with two days before my wedding and who I've only, in the last week, come to fully remember---and it's somebody I know." Buffy finished.

"How could you not remember who it was? And if you know him now, wouldn't you recognize him, you said you weren't that drunk…I guess I just don't get it. Sorry, luv."

This was what she'd kind of expected. "Well for starts when I met him then, he looked a lot different that when I met him recently and since he's just starting changing his look, I was thinking it was my mind playing tricks on me with the dreams. But I know now it's not. And secondly, William? Where were you about seven years ago?"

"What?"

"Well you seem to think I should remember everything…and since Sam's a little over six-years-old. Add nine months and you have seven years….so, where were you seven years ago?"

"In London."

"In December of that year?" Buffy asked.

"I don't know I guess so…or maybe I was somewhere else, it's hard to remember."

"Well why don't I tell you what I remember from that December, I was about to get married on Christmas—still think that was all a ploy by Angel so he wouldn't forget our anniversary—but anyway, I was about to get married on Christmas and I'd just dyed my hair back brown, Angel thought it made me look more sophisticated, and I decided on the 23rd to go spend some me time at Aftershock. You ever been there?"

"Don't think so…we've only gone to the Bronze and I didn't go many places before that."

"William," Buffy began carefully, "I'm not talking about now, I'm talking about seven years ago when you visited Giles for Christmas."

"How do you know about that."

"Same way I know you used to be a lot more punk that you are, you had the bleached hair then, too, but you also wore eyeliner, tight black jeans, a safety pinned vest, and those same black boots."

"Did da' show you pictures?"

"No!" 'God he could be so dense, "Am I really that unmemorable?"

"What?"

"Fine, I'm not good with subtlety; I get that…how's this: William, you are Sam's father."

TBC……….














Hope you all enjoy the update...let me know what you think...okay, from the reveiws so far a lot of you are thinking I just stuck this in with no warning, there have been little hints, since about chatper 8 or so...and the explanations are going to come in the next few chapters, don't give up on me...please
Chapter 28: Reaction Time by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I want to thank everyone who reviewed the last chapter...and thank all of you who enjoyed it :) Thank you to Elena for beta;ing this chapter for me when Nikki couldn't...and for getting me to do NaNoWriMo--good luck to both of us with that....and I hope everyone sticks with this story!
Chapter 28: Reaction Time


William couldn't have reacted any differently than what she'd expected if he'd tried.

"William!" she called after him as he all but stomped down the stairs before throwing the front door open and storming out.

Once she'd reached him, though, she was at a loss for what to say. "At least you didn't slam the door," she tried to joke.

"Didn't want to wake Sam up," he ground out, his voice never losing its angry edge.

"Well, that was nice of you…..but why are you leaving?"

"Are you really that bloody stupid?" he asked her angrily. "I would have thought by now you'd know that I'd help you no matter what; you didn't have to lie to me, especially not about something like that." Spike turned and walked to his car, opening the door before turning to face Buffy again, "Angel thinks you're going to be gone by the morning, not sure he'll check on it, but if you're going to leave, I'd do it soon. If he calls me I'll still say we're all in L.A. for the trip so don't worry your pretty little head about it." And he got in his car and drove away, leaving a dumbstruck Buffy standing in the same spot she'd stopped in when she came out.

"But I wasn't joking," she said meekly before sinking to the ground in sobs.

*&*&*&*

"Open the bloody door! Da' I know you're here, now open the fucking door!" William knew he probably shouldn't be yelling like he was, especially not at past 10 o'clock at night in his father's quiet little neighborhood. But he needed to talk to him. And now.

"What in the Lord's name is wrong with you, William? You're going to wake people up…and that language! What do you think you're doing?" Giles hurried to open the door, thinking that there was possibly something terribly wrong.

"You've talked to Buffy since I started working over there, right?" He turned an accusing glare on his father

"Well, yes, on occasion we've talked a bit." Was his son drunk?

"I knew it!" William exclaimed throwing his hands up in triumph. "And you've shown her pictures from when I was in my punk phase, yeah? Told her how I visited for Christmas all those years ago?"

"No, I've never shown her any old pictures of you…"

"So then you've told her about it, you know how I use to do the all black thing…" At his father's confused look he slowly, quietly continued, "About how I use to wear eyeliner? The vests? The jeans? Did you even tell her I visited for Christmas seven years ago?" When Giles just shook his head, William lost all his bravado and sunk down on the sofa, "Then how does she know?"

"William, son, could you possibly explain to me what exactly is going on?"

"Um, Buffy, right? She told me some stuff that there's now way she could have known unless what she said was true….and there's no way it can be true."

"Why's that?"

"Okay, Da,'" William started, avoiding the question, "You're a smart guy right?" When his father just looked at him, he asked, "Is it possible for a kid who's almost six and a half to have blue eyes if neither one of the parents does?"

"I really do wish you would just tell me what's going to, but…..as far as I know, no it's not possible, usually by that age the eyes have become whatever color they're going to be. Now why are you asking?"

"Well, you see, the thing is, um…..have you ever looked at Sam's eyes?"

"Buffy's daughter Sam?"

"Yeah," William answered with a sardonic laugh.

"I can't say that I've ever paid particular attention to them, but……………oh, they're blue aren't they?"

"Yeah Rupes, they're blue, and Buffy doesn't have blue eyes and neither does Angel, so what's that mean?"

"Angel isn't the girl's father? Don't joke about something like that; it's not respectful of Buffy."

"Which," William started, "I would agree with if Buffy hadn't been the one to tell me."

"What exactly are you saying, William?"

&^&^&^&^&

It was more than half of an hour before Buffy managed to pick herself up and drag herself into the house, throwing up in the downstairs bathroom before making it to the kitchen for a glass of water. She was literally sick with worry…had she messed it all up?

'Great Buffy,' she thought, 'Yesterday you had two guys and now when you do something that should actually help you get the second one, what happens? You've lost both of them. Now you have nobody. You always were a smart one.'

Coming to the quick conclusion that she didn't have time to dwell on all of that now, Buffy went back upstairs to finish her packing, still feeling sick.

"Okay, Buffy, you can do this. You don't need Angel and you don't want William if he's going to act like that. So, you told him he's the father of your daughter and he blows up at you and leaves, what else did you expect? He's been here basically everyday for the last few months and then when you tell him you're leaving your husband, you say, 'Oh, by the way, you're Sam's father. I didn't tell you before now because I wasn't sure, but now I am, so….' Yeah, great job Buffy.

"But right now, you need to focus on getting your stuff and Sam's stuff together so you can leave." She walked into Angel's room—that's what she was going to call it from now on—and picked up the suitcase she'd gotten out, putting it on the bed. Walking to the closet, Buffy picked out the few clothes she'd either gotten as gifts, had with her before she got married, or had bought with her own money.

Next up were her photo books. 'Angel won't miss those,' she thought. Then she went to her closet again and got out several smaller bags to put her paintings, photographs, and art supplies in before surveying the room.

It didn't look that much different, just less her. The only thing left that she was going to take were their family photos that were in several rooms throughout the house; most of the candid ones (those not done as professional portraits) only featured her and Sam anyway.

Once Buffy had gone trough the whole house and was sure that she had everything that was hers (not bought for her by Angel or his money) or Sam's, Buffy made her way to Sam's room.


"Sam," she whispered, picking her daughter up, "Let's take you in mommy's room for a little while, okay?" She was hoping she wouldn't wake her daughter up by moving her, but she'd be more likely to wake up with Buffy packing up her room.

Much to Buffy's relief, Sam only snuggled into her mother, never once waking up as she was carried into her parents' room and laid down on their bed.

Buffy returned to her daughter's room with another suitcase and began to pack her clothes, toys, stuffed animals, and books—basically everything in her room.

Buffy had just finished getting together a bag for her daughter with some clothes and a few toys for a few days when she heard a whispered question from the doorway.

*&*&**&*&*&*



To be continued……..in Chapter 29: Explanations
*please review* ;)
Chapter 29: Explanations by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Thank you to Elena for beta'ing this...and to all of you for the reviews--to be even close to 30 reviews for one chapter is just amazing me...I hope you like this one just as much...
Chapter 29: Explanations

Buffy had just finished getting together a bag for her daughter—some clothes and toys for a few days—when she heard a whispered question from the doorway.



"So you what, just suddenly remembered I'm her father? Why didn't you tell me earlier?"



"I didn't realize it really until the day you changed your hair. I think that maybe part of me knew it, but I just convinced myself that I was doing some sort of transference, you know I had this memory of this great guy and then you were here, so I think I convinced myself I was just making you into him. But then when you dyed your hair back, something clicked in my head…that's why I was sort of quiet that day you showed up with your new look.



It took me until yesterday to be one hundred percent sure, but yeah, I didn't tell you because I wasn't sure…and you know, Buffy and self assurance, not exactly best friends—I was scared of rejection." But then something else occurred to her, something she hadn't thought of before, "Why didn't you say anything? I don't look any different, so why didn't you bring it up? Why didn't you ask? Why didn't you remind me? Why didn't you just say something, William?" Lord help her, Buffy was crying again.

"I was drunk."

"No, you weren't. You weren't fucking drunk when I slept with you."

"No, I wasn't. I got right bloody pissed after I realized the next morning that I had no way of finding you. Wanted to ask my da, but I couldn't rightly ask my own father about a girl I'd had sex with whose name I didn't know. So, once I realized I had no way of finding you, I went and drank about as much as I could manage, drank 'til I passed out. And, though it was the last thing I'd hoped to happen, when I woke up the following day, besides having a massive hangover I couldn't remember much about what you looked like. Knew you were my golden princess, but everything became a bit blurred. And I guess I took it as a blessing once I got back to England and Dru and I got back together. Was better not to have you haunting my thoughts, even if you have been in my dreams every night."

"But what about once you got here, once you saw me again, every day?"


"Well, you became the girl in my dreams, but I thought it was just you replacing that girl from years ago, not my mind letting me know you were her. And I think something clicked subconsciously—that was why I started calling you all the pet names so soon. Part of me knew you already."


"Well, we obviously both made some mistakes here, but that's not really what's important here. What is important is whether or not you believe me—which you seem to—and whether or not you're going to help me with things."

"Yeah, pet, I believe you…think it's still going to take a bit to fully realize that Sam's my daughter, but yeah, I believe you. And even if I didn't believe any of what you were telling me, I'd still help you in leaving Angel. No matter what. But, Buffy, can I ask you just a few questions?"


"Of course! I think that after all of this, the least I owe you are a few explanations. So, what do you want to know?"

"Why you married Angel, why you stayed married to Angel? Why you slept with me? Why you left me?"



"As for why I married Angel, well that's a kind of stupid one really. I've spent six and a half years convincing myself it was a good reason, only to realize in the last few days that it was just stupid. See, my parents, well I think I told you my mom's an artist right?"


"Yeah, pet you told me."


"Okay, so see, she's always kind of done the unconventional thing. Well, my dad was big on the normal and he never really could deal with her way of doing things—or at least that was the excuse he used. So when he left, I just assumed that it if my mom had been the typical stay at home mom, that he would have stayed and we could have been the happy family still.

That was around my sophomore year of high school and I hadn't really had a boyfriend before, so when I met 'nice, normal' Angel my freshman year of high school, he seemed like everything I'd ever wanted.

There was always a small part of me that wasn't all that happy with him, that yearned for more, but I also knew that as long as I gave him everything he wanted, he wouldn't leave me. I don't know why it was he liked me so much, but to his family and to him, I was the perfect wife. They were so happy when we announced our engagement—my mom just told me she wanted me to be happy, but she was never that pleased with my choice.

So, yeah I married Angel because I thought it would keep me safe, keep my kids safe—and in my messed up mind, it was what would ultimately make me happy. I thought that any other guy would make me happy for a little while, but would eventually leave me. I guess I never really thought I deserved or could do any better."


"So that explains why you married him. I'm sure lots of people get married for that reason, but what it doesn't explain is why you stayed married to him."

"It wasn't that long after we got married that we found out I was pregnant with Sam. Now I may not be the brightest girl in the world, but I can do some math. I knew it wasn't his kid, but he never really thought about it I guess. To him I was perfect little Buffy, so of course it was his baby. I think that I still thought he'd change and that we'd be happy—that having a baby would fix a lot of it. But then after Sam was born, he got worse. He never helped me with her at all. So it was like after a few years, I got used to it. I had this incredible baby girl and I could have whatever I wanted—in terms of tangible things—and I could always take care of her. I still didn't think that if I left Angel, anyone better would want me.


"So I decided that keeping my little girl provided for, having a roof over our heads, and being unhappy was better than us having no money and still not being all that happy. Or even worse, I thought that if I did leave Angel, not only would I never find anyone, have no money and nowhere to live, I thought that Angel would take Sam away from me."



"What makes you think he won't take her away from you now?"


"Now he can't just claim that I'm some slut and use that to take her from me; now I have you here to show that you are her father. And with you here I've really come to see a lot more about myself and also about Angel. I know that the only reason he would ever try to take Sam would be to make himself look like the wronged party, but I also know that if I give him an easy out, he'll take it.



"I don't care what lie he comes up with for everyone, as long as he lets me leave with my little girl," she finished.



"Our little girl," Spike corrected her.


"Yeah, our little girl," Buffy said with a smile. "You do know that he's going to want a paternity test, don't you?"


"I'd figured as much, him being a lawyer and all."


"And you're okay with that?"

William walked over to Buffy after having spent their entire conversation across the room from her. "I told you I believe you, luv." He gently wrapped his arms around her and pulled her to him. "We both know that something happened between us and I believe you regarding the timing of it all. So, there's nothing to worry about. But can I just ask, how did you, um…not sleep with Angel on your wedding night?"


With a laugh, Buffy pulled back from him and sat on Sam's bed, gesturing for him to sit next to her.


"Remember the other day, how I mentioned something about Angel's, um, 'condition'?"


"Yeah…and I said something about him getting you pregnant," William said before realizing something. "You were going to tell me! Even before I told you about Angel, you were trying to tell me about Sam!"


I thought you should know, but then after Angel interrupted us, I kind of lost my nerve. Not exactly the easiest thing to just bring up. But back on topic, Angel and I have never really had sex that much, he hasn't wanted to and I never really cared one way or the other. We didn't have sex for maybe a month before we got married and I had my period right after the last time we had sex so I knew I wasn't pregnant then. And then after we had sex, you and I, I should have had my period right after the wedding, but I didn't…and then when I still hadn't three weeks later, I went to the doctor for a pregnancy test. The doctor told me I was just about a month pregnant, so I knew it wasn't Angel's. And he never really questioned the timing and Sam was born a few weeks early, so I guess he just never gave it too much thought.

"Does that all make sense?"

"Makes perfect sense, pet."

"Okay, now that you have all your questions answered, can I ask you one?" At Spike's nod, Buffy asked, "What changed your mind?"



TBC…………..
Chapter 30 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I have a new website!! okay, I'm calmer now..I'm just happy because I got it all figured out and how to redirect ppl to it from my old site :-)
(there's also a link at the bottom of the chapter) http://www.freewebs.com/stillthinking

Chapter 30:

“Okay, now that you have all your questions answered, can I ask you one?”

“What changed your mind?”

“About what?”

“When you left here, not all that long ago, you thought I was just telling you, you were Sam’s father to be mean or to get you to help me out. But you came back believing me one hundred percent. What happened?”

“Went to my da’s and he and I had a bit of a talk.”



“Yeah Rupes, they’re blue, and Buffy doesn’t have blue eyes and neither does Angel, so what’s that mean?”

“Angel isn’t the girl’s father? Don’t joke about something like that, William; it’s not respectful of Buffy.”

“Which,” Spike started, “I would agree with if Buffy hadn’t been the one to tell me.”

“What exactly are you saying, William?”

“I’m saying that Buffy just told me that not only is Angel not Sam’s father, but that I am.”

When his father just sat there for a moment, William decided maybe he should say something. “But that can’t be right can it? I mean what are the chances that you sleep with someone once, get them pregnant, and then end up as that kid’s teacher years later?”

“I believe I’m missing something here.” Giles said, looking utterly bewildered.

“What makes you say that?” William wasn’t sure what, out of everything they were talking about, had his father so confused.

“You and Buffy haven’t met before so how did you two, ah…sleep together six odd years ago?”

“Yeah,” William said uneasily, “Was kind of hoping you’d miss that part. Thing is, remember how I visited you that Christmas? Right after I’d broken up with Dru, when I thought that we were really through? Was thinking ‘bout moving here and everything.”

“Yes, I remember, you were miserable holiday company especially after…after you went out the day before Christmas Eve. Went to one of the clubs—Aftershock I believe you said, something about ‘Aftershock was really an applicable name’, something I never really wanted to inquire about—and came back moaning about some Princess who wouldn’t give you her name. Said she broke your heart and you didn’t even have her name to properly curse her. Ended up pissed all of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Was furious with you for that.” Giles seemed to get back to the topic at hand, “You mean to tell me that girl was Buffy?”

“Apparently. Guess with my new look, mean even with my hair back how it was, I still look lots different, she didn’t recognize me and I got so drunk that I sort of blurred my memory of her.”

”Well, son, if you don’t mind me asking, if she just told you you’re the girl’s father, why on earth are you here?”

“Because I was a right pillock and told her she was lying, just trying to get me to help her leave Angel—“

“She’s leaving Angel?”

“Yes, dad,” William was getting exasperated, “But that’s not the point. The point is I just bollocksed things up and now I’ve probably lost her forever.”

”Why did you tell her she was lying, you seem to believe her well enough.”

”I was scared!” William said, starting to cry. “Don’t you get it, the girl I’ve been in love with for months just told me that I am the father to her little girl, the little girl that I’ve grown to love as if she were my own….You don’t know how many times I’ve dreamed of just what she said being true. And then when she said it,” he rubbed the heels of his hands over his eyes, wiping the tears away, “I thought it had to all be some kind of cruel joke, it just didn’t seem possible.” He knew he should have been embarrassed by his father coming to sit next to him, patting him on the back while he tried to get this all out, but he just couldn’t seem to.

“But now that I’ve actually had some time to think about it, I know that more than likely, she’s telling the truth. This isn’t something Buffy would lie about. And even if it’s not true, just knowing that she would feel comfortable with…would think it, makes me feel overjoyed. But now I’ve gone and ruined it all.”

“Maybe not.”

“What do you mean, ‘maybe not’? You weren’t there. You didn’t hear what I said to her. I’ll be lucky if she even lets me within ten feet of her now.”

“Maybe, you should find out for sure. Go back and explain things to her, tell her what you just told me.”

”But what if…”

“William, the longer you stay here, the worse your chances are. Now I know Buffy’s felt something for you all of these years, she came to talk to me right after you left that year. Said she’d finally felt what love could be like, but she’d lost it and didn’t know whether or not she should get married. I asked her what she meant—she was being very vague—but she just mumbled something, thanked me and left. Don’t you see William; this hasn’t been a short lived thing for her—or for you for that matter. Don’t give up on it so easily.”

“Thanks, da’,” William got up, hugged his father and literally ran out the door.

He was going to get his girl.



“Yeah, so my dad and I had a talk and of course he wasn’t going to let me give up just yet. Pretty sure he wants you round more actually.”

“So, I have Giles to thank for you being here now?”

“Hey, now! I played a part in it, I’ll have you know.”

“Okay, okay!” she stopped his argument, “Can I ask just one more question?”

“Of course you can, luv. Long as it’s not anything too kinky,” he was trying to lighten the mood.

“Why haven’t you gotten married yet?” She ignored the last comment, “I know you and Dru were together for a while. And Sam’s been asking, guess it just got me to thinking.”

“I could say what lots of guys say and say that the whole idea of taking this person that you’re in love with and making it so you’re related to them; they see it as this incredibly unsexy thing. But with me I always found it incredibly romantic. I mean, think about it, you can take this person that up until not that long ago you didn’t even know, and make them related to you…make them your family. Something that is permanent. I always found that really romantic…and intriguing I guess.

But that wasn’t really what you asked, now was it?”

”No, but I liked hearing it. Good to know that some people still believe in love and marriage like that.”

”Sure I’m not the only one. You’ll believe again.” ‘I’ll make sure of it.’ “But as for why I didn’t get married, I guess I never really loved anyone as much as I love you.”


TBC…………





Now, onto the authors' note you care about next week's update I'm going to be out of town from Wed-Fri/Sat (Thanksgiving) and I hate, hate, hate to update early (I'm weird I konw) so I had planned to update on Friday or Saturday whenever it was I got back.

But I'm in a super good mood (from the website thing) so if I get 30 (hey, I was going to say 50 yesterday) reviews...I'll post on Tuesday before I leave.

See, it's not a punishment if you don't review, it's just a reward if you do since I was going to update Friday anyway....and please do check out the site and let me know what you think of it

NEW SITE I even made it so it'll open in a new window so you can see the stie AND review..aren't I tryicky?
Chapter 31 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
yes, i know there are 29 reviews and i said 30, but I got one from my site too, so I'm saying it's 30....and I had a whole bunch of other stuff to say, but i"m in the midst of writing my NaNoWriMo book, so I can't remember.

Hope you enjoy the chapter and thank you to each and every one of you who reviewed...and I guess to those that didn't as well ;-)
Chapter 31:

“You, you love me?” Buffy asked, tears forming in her eyes.

“I said that, huh?” Spike asked, scratching his neck. It wasn’t so much that he hadn’t wanted to say it, just that he hadn’t wanted to say it quite like that.

“You did.”

“Well, then, how about I help you pack?” he asked getting up and walking over to Sam’s closet.

Buffy just sat there for a moment before she shook off her shock and spoke up, “Think you could maybe say it again? Or, you know, tell me if you at least meant it?”

Turning around with a bit of a smirk on his face, just to hide his insecurity, Spike asked, “You sure that’s what you want, luv? Once I say it, no way I’m going to take it back, just don’t want you to…don’t’ want you to hear it for real if you don’t want to deal with it.”

“Not sure how well I’ll deal with it,” Buffy said with a small smile. “But even for me, it’s a little harder to be Denial Girl once I hear it spoken out loud.”

“Well in that case…I am one hundred percent, completely, truly, infinitively, forever in love with you Buffy Summers.”

Buffy decided that kissing him wouldn’t be that bad. Slowly she walked over to where he was standing by the closet, “I’m going to kiss you now, okay?”

But before he could reply, she decided that if he said no, for whatever reason, she just wouldn’t be able to take it, Buffy leaned in and kissed him.

She kept it light, just a brush of her lips over his, but it was quite possibly one of the best kisses of her life. She didn’t mean to sound like one of those corny, romantic novels, but it was honestly one of the most romantic things she’d ever experienced. Maybe it was because of everything he’d said, or maybe it was because he was everything Angel wasn’t, maybe…hell there was a laundry list of possible reasons, but when it came down to it, she really didn’t care about the why.

She just knew one thing, “Think we can do that again sometime?”

“That and then some, most definitely luv.” He wanted more right now, but understood that she’d want to wait. So, if all he could get were kisses like that? It would more than cover it. “Think we should get packing? Since Angel thinks we’ll be out of here in the morning…”

“Yeah, think I could get you to pack up Sam’s room? I want to be sure to get all of her stuff. And I’ll go pack my room, or the little bit of it that I actually consider mine.”

“That sounds like a great idea…and I don’t mean to push, but where exactly are you planning on going?”

“Yeah, I hadn’t quite gotten that far yet. Probably a hotel or my mom’s. Probably my mom’s.”

Trying to hide his disappointment, William answered her, “That sounds like a good idea. I’ll help you get the stuff over there, alright?”

“Thank you…and I hate to ask you this because I don’t have all of the money for it yet, but, um, do you maybe think you could keep up Sam’s schooling? At least until I can figure out getting her registered for school?”

“Don’t worry about that, luv. I can keep teaching her through the school year and don’t worry about the money. Just think about letting me see you two once in a while and that will more than cover it.”

“I’ll think about it,” Buffy said with a smile, not sure she was ready to accept that. “But right now I should really get packing. And,” she said, opening the closet and getting out three suitcases for William to use, “Try to be quiet if you can, I don’t want to wake Sam up.”

“I’ll be quiet as a mouse. You sure, you’re alright? I mean, obviously you’re not entirely alright, you’re packing up your stuff to leave your husband, but other than that are you alright?” William finished lamely.

“Actually I’m more than alright. Feel better than I have in years—feel like I’m finally doing something right.”

“Okay, than. Well, you go get your packing done and we’ll get all this talking out tomorrow, once you’re out of here.”

“Yeah, yeah, I get the point. Go pack Buffy!” She said, before walking out of the room and quietly packing up the few things in her room that she’d bought with her own money or that she’d had before they got married.

“She’s actually leaving him,” William said to himself aloud several minutes later, in the middle of filling a suitcase with Sam’s clothes. ‘She’s leaving him and she knows I’m in love with her…and she kissed me.”

Things were definitely looking up for him.

Now all he had to do was get her to fall in love with him—and acknowledge it. He had meant what he said though; he’d spend every day teaching Sam as long as he got to see Buffy sometimes as well (not that he didn’t like spending time with Sam, he just wanted to have some with Buffy as well).

Or really, if he had his way, more than just sometimes. More like all the time.

If he had his way, Buffy Summers O’Connor would be Buffy Summers-Giles before too long.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

It was getting late by the time Buffy had her room and the attic packed up and ready to go. She just hoped William was done as well, she really wanted to get all of the stuff, Sam, and the two of them out of the house before Angel got home in the morning.

“Ready to get this stuff moved?” William asked, finishing closing up the last box as Buffy came into the room.

“Yeah, think I could get you to stay here with Sam? She probably won’t wake up, but I kind of want to explain this to my mom before I take Sam over there…it will be a bit of surprise, me just showing up at nearly four in the morning with all of my stuff.”

“Yeah, I’ll stay with the bit. But try to hurry back, don’t really favor telling her why all your stuff is packed up and her mum and da’ aren’t home. She might like me, but that might just test it a bit.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll hurry…” She kissed him once more on the lips before taking one more box with her and putting it with the other six in the car and heading off for her mother’s.

She just hoped that her mother dealt well with what she was about to drop on her.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Buffy?” Joyce asked as she opened the door. All of the knocking and doorbell ringing had finally woken her up. “What’s the matter honey? Is Sam okay? Oh, god! What happened to her? Where is she?”

“Mom,” Buffy said as soon as she could get a word in, “Sam’s okay…”

When she didn’t continue, Joyce pushed a bit, “Then what happened? Where’s Sam? Why are you here? Now?”

“Oh mommy,” Buffy said, “I’m leaving Angel.” When her mother didn’t say anything, Buffy continued, “I’ve got all our stuff packed up and I was hoping Sam and I could stay here…and maybe keep our stuff here. Just ‘til we found somewhere more permanent.”

“Of course you can honey. Do you have stuff with you now?”

“Yeah, it’s in the car.”

“Then let’s get that inside. Where’s Sam, by the way?”

“She’s back at the house—William’s there with her.”

“William?”

“Yeah, William,” Buffy said with a smile, “Oh, mom, I have so much to tell you, but let’s get this done, then we can talk. That okay?”

“Of course honey, as long as you do in fact tell me. I knew there was something about him…” Joyce said to herself as she carried a box into the house.


TBC…………..please review, i love to know what people think









knew I'd forget it: I hope everyone who it applies to has a happy Thanksgiving :-) or at least enjoys the time from work/school
Chapter 32: Homecoming by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Sorry if this is a bit late (yes I realise it's only like 10 minutes, but it feels late to me), I have a virus on my computer and it's being evil and not letting me open lots of programs...I really hope this posts right.

Thank you all of you for the super lovely reviews, I really truly do love them all....and once again there was something I was going to say, but I forgot it, sorry.
Chapter 32: Homecoming

Part I

Buffy had been up for several hours already, she’d told her mother everything—from sleeping with William all those years ago through what all had happened the night before.

William had offered to stay with her, to help explain, to just be there. Buffy knew how much he wanted to stay; knew he wanted to make sure she was alright, but she wanted to just tell her mom on her own.

And she kind of needed some time on her own.

But here it was, several hours after she’d gotten up, nearly eleven in the morning now and Angel still hadn’t called. Buffy figured either he hadn’t come home yet…or he really was a complete idiot and hadn’t noticed they weren’t just on a ‘field trip’.

Buffy had about given up hope of him calling at all, not that she really wanted him to call, when the phone finally rang at a quarter ‘til twelve.

”Buffy?” It was William.

“William? Why are you calling? I mean, not that I don’t like it or anything, but well…why are you calling?”

“Just calling pet to let you know that Angel called me and wants us to have a little talk. Wants me to come over there in about ten minutes or so. Think he plans on talking to you later, but I thought I’d fill you in.”

“Why would he want to talk to you? And god am I sounding horrible this morning, I’m sorry.”

”It’s alright, kitten. I know what you mean. And I’m not sure why he wants to talk to me. Maybe he’s figured out you left and wants to fill me in, maybe he wants to shoot me for stealing you away…not really sure.”

“Don’t say that!”

“What? That he’s going to shoot me? I was just kidding, pet. He more than likely has no idea that I know about any of this. And it’s not like he even has a gun…Does he have a gun?” William asked anxiously.

“Actually he has quite a few. He has a few collector’s pistols, some handguns, and a pistol or two,” when she saw that he was believing her, she upped it a little, “And possibly an Uzi or two.”

“Ha ha, very funny, luv,” William said, finally catching on.

“Well, you sounded so worried. I had to have a little fun with it. Don’t worry though, you’ll be fine. He probably just wants to tell you something about how horrible, slutty Buffy ran away and took Sam with her so your services will no longer be needed.”

“Oh, but you’ll be needing my ‘services’ in the near future, won’t you, luv?”

“Yeah, yeah, who’s the funny one now…get going so you can tell me what he wanted so I can stop worrying already.”

“Alright, alright, I’m going. Talk to you soon, kitten. Love you,” William said as he hung up.

‘Great, now I have to worry about that too!’ Buffy thought, hoping she could talk to Angel soon so that she could explain things to Sam soon. She knew it was crazy, but she wanted to talk to Angel and get this divorce started before she told Sam what was going on.

It was nearly an hour and a half later when the phone rang again. She really wished her mother would get caller ID, at least that way she’d know who it was.

“Hello?” she said, hoping it wasn’t some telemarketer or friend of her mother’s.

“Hey, pet, it’s Spike. Angel and I just had our talk. He was hoping you’d stop by for a few minutes.” Buffy was worried by how calm he sounded.

“William,” she said quietly. “Are you okay? I mean, you and Angel just spent over an hour together and you seem awfully calm.”

“Let’s just say I found some things out from him and I’m calm right now to stop from screaming at him and doing something that will hurt you in any divorce proceedings. So, yeah, I’m calm, but it’s a little misleading luv.”

“Is it anything I need to worry about? Anything with Sam?” Buffy asked, her voice full of concern.

“No, luv, there’s nothing you need to worry about. Just some stuff he said that’s got me ‘bout ready to blow a gasket. But you think you could come round soon, don’t know how much more ‘alone time’ I can handle with the poof.”

“I’ll be right over, just let me tell Mom and see if she’s alright watching Sam.”

“See you soon then.”

“Bye.”

William sat in the living room---he’d told Angel to keep his ‘bleedin’ idiot of a self’ in his office until Buffy got there—and thought back on his conversation with Angel.

”William so nice of you to stop by on such short notice.” Angel said coldly. “Though I guess you’re here usually, so it’s not really anything new. I’m guessing from the fact that you were the one to tell me you and my wife and my daughter were going on a field trip and the fact that they’re obviously gone for a little while longer—I’m guessing based on that information that you had something to do with whatever it is Buffy thinks she’s doing.”

“That law school education tell you that?” Spike asked mockingly. “And before we even get into this, it’s Spike now, not William.”

“Yes, sure whatever…and don’t get smart with me, you’re the one who’s now out of a job and possibly looking at legal trouble—as soon as I can come up with what exactly you did.” Angel answered coldly.

“You think I care about the job? All I’m losing is the money and that was never why I was here. I’ll tell you whatever you want, but first you’re going to answer some questions for me.”

“Oh I am, am I?”

“You want out of this with your reputation intact? Because I know
plenty of things to bring you down, boy. And believe me, mate,” he spit out, “You don’t want to test me.”

“That so Willy boy?”

“Oh ho ho…big boy wants to be smart huh? Well, you ever consider that the little bit about sleeping with your secretary might not go over so well in divorce proceedings.”

“And why should they believe that, all you have is me telling you about it.”

“And phone records showing that you were at her house
very late at night, I’ve got neighbors of hers willing to testify to your comings and goings,” he bluffed.

“So, you’ve got proof I had an affair. Big deal. I’ve got proof Buffy had one.”

“She did not!” William said indignantly.

“Well I’m Liam O’Connor, best known lawyer in the city and she’s my trophy wife who’s at home all day with you—who do you think they’re going to believe. And I’ve got spying neighbors as well.”

“You can’t prove anything and you know it. Plus, I know about the hooker.” William was completely grasping there.

But it paid off when Angel blanched. “How do you know about that?”

“Told you, mate, I’ve got connections.”

“Fine! What do you want?”

“You’re going to let Buffy go and you’re going to let her keep full custody of Sam, Lord knows you don’t give a shit about either of them. Just let them go.”

“And if I do?”

“Your little bit of a ‘problem’ stays private, along with your little, indiscretions shall we stay. And your reputation stays intact.”

“I’ll think about it,” Angel said, not willing to give in just yet, at least not visibly.

”You do that. And you’re going to answer me a few questions,” Spike said, not pausing to give Angel a chance to continue. “Why did you marry Buffy in the first place?”

“Well obviously she’s hot, you’ve noticed that. And think about it, she’s the perfect wife. Not too bright, insecure enough to not put up a fight, and she’s got the ditzy blonde look down pat…You know I’m the envy of everyone at work? They all want to fuck her.”

“And little do they know you’re not,” William said, his voice mocking and full of venom. “Does it make you feel like a big man to know that you took advantage of her? Prayed on her insecurities and made sure they stayed intact, grew…does that make you feel like a man to be so unsure of yourself that you have to prove it by trying to keep her down?” When Angel didn’t say anything, Spike got in his face, just inches away, “Does it make you feel like a man?”

“You’re so sure of yourself, but she’s not going to leave me. She knows she can’t do better. And she values family too much. She’s not going to take Sam away from her father.”

“You really don’t know do you?” Spike asked, glad that he had a one up on Angel.

“Know what?” he replied angrily.

“Not my place to tell you. Guess you’ll have to wait to find out.”

“Fine. But let’s get Buffy over here so you can see that she’s not going to choose you. She may like you more, but I can give her more.”

“That’s where you’re dead wrong. But yeah, let’s get Buffy over here. Want to get this over with for her.”

“Well aren’t you the noble knight?” Angel said condescendingly.

“And aren’t you trying to be the big, bad wolf.”

“Trying?”

“You’re not enough of a man to succeed.”

“Sing me a new one would you? And go call Buffy, I don’t feel like talking to her just yet.”


He hoped Buffy got there soon.

TBC………….




A/N: I told you Angel was going to get it eventually, didn't I? And because I think I forgot to say so earlier, let's pretend with the blue eyes thing that neither of Angel's parents had blue eyes either :-)


Oooh, now I remember the thing I forgot to tell you: Anyone who thinks Angel has had alight go of it, remember, it said Chapter 32 Part I which means there's a part II ;-)

I know this is after a lot of you have read this, but i also wanted to thank whoever added me as their favorite author recently (or ever) the list won't let me see who it is, but thank you .
Chapter 32: Homecoming Part II by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Really hope you like it....and if not, can you save any negativity for some other time? Not to be mean myself, but I've had a crap week and not sure I could handle it today.

And thank you, thank you to Elena for saying she'd update this for me today....and

I still don't have my computer back, but I'm hoping that soon I can get some more writing done....

Thank you, last but not least in the slightest, to everyone who reviewed the last chapter --reviews really are making these crappy days I've been having, much better :)

And I'm sorry the site updates are behind, I haven't had enough computer time to do them, that should change when my poor computer comes home---whenever that is ;)
Chapter 32

Part II



William jumped up as soon as the doorbell rang, wanting to let Buffy in before Angel could. He wanted to let her know a little of what she was going into.



"Hey, luv; before Angel shows his ugly face, thought I should tell you that I didn't tell him anything about Sam. He's sure you're going to stay with him so she can be with her father, but I didn't tell him anything. Figured that was your place."



"Thank you for that, William." He was glad she still saw him as William—it meant a lot to him that she could see who he really was.



"Sure, was the least I could do. You want me to wait out here while you talk? I'd understand."



"Actually I'd much rather you came with me. I don't really want to be alone with him right now." She knew she should have asked and not told, but she didn't think she could take it if he said no. She really didn't want to be alone with Angel.



The both made their way into Angel's office, Spike resisted holding Buffy's hand—he didn't really think it'd help the situation.



"Good of you to join us, Buffy. I think you and I need to have a talk without William here."



"I'd rather he stay," Buffy adamantly declared.



"He can come back, but there are a few things I need to tell you in private."



"No. We'll go in the living room or something and he can sit across the room."



"Well isn't little Buffy taking charge today." Angel tried to mask his bit of insecurity at moving the conversation out of his office, somewhere that he was comfortable and held all the power, to go to the living room, somewhere that they would be on more equal footing.



None of them said anything as they made their way into the living room. Buffy sat on the sofa, she was most comfortable there, while William sat in a chair across the room and Angel, grudgingly sat down across from her.



"Buffy," he said quietly, wanting to get right down to it, "You know you're not going to leave me. You need the money, the stability, the image, the family. Let's face it you need me."



"Oh, you think so, do you?"



"Buffy, we both know you're not going to give all this up," he swept his arms around—indicating the house she figured. "And you certainly not going to break up Samantha's family, you care about family too much to do that." He continued condescendingly "Youre not going to take her away from her father."



Buffy was unable to hold back her grin. "William, do you think you could come over here now. I'd like you to be over here when I tell Angel this."



Angel looked decidedly nervous, "Tell me what?"



"That you're right." She noticed William's face fall and put her hand on his knee tPying to reassure him, but she c
uld feel how he was drawing in -n himself. "I'm not going to take Sam away from her father." She hoped the fact that she'd emphasized the word father would let William know what she wa up to. And he did relax a little, but he was still tense.



"I knew you'd see it my way," Angel said smugly and started to continue, but was interrupted by Buffy.



"You see Angel, Sam is not going to be taken away from her father, but she is going to be taken away from you "



"Have you finally gone insane?"



"Nope. See, the thing is, and God have I been wanting to tell you this for a long time. You're not Sam's father."



They all just sat there in silence until Angel nearly roared up, knocking the chair back, "You slut!" he said dramatically. "You were screwing around on me? You fucking slut! I'm going to-"


William knew it wasn't the best idea he'd ever had, but as he'd already learned, he didn't deal well with people calling Buffy a slut. Add to that, that this was Angel…and well, before Angel ever registered that Spike had stood up, he was clutching his face in agony.



"You fucking hit me! You asshole." Angel said, sounding more shocked than anything.



"Don't. Call. Her. A. Slut. Then." Spike ground out. "Or anything meaning even remotely the same thing."



"Angel, I wasn't 'screwing around' on you. I slept with one person, once, before we got married. You've done way worse so don't even start with me."



"You think any judge is going to give you custody? Over me? You can't even prove who the brat's father is. I know you don't know much about law, sweetheart, but that's not going to go over real well."


"But you see, when I can prove who her father is. And that he'll support us," she looked over at William for confirmation, realizing she hadn't discussed this with him yet, "When I can do all of that, then they most certainly will give me custody, especially over you—her adulterous pseudo father."



"Fine, I'll ask. Who's Samantha's father?"



"William."



"William, what?" Angel asked, not understanding.



"I'm her father, you stupid git," Spike helped him out.



"What? But..you..she…just…..paying….how in the hell is that possible?" Angel sputtered.



"Well you see, mate, guys and girls have certain 'parts' and.."



"Not that you moron! When did you two know each other to sleep together?" he asked before he thought of something else. "Oh! I get it, you've been doing something this entire time, the working here was just a front. Oooh, you're good."



"No, we have not been together this whole time," Buffy was getting tired of this. "We slept together once before we got married and that was it. We didn't even make the connection until just recently, we both looked a lot different then….and there was a bit of drinking involved."



"So here's what you're going to do: You're going to grant Buffy a divorce and you are going to give her, no disputing, full custody of Sam. And then you're going to leave them alone for the rest of their lives, unless Sam wants to see you, in which case you'll do whatever she wants and you'll be great."



"So I'm just supposed to let the two of you go? I'm supposed to just let you take them from me?"



"What would you really care? I mean honestly?" Buffy asked him softly, "Angel you know that you wouldn't miss us. All you have to do is come up with some way that it's my fault—I wanted to go back to work or something stupid like that. Everyone will forget about it in a few months and you'll still be Liam O'Connor, city's best attorney.



Just let us go. I don't want your money, I don't want anything you bought me. All I want is Sam's stuff and Sam, that's al. I'll be out of your life—unless Sam wants to see you—after that."



"How are you going to deal without the money? Where are you going to live? How are you going to pay for Samantha's schooling?" He thought he had her.


"I'm going to stay at my mom's while I finish school. I still have enough money saved up to pay for school. And once I finish, I'm going to teach somewhere around here and then I'll pay William back."



"So, you're going to what, do this out of the goodness of your heart?" he asked William.



"Exactly."



"You really want to leave me Buffy?" Angel asked, really starting to believe her for the first time.



"Yeah, Angel, I want a divorce." Buffy almost, almost felt sorry for him. He obviously hadn't seen this ever happening. "Are you going to make this easy on me, please?"



He didn't answer for several minutes, but just sat back in his chair, showing Buffy his human side for the first time in a long time. Seeming to forget himself, Angel really looked at his wife. He saw how close she and William were sitting, the relaxed, unconscious intimacy between them—her hand on his knee, him leaning into her ever so slightly. He took all of that in and knew that even he, as much as his reputation and appearance mattered, couldn't hold her there.



"Yeah, Buffy, I'll give you the divorce."



TBC………………
Chapter 33 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Thanks for all the reviews...I really do hope people are still liking the story since some of my old reviewers seem to ahve gone away :

Thank you, though, to all of the new people reviewing....,
Oh and the VK winners are announced tomorrow (hey, it's my only nomination at all I'm allowed to know the dates)...anyway, I want to congratulate everyone who's going to win :-)

And I've reformatted my comptuer so now I'm just working on findig all my fic files and getting some new writing done :)
Chapter 33

They decided that Angel would have someone draw up the divorce papers and Buffy and her lawyer would come down to his office that Monday morning to go over the terms and sign them.

”That went relatively well. Don’t you think?” William was starting to get worried; Buffy hadn’t said anything since they’d left the house. And they were now both back at their cars, he wanted to talk to her before they left.

He turned towards his car and started to get in when she didn’t say anything and just stood there, seemingly contemplating something, only to be stopped by her hand on his arm.

And she did the last thing he was expecting her to do after those conversations. She kissed him. A real, live, tingle in your toes kiss.

It felt like fire, it felt like Heaven, it felt like his first kiss, it felt like his best kiss, it felt like coming home…it felt like everything good in the world was centered in this little bit of a girl kissing him.

He honestly couldn’t figure out how somebody so small could evoke all of these feelings within him. And-

And all rational thoughts left him when she brushed her tongue ever so delicately against his lips. He tried to control himself, knowing somewhere in his mind that they were standing in her driveway and for all her neighbors knew, she was still married—and not to him.

Buffy apparently didn’t like him holding onto the last bit of his self control, she pushed herself up against him more, seemingly encouraged by his growing erection, instead of well, discouraged like he’d thought she would be.

Finally he just gave in and with a groan, reciprocated the kiss, letting her tongue in to stroke against his, setting him off even more. He didn’t know how long he’d be able to stick to this. He was going to have to have her…and soon.

Finally breaking himself from his jumbled, lust driven thoughts when he felt her leg snake up his, pulling him closer to her, Spike realized they were about to take this too far. Both for the place and for them.

It took him several seconds to pull away from her, she didn’t’ seem to want to give him up just yet. “Buffy, luv,” he whispered when he was finally able to get some distance between them. When she tried to move in for another kiss, he put his hands on her shoulders, trying to lightly hold her back, “Luv, we can’t do this now. Not only because this isn’t really the right time to do this, at the risk of sounding like a poofter, we do need to talk…and it’s also not the right place. For all your neighbors know you and Angel are still married—really don’t’ want to start gossip about you.”

“I guess you’re right…Give me a ride back to my mom’s house so I can talk to Sam?”

“Um, pet, not that I don’t love the idea, but isn’t your car right there?” he asked, pointing to the car behind his.

“I meant what I said, I don’t want his money or anything he bought me. I’m not going to give him anything to hold over me in this.”

“Don’t you need a car though?”

”I can borrow mom’s for stuff like the grocery store and stuff, then on Monday I can take a cab to the lawyer’s. And you’ll be there for Sam’s stuff, so I don’t have to drive her to school. And I hope to get enough money for a car soon. And there are always cheap used cars.”

He didn’t think he’d let her know it just yet, but he wasn’t going to let her buy some cheap, unsafe unused car. He’d buy them a car if it came to that. Or let her borrow his.

“Alright, your chariot awaits m’ lady.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Sam, sweetie? Can mommy talk to you for a minute?” Buffy asked as she walked into the guest room that Sam was currently staying in.

“Sure,” Sam said from her seat on the bed. She’d been looking at a book that her grandmother had given her earlier.

“Sam, honey,” Buffy sat crossed legged at the end of the bed, facing Sam, “I have something I need to tell you. Did you see how a lot of your stuff is here now? That we brought all of your clothes and toys with us?”

“Uh huh,” she had looked up from her book.

“Well, sweetie, you and I are going to be living with grandma for awhile, then I think we’re going to get our own house.” She knew she was probably screwing this up. She almost wished William were there, he was always so good with the words, but she knew she needed to do this alone. If Sam got upset, she might hate William if he were there for it.

“Is Daddy going to come stay with us?”

“No, cupcake, he’s going to stay at our old house. He and I aren’t going to live together anymore. Do you know what a divorce is Sammy?”

“It means you’re not married right?”

”Yeah, it means that mommy and daddy won’t be married anymore. So he’ll stay at our old house and we’ll stay here. You’re going to stay living with me, but you can still see Daddy sometimes if you want.”

“Is it because Daddy doesn’t like me?” Sam asked neutrally.

“No! Oh, sweetie, this is because Mommy and Daddy weren’t the right people to be married to each other. We both still love you so much,” Okay, so that was a tiny bit of a lie…”And I don’t want you to think it’s your fault at all. Mommy and Daddy just need to do this to be happy.”

“Okay. Is William still going to do my school?”

”Yeah, we’ll do school here from now on, but William will still be your teacher.”

“Okay. And can I talk to Daddy sometime?”

“Whenever you want, you just let me know.”

“Okay! Did you see the book grandma gave me?” Sam didn’t really see much of a difference in the new situation. She really didn’t see her dad anyway, except for sometimes at dinner, but then she went to bed right away. And he didn’t do stuff with her. Even if her mommy said so, she didn’t think her daddy loved her very much.

She decided to just decide if she liked it later, now she wanted to show her mom her new book. “Isn’t the princess pretty?”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Buffy was worried about Sam.

She wasn’t sure how exactly she’d expected her daughter to react, but she had expected her to react somehow, the quiet, almost acceptance had her worried.

Buffy wanted to call William, ask him if she should be worried, ask him to come talk to Sam, ask him to come just be with her…..but she couldn’t.

She’d just left her husband and she needed some time of her own to react.

And she realized then, she and Sam were having the same reaction. Either they were both in shock, or Angel had really been that invisible as a part of their family.

But even before she was done thinking it, she knew the answer.

He hadn’t been there.

Even Sam knew that.

Now all she needed to do was figure out how exactly she and William were going to proceed

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

About an hour later Buffy hung up the phone. Either Angel had already talked to his lawyer and he’d had some sense talked into him, or he’d had enough time to remember himself.

She now had an appointment scheduled for eleven o’clock the next morning. An appointment that she now had to figure out how to explain to Sam. An appointment that she had to talk to William about.

An appointment for a paternity test on Sam.

Oh joy.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

“Mom,” She walked into the kitchen, several minutes later, still very nervous. “Do you think you could help me figure out how to do something?”

“Of course, honey. What is it?” Joyce asked.

“Well, you see, Angel wants a paternity test…and he wants it tomorrow. I’m trying to do things easily so he doesn’t put up a fight about custody, so I didn’t postpone it. But now, now I have to tell William and somehow explain what’s going to happen, to Sam—not why mind you, but what. And I don’t know how to do that.”

“Just explain to her that you have a doctors appointment for her tomorrow. As far as I know they won’t do anything besides maybe get some blood from her, or maybe a cheek swab. That’s not all that different from a doctor’s appointment, so….”

“Okay, that sounds like it will work. I’m sorry I had to ask, I think that I’m just not thinking very well right now. It’s been a busy 24 hours and I think I’m still getting my head around the fact that I just left my husband. And now this….I just don’t want to mess up for her, mommy.” Buffy was crying again. “I don’t know if I told her about the divorce right and I don’t know if I should tell her anything about William yet and I…I…I just don’t want to do anything wrong. But it’s so hard.”

“Oh sweetheart, you’re doing great. This is a lot to go through—especially as quickly as you are. And getting a divorce is a big deal.” Joyce reassured her, pulling Buffy in for a hug and rubbing her back, trying to soothe her.

”But I don’t even love him—don’t even like him,” Buffy said with a bitter laugh.

“Even the idea of getting a divorce, knowing that you’re going to have a ‘failed marriage’ and be a divorcee, it’s hard. It’s okay to be scared Buffy, this is a hard thing to do. Just remember that I’m here for you.”

“And William.”

“And William what?” Joyce wasn’t entirely sure she understood what Buffy meant.

“William’s here for me too,” she clarified.

“Buffy,” Joyce knew she’d have to tread carefully, “What exactly are you and William?”

“I don’t know mom, I just don’t know.”


TBC………………





Pretty, pretty please leave me a review, it doesn't take too long and it'll really reassure me about how the story is going--or let me know what's wrong with it--since I'm nervous about itall.

So please take just a second and review, if only because you feel bad for me for having a stupid cold/sinus infection adn being all sickly ;)
Chapter 34 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Two things:

1) LC is up for fic of the week on Spuffy Archives (Under the fic of the week poll at SpuffyFantasy.net). Not telling you to vote for me, but it's the first time I've been up for something like that and after I didn't win at VK, I just htought I'd share with everyone since it's put me iin a good mood.

2) I have a Christmas ficlet that will be posted tomorrow if I get lots of reviews ;) Either way, Happy Holidays (whichever you celebrate) to everyone and I'll see you next week.


oh, and I'm trying to have a new fic done so that as soon as this one's finished being posted (which is getting closer) I'll have a new one for you...
Chapter 34

“Buffy,” Joyce knew she’d have to tread carefully, “What exactly are you and William?”

“I don’t know mom, I just don’t know.”

“Are you sure Buffy? I think that you do know—what you want at least—but you just won’t admit it to yourself.”

“But I don’t know what he wants, how do I know that he’s not scared now because I’m actually available. I mean before he could flirt with me all he wanted and nothing would come of it. But now…..what if he doesn’t really want me?”

“Buffy, I think maybe you two should have a talk. Why don’t you go tell Sam about her ‘doctor’s appointment’ and then call William, I’m sure he’s been waiting to hear from you.”

“I guess so….but can’t I wait to talk to him?”

“You’re going to have to have him there tomorrow, aren’t you?”

“Couldn’t you call him for me?”

“Buffy,” Joyce said as she took a few steps back from her daughter so as to properly look her in the eyes, “You are a grown woman. You need to talk to William. And you need to be honest with him, I think he’s earned that after all he’s done. I know you’re scared honey, but I honestly don’t think you have a single reason to be. Now,” she said in her best ‘mom voice,’ “Go tell Sam and then call William. And don’t tell him this over the phone, invite him over so you two can talk in person. I’ll keep Sam from bothering you two.”

“Thanks mom,” Buffy didn’t want to call William over, not really. But she knew she needed to.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Her conversation with Sam hadn’t taken long, she’d just explained to the girl that she had a doctor’s appointment the next morning and that her Daddy and William would be there too. Sam had thought that, that would be cool. But other than that she didn’t seem to care too much.

If only that would be the case with William…well, okay she did want him to care, would be devastated if he didn’t, but well…….well, hell she didn’t know what she meant.

She took the cordless phone outside and sat on their porch swing; Buffy found it easier to have ‘tough’ conversations when no one else was around to hear her.

She slowly dialed his number. “William? It’s Buffy.”

She must have sounded upset because the first thing he said was, “You alright?”

“Yeah; well given the situation I am. But I actually called to see if you could come over so we could talk. There are some things we need to clear up and something I need to tell you about. And I don’t want to sound pushy, but could you maybe come over soon? I think I’ve finally gotten up the nerve to say some things and I’d like you to come round before I talk myself out of it.”

“I’ll be there in just a bit, luv. I’m already at the door.”

”Thank you,” Buffy was glad he was so understanding.

“No problem, kitten. I’m going to hang up now so I can leave. Be there soon. Bye.”

“Bye,” Buffy said, really smiling for the first time.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

True to his word, William returned not fifteen minutes later. Buffy stayed in her seat on the swing, knowing she’d probably kiss him if she got up to meet him—and that was not what needed to happen right now.

Wordlessly he walked up the stairs and sat next to her on the swing. They just sat their in silence for a few minutes, Buffy getting her nerve up.

“Angel wants a paternity test. Tomorrow.”

“I’m assuming I should be a part of this.”

Buffy took a deep breath, “That’s part of what I wanted to talk to you about. If, well, if you don’t want to have all the ramifications of being Sam’s father, then you don’t have to come. It’ll just prove that Angel isn’t her father, not….not that you are.”

“Why would you think I didn’t want to be known as her father, pet?”

”I don’t know. I didn’t really think it; I just wanted to make sure I gave you an out if you wanted it.”

“Well I don’t!” William said angrily, collecting himself when he saw Buffy flinch. “I didn’t mean it like that, kitten,” he pulled her into him with an arm around her shoulder. “Buffy, I want you to know that I love that girl to death and no matter what I’d always want to be a part of her life. Now that I know that I’m her father? You’d have to go to court to get me to abandon you two.”

“Both of us?” Buffy asked uncertainly.

“What you thought, I’d just leave you now?”

“Well, yeah, kinda.”

“Why would you ever think that?”

“Because before I was unattainable. And now…I’m not.”

“Sometimes Buffy, sometimes you’re insufferable.”

“Thanks, that helps the confidence ever so much.”

“I’m not…I’m, God, I don’t know what I’m trying to do. I just wish that some times you would believe in your self a little more.”

”It’s just so hard,” Buffy whispered.

“I know it is pet, but you need to realize how great you are. And that you deserve so much more than you think you do. But if you can only realize one thing, know that I’m not going to leave you. And I don’t care if you’re ready to hear this again or not, I love you.

And I love our daughter. I’m not sure just yet how we’re going to go about this, but, Buffy, I want to be with you—you and Sam, I want us to be a family.”

“I don’t know how much of that I can do, not sure if I’m ready for being a family with anyone else just yet—but I do want to be with you, too.”

“And I don’t know what you want to do about telling Sam anything, but I’ll leave that to you. You’re the parent here.”

“You are too.”

“Someday I will be, luv.”

“No, you are now. Sam might not know it, but you’re one of her parents, in all actuality you have been for a long time,” Buffy said emphatically. “Even before all of this happened, you took better care of her and loved her more than Angel did.

I just need to wait ‘til things are more settled to tell her. It’s going to be kind of a big thing.”

“It’s okay, pet. I can wait as long as you need. But I’m not going anywhere, whether Sam knows it or not, I’m going to be her dad.”

“Wouldn’t want it any other way.”

They both sat their, smiles on their faces, taking in all that they’d just decided. “So,” William said, “Think I can take you out to dinner sometime?”

“Sure, just let me know when.”

“Can I take you and Sam out to lunch tomorrow after the appointment?”

“Somebody’s eager.”

“Buffy, I’ve been around the two of your for months, I’m completely in love with you—it’s time we had a date, or two.”

“Past time, but I did have that whole marriage thing to get out of the way,” Buffy joked.

“What time is this thing tomorrow?”

“10:30. Down at the hospital.”

“Good, I’ll be here at quarter ‘til.”

”Um, why?”

“I’m giving you two a ride is why. It’ll save on gas and we’re going the same place afterward, so it only makes sense.”

“Alright,” Buffy decided, knowing she’d have to start somewhere, “We’ll be ready at quarter to ten tomorrow. Do you want to stay for a while? See Sam maybe?”

“Maybe I’ll stop in and see how she’s doing, but I think that after this, just you know all of this that’s been happening, I need to stop and just kind of think about it for a while. Figure out what exactly I want out of this, well not so much what I want—already know that—but I need to figure out how I’m going to get you to see that I really care about you and that we’ll be happy. I’m going to be able to convince you that we’re right. And I’m really not making any sense here am I?”

“Not really.”

“Yeah, kind of figured I wasn’t. I think that after I see Sam, just say hi, I need to go home and figure out how I’m going to go about all of this. I’m terrified that I’m going to mess up, mess this up.”

“You won’t,” Buffy assured him.

”Hope not, but I do need to think about a few things—if only to make myself feel better.”

“Then you do that and I’ll see you tomorrow. Is it alright if I stay out here while you talk to Sam?”

“Of course, I’ll say bye before I leave.”

”Thanks,” Buffy didn’t pay much attention as he made his way into the house, barely heard him explain to her mother what he was doing, she was too lost in her own thoughts.

‘He really does love me. And Sam. And I think I just might love him,’ she thought.

Now all she had to do was decide when and how to tell him.

TBC……….






and Please Review...it'll help with me remembering to post that ficlet tomorro...I'd hate to get no reviews and forget in all the craziness to post it...just kidding, well kind of...the reviews really will help me remember to post :)
Chapter 35 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
new people are reading this fic...do you know how happy that makes me? It really does....

Thank you so much for all of the reviews. Hope you al had happy holidays.

and don't believe me if you want, but I'm still sick (evil sinus infection really, really hurts) so any screw ups are blamed on that...
Chapter 35

William was there at 25 minutes to ten the next morning. He thought about waiting in his car until quarter ‘til, when he’d agreed to be here, not wanting to seem overeager, but then he decided that seeming overeager wasn’t really a problem now.

There were more important things to focus on.

Like getting Buffy to believe him. To be with him.

Yeah, those were definitely more important things.

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

Buffy wouldn’t ever admit it, but she was nervous about seeing Angel again. About all four of them being in the same building again—and possibly the same room.

She just hoped William showed. Granted it was only 9:30, so she still had fifteen more minutes, but she was already starting to worry that he wouldn’t show.

“Mommy, when are we going to the doctors’?”

“In just a few minutes,” she almost said that they just had to wait for William to get there, but then she didn’t want to upset her daughter if he didn’t show.

“Okay. Is daddy still going to be at the doctors’?”

“I think so, sweetie.”

“And William too?”

“I hope so,” Buffy didn’t even notice the little bit of difference in her two answers.

Less the five minutes later they heard the doorbell ring and Sam went running towards the door.

“William! Mommy, William’s here!”

“Yeah,” Buffy said softly, “he is.”

Sam didn’t wait for her mother’s permission, just flung the door open as soon as she reached it. “William! Hi, did you know that I’m going to the doctors’ today and that Daddy’s going to be there,” Buffy noticed the lained expression on his face, “And you’re coming too! Isn’t it cool?”

“Very cool niblet. Think I can talk to your mum for a minute?”

“Okay, I’ll go talk to grandma.”

They waited until Sam was out of the room before sitting down in the living room, “So, what did you want to talk about?”

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

“What do you mean am I sure?” Buffy asked.

“I mean, if we do this, and it proves that I’m Sam’s father, then there’s no going back from it. At some point Sam will have to find out. I just want to make sure you understand all that this will mean and that you want it to happen.”

“I know what it means…I know someday Sam will have to know. And while I don’t think now is quite the right time, I will tell her someday. And I also know what it will mean for you—or at least I have an idea, and don’t worry I’m not going to take her away from you.

Whatever happens between the two of us, you’re not going to lose Sam. I want you to know that,” Buffy said, leaning forward and looking directly into his eyes.

‘I’m not letting you go, either—you and I are going to get married someday’ was right on the tip of his tongue, but William decided to take it one big event at a time—the paternity test was enough for today. “Then what’s say we get going?”

“Sure, let me just tell my mom and get Sam. And remember she just thinks this is a regular doctor’s appointment, so….We need to be careful with what we say today.”

”I’ll keep that in mind.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

They made it to the in-hospital clinic several minutes early, but Angel was already there.

“Nice to see you Buffy. William,” he said cordially. And completely ignoring Sam.

Buffy and William both gave him a slight nod and Sam waited several seconds before speaking up, “Hi Daddy.”

“Hello, Samantha,” he said, his tone neutral.

Before the awkward situation could become any more awkward, a nurse came into the hallway. “O’Connor, Liam…..Giles, William….Summers, Samantha,” neither Buffy nor William failed to notice the last name that Angel had given them for Sam. “If you could come with me please.”

After Buffy gave Sam a reassuring smile, the three of them made their way down the hallway to the exam rooms. William went into the second room and Angel and Sam were led to the last room on the right. When the nurse saw his questioning look, he clarified, “We need to have minors accompanied by at least one parent or guardian, so the two of you need to be in a room together, I hope that’s alright.”

Angel knew that he needed to give the anticipated answer, “Of course, it’s fine.”

*(*(*(*I*)*)*)*

About ten minutes later a doctor came in and explained to the both of them that he’d need to draw a little bit of blood and take a cheek swab. Sam wasn’t too happy about the needle, but she got through it remarkably well.

But once everything was accomplished, the two of them were left alone, making Angel very uncomfortable. “So, did you mom tell you why we’re here today.”

“Uh huh,” was all Sam said.

“So she told you that it’s to prove that William’s your dad, and that I’m not? That this was a test to prove that he’s actually your father not me?” Angel mused, “Even I didn’t think she’d stoop that low.”

“But you’re my daddy,” Sam said, starting to cry.

“Oh, shit,” Angel muttered. When he was unable to quiet Sam’s crying, only upsetting her more when he tried patting her on the back as a sign of comfort, he decided he didn’t know what he was doing. “Why don’t we go get your mom? Come on Samantha, let’s go.”
"Mommy!" Sam screamed as she came running out of the exam room, Angel reluctantly following.

When Buffy saw Angel's face, she knew that her daughter's current state had more than a little something to do with her husband. "What did you do?" she gritted out when she got to them, taking Sam up in her arms.

"I sort of misunderstood something she said, I thought that you'd told her why we were here today, so I sort of, well I guess I told her about William and..."

"Are you fucking stupid?" Buffy asked, standing up and getting close enough to Angel so that Sam couldn't hear her. "Why on earth would I tell a six-year-old that. Now?"

"Well I wasn't sure, I just..." Angel trailed off as William came out of his exam room after hearing Sam's crying. William immediately tried to comfort Sam, he couldn't stand seeing her so upset, but she just shrunk away from him, crying even more and holding onto Buffy's leg, burying her face in her mother's pants.

Buffy knew that William was hurt by Sam's reaction, but she couldn't explain everything to him now. "Angel, I don't even care why you did what you did, it was stupid--even for you. But I can't deal with it now. Sam, sweetie," Buffy leaned down to look at Sam, carefully getting Sam to pull back a little so she could look in her eyes, "We're going to go home now, okay sweetheart? And William's going to come with. I'll talk to you about what Daddy said once we get home, okay honey?"

Once Sam nodded hesitantly, Buffy hugged her and picked her up. "Shh, baby, try not to cry, okay? It’ll be okay."

"Uh huh,"

William wished someone would tell him what was going on. He couldn't stand to see Buffy and Sam both so upset. And he really wanted to hit Angel right now.

He didn't know what the ponce had done, but it was obviously something bad. And to his daughter too.

Spike wasn't sure he could forgive Angel for hurting such a little girl, his little girl.

"I don't know what you did," he snarled, looking Angel in the eye, "But when I do, you'd better hope you're nowhere near me."

"Come on William, let's go. Will you still drive us home?" Buffy asked almost as an afterthought.

"Of course I will...are you sure it's a good idea? I mean.." he trialed off looking at Sam.

"Trust me, it's a good idea."

"Okay, sure luv. Let's go," none of them looked at Angel again as they left the clinic.

They were nearly to the car when Buffy finally spoke again, "Can I drive?"

Of course she'd ask to drive.

He was counting on that being the one thing that would keep him distracted on the drive back to Joyce's house. But he couldn't deny her anything, that much was obvious by now. "Sure, luv, you can drive."

Once they were all safely buckled in and on their way, William noticed that Sam had been staring at him for the past few minutes. He wasn't sure if looking at her or saying anything would upset her again--she'd finally quieted down and was just sniffling now--so he decided to just look back at her as best he could.

'What in the fuck had Angel done?' Spike mused, now when he looked at Sam, she looked hurt and turned away from him, looking out the window. It was driving him crazy knowing that somehow he'd upset and hurt her, without even knowing how. He thought of looking to Buffy to see if she'd give him any indication of what was going on, but she'd been wholeheartedly focused on driving since they began the trip home.

'Guess I'll just have to work on that whole 'patience is a virtue' thing."


TBC…..







aren't I just the tiniest bit evil?

and reviews are like chicken soup. feed me?

and y'all want to send out the update emails and stuff for me? I really don't feel well :(

oooooh, new story coming soon-ish too..if I can get off my butt and write it. shutting up now.
Chapter 36: Aftermath and explanations by Suzee
Author's Notes:
This story's getting so close to the end...think it's about 90% done at the moment :( It's so sad, my first big story is ending. But don't worry, I'll have a new one coming up....might even have a new short one that I've only posted on LJ so far, coming next week.

Thank you so much for all of the reviews, I can't even believe that I'm nearing 500 reviews on this story---it just blows my mind, thank you, thank you, thank you!

And I hope everyone enjoyed my ficlets '113 Times' and it's sequel 'A New Year's Countdown'. And a little note for everyone who read the last one: the ending stuff wasn't short, it's just that was the part of it I focussed on (I know I'm being vague but some might not have read it).

Please read, enjoy and review! (It'll help me get some of these new stories written!)




Chapter 36: Aftermath and explanations

It seemed to take them an abnormally long time to get across town. Once there William started to leave, but Buffy placed a hand on his arm and gave him a look. A look that he wanted to be able to say he didn't understand, but in all honesty he understood perfectly what she meant.

He was somehow involved in all of this--how, he still hadn't figured out just yet--and Buffy wanted him there because it concerned him, but also because...because she wanted him there. Sometimes he wished he didn't love her as much as he did, it would spare him the heartache of situations like these if he didn't.

'But heartache can only last so long,' he assured himself.

No one said a word as they all three made their way into the house. And no one said anything for a while after they were in the house--Buffy was glad to see that her mother was out. "Sam, baby, do you want us to go up to your room? I think we need to talk about what Daddy," Did she still call him 'Daddy' for Sam or should she call him Angel, or... "About what he said back at the doctors'. Do you want to do that up in your room or down here?"

Buffy hoped that giving Sam as many choices as possible would help ease the situation just a bit.

"I want to go upstairs," Sam said, sounding relatively calm.

"Alright sweetheart." William started to stay downstairs, but Buffy put a stop to that idea, "Sam, honey, William's going to come up with us too, okay?"

Sam looked at him, or rather she scrutinized him the best a six-year-old could. "Okay," she said at long last.

As Sam made her way slowly upstairs, William held Buffy back, "Are you going to tell me what's going on? I don't like being in the dark here, luv. 'Specially when I feel like I've done something. Something that hurt her," he looked up at Sam.

Buffy sighed, knowing she couldn't put this off any longer, "Angel told her that you're her father," she said softly. "Apparently he misunderstood something she said about why we were there today and well...he told her."

He wanted to get angry, wanted to rant and rave about how much of a moron Angel was and what all he was going to do to him when he got half the chance--but he didn't. "Guess we need to get up there then," was all he said before letting Buffy lead the way to Sam's bedroom.

*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*)*)*)*)*)*)*

Buffy wasn't sure how she'd been put in this position, it felt like just a few hours ago she'd been explaining the divorce to Sam and now she had to explain this, damn Angel for putting her in this place--he hadn't even offered to help. She would have refused of course--he didn't seem to have any tact where Sam was concerned, or common sense for that matter--but he could have at least offered.

"Mommy, why did Daddy say he's not my daddy?" Buffy was sitting on the bed across from Sam and William was leaning against the door frame, not wanting to intrude.

With one last glance at William for assurance, Buffy began, "Sam, you know hold I told you that when two grown ups love each other they can make a baby?"

"Uh huh."

Buffy was fumbling and she knew it, "Well Daddy wasn't the one I made a baby with, but he is the one that I married and that acted as your Daddy. So, in that way he is your daddy." 'Like that made any sense,' Buffy thought.

"But you made a baby with William?" Sam was looking doubtfully at the aforementioned man.

"Yes, sweetheart, I did."

Sam took a few minutes to take it all in. She had a little bit of an understanding of the idea that whoever got a woman pregnant was the baby's father, but she was still trying to get her head around te fact that it had been William and...

"Why did you marry Daddy if William and you were having a baby?"

'Isn't that the sixty-four thousand dollar question...' William knew it was time for him to step in and help Buffy as best he could. "Because cupcake, your mum and Angel had been dating and she loved him very much and she knew he would take good care of you two. She didn't know me as well, so she wanted to make sure she did the safe thing so that you would be okay."

"Okay," Sam replied thoughtfully.

"Do you have any more questions, Sammy Sam?" At least she didn't hate him or cry when she looked at him anymore.

"I don't know," Sam answered truthfully.

"Tell you what, your mum and I will go downstairs and you can think about it and if you do have any more questions, you come ask us, okay?"

William gave Sam a smile, not wanting to push it by giving her a hug, not knowing that he was in fact making her worry more by not giving her one. They were both so afraid of rejection from the other.

Buffy looked at her daughter and thought she knew what the girl was thinking, "You can if you want to."

Looking at her mother, who just nodded at her, Sam quickly got up and ran over to William giving his legs a hug.

Once he'd been able to regain his composure, he leaned down and looked at Sam, "Remember if you have any questions, you come ask me alright? I promise to try to answer any question."

(*(*(*(*(*(*)*)*)*)

After Buffy had a few minutes alone with Sam, making sure her daughter wasn't just afraid to ask her anything with William there, she joined him in the kitchen.

"Are you okay?"

"Don't rightly know at the moment." William said, sinking into one of the kitchen chairs. "I thought we'd have some time to figure all this out, come up with the best way to tell her and all that."

"I thought so too," Buffy sat down next to him.

"He...I just...with the...I don't want her to hate me," he finally said.

"I don't think she could ever hate you," Buffy started to explain.

"But, Buffy, you saw the way she looked at me back there. It was like I'd destroyed everything she knew...like I was ruining her life...like I was this horrible person...like I hurt her," he finished quietly.

"William," Buffy started to respond to what he'd said, but found it hard to do with him staring at his lap. "William, look at me. She wasn't thinking you turned everything upside down, Angel did that and you were just the unsure part of it. Imagine being six-years-old and your father telling you he's not really your father. And then seeing the person he says is, a person you've loved and looked up to for months. It's gotta be hard for her to sort all that out in her head. And she didn't think you were a horrible person, it was just too much for her to handle. And," Buffy continued, "She and I both know you'd never hurt her."

William was silent for a few moments before he let out a bitter laugh, "Look at me, making you comfort me...You're the one who's got all of this," he waved his hand around, "going on and I'm here two seconds away from bawling like a baby because I'm scared a little girl I've known less than a year is mad at me. She's your daughter, you're the one dealing with getting divorced and now this...I'm as much an insensitive prick as Angel."

"William, you're not." Buffy insisted vehemently. "I understand how you're feeling. And don't think you're making me do anything, this is helping me right now. I'll be okay as long as I can take care of someone, I can't fall apart now, I just can't. Later when Sam's asleep and I know she's okay, but...not now."

Any reply he might have had was cut off by Sam entering the kitchen.

"Yes, bit?" he asked when she didn't say anything.

"Can you come up to my room? Not Mommy, just.."

"Um, sure I can," Sam waited for him to get up and start walking before she went back to her room

William sat on the bed this time. "Do you only like me because you're my real daddy?"

"What?" William asked, astonished, "Why would..Sam, baby, I love you. You're my favoritest little girl and not because I'm your real dad. You're a very smart little girl and you're beautiful and you're a sweetheart and you're just perfect, Sam. Even if I wasn't you dad I'd love you."

"But you are," she pointed out.

"But I am," he agreed. "But that doesn't mean we have to do anything different. You can still call me William and I'll still be your teacher. And I'll still do stuff with you."

That seemed to relieve some of her worries, "Are you and Mommy going to date now?"

"I don't know," he answered truthfully. "Maybe."

"Okay," Sam said and William knew it was time for him to go back downstairs.

William sat with Buffy for a few more minutes before he excused himself. He needed to get some alone time to think through things.

"And tell Sam that if she has any more questions," he ignored the smile on her face, "That she can call me--whenever it is."

"Okay, I'll be sure to tell her that."

"And if you need anything..."

"I know. And, William?"

"Yeah, pet?"

"Can I kiss you?" Maybe it wasn't the smartest idea with her...no their daughter just upstairs and after everything that had gone on today, but...he'd been so sweet and loving and thoughtful and he'd helped her with telling Sam and he'd just been so...great today.

William didn't answer her, just leaned down and lightly brushed his lips over hers. "I'll see you later, luv. And for future reference, you don't have to ask every time you're going to kiss me--think we've pretty well determined what my answer's going to be"

TBC.......







Please do review, this was a pretty serious chapter and I'm worried about how well I handled everything...
Interlude by Suzee
Author's Notes:
oh, an archive told me they wouldn't post LC there so any nice reviews will be extra appreciated
A/N: Sorry for not updating last week. There's been a great deal of...stuff going on for me lately. I just couldn't find the time to get to a computer and post last week. I would post this chapter and the next today to make up for it, but I'm on someone else's ocmputer and can't find the next chapter in my email (like I did with this one).

And I knwo I said that I'd be posting a new story and that it keeps moving from Friday to Friday...I would post it this Friday, but I'm going out of town for a funeral (told you there was a lot of stuff). So I won't be able to do that just yet, but I am posting a ficlet in just a minute to make up for this shorter chapter.





Interlude

He'd thought of this the second she explained why she couldn't fall apart. He threw another pebble. "Come on, don't leave me out here looking like a ponce...Come on luv, just-"

"William? God, what are you doing? You scared me to death."

"You going to let me in?" He'd been throwing tiny pebbles at her window--from the tree a foot or so away, knocking would have been smarter, but he wasn't sure he could lean over that far and not fall.

"Can you make it?" Buffy asked skeptically wiping her eyes, she didn't want him to fall and break anything.

"Sure I can make it, long as the window's open," WIlliam took a breath and made it into Buffy's room safely, and relatively quietly.

"And again I ask, what are you doing here?" Buff tried to sniff quietly and discreetly dry her eyes.

"You said you couldn't fall apart 'til Sam was asleep, it's round 8:30 now, so she's all safe and tucked away, so that means..." he looked meaningfully at her.

"I'd have been okay," she mumbled, secretly grateful that he was there.

"Well, then how 'bout we say I'm selfish and wanted to spend more time with you?" he asked with a slight smile.

"That would work...can we watch TV or something? I'm not sure I feel up to much more talking."

They settled against the headboard of her bed, making it through two random syndicated shows before Buffy spoke up, "We can make it through this, right? I mean...it's not too much, too fast is it?"

"It has been a lot, huh? But don't you worry, kitten, we're going to make it through this. Think about it this way, we've already gotten through nearly all of the hard stuff, so now we can get on with the good stuff, yeah?"

"Yeah," she said and they lapsed into silence again. It was close to midnight before she spoke again, "As much as this is helping and as much as I'd love for us to stay just like this all night, I need to get some sleep and I don't think we're ready for you spending the night just yet. But," she continued quickly before he could answer, "Could you stay just for a few more minutes? Until I fall asleep maybe? Having you here makes me feel...safe and I don't know if I'll come apart again if you leave."

"Of course I can do that, pet. You get all settled in there," he turned off the television. "All comfy?" she nodded, "Want me to do anything? Read you a story, sing you a song?" he asked semi-jokingly, but he did want to do whatever he could for her.

"You'd sing to me?"

"Course I would...do you want me to?"

"Yes please," Buffy said shyly.

"Alright, you just settle in and try to go to sleep," William softly sang to her.


They hung a sign up in out town
'if you live it up, you won't
Live it down'
So, she left monte rio, son
Just like a bullet leaves a gun
With charcoal eyes and monroe hips
She went and took that california trip
Well, the moon was gold, her
Hair like wind
She said don't look back just
Come on jim
(chorus)
Oh you got to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
You gotta hold on

Well, he gave her a dimestore watch
And a ring made from a spoon
Everyone is looking for someone to blame
But you share my bed, you share my name
Well, go ahead and call the cops
You don't meet nice girls in coffee shops
She said baby, I still love you
Sometimes there's nothin left to do

Oh you got to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here, you got to
Just hold on.

Well, God bless your crooked little heart st. louis got the best of me
I miss your broken-china voice
How I wish you were still here with me

Well, you build it up, you wreck it down
You burn your mansion to the ground
When there's nothing left to keep you here, when
You're falling behind in this
Big blue world

Oh you go to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
You got to hold on

Down by the riverside motel,
It's 10 below and falling
By a 99 cent store she closed her eyes
And started swaying
But it's so hard to dance that way
When it's cold and there's no music
Well your old hometown is so far away
But, inside your head there's a record
That's playing, a song called

Hold on, hold on
You really got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
And just hold on.


When Buffy woke the next morning, William was gone, her window closed save a half an inch. She smiled thinking of all he'd done for her. 'I really need to tell him I love him.'


TBC




A/N Song is "Lullaby" by Tom Waits or "Hold On"
( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000059MDT/102-9429754-4953727?v=glance&st=digital-music )


See, I told you it was short. I really am sorry--I honestly can't find the next chapter (I looked for at least a half of an hour straight). I'll definitely get things updated normally next week...and might even find a time to post the new story
Chapter 37 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
There's a time jump with this chapter...don't hate me ;-)


And there's only about three more chapters left so leave me nice reviews that will inspire me and get me to finish up the next one so I can start posting it :-)
Chapter 37

Two Months Later

Today was the day.

For two very important things. One had taken much less time than she'd expected while the other had taken much longer than she'd thought it would. Today
her divorce was final, she had full custody of Sam and it was acknowledged on the divorce records that Angel wasn't Sam's father--the paternity test had proved
what they all knew to be true, so she couldn't get child support from him, but he also couldn't have any future claim over custody.

Today was also the day she was finally going to quit being a huge scaredy cat and tell William she loved him. He'd proven he wasn't going anywhere, proven he
loved Sam and would be there for her whenever she needed, proven that he loved her. She knew not telling him yet was stupid, but she'd wanted
everything with Angel to be settled first. She wanted one relationship to be one hundred percent, legally over before she started a new one.

Things had been great the past few months, Buffy was selling some paintings and photographs to save up money for when she started school that coming January.
If all went well, she'd be able to get a teaching job the following school year. Sam was doing better than ever, apparently not having Angel and his expectations
hanging over her was doing her well.

William was there every day, often staying for dinner with Buffy, Sam and Joyce. Sometimes he stayed afterwards and helped Buffy put Sam to bed. More and
more frequently he would stay even after that and spend time with Buffy, getting to know every little thing he could about her. She could honestly say that she'd
learned more about William in the last eight weeks than she'd learned about Angel in the six plus years she knew him.

They were going out to dinner tonight, a celebratory dinner--only William didn't know that's what it was yet.

*(*()*)*

"Gah."

"That so, luv?" William asked, smirking in amusement.

"You...with the...and the," she waved her hands around.

"The suit?"

"Yeah, and...the hair," he'd slightly slicked back his hair, still leaving it slightly curly and the effect was marvelous. And she hadn't known that telling him to dress
up would be such a...scrumptious idea. Finally gathering her wits about her, Buffy asked him if he'd like to come in for a minute.

"Sure, but don't want you getting all jealous over your mum again," he joked.

"Not a chance, I know I've got you now."

"Damn right you do," he said definitely.

"William?"

"Hmm," he was broken out of his admiration of her.

"Watch the language and you look very nice."

"Kind of gathered you thought so, what with the sputtering and speechlessness and all," he said arrogantly, smiling.

"God you're full of yourself." Buffy yelled up the stairs to Sam that they were going to be leaving and to listen to her grandmother and go to bed on time. Sam wasn't
happy with just a quick goodbye, however.

"Hi" she said looking at William, "You look pretty. And Mommy's pretty too."

"Guess we make a good pair then," William loved being able to see Sam, even if he had seen her just four hours ago.

"Are you going to be home to tell me goodnight?" Sam asked the both of them.

"Not tonight, sweet bit, but you be a good girl for your grandma and get to bed on time and I'll come say goodnight when we get back."

"But I'll be asleep."

"You mean you can't hear in your sleep?" William asked in all seriousness.

"Of course not, silly! But I will be good for grandma, promise."

"Shall we get going, then?" William asked Buffy.

"We should. 'Night Sam, I'll see you in the morning."

"Night mommy," she hugged Buffy. "Good night," she said hugging William as well.

*(*()*)*

Dinner was uneventful, Buffy was going to tell him everything after dinner. Which was now she realized with more than a little nervousness.

"Think we could go to the park before we go home?"

"Sure, any particular one?"

"The one by the elementary school, it's always been one of my favorites, I went there a lot with my mom."

"Sure thing, you just point the way." He was hoping she had something good to tell him because she certainly seemed like she was going to tell him something.

"Right there," Buffy directed after five or so minutes of driving.

They made their way, hands held, to the swings. "I always did like the swings. I know it might seem childish, but it's, I don't know, relaxing somehow. And since I need to
be relaxed to tell you this, what better place for us to go than the swings."

"You don't have to be worried about telling me anything, kitten. Promise, you can tell me anything."

"Okay, well, how about this, today my divorce from Angel is final," she stopped him when he tried to get off the swing and move over to her. "And there's one other thing,
this is the need to be relaxed bit: William, in the few months that you've been back in my life," he noticed she said 'back in' not just 'in' something he was glad for, "in those
few months, you've come to know me better than anyone--even my mother--knows me, possibly better than I know me," she said with a smile; "And the thing is, it's not just
that, sure you know me and that is probably something any other guy could do," she held her hand up when he started to protest. "Granted they wouldn't be able to do it as
well as you have, that's something that I know is unique to you. But what I was trying to say, not only do you know me, you know Sam."

"She is my daughter," William added.

"I know, but you found out a lot about her before you knew that and I know that even if she weren't biologically your daughter, that you'd still love her. You'd still know her,
still be there for her. And I guess that helped me realise that, well William," she thought of something. "What's your middle name?"

"Harrison, why?" he asked, totally puzzled by the turn in the conversation.

"Because, William Harrison Giles, I'm in love with you. I know I can't be as poetic about it as-"

"You mean it?" Sure he'd suspected it for a while, but to have the girl you'd been in love with for years, who turned out to be the mother of your child, to have her say she
was in love with you, it was something William wanted to make sure he heard correctly.

"You think I'd say it if I didn't mean it?" Buffy asked.

"Well, no, it's just...well," William gave up on having a meaningful statement come out of his mouth and decided that said mouth could be put to much better use. And since
swings didn't lend themselves to what William had in mind, he pulled Buffy up with him. "Remember that no asking thing? It goes both ways," he said cryptically, at least
somewhat.

He'd held back whenever he'd kissed her before, some tiny part of his brain still knowing that she was technically a married woman, but now...Now she wasn't and he didn't
have to hold back anymore. He could finally let loose, let her feel all of what he had stored inside of him during all these months. He put all his feeling into the kiss,
pulling her tight against him so she could feel everything she did to him--and it left her gasping.

"Love you William," she said, curling her fingers into his hair and holding him to her as he started to kiss along her neck.

"Love you too, pet. So," he kissed along her neck, "So much. Never gonna let you go...never."

TBC.....


Please review :-) And I posted the first chapter of a new story : here. It's called All the Fun (of the Fair) and if the link doesn't work, it's on the recent stories page or my author page .

And thank you for all the reviews I've been getting
Chapter 38 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
Let's see, first: my website has a new layout....bit more sunny than my last one

ATF Chapter 2 will be up on Friday...

And I really hope I'm not losing people with this story...both the reviews and reader counter are down...I hope you're not giving up on the story...and hey, reviews help me writing the new one faster...the one that has to be finished before I post it...

But...I want to thank, thank, thank everyone who is reading and reviewing...I love you for it
Chapter 38


It had been just under three weeks since Buffy had finally been a big girl about her feelings and told William she loved him and things were getting better and better.

William was there honestly every day and evening--once he got there at seven thirty in the morning he wasn't likely to leave until at least eight at night. He and

Buffy had been pushing just how far they could go without having sex--they'd decided that since everything else about their relationship was rushed, they were going to wait--though neither said it the phrase 'until we're married' was added in both their heads--to sleep together.


Buffy had told Sam that she could see Angel whenever she wanted to, but so far she hadn't asked and, frankly, didn't seem to be missing him all that much. She was happier than Buffy had ever seen her and William said she was excelling her school work--which despite Angel's offer of payment, he ws now providing for free.


"Mommy?" Sam asked, coming downstairs late one night after William had left.


"What are you doing up, honey?" Buffy and William had put her to bed at least two and a half hours ago.


"I was thinking about something...I wasn't sure so I was thinking about it. And now I'm sure."


"Sure about what?" Buffy asked when Sam made no move to continue. She was more than a little confused that her six-year-old daughter was up at nearly eleven o'clock at night and was standing there, having a normal conversation with her.


"Sure about wanting to ask you. Why doesn't Daddy live with us?"


After sputtering around for a minute, Buffy stopped to try to get her thoughts together.


"Sweetheart, you know that your Daddy and I," but then a thought occurred to her, in the last two or so weeks, Sam had never once called William, 'William.' She'd sort of inferred that she was talking to him, she'd look at him if she was in the room or say 'he' until Buffy would say 'William' and Sam would nod before continuing on.


"You mean William, honey?"


"Of course I do, silly. He's my daddy after all," she said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.


Buffy wasn't sure if she should question Sam on her decision, it seemed--from all the given information--that she'd put a lot of thought into it, and Buffy knew she and William hadn't pushed her into it--they'd both tried not to force the whole father/daughter thing on Sam.


"Why doesn't he live here too?"


"Because Sam, we wanted to make sure you wanted him to live with us too."


"I want him to live with us; can he?"


"Of course he can. Do you want to ask him tomorrow or should I?" Buffy wanted to give Sam as much control as possible.


"Can I?"


"Sure sweetheart, but I think you need to get back to bed so you're not too tired tomorrow."


"Okay...and Mommy? I love you."


"I love you too sweetheart, sweet dreams."


Buffy sat for a few minutes, thinking about what had just been decided. William was quite possibly going to be moving in with them. Did she want that? Well of course she wanted it, but was it too soon? She'd only been divorced for two and a half months...but he'd been around her every day for months before that. And he was spending nearly every day, all day at the house.


Maybe this living together thing would work...as long as William wanted it.


()X(X()X()X()X()X()


"Mommy? Can I ask him now?" Sam asked a few minutes after they finished lunch the next day--while they were just talking.


"Sure, you can ask him now," Buffy said after taking a deep breath and reminding herself that this was right thing to do.


"Ask me what? You girls and you're secrets...probably some girly thing," William joked.


"Will you live with us?" Sam asked bluntly.


William froze.


When he didn't answer her right away, Sam continued on with her reasons, "Because you're my daddy and daddies should live with mommies and their kids. And I miss you when you're not here. So you should live here." Before he could ask or say anything, Sam remembered one other question, "Can I call you 'daddy' now?"


William had to blink back tears and compose himself before he could answer, "Of course you can call me daddy, sweetie, and of course I'll live with you and your mum...I love you and your mum so I think it's a great idea."


"Yay!" Sam broke into a huge grin and practically knocked William over when she launched herself at him and hugged him tight. "You're a very good daddy, too. I love you, daddy," she whispered.


William gave up entirely on not crying, "I love you too, sweet bit. Love you, too," he murmured catching Buffy's eye.


Buffy who was a little less worried about her tears, made her way over to them and hugged the both of them. After a moment Sam let go and looked at her mom and dad as she sat back down, "Why are you guys crying?"


"Just happy sweetheart."


"Very happy," William added.


"Okay," Sam said, relieved.


"Sam," William started.


"Hmm?" she said taking her attention away from her chocolate chip cookie, a huge grin still on her face.


"Is it--I'm going to take your mum in the living room for just a minute, you finsih your cookie and we'll be right back," while it was true that someone who was just a friend and trying to figure out how much he could get, might ask a six-year-old for permission, while tha twas true, a father didn't ask his six-year-old daughter for permission to talk to her mother.


"Okay."


Buffy silently followed William into the living room of her mother's house, still blinking back a few lingering tears. "I want you to know something," she began, before he had a chance, "What Sam just asked you, I didn't push her into any of it at all. She asked me last night 'why her daddy didn't live with us' and I realized she meant you--she hasn't been calling you William recently, you know--anyway, when I knew she meant you I just asked if she wanted me to ask or is she wanted to do it herself...I know it's not a big difference, but I want you to know that, that was all her. Not that I don't want it too," she hastily added when she realized what she could have sounded like, "But I think you already knew that so I want you to know that Sam wanted it, too I guess."


William loved the way she scrunched up her face when she was saying something and realized she didn't really know what she was saying. "Think I know what you mean, luv. And I'm glad you told me, it does help with some things...but I actually wanted to ask you something."


"Well that's okay, but hang on a second," Buffy interrupted.


William looked at her, puzzled. Puzzled, that is until Buffy threader her fingers through his hair, "I love your hair you know, it's so soft and...pretty," And pulled him against her. "We can't do much because, well you know, Sam's righ there, but I thought that such a big decision deserved at least one celebratory kiss."


"I think it does too," William whispered, leaning closer into her and brushing his lips against hers lightly. "But you know, I do need to ask you something," he said, leaning his forehead against hers as her arms slipped around back.


"Must be something important if you'd rather ask me that than kiss me," Buffy teased, though she was just the tiniest bit worried.


"It is important," he said after a moment, hesitating before moving forward, "I was thinking that if we're going to live together that maybe we could get a new place that's just ours."


"I hadn't really thought about that," Buffy said thoughtfully. "It does seem like a good idea though, I feel like we're imposing on my mom and I think it would help Sam settle down if we get into a sort of routine, you know let her know that it's not going to change again."


"So you want to do it?" William asked backing up so he could look into her eyes fully.


Buffy took a deep breath and let it out, "Yeah, I want to."


"Good," his grin rivaled Sam's in its intensity. "Think I can show you a place I have in mind?"


"You have a...We just decided on this, how do you have a place in mind?"


"I'm ever hopeful, luv. Ever hopeful. So do you want to see the place or not?"


"No need to get snippy about it. Want to go now or do you want to finish school with Sam first? Could we maybe go now? I won't be able to concentrate on school worrying if you two'll like the place or not."


"Then by all means, let's get going." Buffy went back into the kitchen and explained things to Sam, leaving William in the living room to absorb everything. "We're
ready," Buffy said a few minutes later, a very happy looking Sam behind her.


"Good," William was silently assuring himself that he was doing the right thing, that what he was about to do was the right thing to do.


And, hopefully, it would be worth it.



TBC…..
Chapter 39 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
I would really like to thank every single person who's reading this--to have had three nominations for my first full length story, to be anywhere as close to 600 reviews as I am....it's just something that I really can't believe, so thank you so very, very much. I hope that I can make my next stories as good (if not better) than this one and that you'll all enjoy them as well :-) Thank you

And last week's chapter had some funny formatting going on for a while, but I do think I fixed it--so, if you read it before it was fixed, know that now it should be much easier to read.

And if anyone's interested, my new fic (which still has no title) is already on Chapter 40, so it will be a long one :)
Chapter 39



Buffy couldn't figure out where they were going, they were several miles outside of the main part of town and were getting towards the farm houses and, well, farms.

She held back from asking William though, she trusted him--in whatever exactly it was he was doing.


Sam, however, seemed to be getting happier by the minute, something Buffy couldn't figure out. Sure it was something to be happy about, but it seemed like over time she got more and more excited.


William didn't seem to notice--or maybe he just didn't mind--Sam's growing enthusiasm. Buffy was just about to question what exactly the two of them had left her out of--again--when they pulled up to a house and Sam looked about ready to burst with happiness.


"Come on, pixie, let's go look at the house." Sam quickly followed him out of the car and up to the house's front door, leaving Buffy to trail behind and take in the house. It was a typical farm house, white, two stories, beautiful--real--green shutters framing beautiful large windows that Buffy just knew would light up the rooms during the day, and beautiful flowers under the front ground floor windows. Buffy walked around to the side of the house, where the front door and a beautiful porch were, hoping beyond hope that William really meant this and that it wasn't a 'hey wouldn't this be a nice house if we could have it,' she liked it too much for that. And Sam seemed to love it.


Buffy made her way inside, the house was just as lovely inside, and Sam came running down the stairs, "Careful, those are steep stairs," she heard William call from somewhere upstairs.


"Mommy! Mommy! Guess what...it's the house from my picture! Remember from Disney World! It's my favoritest house ever and now we get to live here!" She ran off again exploring the house some more.


Hoping that William could clear things up for her, Buffy told Sam to stay inside and went up to find William. She found him in the bedroom--she assumed it was the master bedroom--that faced the front of the house and overlooked the field across from the house. "Um, William? I know I seem to be all with the question having lately, but I'm just a bit confused here. What does Sam mean it's the 'house from her picture'?"


"Beautiful view isn't it? I bet in the summer it looks even better, probably flowers blooming in the field."


"William-"


"And have you seen the way the light comes in? Always did like natural light best."


"William-"


"And it's a good size room too, even has it's own bathroom with one of those claw foot tubs and-"


"William!" Buffy finally got him to stop talking by just continuing to talk, forcing him to shut up. "What did Sam mean? And don't you dare tell me one more thing about how great this house is. I want you to answer my question first," she was getting irritated.


"She drew the house in a picture she gave me," he mumbled.


"Okay, here's the deal," she was tired of not knowing what was going on, "You're going to tell me what's going on...no more mumbling either. I don't like being left out of what's going on. William, you have to trust that you can tell me things," she finished quietly.


"I do trust you. Just...just don't want you to think I'm crazy," he got up the courage to look her in the eye, hoping she'd see the meaning behind what he was going to tell her, even if she didn't like the factual part of it. "Sam, she drew me another picture--after the one of the three of us with the dog. It was the three of us again, but we were all in front of this new house. Thinking it was just some house she made up, I asked her about it. And she told me that one time you all went to this city that had angels. I asked her if it was Los Angeles and she said that's what it was.


Anyway, she said that while you were on your way to and from Los Angeles she saw her, and i quote, 'favoritest house ever' and she liked it so much because she could have a dog there because there was a big yard and she could have a swing set and everything. She just seemed so happy about it, that..." he trailed off.


"That?" Buffy prompted.


"That I drove from Sunnydale to LA a few times to make sure this was the only house that was white with green shutters and the flowers...and well, I bought it."



"You bought a house just because Sam drew it in a picture?"


"Well, yeah."


"What if you and I never got together, or what if things didn't work out."


"I actually thought of that," he said, slightly impressed with himself. "If for whatever reason you wouldn't have me, then I'd rent the house out for a few years and give it to Sam as a graduation present or something."

"William you basically bought a six-year-old a house!" Buffy couldn't get her head around it.

"Not really, more like I bought all of us a house...it was just a tiny possibility that I bought a six-year-old a house," he explained as if it made all the difference in the world.


"Okay, so you only possibly bought a house for a six-year-old...but don't you think you should have asked me first?"


"If for whatever God forsaken reason we didn't get together, then you really wouldn't have known about it...least not 'til I gave it to Sam. And anyway, not entirely sure you would have liked me telling you I was buying a house for the three of us to hopefully live in, if I had told you back when I bought it."


"When exactly did you buy it?"


"Few months ago," and he was back to the mumbling.


"William."


"Fine, I bought it the day after Angel told me about Darla. I'd thought about it before, but well, you were married then and...I bought it the day after that."


After a few seconds, Buffy was crying again. "Oh, luv, I didn't mean to make you cry! God, I bollocksed it all up! Stupid git. I'll just go get Sam and tell her-"


"William," Buffy stopped him, "I'm not upset with you, you didn't screw anything up in the least. It's just...this is so much today and I guess that it's just a little overwhelming...and that you had that much faith in me and loved me that much...even then. it's just..." she hugged him, not finishing what she was about to say.

"Just what, pet?"


"Just um...well I'm big on the girly girl-ness so I'm not going to, but if per se you would be interested in..." She was still hugging him, her face against his neck, "If you would decide to ask me a certain question, well I can tell you that you'd be in for a favorable answer."


William knew what she was implying and he was glad for it. "So, I take it we'll be moving in?"


"Definitely, let's go tell Sam!" Buffy was happy all over again.


William laughed at her happiness, she seemed so carefree, and followed as she pulled him along with his hand. "Sam? Where'd you go?"


"Look at the windows! Daddy, look!" He didn't think he'd ever get over hearing her call him that, "They're all coloured."


The living room had small stained glass windows on either side of the fireplace, above the built in bookshelves. "They're beautiful Sammy, I think your mum has something to tell you." He wanted Buffy to be the one to tell her.


"Sam, would you like it if the three of us lived here?"


"Can we? Can we!?" Sam asked bouncing around. "Can we? Can we? Pretty, pretty please!" Buffy took William's hand and leaned into him, nodding at their daughter with a smile. "Yay!" Sam hugged both of them tightly. "Can I pick my room?"


"Sure, cookie, just not the one up front," It would be his luck that she'd pick the only one she couldn't have. "Come on, let's go look." Sam practically drug him up the stairs, her tiny feet taking the steep steps much more easily than his larger ones.


Buffy thought about feeling left out, Sam always wanted William with her, but she couldn't seem to be anything other than extremely...content.

"Mommy, come help me pick!" Sam called out, just moments later.

"Okay, be there in a minute."


(*(**(()*)*)*)


Sam picked the room overlooking the backyard--the backyard that needed a swing set. The house was much bigger than it looked, with huge bedrooms and Buffy knew that they'd be able to get Sam a new bed. She'd have to measure the ceiling height later to see if a canopy bed would fit-


"Not to make you think I'm some creepy, obsessed with Sam guy, but, the ceiling," he pointed, "'Bout ten feet, easily high enough for a..." he didn't want to quite admit that he'd thought of Sam living there, having a beautiful canopy bed, a princess bed for his princess, but he had.


"Not creepy at all, good to know you're thinking about stuff like that. Makes me love you more too."


"Well then I guess I can tell you about that other picture Sam drew."


"God, you're sweet," she went up on her tip toes to kiss the corner of his mouth, before snuggling back into him.


"Oi!, I'm not sweet, I'm-"


"You're sweet, get used to it. It's a good thing."


"'Kay then. Want to talk about what furniture we need?"



TBC…. please review :)




Part II of All the Fun (of the Fair) will be posted on Friday :)
Chapter 40 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
the last 'chapter' chapter...the next is the epilogue and then that's it...well for this fic at least

And I'm going to be shameless and ask pretty, pretty please for reviews--and not just because I'd lbe completely amazed to get to 600--but because having the 'sinus infection of doom' as I've decided to call it has put me behind on my next story (that I have to post as soon as this is done) and reviws will say, 'Hey, Suzee, people like your writing--now hurry up and finish the thing!"

Also, this chapter is dedicated to my two author girls who have gotten some just plain nasty reviews lately--you don't deserve them at all.
Chapter 40



They moved in remarkably fast. Buffy didn't have much to move in, no furniture, really. And William only had a tiny apartment, but he brought with him plenty of books and they of course had Buffy's art supplies and Sam's things. But they did still need a lot to fill the house--which had silver faucets in the bathrooms. Buffy loved being able to literally build her home with William. Sam loved her dark wood, pink canopy bed.


As well as the flying Tinkerbell she’d been allowed to put up.


”Can I have the flying Tinkerbell?” She asked as the three of them were setting up her room.


“What?” Spike asked her, totally confused. “You know what she’s talking about, luv?” he asked Buffy.


”No idea. What’s the flying Tinkerbell Sammy?”


“Remember at the store? There’s the Tinkerbell that goes on the string that you put on the ceiling and the wall. Then you press the button and she flies. Pretty please?” She knew her ‘pretty pleases’ tended to work on her dad.


“Why don’t we go to the store tomorrow and you can show us what it is?” Buffy didn’t want to commit to attaching something to the ceiling when she had no idea what it was.


The next day they’d bought the flying Tinkerbell—Buffy found it adorable as well.



The house wasn't as 'grand' as her house with Angel had been, but she loved it a million times more. It was home, something Angel's house had never been for her.


Life was going so well for her...all she was waiting for was for William to propose. She hoped she wasn't wrong in assuming that he would.


*(*)*(*)(*)*


He knew that since they'd been in the house a full week, that Buffy would be starting to worry herself over their future marriage and whether or not it would happen. She worried like that, something he found adorable about her. It was also why he'd waited, he didn't want it to be one hundred percent expected.


Buffy was at lunch with her mother today (something he'd secretly arranged) and then she was going to go visit Cordelia (something else he'd arranged), so she wouldn't be home for several hours at least. Which meant that he and Sam had some planning time.


"Sam, are you going to help me, we'll talk about the dog later."


"But you won't, you'll forget and then-"


"Sam, remember how I told you I needed your help with something important?"


"Uh huh," she said looking at him, remembering their earlier talk.


"Well I wasn't going to tell you what it was because, well because you're not very good at keeping secrets," William explained.


"I can too," Sam pouted.


"Remember when we bought grandma that necklace after we moved?"


"Oh, yeah...but I didn't mean to." Sam had told her grandma that she couldn't tell her what it was, but they had a great present for her. Then about five minutes later, she'd said something about it being a 'beautiful necklace'.


"It's alright, pet, I know you didn't mean to and it's okay. This is just something that has to be kept a secret."


"I can do it this time Daddy, I promise!" she said vehemently, nodding her head, her eyes wide.

"Okay, well I guess we'll find out," William muttered, not sure it was a great idea, but not knowing if he had any other choice. "I want you to help me set up the outside because I need to ask Mum something," he was going to try to be vague about it.


"What are you going to ask her?" Apparently vague wasn't going to do it.


"I'm going to ask her to marry me, pixie."


Sam, who had been decidedly grumpy the entire day, visibly brightened. "Really? Can I ask her?"


He laughed, "'Fraid not. Think I'm going to ask her this one."


"Okay, but i get to help you get ready right?"


"Right. And we need to get started now if we're going to finish by the time she gets home."


"Well, what are you waiting for, then?"


"Not sure," he laughed, loving her enthusiasm. "Now first..."


)_)_()()()_(_(


She'd expected to come home to William and Sam doing something, possibly cooking dinner, but that's not what they were doing. There was an envelope on their front table that read in Sam's script 'For Mommy.' She carefully picked it up, not sure quite what was going on, but curious nonetheless. 'Because I thought being relaxed might help me as well...' William had written on the card. It confused her for a second before she remembered the conversation they’d had the night she told him she loved him.


Slowly, with tears filling her eyes, Buffy made her way to the back door, knowing what she was going to see there, yet not expecting quite what she did see. The swing set was decorated in roses and white lilies, their blossoms somehow tied to the wood beams supporting the swing set. There were candles on their patio table and on the little floor before the top of the slide.


William sat, nervously she noted, on one of the swings. "You don't have to be nervous she whispered," sitting on the other swing, still crying.


"I know...just am," he whispered back. But she smiled at him and he looked up at Sam's window and saw her smiling anxiously down at them--he knew having her in her room was the only way to keep her from spilling the secret--he looked at the two girls--his two girls, with such love shining in their eyes and all his fears were washed away. "Buffy, luv," he got off his swing, and kneeled in front of her, "I was in love with you long before you knew it, I thought I'd lost you forever, damned to have you confined to my dreams for the rest of my life--never knowing true love again. But then I found you, granted I was a bit thick at first and didn't get it all put together right in my head…


I found you. And it wasn't just my dreams any more, you were really there, and you were so much better than my dreams could ever be because you're...you're you, you're real and you're beautiful and you're vibrant and you're so full of life that I feel better just knowing I get to be around you.


And Sam, God, Buffy, I never thought I'd have kids, couldn't imagine truly loving someone enough for it. It always hurt a bit when someone where I was teaching would remark on what a great father I was going to be. I didn't think it would ever happen...And I didn't tell you this, but at first it kind of hurt a little each time Sam did something else to make me love her...I so desperately wanted her to be mine.


I hated Angel. Hated him for having the two of you when he was nowhere close to deserving it. I know I don't deserve either of you either no one's ever going to be good enough for my girls, but Buffy..." he was getting choked up, but was determined to get through this. "Buffy, I love you and I love Sam...not only to have a daughter, but to have it be with you and it's Sam, Sam that is the perfect little girl...I love you so much and we have a beautiful, brilliant daughter, who," he tried to lighten things a bit, "Is going to come down here soon if I don't finish this up. Buffy, I know you think I can be poetic and always know what to say, but I haven't been able to come up with a worthy way of asking you, Buffy Anne Summers, mother of my child, love of my life, woman of dreams, will you marry me?"


Buffy'd imagined this scene probably hundreds of times over the last few months, imagined saying something like 'a million times yes,' that had always seemed so corny to her or possibly something beautiful and meaningful, but she couldn't manage either at the moment. Instead, she slid off the swing and onto her knees in front of William. "I thought you'd know by now that I am never letting you go...of course I'm going to marry you, William."


"Buffy, not that I don't like what you're doing," William said as Buffy knocked him over into the grass, kissing him long and hard--over and over again. "But Sam's watching," he moved an arm from around her back to wave at Sam, "and she'll be down here in a second, if she's not already on her way."


Buffy kept kissing his neck, her knees on either side of his hips, "It's not like we're doing anything bad...and she knows I kiss you and you kiss me, and," she was interspersing her words with kisses to his lips, "You just asked me to marry you. I'm going to kiss you no matter what you say."


"See, I told you I could keep it a secret!" Sam yelled as she ran out the back door, the door banging behind her.” You’re getting married mommy," she informed her mother as she made it to Buffy, who was currently straddling William and leaning back against his bent legs.


"I know I am! Isn't it great?" Buffy got off of William and, still on her knees, gave Sam a huge hug.


"It's very good and I didn't tell, Daddy thought I might on accident. But I didn't. I stayed upstairs just like he asked. But I helped get the flowers up."


"Yes you did, baby," William was still lying in the grass.” You helped me a lot, couldn't have done it without you."


"William, you going to get up?"


"Yeah Daddy, you can't stay outside all night."


"Will in a minute," he wanted to just sit there and listen to them talk and bask in how perfect his life was, "You two keep talking."


TBC........ Elena said to beg for reviews but I'll just say: Pretty please? (and give you a sad look while I do it)...and yes, being sick does apparently make me weird


And I posted a Valentine's short fic yesterday--it's a sequel to '113 Times' and is called 'Not Just Puppy Love' :)
Epilogue by Suzee
Author's Notes:
My story's over :-( Please review it (even if I can't get to that blasted 600 mark, I'll still love them).
thank you to whoever nomiatned this story at FFL Awards

And I hope you'll read my new story 'My Boyfriend's Back' that I'm going to start posting tomorrow
Epilogue


Following September

"Welcome to Senior English, I'm Mr. Summers-Giles and I'll be your teacher this year."

"Are you married to Ms. Summers-Giles," one boy snickered.

"As a matter of fact I am," he gave the boy a look that just dared him to make a comment.

The question asker didn't say anything, but he heard several, 'Sweet's and 'Lucky her's muttered by other students.



“So, love, have you found your dress yet?”

“No,” Buffy said glumly.

“I’m sure you’ll find one soon,” Spike said distractedly, beginning to kiss her neck.

“No! I won’t,” she said petulantly.

“Sure you will….what’s the problem?”

“I want a white one…all the other ones are ugly,” she was pouting now.

“So, get a white one.” Spike didn’t understand the problem.

“I can’t!”

“Humor me and tell me why?”

“You know what white represents-it’s ‘virginal’ and I, William, am not a virgin. I have a child for Christ’s sake!”

William wanted to correct her, ‘We have a child’ but decided to stay on topic instead. “You didn’t have sex while you were married. So I think that counts the same-wear a white dress.”

“William, Angel and I--you mean because I didn’t have sex with
you while I was married to Angel?”

“Well...yeah.”

“Spike, even you can’t think I deserve some sort of…some sort of a reward for not cheating on my husband.”

“Sure you can. I’m a right tempting bloke I’ll have you know!”

“You’re insufferable.”

“But you’ll wear the white?”

“Yeah, I’ll wear the white.”



William ignored them and continued with his introduction, "This year we'll be reading several classics as well as a few contemporary books. We'll also be writing several essays and a few research papers." They all groaned at hearing that.

"But..." he continued on, waiting until they were all silent before continuing, "Three of the essays will be based on books of your choosing. As long as it is a legitimate book, there will be no limitations on which book you use." Several smiled at that.

"You know, luv," he said after they left behind the rose and lily decorated backyard that had housed their wedding, making their way up to their bedroom, alone at last. "I always thought I'd want my wife to have a wedding dress that buttoned up the back, you know the ones." She started to look disappointed, but he carried on regardless, "Thought it would be sexy to kiss your back," he pressed a kiss to her shoulder, "As I unbuttoned," another kiss to the middle of her back, just where he neck met her back, "each and every little button," he kissed her other shoulder. "But now," he pressed a lingering kiss to her left shoulder, "Now I know, that," he bent to reach the zipper that ran up the left side of the dress, "No way would I be patient enough to unbutton all those buttons; this is perfect," he finished as he slowly unzipped the zipper.

The dress dropped to her feet and she stepped out of it before turning to face William, left clad in just her underwear and a strapless bra. "Well, then I'm glad I chose this dress because I for one wouldn't want to ruin your day with something as trivial as a few buttons." She slid his jacket off his shoulders, "Did I ever tell you that I thought you made this suit look incredibly sexy? Because you do." She pulled his shirt out of his pants, "How come I have to deal with all these buttons though?"

"Don't know, luv. Guess it's good you have more patience than I do."

"Guess so," Each button was slowly unbuttoned and when the shirt hung, unbuttoned on him, she pushed the left side off his shoulder, kissing his collarbone, before doing the same to the right side, using her tongue a bit that time before pulling his shirt slowly down his arms. "Did I ever tell you how much I love your arms? I don't guess that I have, but I very much do. She ran her hands along his left bicep, leaving the shirt pooled at his elbows as he was holding her along her waist. "And I promise to explain to you just why, but...some other time. Right now, though, I think I need to commence with the undressing."

As he removed his hands from her waist, she took his shirt the rest of the way off and batted his hands a way when he tried to hold her again. "Nu-uh, my turn."

"But, luv, you've still got that on and once we get these pants off me, that's it...hardly fair to me."

"But we don't have to be fair," she said as she unzipped his pants and dropped them to his feet. And he voiced no further objections as her hand made its way around his erection. "Still think it's not fair?." He just nodded, but didn't say anything. As her tiny little, hot hand made its way up and down his length, Spike closed his eyes, not quite believing this was all real.

But when he was getting a little
too into it, he stopped her, "Your turn now, pet." Leaning down he nuzzled his face into her neck inhaling the sweetness that was her--his wife--as he unhooked her bra. "God, luv," he said as he stepped back to take her in, stopping her attempts to pull him back to her. "Just give me a second, kitten. I know we've done this before, but that...well there were lots of clothes involved that time, I just want to...want to see you."

After several moments--long moments to Buffy--he gave her a long, sweet kiss, his tongue sweeping along her lower lip, before dropping onto his knees in front of her."




"So now that we've gotten past that, I think it's only fair you get to ask me some questions. I know your GPA, your class rank, your parents' names, your phone numbers, addresses...probably know enough to steal your identities." 'Not that I'd give up my life for anything in the world, but...' "Given all that I figure it's only fair that you get to ask me some questions.

"Why'd you move from England?" One bold looking girl asked.

"Didn't know it at the time, but I was looking for a girl."



"Do you know you're perfect for me in every possible way?" he asked looking up at her, her fingers in his hair. "Couldn't have dreamed of anyone better, 's why you were the one in my dreams, no one better for me than you." When he saw her start to tear up, he decided to move on to other topics. "Did you know there are pretty little roses here," he kissed along the waistband of her underwear, "and here," he kissed a little farther over, "and here," farther over, "here, too. Roses suit you, luv," he decided as he hooked his finger in the sides of her underwear and pulled them down her legs.

He started to separate her legs, but she stopped him. As he looked up at her questioningly, she merely asked him, "Come here?

“There'll be time for that later, right now though, my sweet William, I just want to celebrate the fact that we are married and make love to you."




"You mean your wife?" another student asked.

"Yes, my wife, Buffy. But none of you go calling her that, though" He knew he'd be gettting it from her if students went around calling her Buffy and said it was because of him.

"When did you two get married?"

"Just last February," so far he was comfortable with everything that was being asked.

"Do you have any kids?" a quiet looking girl in the back asked.

"We have a daughter Sam who's seven. Buffy and I knew each other a few years ago," he explained at the few curious looks he got and tried not to get lost in memories.



"God, luv, do you know what...of course I want to make love to you, c'mere," he said attempting to pick her up, but she skitted away and bounced onto the bed. "Oh, you little minx, trying to live up to being my 'kitten' are you? My sex kitten Buffy."

She just smiled and leaned back against the pillows as he put his knee onto the bed. "Shh, love, don't think about it so much," Buffy told him, "Just feel." She pulled him gently so that he was lying over her, his legs between her hips.

She brought her legs up around his hips. "I love you William,: she said as she tightened her legs around his waist and reached between them.




"So she's in first grade?" one boy asked, "My sister's in first grade."

"Actually," William corrected, "She's in second grade, she was, um, she was in a private school last year and she learned enough to skip first grade."

"Is your whole family braniacs?" One of the boys in a football jacket asked.

"If you mean because my daughter skipped a grade, my father's the librarian here, and my wife's bleedin' brilliant...then yeah, my whole family's brainiacs."

"Is your wife good?" at the glare the student received, they clarified, "I mean is Ms. Summers-Giles a good teacher."

"She's great, the best actually," William was secretly answering both the question the student had asked and the one he'd first thought was being asked.



As he pushed inside her, she knew nothing had ever been this right. Not even their last time together had been this right; it came close, but didn't quite match. There was that deep feeling of love and commitment and trust there as he slowly thrust into her, wanting to draw the night out as long as possible.

"I love you, Buffy. So bloody much, never been this...good...feel so good, luv...so, so good," he looked into her eyes feeling nearly stuck dumb at the emotions he saw flickering back at him.

"Love you too," Buffy said, not able to say as much as he was, knowing she felt just as much as he was feeling.

"Never letting you go, pet. Never...you're the best," he sped up his thrusts, knowing neither of them were going to be able to hold on to their control much longer. "Love you so much...love you...love you...love you."

As he came inside of her, Buffy felt herself wishing that they'd have another child, something about being pregnant with William's child was magical to her...and this time he'd be there for it all. "I love you William," When he started to roll to her side, she begged of him, "Please, just, let's stay like this, want to feel you...feel that you're here."

He knew she was remembering, even if only barely, how their last time together had ended, "Not going anywhere. Going to stay right here and hold you, 'til you tell me to move."

They lay like that until they dozed off, William unknowingly rolling to his side and puling Buffy along with him. She’d say she had the best sleep of her life that night, but...well, the truth was, they hadn't done all that much sleeping.

Something William said about, "Have to make up for lost time, you know."




The bell rang signaling the end of his last class and while William wouldn't say he was pleased per se to be free of students for the day, he was pleased that he'd get to see Buffy and Sam now--Buffy had her last period free so she used it to pick up Sam.

"See you tomorrow Mr. Summers-Giles," several students called as they left class. William smiled and waved at them That is until he heard several, "Hi Ms. Summers-Giles"s.

William stopped collecting his papers and made his way quickly over to the door to greet his girls.

"Daddy! Hi! Guess what. My new teacher said that I'm really smart and she's glad I'm in her class. She's not as nice as you, but I like her," Sam ran over to him, letting him scoop her up and twirl her around.

"You're going to make me dizzy," Buffy mumbled, holding her stomach.

"Sorry luv, sorry pixie but looks like we’re going to have to wait for the spinning 'til mum's not around. Makes her feel sick."

"Because of the baby?"

"Because of the baby,"

"Okay...ooh, and Daddy guess what..." William picked up his things and locked the door, making his way towards the parking lot with Buffy and Sam in tow, Sam never once stopping in her story of her first day of school. William listened intently to everything she said, smiling when Buffy leaned over to whisper, "She saves all her talking up during the day, so we get an extra six hours of talking now," in his ear, a smile evident in her voice.

William used his hand that was holding Buffy's to sling his arm around her shoulder and pull her into him.

Buffy smiled at him, "I love you."

"Love you too kitten, love you too."


THE END





**************

First of all I want to apologise for not getting a list to thank each of you that has ever reviewed this fic, but I was going to do that just now, but we just found out our water heater is broken so that's sort of been taking up my time. I do want to thank each of you so, so, so much. And those of you that reviewed those first chapters should also be thanked for my continued posting of this story. I started this at a time when I was really unsure of myself (it's why I had the penname and told no one I was doing it), so any bad reviews--or no nice ones, I guess, might have just made me stop.

I'm so thankful I didn't though because this has come to be a story that I really do like. I love Sam and her cuteness and just the general idea of the story. Overall, I'm pretty proud of this being my first posted fic. The writing and posting of this fic has taken me through a lot of craziness and hard times in my life. And though I finished the actual writing of this a long time ago (like first time JM was on Smallville long), leaving it behind now is going to be sad.

But I do have new fics ready for you. 'My Boyfriend's Back' is the new one which I will start posting tomorrow and then probably post on Wednesdays each week. Then I have the other new one that I was supposed to have finished (and I do except for parts of two chapters) by the time this epilogue was posted. That fic has no title yet, only know that it is really pretty different from Learning Curve--let's just say that it's a bit darker. I would give you the title Panta_rei has jokingly (sort of) given it, but that would give too much away. If you read MBB though, you'll know the title when I get it and also find out when I'm doing to start posting it (like how I stuck that in there to get you to read it?)

Thank you for the (almost) 600 reviews--and wouldn't it be cool to actually get 600--this story has gotten and the six (if you don't count the messed up three) nominations it has received. Ans an extra thank you for the two Best Original Character nominations, for some reason those have made me extra happy.

I know how great nominations are, so I'll remind everyone before I finally shut up and go, to nominate at Fool For Love Awards and Spuffy Awards both of which are ending nominations in the next four or so days.

Two things I forgot: The 'brainiacs' thing wasn't meant as a joke...kind of words as one though. And the new fic (the untitled one) is an NC-17 rated one.

Last but not least, I owe my wonderful two, sometimes (only because I was slow) betas Nikilicious and Panta_rei a million thank yous for catching my stupid mistakes and helping me know where I was going. And thank you as well to Cordykitten who has let me know about some mistakes in those chapters that weren't quite beta'd before I posted them.

Thank you :-)


*Join my update list if you want to find out when new fics are updated--and in a few days three should be some other fics (that aren't on TSR) on my site


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