Part 13

"I still say that was the most horrible thing that's ever happened to me," Lynn commented the next week. They were all seated around the McKellan's living room. They being Xander and Cordelia with their daughter, Carla, Oz and Willow with their son, Alex, Buffy, Angel, Lynn, Giles, Joyce, Jade, and Daniel. It was three days before Christmas and they had decided to have a gift exchange among themselves.

"How can getting an 85% in an English test be the most horrible thing that's ever happened to you?" Xander asked incredulously. "I was happy if I got a C in English... or any class for that matter."

"You weren't a straight A student, Xan," Buffy said.

"Well, I know how you feel," Willow offered.

"I'd think that what happened last week with Matt and Nicholas would've been horrible," Joyce commented.

Lynn shuddered. "It was."

Daniel, whose arm was around her shoulder, pulled her closer and rubbed her arm comfortingly. Over the past week, Lynn and Daniel had gotten a lot closer.

"What happened to them, anyway?" Jade asked.

Angel shrugged. "Who knows?" he answered. "Probably ended up killing each other or something. We don't know, though. We should be on guard."

"I can't believe that Lynn is really the One," Willow said.

"You can't?" Lynn said. "What about me? This is scary."

Again, Daniel rubbed her arm comfortingly. "Hey, what're you gonna name the baby?" he asked Angel and Buffy.

"We're not really sure what it is, yet," Angel said.

"It's a girl," Buffy answered with some certainty.

Angel frowned and turned to her. "You're only two and a half months pregnant, and we haven't asked the doctor..."

"It's a girl," Buffy repeated. "Maternal instinct."

Angel raised and eyebrow, but decided not to question it. "And we're not sure what we're gonna name it..." he told Daniel. At Buffy's glare, he ammended, "her."

"I like the name Kiara," Buffy added. "And Angel likes it, too, but we're not decided."

"Aunt Buffy?" Carla said suddenly. "I'm thirsty. Can I have some water?"

"Sure, sweetie," Buffy said and tapped Angel's arm. "Go get it."

Angel laughed and stood up. "Be right back."

"Wait," Lynn said and followed him into the kitchen.

Angel went to the refrigerator to get the water while Lynn leaned against the table. "I really am scared."

Startled at the sudden revelation, Angel turned to face her while holding the glass in one hand and the water jug in the other. "Buffy and I'll be here to help you out," he told her. "And if not, you have Willow and Oz and Xander and Cordelia and Giles and Grandma Joyce..."

"Don't say that," Lynn interrupted. "You will be here. No ifs. I hate ifs. Hey, I just met you, I'm not gonna lose you already."

Angel smiled, touched that she cared. "Neither do I. And I want to be here to meet your sister."

Lynn smiled and Angel snapped his fingers suddenly, as if remembering something. "Oh, I have something for you."

Lynn blinked. "You didn't have to," she said. "We already did the exchange. Besides, I get all the presents from you on Christmas morning." She grinned.

Angel laughed. "I know. But I really wanted to give this to you."

He reached into his pocket, brought out a small box with colorful wrapping, and handed it to Lynn. She looked at it for several moments before taking it into her hands and turning it around, examining it.

"You could see what's inside if you actually opened it," Angel suggested.

Lynn chuckled and proceeded to tear the paper off. It was a velvet box, just big enough to look like it could carry a necklace. Slowly, she opened it.

And gasped.

Inside was a beautiful gold locket. Not a heart like most lockets were, but a circle with intricate designs on the surface. She turned it over to find something engraved in another language.

"Gaelic," Angel offered. "It says, 'with love.'"

Lynn looked up at her father and threw her arms around him in a hug. "It's beautiful, thank you!"

He smiled. "You're welcome. My mother gave that me a long time ago. I found it the other day when I was searching for those drawings I told you I'd show you."

Lynn found herself getting teary-eyed. "Oh, now you're gonna make me ruin my make- up!" she joked.

With trembling fingers, she pried open the locket. There were two pictures inside; one of Buffy and one of Angel. She smiled and closed it again, then held it out to Angel. He took it and put it around her neck. "There," he said.

"Carla's getting real thirsty," Buffy said, poking her head into the kitchen. Then she noticed the locket. "Oooh, he gave you the locket? Isn't it beautiful?"

Lynn nodded. "It is," she agreed. "I love both of you."

Buffy smiled and stepped into the room. "I love you, too, sweetie. But you're gonna make my mascara run now, so let's go back out."

Lynn laughed. "Let's."

She grabbed the glass of water, stepped pass Buffy, and went back to the living room. Everything wasn't perfect. She knew it'd never be perfect. But now that Nicholas' emotions spell wasn't effecting them, she could finally straighten out all of her feelings and she was finally able to have a comfortable conversation with her father.

Buffy smiled at Angel and wrapped her arms around him. "It's going to be hard, Angel," she whispered, referring to Lynn. "I never wanted my daughter to have the same kind of life I had, and that's what I find myself giving her... the same life I had."

"I know," Angel replied. "But we'll help each other." He leaned down his head and kissed her gently. "And in the meantime, we have to plan out the things for this baby." Buffy nodded and reached up to kiss him again. He returned the kiss then pulled away far enough to speak.

"I love you," he murmured.

"I know," Buffy said. "I love you."


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