Part 5, Month 4
Whistling an Irish folk song, Doyle jogged into the office taking care not to damage the little gift he’d picked up an hour ago. It was guaranteed to brighten the office and no doubt bring a smile to Angel’s face. His blue eyes scanned the office and he wasn’t surprised to see neither the brunette or the vampire up yet.
With no-one around to ruin the surprise, the Irishman lifted a small present out from under his jacket and grinned down at the tiny yellow jumpsuit. “Aww!” he couldn’t but coo over the size of it, the jumpsuit could fit into the palm of his hand. It had the little white buttons and came with a matching yellow hat with little animal shaped ears.
“Mum, Dad!” Doyle hollered with a smug laugh, either they would get a kick out of it or he’d get a kick, whichever way he wasn’t going to change their new names for anyone.
As the final vestiges of her deep and very relaxing sleep, Cordelia felt herself waking up slowly but surely. Her back was aching a little bit and she went to move into a more comfortable position.
Her body felt heavier and she found it hard to roll onto her side, Cordelia frowned when the heaviness wouldn’t go away. Still half asleep, she wafted her light-feeling arms trying to dislodge the thing preventing her from getting comfortable. Her frown deepened when she found the heavy thing had soft sort of furry spikes and smooth skin…
Prising her eyes open with difficulty, the brunette found Angel’s head pressed softly against the rising slope of the unborn baby affectionately referred to as ‘Lump’ “Angel?”
Unaware she had woken up, the vampire jumped a mile and screeched in shock, clutching his wildly unbeating heart he sent her a very dark look as his back his the head board. “Jesus!” he muttered.
“Really? Where?!” Cordelia sniggered, now almost fully awake she pushed herself into a sitting position and folded her hands on the growing bump. “What were you doing?” her still glassy eyes wandered over to the clock partially lit from his beside lamp. “At 9 in the morning” her voice turned into an annoyed growl “It’s still the middle of the night for you”
He put a finger to his lips, silencing her as he moved back towards her stomach and replaced his head. Concentrating really hard and blocking out all other sounds loud to him, Angel focused on the barely noticeable heart beat. “I can hear, sssh” he whispered when she opened her mouth to speak.
He was too in awe at hearing his son’s heart beat to really listen to her questions. It was so quiet but strong and steady.
“The baby? You can hear the baby?” Cordelia spoke anyway, for once letting him telling her to shush go without a fight. Excitement took over as soon as Angel told her he could hear the heart and she tried to listen for herself.
Leaning her neck over to see if she could hear it too, the brunette shoved his head away and leaned over a little more. “Damn! I can’t… What does it sound like?” she asked excitedly, her hands reaching out to grab onto his shoulders and she all but shook the answer out of him.
He looked up at her with an identical excited smile that softened when he saw how she looked right at that moment. Almond-shaped hazel eyes were almost black as the pupils swallowed the irises in elation, allowing a corona of beaming toffee to light up the black.
A sleepy but amazed smile curled up her parted bare lips up at both corners, creating a dimple in her chin. The apples of her cheeks turned a pretty pink as her blood smoothed faster with both awakening and excitement.
Not getting an answer from the vampire, Cordelia shook his shoulders harder to snap him out of his silence.
“Hey!” Angel fully sat up and her hands fell down to his chest, “I can barely notice the heart beat, but it seems strong and steady. Like a little drum only quieter” his words were comforting but a little creepy. “It’s a boy, I just know it” he breathed knowingly, he suddenly felt like bouncing on the bed or tap dancing round Los Angeles.
It was a good thing they hadn’t gotten undressed before falling asleep last night as Doyle bounded down the apartment stairs. “Dad have you got any clothes on?” he hollered with a cheeky grin, wondering if they would notice the fact he never asked if Cordelia had any clothes on. Well, a half demon seer had to try didn’t he?
“I’ll be there in a minute and we both have clothes on!” Angel instantly noticed and responded with a little growl in the words. Frustrated that his discovery had been interrupted, the vampire climbed off the bed and with a spring in his step, bounced over to join his seer in the kitchen. “Good morning my good man” he greeted with a manly pat on the back, “Coffee?”
Leaning back against the table, Doyle watched as the vampire trotted around the kitchen grabbing a tray, a mug, glass and a bowl from one cupboard. Blue eyes followed his friend as he then got orange juice and milk from the fridge, cereal from another cupboard and bread from the bin. “Taking the mum-to-be breakfast in bed are ya?” he quipped with a forming grin.
“Nope, she’s joining us when she’s finished in the bathroom” Angel replied, turning to face the half demon the vampire rubbed his hands in glee. “I’m gonna be a dad!” all his teeth became visible when an idiotic smile lit up his face and warmed his gaze into the colour of hot, dark amber. “Me, a daddy!”
Nodding his congratulations, Doyle held out his hand for the vampire to shake, as he did every time he got told, and wincing when he did. Wringing off the small ache now in his fingers, the Irishman nudged his head towards the bathroom where the shower was now running steadily. “She going to be long in there?”
“Who knows” Angel stated ruefully as he postponed making Cordelia a healthy breakfast until she was out.
“Check this out man” holding out the little box the pint-sized jumpsuit was in, the dark haired seer lifted the lid to show his friend. “What d’ya think?”
“Oh my God, it’s tiny!” the vampire cooed as his eyes drifted over the yellow baby garment, “Thank you Doyle, it’s perfect. Just like my son’s going to be” no matter what she said, his baby was going to be a boy. He looked down in fascination as his large hand gently toyed with the small booties attached to the short legs. “This is really nice, thank you sincerely. Cordy’s gonna love it”
Taking over from where his thoughts were, Doyle put them into words. “A little lad with your eyes, nose and fangs!” he laughed merrily at his joke. “Can you imagine how ya’d feel if it was a girl?” he asked with a goofy grin. “She’d be as beautiful as her mother” the Irishman stated honestly and with absolute certainty.
The vampire’s actions immediately halted as he envisioned a girl with long, chestnut wavy hair and bright hazel eyes just like her mother, Cordelia. Angel swallowed a forming lump in his throat as he remembered the way Cordelia was fawned over by boy in high school.
Boys who had raging hormones who could barely keep their hands to themselves when she walked past them. Boys who stared in lustful fantasies whenever his Cordelia wore her cheerleading clothes. “It’s a boy” Angel stated thickly through an irrational wave of terror.
With a sharply exhaled puff of air, Doyle shook his head gravely. “Girls are nothing but trouble”
The sound of the shower ceased, announcing Cordelia was almost finished, after handing the jumpsuit back for hiding Angel went back to the task of making her breakfast.
Should pregnant women be eating cereal and drinking orange juice? He’d have to check on that and a lot of other of things too, like the correct intake of fluids during the day, extra vitamins, exercises and recommended resting periods. “Doyle”
“Yeah man?” Doyle asked as he pretended he wasn’t hiding nothing when Cordelia came out of the bathroom in her bathrobe. “Morning mum!” he wiggled his fingers in greeting, grinning when she gave him her patented eye roll and her choked “Aurgh!”
Slyly keeping his eye on the brunette making sure she wasn’t within hearing distance “There’s some money hidden upstairs in my office” Angel whispered. “Second drawer down on the left, take it and go buy me some books on pregnancy, babies, healthy eating during pregnancy, vitamins and pregnancy and stuff will you please?”
“This looks conspicuous” Cordelia’s accusing voice interrupted the vampire’s plan to make the healthiest pregnant woman alive. “What’cha doing?” she flopped lazily down into a chair at the table, her hazel eyes glancing from one to the other. “Aww Angel, you making me breakfast? That’s so sweet, I love you!” she had to throw the dog a bone once in a while.
“If our resident creature of the night hadn’t kept me up arguing over babies names again I would have gotten some decent sleep” okay, so she’d been a little excited herself but it was Angel’s fault that she had something to be excited for.
Pouring plenty of milk onto the cereal, Angel frowned when he noticed the nutritional information on the box, it was confusing. He wasn’t too happy with giving her that but it would have to do until they went shopping later that evening. He couldn’t go shopping until he’d read sufficient information on the dietary needs of a 4th month-along pregnant woman. “Doyle, while Cordy’s getting her breakfast can you go to the book place on 6th and get what me those books please?”
Angel studied the nutritional information once more before deciding this couldn’t wait until he could go shopping. “I meant now, Doyle”
“Sure thing Dad, won’t be long” Doyle gave him a mock salute before popping a kiss on her head, “Congratulations Mum” he sniggered and dodged the slap aimed at the back of his head.
“Thanks Uncle Doyle” Cordelia responded affectionately, she waited until the Irishman left on his mission before springing her questions on the vampire now questioning how much butter to put on her toast. “What do you have him going out for?”
“I’m caught huh?” Angel turned round with the tray loaded with her breakfast and placed it in front of her. He was tempted to watch her every move just to make sure she ate it all.
“You’ve done nothing for the last two weeks apart from talk about my prenatal exam next week, the fact you’re now an upcoming star of fatherhood and how wrong it is for me to have two sugars in my tea” she took a deep breath before continuing.
“Get over it!” Cordelia told him firmly and his eyebrows shot up to his hairline, “I know this new and great for you, it’s new and great for me too but can we please change the subject” she really hated it when she had to resort to whining to get her own way. “Can’t we talk about who’s doing what in Hollywood or who’s wearing what in Hollywood? I’d settle for talking about the latest Hellmouth issue just pleeaassee anything but babies!”
He shrugged sheepishly, an identical grin on his face as he watched her eat the breakfast he prepared. “I can’t help it sweetheart, I’m just really excited about this. We’ve only known for a little over two or three weeks and you’re already halfway through your pregnancy. We gotta start getting things ready before our little guy comes along”
Had he even noticed his had begun talking like a baby? Cordelia let it go and put it down to Angel being a normal, hormonal vampire daddy-to-be. “I know Angel” she shovelled a spoonful of cereal into her mouth, chewed with an expression that made him laugh before swallowing. “What are we going to do about a nursery?”
“I was thinking our son could stay in our room while we look for a bigger place” Angel commented as he sat opposite her with a smile on his face. “Doyle says he knows a guy who can get an apartment with a view” he couldn’t believe he was sitting here discussing a proper apartment with the girl having his baby.
There was a tightness forming in his chest, a feeling of completion, that caused Angel to tense and take notice immediately upon recognition of the danger it implied. He really needed to do something about his soul and fast.
It was getting harder to hold on to it.
His expression remained the same though his mind was swimming with thoughts of what would, and could happen if he were to lose his soul. Dark brown eyes held an intensity she missed in all her excitement.
“Cool, we’ll ask him to check it out sometime this week” Cordelia grinned over the table at him, “Angel, do you know how much I love you?” she sighed, eyes clouding over with a dreamy haze as she forgot all about the half-eaten breakfast and became content to drool over the vampire.
Angel had missed the way the hazel irises melted when she looked at him like she was doing now. Though she couldn’t remember mentally, Cordelia’s body constantly reacted to it’s recognised lover in unmissable ways.
Her breathing would deepen when he was near, her heart would speed up to the point where he could see the heightened pressure of her blood making her pulse throb. The air would become drenched in the familiar scent of female arousal and he knew if he touched her there, she’d be hot and wet.
Cordelia would react exactly the way she was now and Angel wasn’t sure what was worse. The fact that he knew she wanted his touch or the fact she didn’t know. One thing he knew for certain was he really needed to do something about his soul.
Two weeks later found the brunette sitting in her chair at her desk passing the time away by pretty much doing nothing.
She was definitely getting bigger, Cordelia tugged on the softly elasticised waistband of her pyjama pants as she sat in the office. For all she was only four months along, she was showing quite visibly and most of her dress pants were uncomfortable. “I need to go shopping” she grumbled, poking around the raised bump “Lump, you so owe me for this. You’re not even born and already you’re costing me money”
“You okay Cor?” Angel asked in concern when he saw she’d lost all colour in her face “You don’t look well” instantly he was at her side with his hand stroking her back comfortingly. According to one of the books Doyle had bought for him, physical contact between the mother and father stimulated the growing bond between both parents and child.
“I’ll get you a nice glass of water okay?” this would be number three of the recommended eight to ten glasses of water. “And a roast beef sandwich” iron was incredibly important during the early stages of pregnancy and since they had missed out on the first trimester, he was going to make it up to his son.
Leaning her now pale cheek against the warming material of his sweatshirt Cordelia let out a breath of relief that the butterflies felt her stomach was receding. “No, it was just a case of the butterflies that’s all Angel. God, what is she doing in there? Inviting her friends for a slumber party?”
No sooner had she uttered those words than the butterflies increased, Cordelia tried to get control over the feeling with deep, calm breaths. “Bathroom sweetheart, come on I’ll help you there” he easily scooped her up and carried her downstairs to the apartment bathroom. He didn’t understand, one of the books said that morning sickness usually passed just as the second trimester started.
Setting the pale brunette steadily on her feet, Angel then sat her down on the closed lid of the toilet and brushed her hair out of her face. “You sit here and I’ll fetch you some water”
Watching him warily, Cordelia wondered why he was being all touchy and pretty much on emergency call.
Later that day, it was going on early evening. Doyle was sitting with Cordelia as he was instructed by Angel and warned not to let her out of his sight while he went shopping for food, baby and maternity clothes for her. So here he was, getting his ass kicked by a nineteen-year-old Cordelia-shaped Pontoon hustler.
What made his losing worse was the fact he was the one who taught her how to play in first place. He just put it down to beginner’s luck. “Twist” Doyle nudged his head towards the dealer’s deck and waited to see whether or not he could pull of a winning five-card trick.
“Living dangerously are we?” Cordelia eyed him, trying to figure out if he was bluffing or not; with a quick flick of her wrist she flipped a card over and smirked when he got a Jack. “So” she pursed her lips and popped them “Where’d Angel go?”
She wouldn’t put it past the vampire to have Doyle on babysitting duty.
“Nowhere Mum” Doyle changed the subject, “So how does it feel to know that in five short months time you’re gonna have yourself a little bundle of joy cooing and grizzling drool on your shoulder? Bust and my deal by the way” his hand whipped out to pick up the cards. “I hear ya got your first ultrasound next week”
Her pale face got some colour back as she thought about the ultrasound happening on Wednesday. Hazel beamed with excitement and her lips curled up in a big smile that made the apples of her cheeks puff up. “I can’t wait Doyle, but I’m kinda scared you know. I mean, I’m not even twenty and I’m having a kid, Angel’s kid no less”
“I know you’d rather be having mine but your loss!” the seer retorted cheekily with a matching wink and smirk. Offhandedly, he wondered how Angel was getting on…
His jaw was aching, he was sure he’d never grinned so much at clothes in his life. Angel peered down at the jumpsuits, booties, hats and mittens he was holding and grinned widely in fatherly joy. There were blue suits, white suits and a pink suit just in case, each had there own matching booty and hat set and all were made from a soft, knitted material. The physically powerful vampire walked slowly down the aisle where the bottles, sterilising equipment and other accessories were.
“Everything is so small” Angel cooed in wonder as he juggled the clothes in one hand and picked up a bottle specially designed for a newborn. It was clear with white measuring marks on one side and a picture of a cartoon character on the other. “Cordy will love this” he added it to the growing pile of baby things.
“Is that your baby’s name? Cordy?” a heavily pregnant woman asked with a warm smile. She had wavy blonde hair, large blue eyes and she seemed to glow with energy.
Smiling back at her, Angel shook his head “No, um my son isn’t due for another five months but I wanna start getting things ready for him”
“Is he your first?” she asked knowingly, recognising the excitement once experienced by herself in the man in front of her.
“Yeah, it’s gonna be great. I can’t wait” the vampire had to stop himself from bouncing up and down on the spot. “Is this your first?”
The woman chuckled, “Oh no, my third. I’m hoping for a girl this time”
“Your third” Angel pondered, “So you must know a lot about pregnancy then” he assumed as he thought up a list of questions he could ask her. “My girlfriend is four months, or 17 weeks, along and I read that morning sickness should be decreasing around the end of the first trimester but she’s still being sick. Did that happen to you?”
“Morning sickness doesn’t necessarily mean you’re only sick in the mornings” she chuckled warmly at his clueless disposition. “Just like some women have it throughout their entire pregnancy. How old is she?”
“Cordy? She’s nineteen, she’s been my secretary for about eight months now” Angel told her then wondered why the woman’s smile to freeze up lightly. “Are you okay miss?” he asked in genuine concern as she now glared at him. “Did I say something…” it clicked.
“Oh no, you misunderstood…” he went to rephrase his words before she thought of him as one of those men who slept with their gorgeous, young secretaries and got them pregnant after a night of unprotected sex.
He refused to think just how right that description of him was!
“You men are all the same” the strange woman yelled “A pretty young thing comes along and you automatically climb into the nearest bed with them. Well” the woman straightened her clothes out “You’ve made your bed and I hope to God it has thorns in it. I pity that poor girl”
A stunned into silence Angel watched open mouthed as the woman flipped her head around so fast he was sure she would get whiplash before storming off. “Bye to you too” the vampire called out, sarcasm dripping from his tongue as he found himself along in the equipment aisle once more.
After a few more aisles, Angel came to a display of varying types of cots and cradles which he stared unimpressed at every single one. Sure, they all looked cute and each came with their own musical lullaby playing light show but at the same time they seemed plain and not right for his first born.
“The cradle will have to wait until Cordy’s with me I guess” he muttered to himself with a pout that he couldn’t surprise her with a cradle for their baby. He trudged towards the checkout pouting dejectedly.
It wasn’t long before Wednesday evening came, Doyle and his newly reacquainted wife, Harry, had been invited to see the first ultrasound viewing of Angel and Cordelia’s baby. It wasn’t as easy following the directional boards in St. Matthews hospital as he thought it would be but they eventually found the place where they needed to be.
After a short conversation with the receptionist on duty, Doyle and Harry found the correct waiting room where the Angel and Cordelia were waiting. The brunette’s hair had been scooped up into a messy ponytail, wispy strands falling down to frame her face with blue overalls covering her enlarging stomach and a red shirt underneath that looked like it belonged to Angel.
Even though morning sickness had been keeping her up late mostly every night and though she looked tired, Cordelia still seemed to have that pregnant woman glow. She seemed softer, more approachable and it was like she’d lost her vicious bite.
“Angel, Princess” after Cordelia got him with a right hook yesterday, he’d decided against using his pet names for them again. Holding his wife’s hand in a protective grip, unconsciously and irrationally warning Angel off of Harry. As always, Doyle held out his hand in congratulations to the vampire and as always, he winced at the strength in his grip. “I’d like you meet Harry, my wife”
Cordelia tilted her head to look at the other woman with a warm, welcoming smile on her face. Her hair was in tight, dark blonde ringlets some of which were held back with an exotic looking clip, her eyes were blue and her skin was lightly bronzed. “I would get up but it seems my body has melded with my chair so…” she stuck her hand up for the other woman to take.
“You must be Cordelia” Harry nodded in recognition though she had never laid eyes on the brunette before. “I’m Harry, Francis has told me so much about the both of you” the ringlets swished up and down as she nodded towards Angel in greeting. “I take it this is Angel, the vampire with a soul and a baby on the way. Interesting”
“Not so interesting as it is gory” the brunette sent an apologetic smile towards the dark haired vampire at his yelp of hurt. “What? It’s true. He doesn’t like to talk about it Harry, for some reason his own past squicks him out which is strange cus he lived it…” the rest of her words got cut off as the discussed vampire spoke for the first time to Doyle’s wife.
He placed a large hand on Cordelia’s shoulder, squeezing her lightly but warning her to shut up “Excuse me” Angel leaned down, pretending to kiss her “You do want the cake baking slowly tonight, don’t you sweetheart? With allll that sticky chocolate toffee sauce and the chocolate chips that melt”
“I’m shutting up” Cordelia held her hands up in mock apology, shooting a dirty look that told him what she thought of his blackmail. A thought suddenly occurred to her, turning a deeply worried gaze up to Angel she tugged on his sleeve to get his attention away from Doyle. “What if the baby’s half vampire?”
That stopped all mindless introductions quickly, Angel and Doyle became still while Harry mused over her words silently before speaking.
“If Angel was human at the time of conception like I was told, then surely the baby would be fully human” everyone breathed a sigh of relief at her logical thinking. The demonologist in her wouldn’t let her brain rest at that simple conclusion.
“On the other hand” everyone tensed back up “With Angel being a vampire for so long, it might be worth your while to seek someone who can help with this” Harry paused for thought before speaking again as the perfect person came to mind. “I know just the person”
“Miss. Chase, Mr. Angel?” a nurse called as she came into the waiting room, a friendly smile on her face as she looked at the young mother-to-be. “The doctor will see you now”
Cordelia and Angel sucked in equal breaths of nervousness and excitement as they prepared to experience their first look at their unborn baby.
Hazel eyes locked onto deep brown as he took hold of her smaller, warmer hand in a tight and reassuring grip. “You ready?” Angel asked, he could swear his heart was pounding.
“Yeah” Cordelia exhaled a breath she didn’t know she was holding as the vampire gently guided her up from the chair into the medical room. Both wondering what was to come.