So Many Things

So Many Things

By Kiki van Buren
Author's Notes

So many things

It’s a diary of secrets, she thinks, as she writes down her life. Letters. Letters that begin when they meet, letters she thinks of showing him yet never does. She’s so much younger than he is. Her dreams, she thinks, would seem childish. He is sophisticated and worldly and mysterious and so *so* what she wants. Why would he ever love someone like her?

He sees her at her worst and rarely at her best. He is there for her, he comforts her, allows her to comfort him. He smiles rarely, yet when he does, it is for her. He lets her touch him, explore his body and he touches her in return... so gently. His cool hands slip up under her shirt... soft, slow, warming from her skin... massaging her all over, his mouth closing firmly over hers, drinking in her screams as he makes her come apart in complete ecstasy.

He is bliss.

She lays there, loved, sated, in his arms, and basks in the quiet of being with him. She will give him every part of herself, she realizes. He owns her, past, present and future.

“I’ve written you letters for years, Angel,” she confides, looking up at him with a shy smile. Her smile broadens when she sees he is sound asleep. He is beautiful and boyish. She pulls him close and he groans in his sleep as he holds her tightly.

When she awakens, he is gone.

Days pass and she only goes on only because she is needed. She quickly learns silence is best. Her friends don’t understand, can’t understand. No one can understand: he is gone, he is still there. She begins to write again – it’s the only thing she has left - her words blurring as her tears hit the page, the words - like him - lost forever, until finally, one night, she forces herself out of bed to find a ballpoint that won’t smear when the ink becomes wet. She tells him, tells him so many important things. About forgiveness, and how Giles said he would forgive her, because he loves her. But then, days later, just as she reconciles herself, reconciles herself to what she has done... just as she regains a beginning of remembering herself, of sanity... he returns and smiles and loves her. And she is forced to do the unthinkable.

She doesn’t write to him for months.

It is a diary of anguish, she thinks, as she begins again, slowly, over time. A letter here, a letter there. There is a remove now; he will never know these inner stories, *these* secrets. He returns to her again but now they remain hidden. They must. They exist on two levels: what is said, officially, and what is really going on. So much communication, so much longing, outside of words, outside of gesture. They have always had a deep connection; just because it’s now forbidden, doesn’t mean it’s broken. It is painful, hard, horrible, exquisite bliss. Anguish. It is excruciating. It is the truest love.

How can he not leave?

It is a diary of patheticness, she thinks, as she writes down her life. Letters. Letters he will never see even if all their problems were miraculously solved because they are now ‘changed,’ the pain of it all unhealable. There are letters about her new ‘perfect’ boyfriend, her new life in college, her troubles with her friends, her sister, her sister-slayer and finding him with *her*, holding *her*, acting out of jealousy, grief and desperation, her anguish doubled when he chooses the betrayer over herself. Letters that accuse him of leading her on, accuse him of never loving her, that justify her selfish, childish actions, letters that rail at him, damning him back to Hell.

She writes to him obsessively and more often than she should. She stares at the phone wondering at what point it would be okay to call him, would it ever be okay, and finds that nothing, no reason is ever good enough. She lies to her new lover, saying she needs to patrol, instead returning to her dorm room to write to him - tears spilling down her face... how much she needs him, how much she misses him, how she is only half herself when she is away from him. About how her mother is sick and she is terrified and his wayward childe is the only one she can confide in. About how her friends, her true family, have moved on in spirit and don’t know her anymore.

Did he ever really know her? Does he know her still?

He appears when she needs him most and disappears when she needs him too much. She wants, craves, telling him all these things but there is not enough time, never enough time; he will never know this inner life, their inner life. It is hers but she is his and so she writes it down. He may have left but she hasn’t. She’s lost the bet and carries on by default but she is, assuredly, his. And so she writes, until the day she jumps, relieved, into blessed oblivion.

It is a diary of nothingness, she thinks, as she stares, stomach cold, at the middle, blank pages. Blank just as she is, pages filled solely with her essence, the only thing she has left, her fingers digging into her wrists until they bleed, smeared across the paper - watching in a dead sort of fascination, this proof of her life. The blood shows scientifically that she is alive but she knows better. She is not allowed to die - it’s been proven - yet it seems she is not allowed to live either. She is caught in limbo, she has no words, only pain, blood and sex - fucking. His childe takes her against the back of the Doublemeat, smiling when he smells her blood well the deep scratches the brick building makes as it scars her back, as he slams into her, tells her how she is nothing nothing nothing... nothing but blackness and blood.

She agrees.

She has no words, she has no thoughts. He’d come to see her when she’d first returned, he’d smiled and panicked and then had to leave, again, his soul in jeopardy. But the most painful thing is the distance between them at that meeting... was it always there? Or is it that she no longer exists, she is no longer whole, she is cocooned in a haze, apart? Separate? Cold? Unbreathing? Dead?

A dear friend dies and her life - her family - implodes and it is a wake up call. She must keep it together even if only by force of will. She gathers a reserve of strength she never knew she had. She becomes hated, she is cold - she knows this - but she has no choice. If not for her, then who? They mistrust her when she fights for his newly redeemed childe, but she ignores them. She knows she is right. They didn’t trust her the first time - she’s been through this before - but she will not lose this chance to make things right. Spike is safe and he *will* live and be redeemed and she will make it so. It is her second chance to do what’s right.

And it works. He dies, redeemed, and she, miraculously, finds herself released also. Willow has created a new chapter for her. And for the first time in years, she genuinely smiles.

It is a diary of possibility, she thinks with a smile, as the plane leaves the ground. She travels the world, she lives in normal, she does everything he’s wanted for her - after all, she’d promised. She continues with a vengeance after she finds out, belatedly, that he’d made his choice and it didn’t include her. Asshole. She is furious with him - he should have called and asked for her help during his final battle - but a part of her, deep in the hidden part of her heart, knows why he didn’t. He wanted *this* for her because he loved her.

She gets that.

She misses him. She avoids returning to America, takes lovers over the years and they are fine but they are not him. There is no closeness with them, nothing real. She suspects it is her fault. How close can she be to them when she leaves their bed each morning and sequesters herself beside her current “body of water” - the Seine, the Tibor, the Black Sea, the South Atlantic, the Mediterranean... setting down her words to him, sharing the sunlight with him. He will never know, he is long lost to her now, overwhelmed by a battle that was too big for him. There are weeks of angry tirades as she rails at him, calls him stupid, selfish, stubborn, shithead.... many ‘s’ words. It is like him, she thinks bitterly - often - not to call her, not to admit he has needs too. Or did he just not want her around? She asks that question too many times. She will never know the answer to that. She must learn to live with his choices.

She must learn to live. Period.

It is a diary of love, she thinks, as she finishes the book. Letters. Letters she wanted to show him but never did. After six years away, she’s been located and returned to the U.S., returned to California. She sits alone, apart from the others, on the sand next to the Santa Monica pier, the sun warm, the surf gentle at low tide, listening, breathing the scent of it... lost in thought, remembering all her dreams, one last time. That terrible summer she’d escaped to LA, the summer of Acathla... they’d met here. He’d slipped his arms around her and promised to love her, sometimes threatening her - her own guilt coming into play - most times forgiving her, loving her as he once - always - had. She’d feel him come behind her, encircle her... feel his breath on her shoulder. She can still feel him now, she realizes, moving beside her, even after the tingle she’d felt for years died along with the vampire in that final battle in LA.

“I’ve written you letters for years, Angel,” she says, smiling sadly and fingering the book. “My whole life, it seems, the good, the bad. You missed so much. I missed you so much, for so long.”

His arms wrap around her waist as he kneels behind her, his lips touching her right shoulder, his breath warm as he nuzzles her scar, breathing in her scent. “I love you. I always did no matter where you were, where we were. Please know that my choices....”

“I know,” she reassures him, relaxing back into him, enjoying the rise and fall of his chest behind her.

He places a kiss on the scar he’d long ago placed on her neck and leans his cheek against hers. She feels his face tighten as he grins. All he seems to do these days is grin. She likes it.

“Ready, my love?”

“*So* ready,” she says, pulling back and turning her head to smile back at him, accepting his hand so he can help her up. She brushes the sand off her silk dress; he helps by smoothing and adjusting the back. I wonder if he did this for Darla? I’ll have to ask.... Before they turn, she retrieves the book from the sand and hands it to him tentatively. “This...,” she starts, nervously, “my wedding gift to you, Angel. You asked and... well, it’s not pretty but it is what it is. It’s what you missed, before.”

The look in his eyes as they meet hers is clearly “honor.” “Thank you,” he whispers hoarsely with a tender smile, gently tucking the book under his arm and helping her adjust the veil over her face. He stares at her for a moment, his hand still on her cheek, and she’s fairly certain he’s going to cry. “*My* love,” he whispers, and, turning, takes her arm and leads her back to the others…. Giles, Faith, Willow, Connor, Dawn, Xander – her family. With a smile, he gently stows the diary under one of the back chairs and returns to her, leading her ‘down the aisle’ towards the minister, as the processional begins to play.

The End

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Author's Notes:
Rating: Teen -15 years old
Summary: Her love for him is so many things.
Disclaimer: This is a not-for-profit work of fanfiction. Any characters recognizable from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the Series belong to Joss Whedon and his associates. No infringement is intended through the use of any of the Buffy or Angel characters. Any additional characters and the actual story, for what they’re worth, belong to me.
Thank you: THANK YOU: To Calla for her friendship and thoughtful beta. To my LJ peeps for pushing me to continue to write. To Chrislee for being such a champion of BtVS/AtS fic!
Distribution: DISTRIBUTION: Twin Flames ( http://www.twinflames.co.uk/ ), Octaves of the Heart. If you’d like to host it, please ask first. Please do not post anywhere, without asking. Thanks!

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