Angel was utterly at peace in his dream. Buffy’s fingers stroked and caressed every inch of him, finally reaching his face. She brushed over his fluttering eyelids before coming to rest her palms on each of his cheeks and looked at him with pure adoration; a tiny smile teased the corner of her lips, and she leaned in to-
Something solid struck the back of Angel’s head and abruptly stole sleep from him. He lifted his hands to cover the area and risked a look from underneath the blanket to see what he was up against.
A very angry Buffy, holding a very fluffy pillow, stood beside the bed with a hand on her hip.
“Owww! Jesus. How much muscle did you put behind that damn thing?” he asked, rubbing his head before burying it back under his pillow.
She ignored his question. “It’s past noon. How’re you still sleeping?”
“Very easily. Or I was up until a minute ago.” He was silent for awhile, as Buffy’s glare remained unseen to him. Eventually, a soft snore could be heard emanating from the layers of blankets.
“Angel!” She punctuated the word with another swing of the pillow. “I need you to run to Duane Reade to get me a few things, okay?”
“Yeah? Like what?” he mumbled.
“I need some Midol and some pads.”
Angel’s eyes shot open. Shit. Suddenly wide awake, he reluctantly brought himself into a sitting position, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He lifted his gaze slowly to look at his wife and gave her the terrified “puppy eyes”.
“You sure y-you…need them right now? You don’t have any left under the sink there?”
Buffy rolled her eyes and walked into the bathroom and when she came back out she held a glass of water in her hand and was popping a couple of pills into her mouth, leaning her head back as she washed them down.
“Angel? Honey?” He waited patiently and optimistically at her kind tone. “You’re 250 years old. You drank blood for a living, and you’ve been avoiding a trip like this for a year now. So stop being such a pussy and go get a girl some pads. All right?” She smiled sweetly at him before turning around and heading back into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her. Angel stayed in his spot on the bed, twisting the sheets tightly in his hands.
A moment later, he heard the shower start, and as he got up to get dressed, he heard her call out, “Remember, Midol extra strength and Always ultra-thin overnight pads, with wings. Okay?”
Angel rubbed his eyes and slapped himself across the cheeks a few times, trying to gather some courage. “Yeah, oh…okay, sweetheart. You just...relax. I’ll take care of it,” he finally called back with no confidence and out the door he went.
He found himself praying that toads would begin hitting the windshield on the drive over to the pharmacy.
Duane Reade was dead silent, save for the sound of the torturous elevator music coming from the speakers above. Angel’s shoes clicked against the tile as he looked for the right aisle, avoiding the eyes of the kid behind the register who stared at him suspiciously, only slightly visible from behind the latest subscription of Jugs. Angel cleared his throat and kept walking, miraculously spotting the boxes of medication lined up on the shelves, following them until he hit the row of Midol. Extra strength.
One down, one to go.
He exhaled slowly then continued on, spending the next 10 minutes struggling to locate the other item. Beads of sweat began to form at his hairline, making their way down his temples. He passed by a very short, elderly woman picking up some arthritis medication, and stopped in his tracks. He weighed his options for a moment. Pervert kid behind the counter, or sweet old lady?
“Excuse me? Ma’am?” She continued reading the back of a box of Aspirin. “…Ma’am?” he said a little louder.
She turned her head and smiled when she saw him. “Oh, hello, dear. Is everything all right?”
“Oh, yes, it’s great. I was just wondering if you could help me.” She waited. “Um, you wouldn’t happen to know where the uh…feminine hygiene products are, would you?” he mumbled with a hand casually covering his mouth, and cleared his throat again. “You know, um, the pads?”
The woman’s smile grew, and she brought her hand up to squeeze Angel’s cheeks together. “Aren’t you the sweetest young man? Whoever the special lady is, you tell her she’s the luckiest woman in the world.” Angel attempted a small chuckle. “Aisle 2, with the tampons,” she said matter-of-factly, before smiling at him a final time and walking off towards the register, leaving Angel standing there looking horrified.
A few minutes later, he was still trying to figure out how something could bleed 12-15 grams for days and not die as he finally headed over to pay. That front-counter punk actually had the nerve to smirk at Angel as he rung the items through, making the former vampire clench his teeth in fury.
Leaving, Angel surmised that he probably didn’t need super strength to rip the little asshole’s head from the rest of his body. The whip-crack sound effect that followed him out the door didn’t help to assuage the temptation.
He heard crying when he walked back into the house and, panicking, he dropped the shopping bag and ran into the kitchen. He found Buffy seated at the table with her head in her hands. Angel kneeled next to her and put his arm tightly around her shoulders, pressing their foreheads together and whispering nonsensical words into her ear.
“Shhh, sweetheart, it’s okay. What is it; what happened?”
“Nothing, I just-” she sniffled. “Dawn just called. She and Brad are engaged!” Her hiccupping sobs continued.
“Well, that’s great news, isn’t it?” Angel asked, completely confused.
Buffy gave him an exasperated look through her tears. “Of course it’s great news, you dumbass! What kind of horrible sister do you think I am?” He kept staring at her, waiting for an explanation. She sighed and slowed her breathing. “Ugh. I’m just really emotional right now, I don’t know.” She covered her face with her hands again.
Angel rubbed circles on her back. “It’s just hormones. You’ll feel better in a few days, I promise.”
Her head shot up again, and it made Angel jump. “You know what? Can I hear a little less from a card carrying member of The Penis Society on his expertise regarding bleeding from the crotch?”
“Actually,” he began sheepishly, “I tried to apply for membership but they rejected me. Something about…being a pussy…?”
Buffy looked at him for a moment before snorting in laughter, then squeezed him tightly to her.
“Oh, God. I’m sorry, honey.” She leaned back to look at her poor, abused husband. “I know I’m being a complete uber-bitch today. You’re a prince for going to the pharmacy for me, despite how icky you find this whole topic – which, by the way, never fails to be really, really ironic to me. But you went anyway, and I’m the luckiest girl in the world.” She kissed him soundly on the lips, then messed up his hair a bit, knowing how he hated it.
“You know, that’s what an old lady told me in the store just now.”
“Angel, are you picking up chicks at the pharmacy?” She feigned hurt.
“Nah, she was a little young for me.” He heard her giggling as she went to grab her stuff by the door and smiled to himself, satisfied with his efforts.
The house was quiet for a few moments. A little too quiet, and Angel tried to dispel his uneasiness by grabbing some plates out of the cupboard to prepare lunch. “Angel?”
“Yeah, love, what is it?”
He heard Buffy walking back towards the kitchen, the plastic bag she was holding being noisily rummaged through.
She stepped towards him with barely controlled rage and held up the package of maxi pads. “I said I wanted the ones with wings.”
Angel’s heart pounded in his ears, the plates rattling in his trembling hands, as he seriously considered jumping out the kitchen window.
Summary: There are some things even a 250-year old former vampire is afraid of.
Notes: Thanks to my good bud, Eri - who is the most hilarious person I know - for looking over this and making it a better story. I’d also really like to thank Chrislee for, yet again, putting together this amazing ficathon and letting me be a part of a group of phenomenal writers.