It’s days like this that make her think she has the best of the worst. Not that she’d change a thing; this is as good as it gets.
The sun shines through large bay windows, but they don’t notice it from the dark corner. Angel wraps his arms around her. She can feel his smile on her skin as his head rests on her stomach and she knew that in this moment, everything was unbelievably right.
Until she opens her eyes, hours later and finds herself alone in the bed. Night has fallen and he’s run off again. Fighting his battles, drowning his sorrows – whatever it is that he does as night.
She gets out of the velvet and satiny haven and pulls on her jeans. This is how it happens; every night, they’d go their separate ways and do all the incessant bullshit they had to fill their time. But the early hours, that was their sacred time. They were so wrapped up in each then; they hadn’t even told their friends that they were together.
Grabbing her bag, she sifts through the stakes and heavy, sharp edges of knives until she wraps her hand around a small box. Pulling out a cigarette and lighting, she tries to remember when she started smoking. She figures it must have been between Xander and Giles. In losing the closest ring of circle, she’d slowly started killing herself. A cigarette here, a razor mark there.
Little stains in the grand scheme of things.
Nights like this, when she started thinking about how she felt when Dawn was gutted before her eyes, she’d find Faith and they’d take down the night stalkers in the rowdiest display of emotional buildup imaginable. Faith didn’t pretend to understand anymore, she just went along for the ride. Someone had to keep their eyes on her.
With Angel, Buffy could let herself stop thinking about everything outside of their sanctuary. He’d make love to her until her body damn near broke down and hold her until she pushed him away. He wanted more from her than she could give. So he took what he could get.
But Angel couldn’t ignore the lines crisscrossing her veins. The cold, empty look in her eyes when he’d go to her at night. Everything around her kept falling apart, and he thought he reminded her of something she could never have.
“Do you have to go?” she asked solemnly, as night fell around them.
He tried to ignore the tears streaming down her cheeks, even as they seemed to slice his heart open more by the second.
“There’s no turning back.”
“For the greater good? It's bullshit!”
He takes her in his arms and she holds him tight, as if that would keep him here.
It’s days like this that make her think she has the best of the worst. The darkness engulfs them, but he’s here for now. And that’s better than nothing.
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Summary: My smarting wounds washed in blood, I sought him whom my Soul did love.
Author's notes: Pretty short, but only because it started out a happier piece that went in a darker direction and had to be heavily reconstructed. The lines of the summary and the title are paraphrased from a poem by Anne Bradstreet called “By Night when Others Soundly Slept”.