at the Spring Fling, after ‘Prophecy Girl’
Her dress was ruined and she wasn’t sure how she was going to explain that to her mom. It had been such a generous gift, one she knew her mother couldn’t afford, and now she’d have to think of some way to explain what had happened. Buffy was running out of plausible excuses for her ruined clothes, her bruises, her up-one-minute-down-the-next grades. Juggling her life was becoming more complicated by the minute.
And now she had to throw Angel into the mix. Okay, maybe not officially, since officially they weren’t ‘dating.’ Did vampires actually date? Buffy was pretty sure that even if they did, they didn’t date Slayers.
She watched him navigate the Spring Fling crowd at the Bronze carrying two huge mugs of cocoa. He was at least a head taller than most of the guys in the room and way better looking.
“I hope you like extra whipped cream,” Angel said depositing the mugs at the table and smiling.
“After the night I’ve had, whipped cream is a treat I’m willing to suffer the morning after guilt for,” Buffy said.
“You did good,” Angel said pushing one mug closer. “I hear chocolate is an appropriate reward for that sort of thing.”
Buffy lifted the mug and took a sip. It wasn’t real whipped cream, but it tasted yummy just the same. She doubted Angel would know the difference.
“Aren’t you going to drink yours?” she asked.
She watched, mesmerized as Angel’s hand- large and pale- floated towards her. She closed her eyes as he cupped her chin and his thumb brushed at the cream above her lip.
Willow appeared at her elbow.
“Are you okay?”
Buffy opened her eyes and blinked at her friend. “Oh, sorry.” She swiped the back of her hand across her mouth. “I’m good. What’s wrong?”
Willow laughed. “Nothing’s wrong. We just thought you might like to dance.” Willow jerked her head back over her shoulder to the dance floor where Xander was making a pretty decent fool of himself.
Buffy turned back to Angel. “Do you…”
“Dance? No!” Angel said. “But you go. I’ll watch.”
Buffy hopped off the stool and followed Willow to the dance floor.
“So,” Willow said, leaning closer so Buffy could hear. “What’s going on with you two?”
“Nothing. Why, does it look like there’s something going on?”
Willow smiled and shrugged.
Buffy looked back at Angel. He was sitting perfectly still, watching her with those thoughtful eyes. She turned back to Willow.
“There’s definitely something going on,” she said.
“He liked my dress,” Buffy said. “And he didn’t even get to see it before I drowned.” Buffy frowned. “But I can’t…we can’t…he’s a vampire.”
“He’s cute, though, right?”
Buffy took Willow’s hands. “You’re missing the point, Will. He’s my mortal enemy. I would be ignoring my sacred duty.” She looked back at Angel. “Blah, blah, blah. I’m in big trouble, aren’t I?”
“I’m gonna go with yes on that one,” Willow said.
after Buffy saved Angel in ‘What’s My Line, Part Two’
“You have some wacky friends,” Buffy said, handing Angel the mug of warm blood.
“Not friends, more like family,” Angel said.
Buffy lifted an eyebrow and sat on the edge of Angel’s bed. It was hard to keep her eyes on his face; his bare chest was like a billboard screaming: look at me, I’m perfect!
“Hey,” Angel said putting the mug on the little table beside his bed. “I haven’t thanked you yet.”
“Thanked me for what?”
“Rescuing me.” Angel laughed. “Now there’s one for the Watcher’s Diaries: Slayer Saves Vampire”
Buffy nodded. “I’m sure Giles is making that entry as we speak.”
“Seriously, though, thank you.”
“I couldn’t let that Billy Idol wannabe hurt you.”
“Well, he’s gone now. He won’t bother me, or you, again.” Angel shifted on his pillows. “Buffy.”
“I should have told you about Dru before. Spike, too. I guess they were a part of my past I never thought I’d have to deal with again.”
“The past has a way of biting you on the ass,” Buffy said, smiling at the expression on Angel’s face. “Kinda hard to avoid a past as long as yours, anyway.”
“True enough,” Angel said.
A moment went by and then Angel said: “How about passing on some of those restorative slayer powers.” He touched his index finger to his lips.
“Oh, now you want a kiss? A few days ago you didn’t even want to go for coffee.”
“I said I’d go for coffee, you said you’d let me know,” Angel said.
“Before that,” Buffy said.
“Ah. But to answer your question, yes, I want a kiss.”
“How can I decline? You’re injured.”
Buffy leaned forward and just before her lips touched Angel’s she paused.
“What?” Angel whispered.
Buffy lifted her eyelashes, met Angel’s eyes and smiled.
“Nothing. I’ve just never really thought about kissing before,” she lowered her eyes and found herself looking at Angel’s still, perfect chest. “Suddenly it seems really important.”
Angel’s fingers tilted Buffy’s chin and he said, “It is,” just before he kissed her.
back at the mansion, at then end of ‘Amends’
Angel threw another log onto the fire and then joined Buffy on the couch.
“It means something, right?” she said, her voice quiet.
“It means something.”
Buffy picked at the collar of her coat, which lay on the seat beside her.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen real snow,” she said. “We went to the mountains once, when I was a kid. I saw it then.”
“I’m sorry about what happened,” Angel said, “before.”
“It’s all right. You weren’t exactly in total possession of your faculties.”
“That’s pretty much true whenever I’m around you,” Angel said, his mouth quirking slightly. “And there’s gonna come a time, Buffy, when that excuse isn’t going to be enough.”
“But not tonight,” Buffy said. “Okay? I mean, it’s Christmas.”
Angel suddenly looked stricken.
“I didn’t get you any--”
“You did,” Buffy said. “You gave me the best gift ever. You stayed with me.”
when Buffy went after Angel during ‘The Yoko Factor’
Buffy watched the tail end of Angel’s coat disappear around the corner and she sighed. Could this day possibly get any worse? She took a step towards her door and then paused. Riley wouldn’t leave; she had a moment.
She ran down the hall after Angel. He was standing just outside the door of her dorm, looking up at the sky.
“Did you forget something,” he asked without turning to look at her.
“No,” she said, stopping beside him. “It’s just the way our lives are, who knows when we’ll see each other again and I--”
Angel looked down at her. “I know.”
“Do you?” Buffy said.
He nodded. For a moment he looked as though he might say more and then he pressed his lips together.
“Well anyway, I just didn’t want to regret not saying that I miss you.”
Angel sighed. He slid his fingers along Buffy’s arm and clasped her hand in his, giving it a quick squeeze before letting it go.
“I better get back,” Buffy said. “Riley’s--”
before the sun came up in ‘Forever’
“Well, we still have a few more minutes until I have to go,” Angel said, wrapping his arm around Buffy’s shoulder and hugging her close. She felt spindly under his fingers, like something fragile that might snap.
“Good,” she said. “Good.”
He didn’t know what to say to her because death for him, for over a century, had been part of the fun of being a vampire. Life was something that humans both cherished and took for granted and there was no more powerful feeling in the world than snatching it out of their unsuspecting hands.
Of course he hadn’t felt that way about killing someone for a very long time and the death of Buffy’s mother was unexpected and harsh. Not for him personally, but he couldn’t bear to see Buffy suffer. He’d do anything to take that worried, sad look from her eyes.
Except stay. He couldn’t do that.
His body was still humming from their shared kiss. One little kiss. A hundred years ago he’d equate the affect of Buffy’s kiss with the delirious pleasure he’d taken at the throat of some young virgin. Now he couldn’t imagine anything sweeter than her mouth pressed against his.
“The sky’s getting lighter,” she said, pressing her hand to his chest.
“Another minute,” he said.
She lifted her head and looked at him. Her eyes were solemn.
“Angel?” she asked. “Do you believe in heaven?”
He wasn’t sure what to say.
“Well, I know there’s a hell, so I guess it stands to reason--” He paused. “I was Catholic. I believe, yes.”
“And when we die, if we’ve lead a good life, we’ll be there with the people we love?”
Angel smiled and kissed her forehead. “I’m counting on it.”
when Buffy and Angel met after ‘Flooded’
He couldn’t believe how much she’d changed. And how little. He quickly calculated how long she’d been buried and took a step towards hers.
“Buffy,” he said when he was close enough to touch her.
“Hey,” she said.
“It’s good to see you.” That was lame. “I mean, really good.” That was lamer.
“Do you want to sit?” He motioned to a bench.
“Sure, okay,” she said. She walked away from him and he trailed, a docile puppy, behind.
He’d wanted to see for himself. To see if she was okay (clearly she wasn’t), to see if he could help (he seriously doubted it), to touch her and make sure she was real (he couldn’t say for certain that she wouldn’t break apart under his hand if he were to lay it upon her.)
“I don’t know where to start,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter where we start, really, the ending’s gonna be the same,” she said looking down into her lap. “It always is with us.”
Angel sighed. “I’m sorry. Maybe this just adds insult to injury.”
“You think my feelings for you are an insult?”
“Of course not,” he said reaching for her and then retracting his hand before it made contact. “I don’t think that. Is that what you think?”
Buffy risked a glance at him and said: “I don’t know. Everything is so—loud and bright.”
“It’ll get better.”
Buffy nodded non-commitally.
“You don’t believe that?” Angel asked moving closer to Buffy on the bench.
“I don’t know what to believe. The world seems backwards to me. It’s like I know people, but I can’t connect to them.”
“I’m so sorry,” Angel said, “that I wasn’t there, that I couldn’t help you or save you.”
“That’s what Spike said.”
“What?” Angel said, his eyes narrowing.
Buffy pursed her lips thoughtfully. “He said he didn’t save me when it counted, but that he saved me every night after.”
I’ll be goddamned, Angel thought.
“Be careful,” he said trying to keep his personal feelings for Spike from bleeding into the simple words.
“I’m not afraid of Spike,” Buffy said. She stood up suddenly and walked towards the railings that ran along the cliff. Some of the hair she’d pulled into a messy pony tail, floated free.
Angel stood and joined her at the rail.
“I just meant--”
“I know what you meant. I’m not afraid of him. I’m afraid of all this.” She gestured at the water below them. “What if it’s pointless? Why am I here? I was done, wasn’t I?”
Angel felt his throat close up. He risked wrapping an arm around Buffy’s narrow shoulders and he pulled her close. He knew how she felt. What it was like to be in a horrible hell dimension, returned to earth for some unknown reason, disoriented, exhausted, broken.
“What can I do?”
Buffy laughed. She knew that Angel empathized. She wished she could share with him what she had told Spike in the alley. Hell hadn’t spit her out; she’d been yanked out of Heaven.
It was a secret she shared with Spike: her confessor.
Angel would never know.
“This is good,” she said.
Angel squeezed her shoulder and placed a kiss on the top of her head. Soon it would be morning and they would go their separate ways.
And this would have to sustain them.
after Angel disappears into the shadows in ‘Chosen’
A Slayer in love with a vampire.
The irony wasn’t lost on Buffy. Neither was the humour: she couldn’t help but think that someone was having a huge laugh at the cosmic joke that sometimes masqueraded as her life.
She looked down at the amulet that Angel had given her. It was a garish looking thing. She hadn’t been lying: she didn’t have a thing that matched.
She didn’t suppose that mattered. Not at this point.
Her heart was finally returning to normal speed. She’d thought that after all these years she’d at least be able to feign indifference when confronted with Angel’s presence. Apparently not: the site of him still slammed into her with a force that couldn’t be ignored.
And the truth of the matter was she didn’t want to pretend anymore.
A Slayer in love with a vampire.
Now that was a story she intended on being around to tell to her grandchildren about.
Story Index Thoughts