No one could move. It was as if the ground had turned into cement. Spike was the first one who broke the silence.
" Summers"? He asked a little unsure if she was really there or not.
"Daniels", she answered back as she cocked an eyebrow.
Spike must have recovered from shock, because a smirk crossed his face. "Well, well, well what are you doing on this side of town? What, did your mommy drop you off at the wrong place?"
Buffy felt her throat tighten. "Dont kill him", she thought. "Yet. No, I snuck out."
Spike started circling her like a piece of meat. "Oooh, big bad Summers", he said. A few tough looking guys sneered. "No, really, tell me, why are you here?"
Buffy tossed her hair over her shoulder a little. "I heard it was a good place to be."
Spike stopped circling her and stepped up to her with a serious look on his face."Did Angel say something?" He asked in a hushed tone.
"No, and even if he did, it would be his own damn business wouldn't it?" She answered flippantly.
Spike smirked again. "So, you came here to test your ability, aye?"
Buffy smiled. "Thats right, blondie."
Jenkins, the guy she had hit, stood up behind Spike. "Don't worry, buddy. I'll take care of her", he said as he started advancing toward Buffy.
"Now wait a minute", Spike said as he put a hand up to stop him. "Since she is a lady, it's only right that a gentlemen take her challenge", he said. A few people snickered. He shot them all dangerous looks. They stopped snickering. "Are you sure you really want to get your ass kicked and be embarrassed in front of all these people?" He asked as he pointed to the many people sitting around them.
"We'll see who's embarrassed", she said as she pulled her long blond hair up into a messy ponytail. She took a fighting stance in front of him.
Spike backed up a little. "Whoa, you're serious? I cant fight you."
Buffy didnt move a muscle. "Why? Afraid youll lose to me, boy?" She said in a taunting voice.
Spike threw off his leather duster. "I'm not going to go easy on you."
Buffy smirked a little. "Don't worry about me. Just bring it."
Spike looked away, then attacked. Cheering erupted from the crowd as they watched the pair of fighters move.
Spike made the first move. He jabbed at her face with a quick right, but Buffy easily dodged it, making him lose his balance and fall forward a little. Buffy caught his outstretched arm and brought it quickly over her head causing him to flip onto the ground.
"Whats a matter, Spike? Tired already?" She said.
He grunted and lunged at her grabbing her waist and hauling her onto his shoulder. He rammed her into a large wooden crate. She squealed in pain but managed to flip off the box and onto the ground in front of him.
With one smooth movement, Buffy turned and kicked in his abdomen, throwing him backwards. He grunted as he hit the large crate he had thrown Buffy up against previously. Buffy wasted no time and quickly punched at his face. Spike barely rolled out of the way in time as her hand went pummeling through the wooden crate. She felt pain rushing through her body, and blood slowly descend her hand, but she pushed the hurt away.
"I need to win", Buffy thought. "It's the only way I can be with Angel."
Buffy and Spike faced each other again, circling like dogs. Again, Spike made the first move. Spike punched her stomach and she doubled over. Spike then elbowed her in the small of her back. She collapsed onto her knees. He attempted a jump kick at Buffys midsection. Blocking it, she rolled under him and kicked him from behind. He fell to his knees and rolled before she could finish the spinning kick that would send him to sleep. Facing each other again, Buffy and Spike took punch for punch and kick for kick. It was like a fierce dance, and only one could lead. Only one could win. Buffy was thrown up against the large crate again headfirst. Pain shot instantly through her body as she cried out. She looked up in time to see Spike lifting his leg to kick her face. She easily ducked it by rolling under his leg and letting it hit the crate. She lifted his leg even higher and flipped him onto his stomach.
"Is that all you got?" Buffy taunted. Spike grunted again and charged at her. She stood there waiting.
"Not yet not yet NOW! "Buffy thought as she quickly spun away and kicked him in the back sending him into the crowd.
Spike didnt get back up.
Faith saw the whole fight and pushed past a smiling Buffy toward her brother.
"Spike? Spike?" She asked.
"Mum, can I have a peanut butter sandwich?" He said groggily.
Faith got up and walked over toward Buffy.
"I should knock all your teeth out, Summers", she said.
Buffy smiled. "Not if you're any better than he is", she said. Faith leaped toward her.
" Faith! STOP"! A voice yelled from behind them. They both turned around and found Angel standing above Spike.
"What is going on here?" He asked.
"She kicked the shit out of Spike!" Faith replied.
Angels face became unreadable. "Ex-excuse me?"
Faith nodded and pointed to Buffy. "She, as in Buffy Summers, beat the shit out of Spike! Weren't you listening the first time?"
Spike sat up, wiping blood from his lip. "She is a bleedin' freak!"
Angel turned to Spike and looked at him. "My God", he thought, "she really did kick his ass."
With this in mind, Angel couldnt help but smile. Again, the smile turned into a chuckle, and then into a laugh he couldnt help but let out. He must have laughed for 5 whole minutes before he calmed down a little.
"Wait, wait, wait", he said still smirking, "she, kicked HIS ass?"
Faith smiled too. "Yeah. She beat him like a dog", she said. She too burst into laughter.
The rest of the crowd began to chuckle too.
"HAHAHA! Laugh all you want! Bugger you all!" Spike said as he wiped more blood from his lip. "The fight is now over, so go the hell home!"
The chuckling crowd began to file out of the area. As the dock became quiet once more, Faith, Buffy, and Angel, walked out of the metal fence that lead to the arena.
"Ya know what, you're all right, B", Faith said to Buffy. Buffy smiled.
"You're not too bad yourself, F", she replied. Faith smiled and turned to go into the large building she called home.
" I'm out. I'll see ya inside Angel. See ya around, B", Faith said as she walked inside the door.
"Night", Buffy called inside.
She and Angel were alone again.
"Um, do you want me to walk you home?" Angel asked a little awkwardly.
Buffy smiled. "No, thats all right. I mean, if I can survive fighting William the Bloody, I think I can fight off whatever baddie tries to get in my way", she said.
"Ah, but you dont know that. There could be bad things out there waiting for a girl like you. I should walk you home. You know, keep the monsters away. They wont bother you when they see such an intimidating, handsome guy walking you", he replied, a slight smile playing on his lips.
Buffy giggled." Gee, glad youre not cocky. Might make that offer seem a little big-headed."
Angel offered her his hand. "Walk you home?"
Buffy looked up into his deep brown eyes and smiled. "Sure. Just no funny stuff, mister. I can kick your ass five ways from Tuesday", she replied as she took his hand.
Angel laughed lightly. "Really. Not with that hand you couldn't", Angel said as he nodded toward her other hand. It was brownish red with dried blood.
Buffy walked along. "Nah, I could still take you. It didn't stop me any when I was fighting your brother", she said.
Angel laughed. "Yeah, well, I'm a little harder to take down than my brother is."
Buffy giggled." Are you sure? You mean, not all Daniels men are loud, rude and arrogant?"
Angel glared at her half-heartedly. "You better watch it, I might just have to beat you up."
Buffy smiled at him, then she looked down. "So, are you going to turn me in?"
" What?" Angel asked.
"For sneaking out. I'm pretty sure Giles would have a cow if he knew I snuck out to go to a fight club", she said.
Angel smiled. They shared a long look as they walked toward her home.
After awhile, Buffy spoke up.
"You never answered me ya know", she said as she looked up at him coyly. "You gonna turn me in?"
Angel smiled sweetly down at her. "No, I think I'll wait for you to surrender."
Buffy smiled at Angel as they continued walking.
Meanwhile, Roman sat in his room with his head on his hands.
"What to do what to dohe thought."
He had witnessed the entire fight, and watched Buffy and Angel as he walked her home.
" Shes getting to him", he thought. "There's only one thing to do when something stands in your way. "
"Take it away."
The next day, Buffy and Angel sat in the library. Piles of books surrounded them, but they werent really studying.
" So, where did you learn karate?" Angel asked silently.
Buffy smiled. "When I was back in L.A., I took lessons for about 4 years."
"Ohh, so are you a black belt or something"? He asked, a smile spreading across his face.
"No, I am only a brown belt. If we would have stayed in L.A., I could have finished my training, however you know the res"t, Buffy said.
"Ohh" Angel replied, aggravated that he didnt have anything more interesting or witty to say. He looked up from his book at Buffy.
Her blond hair was pulled up into a messy ponytail, and strands hung untidily around her face. Her beautiful flawless face was cut and bruised, but without any major injuries. She looked a little tired, and she went without make up. Not how he usually liked his women. The funny thing was, that the whole time he watched Buffy, all he could think was, God, shes beautiful.
Buffy suddenly looked up and saw Angel staring at her.
"What? Is there something on my face?" She asked. Angel blushed.
"No, I was just, um, inspecting the damage done", he said. Smooth move, idiot. Get caught looking at her. She probably thinks youre a stalker or something.
"Well, I have a few cuts and scrapes, but other than that, I feel pretty good. I haven't had that much exercise since I moved from L.A"., she said. She tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear.
"Here, you have something on your face", Angel said.
Buffys brow tightened. "Where?"
"Right here", Angel said as he pointed to his own face.
"No, your right side."
"No, your other right", he replied.
She huffed." I give up! You do it!" She said.
He reached over the table and brushed the piece of lint away from her cheek. His hands gently grazed her soft skin. When they touched, it was like electricity flowing through his system. She must have felt the same way, because her eyes closed, then fluttered open.
"Oh, um, here", Angel said as he handed the little piece of fuzz to her.
"Thanks", she said. She smiled brightly at him.
They both continued looking through their books when Angel snapped his shut.
" You know what, I'm bored. How about we go to the Bronze or something", he said. Buffy closed her book as well.
"Count me in."
" Okay, then, how about I pick you up around 7:00?" Angel asked. "Does that give you enough time to do your girly things?"
Buffy laughed. "It should. You know where I live. Just come on in."
"Okay then", Angel said as he picked up his books and walked away.
"Crikey", Spike exclaimed as he went to fan the air around him. "What kind of sick beast did in here? No, better question, what made you believe that that shit would cover up the smell?"
Angel laughed. "Very funny, Gimp", he said. He had begun calling Spike Gimp since Buffy beat him. Since she beat him, he hobbled a little.
"Where are you going tonight"? Spike asked.
"The Bronze. Going on a dat"e, Angel said in a singsong voice as he ran gelled fingers through his hair.
"Easy there, mate", Spike said." Hot one?"
Angel smiled. "The hottest. But shes not just hot, she's beautiful."
"Yeah, yeah, the real question is, does she put out"? Spike said to Angel's reflection in the bathroom mirror.
Angel's reflection became serious. "Its' not like that. Don't ever say anything like that ever again, do you understand me?"
Spike threw his arms up in defense. "Hey, sorry. Geez, if I didnt know any better, I'd think you had feelings for the girl", he said.
Angel was quiet.
Spikes eyes widened. "Crikey! You do! Well bugger me!"
Angel turned and faced his brother. "I do not."
"Oh, you do. Why else would you be defending some chicks honor if you were only planning a one night thing with her?" Spike asked as Angel walked out the bathroom door.
"Women are supposed to be revered and honored. They are the bearers of life, Angel said. Plus, without them where would we be? Homosexual, thats where", he said. That shut Spike up. "That was close", Angel thought.
"Glad you think that. Now just remember that after you pee. How hard is it to put the damn seat down?" Faith screamed from inside the bathroom.
"If you want it down, leave it up when YOU'RE done", Spike yelled back at her. Angel and he traded smiles.
"Where's Roman"? Angel asked as he pulled on a pair of black boots.
" He's asleep. He's been thinking a lot. He hasn't come out of his room for almost a whole day," Spike replied.
" Hm", Angel said back. "Could you hand me my jacket please?"
Spike handed Angel his duster. "Hey, if this girl is hot, how about hooking me up with one of her friends?"
Angel looked at Spike and just shook his head and sighed. "Goodnight", he said as he turned off and walked out the door.
From his bedroom window, Roman watched Angel get into his car and drive away.
"Wonder what hes up to?" Roman thought out loud. Maybe, his brother should follow him
Coming, Rupert Giles said as he rushed toward the door. When he opened it, his face dropped and his voice strained.
"Um, hi, is Buffy here"? Angel asked awkwardly.
" Uhh Uhh" Giles replied. For some odd reason, he couldnt get his mouth to work in a proper fashion.
" I'm here!" Buffy called from within. She appeared in the doorway wearing a tight brown skirt with a slit up the middle, and a loose fitting, tan peasant shirt. Her hair was pulled up into a half ponytail, and she was wearing brown knee high boots.
"Hey", she said as she smiled at him.
"Hey", he replied as he uncomfortably shifted from one foot to the other.
"Well be back around 11, okay?" Buffy asked Giles.
"What? Oh, yes, that'll be quite all right", Giles replied.
"Thanks", she said as she pecked him on the cheek and quickly grabbed Angels hand.
"Lets go!" Buffy exclaimed as she climbed into his sleek black trans am he had salvaged and put together himself.
Buffy felt the music pulsating through her body, as it pounded in her ears. She felt so good, and so free. It was nice getting out on a date. She had to hand it to Willow. She was right about the whole, date thing.
Angel moved his hands from Buffys back to her round derriere. He was facing her, and his knee was lodged between her spread legs. Their faces were so close he could feel her breath on his face, and he could see the sweat glistening on her forehead.
Buffy rocked rythmically with the music as it filled her. It felt so good to have his hands on her body. She had this sudden urge to kiss him.
She ran her hands up through his tasseled hair and she opened her eyes. They stared into each others eyes before Buffy moved in closer. Just before their lips met, the song ended, and they pulled away.
"Oh, I could use a break," Buffy said as she desperately tried to cover up her disappointment.
"Yeah, same here. Want something to drink?" Angel asked.
"Sure. Water, please?" Buffy asked.
" Okay, be right back."
Buffy went over to a table and sat down, enjoying the sensation of being off her feet. She had never danced so intensely in her life! For some reason, she thought that maybe being with Angel had some small part in that.
"Hey! Buffy!" Willow exclaimed happily from behind her friend.
"Hey Will, Buffy" said. She noticed Willow was holding someones hand. That someone was Oz.
"Hey Oz", Buffy said to the short red head.
"Hey", he replied. He was a guy that said very little, but meant a lot.
"Buffster!" Xander exclaimed from behind Oz." What are you doing here? Are you here alone?"
Buffy shook her head. "Oh no, I'm here with"
"Here's your water", Angel said as he sat the bottle down in front of her.
"Angel", Willow said. Her green eyes were wide open like a deer in headlights.
"Hey, um, Willow, right? "Angel said.
"Angel", Oz said.
"Oz", Angel replied.
"Angel how wonderful it is to see you here", Xander said.
"Harris "Angel said. He could tell the boy was obviously jealous of Buffy and him.
"What are you guys doing here?" Will asked nervously. She sensed the tension between the two males.
"Oh you know, dance, drink, party. The usual. You?" Buffy said.
"We were just coming because we had nothing else to do", Will replied.
S"o, Angel, decide that taunting Buffy in school just wasnt enough"? Xander asked.
Angel remained cool.
"You decided to start following her, is that it?" Xander continued to inquire.
"Xander" Buffy warned. He could see her cocking an eyebrow out of the corner of her eye.
"What?" Xander asked.
Buffy shot him a look.
"Is it my fault he is a psychopathic killer who murdered his own mom?" Xander asked.
Buffy felted Angel's whole body go rigid under the table. She could tell he was fighting off an urge to beat Xander to a bloody pulp.
Not to say he didnt deserve it, but starting fights in public places was just not a good thing.
"Come on, Angel", Buffy said as she grabbed his hand.
" Bye, Buff", Willow said to her as she walked away. When she was already out the door, Willow smacked Xander.
"What was that for?" Xander asked.
Willow shot him a nasty glare.
"You can't tell me you've never wondered whether or not he was insane?" Xander asked.
Willow sighed and she and Oz went to find a couch, leaving Xander standing alone.
Unbeknowst to the couple, Roman and Spike were standing in the shadows, watching them dance, and watching them talk to Buffys friends.
"He's getting sof"t, Roman said.
"Soft, no, a little over ripe, yeah", Spike said.
Roman glared at him from the corner of his eye. "I guess, we'll have to keep an eye on this thing, and hope that he hasnt packed it in for the long haul."
"I'm sorry for the way Xander was acting. He's usually not that assholish", Buffy apologized.
" It's all right. He had every right to be mad at me. I wasnt very nice to you before hand", Angel replied as he helped her out of the car as they arrived at her house.
"Yeah, but still, it's not right to just accuse people of things like that. He should never have said anything", Buffy said.
" Yeah, thats true. But, I still owe you an apology. I'm sorry for being such a jerk the last couple of years. I was a complete moron and I'm sorry", he said.
They came to rest on her porch.
" It's okay", she replied. "You're a different person now."
Angel chuckled. "I feel different."
"You are", Buffy said. She smiled at him. "You are nicer, and sweeter, and maybe even a little more human."
Angel smiled back at her. "Well, if being human feels this good make me a mortal anyday", he replied.
Buffy smiled at him and pulled a lose strand of hair between her fingers.
" Oh, wait, you have something again", Angel said.
"Right here", Angel said as he reached forward and touched her face. He pulled off the fuzz and yet continued stroking her cheek.
Buffy blushed. "Thank you."
"You're welcome", Angel said, almost breathlessly.
Just then, Angel leaned in a captured her lips with his. The sheer power of their slightly intimate touching made her shiver in her boots, and him groan with pleasure.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. The one kiss grew into a long kiss that lasted minutes. It wasnt a real erotic kiss. There was no tongue involved, but it had the same effect. The kiss wasnt meant to be hard and rushed.
It was sweet.
Buffy and Angel pulled away, completely breathless.
"That was nice", Buffy said.
"Yeah, that was very nice", Angel agreed.
She smiled at him. "Thank you for a stress free evening, and sorry again."
Angel smiled back. "You're welcome."
She opened the front door and walked inside. "Goodnight."
As she shut the door, she licked her lips and found they still tasted like Angel. She had never been kissed like that before. It was magical.
"And to think, all I could say was, that was nice". Buffy said. She giggled then ran upstairs two at a time.
Angel smiled. He could still feel her sweet lips pressed against his. There was no way he had ever felt this way about someone before. It was new and exciting, and yet sweet and gentle. He was sure he liked it.
"And to think, all I could say was, that was very nice." Angel said to himself as he got in his car and drove away smiling.
"Buffy, I did your laundry. Dinner will be ready in about five minutes", Giles called to Buffy. He was a little worried about Buffy. She had been prancing around all day and since yesterday night. In fact, he only got about five hours sleep because she kept squealing last night. He knew it had something to do with the handsome stranger she went out to the club with last night, but after that, he was at a loss.
"Where's Buffy?" James asked. Buffys little brother was sitting at the kitchen table coloring. "I made-ed her a picture", he said. He held it up for Giles approval.
"Ohh, thats very nice, James", Giles said. He looked at the picture of he and Buffy. They were basically stick figures with brown and yellow hair, but it was the thought that count.
Giles had been sucked into becoming Buffy and Jamess legal guardian about a year and a half ago. Giles dated their mother when they first moved to Sunnydale, and since then, he loved her children. In her will, she had asked Giles to become their legal guardian. Giles had accepted happily. Ever since Buffys mom died, James looked to Buffy for motherly support and love. And since his dad was away in Puerto Rico or something with his secretary, he saw Giles as his dad. Giles was a great dad. Since he never had kids of his own, he had a chance to make up for lost time with James and Buffy.
"Yep! And its for Buffy cos she asked for a picture for her locker", James said. His light brown hair gleamed in the kitchen light. "You think she will like it?"
Giles smiled as he set the table. "I'm sure she will. She always does."
James smiled brightly. Giles had always thought that he and Buffy shared a remarkable resemblance. He had the same color hair, well, he would if Buffy hadnt have had her hair highlighted, he had the same mossy green eyes, and the same perky attitude. If it werent for the nose and the age difference, they could pass for twins.
James suddenly stopped smiling. "Is Buffy mad at me?"
"Why of course not. Why do you think that?" Giles asked as he sat down next to the child.
"She never wants to play with me anymore", he answered. His voice and head drooped a little. Giles heart went out to him.
"Buffy's been busy, thats all", Giles said. He tipped Jamess head up with a finger." Buffy is not mad at you. She loves you. All right?"
James smiled." Are you suuuure?"
"As sure as the sun is purple," Giles replied.
"The suns not purple!! Its yellow"! James giggled in his little kid voice.
"No it's not, look outside", Giles said as he got up and lifted the little boy up. "Look, purple."
"It's yellow!" James giggled. "You're silly, daddy", James replied.
Giles felt his heart wrench. James had taken up the habit of calling him daddy a little while after his mom had died, but every time he heard him say it, he couldnt help but tear up.
"Oh, you know what, you're right", he said to the little boy. "Silly me", he said as he kissed him on the top of the head. "How about going and cleaning up your things so we can have dinner."
James jumped out of Giless arms. "All righty."
Buffy came running down the stairs. "Hey everyone", she said as she came into the kitchen.
"Buffy!"! James exclaimed happily. The way his face lit up every time Buffy came into a room was priceless.
"James!!" Buffy exclaimed as she kissed him on the forehead.
"Look what I drew you!" James said as he picked up his drawing and proudly showed it to Buffy.
Buffy smiled warmly. "This is for me?"
James nodded enthusiastically. "Yep! Its for your locker!"
Buffy kissed him on the head again. "Thank you, sweetie. It's perfect, in fact, I'll take down the picture of Brad Pitt and put this in his place."
"James, go clean up your stuff", Giles said.
James nodded and continued to pick up his things.
"Dinner will be rea "Giles started. He looked down at Buffys choice of clothing. A little black skirt with a red silk tank top.
"Um, not joining us tonight, I take it?" Giles asked.
Buffy smiled. "No, actually. I have a date."
"OOOOOH! BUFFY HAS A DAAAATE!" James exclaimed. Buffy blushed and Giles winked knowingly.
The doorbell rang.
"Speaking of which, I have to go", Buffy said.
"Now wait a second, bring the lad in. I think as your legal guardian I have a right to meet him", Giles said with a smile.
"Giiiiiles", Buffy whined.
"Oh come on now, I didnt have a daughter myself, I think I deserve at least a shot at this over-protective dad stuf"f, Giles said.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Fine, but no over prodding. We have reservations."
"I promise I won't", Giles said.
Buffy went to the door and opened it. Angel stood there wearing a black sweater and a pair of black pants. He wasnt wearing his usual duster, but instead a wool great coat.
"All in all, he looks pretty damn good", Buffy thought.
It was funny, because at the same moment, he thought the exact same thing about her.
"Hey", he said.
"Hey", she replied.
"Hey", Giles said from behind Buffy.
Buffy saw Angel automatically tense. She couldnt help but smile. Angel Daniels was nervous about meeting his girlfriends dad.
Well sorta girlfriend, and sorta dad.
"Why dont you come on in", Giles said as he held the door open.
"Um, all right", Angel replied as he stepped inside the house. The first things he noticed were the toys scattered around.
"Come on it and sit down," Buffy said as she led him into the living room.
Angel walked into the room and sat down on the couch. Giles sat opposite him in a rocking chair.
"So, Angel, how old are you?" Giles asked.
"I'm uh, seventee"n, he replied awkwardly.
"And you go to Sunnydale High?" Giles asked.
"Oh, sir, I think I like that", Giles said.
"There's someone here! Theres someone here!" James announced as he galloped into the room.
Buffy walked in behind him. "Angel, this is my little brother James."
James walked up to Angel and extended his right hand.
"It's nice to meet you Mr. Angel. I'm James", he said. Angel smiled and took the offered hand.
"Nice too meet you too, James," Angel said. "And you can just call me Angel."
"Okey-dokey, Angel", he said. "My sissy likes you. She was walking around all day talking about you. Angel this, and Angel that", James said. "She was saying how beautiful your eyes are, and how well you ki" James said. Buffy put her hand on his mouth before he could finish his sentence.
O"kay, James, time for Angel and I to go", she said. She was sure she was blushing furiously.
"Yes, James, lets go. Its dinner time," Giles said as he picked the four-year-old up.
"Goodbye Angel!" James yelled from the kitchen.
"Bye, James", Angel said. He was smiling brightly. Buffy avoided his eyes.
"'Im gonna go get my coat. I'll, um, be right back", Buffy said as she exited the room.
Angel got up and looked at the pictures on the walls. Pictures of Buffy and James, or James and Giles, or Giles and Buffy, or all of the together adorned the walls. He walked over to the mantle and looked at the pictures. He saw more pictures of Buffy and her brother, but a picture of a beautiful blond woman caught his eye. She had blond hair and the same mossy green eyes Buffy had. This must be her mom, Angel thought.
"Ready", Buffy said as she re-entered the room.
Angel turned around and walked toward her. "All right, lets go."
"One moment", Giles said from the doorway. "Angel, I dont have to tell you that I have people all over the city that report back to me daily and have my number on speed dial, so with all that already known, have a great time", Giles said as he opened the door with a smile.
Buffy looked up at Angels face and smiled at how pale it became.
"Yes, um, yes si"r, he stammered out.
"Good then. Have a great time," Giles said to the couple as they walked out the door.
"Bye", Buffy said to Giles as she walked past him.
"Drive safely!" Giles yelled to Angel as they drove off.
Boy, did he loooove being a dad.
"So, I'm a good kisser, am I?" Angel asked Buffy as they drove away.
Buffy blushed. "I never said that."
"Oh, but your brother did. "
"Oh, and how would my brother know? Have you been kissing him too?" Buffy asked.
Angel looked over at her and smiled. Her looked her over. She looked pretty damn hot in that tight black skirt. He followed the skirt up to her tight silk rank top. He could see her curves very clearly. He followed her curves up to her shoulders and her thin neck. Then he looked at her face. He was shocked to see her smiling back.
"You better keep your eyes on the road, Mr. Angel", she said him, an eyebrow cocked.
He smiled. "It's hard when you have a beautiful woman in the car with you", Angel replied.
Buffy blushed. "ust drive."
Angel turned away and continued driving.
"So, where are we going exactly?" Buffy asked.
" You"ll see", Angel replied.
"Can I take your coat, mademoiselle?" The attendant asked Buffy. Angel big surprise was taking her to Chez Christophe, the only real restaurant in Sunnydale.
"Um, sure", Buffy replied. She felt a little out of place in such a fancy place.
"Here are your seats, monsieur", the host said as he pointed to a table.
"Thank you", Angel replied as he helped Buffy into her seat.
"Your waiter will be with you shortly", the host replied as he walked away.
"So, this is your big surprise?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah, do you like it?" Angel asked.
" Oh course. Never been here before", she replied.
"Me either, so I guess well experience it together", he said.
Buffy sat reading the menu. "So, what are you going to get?" She asked. The menu was all in French, so she wasnt quite sure what to order.
"Um, I dont know yet."
"Maybe we should order the daily special. I mean, that way we dont have to decide", Angel suggested.
Buffy smiled. "All right", she said as she closed her menu.
"Good evening, monsieu"r, the waiter said as he approached. "Mademoiselle, what would you like this evening?"
" I think we'll both have the special", Angel said.
The waiter scribbled down on his notepad. "And to drink?"
"Do you have Coke?" Buffy asked.
"One Coke. And for you?" He said, as he asked Angel.
"Coke is fine with me."
"All right, your dinner will be out shortly", the waiter said.
Buffy and Angel sat there quietly.
"So "Buffy said.
"So "Angel replied.
"What are we going to do about our English project? We havent gotten very far," Buffy said.
A waiter brought out their drinks then returned to the kitchen.
" I'm not sure", Angel said as he took a drink of his Coke.
"Well, I personally think that it was a stupid assignment. I mean, whats interesting about poetry?" Buffy asked.
"Lots of things", Angel replied.
"What, you read poetry"? Buffy joked as she took a sip of her drink. Angel was quiet.
"You do?" Buffy asked in amazement.
"Well, my mom used to read it to me when I was little. I dunno, it kind of stuck with me", he said.
Buffy smiled. "Who's your favorite poet?"
Angel smiled shyly. "Elizabeth Barrett Browning."
"Why"? Buffy asked. She was genuinely amazed that Angel read poetry.
"She writes beautifully. And the story behind her poems is beautiful," Angel said. "She was in love with another poet, Robert Browning. She was an invalid, so she really didnt do much more than write and read. She published a poem of hers, and Robert Browning read it and wrote to her saying how much he loved her poetry. They used to write poetry back and forth between each other, and fell in love with each other before they ever met. They literally fell in love through their poetry. When they met, her father was against him, so they eloped. It was a real love story that was like a fairy tale", Angel said. He looked at Buffy.
"That's beautiful", she said breathlessly. She had no idea he was so deep and intelligent.
"Yeah, well, I always thought so", he replied.
"Your food mademoiselle", the waiter said as he placed her food in front of her.
"Great, I'm hungry", Angel said as they placed his in front of him. He took a bite of the food. "This is pretty good. What is it?" He asked the waiter.
" Escargots Aux Grenouilles", he said.
Angel took another bite. "Whats that?"
"Snails and Frog legs, the waiter said.
Angels eyes bugged out. "Ex-excuse me?" He didnt wait for an answer. He pushed out from the table and stood up, taking the tablecloth with him. It was stuck on the button of his pants. The dishes crashed to floor as Angel stood up.
"Angel"! Buffy exclaimed.
Angel stood there, in the middle of the restaurant with broken glass, plates, and scattered frog legs surrounding him.
Buffy stared at him.
Angel lifted one hand. "Check please?"
"I cant believe you did that!" Buffy laughed as the drove home.
" I know! But who in the right mind serves you swamp creatures?" Angel asked. He laughed as well.
They continued laughing until they reached Buffys house. When they got there, Buffy invited him inside.
"Come on in", she said as she removed her coat and hung it in the closet. "I wonder where James and Giles are"
"Theres a note in here", Angel called to Buffy from the kitchen.
Buffy walked into the kitchen. "Sorry we left without telling you. James and I went out for a movie and some ice cream. If were not home by 8 o'clock send a rescue team. Love, Giles and James", Buffy read. She looked at the clock. It was only 5:30. "Well, they're gone for awhile. Do you wanna stay?"
Angel smiled. Sure. His stomach growled." Hm, guess I didn't eat enough snails", he said with a smile.
Buffy laughed. "I'm starving too. Giles always makes too much, plus he is an excellent cook", she said as she opened the refridgerater. "Leftovers okay with you?"
"Anything that hasn't been living in swamp is fine with me", Angel answered with a smile.
After they ate, and Buffy changed out of her dress and into some sweats, they went into the living room and turned on the T.V. A reporter was talking about a storm coming in, but neither of them were really listening. Angel was sitting on the couch, and Buffy was outstretched beside him, with her head on top of his shoulder.
"So, how did the school librarian become your legal guardian?" Angel asked.
"Well, he dated my mom for awhile, and when she died, she named him legal guardian", Buffy explained.
"It's not weird?" Angel asked as he stroked her soft, blond hair.
"No. I mean, he first dated my mom it was kinda weird, but now, I love him. He's a better dad to me then my dad ever was", Buffy replied.
"Speaking of which, where is your dad? Shouldn't he be caring for you?" Angel asked.
Buffy shifted. "No. When they divorced, mom got full custody, and my dad moved to Puerto Rico to live with his secretary Danielle", Buffy said.
"Oh, Im sorry."
Buffy shrugged. "Nah, no big. I think I'm better off. I mean, if they hadn't have divorced, I wouldnt have moved to Sunnydale, I wouldnt have such a great father figure, and"
"You wouldn't have such a great boyfriend", Angel finished for her.
Buffy pulled away and looked into his eyes. "Boyfriend?"
"Sure, I mean, you do want to, you know, be my girlfriend, right?" Angel asked a little shyly.
Buffy smiled, then bent in and kissed him.
When they pulled away, Angel smiled. "You still haven't said yes yet", he said.
Buffy smiled again. "Yes. Then", she leaned in and kissed him again.
Meanwhile, Roman was sitting in his room. "So, where did you say he went?"
"He said he was going to get some dinner, then visit mum", Spike said. His voice was straining on the last couple of words, but he managed to get them out.
Roman was quiet for a moment. "When he gets back, come and tell me. I need to have a talk with him."
"Buffy? Buffy?" Angel asked. He nudged Buffys head with his own.
"Mmm, just a few more minutes, Giles" She mumbled.
Angel smiled. He slowly got up and pulled her into a sitting position. "Come on now, love", he said. "Love?" He thought. "Okay, Angel, spending a little too much time around Spike or maybe I am spending too much time around her", he wondered.
He picked her up and slowly walked up the stairs. When he reached the second floor, he looked around for her room. Hmmlets see whats behind door number 1 He said as he nudged the slightly open door with his foot. He walked into then room and looked around.
When he walked in, the first thing he noticed was the smell. It smelled like vanilla with just a touch of something he couldnt identify.
" Wow I should be on a game show", he mused aloud.
He turned the covers and put Buffy inside. He pulled the sheets around her and tucked her in.
He got up and looked around her room some more. He saw pictures of Willow and that prick Harris, pictures of her brother and her mother, and a picture of Giles. At least 20 candles adorned her room, and she had stuffed animals everywhere. He noticed a stuffed pig and picked it up.
Interesting, he said. He put the pig down and continued looking around. She had wicker furniture, and a wooden desk and bedside table. Her room was decorated with magazine clippings and pictures of movie stars, and also with moon and star sculptures adorning the various flat surfaces. One thing that caught his eye, however, was a small notebook, laying out on her desk.
Buffys diary, Angel said as he walked over to it.
He started to open it, then stopped. I cant do this, he said quietly. Then, he remembered what James had said about his beautiful dark eyes and the way he kissed and all thoughts of protest stopped.
He opened the diary and skimmed through the pages. "Come on, where am I?" He flipped through a couple of pages, until he found one with the name Angel on the top. Interesting, he said with a smile. He turned around to make sure Buffy was still sleeping, then sat down at her desk.
Today, Angel made fun of me some more. Big surprise. God, what is up his ass? Why does he hate me so much? He WOULD be cute if it werent for his sucky attitude. Angel winced, remembering what making fun of Buffy was like. He flipped a couple more pages.
I worked with Angel today. God, I never noticed how hot he was. That dark hair, his flawless face, his serious lipsand those eyes. WOW! Theyre like puddles of chocolate you could literally drown in. *sigh* He laughed. Im not kidding. He full out belly laughed. It was great. I think I like him when hes not being an asshole. Then, for no apparent reason, he just stopped, like laughing was a disease or something. Angel recalled that memory quite well as well. He flipped a couple more pages.
I was dancing tonight, and Angel just kind of came up behind me and started dancing. He is a GREAT dancer. Its really cool. We started talking, and he is actually really nice. Angel smiled. He flipped a couple more.
WHOO-HOO!! I think Angel has finally began to open up a bit. Today, he was bending down the pick up my books, and we bumped heads. He had scratches and bruises all over his face. He told me they were from a dog. I dont believe him. And then, I kissed him on the cheek, Total impulse. OMG did I feel like a freaking idiot. Then, I asked him if we could ever be together. He told me only if I could beat up his brother. HaHa Guess what? I DID! I kicked Spikes scrawny ass!! WHOO-HOO! Angel had to exert iron will not to burst out laughing. He still wasnt over that yet.
Tonight, Angel and I went to the Bronze. Did I ever mention what a great dancer he is? If I didnt before, Ill do it now. ANGEL DANIELS IS A GREAT DANCER!!! He almost kissed me. Almost. I was kind of disappointed. Then, Will, Oz, and Xander came over. God, what is Xanders problem? He was being a total asshole. UGH. Anyway, when he dropped me off, the most amazing thing EVER happenedHE KISSED ME! OMG, diary, you have no idea. He is an amazing kisser even if we didnt even use tongue. I know its too soon to tell, but I think I like him. A lot. And this is going to sound WAY school girlish, but I think, maybe, theres a slight chance that I love him.
Angel froze when he read that. "She loves me? He thought. How could she possibly? I was a complete asshole to her, and she loves me" Angel almost dropped her diary. He looked at the young woman in her bed.
Her blond hair was spread out on her pillow like a fan, and she was barely smiling. She was a picture of serenity. She was beautiful.
Just then it hit Angel. "I like her. More so than that, I love her."
Instead of feeling disgust like he was brought up to feel, he felt happiness and satisfaction. He loved someone. The feeling was new. He loved it.
"Angel?" Buffy said as she woke up the next morning. The sun was pouring in through the window and the birds were singing sweetly outside. She looked down at herself. She was in bed. Angel must have tucked her in. The thought of Angel tucking her in made her smile.
She sat up in bed and yawned. Just then, a piece of white computer paper caught her eye.
"What the heck?" Buffy wondered out loud. The piece of paper was laying out on her nightstand, with her name written in red ink on the top of it.
She smiled and picked it up.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth, and breadth and height
My soul can reach when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the depth of everydays
Most quiet need by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints---I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, all my life!---
And if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I love you.
Buffy put the letter down. She didnt even bother to wipe the tears of joy away from her face
"Hey", Buffy said to Angel that morning.
"Hey", Angel said back. They smiled at each other. They might have only said one word, but their eyes were busy speaking another language.
Angel and Buffy stood there smiling at each other in front of the school for a couple more minutes. Then, the bell rang.
"Walk you in?" Angel asked as he extended his right hand.
Buffy smiled warmly and accepted. "Thank you."
As they walked into school hand in hand, they received various glances from various people. Some were jealous of Buffy, some were jealous of Angel, and some just thought they shouldnt be together.
"Hey, Buffster", Xander said as he saw Buffy coming around the corner. "What's going on oh its Angel", he said as he saw Angel following close behind her, still with her hand in his.
"Oh boy, its Harris", Angel said in Buffys ear as they approached.
"Be nice", Buffy warned.
"Hey, Xande"r, Buffy said as she walked into Mrs. James classroom. "Whats going on?"
Xanders jaw practically dropped when he saw Angel and Buffy holding hands. "I don't know, you tell me", he said as he nodded toward their joined hands.
Buffy and Angel nervously exchanged glances before letting each others hand fall.
"So, did you guys have fun at the Bronze the other night?" Buffy asked as she took her seat.
"Yeah well, as soon as some trash was taken outside, it was all right", Xander said with a smile.
Angel shot him a menacing look as he sat down beside Buffy.
"So, Angel, whats new in the psych ward?" Xander asked.
Before Angel could reply, Mrs. James walked in.
" Good morning class, she said as she walked in the door. Have we all been working on our reports on poetry? "
Groans came from all around the classroom. All except for Buffy and Angel who silently exchanged glances.
"Now class, today, we open our books to page" Mrs. James said.
Buffy wasnt really paying much attention. "How could I"? She wondered. "The most amazing guy tucked me in last night, left me a love note, and then confessed his love for me, and they expect me to pay attention on English class. YEAH RIGHT!"
Buffy took out a sheet of her pink notebook paper and began to write. She wasnt sure what to write, until a song that made enough sense popped into her head.
So many times, I thought I held it in my hands, but just like grains of sand, love slipped through my fingers. And so many nights, Ive asked the lord above, please, make me lucky in love, to find a love that lingers. Something keeps telling me, that you could be my answered pray. You must be heaven sent I swear. Cause, something happens when you look at me, I forget to speak. Something happens when you kiss my mouth, my knees get so weak. Could it be true this is what God has planned for me, cause baby I cant believe, that something like you, could happen to me.
Buffy leaned over and dropped the note on Angels desk while Mrs. James was turned around.
Angel gave Buffy a questioning look, but Buffy just turned around in her seat and pretended like she was listening.
"What the hell?" Angel thought as he opened the note quietly. When he read it, he felt his heart swell five times its normal size. He quietly took out a sheet of notebook paper, and began writing one of his favorite poems.
A heavy heart, Beloved, have I borne
From year to year until I saw thy face,
And sorrow after sorrow took the place
Of all those natural joys as lightly worn
As the stringed pearls, each lifted in its turn
By a beating heart at dance-time. Hopes apace
Were changed to long despairs, till God's own grace
Could scarcely lift above the world forlorn
My heavy heart. Then thou didst bid me bring
And let it drop adown thy calmly great
Deep being! Fast it sinketh, as a thing
Which its own nature doth precipitate,
Which thine doth close above it, mediating
Betwixt the stars and the unaccomplished fate.
Sorry it not pop music or anything, but its the best I could do.
Angel quietly folded the note and passed it to Buffy. She smiled when he placed it on her desk, and she opened it hastily.
She read it and felt her heart swell five times its normal size.
She quietly placed the note in her shirt pocket, right above her pounding heart.
She turned to Angel, and was surprised to find him staring at her intently. She studied the way his dark brown eyes traced the curves of her face, and she shuddered. She could almost feel his hands on her face and on the back of her head, pulling her closer as they kissed.
She smiled broadly at the thought. "Would it be so bad to just kiss him right here and now?" Buffy thought. The thought of her pulling a surprised Angel into a passionate kiss in front of Mrs. James made her giggle a little. Angel cocked an eyebrow. Buffy shook her head and smiled.
She looked into his eyes and could almost hear what he was saying.
I love you.
She wasnt sure if he could hear her or not,(in fact, she knew he couldnt physically) but she answered back.
I love you too.
Angel smiled back.
He understood every word she didnt say.
Angel quietly grabbed her hand and held it through the rest of class.
Xander turned to ask Buffy a question.
"Buffy, is this going to be on a te" He looked down and saw Buffy and Angel holding hands and making goo goo eyes at each other.
"Ugh, gros"s, he said, a little too loudly obviously because the girl who sat behind him, Marsha Davis flicked him in the back.
"Um, ow", he said as he turned and shot her a look.
" Shh", she said.
Xander smiled at her enthusiastically. Mean school listener, he thought. He turned back to Angel and Buffy holding hands.
Xander didn't like Buffy like that anymore, even though he had the year when she came and he wasnt sure his feeling had quite dissolved yet, but he couldnt help but feel a pang of jealousy run through him when he saw those two practically pawing each other with their eyes.
He wasnt sure is Buffy knew what she was doing.
"What better person than me to point it out to her", Xander said out loud.
"Shh", Marsha said from behind him.
Xander sighed. "Girls.""
" Hey, Buffy", Willow said as Buffy walked by her in the hallway.
"Hey, Will", Buffy replied.
"So, are you going to the Bronze with me and Xander tonight?" Willow asked as she grabbed her books from inside her locker.
"Oh, no. You know. I have studying to do", she said with a smile.
O"h, well, you have been kind of, all work and no play Buffy", Willow said.
"Thats me. Hittin-the-books-Buffy. Thats what you guys should start calling me."
Willow sighed. "Buffy, Xander and I know about you and Angel."
"You do?" Buffy asked.
" Well, yeah, I mean, its hard NOT to notice the way you two were practically have eye sex with each other," Willow teased.
Buffy blushed. "Are we that bad?"
"Well, no, but I thought that last part was funny", Will said as she smiled. She stopped smiling. "It was funny, right?"
Buffy smiled warmly at her. "Definitely funny. Hey! If Im Hittin-the-books-Buffy, you should definitely be Barrel-full-of-monkeys-Will!" Buffy exclaimed.
Willows face became serious." Buffy, I can't say that I am exactly one hundred percent okay with this."
Buffy became serious as well. "I know."
"Do you really? I mean, he was, excuse my French, an asshole to you before, and now, he just suddenly, POOFS into a nice guy? Smells a little fishy to me", Will said.
"I know he was a jerk before", Buffy said, "but Will, he's changed somehow."
"Are you sure?"
"Trust me, Will, I know what Im doing. I just wish Xander wasnt such a big jerk at the Bronze", Buffy said as she started to walk away.
"Well, you cant exactly blame him for acting like that. He was a jerk to you before, you even said so yoursel"f, Willow said. She knew Xander was overly mean to Angel, and she even hit him for it, "but Xander was just being a friend, even if it was in his own Xander-stupid way."
"Yeah, I know, but you have to admit, he was being a little over the top, dont you think?" Buffy said.
" He was just being concerned, Buffy", Willow said.
"Concerned is telling that person calmly. Bitching about something is not being concerned. Its being a jack ass," Buffy said.
"Oh, yeah," Willow said.
"Nice come back", Will, Buffy said flippantly.
"Well, at least he was trying to be a friend. Right about now, I'm thinking he needn't have", Willow said.
"Ugh. Fine!" Buffy said as she stormed away.
" Fine"! Willow said as she walked in the other direction.
Buffy sat in her chair clutching Mr. Gordo. "Why was I such a bitch to Willow?" Buffy asked the stuffed pig.
Just then, the phone rang.
"Hello", Buffy the incredible screw up, she said into the phone.
"Hey, Buff, its me", Xander said.
"Oh, hey, Xander."
" Hey, whats up?" Buffy asked.
"Nothing. Heard you and Will had a blowout today", Xander said.
"Oh. Did she tell you why?" Buffy asked.
" Oh. Sorry Xander. It's just that, when it comes to Angel and me its just a sore subject. I was just upset that you were jumping on his back", Buffy said. "Sorry."
"Really?" She asked. This couldnt be that easy
"Oh. Okay then", she replied.
Xander sighed. "Look, Buffy, I am going to get right to the "
Buffy sighed. "It's never easy"
"Okay" Buffy said. She didnt like where this was going.
"Look, I love you Buff. We all love you. But right now, youre playing with fire. I just want to protect you before you get burned."
"Why is everyone treating me like a little girl! I know what I want!"
" Do you? This thing you have with Angel, its going to fail. You know it, and I know it. Is that really what you want"? Xander asked.
On the other end of the line, Buffy was silent.
" Buff. Im sorry, but this is the only way. It's either him, or us. Choose wisely".
Buffy was quiet again. She couldnt believe what she just heard.
"You're giving me an ultimatum?"
"Yes", Xander replied. "Please, Buffy. Don't be stupid."
Buffy was silent for a couple of minutes. The only noise was the irritating buzz of the bad connection.
"I'm sorry Xander, but you just ask me to give up what I have with Angel. It's not fair. And I'm sorry about what I said before about you to Willow, but maybe, if you can't accept my feelings toward Angel maybe, we weren't as good of friends as I thought we were. I'm sorry. Bye", Buffy said. She hung up before she could hear his response.
"Buffy, hello? "Xander said into the silent phone. I cant believe she just did that, he thought.
Buffy was mad. Really mad. More like pissed off her rocker. How could Xander, her supposed best friend ask her to just ditch the man she likedloved? And the way he said itlike it wasnt even something to think twice about.
Buffy replayed her words to Xander, and she almost regretted them.
"God, hurricane Buffy fucks up again", Buffy said.
She threw Mr. Gordo into a corner, and cried herself to sleep.
"Whats wrong"? Angel asked Buffy in the library a couple days later. "I tried calling you the other night and you werent home."
"I have just been around", Buffy said. Her voice was droopy and she knew she looked like shit.
"Is there something wrong"? Angel asked. His angelic features were drawn tightly in confusion and concern.
Buffy didnt answer, instead she sighed.
"D-did I maybe do, um, something w-wrong?" Angel asked. Buffy looked at him. She couldnt help but smile at the pure innocence in his tone.
" No, you haven't done anything wrong", she said as she reached across the table and held his hand. All the confusion on his face melted away, and was instead, replaced with the sweetest smile yet.
"Okay, I mean, I was a little worried. I'm new to this love thing, and I wanted to make sure I didnt screw it up", he said with a crooked half smile. Buffy smiled brightly despite her morose feelings. He had that affect on her. Sometimes, she would just be walking down the hall and for no reason smile when she thought about him. She could be on her deathbed, and one smile from him would bring her back to full vitality.
Buffy heard someone outside the library laughing loudly. She turned around in her seat to look, and found Xander and Willow passing by. She immediately stopped smiling.
She sighed again and bit her lip. She felt like crying. In fact, thats all she had done the last couple of days. She had mastered brooding, and was now working on the cry factor. In her heart, she knew she was right, and that Xander and Willow had no right to yell at her like that. But, on the other hand, Buffy was being a little childish, and she knew that they were just looking out for her well-being.
Angel didn't see her glance at Xander and Willow, but he did see the change in her personality. Seeing her sad, made him want to seek out whoever did this to her and beat them to a bloody pulp. Instead, he chose to apply those strong urges to beat someones ass into finding a way to make her smile again.
" Hey, do you wanna get out of here. Maybe, go to the Bronze or somethin"? Angel asked. Buffy didnt meet his eyes.
"Come on, Summers, you look like someone ran over your cat. You could use a little cheering up", Angel said. Buffy smiled sadly.
"Okay, lets go then", Angel said as he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of her seat.
Angel and Buffy walked into the Bronze hand in hand. Angel was wearing his usual leather pants and duster, and Buffy was wearing a red skirt with a tight black quarter length shirt that had slits down the sides of the arms. Even though Buffy refused to crack a smile, they looked pretty damn good together.
"Do you wanna go sit down, or do you want a drink or something?" Angel asked. He was seriously getting worried. She hadn't said a word since they got in the car. All she did was stare at the window and nod or shake her head if necessary. Again, he fought the urge to bust someones head open.
Buffy nodded. "Sure."
Angel gave her a half smile. "Sure to which one?"
"Let's sit down", Buffy said. She gave him what she intended to be a smile, but she really wasnt sure how it turned out. In fact, at that point, she really didnt care.
Angel took her hand and led her over to an empty seat. When they sat down, Buffy stared at the table, refusing to make eye contact with Angel.
"So, anything new?" Angel asked.
Buffy shook her head. "No, not really. Anything new with you?"
" Nah, Spike is still an asshole, and Faith is off banging the entire state of California", Angel said. He decided to leave Roman out of the conversation. He wasnt exactly on his good side right now, evidence of which was proved during the talk he had with Roman the night he and Buffy went to dinner.
Look, I was just out getting myself some dinner, Angel said.
Angel, dont lie to me, Roman said. You know I dont like being lied to.
I know, but Im NOT lying. I just needed some time alone, he said.
Roman sighed. Okay, little brother, this is the thing. See, I hear the words coming out of your mouth, but they arent exactly matching up to what I know.
What do you mean?
Well, Spike told me you had a date with some chick, and that you were going to take her out, Roman said.
Angel shifted uncomfortably. Thats not true. I TOLD you, I was out by myself, knocking back a few beers and just thinking.
Roman sighed again. All right. But you listen now, if I so much as HEAR that you werent by yourself and that you are lying to me, we will have some problems.
Angel nodded. Fine.
Good, now get the hell outta here, Roman said.
Angel wasnt exactly in very well with his brother right now. In fact, he had beat Spike to a bloody pulp for saying something to Roman.
Buffy stared at Angel. He was being quiet too. His brow was a little tight with what looked like concern, and he kept alternating between biting his lip and biting his thumbnail.
Buffy smiled a little. "Biting your nails isnt good for them, you know", she said. Angel's head snapped to attention. If it hadn't have been for the tingling sensation in his stomach, he might have forgotten she was even there.
Angel smiled. "Well thank you, mom, I will have to remember that in the future. "He smiled at her, even though mentioning his mother made his insides clench.
Buffy smiled. "I was just pointing out a fact. If you have stubby, icky, nonexistent nails, don't blame me", Buffy said.
"Well, thank you for your concern, but I think I will be just fine with stubby nails", Angel said. He was happy that she was finally smiling.
"Suit yourself", she said, "but dont try to hold MY hand when your hands are all gross and stuff."
Angel grabbed her hand and squeezed it gently. "Yeah right. Like you could resist this face", he said, giving her his best innocent face.
Buffy's heart melted. He was so adorable. "I can resist it just fine, thank you", she said as she tried to keep her composure and fight the impulse to grab him and kiss him.
" You sure?" He asked as he traced small circles on her palm. Buffy smiled.
"You're really sure"? Angel asked as he brought her hand to his mouth and kissed it gently.
Buffy felt her body tingle with the rush of Angels warm, smooth lips.
A sonnet came to mind for some odd reason. Something that Mr. Somberton had drilled into her when she was back in L.A. as a freshman.
" Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hands too much", Buffy said with a smile. Angel smiled broadly. "Which mannerly devotion shows in this, for saints have hands that pilgrims hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers kiss," she said.
Angel smiled. He had no idea Buffy knew Shakespeare. He had no idea she knew poetry at all, outside of pop music.
"Ay, but have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?" Angel asked.
"Ay, pilgrim, lips they must use in pray", she said back as he brought his lips to her hand again. She pulled her hand away before he could kiss her, and she looked him straight in the eye.
"Well, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do. They pray. Grant though, lest faith turn to deep despair, he said as he brought a hand up to caress her face."
"Saints do not move, though grant for prayers sake", she said breathlessly. She felt the familiar tingling start at her toes and quickly consume the rest of her body.
"Then move not, while my prayers effect I take. Thus from my lipsmy sin is purged", Angel said as he slowly drew her into a tender kiss.
"Then, have my lips the sin that they have took", Buffy said quietly. She still had her eyes squeezed shut, and she could feel his breath quickening against her mouth.
"Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged. Give me my sin again, he said as he crushed her lips to his. "When they pulled away, both of them were breathless.
"You, um, kiss by the book", Buffy said as her eyes fluttered open. She smiled brightly at Angel.
" You read by the book", Angel said as he smiled back. He reclaimed her hand and began rubbing it tenderly with his thumb.
"Yeah, sometimes. When I was back in L.A., my freshman Lit. teacher made us all memorize a scene from Romeo and Juliet. I picked that one", she said.
"Oh, well well well, Miss Summers, there are some things I dont know about you", Angel said.
Buffy's smiled seemed to droop a little. "There are a lot of things you dont know about me."
Angel opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by another familiar and annoying voice.
"Well, it seems like they let just about anyone in her"e, Xander said as he walked by.
"Well, of course they do, I mean, it is a teenage establishment", Willow said from behind him.
"Will, thats not the point", Xander said. "Never mind. I will have to explain sarcasm to you sometime."
Willow gave Buffy an apologetic look, but didnt stop to talk to her.
Buffy felt the tears she had long forgotten rush back up to her eyes. She tried to blink them away, but to no avail. All the sweet words that she and Angel had just said vanished. Instead, a feeling of sadness consumed her.
"Um, I am going to step outside, Il'l be back" Buffy said as she got up and ran toward the door.
"Buffy Buffy"! Angel yelled as he got up and ran after her.
"Buffy! Wait up"! He yelled outside of the Bronze. He caught up to her and grabbed her arm. "Buffy, whats wrong?"
"Let me go! "Buffy said through her tears. "I need to be alone."
Angel grabbed Buffy again and whirled her around so they were face to face. "Buffy", he said." Come on, Buffy, look at me", he said as he brought a finger to her chin and tilted it up so that her eyes met his.
She blinked, and salty tears ran down her face. She avoided his eyes.
"Buffy, whats wrong?"
"You wouldn't you wouldn't understand", she said as she looked down.
Angel tilted her head back up.
Buffy pulled away. "Its them! Its HIM! GOD! HE IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE! HE TRIES TO JUST TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE! ITS NOT LIKE IM A LITTLE GIRL, ANGEL! I KNOW WHAT I WANT!" She exclaimed. Angel stood still as she ran a hand through her hair.
"Wait, whos them?" He asked.
"THEM! IN THERE"! Buffy said as she stood in front of him and pointed towards the Bronze.
"Who? Xander"? Angel asked. If he was the reason she was crying
"Not just them! Everyone in there! They look at us and they dont accept us" Buffy said.
Angel came over to her and put his hands on either arm. "Buffy, it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. I know what I feel for you, and thats enough for me", he said.
Buffy sat down on an empty crate. "What do you feel for me?" She asked him.
"You know how I feel about you", Angel said.
" Xander said he said that our relationship is doomed to fail. He said that you didnt really love me", she said.
"Fuck Xander," Angel said. He hated the boy already but now, he actually had a good reason to beat the shit out of him.
Buffy sighed. "Do you?"
Angel's jaw dropped and his brow tightened. "What?"
" Do you love me?"
"Buffy" Angel said.
"No, you've told me every way except straight up", Buffy said quietly.
"I-I didnt think I didnt think I needed to", Angel said. As much as he tried to hide is, the sting of her words was reflected in his voice.
"Please?" Buffy asked. She got up off the crate and walked right up next to him.
Angel sighed. "I thought you already knew"
Buffy sensed the hurt in his voice and she placed both hands on either side of his arms. She felt awful that she had caused this hurt, but she also needed to know for her own peace of mind. He HAD said it every way except to her face, and she needed that one silly stupid thing that shouldnt even matter to let her out inner Xander rest.
" I'm sorry Its just that I KNOW you love me but, something inside of me isn't willing to accept it until I hear it come out of your mouth", she said.
"Elizabeth Anne Summers", he said as he brought his hands up to her face, "I love you. I love you with all my heart, and with all my soul, and even though people may say we are rushing things and that they will never work, I believe that I may have finally found my soul mate. In fact, I say fuck em all."
Buffy smiled and she leaned forward and kissed him gently. "You know, I liked it all up to the last sentence. We really have to work on your sweet talking."
Angel smiled. "Kiss me."
They stood there, in the middle of the alley with people who looked at them and smirked, kissing each other passionately. And you know what?
They really didnt care.
When Angel returned home, Spike greeted him.
"Good evening, wanker, how is Buggy?" He asked.
Angel ignored him. "Shes fine. Hows your leg, gimp?"
Spike stopped smirking. "What the hell is your problem?"
"You are, dumbass", he answered.
"Geez, its really starting to sound like your developing feelings and things for this girl", Spike said.
" I think you need to keep your mouth shut or do I have to re-enact the scene we made last time you opened your mouth where it wasn't needed?" Angel asked menacingly.
Spike shut it. "Bloody wanker. Just boink the bitch already"
"What was that?" Angel asked.
"Oh, nothing, nothing."
"Thats what I thought."
"You know, he is right," Roman said from the stairs.
" Roman, hey", Angel said.
"Are you starting to like this girl?" Roman said.
" No, of course not. You know I would never let anything get in the way of becoming someone", Angel replied.
"Really, because if I'm not mistaken, you ARE starting to get soft."
"No, I'm not."
Roman raised his eyebrows. "Really? Okay then, you and your girl are a total waste of space. In fact, the little bitch is probably so damn loose, you could fit a fuckin watermelon up that hole."
Angel clenched his jaw.
"Yeah. Thats what I thought", Roman said as he turned around and walked upstairs. "You better watch yourself, Angel, you better watch your girl as well. Just hope it doesnt get too deep."
" It won't", Angel said behind clenched teeth.
"You better hope not because if it does, I might have to take her out of the picture permanently", Roman said.
Angel stood there and clenched his fists. He heard the door close, and he turned around and walked toward his room.
"Ha, ha,ha ha, ha", Spike taunted as he Angel walked by him. "You punked out you little bit" Spike said, before Angel cut him off with a hard right to the jaw.
"Spike, shut the fuck up", Angel said as he walked by
"Hey", Angel said as he walked into her house.
"Hey", Buffy said brightly.
"I brought movies", Angel said as he held them up.
Buffy grabbed them excitedly. "Movie time!"
Angel couldnt help but smile as the little ball of energy he called Buffy bounced off into the living room chanting, Movie time! Movie time! It made him feel like there was nothing else in the world to worry about. Just Buffy and him. It made him forget that there were other people that wanted them apart, and that Buffy had broken down only 5 days ago, questioning his love for her. It made him forget he had to see her in secret.
After what happened with Roman, Angel figured hed lay low for a while. He still saw Buffy, in fact they have been going on walks in the park, but they didnt go anywhere too public where lots of people would see them. They wouldn't be going out to the Bronze since Roman was there a lot. They wouldn't be going to movies since Faith was there a lot. They wouldn't be going to any strip clubs since Spike was there a lot.
Come to think of it, we wouldnt be going to any strip clubs anyway, Angel thought as he followed his love into the living room.
Angel had wondered if seeing Buffy behind Romans back was a bad thing. He had come to this conclusion. He loved her. End of story.
"So what movies did you bring"? Buffy asked.
"Full Metal Jacket, Moulin Rouge like you wanted, and Forrest Gump," Angel said.
Buffy cocked an eyebrow. "Forrest Gump?"
Angel looked at her seriously. "Uh huuh, glad your hearing is all right."
Buffy smiled. "Why Forrest Gump?"
" Why not?" Angel asked as he sat down on her couch.
"I dont know. I just never pictured you as a Forrest Gump kinda guy", Buffy said as she sat down on his lap. "Then again, I never saw you as the sit-in-my-room-and-read-poetry-kinda-guy either."
Angel felt her little body curl into his lap. There was nothing else in the entire world that felt so right. This was where he was supposed to be.
" I write poetry too", Angel said.
Buffy slapped him playfully. "You know what I mean."
"Well, maybe next time you wont prejudge", Angel said with a half smile.
Angel took a small hand and held it in his. She smiled at his tender touch and brought her lips down to his. The initial touch of their lips together always made them groan with pleasure. As they kissed, he gently licked her bottom lip with his tongue. Smiling up against his mouth, Buffy obliged by opening her own mouth and giving his tongue some entry.
Angel groaned as his tongue invaded her mouth. He tangled his with hers and they quietly danced their own dance. He tasted her mouth with his tongue. Her mouth was sweet like frosting, and spicy like something he couldnt quite identify.
Angel reluctantly pulled away. Lately, their kisses have been becoming more and more passionate, and it was hard to pull away. Buffy most have felt it too, because she groaned as she lost contact with his lips.
Buffy opened her eyes and gazed into pure chocolate. God, he was beautiful.
Buffy had privately made an alliance with Willow.
Buffy! I am SO sorry! Willow said over the phone.
Will, its okayreally, Buffy said.
No its not! I was being a total jerk! Willow said.
Will, its all right. I mean, it hurt, but I got over it. You were just standing up for Xander when I knocked him down.
But, he deserved to be knocked down. He was acting all, knock downable, Will said.
Will, trust me, its all right, Buffy said reassuringly.
Okaybut I still feel bad.
So, how are things going with Angel? Will asked.
Things are goingwell. Just loverly, Buffy said.
Hes different you say?
Yeah, he changed. I mean, first, he was all, well you know, assholish, but then, I dont know, then we started talking and going out places, andI dont know. All I know it that so far, its been great, Buffy said.
Willow giggled. I bet youre smiling right now, she said.
Buffy blushed. She WAS smiling. She was smiling like a lunatic.
Okay, maybe only a little, Buffy said.
Yeah okay, Willow replied.
WillI think Im in love.
There was silence for a little while before Buffy heard the muffled squealing.
YOURE IN LOVE!! BUFFY THATS GREAT! Willow said excitedly.
Buffy laughed. Yeah, it really is. And he loves me too.
Oh my gosh! You guys are just like Romeo and Juliet, Willow said dreamily.
Yeah, I guess, Buffy said a little down.
Okay, so if love is so great, why the down tone Buffy?
Willow, he is the most intelligent, sweetest, hottest guy Ive EVER seen, let alone dated Buffy started.
WillowIm thinking aboutyou know, doing it.
There was a longer silence.
Yeah, I mean, the way weve been kissing, and when we have to say goodbyeits getting so hard I feel like crying, Buffy said.
Well, what are you going to do?
I dont know, Buffy said.
Well, what do you want to do? Will asked.
Well, what I WANT isnt exactly always what is right, Buffy said.
But, what I WANTWill, what happens if I never feel this way ever again?
Carpe Diem, Willow said.
Carpe Diem, it means Seize the day, Willow said.
Buffy sighed. I dont know. But, I thinkI think maybe I will, or we will, Buffy said.
Buffy could almost see her friend gaping on the other end of the telephone.
Wow, Willow said. Wow.
"Buffy Buffy?" Angel asked. Buffy blinked.
"Hey, where ya been?" Angel asked.
"Oh, nowhere. I was just thinking. What did you want? "Buffy asked.
"What movie do you want to watch first?"
"Um, you pick", Buffy said as she traced his lips with her index finger.
Angel had to exert iron will not to smash her lips to his. All right then, he said as he gently placed a kiss to her slim finger, Forrest Gump it is. Angel grabbed Buffy and gently tossed her onto the couch as he stood up. He walked over to the tapes and placed one into the VCR.
"Forrest Gump always makes me sad", Buffy said from behind him.
"Why's that?" Angel asked as he rewound it.
"Because she dies in the end. After all that and they are finally together, she dies", Buffy said.
Angel came back to the couch and kneeled in front of her. "Well, you could look at it that way. I prefer the more optimistic side, mysel"f, Angel said.
Buffy placed her hand on his cheek. "What side would that be?"
Angel sighed. "Well, the way I see it, shes lived a life worth living, and when she died, she was happy."
"Uh huh", Buffy said as she stared into his dark eyes.
"And the way I see it? If you've lived a life worth living, then death is nothing more than living in a memory", he said.
Buffy felt her eyes tear up. "That was beautiful".
Angel leaned in and kissed her gently. "You're beautiful."
Roman paced. "What to dowhat to do"
"This is serious. She is breaking him. Hes not 100% focused on his goal. On his mission. On my mission."
" I need to do something", Roman said aloud. "But what?"
Roman thought. "Well, I have forbade him to go anywhere near him pretty much, but that wont stop him forever."
"If worse comes to worse I know what I have to do"
Angel hummed as he walked home. He was happy. He and Buffy had watched Forrest Gump and Moulin Rouge. They didnt watch Full Metal Jacket because Buffy said it was too manly and ick. So, they talked. Mainly about school, and Moulin Rouge. He hated to admit it, but the movies plot reminded him of their relationship.
"I cant remember, did it end good or bad?" Angel thought. He didnt remember much about the movie. In fact, he didnt remember much about either movie seeing as how he and Buffy made out during the entire thing. It was a good thing Mr. Giles and James werent home because they might have been some questions Angel didnt care to answer.
Angel was so happy. Nothing could bring him down.
"Why hello, wanker", Spike said from behind a tree. Angel turned and looked into the shadows where Spike was lighting up.
"Spike, what are you doing here?" Angel asked. The little blond asshole was NOT going to ruin his perfect evening.
"I was just strollin through the neighborhood. Hey, tell Buggy her neighbors need to trim their dogwood. Its getting awfully bushy", Spike said.
"Spike" Angel warned.
"Hey, I was just thinking that maybe you could tell her since you two are so fucking close."
"Yeah, well whats it to you?" Angel asked.
"Me? Well, lets see. Nothing. Oh yeah, besides the whole ROMAN IS GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS THING!" Spike said as he stomped out his cigarette.
" No he's not."
"Like HELL hes not! If Roman finds out"
"Well Roman wont find out will he?" Angel asked.
Spike was quiet.
"Will he?" Angel demanded.
Spike sighed. "Angel you're my brother, and my best friend. I hate to admit it, but I'm quite fond of that ugly face of yours. So is Faith. We we just dont want to see you get hurt again."
Angel sighed and ran a hand through his hair." I know what I'm doing", he said quietly.
"Yeah, you might, but remember what Roman said"
"Fuck Roman! "Angel yelled a little louder than he intended.
"Look, Spike, I love you and Faith with all my heart. You two will always be my family. And I love Roman. He has taken care of me since I was little. But Buffy she, I don't know. She makes me feel things I've never felt before. She-She breathes new life into me", Angel said.
" I know its only been a couple of weeks, bu tSpike, I think I love her," Angel said.
Spike spoke up. "You LOVE her?"
Spike sighed. "Ange lI know you're the one who was born with the poets soul and all that shit, but please, be careful. If not for you, or for me or Faith do it for Buffy. Even if it means being cruel to be kind. If she's as great as you say she is, and if she loves you back you'll do the right thing", Spike said before he turned around and walked away.
Angel was left alone standing in the middle of the street.