Viva Las Vegas AUTHOR: Reed ([email protected]
) DISCLAIMER: Not mine. SYNOPSIS: Buffy and Giles open a office supply store in Vegas. Angel shows up. Fluff is had. DISTRIBUTION: If you have my stuff, feel free. If you want my stuff, drop me a line. FEEDBACK: I'm a girl who is recovering from recent knee surgery, about to go back to a very very very stressful senior year in high school filled with college applications and AP classes. FEEDBACK IS THE ONLY GOOD THING I'VE GOT GOING FOR ME. Hopefully that has sufficiently guilted you into sending me lots and lots of feedback. RATING: R just to be safe but probably PG13 AUTHORS NOTES: Everything up to and around Joyce's death happened, but it spins off from there. Buffy never died and the magick used to defeat Glory caused the Hellmouth to be sealed. Darla and Connor never happened on Angel. Fic takes place in Fall 2005. All lyrics are from Letters To Cleo. WARNING: At parts, this fic is so sugary that you need to brush and floss after reading. --lyrics-/////flashback///// *internal thought* ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ --It's a cosmic thing and it's all around me dangling like life above me-"Thanks for shopping at Staples. Please come again," Buffy said with a fake smile. It was almost closing time and she had a headache. She sighed and took a sip of her diet coke. Most of the time she enjoyed running the store with Giles. But some nights they were so busy that she regretted that she had ever let Giles talk her into it. She remembered when he had brought up the idea. It was three weeks after they had completed the ritual to seal the Hellmouth. Dawn had decided to go to Northwestern, Willow and Tara decided to go for graduate school at UC Berkeley, and Xander had gotten a really good job offer in San Diego. /////Buffy sat at the kitchen counter, sipping her hot cocoa. She was flipping through the literature that Northwestern had sent Dawn, realizing how much she'd miss her. They had grown so close after their mother's death, and Buffy had such a hard time coming to terms with the fact that her little sister was almost all grown up. Her mind drifted off to the fact that all her friends were leaving. She was no longer tied to the Hellmouth, but she had no place else to go. That's when Giles came into the room, poured himself a cup of tea, and proposed something that would change their lives. "Buffy, I've been contacted by the Watcher's Council.
They've become aware of a hotbed of demon activity in Nevada." "Nevada?" "Las Vegas to be exact." "And what does that have to do with me?" "They want you to go there and try and lessen the problem." "Are you kidding me?" "No I'm not. I talked to a friend of mine who lives in Vegas. He owns a Staples office supply store that he's looking to sell. I figured I could buy it, since I have some experience running a store, and you could work there and slay." Buffy shot him a skeptical look.///// But here she was, a few months later, sharing an apartment in Vegas with her Watcher, ringing up purchases at Staples. The half hour until closing dragged on, but finally she was able to lock up and go on patrol. ***** --Think too much, too hard and it confuses me. Rectify myself to all the things I thought were real or I'll lock the bedroom door and simply stay at home-She managed to dust three vamps before she decided to go home. Her headache hadn't gotten any better and she just wanted a nice relaxing night. She entered the apartment that she shared with Giles and was greeted by a gray tabby cat wrapping around her ankles. "Hey Leia, how was your day?" she asked the feline, leaning down to scratch her head. Buffy went into her room, put on her pajamas and slid her feet into her monkey slippers which were promptly attack by her cat. She shooed Leia away then padded into the kitchen to find a note from Giles, saying he was going out and he'd be home late. Buffy fixed herself a nice buttery bowl of popcorn and slid her favorite movie, Chasing Amy, into the DVD player. She settled into the couch with the cat curled up at her feet. As she munched on her popcorn, she watched the story unfold. *No wonder you like this movie so much. It's all about an impossible unrequited love. Sound familiar?* part of her mind told her. *No, that's not it. Xander's just rubbed off on me and I like the vulgar jokes.* she told herself, forcing her first thought away. "I can't stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can't, I can't look into your eyes without
feeling that, that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels. I can't talk to you without wanting to express my love for everything you are." Ben Affleck said from the TV. Buffy sighed remembering the time when she had felt the way he described. Could it really have been six years ago that he left her? Three and a half years since she had last seen him? It seemed like just yesterday and she could still remember every little detail about him. She sighed heavily. Why was she thinking about him so much these days? *I'm just lonely* she told herself. *I definitely don't still have feelings for him. That would be pathetic after all these years.* She blocked out the rest of her thoughts, watched the rest of the movie, then went to bed. Part 2 --Look your dreams walk away with mine.-"Mmmm," Buffy sighed, resting her head on Angel's chest. "I love that sound. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. It's like music. I could listen to it all night." "I love you," he told her, dropping a kiss on her forehead. "Love you too," she mumbled against his skin. "Always have, always will." Then she yawned and snuggled a little closer to him. "What? Sleepy already?" "Well, what can I say? You tired me out." Angel grinned, a sight she had rarely seen before he became human, but had quickly come to love. "Get some rest then. We have the rest of our lives together, we can spare a few hours sleep." "The rest of our lives...I like the sound of that." Buffy closed her eyes and contentedly let sleep take her. ***** --I can't believe that it's coming back to haunt me.-The next thing she was aware of was waking in an achingly empty bed. She rolled over almost expecting Angel to be sitting in the armchair by the window, watching her sleep. But the chair was empty. Feeling awful, she climbed out of bed and slipped into her robe and slippers. She padded into the kitchen to find Giles having a cup of tea. "Morning." Buffy gave him a half hearted wave; she didn't talk before her morning coffee. She noticed Giles had already made the coffee for her and smiled. She poured some into the Northwestern mug Dawn had given her and added some milk and sugar. She sat at the table and stole a section of the newspaper from in
front of Giles. She sipped her coffee slowly, trying to shake the feeling that her dream had given her. She had dreamt of Angel bring human thousands of times. Why had this time seemed so different? It had seemed so real. Even over five minutes after she had woken up, she still felt all tingly as if he had just touched her. "Buffy!" Giles said loudly. "Huh, what?" she said, startled out of her thoughts. "I was asking what your plans were today since you don't have to be at the store until 4, but you seemed to be fascinated the sports section." "Oh sorry, I just kinda spaced." "What's on your mind?" "It's nothing. I just had this dream last night that kind of got to me." "About what?" Buffy took a long sip of her coffee, then took a deep breath. "Angel." Giles looked at her intently. "He was human and we were together." "Buffy," her Watcher began gently, "I'm sure you've had that dream many times before, why are you so disturbed?" "It felt so real. Like the prophetic dreams I used to have." "Buffy, not every dream you have comes true. I mean, what else did you dream last night? Can you remember?" "No I..." Buffy stopped mid sentence as she got an overwhelming sense of deja vu. /////"Um... I-I had this... dream that Drusilla was alive." She had rushed over to his apartment scared out of mind for his safety, but now that she was here, she felt kind of silly. Then she was distracted by his naked chest. Angel noticed her distraction and pulled on a shirt. "What happened?" "She killed you. Right in front of me," Buffy explained, her thoughts pulled back to her horrible dream. "It was just a dream. It wasn't real," he told her soothingly. "But it felt so real." "It wasn't. I'm right here." He brought his hand to her cheek and she leaned into him, craving contact.
She felt so lost and need him, his touch, to anchor her. He WAS right here. But oh God, what if he wasn't tomorrow? Even though her dream hadn't come true yet, it didn't mean it wouldn't. "Angel, th-this happened before. The dreams that I had about the Master, they came true." "Still, not every dream you have comes true," he said reassurringly. "I mean, what else did you dream last night? Can you remember?" She looked down at her feet, wracking her brain. "I dreamt... I dreamt that Giles and I opened an office supply warehouse in Vegas." "See my point?"///// Buffy felt like laughing and crying at the same. She had dreamt the life she was living now over 6 years ago. For some reason, that struck her as hysterical. She always thought that ending up in Nevada was the most random thing that could happen. She should have learned years ago that nothing occurred randomly. She felt like crying because what happened after her memory flash, an intense makeout sensation with Angel, was one of the last times she had been truly happy. But also because there was now a spark of hope. Her dreams at that time had come true, maybe her dream from last night would too. But she couldn't let her hope take her too far away, in case it lead to disappointment. Giles' voice jarred her out of her thoughts. "Buffy!" "Oh sorry Giles. I just...I'm fine. I'm being silly about this dream. Just forget about it. I'm gonna go take a shower." Part 3 --I've got the strength to move but why should I?-Buffy lounged on the couch, watching sitcom reruns on Nick at Nite and absentmindedly stroking Leia's fur. She was starting to doze off when the phone rang, jolting her awake. She reached over her head and grab the cordless, clicking it on. "'Lo?" "Hey, Buffy!" "Hey Wil! What's up?" "Not much, school is hectic but it's the weekend now so it's all good. What are you doing home on a Friday night?" "Nothing much. Just watching some tv." "Oh."
"Oh what?" "It's nothing." "Nuh-uh Wil, we may be miles apart but I'm still your best friend and I know your something-oh from your nothing-oh and that was a something-oh." "It's just Giles mentioned something awhile ago about how you don't really go out that much and how you weren't making that many friends. And now you're sitting home alone on a Friday night." "I'm not alone. Leia's here!" "And that in no way convinces me that you won't become the crazy cat lady in the neighborhood." "What are you saying?" "Well, I wouldn't exactly use the word antisocial..." "I'm not antisocial," Buffy said indignantly, "I just don't like people." "Buffy," Willow scolded gently. "Oh come on Willow, I'm the Slayer. I'm not supposed to have friends in the first place. I was lucky enough to find you guys, what are the chances that I'll find another group of friends who are understanding about it? And it's too much work to try and hide it. Besides, it's not like I'm unhappy." *Completely* she added in her head. "Fine, we just worry about you sometimes." "Wil, I'm okay. Really. So what's up with you?" "Nothing really, I was just calling to talk to Giles for some spell advice. Is he there?" "No actually, he's not. Ya wanna know something? I think he's got a girlfriend. He's been out almost every night for the past two weeks." "Really?" "I know, it's kind of sweet, but ya know kinda creepy cause he's like my dad." "I know, let's not discuss." "Ok, I'll let you go. Say hi to Tara for me." "Ok. Tell Giles I called and I'll call back tomorrow." "Bye." Buffy hung up the phone. *Antisocial, my ass. I'm just as social as the next person.* She curled back down on the couch, enjoying the company of the
television and her cat. When Giles came home a few hours later, he found her asleep. Quietly, he pulled the afghan over her and kissing her forehead before going to his own room. ***** --So it goes. So far like taking flight Near perfect, it feels like, spoon fed, it's like bliss.-"Have you ever had a strawberry before?" Buffy asked Angel, scooting closer to him. "Not that I can remember," he replied. She held out the red fruit and he closed his mouth around it. He kept his eyes locked on hers as his tongue swirled around her fingers licking the juices from the strawberry off them, making it a completely sensual act. When he was finished, Buffy leaned in and kissed him, loving the faint taste of strawberries and Angel. "Mmmmm, yummy." Angel leaned back in wanting more. Buffy gave in, maneuvering herself nearly onto his lap and wrapping her arms around him. "Hey, don't start anything you can't finish in the middle of the park, babe." "You started it. Besides, we're in the SECLUDED section of the park." Despite her words, she slid off his lap and reached into the picnic basket. Searching for a moment, she pulled out a Hershey's bar. "I couldn't find any chocolate covered strawberries which are like heaven on earth, so we have a little experiment." She broke off a piece of the candy and popped it into Angel's mouth. Then she held out another strawberry which Angel took a bite of. He chewed, savoring the combination of flavors. "Good?" Buffy questioned. "Very. You try." He fed her the same delectable treat. "Delicious. Almost as good as you." Buffy realized how cheesy she sounded, but she was so in love that she didn't care. She kissed him softly, then lay back on the blanket, pulling Angel down beside her. Together they stretched out in the sun. Part 4 --If I could think back and see this thing clearly If I could just remember when. Of all the things I hold so dear to me I miss the people we were then.-Buffy awoke disoriented. She was supposed to be in
the park with Angel. Not alone in her bed. Then it all came back to her. Angel wasn't human or even here with her. He was still a vampire who lived in Los Angeles, hundreds of physical and emotional miles away from her. *God, what is wrong with me?* Buffy thought. Yes, ever since Angel left, there had been a small constant ache in her, but she grew to ignore it. And yes, she had dreamed of him being human even years after they had broken up. But this was different. This was her 5th human Angel dream in a row and they were more intense than all her other dreams. All day, even at her busiest moments at work, she couldn't get him out of her head. Glancing up to make sure her door was closed, she walked over to her closet, dug through a pile of clothes, and pulled out an old shoebox. She sat on her bed and gingerly lifted the top. The first thing she picked up was a worn picture, the only one she had of Angel. Willow had taken it at the beginning of junior year when she was in a photography class. Buffy gazed at the picture, amazed at how young and happy she looked dancing in Angel's arms. She placed the picture aside and picked up a movie ticket stub from the soft core film they had accidentally seen. She smiled at the memory. They had thought it was about food. But, well, there was that one part with the food. She set aside the small piece of paper as well and withdrew a jewelry box containing a silver cross. She opened the box, ran her finger over the metal then set it aside and pulled out two items: a creased piece of paper and a folded up t-shirt. She had found them in the mansion when she went there a few weeks after graduation and knew that he had left them behind just for her. She had worn the shirt every night to bed until it had lost his scent. She held it to her chest, wishing it still smelled like him, that she could have that connection. She unfolded the thin paper to find herself, or rather a charcoal drawing of herself, looking back at her. Angel had never shown her any of his drawings because he was self conscious and because Angelus had given her a drawing. But somehow, after he left, it seemed appropriate. It made it obvious how much he loved her because every stroke of the charcoal had clearly been made with such tenderness. She set the drawing down and picked up the last item in the box, a book of sonnets. She opened to the front page and gently traced the letters of 'Always' written out in Angel's beautiful script. Then she flipped forward. Angel had told her that this poem reminded him of how he felt for her and it had soon become her favorite. "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 level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old grief's, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life !--and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death." Buffy felt overwhelming emotions begin to bubble up inside her and quickly put the book down. *What a way to start off the day.* She put everything back in the box and went to take a shower. When she came back, she got dressed quickly. She grabbed her purse ready to leave but then impulsively opened the shoebox still sitting on her bed and pulled out her silver cross necklace. She swung her hair to the side and clasped the chain around her neck. She tucked it under her shirt, not wanting Giles to question her about it but needing to keep Angel close to her heart. ***** --It's time once again to revive some old some new-Buffy's fingers moved deftly over the keyboard, typing up the records for the day. She heard the bell of the front door jangle, signaling someone's entrance. It was past closing time and so just to be careful, she reached for the stake she kept in her desk and slipped it into her sleeve. Moving stealthily to the door of the office she shared with Giles, she stepped into the front room of the store. "I'm sorry but we're clo-...Angel." She actually felt her heart skip a beat. She stared at him in disbelief at his appearance as hope sprang unbidden into her heart. Then she realized that gaped jaw wasn't her most attractive look, so she shook herself out of her stupor. "Hi," she said almost shyly. "Hey," he replied, his velvety voice flowing over her. "What's going on? Are you okay? Is there some kind of demon? What's wrong?" The words spilled out quickly as Buffy suppressed her hopes thinking they'd only lead to disappointment. She took a few steps towards him, yet still didn't get to close. "No, actually, for once I have good news." He grinned at her. "I'm human." The bomb he just dropped exploded around her and she felt dizzy. She ungracefully plopped down in one of the leather desk chairs on display, breathing deeply, trying to regain her composure. Images from her dreams danced through her head. "Buffy," Angel asked softly, trying to break through the haze of shock. He walked over to her and gently placed his hand on her knee. The contact sent an unexpected spark of heat through her bringing her out of her thoughts.
"Maybe I should have led up to that," he smiled softly. "How? Why? When?" Angel pulled up another display chair across from hers and sat down. "I'll start at the beginning. A few years ago, Wesley found a prophecy that said that once I found my redemption I would become human. So a few years later, a few battles later, here I am." Buffy took a few minutes to digest everything he had told her. She clenched her fists trying to suppress the urge to reach over and touch his newly warm skin, to feel his heart being under her hand. "So you're redeemed?" she said slowly. "That's so great for you, Angel. Congratulations." "Thanks, I..." The bell at the door jangled once again interrupting Angel. Buffy sprang up from her chair to see a young man and woman enter the store. "I'm sorry, we're closed." "Yeah, and from now on you'll be permanently closed," the boy said vamping out. Buffy began giggling. "Oh man, that was lame. I mean I've been around awhile and I've heard some really lame threats, but that was by far the lamest." "Prepare to die, Slayer," the girl said also vamping out while the boy looked upset at Buffy's laughter. "Wow, that's the most trite thing you could have possibly said. You two are so not entertaining. Jeez, what's a Slayer got to do to have a little fun?" she said exasperatedly. Then, lightening quick, she grabbed her stake. "Oh wait. I know." She ran towards the two vamps kicking them both in one full swoop. They were fledglings and the fight was quick. She staked one then threw the other one off her back. The vamp slid over the counter knocking off the display of pens Giles had set up that morning. "Shit, Giles is gonna kill me." She rammed the stake home and sighed heavily. "Some things never change do they?" Angel said, giving her a small amused half smile. "No, they don't." She smiled back but it was bittersweet. "Why don't I clean up here, then I can lock up and we can go somewhere to talk." Part 5 --Teaser with pretty lines With shiny glass and perfect time Ease up against my spine Because there's still a million miles to climb--
They kept the conversation light as they walked back to Buffy's apartment. They discussed Xander and Anya's wedding, Dawn and college, and Angel told Buffy about Gunn and Fred and the rest of the L.A. gang's lives. Buffy slid her key into the lock and smiled. "This is nice, ya know, catching up. I never get to catch up with anyone." "Yea, it's fun," Angel said smiling back at her. She caught his grin and her smile grew at the thought of him being happy. He never smiled that much before, but she found that she really enjoy the sight. "Giles?" Buffy called as they entered the apartment. "In the kitchen!" he called back. Buffy headed towards his voice, but stopped in the doorway. "Um, hi," she said to the dark haired woman sipping tea across the table from Giles. "Buffy, this is my, uh, friend Hannah. Hannah, this is my niece Buffy," he introduced, keeping with the story they put together. Angel stepped into view behind the Slayer and Giles' eyes widened in shock, but he recovered quickly. "This is her friend Angel. Um, would you excuse us for a second, Hannah?" "Of course Rupert." Giles ushered Buffy and Angel into the foyer. "Giles! You have a girlfriend!" Buffy accused softly. "When were you going to tell me about this?" "Soon, I just...that's not the issue. Angel, it's good to see you again, but what are you doing here? Is there trouble?" "No, actually, I'm human." Giles' eyes widen with shock for the second time in a few minutes. "Oh my. I certainly did not expect to hear that." He took off his glasses, cleaned them, and settled them back on his nose. "How did this happen?" "Long story short, the Powers That Be felt I earned it." "Intriguing. So, you're only here to inform us of this?" "Yeah. I didn't think it was the kind of thing you can tell over the phone." "Yes of course. Well, I'm sure you two have a lot to talk about," Giles said in his understanding, British voice. "Hannah and I were heading out to a movie anyway so we won't be in your way." "Thank Giles," Buffy stood on her tiptoes and kissed
his cheek. Then, she gave him a devilish grin. "Have fun. Don't do anything I wouldn't do." "Behave yourself," he told her, his smiling eyes belying his stern tone. "Right back atcha," she said grinning again. Giles disappeared for a moment and returned with Hannah. "Nice meeting you, Buffy and Angel." The pair returned the sentiments and the older couple left. Suddenly alone, a string of tension began to thread through the air as they realized they were alone. The talk on the way to the apartment had been kept light, but they couldn't keep it like that forever. "Do you want something to eat or drink?" Buffy offered. "Yeah, sure, thanks." They went in to the kitchen and Angel sat down at the table while Buffy opened the refrigerator. "Iced tea ok?" Buffy asked perusing the contents. "Yeah." Angel fought to keep his eyes off her back as she pulled out the iced tea and poured it. That wasn't what he was here for. He was simply here to tell her that he was human, maybe be her friend, but certainly no more. They led different lives. Besides after so long, she couldn't possibly still love him. Buffy placed the two glasses of iced tea on the table next to a plate of crackers and sat down across from him. Suddenly Angel was overwhelmed by deja vu. The scene was set exactly as it had been years ago, the first time his humanity had been returned to him, on a day that no one but him remembered. *But this time is different* he told himself. *You are not going to end up making love to her no matter how much you want to because it's just too complicated.* "So....." she began, not sure where to take the conversation next. "Human. I gotta say this is very surprising." "Yeah it is. I'm still getting used to it." "How long has it been?" Buffy asked taking a sip of her tea. "Three weeks." The conversation went on in that manner for awhile. Angel told Buffy about how in a bloody battle he and the A.I. gang finally took down Wolfram and Hart and how the Powers had finally granted him his redemption. They talked for hours about aspects of the battle and the fact that Angel still had some vampire qualities like strength. They also caught up more about Buffy's life, how she ended up in Nevada, and where the rest of the Scoobies were. As the conversation winded down, Buffy finally asked the
question that had been on her mind. "What's next for you?" *For us?* her subconscious added. "I'm not sure. We had a lot of cleaning up to do after the battle so things are just getting settled and I haven't really figured things out." "Well, how long are you staying in Vegas?" "I got a room over at the Sheraton so I think I'm going to stay a few days. I've never been in Vegas before." "I'll show you around. I'm working until one but if you come by the store we can go to lunch or something. There's an excellent diner down the street." "That'd be great." Angel smiled at Buffy and as he looked at her, his eyes caught on the clock mounted on the wall behind her. "Oh wow, it's really late. I should get going." Buffy checked her watch. It was well past midnight. "Alright," the pair stood up and walked to the front door. Angel opened the door, took a step into the hallway, then turned around to face Buffy. "So I'll see you tomorrow right?" "Right." They smiled at each other, but the moment quickly grew awkward as neither knew how to end the night. Angel desperately wanted to kiss her goodnight, to brush his lips against her own soft pink ones. Simple and sweet like he used to. But things stopped being simple years ago. Little did he know she was hoping for the exact same thing. Instead he smiled at her again and headed for the elevator. Part 6 --Talk in sign, say something new-"Cordelia?" "Oh! Hey, Angel!" "Hi Angel!!!" he heard Fred's high voice call out on the other end of the phone. "Tell Fred I say hi," Angel said, then heard Cordy relay his message. "So, what's going on?" "Nothing much. Fred, Dennis and I are playing Scrabble." "Where's Gunn?" "Out on patrol."
"Where's Wes?" "Surprisingly enough he's out on a date." "That seems to be a trend with ex-Watchers these days," Angel said, smiling, thinking of Giles and the woman he had with him. Angel was so happy to see Giles with someone. He had always felt so guilty that the British man had never found anyone after Jenny Calendar. "So, I'm assuming that you met up with Giles and Buffy, then." "Yes." "Well, come on! I thought we broke you of this cryptic act years ago. Tell me what happened!" "So, who is Wesley dating?" "That waitress that he saved from vamps last week, Nicole, but don't you try to change the subject, mister. What happened between you and Buffy??" "I told her that I was human. We talked about how that happened. We talked about what was going on in our lives, then I went back to the hotel." "That's it? She didn't totally jump you like I expected?" "Cordelia," Angel said warningly. "I told you. I did not come here to get back together with her. I came to tell her the news because I thought she deserved to know. Besides I've never been to Las Vegas before. We're just going to be friends." ***** --Talk in circles, nothing better to do-"So, Angel's human." Giles said, later that night. He sat down on the couch across from Buffy, who was curled up in an armchair, trying to read the latest Cosmo, except that she kept getting distracted by her thoughts. "Yes, he is." "Well?" "Well, what?" she said, looking up from her magazine. "Well, how'd that happen? What's happening between you two?" "He's been fighting against an evil law firm that represents demons and stuff for a while now and when he finally defeated them the Powers That Be decided to grant him his humanity."
"And?" "And then he was human. The end." "But what about you?" "So, Hannah seems nice." Buffy asked. "Don't change the subject. What about you?" "What about me?" she replied. "It has nothing to do with me. He wanted to come to Vegas, do some sightseeing, tell me about his humanity, then go back to L.A. That's it." "So you two are not getting back together?" "No. We're just friends." Part 7 --What will I find when I cross that line For now it's fine just say goodnight-Angel met Buffy for lunch the next day. And they had dinner with Giles and Hannah. And then met her again for lunch the next day. And dinner that night. During the second dinner, Angel announced his intentions to leave for Los Angeles the next day. "You're going home?" Buffy asked, trying to hide her disappointment. "Yeah. I think that would be best. I've taken up too much of your time already." "I really don't mind," she assured him without showing him how much she didn't mind. Without showing him that he was all she could think about these days and that she never wanted him to leave. Before they could continue their conversation, the waiter came with the check and they both reached for it. "Let me," Angel said. "But you paid for lunch," Buffy protested. "Really, let me. I want to," he said sliding the bill out of Buffy's grasp. He paid the check and they left the restaurant. As they walked down the street towards Angel's hotel, Angel realized that he desperately didn't want the night to end. "So, do you want to go get some ice cream?" "Sure," Buffy replied not wanting the night to end, either. They walked a few blocks then stepped into a Ben & Jerry's. As Angel scanned the list of flavors, Buffy ordered right away. "I'll have a large cookie dough fudge mint chip in a wafer cone." Angel ordered the same. Buffy took out her wallet but Angel stopped
her. "Buffy, I'll pay." She turned and grinned at him. "Angel, I appreciate that chivalry's not dead, but you covered dinner. I've got it. It's fine." She paid the girl behind the counter and they left. ***** --Pack up some scant possessions For this trip you'll take To find what's right in front of you-"So we're all trapped in the frat house," Buffy was telling Angel as they neared her apartment. "Then Giles and Anya broke in and I kind of accidentally called forth the demon." "How did you accidentally call forth the demon?" Angel asked as Buffy took the last bite of her ice cream. "Well, Giles mentioned the mark, so I figure destroy the mark, destroy the demon. But it was actually destroy the mark and bring forth the demon. So, it came forth and all and it turns out that the demon is only this big," she demonstrated the size with her hands. Angel laughed. "Well this is it," she said stopping in front her apartment building. "Yeah," he turned to her. "You have some ice cream on your face," she giggled. Angel wiped his face with one of his large hands. "You didn't get it." Angel repeated the action. "You're missing it," she giggled again. "Here, let me." She stepped closer to him, reached up and suddenly Angel couldn't take it anymore. He grasped her wrist and pulled her into him, bending his head to press his lips against hers. Buffy was surprised at first, but she couldn't fight it, and she didn't want to. She relented to his demanding kiss with a soft moan as she wrapped her arms around his neck. His mouth was warm against hers and so familiar even after all those years. Suddenly, the longing, the intense craving for him that she had suppressed for so many years was back with a vengeance. She couldn't get enough of him. Angel's hands roamed her back, pressing her closer, needing to feel her against him. Finally, they both broke away gasping for air. They stood in silence for a moments, digesting what happened. Then, Buffy grinned. "You still have ice cream on your face." Angel just grinned and pulled her in for another kiss. Buffy managed to lick the ice cream from the corner of his mouth before sinking into his kiss. Their first few kisses were soft, testing but soon they grew more passionate, filled with years of pent up desire. Shortly, Buffy found herself pressed against the wall of her building with Angel's full length pressed
against her. Her hands ran through his hair, over his shoulders, anywhere she could reach. Angel's strong hands roved over her body as well. "Angel, oh God, Angel, we need to get inside." "Right," Angel groaned. "Inside." Pulling back from each other, they ran into the building. Part 8 --The thousand wishes I have had in my life come true.-Buffy pulled the sheets up around her as Angel gathered her naked body into his arms. She was exhausted, but ecstatic. She was so happy to be with him again. She hadn't realize just how much she missed him. "I missed you," she told him. "I missed you so much. Everyday." He brought her hand up to his mouth and kissed it. She propped herself up on her elbow and looked down at him. "Ya know, that stuff about being friends?" "Mmhmmm," Angel answered, absentmindedly, his attention being planting kissed all over her hand and arm. "Well, ya know, I think we should do that." Angel stopped what he was doing and turned his head in surprise. "Huh?" "These past days, just talking to you, being your friend have been so great. Before we never got to really be friends. It was always drama and disasters. We were always breaking up and making up. We were never friends." "I mean if that's what you want...but I thought..." Angel stammered. She was rejecting him? But they had just made love. In response, Buffy just giggled and threw her leg over him so she was straddling him. "Ya know, being friends doesn't mean we can't have sex though." Angel looked relieved and Buffy giggled again. "I really had you going there for a second, didn't I? You should have seen your face." In reply, Angel snaked his hand into her blonde silky strands and pulled her down for a kiss. When the kiss broke, Buffy looked down at her ex-ex-boyfriend. His usually perfectly gelled hair was mussed and his deep chocolate eyes were shining with happiness. He gazed back at her. She was straddling him with the sheet around her waist, her blonde hair creating a curtain around their faces, and her perfect pink lips quirked in a smile
and they were both overwhelmed with emotion. "I love you," Angel said softly. "I love you too. I never stopped." ***** --In my dream you looked so beautiful there Just like the part of you that makes a part of me seem Seem like a one way track I feel like I could float away-The sun streaming through the window finally penetrated Angel's closed eyelids and he blinked awake to find Buffy gazing down at him. The sunlight was behind her giving her the appearance of an angel. "Hey," she said softly, not wanting to break the early morning spell that had settled over them. "Hey," he replied quietly and pulled her in for a kiss but before their lips met Buffy pulled back. "I have morning breath," she explained when Angel gave her a questioning look. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her anyway. "After all this time," he whispered pressing his forehead against hers, "the last thing I'm worried about is morning breath." "This is how it's supposed to be," Buffy said, snuggling closer to him. "Waking up and just lying in your arms." "Actually," Angel told her, placing soft kisses against her neck and collarbone, "I had a different vision of how this morning could go." "Really?" Buffy asked, tilting her head back giving Angel better access to her skin. "Yeah. I thought we could wake up *kiss* and make love *kiss*, slow *kiss* and gentle *kiss*." Buffy gasped as Angel's tongue flicked out over her scar. "Well, I guess we could try it your way." ***** --You can be the walker I'm gonna be your wire You can be the ugly truth I'm gonna be your liar Still the future lit up so bright for all to see Our flashlight destiny-"Good morning Buffy, Angel." Giles greeted them when a few hours later Buffy and Angel finally emerged from the bedroom. He was sitting at the kitchen sipping his tea, but there was a pot of coffee brewing. "Morning Giles," Buffy told him, much more chipper
than she usually was in the morning. She helped herself to a mug of coffee then offered some to Angel. "No thanks. If we're going to make it to breakfast, I should get back to the hotel." "Okay." Buffy put her coffee down and walked Angel to the door. "I'll pick you up in like a half hour okay? Is that enough time for you to make yourself pretty?" Angel teased. "You don't think I'm purdy?" Buffy asked, mock-offended. "I think you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," Angel told her, suddenly serious, his voice low and velvety. He leaned in and kissed her slow and deep. "I'll see you in a bit." Buffy nodded, still a little breathless from the kiss. Angel closed the door behind him and Buffy went back into the kitchen. "So, you and Angel are going out to breakfast?" Giles asked. "Yup," she said, picking up her coffee mug and taking a sip. She studied her Watcher for a moment. "You didn't seem particularly surprised to see him here this morning." "I can't say I am." "Really?" Buffy asked. "Because I kinda was." Giles looked up from his newspaper and gave her a questioning look. "We both had all intentions of being just friends," she explained. Giles chuckled. "You two could never be just friends. And frankly I'm surprised that you two were able to stay apart for so long. For over six years, all of us were waiting for the day when he would show up on your doorstep or you would run off to Los Angeles because you couldn't take it anymore. But I guess we all underestimated the willpower the two of you possess. However, when he showed up here, human no less, I thought without question that you two would be getting back together. So I'm not surprised that he spent the night, but I'm certainly surprised that it took so long." Buffy stared at him with her head cocked to the side. "Ya know you could have told me." "Told you what?" "That you thought we were meant to be together." "I think it's something you needed figure out by yourself." "Whatever," Buffy shrugged, finishing her coffee.
Nothing was going to ruin her good mood this morning. "I'm going to go take a shower." She put her mug in the dishwasher and started to leave the room. "Buffy." She turned around in the doorway and faced a smiling Giles. "Why don't you take the day off?" Buffy smiled even wider and kissed her Watcher on the cheek. "Thanks Giles, I think I'll do that." Part 9 --Because number one I'm good with you And the way you look at me is number two-Buffy met Angel for a big breakfast at a little cafe around the block from Buffy's apartment, then they spent the rest of the day in Angel's hotel room. Doing nothing except talking, making love, and running up a high room service bill. After dark, they finally decided to emerge from the bedroom and entered the city. They strolled arm in arm through the bright lights and camera-toting tourists of Sin City, wrapped up in their own little world. As they wandered the streets aimlessly, Angel's eyes caught on one building and huge tacky sign: The Little White Wedding Chapel. He vaguely heard Buffy talking about some demon that she had fought a few weeks back but his mind was completely focused and his heart was surging with his decision. "Marry me," he blurted out. "What?" she asked, stopping midsentence, looking completely shocked. "Marry me. Right now. Let's go in the chapel and get married." Buffy studied her lover's face. "You're not kidding are you?" she said, unbelieving what was happening. "No I'm not," he faced her, taking her hands in his. "I love you Buffy. You've always been the one. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And maybe it's because suddenly that means only decades instead of centuries, but I want to start right away. I want you to be my wife." "Oh, Angel," Buffy sighed, glancing at the little chapel then back at her boyfriend. A little smile shone in her eyes. "You realize this is completely crazy, right?" "Yes, I do. Are you saying yes?" His eyes bore into hers, searching for an answer which she immediately gave.
"Yes, I'm saying yes." They stared at each other for a split second in utter shock, but then Angel quickly bent his head down, capturing Buffy's lips in a soul-searing kiss. He lifted her up, spun her around, and then placed her back on the sidewalk. "I can't believe this." "I love you," she told him. They went into the chapel and talked to the wedding director. The chapel provided a simple white dress for Buffy and a tux for Angel and soon they were standing in front of the altar hand in hand. "Do you, Buffy, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?" "I do." "Do you, Angel, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?" "I do." "By the power invested in me by the state of Nevada, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." Angel's hands slipped to Buffy's waist pulling her close to him before sealing their lips together. Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and melted into his kiss. ***** --It's encompassing 'cause it's all around me dangling like you above me.-"I wonder how everyone will react," Buffy said, nestling her well sated body against her new husband's side. "Xander and Giles will probably think we're insane. I kinda think we're insane. I still don't believe we did this. Willow and Dawn are going to freak. Oh no, Dawn's going to be so upset." "Why is that?" he murmured, running his fingertips lightly over her bare hip. "Um, duh. We got married and she wasn't there." Angel propped himself up on his elbow. "You know what we could do?" "What?" "We could have another wedding. A big fancy one with all of our friends there. You can wear a beautiful white gown and pick out bridesmaid dresses and floral arrangements. And we can have a huge reception with a DJ and you can throw the bouquet. It will be a fairytale wedding for my princess." "Angel, I don't need a big fancy wedding. I have you. That's all I need for the rest of my life." Angel
echoed his wife, lightly caressing her cheek. "The rest of our lives."