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DISCLAIMER: JW, WB, ME, Fox, SMG/DB...they, plus a lot of other people who aren't me own them.
COPYRIGHT: March 2000
SPOILERS: Up to The Prodigal.
SYNOPSIS: Angel and Buffy deal with the events in the Prodigal.
DISTRIBUTION: Anyone just let me know where it is so I can have a happy.
FEEDBACK: Always appreciated.
NOTES: AU, sort of, which will be obvious since B/A are together. I hope I wrote Angel right – this is my first real try.
DEDICATION: To Alicia, with thanks; Serena for always encouraging me, and Lyndy.
"He had to go out, Buffy, but he should be back any minute," Cordelia said as she came over to give her friend a hug. In the past few months they had become each other's closest female friends.
"Is everything okay?"
"Angel's fine, but the last couple days have been a bit rough. I'm sure he'll explain when he gets in."
Reassured, Buffy headed towards the elevator, calling hello to Wesley over her shoulder.
He felt her long before he reached the underground entrance to his apartment. Seeing her sitting on the couch, reading and taking notes from a textbook, Angel smiled, walked over, and slid his arms around her from behind.
"Welcome home, love."
Buffy reached up, turning her head and their lips met in a slow kiss. "Now I know I'm home," she sighed as they broke apart.
Angel came around the couch, sat down beside her, and then pulled her to lean against him. No words were spoken as they reveled in each other's company. Buffy would have broken the silence, but she noticed he'd fallen asleep and instead decided to finish taking notes for psych. There would be plenty of time later to talk anyway.
Angel awoke to the sound of hissing from the stove and realized that he'd been out for quite a while. Entering the kitchen, he was just in time to see Buffy lift a grilled cheese sandwich onto a plate and cut it in four.
"Hey, you. Did you sleep well?" She set her things on the table then went get the blood from the fridge to heat up for him.
"Like the dead," he smirked. "Sorry, I couldn't resist. But yes, I always sleep better when you're around."
"Me, too." Their lips met in a soft kiss, ending when the microwave dinged.
Sitting down to supper, they exchanged small talk on the past couple weeks, just enjoying the chance to share the daily events of their lives.
Fridays were theirs. Business, as it were, was ignored until Saturday. This time was kept for them to relax with each other, laugh, dance, love...Not that they didn't do those things at any other time, but this was special. With the phone off the hook, the apartment became their haven from all the pressures and ugliness they faced regularly.
It wasn't until late Saturday after supper that Buffy finally got a chance to ask Angel about Cordelia's comment from the night before.
"I was wondering..." Buffy trailed off as she felt little, nipping kisses being rained down her neck. "Mmmm...Angel..." came out, when he hit that oh so sensitive spot at the top of her spine.
Finally done, he asked, "You were wondering?"
"Oh, you!" Hitting him playfully before settling down, legs entwined as she faced him on the couch. "I know that you took out a demon who was making peaceful Quinine demons go wacko but I'm guessing that something else happened that you haven't told me about yet."
Angel smiled a little at her pronunciation, "Quaini demons, Buffy." To which he just received a look that said he wasn't going to get away with avoiding the issue. "I'm sorry. It's just that this case hit a bit too close to home. Among other things," he whispered as an afterthought, forgetting that her hearing was as good as his.
Buffy moved towards him and brought his hand to her lips. "It's okay, Angel. Just tell me when you're ready."
"You know how I'd told you about Kate?"
"The police officer who had the hots for you until she found out you were a demon? The one who kept forgetting that you were already taken?" The jealous edge in her voice made Angel’s lips quirk up.
"That's her. Well, you remember that whole ‘sensitivity’ thing I told you about? She starting going on and on about how her dad virtually abandoned her after her mom died."
"And what does that have to..." Buffy was a bit confused.
"He was involved with that demon and it got him killed. I tried to stop it but he wouldn't invite me in..."
"Oh, Angel... Honey, you couldn't have known that he was involved in something like this and you know you can't save everyone. How many times have you told me that?"
"I know, but she loved him and they were just starting to spend a bit of time together. Besides which, this was the first real time we'd spent together since..."
"She found out about the vamp thing?" Moving even closer, she pulled him into her arms. Silence reigned for a few moments. "Angel, what else happened?"
He sighed and thought that he should have known she'd know that wasn't everything. "She was hurting, I know she was, and I know she's still in shock, but she kept pushing me away and we were starting to be friends again..." He trailed off for a moment, his voice becoming almost harsh with pain. "She said that I wouldn't know anything about her father because he was human, and I wouldn't know anything about that."
Buffy froze, managing to keep her feelings to herself only by literally biting her tongue. If I didn't know she was hurting I would so kick her ass for doing this to him.
"But, Buffy?" The normally beautiful sound was torture for her to hear. "What was worse was that all week, I've been dreaming about my father. Dreams, memories of how much I disappointed him, of how I had to leave home, of how much he hated me...and how I felt so...triumphant, almost, when I killed him. He always yelled at me, cursing his misfortune in having me for a son, and I, I took delight in making all his predictions come true."
Buffy just held him more tightly, knowing that there was nothing she could do but hold him through the memories. When they'd first gotten back together, they had many nights where they just talked and cried or yelled about their past, and she had been heartbroken for both Angel and his father when he told her of the events leading up to his change.
"I remembered Darla telling me that the love from when I was alive would still 'infect me' and that my father had 'defeated' me even in death, because I would never be able to gain his approval. Since the gypsies...I've wondered if that was why I was so evil, if I was still trying to live down to all those things he ever said I was." Tears trickled down his face, but he didn't even notice.
"Angel, sweetie, even if that were true, it doesn't mean anything now except that it helped you become who you are. Strong, thoughtful, incredibly caring, and not just with me but with all those you've helped. Cordelia considers you family and Wesley is so thankful that you let him help you, and that you let him keep his pride while doing so. Not to mention everything you've done and that you do for me just by being who you are. I know if he could see you now, he would be so pleased and proud of all you do." With that, Buffy lay back on the couch pulling Angel with her until his head lay pillowed on her chest, and she gently stroked his hair until they both fell asleep.
Buffy awoke to the sensation of moving and she looked up to see that Angel had washed his face and was carrying her into the bedroom.
As he placed her on the bed, she drew him down for a kiss. Eventually, he tried to lift his head but she murmured, "No, we need this."
Tugging off his sweater, he lay down on the bed, gazing in her eyes as he sweetly took her hair out of its ponytail. Then he leaned in to place tiny, sweet kisses on her forehead, eyelids, cheeks, and that tiny spot behind her right ear, before coming down to capture her in a deep open-mouthed kiss, full of tenderness and heat.
As the clothes came off, her hands stroked his cool skin, luxuriating in the feel of satin and stone, his muscles bunching as he kept control of his desire. Her fingers brushed his nipples, as one of his came up to caress her breasts, touching them ever so lightly before dropping his lips down to lick and bite, which brought husky moans of pleasure from her. Her hands moved lower, grasping him briefly before he began kissing his way down her stomach, past her curls, where his tongue dipped in to taste her moisture, wrenching a cry from her reddened lips.
Angel had only moments to savour before he was pulled up with a barely audible command of, "Now, Angel. I need you now."
Quickly he entered, and as they joined he felt a healing come over him, a healing that only came from this physical expression of their love. Angel rested in her for a minute, letting the feeling of completeness wash through him, before beginning the motions that would lead them far away from reality. Buffy thought that she'd never given or received so much, and when she felt the tremors start to take over, Angel slid his fangs gently into her neck and the explosion came like nothing either had felt before.
Later, murmuring words of love, they fell asleep knowing that, through the simple acts of comfort, they had grown stronger once again.