A Day For Love

by Serena

DISCLAIMER: Oh come one! <insert snort> Do you REALLY think I own them?? Would *I* let Buffy sleep with Riley? Didn't think so. Joss would, though, and he did. All the characters are his. But Angel is currently...detained. *G* I wish...

TIMELINE: Valentine's Day, set in my 'Lending a Helping Hand' and 'Ringing in the New Year' 'verse. Read them first if you want to know what's going on.

SPOILERS: The above-mentioned stories, I Will Remember You, everything up through Hush. Oh, and Willow is NOT involved with Tara in this story.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Since I KNOW I'm gonna be having a crappy Valentine's Day, I figured I'd give Buffy and Angel a happy one. You have to have read the other two stories to know what's going on--short summary if you forgot. Angel was turned human after him and Buffy proved to the Powers that they were stronger together than apart. Buffy broke up with Riley and Buffy and Angel see each other on weekends.

DEDICATION: To Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, who are 'shippers just like the rest of us. *G* And for Krissy, just 'cause I love her and she's awesome.

Winner of Best Fluff in the Forgotten Day Fan Fiction Awards, May 23, 2000

Part 1

Buffy Summers sighed deeply and shifted in the uncomfortable wooden chair she was seated in. She was trying very hard to concentrate on the lecture Professor Walsh was giving--something about the dangers of co-dependency--and was finding it increasingly difficult to keep her mind from straying to lusty thoughts about her boyfriend. He was coming to Sunnydale that night so the two of them could spend some time together that upcoming weekend. Plus he was staying for Valentine's Day and had promised her a night out on the town. Buffy couldn't wait.

She brushed a piece of golden hair from her eyes and looked around the room at her fellow students. Some were enraptured by Walsh's lecture, while others were snoring and one even had his discman blaring. Buffy's eyes traveled lazily around the room, catching Riley Finn's gaze. She held it for a moment and then looked away, knowing he still had feelings for her but not caring. She had Angel.

Buffy sighed happily when she thought of her lover. She couldn't believe that he had been human for two months already, it felt like only yesterday. Being separated from him was hard and lonely, but they did what they could. They dealt. It was better than not being together at all... She had not seen him in nearly three weeks and felt as though she was going to go insane from the feeling of incompleteness. But he would be there soon and everything would be all right.

Professor Walsh signaled to Riley, who began passing around a packet of papers to each student. During the lull, a cell phone went off. Startled, Buffy looked around, wondering who would be so rude as to call during a class. She strained to hear the ring again to decipher where it had come from, and realized with a wince that the sound was coming from her purse. Quickly snatching it off the ground, Buffy hunted around for the tiny phone Angel had gotten her. She hastily opened it.

"Hello?" she said, her voice an embarrassed whisper. She felt the eyes of fifty college students and one angry professor on her and groaned inwardly.

"Hey baby," Angel said, his seductive voice making her shiver. She smiled before remembering that she was being watched, at which point she shrank down in her chair to try and remove herself from her classmates' eyes.

"Angel, sweetheart, I'm kind in the middle of Psych here," she hissed, although she was actually rather happy he had called.

"You are?" he asked, a touch of disappointment in his voice. "I'm sorry, I thought you had Psych at three on Fridays."

"It's okay," she said reassuringly, touched that he had remembered. "It's just that I don't think Professor Walsh appreciates me interrupting her class to make with the mushy talk with you."

Angel chuckled. "Okay, I'll let you go. I'll see you in a few hours?"

"You'd better believe it. And you DO know that you're making up not seeing me for *three* whole weeks as soon as you get here, right?" Angel growled playfully.

"I look forward to it," he said, promise in his voice. "I love you, Buffy."

"I love you too, Angel. See you soon." She pulled the phone away from her ear and stared at it for a moment, a goofy grin on her face. Willow cleared her throat and Buffy suddenly remembered that she was still in class. Blushing furiously, she shut the phone off and slipped it back into her bag, slumping down in her seat and suddenly becoming VERY interested in the packet in her lap.

Professor Walsh looked at her expectantly. "Well? Who was that?"

Buffy blinked. She hadn't been expecting Professor Walsh to care, she thought she was gonna lecture... "What?" she asked, unsure of the answer she was looking for.

"We're all rather curious now, tell us all about this person who just called you," she clarified, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning against her desk. Buffy swallowed.

"It was my boyfriend, Angel," she said with a shrug. "He's coming to town later tonight and just wanted to call and check in."

"Oh, I see," the older woman said, bracing her hands on the top of her desk behind her. "And he had to interrupt my class to do it?"

Buffy blushed and tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear. "Sorry about that," she apologized, "he didn't know I had Psych at three and not two."

"I'm assuming you two are involved quite seriously?" she asked, a thoughtful expression on her face. Buffy hesitated, not sure of where her professor was going with this.

"Well, yeah. We just got back together two months ago and I know I'm going to spend the rest of my life with him," she said confidently, her eyes glazing over in that sweet way they always did that told everyone she was in love.

Maggie Walsh sighed. "I see. Now tell me, Buffy, would you consider your relationship a healthy one? Or is it a co-dependency, like the kind I just described?"

"It's healthy," she said firmly, glancing at Willow to verify her answer. Willow smiled slightly and nodded. "It wasn't last year, but we spent some time apart and then the Powers That Be decided it was time for us to get back together. So we did." She smirked, knowing that everyone thought she was just doing the freaky-religion thing, when in actuality that's what had happened.

"And why wasn't it last year?" Professor Walsh pressed. Buffy's eyes flashed slightly.

"What's with all the questions?" she asked, an edge in her tone. The professor smiled smoothly and waved her hand dismissively at the offended girl.

"Just trying to give the class some real-life examples," she said smoothly. "Now, to continue on with my point..."

Buffy tuned her out almost immediately. She felt a set of eyes on her, and turned her blonde head to see Riley Finn staring at her with dark eyes. She coolly met his gaze with her icy one, until he finally looked away.

Rolling her hazel eyes, Buffy turned her attention to doodling in her notebook, content to write 'Buffy and Angel Forever' in her notebook for the remainder of the class, anxiously awaiting her lover.

After class was over, Buffy headed over to the campus coffee shop for a cappuccino, then back to her dorm room to begin the homework Professor Walsh had assigned for the weekend. Arriving at her door, she was shocked to see a lavender rose resting in the plaque that displayed their room number. She idly removed it, bringing it to her face and breathing its scent in deeply. Buffy looked around but saw no one else in the hallway. With a shrug, she fitted her key in the lock and quickly opened the door.

She entered with her head down and turned to face the door when she closed it, making sure it was locked. Turning around and looking up, she started and gasped.

"Are you trying to give me a heart attack?!" she demanded, dropping her bag by her closet and taking off her cardigan to reveal a matching lavender tank top. Angel grinned at her and shifted. He was laying on his side on her bed, the latest issue of Cosmo open next to him. He propped himself up on his right elbow.

"I highly doubt surprising you would give you a heart attack, Buffy," he said, cocking an eyebrow and smirking before turning his attention back to her magazine. Buffy shot him a look and draped her sweater over the back of her chair. She faced him once more and crossed her arms over her chest, the rose dangling from her fingertips.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. What are you doing here this early? I thought you wouldn't be here until seven," she said. "I'm assuming this is from you?" She held up the rose in emphasis. Angel nodded and smiled. "Thank you, it's beautiful."

"You're welcome, beloved. And I was able to leave earlier than I thought, so I figured I'd come and surprise you," he replied, turning the page. His eyes nearly bulged out of his head when he saw the article about sex. "Where in the world do they come up with these things?!"

Buffy giggled. "I don't think we want to know," she said, "but I'm sure they're fun..." She trailed off suggestively, unfolding her arms and dropping the rose on her dresser before crossing to the foot of her bed. Angel closed the magazine and put it on her nightstand, inching over so she would be able to lay on the bed comfortably as well.

"Why don't you come here so we can find out?" he told her, patting the bed suggestively. Buffy smiled and quickly kicked off her sneakers, slowly beginning to crawl up the bed towards him. She looked like a predator about to strike, her eyes dark with lust. Angel swallowed hard, trying to not give in to his instincts and pull her to him.

Buffy crept up the bed, rubbing her body against Angel's in the process. When she was finally near him, Angel pulled her up the rest of the way and crushed his mouth to hers. Buffy grinned against his lips and pressed her body against his as Angel wrapped his arms around her waist.

They broke apart only when the need for oxygen became too great. Buffy sighed happily and nuzzled his neck, pressing a soft kiss on his delicate flesh. Angel groaned and pulled her face up to his again, kissing her gently this time. Buffy's hands snaked down and began the task of undoing his belt as Angel's hands ventured up the front of her shirt.

And then the door opened.

They broke apart sheepishly and looked up to see Willow's shocked expression. Angel reluctantly removed his hands from underneath her tank top, moving them down to rebuckle his belt. Willow held up a hand.

"Don't bother," she said with a grin. "I just wanted to tell Buffy that I'm gonna be pulling an all-nighter at the library, I have a paper due tomorrow and I'm nowhere near done."

Buffy tried to fix her mussed hair. "Okay, Will, sounds like fun." Willow rolled her eyes.

"Oh, yeah, tons." She turned to go, then looked over her shoulder at the couple resting comfortably on Buffy's bed. "You guys can go back to what you were doing now, I'm leaving. I'll see you in the morning."

Buffy blushed. "Later, Will," she said as Willow left, making sure she heard the click of the lock engaging. Giggling, she turned back to Angel. "Now where were we?"

Angel gently pulled her up so he could remove her tank top and bra. Laying her against the pillows, he kissed her sweetly and said, "Right about here."

They lay intimately entwined in her sheets, Angel's fingertips gently grazing her arm. Buffy burrowed into his chest and sighed happily, placing a kiss over his heart before looking up at him.

"I don't think I'll ever get tired of doing that," she said with a secretive grin. Angel raised an eyebrow.

"I like the sound of that," he replied, pulling her closer. "We still have all those things to try." Buffy looked over her shoulder at the open magazine and giggled.

"I think I liked that one best."

"Buffy, that's the only one we did," Angel said. "The others will be better."

Buffy's eyes sparkled. "Is that a promise?" she asked huskily, leaning close to him.

"You'd better believe it," he said before catching her lips in a fiery kiss. He pressed a soft one to her sweaty forehead and sighed contently. Buffy brushed a piece of matted hair out of her eyes and rubbed her hand gently over his hard stomach.

"I missed you," she said, turning her head to look up at him. She rested her cheek on his chest, breathing deeply to inhale his scent. Angel brought a hand up to caress her cheek.

"I missed you, too, baby. I missed not holding you," he replied softly, gazing deeply into her hazel eyes.

"We really have to do something about this," she told him.

"About not seeing each other for three whole weeks?" he asked. She nodded.

"I can't stand it," she whispered longingly. Angel brushed his finger over her lips and Buffy's tongue snaked out, drawing his pointer into her mouth. She lightly sucked on it, looking up at Angel from underneath her lashes. Angel groaned as he felt a wave of desire wash over him. "Not being able to hold you...kiss you...taste you...it drives me crazy."

She accentuated each word with a soft kiss, alternating between his chest and his finger. Angel whimpered and pulled her up to him, his flesh tingling when it touched her bare skin. "I know the feeling," he said hoarsely, a gleam growing within the chocolate depths of his irises. "But we're together now, so let's make the most of it."

They began kissing again, Angel tugging Buffy on top of him. They were interrupted by Buffy's stomach growling, and Angel leaned back against the pillows and laughed, moving to push Buffy off of him and get up.

"Or we can just go eat and--"

Buffy effectively blocked his arm, locking eyes with him. "Sounds like a plan to me," she whispered, leaning down to place kisses on his chest. Her questing mouth traveled down as Angel realized what she was doing. "I like the way you think," he told her, his breath coming short as she reached her destination.

Angel forgot how to talk at that moment.

Part 2

Angel slowly came awake, disoriented in the dark room. He blinked to clear the sleep out of his eyes and reached out for his girlfriend, feeling nothing but the cold sheets in her place. Slowly, he lifted his head and found himself alone in the room, the glowing numbers of her alarm clock reading 4:30. He propped himself up on one elbow and rubbed a hand over his bleary eyes.

The ex-vampire was just about to reach down and get his boxers when the door opened and Buffy snuck in. She shut it quietly, thinking he was still asleep. Angel surprised her when he turned on the lamp next to her bed and she gasped softly and spun around to face him, relaxing instantly when she saw that it was just him and that he was awake. Grinning at him, she locked the door and turned back around to face her lover.

Angel raised an eyebrow at her attire. Clad in a black tank top with a little hot pink duck on the front, bright pink panties, and black knee-high socks, his girlfriend looked rather cute. "Isn't running around in that illegal?" he teased. She shrugged, cracking a grin.

"I had to pee and didn't feel like getting fully dressed. Besides, everyone is sleeping, and those who aren't are too drunk to notice," she said as she crawled back into bed with him, snuggling against his chest.

"Do you always walk around in that?" he asked.

"Only in the middle of the night. And my feet were cold, hence the socks. It's way 'Clueless' but it gets the job done," she replied, wiggling her toes against his leg in emphasis. Angel growled playfully and rolled over on top of her, his weight resting comfortably on her smaller frame.

"Let's see what we can do about warming you back up," he whispered, leaning down to place butterfly kisses on her jaw. Buffy moaned and tilted her head to give him more access.

"You never stop, do you?"

"Would you have it any other way?" he countered, nibbling his way down her throat. Buffy sighed and arched against him.

"Hell no."

They were awakened at around ten the next morning by Willow, who bounced into the room a little too bubbly for someone who had just spent all night writing a paper in the library. Buffy's eyes fluttered and she cracked one open, groaning when bright sunlight hit. She snuggled back into Angel's chest and the mattress, bringing the covers up over her head to effectively block the sun out. Angel, who had been awakened by his girlfriend's wiggling, let out a chuckle and tightened his arms around her waist, pulling her against him.

"I know you're up, Buffy," Willow laughed. The two under the blankets groaned simultaneously. "And Angel. I can see you moving. Get up, it's already 10:15!"

"It's a Saturday, Willow, leave us alone. We want to sleep until noon," Buffy said, her voice muffled in the covers. Willow giggled.

"But Buffy, it's gorgeous outside! Come on, we can all go out and...and play Frisbee or something!" she exclaimed. Buffy popped her blond head out from under the comforter and squinted at Willow.

"Will? Did you have caffeine again? You know how you get..." Angel peaked out from the blanket, too, and smiled at Willow.

"I had to!" she said, bouncing over to her closet. "I had to get that paper done last night."

"How many cappuccinos did you have?" Buffy demanded, clutching her sheet to her chest.

Willow scratched her head. "I don't remember, I lost count after about five..." Buffy shook her head disapprovingly.

"Will, we've talked about this before," she scolded. "She can't have more than two without me around." The last comment was directed at Angel, whom Buffy had turned to face. "Good morning, lover."

Angel kissed her gently, but Buffy turned her head away after a moment. At his confused look, she laughed and rubbed his arm in reassurance. "Morning breath."

His response was to pull her closer and kiss her hard. Buffy giggled into his mouth and returned it eagerly.

"Is this about to get X-rated? 'Cause I can leave..." Willow asked, pulling a long-sleeved shirt out of her dresser and adding it to the pile of clothes on her bed. Angel pulled back and kissed her forehead before letting Buffy turn back around. The blond propped herself up on her right elbow, making sure she was completely covered.

"No, stay," she said, then paused. "Wait. You'd better leave. Lying in bed naked tends to make us do naughty things..." Buffy smirked as Angel rested his chin on her shoulder, smiling innocently at Willow.

"I have no idea what she's talking about," he said sweetly. Buffy chose to run a hand up his bare thigh in reply, and Angel quickly slapped it away before her ministrations created a big problem.

"See?" Buffy laughed. Willow grinned at the happy couple and gathered up her clothing and shower bucket.

"I'll leave you two alone, but I'll be back in fifteen minutes," she warned as she crossed to the door. "I don't want to walk in on you two *again*." That had happened when Angel had first come to visit Buffy, Willow had entered while they had been making love. Buffy had never seen Willow so red, her face had matched her hair color.

Buffy laughed at the memory. "Yes, mother."

"Be glad I'm *not* your mother, you'd be grounded if I was," Willow shot back playfully, closing the door as she left. Buffy giggled and dropped her head back onto the soft pillow of Angel's arm, placing a kiss on it before rolling over to face him.

They lay in content silence for several moments before Buffy spoke. "So, what do you want to do today?"

"Stay in bed and make up for the three weeks I haven't seen you," he replied with a devilish grin. Buffy's eye sparkled.

"Sounds like a plan to me," she said, leaning forward for a quick kiss. "But I doubt Will will approve."

Angel sighed. "Yeah, I know," he said, dropping his head into the pillow and staring deep into Buffy's eyes. She found herself drowning in his chocolate pools, warmly wrapped in the security of his love. Angel reached out to brush a lock of her golden hair off her face and she traced the movement with her eyes, watching him move the hair aside.

Buffy took a deep breath and sighed happily, leaning over to rest her forehead against Angel's. Their noses brushed in an Eskimo kiss. The lovers lay that way for a short time, fingers trailing over bare skin in the process.

Angel suddenly grinned mischievously and brought the covers over their head, pouncing on his unsuspecting girlfriend. He tickled her, his fingers dancing across her skin, and Buffy squealed in shock and wiggled to get away. Angel was laughing and Buffy soon joined him, throwing her head back against the pillow and giving up trying to get him off of her.

"Angel!" she rasped, her breathing heavy. "Ooh, you know, that actually feels kinda good..."

The door banged open at that moment and Willow charged into the room, stopping dead when she saw the moving bodies under the sheets and heard the squeals. Her face turned cherry-red and she stammered to say a complete sentence.

"Bu-Ang-I...wha-but-no...sorry..." she stuttered. Buffy and Angel peaked out from under the covers, panting with their hair mussed and their faces red. They looked from Willow to each other and then back to Willow before laughing hysterically.

"Will, it's not what you think," Buffy said, peering around Angel's shoulder. He had buried his head in the hollow of her neck, and she looked down at him quickly before gazing at her best friend again.

"How do you know what I'm thinking?" she countered. "I could be thinking a lot of things, none of them having to do with thoughts of you and Angel doing the naughty-lusty-bad thing."

"Where does she come up with this stuff?" Angel muttered against Buffy's throat. She giggled softly.

"He was tickling me," Buffy explained. Willow looked at her doubtfully.

"Uh huh. Sure. That face is *almost* believable," she said with a sly grin. Angel began idly sucking on Buffy's neck, his tongue darting out to caress her sensitive flesh while she talked to Willow. Buffy gasped and looked down at him sharply, arching up to him in a silent plea for more. Willow noticed that and blushed even harder.

"We were," Buffy said breathlessly. Willow backed up to the door, grabbing her bag from the handle.

"Right. I'm just gonna..." she trailed off when she saw Buffy and Angel start to passionately kiss. "Go. Now. As in the present tense. Umm...later."

She turned and rushed from the room, leaving Buffy and Angel to their own devices.

"We should go over to my place," Angel said softly as he pulled on a red t-shirt. Buffy nodded as she walked over to her closet in her underwear, looking for her favorite pair of old jeans.

"I'll shower there, then," she told him as she found what she was looking for and pulled the jeans off their hanger, quickly pulling them on. Buffy began her search for a suitable tank top, pulling a blood-red one out of her dresser and yanking it on.

"So did you max out my credit card getting stuff for the apartment?" Angel asked as he finished buckling his belt. Buffy smirked and turned to the mirror.

"I was good, I promise..." She stared at her reflection, her eyes narrowing. Her hand flew to her neck to brush away from her throat, her fingers grazing the huge hickey she sported. "Angel!"

"What?" her boyfriend asked innocently, a gleam in his eyes. He walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her tiny waist, dropping his chin to rest on her shoulder as his eyes met hers in the mirror.

"I have a *huge* hickey. You could have at least warned me!" she scolded playfully. Angel leaned down to kiss her discolored flesh tenderly.

"Sorry," he mumbled.

"It's okay, I forgive you," she replied with a sweet smile. Before he could reply, they were once again interrupted by Willow.

"Well, at least you have clothes on again, it's an improvement," she joked as she entered and flopped down on her bed. Buffy wriggled out of Angel's arms and ran a brush through her disheveled hair, opting to put it up in a ponytail until she could wash it.

"God, my hair is Grease-City," she moaned. Angel laughed as he pulled on his shoes and zipped up his bag. "Will, I'm going to show Angel the apartment and we'll probably hang there for a while."

"Ooh, you haven't seen it yet, have you?" Willow asked Angel. He shook his head. "You're gonna love it, Buffy did a great job. She put all these--"

"Will!" Buffy hissed. "Don't tell him, I wanna make him squirm a little more."

"Don't you usually do something else to make him squirm?" Willow asked with a giggle. Buffy's lips curled up in a secretive smile as Angel looked back and forth between the two. Suddenly his eyes came to a stop on Buffy's chest and he quirked an eyebrow as he read the writing on the tank top out loud.

"Sex kitten?" he read. Buffy nodded and smiled proudly, looking down at the kitten with a naughty expression on her face that graced the front of her tank top. "Who's sex kitten?"

Buffy smiled seductively as she glided across the floor. Placing her hands on Angel's chest, she looked up at him playfully from under her lashes. "Yours, lover. Only yours."

Angel's eyes shone with male satisfaction as he leaned down and kissed her. Willow cleared her throat loudly and they pulled away, sharing a secret smile. They parted completely and Buffy grabbed the bag she had thrown together for the next few days, slinging it over her shoulder and putting on her sunglasses as Angel did the same.

"You two are really into the whole matching thing, aren't you?" Willow asked, indicating the fact that they were both wearing red shirts, jeans, and sunglasses. Buffy and Angel exchanged glances and laced fingers.

"We try," Angel replied with a grin as they walked over to the door.

"You're meeting us at the game tonight, right?" Willow called. Buffy smiled over her shoulder and nodded.

"We'll meet you guys there at seven thirty," she told her as they left. "Later, Wills."

"Game?" Angel echoed as they ambled down the hallway. Buffy nodded.

"There's a huge basketball game tonight and I told Will we'd go. Anya and Xander are coming, and they might be bringing Spike," she said as they stepped outside. Buffy noticed that the sky had darkened considerably in the last few minutes and it looked as though it would begin pouring at any given moment. Angel tugged her in the direction of his car.

"I have to put up with Spike?" he groaned. Buffy laughed and nodded as Angel graciously opened the car door for her and waited as she slid in before closing it and walking around to his side.

"Do you think this will be weird?" Buffy asked softly as they pulled out of the parking lot. Angel glanced over at her quickly, wondering what she meant. She quickly elaborated. "I mean, we haven't been together in that apartment since..." she trailed off and swallowed. "Since the night we first made love."

Angel reached over and gently took her hand in his. "If you don't want to, I can find another place," he told her, "I just thought--"

"No, I love the apartment," she said quickly. Buffy sighed and looked over at her love. "I just don't want *you* to feel like you have to keep it for my sake. If you'd feel more comfortable somewhere else--"

"Buffy, it's okay," he assured her with a sweet smile. "It'll be okay. That's all behind us. I want to make new memories in it with you."

She smiled, satisfied with his answer, as they pulled up to the building. The couple quickly got out of the car and headed inside, Angel searching for the key on his key ring as they stopped at the white door. He located it and fit it into the lock, and with a flick of his wrist it was unlocked. He opened the door and held it ajar so she could enter before him, following Buffy inside and pulling it shut. She had switched on the light and was standing in the middle of the room biting her nails, waiting for his reaction.

Angel dropped his bag at his feet, gazing around intently. He immediately noticed the touches she had added, a new leather couch, an entertainment center in the corner. Buffy had also gotten a few new lamps and, keeping with the artistic style of the apartment, a few Chinese fans that now graced the wall. She had added her own touches of color all over the place as well and pictures of the two of them hung on the walls and sat on his desk and the entertainment cabinet.

He turned to her as his face broke out in a huge grin. Angel wrapped his arms around Buffy as she burrowed her head into his chest. He kissed her hair softly and closed his eyes, memories of all the times she had been here before with him flooding his brain and overloading his senses.

"So, you like?" she asked, her voice muffled in his shirt. Angel nodded and pulled back to look down at her.

"It's perfect," he said as he leaned down to kiss her. A crack of thunder made them both jump and lightning danced across the sky as Buffy let out a breath.

"God, that scared me," she said, bringing a hand up to her chest and pressing it against her racing heart. Angel gently took it in his and brought it up to his lips, placing a gently kiss on her palm and then her wrist. Buffy's body trembled as she basked in the glow of his love and she drew in a shaky breath. She knew without a doubt that she would always feel this way when he touched her, no matter how many times he did it.

Angel led her by the hand to the bedroom, noticing that she had changed the sheets to a burgundy silk. Buffy was silent as he gently sat her on the edge of the bed and kneeled before her, as though in worship.

"Angel..." she whispered breathlessly, her heart fluttering rapidly in her chest. He looked up at her. "It's just like my birthday," she said softly, unexpected tears filling her eyes. He nodded, bringing a hand up to wipe away the stray tear that trickled down her cheek.

"Our perfect night," he agreed, his finger gently tracing her lower lip.

"The rain was our music, Angel, do you remember?"

"I remember, love. But we made our own music that night," he whispered, leaning forward to rest his forehead against hers. She nodded in agreement. "Let's do it again."

"Do what?" she asked, her brow furrowing. She nuzzled his cheek with hers and inhaled slowly before pulling back and locking eyes with him.

"Make love, here, with the rain outside to remind us of all the things we had to sacrifice to be together today," he said.


"You sacrificed me to save the world, I left you to give you a normal life. I gave up humanity for you, and I'd give up my life for you," he told her honestly. She lost herself in his dark eyes.

"I'd do the same for you in a heartbeat," she whispered, her hand coming to rest on his chest. She marveled at the steady rise and fall of his chest for a moment. She always would, she knew.

"I love you," he said, brushing his lips across hers.

"I love you too," she replied softly, gazing at him with tears in her eyes. "Will you make love to me, Angel? Just like you did that night?"

"Do you have to ask?"

Part 3

"I never knew college basketball could be so much fun," Angel said sarcastically, glancing down at Buffy. She sat on the hard bleachers in between Angel's thighs, her arms draped casually over each one. She craned her neck to look at him and grinned innocently.

Anya spoke up before Buffy had a chance to. "Tall, muscular men full of testosterone chasing after each other in revealing shorts throwing a big ball into a small hoop...all sweaty and glistening...what's not to like?" she demanded, staring at Angel as if he was crazy. Xander gaped at his girlfriend.

"You think they're hot?!" he cried, causing several people to look over at the group.

"They're nice to look at, and several appear to have very large peni-" Xander clapped a hand over his girlfriend's mouth. She rewarded him by biting down on his palm, and he pulled it away with a yelp. "Don't worry, Xander, I'll still fornicate with only you," she assured him with a smile.

Buffy shook her head. "And you guys say Angel and I are gross," she groaned, her hand idly playing with the cuff of her lover's jeans. Angel leaned down and playfully nipped her neck in response.

"You are," they chorused. Angel chuckled and darted his tongue out to caress the sensitive spot behind her ear, causing Buffy to shiver. She pushed him away with a laugh.

"Okay, okay, so we are. At least we don't talk about sex in public," she countered, brushing a lock of golden hair out of her eyes.

"No, you two prefer the PDA approach to it," Willow said with a grin.

"Yeah, could you lay off of that for a while? You're making me nauseous," Spike grumbled from his spot at the edge of the group.

"Now you know what it was like when you and Buffy were engaged," Xander told him. "Could you two have *gotten* more touchy-feely?!"

Angel looked down at Buffy sharply. "You were engaged to Spike?!"

"For like three hours," she said with a grimace. Buffy half-turned so she was looking right up at Angel. "Our resident Wicca decided to cast a little spell and it kind of backfired." Angel's mouth fell open in shock and he looked at Willow.

"You made my girlfriend be engaged to *Spike*?!" he exclaimed. Willow winced at his tone and nodded.

"They were actually kinda cute..." Anya said. "Did you two have intercourse?"

"No! Are you kidding me?! Me, have sex with Spike? Oh God no..." Buffy cried at the exact moment Spike said, "Nah, Blondie over there doesn't open her legs for just anyone. Angel and that wanker Parker are lucky bastards, they--" Angel cleared his throat. Loudly. Spike blinked and looked at his sire. "Yes, Peaches?"

"Would you all hate me again if I staked him?" Angel asked, rubbing a hand over his eyes. Buffy giggled.

"I could never hate you," she said, pulling his face down to hers. "I love you."

"I love you, too, baby," he said with a half-smile, kissing her softly. He pulled away suddenly and looked at her. "Did you kiss him?"

Buffy laughed. "Geez, paranoid much? It was a *spell*, Angel. That's all. Gave me nightmares for weeks," she said reassuringly, lacing her fingers in his.

"Oh, like it was all sunshine and roses for me, pet," Spike said, cocking his head to the side. "Well, it wasn't, 'cause sunshine kills me and roses make me sneeze...wait. That was a bloody perfect analogy." His face split into a huge grin and Buffy jerked her head in his direction while staring at Xander, who nodded and smacked Spike on the arm.

"That was from Buffy," he said smugly. Spike growled and raised a fist.

"Uh uh, Peroxide Boy," Angel said with a grin. "I believe I heard that you can't hit anyone."

"Shut up, Peaches," Spike said. "It's not like I got my bloody soul back, I'm as evil as I was before." He leaned over and tapped some brunette on her shoulder. "I look evil, right?"

She raised an eyebrow. "Oh yeah, the Billy Idol look is just terrifying," she snickered. Spike narrowed his eyes as the others laughed. Anya reached over and patted Spike's leg.

"Don't worry, you still look very fuckable," she said solemnly. Xander sighed.

"Anya, you think the mailman is fuckable."

"He is! Carrying all that mail everyday, with that little hat..." the ex-demon trailed off.

"You scare me," Willow said with a shake of her head.

"So, what're you guys doing for Valentine's Day?" Buffy asked after a few minutes of watching the game. UC Sunnydale was losing by ten.

"Xander is taking me out for dinner and he bought me nice things and then we'll go back to his place and copulate many times," Anya informed them. Xander coughed.

"At least someone's getting some," Spike grumbled. He had curled himself up on the bleacher, his hands shoved deep in his duster pockets.

"Aww, is wittle Spike not getting any?" Buffy asked with a pretend pout. Angel tried to contain his laughter, along with everyone else, but they couldn't help it.

"Shut up, Slayer," Spike said, stamping his foot and slumping over more. "I thought women found the whole vampire thing sexy!"

"They do," Angel assured him. "But they usually go for vampires that can *bite* people."

"Can I go now?" Spike whined. "You've had your fun deflating my fragile ego, let me mope in peace."

Buffy laughed and shook her head. "I told Giles I'd keep an eye on you," she told him.

"I don't need a bloody babysitter, I'm one hundred and twenty six years old!" he shouted, drawing attention to himself. He leered at the college students who had turned to look at him. "That's right, I'm a big bad vampire! I've got fangs and I bite and I suck blood! Once I get this bloody implant out of my head, I'll eat you all!"

Buffy was doubled over in laughter, as were the rest of the Scoobies. Spike stared at them with a hurt expression on his face. Buffy wiped a tear off her cheek. "I don't think Spike likes being neutured," she said with a giggle.

"I think we're hurting Spike's feelings," Willow said in between laughing. Spike pouted as the others turned back to the game.

"And we all care because...?" Xander sneered, receiving a deadly look from the vampire.

"So, Angel, what are you doing for Buffy on Monday?" Willow asked.

"Dinner at L'Angelique," he said, somehow managing to wrap his arms around her body and pull her to him. Willow squealed happily.

"Wow, that's like *the* most expensive place in Sunnydale. Cordelia would be proud," she said. Angel nodded and smiled.

"What are you gonna do, Willow?" Buffy asked, suddenly horrified at the thought of her best friend spending the holiday all by herself. Willow managed a smile.

"Some of my Wicca friends are coming over and we're gonna do spells and stuff," she said.

"Oh, okay. Just make sure you don't cast anything on me, I don't need to start going after Giles or anything." A hush fell over the group at the thought.

"That's just...beyond disgusting," Xander said with a grimace. Anya nodded, then perked up as she spotted a gorgeous junior on the court.

"Is it wrong for me to ask for a phone number?"

Buffy moaned with delight as Angel plunged his tongue into her mouth, nibbling at her lower lip in the process. She rubbed up against him provocatively and he groaned in response. Angel wrapped his arms around her waist tighter in response and pressed her firmly against the brick wall. They had managed to escape during half-time and had retreated outside for their own little interlude. It was a lot better than watching basketball...

They were interrupted by Angel's stomach growling. Angel ignored it, but Buffy pulled back and looked him in the eye. "Hungry?" He shook his head and resumed kissing her.

Another rumble caused Buffy to start laughing. "I'm fine," he insisted.

She shot him a look. "Angel..." she said warningly.

"Well, now that you mention it...I am a little hungry," he said, a slow smile spreading over his face. Buffy mistook his smile and tugged at his hand.

"Okay, so we'll go inside and--"

"And I know exactly what I want," he continued, his nimble fingers suddenly on the button of her jeans. Buffy's eyes bulged when she realize what he was implying, and it took some effort on her part to push his questing hands away.

"Later, lover," she said with a wicked grin, kissing him passionately. He whined into her mouth and she threaded her fingers through his silky hair, silencing him. "Shh, when we get home you can do whatever you want with me. You know how loud I can be..." she said with a sly smile, running her finger over his chest lightly.

"You're making me go back in there, aren't you," he moaned, pressing his forehead to hers. She nodded happily and smiled. Grabbing his hand, she pulled him out onto the sidewalk and headed for the doors.

"We'll leave after the third quarter," she promised, giving him a peck on his cheek. They headed for the concession stand when Buffy suddenly veered off in the direction of the ladies' room. "Meet you in the gym in five minutes," she said. Angel brought her hand to his lips and kissed it softly.

"I miss you already," he said, letting her go reluctantly.

Buffy pushed her way through the throng of girls to get to a mirror. She quickly fixed her mussed hair and reapplied the lipstick that had been smeared by Angel. Making sure her tank top was properly in place, she nodded in satisfaction and began the task of maneuvering out of the bathroom.

She wandered towards the gym, not paying attention to where she was going. Buffy didn't see the dark-haired man in front of her until she bumped into him, stumbling slightly. He turned around in surprise and Buffy sucked in a breath when she looked up and saw who he was.


"S-sorry," she stammered, nervously brushing a lock of blond hair out of her eyes. To her surprise, Parker smiled brightly at her.

"Buffy, wow, long time, no see," he replied. Buffy somehow managed a smile as guilt flooded her heart.

"Yeah," she agreed awkwardly, twisting her hands at her sides. Parker let his gaze roam over her curvy body appreciatively, his lips curling in a smile at her tank top.

"You look...good," he said, licking his lips. Buffy rolled her eyes.

"You don't," she replied, smiling sweetly. "God, when was the last time you got a haircut, Parker?"

He ignored her snide remark, his gaze focusing on her tank top. She wished she had listened to Angel when he had told her to put on a different one before leaving... Buffy shrugged, trying to move her tank to make sure she was covered completely. "Sex kitten, huh?" He chuckled, running a hand along her collarbone. "Wanna prove it to me again?"

Buffy looked up with him at disgust, knocking his hand off her skin and shuddering from his touch. "Eat me, Parker," she snapped. Before he could reply, she continued, holding up a finger to silence him and cocking her head to the side. "No, wait, on second thought...don't even think of it. You weren't that good the first time..."

She delighted in seeing his eyes narrow and his mouth tighten. Realizing that they had drawn a considerable crowd, she continued. "A tip? That thing you call a tongue? Use it."

"That's not what you said when it happened," he said, a tremor in his voice betraying his cool exterior. Buffy shocked him by laughing in his face.

"Silly little--and I do mean *little*--boy, you're so fragile," she said harshly, her finger tracing down his cheek. "I didn't feel it was my job right then to inform the legendary Parker Abrams of his less-than-adequate performance in bed, but I think now's a good time."

"If I'm so bad, why did you come crawling back?" he countered, his eyes darting around nervously at the snickers in the crowd.

"Because I was hurt and confused and didn't know how someone could use a person and then just say it didn't matter," she said bitterly. "Ask all the other girls you've gotten into your bed, they'll back me up."

Murmurs of agreement went through the crowd, causing Parker to widen his eyes in shock. He looked back at Buffy with anger in his eyes. "You weren't exactly something to write home about, either," he sneered.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that," Angel said as he walked up and put a protective arm around Buffy's shoulder. He had been watching the whole thing from the edge of the crowd and was getting furious at the way this asshole was treating his girlfriend. Parker eyed the handsome man with apprehension.

"Who's this?"

"The angry puppy," she replied, a gleam in her eyes. Parker's brow etched in confusion before his eyes grew wide and then confused again.

"He's the one who gave you the scar? What'd he do, bite you?" Parker asked.

"Actually, I did," Angel said, his eyes dark with quiet rage.

"He's an animal," Buffy giggled, looking up at her lover and growling playfully.

"Your nose does the cutest thing when you do that," Angel told her, leaning down to kiss her hard.

"A tip?" Parker offered, causing the two to break away and look at him. "Man, she's easy and has amazing stamina. Kinda whiny, though..."

Angel would have killed for his game face at the moment. Just to flash it and scare the living daylights out of this asshole... He opted to step up to him, and since he had a good four inches on the college student, he glowered down at him.

"You will *never* talk about my girlfriend like that again," Angel growled. Buffy was smiling proudly at the scene before her.

"Oh yeah?" Parker challenged. "What are you gonna do about it?"

"How does ripping out your tongue sound?" Angel asked quietly, loud enough for only Parker to hear. The boy turned pale. "I think I'll just settle for this."

Angel's fist shot out and, before Parker could blink, his nose was broken. He yelped at the sharp pain and held his tender flesh, blood running down his shirt. "That was for kissing her." He lashed out, this time catching him in a sharp right hook. "That was for getting her into your bed." He didn't let Parker recover, punching him again. "That was for having sex with her." Angel punched him a third time, a solid crunch his reward. "That was for being an asshole." Angel delivered the final blow, his boot connecting with Parker's groin. He doubled over in pain, his hands clutching his crotch as he bent over.

"And that was for hurting her," Angel finished, wiping his hand on his jeans with a look of disgust on his face. "Buffy?" he called, holding his hand out for her. His beloved eagerly stepped up to join him and together they stared down at the shaking college student.

"Aww, is Parker's manhood all bruised and aching? Why don't you go find some girl to kiss it all better? Oh, that's right," Buffy said, snapping her fingers, "no one will want to touch you after this story gets out."

"Stupid bitch," he grumbled, blood trickling out of his mouth. Buffy looked over at Angel and sighed.

"I usually hate to kick them while they're down, it's so unprofessional, but for him..." Buffy looked back at Parker, who was moaning at her feet. With grace, she kicked him in the stomach, delighting in his grunt of pain. "I'll make an exception. Shall we?" she asked, holding her hand out to Angel. He took it eagerly and the two of them left the scene, amid the laughter of the crowd.

"Was it just me or does he need to desperately be introduced to a hairdresser?" Angel asked as they left, heading for his car. Buffy glanced sideways at him and giggled.

"Thanks for that," she said, her voice sweet and sincere.

"No one treats you like that," Angel told her firmly, gazing deeply into her eyes. They reached his car, and she quickly pulled him into the backseat before he knew what was happening. "Buffy, what--"

"I need to get rid of all the memories that just surfaced," she said breathlessly, her hands working to get his belt undone. She kissed him and continued to work at getting it off, finally giving up and sighing in frustration. "Dammit, Angel, you can't just get tighter jeans? You know how time-consuming belts are to get off!"

Angel laughed at her anxiety and pushed her hands away, leaning up to kiss her hard.

"And you wanted me to wear the leather pants, too," he said with a grin. She hit him lightly and then attacked his mouth again, making him forget about everything else but her.

Part 4

"God, you two really are vicious when you're angry, aren't you," Willow joked after Buffy had relayed the events of Saturday night's game to her. Buffy giggled as she carefully applied another coat of mascara to her already-dark lashes.

"He deserved it and you know it," she retorted playfully. Willow stretched out on her bed and propped herself up on her elbow, watching Buffy get ready for her date with Angel.

"Hey, I wasn't arguing. I think the bastard deserves to be castrated," she replied, brushing a lock of red hair out of her eyes. Buffy giggled and began carefully spreading light brown eye shadow on her eyelid.

"I think Angel would have if we had been alone," she said, switching to the other eye.

"So what did you do yesterday? And last night? And all of today?" she teased. Buffy and Angel had wanted to spend some quality time together, and had declined from doing things with the gang so they could be alone. A dreamy look crossed Buffy's face.

"We slept late, had breakfast in bed, spent most of the day *in* bed..." Buffy blushed slightly as tingles shot up and down her body, memories evoking his phantom touch. "I took him to see Scream 3 with me."

"Angel? At a horror movie?" Willow laughed. "I never thought I'd hear that one." Buffy joined her.

"He didn't seem overly impressed, he kept trying to make out with me and he seemed more preoccupied with trying to get his hand up my shirt," Buffy said, exasperated.

"You loved every second of it."

"Hell yeah."

She applied a thin layer of blush to her tan cheeks and stepped back. Willow had helped her curl her hair and pile it on top of her head, clipping it up with a rose barrette. Her red dress hung in a bag on the back of the door, and Buffy was clad only in a black strapless bra and panties. She quickly pulled the dress out of the bag and slipped it on, the material instantly molding to her curves.

The Lycra dress fell to mid-thigh and scooped low in the front. The straps were very thin and the back dipped a bit, supporting her frame but showing skin. Buffy carefully zipped it and slipped on the open-toed platforms she had gotten to go with the dress. Turning around, she looked to Willow for reassurance.

"Wow, Buffy, you look beautiful. Angel's gonna die when he sees you," she said happily. Buffy grinned.

"Let's hope not, I just got him back *with* a heartbeat. No need to take it away again," she giggled as she slipped on the diamond earrings her father had gotten her for Christmas and smoothed out the creases in her dress. The last step was to spray her vanilla perfume on, dabbing her neck and wrists with it. Taking one last look in the mirror, she nodded happily.

"Are you sure you're gonna be okay by yourself?" Buffy asked for the tenth time. Willow laughed and nodded.

"Yes, for the thousandth time, I'll be fine. Tara's coming over and we'll be watching sappy movies and doing spells," she said. Buffy still looked uncertain.

"I feel like I'm letting you down by going out," she said truthfully, picking up her small handbag. "I mean, that's my job as your best friend, mope and bitch and watch sappy movies."

"No, your job is to go out with your boyfriend--whom you love more than anything--and have a great time. That's what Valentine's Day is all about," she said, opening a box of Sweethearts and popping one in her mouth. "Spend it with the one you love. At least he isn't off 'finding himself'."

"Oz will be back," Buffy said firmly, going over to sit next to Willow. She poured out a few of the candies and polished them off. "He loves you more than anything and when he's ready, he'll come back to you."

Willow nodded resignedly and sighed. "I know, I just wish it would happen *now*."

A short knock on the door interrupted them. Buffy jumped up nervously and fixed her dress before going over to her mirror. Willow giggled at her friend and got up as well.

"He can't see me yet!" Buffy hissed, looking around for a place to hide. "It's like a rule."

"I don't think they thought of that when they designed the room," Willow said with a smile, reaching over and opening the door. Buffy settled to stand by her desk, waiting to make her 'entrance'. Willow's gasp caused her to look up in shock and worry.

"Will? What's wrong?" she asked, stepping over to the door and yanking it open wider. "It's just...Oz."

And there he stood, holding a single red rose in his hands and a teddy bear tucked under his arm. Buffy's mouth fell open in an 'o' when she saw the werewolf standing there, staring at Willow. She silently backed up, leaving the two of them alone.

Willow's eyes welled up with unshed tears as she reached out a shaky hand, bringing it up to touch his cheek. "Oz?" she croaked, her voice thick with tears and disbelief. He smiled slightly.

"Hey, baby," he said in greeting.

"Oz," she said again, more desperate this time. They stared for a moment longer before Oz opened his arms silently. A muffled sob broke free of Willow's mouth as she launched herself into them. Oz crushed the redhead to his chest, wrapping his arms tightly around her shoulders as she slid hers around his waist, her tears falling freely onto his shirt.

Buffy watched silently as they reunited, kissing with fervor after a moment. Willow broke away to pull back and look at him, not really believing that he was there.

"You came back to me," she whispered in awe, her hands linking with his and pulling him inside.

"I couldn't stay away any longer," he replied, smoothing a piece of loose hair from her face.

"Did you find what you were searching for?"

"I think so. I got some answers, sorted some stuff out. Missed you like crazy the entire time," he told her, drawing her in for another kiss. They stood locked in a passionate embrace for a long moment before being interrupted by Angel, who stood in the doorway with a bouquet of roses in his hand.

"Buffy? Are you..." he stopped in the doorway when he saw Oz. Buffy leaned over to look past the couple at him, tears of happiness for Willow in her eyes.

"Look what got dropped on our doorstep," she said, gesturing at Oz. Oz looked from Buffy to Angel with confusion on his face.

"Okay, I obviously missed--" Buffy walked over to Angel and kissed him gently. "A lot," Oz finished, glancing back down at Willow, who was snuggling against his chest, inhaling deeply.

"Angel's human," Buffy said happily as he slipped an arm around her shoulders. He looked down at her and suddenly remembered the flowers in his hand.

"Happy Valentine's Day, beloved," he said, leaning down to kiss her again. She took the roses and smiled up at him, her eyes sparkling.

"Thank you, even though you already wished me that about twenty times today," she teased. His lips quirked upwards slightly.

"That was twenty-one," he replied, pressing a kiss to her temple.

They looked back at Willow and Oz, who were quietly kissing in the center of the room. Buffy sighed happily and placed her hand on Angel's chest, watching silently.

"These are for you," Oz said, holding out the rose and bear for Willow. She smiled as tears leaked from her eyes and sniffled, taking them from him.

"Thank you," she whispered.

"I think this is our cue to go," Buffy murmured to Angel. He nodded and reached down, linking his fingers in hers. Buffy pulled him over to her dresser and quickly set the flowers in a vase of water. "I'll see you in the morning, Willow. It's great to have you back, Oz," she said, walking over and giving him a quick hug. Oz smiled and reached out to brush the tears from Willow's cheek.

"It's great to be back. Nice seeing you, too, Angel," he said, holding his hand out. Angel shook it.

"We'll see you two tomorrow," he said, gently taking Buffy's arm and leading her to the door.

"Happy Valentine's Day, guys," Willow called after them.

"You too!" Buffy said over her shoulder as they left, closing the door behind them. Angel stopped after they had walked a few feet and pulled Buffy to him.

"With the reappearance and all I forgot to tell you how beautiful you look," he murmured, leaning down to capture her lips in a sweet kiss. She smiled against his mouth.

"You don't look bad yourself," she replied, her hand playing with the collar of his black sports jacket. "Where's your car?"

"Right outside," he said, offering his arm. She linked hers through his and they set off for the restaurant.

The couple was about six blocks from it when they stopped for a light and heard shouting outside the car in an alley. Angel carefully maneuvered it off the street and put the car in park. Buffy groaned.

"You'd think the forces of evil could give me *one* night off," she growled, getting out of the car. "I'm not exactly dressed for patrolling."

Angel chuckled as he pulled a stake out of the glove box and got out of the car as well. They crept into the alley, where the scuffling of a fight had begun. The couple quickly came upon a vampire beating up some college kid while his girlfriend cried and cowered in the corner, clutching her bleeding neck. "Shouldn't take long," Angel whispered, watching Buffy slip into a fighting stance and pull a stake out of her purse.

"That's what you think," a voice said from behind them. Buffy and Angel whirled around and came face to face with a group of six big vampires, fangs glistening in the moonlight. Buffy sneered at them.

"Yeah, it is," she said, placing her hands on her hips.

"Well, you thought wrong," he growled. Buffy glowered at him.

"What, you think you can beat us? Because of you, I'm going to be late for my reservations, on *Valentine's Day*. You'll be lucky if I only kill you," she snapped. Before he could respond, she lashed out, punching him in the face.

The fight was furious, but over relatively quickly. Buffy and Angel were breathing hard when the last vamp dissolved into dust. They took a second to get their bearings before turning to each other and looking over the damage that had been done. Buffy's dress was torn and bloodied, one of the straps had ripped and the material was stained. She had a cut on her arm and slash marks where one had gotten her with his talons across her chest.

Angel had a split lip and a cut above his eyebrow, and was favoring his ankle a bit. Buffy stepped over to him and hugged him lightly, groaning.

"It figures that our perfect day had to be ruined by vampires," she said, bringing a hand up to lightly touch his cut. He flinched away and she frowned. "And I really liked this dress!"

"I'll buy you a new one," Angel said with a slight grin.

"So what do we do?" she asked. The couple they had saved had taken off at the beginning of the fight, so the two were alone in the alley with the dust from the vampires swirling in the air.

Angel's face suddenly lit up and he took her hand, leading her out of the alley. "We have our romantic evening, just like we planned," he said, helping her into the car. Buffy sighed and leaned against the cushions, silently cursing the forces of evil.

"How, Angel?" she asked, her eyes betraying her hurt at their evening being ruined. He squeezed her hand in reassurance and made a U-turn, headed in the direction of his apartment.

"You'll see," he said, pulling a handkerchief out of his pocket and handing it to her. "Put this on your arm." She did as he said, the pressure slowly stopping the bleeding. They pulled up to his building a minute later and she was about to get out when he laid a gentle but firm hand on her arm. "Stay."

He got out of the car and bent down to peer in at her. "You get to go inside while I sit in the car? I don't think so!" He hushed her with a look.

"I'll be back in a minute," he said, leaning over to press a gentle kiss to her lips.

"Great," she grumbled, "some date this will be."

Fiddling with the radio, Buffy waited for about five minutes before Angel appeared, having stripped down to his boxers and a robe. She raised an eyebrow at his attire, but he chuckled and simply led her inside.

"Oh, that's romantic," she muttered sarcastically. "Are we going to be sitting around eating cereal all night? Or are we--"

Buffy found herself speechless when Angel opened the door to the apartment. The entire room was lit with candles and romantic music poured softly from the stereo. He grinned at her shocked face and took her hand, leading her to the bathroom. She had thought that was her big surprise.

She had been wrong.

Angel's antique bathtub was filled to the brim with steaming liquid, bubbles threatening to spill over. The light was once again provided by candles, which sat on the sink and lined the wall. She gasped happily and spun to him, concern quickly clouding her face when she saw a large gash on his stomach.

"Angel, you're hurt," she whispered, her hand reaching out to gently touch his wound. He brushed her hand away and grazed his fingertips over her shoulder, burning her skin with his touch.

"So are you. The food will be here in half an hour so we have time for a bath before," he said, spinning her around and unzipping her dress slowly. It pooled gracefully at her feet and she stepped out of it, leaving the ruined garment on the tiled floor.

"Food? Bath? Are you gonna clue me in or do I have to guess?" she asked teasingly as they quickly stripped down and got into the steaming water together, grimacing as the liquid stung their wounds.

"I like keeping you in the dark," he said as he reached over to the towel rack and removed a blue washcloth, wetting it and carefully rinsing away the dried blood from her skin. She winced.

"So you're saying I look better in the dark?" she teased, leaning over to give him a sweet kiss.

"Maybe," he replied, trying very hard not to smile.

Her lip jutted out in a playful pout. "Not very nice..." Angel grinned and lifted a hand to her chin.

"Look at that lip, all alone and sticking out helplessly. Can I get it?" he asked, lightly sucking it into his mouth. She pulled back and looked at him.

"Spike did that to me," she told him when his brow furrowed. He nodded, then his eyes darkened.

"I can't believe Spike kissed you," he grumbled. She giggled and wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, playing with the hair at the nape of it.

"He's good, but not as good as you," she said, kissing him again. Their kisses became more passionate, but Angel stopped them before it went too far. She whimpered and Angel gave her a reassuring smile, tenderly resuming cleaning her up.

When her wounds were cleaned thoroughly, he washed her hair and piled it up on the top of her head. No words were needed while he worked, the love with which he treated her wounds made her tingle. She set to work at cleaning him up as well, then sat with her back to him and his arms wrapped around her, her head tucked perfectly under his chin.

The water was starting to cool when Angel reluctantly hit the stopper and climbed out. He fought the wave of desire that hit when he wrapped her in a towel, running his pruny fingers up and down her arms. It had been torture for him to take a bath with her and not make love to her...

The doorbell rang, interrupting his thoughts. With a quick kiss, he handed her a robe and slipped his on, sliding his boxers on too. "Who's that?" Buffy asked, towel-drying her hair. Angel grinned secretly and went to get the door. Buffy tried to see who was at the door, but all she saw was Angel hand money over to someone and get several plastic bags. He closed the apartment door and brought the food over to the table, where he had set up a dinner for two.

"Angel, what's going on?" Buffy asked as she came up to the table and wrapped her arms around him. He smiled down at her and began taking cartons out of the bag. "You got us Chinese for Valentine's Day?"

"I called in a favor and got take-out from L'Angelique," he told her, opening one of the cartons to reveal a delicious-looking chicken. She squealed in delight and kissed his shoulder.

"This is perfect. A nice fight to get me all worked up, a bath, and now dinner," she said with a grin. Angel pulled out the chair for her and she sat eagerly, suddenly starving. She hadn't eaten all day--not wanting to look fat in her dress--and it was taking its toll. Her stomach rumbled and Angel gave her a knowing smile.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Buffy," he said softly as they began eating. She smiled at him.

"I love you," she told him, holding her fork up. He opened obediently and she fed him. They spent dinner feeding each other and staring into each other's eyes. Somehow, Buffy had managed to creep into Angel's lap, and they started sharing sweet kisses as well.

"This really is perfect," Buffy sighed happily, nuzzling Angel's neck. "The best Valentine's Day ever."

Angel tightened his arms around her tiny waist, his hand massaging her bare thigh. The robe she wore reached mid-thigh and was starting to distract Angel. "I'm sorry the evening got ruined," he said, looking into the hazel eyes he loved.

"Everything worked out and eating here instead of at a restaurant is romantic. I think we would've gotten kicked out for the PDA," she giggled, pressing a kiss to his temple. Buffy shifted on his lap and ran her fingers through his hair as his hands found purchase on her round hips.

"Want dessert now or later?" he asked, a mischievous gleam in his eye.

"Later," she whispered, her lips centimeters from his. They met gently, sensuously, Angel tightening his hold on her. Buffy felt hot, as though her body was on fire with need. He picked her up and carried her in the direction of the bedroom. Laying her on the bed, which had been covered in rose petals, he made quick work of their robes and set out to make her forget about the world outside of the room.

"I love you," he whispered, propping himself up on his elbow to look at her.

"I love you too," she replied with a sweet smile. "Thank you for everything, Angel."

"You're worth it all, my love."