Aint That Enough
We were all wounded in some domestic war
I dont know why I bothered to come here. I dont know if it was my twenty-first birthday that was my undoing or the fact that I cant miss him anymore that made me get in my car and come here. Maybe it was the fact that my father bailed on me again. Maybe its the fact that I hate the prospect of getting out of college and starting the rest of my life. I hate my life and I hate who I am now. I dont think I want to be here, but since I am, I might as well do what I came here to do.
My father and Angel are both in this town and by the time I finish with both of them, theyll know just what I think of them. They will know just how much it hurts to put your heart and soul into loving someone only to be abandoned and never thought of again. But dad can wait.
Now its time for Angel to know what he did to me.
Its been four years since he made love to me. Four gut wrenchingly hard years that have left me starving for him. That first time, my first time ever, was so much better than any other time. Most people wouldnt say that, but it was for me. He was so gentle and moved so slowly over me. He never rushed and he constantly whispered things in my ear. Years of practice on my part havent come close to doing justice to that one rainy night I spent locked in his embrace. Oh, I tried to replace him. I had men come and go, but not once did they come close to touching that place in my heart that he resides in. I hate him for that. And I love him for that. No matter how much it has hurt, I keep loving him.
I should be shot. I mean, I gave my virginity to a vampire and I have spent a quarter of my short life pining away for him.
And I gave you my soul
You know, he never thanked me. He never thanked me for not staking his sorry ass when he turned evil. After I slept with him, my first original sin, he went totally psychotic and tried to kill me. But I was still on his side. Not the way you may be imagining, I mean, I didnt go yay, Angel, kill someone else. But I couldnt kill him either. I ate, slept and breathed him, just as much as I always had. Im sick. Faith was right. A part of me still dug him when he was psycho.
I dont care anymore, though. Im going to give him a piece of my mind. He needs to know exactly what the last few years have been like for me. Maybe once I scream at him, maybe once I hurt him as much as he hurt me, Ill finally be able to put the past behind me and start to live again. I didnt just graduate from High School that day. I plunged headfirst into agony and Ive been slowly dying a little more each day. For a long time, I fooled myself into thinking he was coming back but as the days gave way to more and more years, wasted years, I realized that hes just gone.
He broke me. He broke my heart. He broke my soul and Im going to break him. I am.
I walk up the stairs like I know what Im going to say and pause at the door. Things look a little different. Namely, the building isnt as run down and there are snazzy window designs frosted onto the glass. I think its supposed to be an angel, but it kind of looks like one of those winged maxi-pads. Thats what he is. A blood sucking pad with wings. Okay, thats gross. And Im going to tell him exactly what I think of him without bringing that up. Hell, its daylight. I might even toss his ass out into the sun.
I wish that there would suddenly be a drive-by shooting. I wish a stray bullet would strike me in the back and hed hear it. Dammit. Cordelia would probably have to drag me inside, but he would watch me die and he would suffer. Knowing my luck though, hes not even here and Id die listening to Cordelia bitch about me ruining the rug.
I look up and down the street, still wishing for a sudden freak accident, but it doesnt happen so I step into the office. It smells nice. There is coffee percolating somewhere and soft music is playing. Its not as dark as it used to be inside either. The darker trim has been traded for wallpaper and borders and the floors are covered with plush carpeting. Id say Im impressed, but Im too pissed at him for impressing me to admit it. Hes done well for himself. Thats not fair at all.
Unlike me, who spent my birthday hiding from the gang and pigging out on ice cream in the cemetery, he has done well for himself. To top it off, I wound up wearing most of the ice cream because vampires attacked me.
Vampires are evil and the one who lives here is the most evil of them all. I mean, I saved his life. I saved his life and he still left me. Even had the nerve to say he wasnt going to say good-bye. What kind of man, or beast for that matter, can do something like that? How could anyone be that hard?
God, I think he painted this picture on the wall. Hes such an amazing artist. When he was all evil, he sketched me while I was asleep. I have it laminated, but no one knows. Theres a beautiful A in one corner of the picture. Yes, he painted it. It isnt pretty at all now. I hate the damn thing as much as I hate him. Its ugly. So is he!
Right, Buffy, keep telling yourself that.
When I opened the door, a bell chimed, but no one has come to see who it is. I step further up the hallway and into what I recall and Cordelias office. Angels is just through that door in the corner. Its closed. I wonder if hes in there. Should I knock or maybe break something by accident?
"Hello?" I call out, not recognizing my own voice. Its deeper, huskier than it should be. One might even say sexy. Damn that painting. Its because I cant shake the image of him painting it without a shirt on, with paint smears all over his chest and cheeks.
I hate him.
I so completely freaking hate him and his skilled hands and his everything.
He just yelled, "Just a minute."
Ohgod ohgod ohgod ohgod
If I turn around now and run out the door, he will never know it was me. Im going to do it. Im going to walk out. No, Im going to run out. Here I go.
The door opens. Angel steps through and his face goes slack. I see his eyes rake over me and I lick my lips, shifting under his gaze. My eyes roam over him, taking in his tight jeans and caramel colored shirt. It matches his eyes. When I look at his face again, he clears his throat. "Buffy."
"Angel." We always do that. We always say each others name and I swear to god, its like foreplay. I could come just by hearing it roll off his tongue. Im not inching toward the door, toward my freedom, anymore. I shouldnt have come here.
"What are you doing here?" He asks, leaning against the doorjamb and shoving his hands into his pockets.
Okay, that pisses me off. He doesnt bother to hug me or ask if Im okay. He just slouches and asks me what Im doing here. It makes me remember why I came. I take a deep breath and square my shoulders. "I came to tell you that I think you are the biggest asshole who ever walked the face of the earth."
He stands up straight now and his gaze hardens. "Is that right?"
"Yes. I came to tell you that I gave you every single thing I had to give you and I pretty much think it sucks that youve done this to me."
"Done what to you?"
"Done what to me?" Im enraged. I think Im going to have a stroke. No, Im going to have a fit of blind fury and bash his face and then Ill have the stroke when I see the damage. "Ill tell you what you did to me. You left me after you promised me you never would. God, Angel, I loved you. Wasnt that enough to make you stay?"
"You deserved more." His gaze has shifted to the floor now. He cant even look at me. "Love shouldnt-."
"Look at me." I cant believe how my voice sounds. So bitter and so strong. I wait until he glances back up at me and I pull the collar of my shirt to one side, revealing the scar he gave me when he drank my life into him. "Dont you dare try to tell me what love should and shouldnt do. I gave you a second chance. I literally loved you past the point of dying and it wasnt enough for you."
Ain't that enough
He steps further into the room and I step toward the window, bathing myself in the soft rays that are streaming through. He takes the hint and stops walking toward me. Im not finished yet. When I walk out of here, I want him to have no doubts about what I think. Im trembling, but the sun does little to warm my heart. Its cold because of him.
All I can do is keep going. If I stop
talking now, I wont start again. "When I got infected
with an aspect of that demon that time, you told me that you
would still love me and still be with me, even if I grew horns
and a tail. You lied to me. You were the only person in my freaky
world that I trusted completely and you lied to me. Do you
realize what Ive been through for you, Angel? I watched
Giles suffer the loss of Jenny. My mother kicked me out of my
house. I had to send you to Hell to save the world and my-
world fell apart. You tormented me for months and then you came
back to me! Somehow, you came back. Wake up and smell the fucking
destiny! You went to HELL and came back!"
"I want you to know that you suck. Pardon the pun. I want you to know that you hurt me more than I have ever been hurt. Its not right, Angel. What you did. You cant just leave someone like that. My father did that exact same thing to me and I confided in you how that felt. How dare you do it to me too. You were different, Angel. You promised me." I choke a little, fighting the tears that are stinging my eyes and drag in a deep breath. "I cant stand looking at you! I see you and a part of me wants to rush into your arms and beg you to make it better. Do you know what kind of fool that makes me? How it feels to be forever tied to someone who does not want you? You dont want me and here I am, pouring my heart out to a jerk who doesnt even send me a birthday card. It would be an anniversary card too, you know. We made love on my birthday. Hell, my own father forgets it so why shouldnt you?"
I was so sure one and one gave you one
"I did not forget your birthday." He replies softly, while Im trying to pick one of the jumbled arguments from my head to blast him with next. I want to call him out about making such a perfect life for himself while I waste away in a cramped dorm room, but he continues. "Every single year, I write you a letter and put it in an envelope. I dont mail it."
"You dont do a lot of things." I snap. Now he has caught me off guard and that stuns me for a second. He writes me letters?
"No, I dont do a lot of things, Buffy. I dont get into my car and drive to see you everyday like I want to. I dont pick up the phone and call you every single time you pop into my head and all I can think about is the sound of your voice. I dont sneak into your window at night and watch you sleep anymore. I dont get to see you anyplace other than my dreams. I dont do a lot of things, youre right, but my heart keeps right on doing it for me." He steps closer to me and points at his chest. "Cause youre there. You cant be here and I cant be in Sunnydale, but youre always with me. Sometimes I think its the sweetest pain in the world and sometimes it almost kills me. But I cant get rid of it."
I step out of the sun and take a step toward him. My head starts screaming that Im going the wrong way and the voice of logic points out that the door is the other way, but I move closer and step into his open arms. My heart seems to be answering his, beating, undulating with something that I cant prevent. Dammit, this isnt going as planned. "I cant get rid of it either." I hear myself whisper.
His arms wrap around me and I close my eyes and inhale. He still smells the same. I used to lie awake at night wondering if Id forget the way that he smells. I would catch a hint of the cologne he wore in a supermarket or in a club and it would slam into me, making my eyes glaze over and my throat constrict. Its the same now. I shudder and breathe deeper and I feel myself giving in. Im going to cry on him, just like I always used to. And hes going to let me. I can tell because hes massaging my back and kissing the top of my head.
Just. Like. He. USED. To. Do.
I cant do it. No, I just cant do it. I refuse to totally lose it like I want to. Im an adult now and Im not going to have an outburst. I squeeze my eyes closed tightly and step away from him. He probably looks shocked, but I cant bring myself to look at him. God, I feel so empty inside the second he isnt touching me anymore. I swallow hard and say, "I came here to hurt you."
"Yes, Buffy. Just seeing you again has hurt me more than youll ever know." His hands are back in his pockets now. "Is that what you needed?"
"Thats what I wanted. What I needed was you. All I ever needed, was you." I sigh and fix my purse strap. Its time to give him a glimpse of who he created when he stepped out of my life. "But that doesnt matter. It never mattered and I think I can accept that now. I was a kid back then, Angel. I believed in happy endings and eternal lovers and love. Its all a lie. Love is just a word and I dont believe in anything except me anymore."
"You dont mean that." He says evenly, not letting any emotion penetrate the calm look on his face. Damn him. How can he be so freaking stoic. Does he have Oz shoved up his ass? I just gave him a long line of bullshit about not believing in love, something he taught me about, and he should be down on his knees begging me not to say that.
"If thats the case, then leave. I dont want to know you." He turns toward the desk and gathers a handful of mail, absently sifting through it. "Can you see yourself out?"
My eyes widen. You could probably even say they bulge. How in the hell did this get turned around on me? I came here to give him an ass chewing and he is telling me to leave? Hes probably thinking that some kind of reverse psychology shit is going to work on me. Haha, bucko. Im majoring in psychology. "Fine." I shrug indifferently, as though it doesnt faze me and wonder when I shoved Oz up MY ass. Im dying a slow and painful death inside, but Im able to maintain my composure. "I wont say good-bye, since you have such a problem with that. Ill just stand here for a few seconds and let you gaze longingly at me like you did last time. Only this time, Ill turn on MY- heel and walk off."
Saying nothing, Angel turns around and goes into his office, closing the door softly behind him. I think I just realized the meaning of seeing red. My blood is boiling and I swear I think my head is going to explode. Im actually dizzy with rage if that makes sense. I will my feet to move and they finally do. I stomp, loudly, toward the front door. I somehow underestimate my own strength though, and twist the heel off my shoe, twisting my ankle at an ugly angle.
Toppling forward, I crash into a small round table that is holding a vase full of flowers and together, we slam to the floor. The vase shatters under the weight of my body, slicing into my upper arm and chest. Knowing Angel is was some kind of Ming Vase that was worth a million dollars and now its halfway embedded in my breast. Look ma, I got a boob job while I was in LA. Silicone is so passe.
I think my dignity is bleeding out because Im tempted to call for him.
Then I feel his hands on my waist, pulling me upward. As I turn to face him, he has a gleeful look on his face that I want to punch off, but then horror replaces the smile and he shouts, "Oh my god. Youre hurt!"
"I am fine." I say, dusting my grown up suit off. It was a gift from Giles for a job interview, but now its gory enough to be a movie prop for Scream 8,001. I move to take a step away, intent of leaving in a huff, but the second I put weight on my ankle, Im down on my knees in pain. "I think its broken."
"The vase? Yeah, Id say so."
"My ankle, Angel." I grit my teeth against the pain, but I glare at him menacingly enough that he lifts me and carries me to an elevator with one of those sliding cage fronts. "If you could just take me to my car, I would be grateful."
"Well, if someone gets your car and runs it through the front of the building and out of the sunlight, Id be happy to put you in it." He closes the gate, bracing me on one of his legs and then he supports me fully again.
We descend really far and I want to ask him questions about where were going, but the throbbing in my foot and now, my arm and chest, is making me fumble over breathing. Talking at this point isnt really an option. Finally, the cage lands with a jerk and I groan. Angel apologizes absently and pulls the gate back. I refuse to lock my arms around his neck. I want it to be difficult for him.
He almost drops me and I grab him. I think he did it on purpose. I hang on until he puts me on his couch and kneels in front of me. He slides whats left of my fancy high heel off and shakes his head. "Why women want to parade around on stilts is beyond me. These shoes belong in a circus."
"Or some freak show, right? Just like what we had was." I dont know where in the hell that came from.
Angel glares at me for several seconds and throws my shoe on the couch beside me. "Im going to get you some ice for it."
He walks away. No, he stalks away and I grab my shoe. Im not sticking around for any more of this. I cant handle any more. Im snapping and its going to get even uglier than it already was. I hop toward the elevator, every bounce causing me to swear under my breath. It seems like every inch closer makes the elevator go further away. Blood trickles down my belly and I really wish I could hurry up and bleed to death at this point. I asked for a drive-by and a bullet in the back, not a multiple stabbing of my own doing.
I get to the elevator and press several buttons. Angel clears his throat behind me and I turn around. Hes holding a basin full of water and ice and a bottle of Tylenol. Oh, god, I would break my neck for a couple of those right now. "You have to pull the gate back." He tells me and puts the bowl in the floor in front of the couch. He goes back into the kitchen and returns with a first aid kit, then he strolls casually toward me and pulls the gate back. "Now, you can get inside and hobble out to your car, where you will have trouble driving since it is your right foot. Or, you can come over here and let me bandage it and see about that gash on your arm. Or you can wait and let me call Wesley to take you to the hospital."
"I dont do hospitals." I mumble, as blood drips off my fingertips and splats against his hardwood floor. Wood, blood, pain, bruising and loving Angel are the only constants in my life.
"Fuck it. Im helping you." He lifts me again, roughly this time and puts me on his couch none to gently. He lifts my foot and splashes it in the water and then he looks up at me. "Take your shirt off."
Christ. I wasnt expecting to maim myself when I got dressed today and I am not wearing a bra. Im also not wearing much at all under this tailored jacket. As a matter of fact, Im wearing nothing under it. The illusion of a blouse under it is actually a built in collar. This is humiliating and degrading and owww, my foot is getting frostbite and its causing the frost on my heart to thaw. I want to be hugged and told that its okay. I want to get a band-aid and a kiss, curl up beside him, and fall asleep.
"Do I have to take it off?" He asks me. His tone tells me that he would try to do it too and that would probably be painful.
I fumble with the ornate buttons on the silky fabric. I never knew Giles had such amazing taste in clothes. Hes going to be devastated that I ripped it apart. Im going to fabricate some kind of story where I was almost shredded by a demon. I guess thats not a lie. My heart is in Angels teeth and hes shredding it with his canines.
God, Im going to cry. Yep, there it goes. Two tears slide down my cheeks as I peel open the jacket and slide it over my arms. They run past my chin and down my neck, mingling with the blood from the cuts. I think that hurts worse than the cuts. This is just mortifying. I bite my lip and Angel glances up at me and wets a towel with some bottled water. "Im going to wipe up the blood and see how bad the cuts are, okay?"
"Whatever." I manage to say as I try to keep a firm reign on my emotions. Im failing miserably. My chin is quivering and this lump in my throat is going to suffocate me. And worse, my boobs are shoved in his face, reminding us both that we can look, but not touch.
Shit, hes touching and my nipples are hardening against my will. I cry a little harder, hoping my inner turmoil will override the graphic images of what Id like him to do to me in my head and my breasts will stop betraying me. He looks up at me and I can see it in his eyes, hes reading my mind. He knows exactly what I want. He looks away fast, then gently cups my side, letting his thumb trail under my breast. Frowning, he clears his throat. "I think most of its okay, but this right under your- uhm, right along here," He traces the outer swell and then pulls his hand away. "Its pretty bad."
I lift my jacket and cover my chest. Leaning forward, I open the first aid kit and rummage through it. I find some butterfly bandages and open the package. Im going to attempt to bandage it myself, but his big hands cover mine and he takes it from me. "Buffy, this would be easier if you would lie down."
I nod and he stands, grabbing a pillow from a pile in the corner. He lowers me gently and then stands again. "Im going to have to clean it. Ill get you some water and you can take some of this pain medication. Cordelia tells me its good."
"Okay." Im still back at the clean it part. I have no idea what he said after that. All I can think about is how much cleaning it is going to hurt like a son of a bitch.
Hes back suddenly, handing me a glass of water and two pills. I shake my head. "You better make it four."
"Angel-" There it is again, verbal foreplay. Angel, Buffy, oh yes yes yes. Im sick. "I think I need several. Im a Slayer. I cant take it."
"This are the PM kind. Theyll make you sleep."
"Then give me three, but do it now. Im dying here." I want to slip into a beautiful oblivion and dream of a time when Angel was my lover, my companion, and my constant. I take the pills, pop them in my mouth and sip the water. I finally notice the bottle of peroxide on the table and my eyes widen. "No!"
"It kills germs."
"Im allergic to it." I lie.
Okay, I wasnt expecting that. Now Im thinking about the night he discovered that little fact. He had ducked his head between my legs and told me he loved kissing me as a brunette. And god, he kissed me. Long and hard and
He just poured half the fucking bottle on me! Oh my god, Im on fire! No, not my loins either. I start to leap up, but hes blocking me so I cry even harder and beg him. He finally relents and pats me down with a towel that he had on his lap. Next comes the careful application of the butterfly stitches and more humiliation for me. My boob just will not listen to me and its pebbling to a hard little peak, just inches from his nose.
Finally, he finishes and then moves down to my foot. He slides this fingertips down the bone in my leg, then presses all over my ankle. "Can you move it?"
"No." Ive covered myself, so I feel less naked, but now I cant remember if I shaved my legs. Its all just one big ulcer with Angel. I swear to god, Im surprised my stomach has a lining at all.
He presses again and then looks at me. "I dont think its broken. It could be, but I think its more or less a bad sprain."
"You arent going anywhere." Angel replies, lifting my purse, which has my car keys in it. I watch as he takes it with him into another room and when he comes back, he doesnt have it, but he does have a white T-shit in his hand. He hands it to me. "Put this on and lie back. You took sleeping medication and you cant drive."
Its pointless to protest. I nod and wait for him to turn his back to me. Oh, it hurts so much. Not the moving to pull the shirt on, but the reminder of our first night together. I was hurt and he turned his back when I changed. I never changed. He undressed me and I stayed that way. When I woke up, he was gone and I had dressed myself slowly, overcome with fear for him and wonder at the new road our relationship had taken.
And I gave you my soul
"Okay." I whisper, lying back against the pillow. I guess I am a little tired.
Angel turns to face me and then glances off in the distance. "I think youd be more comfortable in the bed."
"No, this is fine." Its really not fine. His couch is rickety and a spring is threatening to puncture my lung.
He says nothing, just strolls into his bedroom. I can hear him remaking the bed and then he gathers me in his arms again and takes me to it. Im believing in fairy tales again and its sick. Just sick. Part of me, the not wounded part, wants him to lay me down and make love to me, no matter what the consequences are. He puts me between the sheets and pulls the cover over me. "Better?"
"Yeah, thank you." I study his face for a long minute. Then I yawn.
"Go to sleep, Buffy." He stalls, like he wants to kiss me and I reach for him. He takes my hand tentatively and I pull him to sit on the edge of the bed.
"Angel, I didnt mean a lot of what I said." That aching in my throat is back. I really need a good cry. "I dont want to hurt you and I do know why you left me, but you were wrong. You said you couldnt make love to me, but you did. Every kiss, every touch and every time you held me, you made love to me. I felt it. You made love to my soul and my mind. Im content to have that. Ive had sex since you and it doesnt compare to what you fulfill in me. I dont need that. I need you."
"Buffy, Im a vampire."
"And Im a Slayer. Youre cold and Im warm. Im alive and youre not. You cant go in the sun and I can. Were complete opposites with only one thing in common. Love. Isnt that enough? Dont they make crazy clichés about love making the world go around and love being able to do anything?" I can tell hes about to make another excuse and my heart skips a beat. "Dont you want me? Dont you miss me at all?"
He takes my hand in both of his and his eyes search mine. Im a little shocked to see how watery theyve become. "I miss you with every fiber of my being and I want you so much it kills me inside, but you have to think rationally. Youre going to age and want kids. Life is so short."
"And mine will probably be shorter. Dont you want to stop wasting time? Weve lost so much time already. I am thinking rationally, Angel. Im doing what should have been done a long time ago. Im begging you. Please, come back to me? Please, Angel?"
My eyes are so heavy, I can barely keep them open. I can feel hot tears on my cheeks again and stare at his face, willing myself to stay awake and hear his reply. "I never left you." He finally whispers and crawls in bed beside me. His arms go around me, securing me, anchoring me and I finally feel like my mind and body can sleep as one; not warring with one another anymore.
For so long, I was lost inside and hollow outside. I stared at a stranger in the mirror and let her dictate my life. I made mistakes, I took crazy chances on pipe dreams, but every road I set out on, led me here. I came here to hurt Angel and fell in love with him all over again.
Is that sobbing I hear? I try to lift my eyes to look at him, to soothe him and tell him I love him. I hear myself say it, but I dont know if I thought it or said it out loud. He holds me tighter and I feel cool tears drop on my face, mixing with my own drying ones. Then, just before I sleep, I hear him. He says in a quavering voice, "I love you, Buffy. I love you and I will never let you go."
He wont. I wont let him. He loves me and I love him. Screw the rules that drove the wedge between us. Screw everything. Weve come through every single obstacle the fates have thrown at us and were still so much in love that its like a living entity between us. Hell be here when I wake up. I know he will be because he does know me, just like he said, and he knows that I need that.
Maybe well find a cure for his soul. Maybe the Powers That Be will concede defeat and let us be together. Or maybe hell become human. Ill have to tell him that dream I keep having about food in his bed and ice cream on his chest. Funny how I know this bedroom by heart and Ive never been here before.
Sleep is coming fast now. Hes whispering things to me that I cant make out anymore. Its going to be okay. I let his voice soothe me into slumber.
For now, aint that enough?