As The Storm Clears

As The Storm Clears

by Lyss

Disclaimer: all characters belong to the evil Whedon *grr*
Pairing: B/A [main] C/X W/O
Distribution: My site [
www.envy.nu/badreams/] fanficworld , who ever, jsut let me know.
Spoilers: NONE! It's an AU fic.
Time line: Present
Rating: PG<----Pure Fluff folks [For Now]
Summary: Buffy and Angel live in a world where Vampires, Demons and other things that go bump in the night are legend, but that dosen't mean that the other baddies that roam our World are gone.
Authors Notes: Buffy is 19, Angel is 20. Buffy NEVER dated Riley or Parker. Don't fall now folks, but she's a virgin. Everything else is explained through the story. This story is based on my life.
Feedback: Pretty please?
Dedication: To my fellow B/A shippers!


The crisp winter wind swept through the air, causing Buffy Summers to pull her jacket more firmly around her slim figure. California wasn't normally this cold, but for some reason, this winter had been unusually bitter. Nevertheless, Buffy continued to walk up Rebello Drive to her house. Buffy's life was simple, peaceful. She lived with her stepfather, Giles, who married her mother two years earlier. Unfortunately, Mrs. Summers died six moths ago after a long battle against cancer. She passed quickly, and painlessly. Though it didn't make Buffy's pain any less, it gave her a comfort zone, knowing her Mother didn't feel death overcome her.

Giles immediately took full and loving care of Buffy. At one point, prior to Mrs. Summer's death, Buffy's biological father came to claim his daughter. After a tiresome court battle, Giles claimed full custody of Buffy.


In any case, Buffy was like any nineteen year old girl who was trying to find her place in the world. She had four close friends, no more, no less. She rarely dated, having serious trust issues with men. Not that Giles was UN trust worthy, it was just that Buffy found it difficult to believe that your own father could get up and leave his own children behind, without so much as a good-bye.


Willow and Cordelia were her best friends, having grown up together. Oz and Xander, who grew up with the girls also, lived several houses down. The five of them were inseparable. They gave Buffy the love, the friendship, and the trust that she needed. Oz and Willow were dating, as so was Cordy and Xander. Despite Oz and Xander's goofy side, the two gave Buffy hope that there were still guys out there that were normal, passionate, and most of all, lovable. Even though, Buffy sometimes felt like the 'outcast' in the group. It wasn't that she didn't want a boyfriend, it was just that she didn't need another man related heartbreak.


Walking up the font porch, Buffy smelled the sweet aroma of Giles's cooking. That was Giles's Passion, cooking. That is, next to reading, and cross referencing. Opening up the door and stepping inside Buffy threw her book bag on a near by table. Walking into the kitchen, Buffy saw Giles watching over a steaming pot on the stove.

"Hey Dad, what's in the pot?" Buffy asked as she came up behind Giles.

Giles snapped his body around, almost knocking the pot off the stove in the process. "Oh, Buffy. I didn't hear you come in."
Chuckling, Buffy grabbed a spoon from a near by drawer and scooped up some of the rich, red tomato soup from the pot. Lifting it to her mouth, Buffy tasted the tangy liquid. "As always, Giles," She gestured with her now empty spoon," Absolutely delicious!"

He blushed and stuttered," Why, thank you Buffy." Turning back to the pot, he added some more oregano, and some other ingredient from the cabinet. "So tell me how was collage today?"

Pulling herself up on the counter, Buffy shrugged," The same. Babbling teachers, annoying students, noisy halls. It's good to be home."

Giving a good hearted laugh, Giles turned off the burner and placed the top back on the pot. "Also, I should tell you that a friend of mine, Mr. O'brian and his son will be visiting for several weeks. They'll be staying in the guest bed."

"Have a met him?" Buffy asked, swinging her feet casually.

"Who? Mr. O'brian or his son?" Giles asked.

Buffy considered this for a moment, "Both."

"No, this will be a new experience for you. I believe that his son is actually your age, maybe a few months older." Giles replied, as he began to set the table with silver ware.

Jumping off the counter, Buffy reached up into a near by cabinet to pull out the plates, " Great, I'm always up for some fun. So, when are they coming?"

Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Turning to face Giles, Buffy gave him a mock-angry look," Let me guess, that would be them?"

Choosing to ignore Buffy's question, Giles walked out of the kitchen to answer the door. Buffy followed him, hot on his heels. "Daddy-Giles is not in the mood for humor today," she rambled, hoping that he didn't hear her.

With one swift movement, Giles pulled open the door and smothered the person on the other side with a big hug, mumbling something about 'long time, no see' The man walked into the house, and into the light where Buffy could see better.

"Buffy, I want you to meet Mr. Wayne O'brian," Giles said, ushering the man farther in to the house with his hand.

Mr. O'brian was without a doubt handsome. His body muscular, his shoulders brood. He had curly, sleek, black hair and a mustache that reminded Buffy of a criminal in the wild west Hollywood movies. "It's nice to meet you," Buffy said politely, extending her hand.

Mr. O'brian would have done of it. He captured her hand in his and brought it up to his mouth where he place a single kiss on Buffy's a pleasure to meet you also Buffy." He replied, as he straightened back up. " Giles never informed me that his step daughter was so beautiful."

Buffy blushed.

Giles shook his head, nothing had obviously changed since High School. Wayne was still the same, the Charmer," So tell me, where's that son of yours?"

"He's getting the luggage out of the car," Mr. O'brian gestured to the open door," Always the gentlemen," he glanced at Buffy. "Did I mention that he was single?"

Buffy blushed again.

As if on que, a young man walked through the front door with assorted suit cases hanging off of him. Giles and Mr. O'brian were prompt at getting the bags off, but the whole scene made Buffy feel like she was watching a bunch of clowns at a circus.

Mr. O'brian Son, had his back to Buffy, making it impossible to see his face. As he placed the last bag on the floor, he turned to face her.

//Damn//

"Buffy, I would like you to meet my son, Angel." Mr. O'brian said proudly, good-naturally slapping him on the back.

Buffy couldn't speak, she thought that Mr. O'brian was handsome? Mr. O'brian looked like a baboon next to Angel. His brown hair, short and spiky. His shoulders were broad and structured. His body was toned and his face, angelic, but the quality she admired most were his eyes. Deep pools of brown, she could easily lose herself in, those eye that she was already lost in.
//wipe the drool of your face Buffy! //

Angel wasn't fairing any better. He was awed by her petite figure, that he felt he could easily protect in his strong embrace. Her hair that created a golden waterfall. Her eyes, so much like a cats, they amazed him. She was beautiful, absolutely //Down Angel//

Reality clicked in, and hormones were put under control. Buffy took in upon herself to be the one to make the first step," Hi, I'm Buffy."

Angel swallowed roughly, "It's nice to meet you."

"You too." Buffy said, almost whispering.

Giles cleared his throat, breaking the two teenagers from their stare-a-thon, "I believe that dinners ready."


Part Two

After a five star dinner, courtesy of Giles, Buffy and Angel were left alone in the kitchen while Giles and Wayne discussed baseball statistics, the stock market, and old high school memories in the back room


The attraction between the two teenagers was undeniable. The fact that the man sitting right across from her was not only single, handsome, and a complete gentlemen, but he was someone who Buffy felt she could spend the rest of her life with. //whow, slow down// Not only did it scare Buffy, but it gave her a taste of something she'd never had the privilege of experiencing, love.

"So..." Angel spoke, cracking the awkwardness that hung over the room like a fog, " I...Umm...I heard about you mother, I'm very sorry."

Buffy smiled at him, touched by his concern and sympathy. "Thank you."

"I know how it feels, my Mom died too." He inquired sadly, his eyes drifting to the table top.

Buffy felt empathy with him now, the feeling of knowing another's grief. "If you don't mind me asking, how did she die?"

Angel eyes bore into hers, "Drunk Driver."

"I'm sorry," Buffy replied, somehow she felt as if the kitchen walls were closing in on her.

"So tell me, what do you do for fun around here?" Angel asked, trying to lighten the heavy situation surrounding them.

Buffy laughed at his question, what was there really to do in Sunnydale. There was the 'Bronze' but even that place grew old after a while. "Well, there's the Bronze..."

"The what?"

"The Bronze, it's a club. Anyway, there's also the Movies, mall, museum, Art Gallery, the beach. The selections of entertainment in Sunnydale are limited." Buffy informed, clearly wondering why he wanted to know the Hotspots in Sunnydale //Maybe a date?//

Angel smiled and stood from his seat," We'll have to go somewhere this week, just you and me."

Buffy smiled also, as Angel continued to approach her," You mean like a date?" Buffy asked, batting her eye lashes. She was flirting, plain and simple.

Their faces were inches apart, their lips centimeters. "Yeah a date."

They were so close, too close. "That sounds like fun."

Angel leaned in further, as his lips were about to descend on hers ... the doorbell rang.

Buffy groaned and stood up from her seat. "Hold that thought."

walking through the kitchen door, Angel followed Buffy out and into the foyer. Reaching for the knob, she opened to
find...Riley Finn.

He blinked, and smiled. Obviously trying to play in cool. He blinked again, his hair was in his eyes. //Just cut your hair moron//

"Hey Buffy!" Riley practically shouted as he invited himself into the house, "Sup, girlfriend?"

//OH MY GOD//

Angel's heart broke. She had a Boyfriend.

"Riley, what the hell are you doing here?" Buffy sneered

Or Not.

"I was grading papers from Psych and I came across yours, and it made me think of you. So, I said what the heck, I'll come and visit you." Riley said, then looked at Angel," Who are you?"

"A friend," Buffy said. "And I find myself asking again, what are you doing here Riley?"

"Oh yeah!" He smacked himself in the head //wish he did it harder// "I came to ask you if you've reconsidered going on a date with me?"

How should she say this, "No"

"Tomorrow?"

"No!"

"I'll pick you up at eight."

"Which part of 'NO' didn't you understand?" Buffy asked, flabbergasted at his stupidity.

Angel couldn't help but laugh, this guy was an idiot.

"Well, If you're going to play hard to get then be that way, I have to get back to tend my crops and feed my cows!" Riley informed as he skipped back out the door, very much the same way he came in.

Buffy slammed the door behind him, and turned to face Angel. "I'm sorry about that. He's just a guy at the University who won't stop asking me out. So, what were we doing before we were interrupted?"

Angel remembered. "We were..." //about to kiss// "...Talking about places that I was going to take you on our date."

"Oh," Buffy said, disappointed. She was actually hoping he'd say something along the lines of 'KISS ME' but no such luck. "SO, where are you taking me?"

He stepped closer, "How about we go out for some coffee tomorrow night?"

"Sounds good to me,"


Part Three

"So, spill Buffy, when's the date?" Cordelia demanded as he flopped down on the couch next to Buffy and Willow. " I mean Angel is a total hottie."

Buffy giggled,"You're telling me, and to top it all off he's so sweet and such the gentlemen," she sighed, " the date is tomorrow night, It's not that big of a deal. We're just going to get coffee, we're not getting married."

Willow couldn't believe her ears," Not a big deal?" She stood and faced Buffy, scolding her like a mother. " It is so a big deal Miss. Summers! You haven't been out on a date for like THREE years!"

"She's right you know." Cordelia added, "Little Miss. Virgin."

Buffy laughed, for as long as she could remember her friends were always hooking her up with some guy. Most of the time the date ended so badly that Buffy would avoid Will and Cordy just so they wouldn't ask how the date went.

"But that's the past!" Cordelia continued. "You have a hot guy downstairs who, as far as I can tell, is falling head over heels in love with you."


The Next Night

"It's a pretty night, I'm glad we decided to walk." Buffy said as she and Angel strolled down her street.

Angel had to admit, it was beautiful out. The crisp winter wind, the flickering stars. There wasn't anyone else on the roads. It was like this night was made for him and Buffy. "So am I."

"So, tell me. How long do you plan on staying in Sunnydale?" Buffy causally asked, kicking a stone. She didn't want to let herself fall head over heels //to late for that// for the guy if he was leaving next week.

Angel smiled at her and shrugged, "I was acutely thinking of living here. I'm going to check out UC Sunnydale on Monday."

Buffy heart filled with hope," Really, I think that's great. You'd get along with all my friends. I have a feeling they'd really like you."

"Why's that?" Angel inquired, as the expresso Pump came into sight.

"Well," Buffy skipped," They're a lot like you, really sweet and kind. I always feel like the out cast in the group. Xander has Cordy, and Wills had Oz. It's nice to have someone else, you know, for me to hang out with when it's date night." Buffy blushed," not that I'm implying that you and I are going to date, or be serious," she was a sellout. "Oh," Angel chuckled. She was beautiful. leaning forward he whispered into her ear, "Don't be so sure."


"So, this is nice and awkward," Buffy confessed as she and Angel mounted the steps to her house. "You know normally, a guy drops the girl off at her house and goes home, but it's like you live here to. You know what I mean?"

Angel laughed, turning to face her, "I see your point. I mean because normally, the guy will walk the girl to the door step, kiss her, then walk away thanking about how great it was."

He was implying the obvious and Buffy knew it. "Are you saying that you want to kiss me?"

He stepped closer, "More then anything."

His lips descended on hers, meeting in a single, but bittersweet kiss.

//Her First True Kiss//

Pulling back, Angel found Buffy's cheeks completely flushed. She must have known also, because she covered her face in her hand and groaned. " I feel like Drew Berrymore, in Never been Kissed."


Part Four

"So how was the date last night Buffy?" Cordelia asked as she, Willow, and Buffy made their way across the UC Sunnydale campus.

Buffy smiled at the memory, "It was great. There's going to be a second."

Willow's eyes shot opened and she covered her mouth with her hand in mock-surprise, "Buffy. A guy. A second date? What is this world coming to?"

"I got to say, Buffy, you've really got it for Angel." Cordelia said. "Was there a door step kiss?"

Buffy bit her bottom lip.

Willow and Cordy screamed like school girls.

"Buffy got kissed, Buffy got kissed by Angel!" Willow chanted, jumping up and down.

"An Angel?" Xander interrupted as he made his way over to the girls, "Buffy got kiss by an Angel?"

Willow gave him a dirty look, "No, genius. Buffy got kissed by Angel, the guy staying a her house."

A look of understanding crossed Xander's face," I got it." He pointed behind him, " would that be the Angel you speak of?"

Sure enough, there was Angel walking along side Oz, making there was over to the girls.

Buffy swallowed hard. Not only was Angel absolutely gorgeous, but he was stirring up emotions that Buffy had well hidden deep inside her heart.

"Hey all," Oz said as he met up with the group. " Willow," he kissed her on the lips.

Angel smiled at Buffy, and took her hand," You'll have to give me the grand tour of this place." He gestured around the campus.

She barely heard his question, she was to busy focusing on the hand of hers that he was holding. "Oh, sure. That's right you enrolled here."

He shook his head, "Even got my own apartment."

"Well, in that case how about that tour." She tugged at his hand, pulling him away from the group." Bronze tonight?" She called to her friends.

"You bet, Buff. and you..." He pointed to Angel, "better be there."

Angel laughed," Of course."

With that Buffy and Angel walked off, hand in hand.

Willow exhaled. "They SO want each-other."


"Should I wear this outfit or this one?" Buffy asked as she stood in front of her floor length mirror. She held up two sets of clothes. " Do I want to go with trendy?" She showed the audience a pair of hip hugger jeans and a low cut, gold halter top. "or, fancy." She held up a long blue skirt and black tank top.

Oz and Giles showed signs of distress. They weren't ones for picking out female clothes, but they were the only people Buffy could find.

Oz shook his head, "While I do like the gold, I'm not sure about the jeans,"

"OZ! You're not helping!" Buffy shouted," I want to look decent when Angel sees me tonight."

Giles placed his hand on his daughters shoulders," Buffy, what ever you wear, you look beautiful. Don't stress over this."

Buffy smiled, "Thank you, that was sweet." The look of frustration returned. "but you're still NOT helping."

Throwing his hands up in defeat, Giles went back to stand beside Oz.

There was a soft knock of the door, and it opened slightly to revel Mr. O'brian.

"Oh sorry, am I interrupting?" He apologized.

Buffy pulled the door opened further, inviting him in. "Of course not. The guys were helping me pick out an outfit for tonight."

Mr. O'brian Smiled. "Ah, yes. You have second date with Angel.

Buffy blushed and continued looking through her drawers of clothing. "Oh! I wish there was a girl here. Where's Cordy and Will?"

"Cor had Cheer Leading, and Will went to pick her up." Oz informed.

Buffy threw her head back, ready to scream in udder frustration. "God! I wish Mom was here!"

The room fell silent.

Buffy turned her back to the guys, not wanting them to see her tear filled eyes.

"If I may," Mr. O'brian stepped up behind Buffy, "I happen to know that Angel likes the trendy look." He pointed to the Gold Halter and Jeans.

Turning to face him, Buffy gave him the warmest smile that she could muster. "Thank you." She whispered.

Several stray tears fell down her face, and Mr. O'brian pushed them away with his thumbs. "Hey, none of that. You got a hot date tonight."

Buffy laughed.


The Bronze was relatively empty when Buffy and Oz arrived. Scanning the small crowd, Buffy looked for Angel. Sure enough there he was, surrounded by Harmony and her Gang.

Bowing her head, Buffy felt her heartbreak.

Suddenly, she felt someone lifting her chin up. She met eyes with Angel.

"Hey," She managed to say," I see you have some groupies or new friends."

Angel put on an amused smile, "Those girls. Nah, I like you." He kissed her softly on the lips.

Pulling, back Angel noticed that her eyes were slightly blood shot, as if she'd been crying. "Hey, what's wrong? Your eyes...have you been crying?"

Giving him a weak smile," A little."

He enveloped her in a big hug, kissing the crown of her head. "Tell me, what's wrong."

Her voice was muffled by his shirt. "Later. Lets just have a good time."


Meeting up with the gang at a near by table, Buffy quickly took a seat next to Cordy and gestured for Angel to sit next to her. Sure enough, he sat down and wrapped a protective arm around her.

Slowly, Harmony and her gang walked past the table. It was so obvious that she wanted Angel to notice her that even Oz noticed it.

"And today we witness the biggest cry for attention the history of the world." Oz commented.

Cordelia nodded, "Oh, that was so desperate, it was pathetic."

Even so, Buffy felt jealously rise in her, a dangerous flame. Grabbing Angel's hand, Buffy pulled him center floor.

//Everytime our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take //

"Lets Dance." She murmured into his ear.

Cordelia and Willow looked at each-other, then back at Buffy and Angel.

//Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away //

Buffy and Angel begin to slow dance, her movements are very sensual. Turning around, Buffy spooned in against Angel, pulling his arms around her waist.

//I've never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams //

Slowly grinding her hips and shoulders against him, she reached up with her hand and gently stroked Angel's face.

//I don't know how you what you do
I'm so in love with you, it just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life with you by my side //

Harmony looked on in jealously, and disbelief. Catching Harmony's jealous look, Buffy continued her grinding. Turning her head to Angel, Buffy smiled. "Think she's jealous?" Angel swallowed hard as Buffy slowly slithered around him, making sure not to lose contact with his body.

Angel laughed and tightened his grip around her body," If not her, then every guy in this building."

//Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you //


"Thanks for walking me home." Buffy said as she and Angel walked up her drive way, hand in hand.

He gave his trademark smile, "It was my pleasure."

"So, do you need any help moving into your apartment?" Buffy asked, fumbling for her keys, that were lost somewhere in her
purse.

"Sure, I could use all the help I can get," he answered, retrieving her keys from the side pocket of her coat.

He handed them to her, and she blushed in embarrassment. "Oh, I knew they were somewhere."

He pushed a piece of hair behind her ears. " What's wrong?"

She sighed and sat down on the front step of her porch. "I don't know. I've just been off today."

He sat down next to her," Do you want to talk about it?"

She shrugged," No offense, but it's kind of a girl-talk type of thing."

He took her hand, "That's, OK, but there is actually something I want to talk to you about," he stood and twiddled his hands nervously. "I know that you and I have been on two dates, and I know it may seem like I'm jumping the gun about this, but I just have to..."

"Angel, you're babbling." She cut in.

He sat back down next to her, "I'm falling in love with you, faster then I ever thought possible. And I just want to know that I have you, that you have me. Like we're together."

She was going to make him say it all.

He smiled," Be my girl?"

Buffy didn't answer, she just kissed him.


Two Nights Later

"And, that's the last of it." Buffy huffed, as she placed a box filled with an assortment of Angel's belongings on the floor in his new apartment. " I think you're set."

Angel grinned and walked over to her, placing a soft kiss on her lips. "Thank you for helping me."

She played with the collar of his shirt, "It was no problem."

Pushing some boxes out of the way, Angel created a seat and gestured for Buffy to sit next to him. "I wanted to ask you something."

Arching her eyebrows in confusion, Buffy accepted his request by sitting next to him," I'm all ears."

He smiled as she leaned her chin on his shoulder," I was thinking, maybe you, Xander, Cordy, Will, and Oz would like to come to my beach house in Florida. You know, for spring break."

Her eyes shinned with delight and she practically knocked him off the semi-seat as she smothered him a hug. "Ohmygod! I'd love to!" She pulled back and composed herself, "And I'm sure the gang would love it too." She squealed again, "This is going
to be great. When do we leave?"

He laughed at her reaction, "Friday."

"How ever shall I repay you?" She teased as she brought her lips close to his.

He swallowed, she had this intoxicating effect on him; he loved her. Spiritually, Mentally, physically. His first love, his first true love. But he would wait to tell her, only because he didn't want to push her. He knew that she had issues with trusting men, and he wanted to prove to her that she could trust him, under any circumstance.

"Well, how about a kiss." His breath was hot against her lips.

With that, she surrendered to his long, passionate kiss.


"Check!"

"Bathing Suit?"

"Check!"

"Underwear?"

"XANDER!"

Upon hearing his name, Xander strolled out of the bathroom with an evil smirk on his face. He stared at Buffy, who's glare showed of stern, with a hint of sarcasm.

"Sorry Buff, couldn't resist." Xander explained.

"Well, learn to." Buffy ordered as she turned to zip up her suit case. "Angel is being nice and taking us on the trip, so don't act up!" With a swift shove, the attempted to close the case again, No such luck. She sat on it, trying to push it down further. The case didn't move.

Noticing her distress, Xander removed Buffy from the top of the suitcase, and zipped it in one smooth motion, "You know sometimes you just need man."

Buffy rolled her eyes.


"Flight 265 arriving from Sunnydale California!"

The group of six stepped of the plane, as the warm Florida air smothered them. The airport was crowed with hundreds of travelers, moving in and out of the hot state.

"This is so exciting!" Cordelia wailed. "I've always wanted to come here!"

Xander smiled at his Girlfriend, "So easily amused."

Cordelia good naturally hit him across the chest.

"Now, now you two." Buffy scolded as she took Angel's hand in hers. "None of that, this is our spring break and we're going to make the most of it, which means NO violence."

Angel smiled, "Yeah, picking up pieces of my friends body parts isn't something I'd want to do."

Willow's face contorted in disgust, "Whoa, way to much imagery."

Walking out the front doors of the port, Oz waved down two cabs. "So, we'll all meet at Angel's place?"

They nodded in unison, as Angel began to back the suitcases in and on top of the cabs. "You have the address?" Angel questioned.

Oz whipped out a piece of paper from his pocket, "way ahead of you"


"My God Angel! This place is amazing!" Buffy cried, in awe at the beach house. It had three floors, with large windows on each level. The third floor was all balcony, so you could sleep, literally, under the stars. The colors were basic whites and peaches. The place was absolutely beautiful.

The other four were to shocked to say words. Well, that is, except Xander.

"So, when do we eat?"


"Thank go for Pizza. No, Delivery." Oz said, as he devoured a third slice of pizza.

"I love spring break." Willow sighed.

"I love food." Xander added.

Buffy shook her head, holding back a laugh. It was good to see her friends relaxed and laughing. College was great, but after a while it took a toll on your sanity.

"You know," Cordelia swallowed her pizza. "I remember when we were all younger, we used to dream we were famous movie stars and lived in Florida, which didn't make much sense because Hollywood is in Cali."

Angel smiled, and slipped down next to Buffy, allowing her to take comfort in his presence. Buffy leaned into his embrace, and sighed in contentment.

"You know what I remember best." Oz said, as Willow leaned her head on his shoulder, "The Scooby gang."

A moment of laughter erupted throughout the group.

"I'm afraid to ask." Angel said, looking into Buffy's eyes.

"Well, you see." Xander stood, "We loved Scooby Doo when we were young, so we made the Scooby gang. We used to solve mysteries." He quivered an eyebrow. "Reprise. Pretended to solve mysteries. Any way, we used to hold meetings in Buffy's tree house."

Willow giggled, "We were so naive, but it was so much fun."

Buffy jumped in," My Mom used to help us find cases." She frowned. "She even brought snacks to the tree house for us. She used to call them the Scooby snacks."

Angel smiled sympathetically.

"It was..." He vision fogged. "Stupid." She swallowed. "I'll be right back, I need some air." Buffy quickly stood and walked out the backdoor.

Willow and Cordelia frowned, then looked at Angel. "her Mother's death was hard on her." Willow informed. "A lot harder then she's like to admit. Maybe you should talk to her." She shrugged.

Mouthing 'Thank you,' Angel followed Buffy out the backdoor.


"Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight." Buffy recited the popular rhyme, gazing at the stars.

The night air was warm and comforting. The ocean waves lapped gently up against the cool beach. The sand felt fresh and dry on her feet.

Suddenly, a pair of hands slipped around her waist. Buffy craned her neck to see Angel beaming at her.

"Hey," He whispered softly against her cheek.

"Hey." She replied, nuzzled in his neck.

"You OK?" He questioned softly.

"All better now." She turned in his embrace. "It's just hard sometimes, you know."

He shook his head, understanding completely. "I Know."

Buffy attempted to lighten the subject, "SO, what are the plans for tomorrow?"

Angel smiled, and his eyes wondered in delight, "I'm taking everyone out on the boat. We'll swim and go tubing. It'll be a blast."

She kissed his chin. Then his cheeks, followed by his eyelids. "I can't wait."

Taking her lips into his own, Angel kissed her with raw passion. He felt her arms tighten around his neck, and he pulled her flush up against him, intending on bringing her as close as humanly possible. He heard her moan in response.

The Moon cast an eerie glow on the waters surface, creating the shadows of the kissing lovers to be imprinted the sand.

Back at the beach house, on the balcony, the other two couples watched the scene UN ravel before them.

Xander pulled up a chair, "Man, this is better then Passions."


Part 6

The group spent the day out on Angel's speedboat, taking a day trip to the Keys. The weather was beautiful, and the ocean temperature was just right so everyone could swim comfortably. Around five O'clock, Angel docked the boat, and the gang headed in with plans for the evening...


"I got the Shower first!!" Buffy shouted, as soon as she entered the door of the beach-house.

Cordelia groaned and tugged at her hair, "Look at my hair, it's a mess. All salty and icky!"

Oz set down the cooler, "Well, that's the price you pay for having fun."

Willow smiled and began to empty the coolers of soda and the bags of suntan lotion. She glanced up at Angel, who's face was beat red. "Looks like someone got some sun burn."

Angel smiled, "Always the sensitive one to the sun."

Buffy walked over and lifted his shirt, exposing his broad chest. "Looks like you got sunburn in more then one place." She pulled his shirt off. "Guess I'm going to have to put some aloe on it." She winked at him, then proceeded to walk up the steps.

Oz and Xander smirked.

Cordelia rolled her eyes, "OK, now that we got our share of PDA for the day, what's the plan for tonight?"

Angel tore his attention away from the steps, and looked at the group. "There's a really great club about ten minutes away from here. We could head there tonight."

"Sounds like a plan." Willow said, grabbing Cordy's hand and pulling her up the steps. "The girls are going to get ready. Don't you three get in any trouble."

"Us? Trouble?" Xander quipped, placing his hand over his heart.


Two Hours Later

"Now, this is what I call a party!" Xander cried, as the group of six entered the downtown club called 'The Underground.' The place was based on three levels. The top level was the place where people hung that didn't have dates, hoping to score with a guy or girl. The middle, was where the bar was, and the bottom, the dance floor where hundreds of lights flashed around the room, casting lights on everyone hot, sweaty bodies.

"And I thought the Bronze was cool," Cordelia said, smirking. "This place is like the white house. With a lot more lights and stuff."

Buffy laughed, "Leave it to Cordy." She turned to face her boyfriend, who was staring off into space. "Angel, hunny, are you OK?"

He turned to her and smiled, "Yeah, I thought I saw someone I know."

"Oh." Buffy nodded. She glanced at a near by booth, "Do you guys want to sit down?"

At the nods of several heads, they gang sat down. Angel leaned over and whispered into Buffy's ear, "Would you like something to drink?"

She turned her head, capturing his lips in a fiery kiss." Please."

With one final kiss, he got up and walked to the bar.

Cordy placed her chin in her hands, and stared at Buffy. "Buffy's in love."

The statement caught Buffy off guard, "W-what?"

Xander laughed, moving next to her,"You're in love with him, it's so clear."

Buffy blushed smiling nervously, "How do you know when you're in love?"

Willow looked at Oz, who's eyes showed nothing but love, trust, and passion. "You just know."

Buffy swallowed, was she in love with this man? The revelation of it all was mind-blowing. Here, she sat, in Florida, with a man she's been dating for just a month, and she was already hopelessly in love with him. The irony of it all was that, she didn't even know, until now.

"Oh God," she said, with the sudden urge to tell him, be near him. She stood up and scanned the floor for him.

Sure enough she found him, but not the way she had expected to.

There he was, standing in the middle of the floor, wrapped up in the arms with a brunette, swaying softly to the music.

She didn't feel her heartbreak, she heard it. Covering her mouth in a muffled cry, Buffy turned and dashed out of the club.

The other four seated at the table, watched as Buffy ran. Getting up to see what upset her, they watched as Angel unwrapped his arms from the Brunette and Kiss her on her head.

Willow almost screamed, "That Ass hole!"

The Other three were to blow-away for words.

Slowly, Angel turned around and grabbed the hand of the women, leading her over to the four people, who were staring at him with such anger.

Angel stopped a foot from them, "OK, what did I do?"

Cordy smacked him across the face. "what did you DO?" she screamed pointing to the women. "Um, hello? Dense much!"

Angel rubbed his inflamed cheek, "What are you talking about? This is my cousin, Jenna."

A small wave of relief washed over the group.

Oz eyes widened." Oh, God. Buffy."

Angel stared at him, then at the group, "What do you mean?" He was frantic, "Where's Buffy."

"She saw you two dancing, then took off crying." Xander said, pointed to the door.

Jenna covered her mouth with her hand, "Oh God, is that your girlfriend?" Angel nodded. "She thought, you and I were...Oh God."

Angel started running towards the door, the others followed, "Where did she go?"

"I don't know." Xander said, hot on Angel's heels, "Back to the house?"

Cordy frowned, "She doesn't know her way around, so she's likely to go there."

Angel nodded, his eyes showed fear. Fear of losing his love.


The Beach House

"Stupid males," Buffy whispered as she packed her suitcase. She sniffled again, and wiped a tear from her cheek. "Who needs them. Not me."

//Yeah. Right// She couldn't stop the tears, or the ache that consumed her body. She was almost sure Angel loved her, like she loved him. //stupid Buffy. Stupid, stupid Buffy.//

Her fingers trembled as she continued to pack, her throat constricted in pain. Buffy was pretty sure she was going to die. Laying back on the bed, she covered her face with her hands, and cried.

From downstairs, she heard a door open. Assuming it was her friends, Buffy sat up and wiped her tears. She needed to be strong Buffy, happy Buffy. Her attempt landed flat. The footsteps up the stairs became louder, she knew they would find her.

Opening up the door, Angel found Buffy sitting on the bed, tears running down her face. Her suitcase was open, with cloths placed awkwardly in them. //she was going to leave//

He approached her, "Buffy, sweetie, I know what you're thinking, but its not."

Buffy let out a sound that was a cross between a sob and a insane laugh, Full of anger.

The door behind Angel opened, and Cody and Willow walked in...with Jenna. Buffy's eyes flew to the girl, then back at Angel, "You BROUGHT HER HOME?" She cried.

Angel was pretty sure that the situation couldn't get any worse." Buffy, no. It's not what you think."

Buffy pushed passed him, to the dresser. "You already said that."

He followed her, and grabbed her, spinning her around to face him. "This is Jenna, my cousin. She lives in Florida, she owns the club we went to."

"Oh, God." Buffy whispered, feeling like a complete fool.

Jenna stepped forward, and extended her hand. "It's nice to meet you."

Buffy accepted her hand shake, "You too. I'm sorry, I'm not usually this high strung."

Jenna laughed, "It's OK, I would've reacted the same way." She turned to Angel, "Listen I have to go back to the club, it was good to see you again."

"You too," He pulled her into a hug, and kissed her crown.

"We'll show you out." Willow said, as she grabbed Cordy hand, dragging her out of the room.

Once the door shut, Angel approached Buffy slowly, "Are you OK?"

Buffy offered him a weak, small smile, "I know how to make a complete idiot out of my self."

Angel tried to take her in his arms, but she flinched. "It's OK. If I saw you with another guy, I would've killed him."

Buffy laughed quietly, then lifted her head to meet eye contact. "I need a few minutes to pull my self together." With that, she turned and walked out of the room.


The full moon casted it's light across the calm Atlantic Ocean. Sitting on the dock, Buffy let her bare feet skim the waters surface.

She came out here over and hour ago, not having the heart to turn and go back. She was hoping that Angel would come and sweep her off her feet, but he didn't show.

Taking a deep breath of the cool ocean mist, Buffy relaxed her body closing her eyes. Suddenly, she heard a loud sound. Opening her eyes, she watched as Angel pulled his boat up to the dock and offered his hand to her, silently inviting her in.
Clutching her small hand in his big one, Angel guided Buffy into the boat.

They drove into the night without so much as a word, their presence being enough. Once reaching their final destination, Angel shut the ignition off and walked over to Buffy, who was seated on the couch at the head of the boat.

"Come here." Angel whispered, as he lifted her up off her feet, "dance with me." With-that he enveloped her tiny form into his huge one.

"There's no music." She whispered, inhaling the scent from his shirt.

He kissed her lips. "It doesn't matter." Angel swallowed loud and nervously, "Buffy--"

She looked up at him, with her beautiful eyes, that made Angel want to cry in joy, because she was his.

"I love you," he whispered sincerely.

A tear ran down her cheek, "I love you."

Nuzzling his nose into her neck, Angel rained it with butterfly kisses.

Lifting his chin, Buffy met Angel's lips in a searing kiss. On and on, Their mouth danced with such passion and desire. Carefully, Angel lowered Buffy onto the large couch, never once breaking the kiss....

The stars twinkled over head, as a shooting star fell across the night's sky.


The light of dawn lurched over the water's surface, casting brilliant colors to fan out across the sky. Buffy squinted her eyes, trying to block out the light. When that didn't work, she buried her face into the soft body next to her. //Oh, God!// Snapping her eyes open, Buffy sound Angel staring at her, smiling. He tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, then leaned down to kiss
her.

"Morning sleepyhead." He whispered, not that here was anyone around to hear them, they were in the middle of the ocean.

Buffy beamed, "Morning to you too." She looked at their surroundings. "We fell asleep on the boat?" She giggled. "I've always wanted to do that!"

He laughed and stood, pulling her with him. "We should get to shore, Everyone will be worried."

Buffy pouted, she didn't want to leave. She never wanted to. "I don't want to." He stomach growled, demanding food. "But my stomach wants food, so we have to."

He took her hand in his, "Come on, I'll let you drive the boat."

Buffy's eyes widened, like a deer caught in headlights, "Really? Don't you know that could end in human fatalities?"

"Well, just think, If you kill us, we'll go together." Angel quipped.

Buffy let out a short laugh, playfully hitting him in the chest. Unfortunately, that little hit was enough for him to lose his balance, and topple off the edge of the boat. With a loud crash, Angel fell into the water.

"Angel!" Buffy shouted, leaning over the boat. "Oh my God, I'm sorry! Are you OK?"

He grinned at her, and nodded. "I'm fine. I needed a shower anyway."

Reaching her hand down, Angel grasped it. And pulled...her down with him. With another topple Buffy fell off the boat, and into the water, right next to Angel.

"OHMYGOD!" She shouted, kicking rapidly in the water, "Angel! I can't believe you did that!"

"I got lonely in here all by myself." He joked. "Wanted some company." But when she didn't smile back, he grew concerned. "Hey, what's wrong? I was just playing around."

Buffy shook, not from the cold, it was straight out of fear, "I had a drowning incident when I was younger, I haven't been in a pool or the ocean since."

Reaching out, Angel crushed Buffy against him, "Oh God, I'm so sorry, I didn't realize."

She trembled against his body, "You couldn't have known."

Swimming a short distance to the boat, Angel pushed Buffy up into the boat. After Making sure she was safe, Angel reached up and climbed in also.

Walking over to a cabinet, Angel took two towels out, and wrapped one tightly around Buffy.

It was obvious to Buffy that he still felt guilty, because he didn't make eye contact.

"Hey," she tugged on his soaked shirt, yet his eyes didn't meet hers. She grabbed his chin, and that is when she noticed it.

Above his right eye was a large, bloody gash. "Oh, jeez." She lightly touched it with her fingers, and he winced in pain. "See, Angel! I told you that this would end in fatalities."

His smile reappeared on his beautiful face," I love you." He sealed it with a kiss.


"Then..."

"We fell back onto the sofa."

"AND..."

"We Kissed."

Cordelia threw her hand in the air, "You are the most difficult person to information from!" She rolled her eyes and continued to pack up her suit case.

Buffy laughed, and zipped up her bag. "If the question you're trying to ask is 'Did you and Angel have sex' the answer is no."

"Now was that so hard?" Cordelia quipped.

Buffy stuck her tongue at her, "You should've just asked!"

"You'll pay for that Summers!" Cordy resorted by throwing a pillow at Buffy's head. Luckily for Buffy, she ducked in time.

Walking in to the room, Angel was greeted by a pillow...in his face.

Buffy gasped in surprise, and approached the stunned Angel. "You OK?" she giggled.

Throwing the pillow over his shoulder, Angel stared at the two girls sternly, "What did I tell you two about throwing pillows?"

Cordelia and Buffy stared at each other, then back at Angel.

An evil smile spread across his face, as he threw the pillow gently at Buffy's face, "Always include me."

The War had begun.


"It'll be good to go home, I miss Sunnydale." Buffy said as she and the gang boarded the airplane.

Willow smirked, "Speak for your self!"

Xander draped an arm over Cordy's shoulder, "Just think, one less day till summer vacation."

"I just hope Giles is OK." Buffy whispered, a sad smile appearing on her face.

Angel heard the statement, and he leaned down to kiss her lips, "I'm sure he's fine."


In the Summer's house, Giles snores soundly as the television blares in front of him.

"I'm Amy Glass, and this is Sunnydale's news at nine. The Residents of Sunnydale are baffled as a mysterious murderer stalks the dark streets. Police say that the killer is armed and Dangerous. He's killed three women in the past two weeks. All young women should be in by dark, and travel in groups. The FBI states that they will not sleep until the murder is behind bars.


6 Months Later

"...Women are advised to stay indoors after dark. Travel in packs, and avoid walking alone at night. Police say that the murder gives no mercy. His last to victims were found hung by straight jackets in a meat locker. Their appendages were slashed with what looked like..."

::CLICK::

"OK, That's enough of that," Buffy said as she turned to face Cordy and Willow, who's color was drained from their faces, "The things that they get away with saying on television blows me away."

"Aren't you a little worried, Buffy? I mean, this guy could be after anyone. It's dark out side, and we're alone in here and it's creepy. We should be in the arms of our boyfriends."

"Will, we are women. The backbone of America. we don't need to be cuddled and cooed by men at all hours of the day." Cordy stated, flipping her hair over her shoulder causally.

"Go Cor!" Buffy chanted.

"knock, knock girls!" Giles and Mr. O'brian peeked their heads through the door, "Can we come in?"

"Sure." Buffy said, eyeing them carefully, "When did you suddenly become interested in girl talk?"

"A few moments ago, actually." Mr. O'brian said, taking a seat on Buffy's bed. "We heard about the murders, and we just want to tell you three to be double careful."

"This guys a sicko," Giles added, "and I couldn't imagine losing another one of my Girls."

Buffy blushed and sighed, "OK, I'll stay close to Angel." She smiled, "Not that I mind."

"Yes, well. Be good you three. We'll leave you alone." Giles said as he dragged Mr. O'brian out of the room.

"So, how is Angel, Buff? I mean, you two have been dating for like, what seven months?" Cordy asked, leaning her head against the bed's headboard.

"He's fine. Cute, and funny, and great as usual." Buffy sighed happily.

"Have you two, you know, done IT?" Willow stammered.

Buffy smiled as Willow's shyness, "No, we haven't. Not that I don't want to. It's just that, how do you bring up a subject like that?"

"Well," Cordy said as she stood up and sat next to Buffy, "when Xander and I did it, it just happened. We were fighting and then BAM, we're tearing off each other's cloths."

"Nice visual." Buffy stated.

"Thought so."

"What about you, Will?" Buffy asked, looking in the direction of her friend.

"Well, Oz was very, quite about the subject, I eventually just jumped his bones."

"Little WILLOW!" Buffy shouted, "Do you kiss your Mother with that mouth?"

"Nah, only Oz."

Buffy covered her ears, "You're ruining my moral and values!"


"So, Is it worth it?" Buffy asked, "I mean, what's it like?"

Cordy laughed, "Getting a little personal there, aren't we?"

"To answer your question, Buffy" Willow said, "Yes, it is worth it, that is, when you're ready. It's something personal, you only share with Angel. It's beautiful."

"OK, don't go all romance-novel on us, Will." Cordy Joked.

"What, it's the truth!" Willow, argued. Standing up, Willow walked over and sat next to Buffy. "Listen, if you want to bring up a subject like this with Angel, just ask. That's all you have to do."

Buffy shook her head in understanding. //Just ask. If I want Angel to make love to me, All I have to do is hint him on.//


"Now, where are my favorite ladies?" Xander asked as he walked through Buffy's bedroom door, followed by Oz and Angel.

"Umm, that would be me!" Cordy raised her hand, "But, I'm you favorite LADY, it's singular. Just L-A-D-Y."

"So punctual." He said, kissing her lips.

"What's the what you three? You normally don't just barge into my room with knocking," Buffy asked as Angel wrapped his arms around her waist from behind.

"Mommies sent us." Oz said, grabbing Willow's hand, "They want you all home, with the murder out."

Willow's brow furrowed, "Cordy's and my parents aren't home, they're on businesses trips together."

Oz held up a piece of paper with an assortment of numbers, "In all honesty, they called and told us strong boys to protect you."

"Again with the male stereotyping." Buffy stated. She felt Angel's hands slip under her shirt, and tighter around her waist. She shivered with the abrupt contact, needing so much more.

Angel leaned down and whispered into her ear," We're not kidding. I don't want anyone touching you. And if they do, I'll rip them apart limb by limb ... and tie..."

Buffy kissed his lips, silencing him, "I've had a hard enough time keeping my lunch down with all the descriptive news's casts on. Don't add fuel to the fire."

Angel smiled sadly, "I'm sorry."

"It's OK."

"You know, I hate to break up this little display of love, But I'm taking Cordy home." Xander said, dragging Cordy by the hand.

"Same here," Oz said, pulling Willow off the bed.

"Home would be.... Their homes, or your homes. Not that it really matters, none of your parent are home." Buffy smirked.

"I'm going to act like you didn't ask that question. Good-0 night B and A." Xander waved, as he left with Cordy.

"What he said," Oz pointer to Xander, then left with Willow.

"Ladies and Gentle men. My Friends. Hold your breath, and keep your eyes closed. It could get ugly." The sound of laughter arouse from Angel chest in response to Buffy's remark.

Turning around to face Angel, Buffy laid a soft kiss on this smooth chin, "Now, what is it that you wanted."

Angel chuckled and bent his head to kiss behind Buffy's ear, "I just wanted to see the one I love."

"Have I met her?" Buffy asked as innocently as she possibly could without laughing.

"You might have. She's smart, and witty, and beautiful. She has long golden hair, with a smile that knocks all the guys dead." He paused, "In a good way."

"Come here." She commanded gently, pulling his chin down to meet his lips in a searing kiss. The kiss was slow and gradual, but quickly escalated to greater proportions. It grew passionate, and they clung to one another.

Pulling Angel with her, Buffy felt the her bed against the back of her knees. Carefully, she pulled him down on top of her. A purr arose from his chest, as he gripped her him for control.

"Buffy..." Angel groaned, as he felt her hands lift the hem of his shirt.

"Yeah, Buffy. I really don't think you should do that." The new voice startled both of them, and they abruptly pulled apart.

Mr. O'brian smiled at them, "I don't think Giles would appreciate that very much, Angel."

"Sorry, Dad." Angel said, as he turned a bright shade of red.

"How about you two go to a movie. Cool off." Mr. O'brian offered.

"That acutely sounds like fun." Buffy said grabbing Angel's hand.

"I don't know if it's safe to be out so late with the murder out." Angel said, concern evident on his face.

Buffy pouted," Please, just for a little."

Angel laughed, "Now how could I resist a face like that."


"I'm telling you, The guy was a hopeless romantic." Buffy argued, walking up her drive way.

Angel smiled, and wrapped his arm around her waist, "You think? It was just a movie, he's just an actor"

"Yes, I think. Actor or not." Buffy paused, "He's the kind of guy who would send you flowers in the middle of work, or cover your eyes as you walk on the beseech, just so you can *feel* the sand beneath your feet."

Hurt crossed Angel features, "Do I qualify as one of these guys?"

Buffy ignored him, "He's the kind of guy that would make a fool out of himself, just to prove it's all for you. He's the kind of guy that'll just sweep you off your feet at any given moment."

Without warning, Angel did just that. Sweeping her off her feet, Angel held Buffy close to his chest, "Just like that?"

Buffy nodded, "Just like that."

"Do I classify as a hopeless romantic?"

"Why?" Buffy purred, "Are you jealous?"

HE didn't answer.

"You're more then a hopeless romantic, you're MY hopeless romantic. And I love you." Buffy said, then gently kissed his lips.

"Good thing." He leaned his forehead against hers, "Because I love you too."

Opening up the door to the house, The couple were greeted with a scene they expected least.

At least five police men were casually situated through out the house, one was pouring a cup of coffee, and others were questioning Willow and Cordelia.

"Hey, what's going on?" Angel asked, as he and Buffy approached Giles.

Giles turned and frowned at Angel, "A man with a mask came to the door asking for Buffy. I told him that she wasn't here. and he handed me a note. The police have it now."

A short, and fat officer with dark hair approached Buffy and handed her the note.

//You Will Die,
I will know your Blood,
There's now way out,
You can't hide.//

Tears fell one by one down her face, and she clutched to Angel for support.

"Oh, Buffy." Angel whispered, enveloping her in his strong arms. She was trembling with fear. Sobs caught in her throat, and she clutched him with her tiny fingers. "No, one's going to hurt you, I promise."

She didn't answer, because she didn't believe him.


"...So as a precautionary, I think you should move in with someone else just for the time being." The police officer continued, "Somewhere that wouldn't be easily found."

Mr. O'brian gently stroked Buffy's back, as Angel went to retrieve her a glass of water. Angel returned, and handed Buffy her water, "My place is relatively new, I mean, she can stay there." He earned a glance from Giles, "that is, if it is OK with Giles."

Buffy smiled up at Angel, he was always the giving one. She was so glad that she had him, so glad that he loved her, "As much as Giles may not like the idea, It may be the best."

"So, it's set." The officer interrupted, "Buffy stays at Angel's until further notice."


Quitetly kicking open the front door, Angel genltly carried Buffy into his house. The night had been diffiuclt, packing, cleaning, fingerprinting. Buffy was wiped, and promtly fell asleep in Angel's arms. Not having the heart to wake her up, Angel carried her to his car, then into his house.

Once inside the house Angel laid Buffy down on his bed, and undressed her. As uncomfotable as the situation was, he couldn't help the overwelming feeling of protection he was having over Buffy. She was in his house, his bed, under his protection. It was the simple things that filled Angel's heart with such happiness . Quickly removing Buffy's pants and shirt, so only her bra and panites were intact, Angel rummeged through her suit case insearch of her Pajamas. Once finding them, he gingerly dressed her and pulled the covers over her, tucking her in securly.

He kissed her soft lips, then sat on the chair in the corner. Content on never leaveing her side. He hoped that tomarrow would be easier


The first thing Buffy noticed when she awoke was her pounding head ache, the second was the fact she wasn't in her bed. Shooting of bed, Buffy was taken over by a dizzy spell, "oh," She groaned as she slowly laid back down on the bed.

"Morning sleepy head," Angel chanted as he rounded the corner into the bedroom. He had a tray of food in one hand and a bottle of aspirin in the other.

"Uh, Morning." Buffy moaned, squeezing her eyes closed. "I think I'm sick."

"I Think you're right. When I came to check on you earlier, I noticed you were pale. So I felt you're head and sure enough, you had a fever." Angel inquired, climbing on his bed to lay next to her, "But in any case, you picked a good day, because it's pouring." He pointed out the window.

Sure enough, a constant flow of rain fell from the sky, landing on the ground with a swift pitter, patter.

"I like the rain. It's pretty." Buffy said, snuggling closer to Angel, "It's so simple. Lil' drops of water falling from the sky, like crystals. Beautiful."

Angel leaned down and softly whispered into Buffy's ear, "You're beautiful."

"Were you always this charming?" Buffy asked, looking up into his eyes.

"Nah," He whispered against her lips.

Before he could kiss her, she playfully pushed him away, "None of that today honey. I'm going to get you sick. And we can't have that."

Angel smiled, "I guess you're right. I have to stay well, I need to be your doctor. Now, lets eat some breakfast."

They ate breakfast in silence, just enjoying one another's company.

Angel was grateful that Buffy was safe, that she wasn't in the house when the murder left the note with Giles, but what baffled him the most is why the killer KNEW that Buffy wasn't home, other wise he wouldn't have taken the time to write the note. It
scared him more then he wanted it to.

"Angel, honey?" Buffy said softly, finishing up her last bit of toast.

He turned to face her, she had obviously been talking to him the whole time, but he was to busy brooding to listen to what she was saying.

"Did you hear anything that I just said?" Buffy asked, upset that she's been ignored.

Angel smiled sadly, "I'm sorry, I was just thinking about yesterday."

"Me too." Buffy agreed, snuggling into Angel's lap. "I was thinking about what happen before, you know up in my room." She held his eye contact, " When we were kissing, and then we like fell on the bed..."

Angel beamed at the memory, "Yeah, I remember."

"We're you comfortable with that?" Buffy asked gently, "I mean, it was just so sudden and you know ... we've never really talked about it, that next step."

This was definitely going to be the longest couple of weeks in Angel's life. She was talking to him about making love to her, when all he could think about was just that. He want to make love to her until she couldn't open her eyes. Endlessly, all night long. The bittersweet thought of being intimate with Buffy in one of the most blissful experiences in the human life, brought tears to his eyes, "Buffy, sweetie, whenever you're ready, I'm ready."

"You sure, because I've never you know, done it before." Buffy blushed.

"That makes two of us."

Buffy stared at Angel with astonishment, a stud muffin like him was still a virgin. Buffy stood up on the bed, "Are you serious?"

Angel pulled her by the hands, back down to his lap, "Yes. I'm serious. I was waiting for some special, someone that I truly love, someone like you."

Buffy seized the moment with a soft kiss on his lips, "It's moment like this you wish you weren't sick."

Angel chuckled, and returned the kiss, "Tell me about it."


"...The latest victim, Buffy Summers, nearly dodged another brutal attack. Inevitably, it angered the Murder to an extent to killing one of Buffy's class mated named Harmony Kennel. Next to the body a note was place, with the Words : BS: U R NEXT. police..."

"SHUT UP!" Buffy screamed harshly at the television.

Strong arms came around her, in a comforting embrace, "It's OK beloved. It's going to be OK." Angel vowed he'd do anything to keep her safe. Even if it meant risking his own life, " Lets do something else. Lets get your mind off of this."

"Like what?" Buffy frowned?


"Oh, that feels good." Buffy moaned in to a pillow, as Angel strong fingers gently caressed her bare back. Slowly, Angel trailed his finger nails along Buffy lower back. She moaned in response, "God, have I told you that you're the best? I've never gotten such a great back massage."

Angel kissed her nape of her neck, "Glad you like it." He moved his palms in a circular motion, eliciting another moan of contentment from Buffy. Without warning, Buffy unsnapped her bra, giving him better access to her back. Angel felt his throat constrict. The scene was very erotic; Buffy in his bed, topless, not to mention him giving her a back massage.

//Oh, God//

This was going to be the longest day of Angel's life.


Three Weeks Later

Over the course of the past three weeks, the town of Sunnydale remained quite. No murders stalking the young women, and no death threats towards Buffy. The police believed that the murder got scared and left town, yet Buffy didn't buy it. She believed that he was laying low, waiting for just the right moment.

"Happy Birthday," Angel whispered to Buffy, sitting next to her on his bed. He pulled a red, gift wrapped box out from under the bed and handed it to her.

Slowly, Buffy unwrapped it, stealing a smile with Angel occasionally. She unwrapped to find a platinum ring. It had two hands holding a heart, which had a crown on the top.

"It's beautiful." Buffy whispered, gripping the ring with her tiny fingers.

Angel moved closer, taking the small ring in his hands, "My father gave this to my Mother after I was born, the hands represent friendship, the crown represents loyalty, and the heart...love. Where it with the heart pointing towards you, it means you belong to someone." He held up his hand with the same ring, with the heart pointing towards him, "like this." Buffy gently grasped the hand in hers, brought it up to her lips and kissed it, "Put it on," He requested softly.

Sliding it on her finger, Angel looked up at Buffy, who was sniffing softly, "You, OK?"

Life had been crazy lately, more so then usual. But this release, the presence of Angel, reminded her that her life wasn't horrible, and that she had friends, family, and a boyfriend that loved her more then words, "Yeah, I'm OK. I was just thinking about how much I love you."

"Funny," Angel said, moving into kiss her lips, " I was thinking the same thing."

The Kiss was slow, and careful, but as usual it grew passionate, and uncontrollable. Both of them were aware of the fact that they were on a bed. Buffy slowly pushed Angel back down onto the bed. She wanted this, she need this. For heaven's sake, she was almost killed.

Her whole body was tingling with a sensation she'd never felt before. Her soul, hands, feet, everything was alive. Buzzing with so much electricity, that is was driving her insane with need. she felt Angel's large hands hold her hips closer to him, needing more contact.

Angel gently flipped Buffy onto her back, so he was hovering over her. He broke this kiss to stare at her, silently asking for permission to continue. She didn't respond, she just reached up and brought his lips to hers.

Their mouths fused, over and over again. Angel continued his butterfly kisses from Buffy's lips, across her jaw, down her throat, to her neck. Buffy gripped Angel's back tighter, as the a new warmth came over her. She heard Angel groan in response. Breaking the kiss, Buffy stared up at Angel as her small hand trailed under his shirt, up to his shoulder, then removing the garment, tossing it to the floor.

"Angel, please," Buffy whispered, as Angel's hands traveled up her back, then under his shirt. He started to lift it over her head, but the action was interrupted by the ringing of the phone.

Angel groaned, "Damn. Hold that thought." He reached over and grabbed the phone off the receiver," Hello?"

"YOU CAN'T HIDE HER. I KNOW WHERE SHE IS. AND I DON'T THINK DADDY WILL LIKE VERY MUCH THAT YOU'RE CORRUPTING HIS DAUGHTER."

Angel's body went numb. He dropped the phone onto the cold tile floor. The color of life was drained from his face, as he stood and pulled on his shirt.

"Angel, was that..." Buffy voice trembled. She couldn't find the power to finish the sentence. She already knew who it was, by the expression of horror on Angel's face. Buffy stood and grabbed Angel's hand.

The Lights went out.


Angel crushed Buffy's body into his, when he noticed the front window was wide open. The shadow of a body played across the floor. He watched as the silhouette pulled on a black mask, and withdrew a knife from under his black coat.

"Don't move." Angel whispered into Buffy's ear.

The shadow took a step closer.

"Angel, what's going on..." Buffy's voice cracked.

Angel placed a single finger on her lips, "Just do what I say. On the count of three I'm going to push you out of the way."

He didn't wait for an answer from her, because there wasn't enough time. The murder dove for Buffy, and Angel pushed Buffy into the wall. It wasn't quick enough because he heard a tearing of flesh, and muffled scream. Buffy hit the floor.

A quick exchange of hits and punches were exchanged, and it wasn't long before Angel got the upper hand in the fight.

With a quick blow to the stomach by Angel, the killer staggered back. Using this to his advantage, Angel grabbed the small end table, and broke it over the other man's head.

With a few staggered movements, the man fell to his knees, then to his stomach, unconscious.

It only took a second for Angel to recompose himself, and dash over to Buffy. He crouched beside her, observing the large gash on her arm.

Buffy smiled, "It doesn't hurt that bad, really."

Her pant legs and cloths were soaked in blood. The gash was about as big as Angel's hand. It *had* to hurt," You're a terrible liar." He then gathered her into his strong arms, never wanting to let go. Gently kissing the top of her head, then her lips, he knew that it was all over, "We should call the police before our mystery man wakes up."

She nodded in response.


The police force gathered in Angel's apartment. Some were attending to Buffy's wounds, some questioning Angel. Willow, Oz and Giles were standing by for moral support, while Cordy and Xander went to get Mr. O'brian at work.
"Are you two OK?" Giles asked, approaching both Buffy and Angel.

Buffy smiled, still shaken, "Yeah. I just want to know who this sicko is."

Angel nodded, keeping Buffy tight in his embrace, "Yes, please."

Two dark haired police officers approached the trio, the taller one spoke, "We've identified the murder, would you like to see him?"

At the nod of heads, the officers lead the small group over to a stretcher, where a man was covered in a white sheet up to his face.

And all that was heard were the gasps of horror.


The group sat silently in the Sunnydale general Hospital lobby. Buffy and Angel were being evaluated and cleaned up from the night's events. Giles sat numb in his corner chair. //If I had only known// //What happened?// //I Don't understand what went wrong//

The door to room 314 opened, reveling Buffy, who had a bandage wrapped tightly around her arm, and Angel. Giles and the others stood to greet the newcomers.

The coming days were going to be difficult.


"...I Knew that he loved Joyce in High School, but I didn't think he'd ever take it this far." Giles elaborated, pacing across the living room of the Summer's house.

"I can't believe it was Mr. O'brian." Willow repeated.

Xander rolled his eyes,"We're not coming across an understanding at time soon, Will, are we?"

"I still don't understand." Buffy swallowed roughly, "Why would he do something like this? I need to know, Angel needs to know."

Giles sat down next to his daughter, "Where is he?"

Buffy pointed to the steps, "He needed some alone time, I think he's sleeping in my room. Now, explain this to me. Stop changing the subject."

The sternness in her voice didn't fall flat with Giles. He knew that Buffy loved Angel more then anything, and he also knew that Angel felt the same way. They deserved to know the truth

Giles took a deep breath and continued, "Mr. O'brian and I both loved your Mother in High School, but she was in love with your Father, Hank. Wayne and I bonded over the years of High School and became close friends, but when Joyce divorced Hank, then dated me. I felt awful. I talked to Wayne about it, but he said he didn't love Joyce anymore and that he loved Angel's mother."

"So, let me guess," Xander stood, "we're playing the whole scream plot here."

"Not precisely," Giles answered, "I guess after Angel's Mother died, and then Joyce, Wayne just lost it. I guess he wanted revenge."

"SO killing Buffy fits into the sequence, how?" Oz asked.

"Revenge." Cordy stated, "Flat-out. He was mad at Giles for taking Joyce, and maybe because he couldn't have Joyce due to her death, he went after what Giles loves just as much."

"Which is why he went after Buffy?" Willow said softly, "How morbid is that?"

"I need to talk to Angel. He's really confused right now and he needs someone to talk to." Buffy said, getting up and climbing the steps to her room.


Slowly, Buffy entered her room, only to find Angel sitting on her bed with his head hiding in his hands. Buffy sat down next to him and leaned into his embrace," Are you OK?" He trembled, as if trying to hold in a sob, "Please, Angel, talk to me."

He stood up straight, and turned away from her," You shouldn't be near me."

Buffy stood also, "Excuse me?"

"You shouldn't be near me." Angel spun to face her, "My father tried to kill the one person that I love more then anything in the world, what does that say about me?"

"Is this some male ego thing, because I don't believe in that bullshit!" She was angry now, "It doesn't say anything about you. You aren't your father."

Angel's eyes filled with tears, and his voice softened to a whisper, "No, I'm not. I'm a product."

Buffy approached him, taking his hand into her small one, "No, Angel. You're wrong. Please sweetie."

He shook his head sadly, convinced that he was now unworthy of anything that Buffy provided. Angel turned and walked out the bedroom door, without so much as a look back.

Buffy could've let him run, could've let him walk out of her life, but she wasn't going to. Buffy wasn't about to let the love of her life slip through her fingers. Running out of the door, she chased him down the stair case, yelling along the way, "You can't run away from this Angel! I won't let you!"

He reached the front door, right about the time Buffy caught up with him, "Don't you dare walk out of this door and act like you're walking out of my life, because It won't work."

He heard the determination in her voice, but the desperation in it also. Angel didn't want to lose her, he needed her, he wanted her. Angel loved Buffy, and he almost lost her. Tears flowed down her cheeks, and he watched her throat constrict. Angel knew that he couldn't survive these next couple of months with her. He broke.

Falling to his knees, Angel holds her tightly. Buffy, surprised, by the turn of events, sinks to her knees also and envelops him in a large hug. Angel just keeps holding her and starts to sob into her jacket.

Muffled cries come from his mouth, begging forgiveness, "I'm so sorry, so sorry. I can't lose you. I love you."

"Shh...it's going to be OK. You're going to be OK." She whispered over and over into his ear.

From the living room, the group watched the two broken young adults. Oz handed Xander a camera, "This is one of those moments my Mom talks about, they're called Kodak moments."

Xander nodded in understanding, "So I've heard." He took the camera, and snapped a picture of the couple. The others stared at him like he was crazy, "What?"

Cordelia smirked and stepped away from Xander, "Not my boyfriend."

The others, including Buffy and Angel laughed, it was over.


"Mr. O'brian, you have a visitor." The guard attendentent said, unlocking the jail door. The attendent shoved the door open and immeditly cuffed Mr. O'brian.

"Who is it?" Wayne asked, following the guard out of the cell.

"Your Son, Angel." he infomed, rounding the corner to the visiters booth.

In the third cubical, Angel sat. He facial expressions swiching from shock, anger, and back to a clam expression. All in a time period of three seconds. Sitting down in the small chair, Mr. O'brain picked up the phone. He watched as Angel did the same, and for once in his life, Mr. O'brian was glad that there was a pane of glass between him and his Son. //If looks could kill//

"Hello Angel." Mr. O'brian spoke into the phone, with such an even, solid voice, it made Angel's blood boil.

"Don't act like we're friends, becasue we're not." Angel replied coldly, " I'm only your Son right now, becasue I have to be."

Mr. O'brain's sharp intake of breath made Angel relaize that he hit a nerve, and it was so early in the interrigation, "Why did you do it? Do you feel better about youself?" Angel sneered, " Does it make you feel better that you killed over a dozen of other women? Slowly and Painfully?"

Angel's father just swallowed roughly and looked down

"Yeah, you're such a man." Angel replied sarcastically, "You can kill a women, but you can't give your Son a striahgt answer."

"Is Buffy ok?" His question caught Angel off guard.

"She's Fine, why do you care?"

Mr. O'brain met eye contact for the first time with his Son, "I didn't mean for it to go so out of control..."

"But it did!," Angel intrupped angerly.

"I know that!" Angel's father shot back, "I was just so devestated. First Giles got Joyce, then your Mother died, then Joyce died, and then Buffy came along." Angel's face visably softened, " And she was a perfect reminder of what I wanted all those years ago. I was jealos beyond reasonable means. It scared me. So I went out trying to get dates, and ever girl that turned me down..."

"You killed."

"Yes," Mr. O'brain answered.

"And this dosen't strike you as, esylum material?" Angel quipped.

"Of course it does!" Mr. Obrian sohuted, " I can't sleep at night. everytime I close my eyes, there's some poor girl begging me to stop, and there's blood, so much blood..." He began to weep.

Angel realized that his father had some deep, unresolved issues. Issues that he, Angel, were completly un aware of, "I'm sorry, but I can't let something like this just fade. You tried to kill Buffy. I love her more then I ever thought possible, you almost took her away from me."

The guard attendant came up behind Mr. O'brain and spoke in his deep, harsh voice,"Time's up you two, say your goodbyes."

Angel offered a thin smile to his father, " I guess I'll talk to you later."

"Yeah." Wayne watched as his Son gently hung up the phone, and stood, "Oh! Angel!" Angel turned to face his father, "call me when you and Buffy get married."

Angel laughed and nodded, "Of course."

And he was gone.


Two Months Later

"The blue or the white dress?" Buffy asked, spinning around to face Willow and Cordeila.

"White"

"Blue"

Buffy rolled her eyes, "You're NOT helping."

"Ok, scrach that." Cordy said, standing up, "White is bad, becasue if you spill something on it, it's going to be more noticeable then if you were wearing the blue."

Willow shugged, "Which is WHY you listen to me, always. Ignore Cordy."

Cordelia smirked, and flipped her hair over her shoulder, "Which is why, I'm Quess C and you're well not."

"That's enough you two, I want my date with Angel to be pleasent. Which means no cleaning blood stains off of my dress from your impending catfight. So, shut up and help me." Buffy ordered, slipping out of her rope and into her dress. Willow walked over and tied the straps that hold the dress up around Buffy's neck.

"OK, ok, ok. Willow, you do the make up, I'll do the hair." Cordelia said, pulling Buffy over to a chair.

Willow began putting on the makeup as Cordy whipped out the hairspray. Gently, Cordy pulled Buffys hair up into a tight french-twist, leaving a few stary hairs to frame her face.

Willow applied a small amount of blush to Buffy's cheeks, a touch of white eye shadow, and a whisper of clear lip gloss. WIllow was convinced that Buffy needed limited make-up due to the fact she was already beautfiul.

Putting the final touchs on Buffy's hair, Cordy stepped back to admire, " It looks great, definatly my best work yet. I still can't get over the fact that you and Angel have been dating for a year."

Willow stepped back also, " You're telling me. Oz didn't take me out for out one year annivercery."

"And yet, he did dye his hair your favorite color on your six month annivercery." Cordy quipped.

Willow smirked, "Hey, it looked awsome."

"Alright you two, lets see what you did to me." Buffy said, standing to face her floor lengh mirror.

The dress was pale blue, that fell to the floor. It tied around then neck, and from the bust line up, it was covered in little rhimstones. Buffy smiled, Angel was going to lose it.

"Buffy are you ready? Angel is here." Giles said, opening up her door. He stopped short when he saw his daughter. He was stunned, "Buffy, you look amazing."

"Thanks, Giles." She said kissing him on the cheek," But I should get going,"

The group of three followed, Buffy out the door and down the steps to Angel. She found him looking at a picture of her, when she was only eight years old.

"Hey." Buffy said, startling Angel.

He turned to face her, but was a lose for words. //amazning...beautfiul...stunning...goddess.../// "...Buffy...uhh...my gods...you..uhh..."

"Translation: Buffy you look stunning." Cordy quppied, walking down the steps and standing indetween the couple.

"You ready to go?" Buffy asked.

Unable to take his eyes off of her, Angel offered his arm and lead her out the door. The other three followed once again, watching them get in Angel's black convertable.

Oz and Xander, from the porche's swing, along with the others watched as Buffy and Angel took off down Rebello drive.

"10 bucks say that Buffy won't be coming home tonight." Xander said, flashing a ten dollar bill in the air.

"I say 15." Oz said, pulling the amount out of his pocket.

"Willow and I double it!" Codry shouted.

Giles smirked and reached in to pocket to pull out his wallet. He looked through and grinned, " I pull the stakes up to one hundred dollars."

The others put away their money.


"You really didn't have to go throught all of this for me." Buffy whispered across the table to Angel.

"Of course I did. It's our one year annervercery and I want it to be special." Angel replied, taking her hand in his.

Angel took Buffy to 'The Garden.' A five star italian resturant on the shore.

"Imean it Angel, this is way to much. I would've been satified with Chucky Cheeze." Buffy elaporated.

Angel just smiled and kissed her palm, "Happy annevercery."

And her heart just melted.


The walk home was peaceful and quite. No mysterious men stalking the street, no death threats, just the late spring air that was full with the scent of blooming flowers. the couple walked hand in hand up Rebello Drive and up to the Summer's residence.

"Thanks for walking me home." Buffy said tuning to face Angel.

"Of course. That's my Job you know." Angel took her in his arms and place a sweet kiss on her soft lips.

Buffy broke the kiss, when she noticed a peice of paper taped up on the door, "Oh, what's this?"

://:Buffy,

Had to make an emergancy run to LA,

Something to do with the art gallery

Be back by morning

Love, Giles://:

Buffy rolled her eyes, "Gotta love the meeting out of town," She went to turn the door nob, but found it locked."

Angel looked over her shoulder, "What's wrong?"

"Daddy Giles locked the door, and Buffy threw away the key," At his confused face, she smiled, "I forgot my key, so we're locked out."

He nodded in understanding," If you'd like, you could stay at my place for the night."

"You don't mind, do you?"

Angel gathered her in his arms, " Of course not."


"I cant believe it started raining!" Buffy screeched upon entering Angel's apartment.

Sure enough, the moment the two left the Summer's porch, it started pouring. Sheets of rain fell from the heavens, without a second of mercy.

Angel smiled at Buffy's childlike manner, "Its, OK, you can wear something of mine."

"Thank you," She replied sincerely, " and for once I'm glad that I didn't wear that white dress, because you know, rain and white clothing don't match and...well...I'll shut-up now."

She blushed and looked at the ground, obviously embarrassed. Angel lifted her chin, " hey, are you going to stay in those wet cloths, or you going to change?"

She nods and Angel gets a white sweatshirt, and a pair of black shorts from his armoire and hands them to her.

Softly she mummers," Thanks." And walks into Angel's bedroom.

Placing the cloths on the bed, Buffy reached up to her neck, intending on untying the two strings that held her dress up //Jeez, Willow really doesn't want me to actually get out of this dress//

"Angel?" She watched as he turned around to face her, "can you help me untie this?"

He swallowed hard and stood behind her, gently taking the small knot into his shaking fingers, with a small tug of one end, the knot easily fell out. Taking his time, Angel gently let his fingers graze the bare shoulders.

Buffy's whole body heated up, with just one caress. Tuning to face Angel, Buffy felt Angel's trembling fingers, and saw the passion in his eyes. With one quick motion, Angel captured her lips in his, bringing her down the soft matters.

Out side the rain continued to fall.

//After eons of war and lifetimes
She smiling' and free, nothing' left
But a cracking voice and a song, oh lord //


They layed in silence, their bodies humming; an after shock of what just occurred. Angel's big body hovered over Buffy's small frame, her eyes going half mast as Angel's breath tickled her neck. Both bodies were covered in a light mist of sweat. Angel shifted off of Buffy, bringing her so she was spread out across his chest. Buffy's head was tucked in the crook of her lover's neck, and she could have sworn that he purred in satisfaction.

"That...that was..." Buffy stampeder, gazing into Angel's eyes.

"Amazing," Angel finished, kissing behind her ear, " It was unbelievable."

Buffy smiled and yawned, " So sleepy..."

Angel gently kissed her soft lips, " Sleep, I love you."

"Love you too." She replied, drifting into a deep, content sleep.


Two years drifted by with relative ease. Buffy and Angel's relationship grew in enormous strength each day. With graduation one day away, Buffy began to worry. She *knew* that her relationship with Angel would never change, but the future would. decisions were going to be made, and Buffy wondered if Angel would make those decisions with her in or out of his life.


"I can't believe we're graduating in less then twelve hours!" Willow sighed happily, making her self comfortable in Oz's lap.

"Rewind and Play," Buffy mumbled into Angel's ear

"I just *can not* believe we're graduating!" Willow repeated.

Cordy threw popcorn at her face, " OK repet-o-girl, we got the point when you said it, oh, twenty-seven times ago!"

"Well, think about it, Cordelia! We're all going out into the world, we're going to meet new people, do new things, see new things! We're not going to be in Sunnyhell anymore!" Willow elaborated, " Who knows where we'll work, or if we stay with our boyfriends and girlfriends! If it doesn't scare you shitless then maybe you'd be better off in Sunnydale!"

Xander gasped, " Did Willow just curse?" He glared at Oz," You've corrupted our little Willow."

Oz held his hands up in defense, " I had *nothing* to do with that!"

"So, you're blaming it on herself? You just don't *become* corrupted!"

Oz arched his eyebrows, " I'm not going to win with you am I?"

Xander shrugged," Have you ever?"

"Good question."

"Guys! This is serious." Willow cut-in, "What if we never see each other again."

"She has a point," Cordy said, glancing at Xander.

"Guys, you're all overreacting." Buffy stated, standing up to face her friends and lover, " We'll always be friends, and even if we don't live in the same state, or even country, we'll *always* be friends. I have no doubt. We'll probably get together for Scooby gang reunions." She turned to face Angel, " I think the thing we have to worry about now are our personal relationships."

He smiled in return.


The graduation ceremony went smoothly, and the graduating class of two thousand and four were honored for all of their hard work at the UC Sunnydale University.

In the dimming light of the last hours of day, Buffy and Angel stood on the hill in the 'Shady Hill' park. They were wrapped up in each other embrace, and Angel gently stroking Buffy's back.

"You know, today was really great." Buffy whispered, her body being warmed by the last remaining rays of light.

"It was. I'm sorry to hear about Cordy and Xander." Angel replied, pulling Buffy tighter to his body.

Buffy frowned, "Me two. But it had to happen. With Cordy getting a modeling contact in New York, and Xander getting a construction Job somewhere in Atlantic City, New Jersey, They couldn't stay together, at least not right now."

Angel nodded, "Xander was pretty bummed."

"So was Cordy, She was devested. She cried for two hours straight. Hopefully those two will meet up again someday."

Angel smiled down at her, "I bet you they will. What about Willow and Oz?"

Buffy shrugged and turned in his arms, " Oz is like Willow's little puppy, he'll follow where ever she goes. It's cute, in a clingy sort of way."

The sound of laughter rose from his chest, but Buffy couldn't find the happiness to join in.

"I have to tell you something." Angel said, tucking her hair behind her ears, " I got that Job I applied for, the one at the gallery in New York."

Buffy smiled happily, but she was dying on the inside, " Sweetie, that's great. And you're going to take it right?"

He nodded.

She felt the sting of tears in her eyes, " Which probably means that the next step will be to break up with me."

Angel grinned, "Acutely I was kind of hoping you'd let me marry you."

Buffy almost choked, "Excuse me?"

Getting down on one knee, Angel took out a three stone, diamond engagement ring from his pocket, "Buffy Anne Summers, will you marry me someday?"

Straining between hysterical laughter and sobbing, Buffy sank to her knees, falling into Angel's warm chest cavity, "God yes. Yes, I will."

From the distance, Four long life friends watched the scene unravel.

"10 bucks, Xander." Oz said, laying his hand out in front of Xander's face.

"Hey, wait a minute! That's not fair! I didn't know until like two minutes ago that you actually went with him to pick out the ring, other wise you wouldn've had a clue to what he was going to do today." Xander argued.

Oz eye brows arched, "Don't make me go wolfy on you."

Xander huffed," Yeah right, Just cause we could do that in our past life, doesn't mean that you can do it now."

"You want to try your odds?" Oz questioned, rolling up his sleeves.

"Now, now you two." Giles said strolling up behind them, " Let's play nice. We just did some good here, lets not ruin the moment."

Willow grinned, as Wesley walked up behind her, followed by Joyce, "This is like a Scooby reunion, only in a different dimension."

Joyce nodded, "Yes, I got to say, the whole, 'Joyce is dead' gig really was a hit here."

Cordelia turned to face Giles, " Do we really have to go back, to a world with vampires and other things that go bump in the night?"

Giles smiled sympathetically, " Unfortunately yes, while things are calm here, now that Buffy and Angel are together in this dimension, they are not in the other."

"Yet!" Willow pointed out.

"Rupert, I'm still confused here." Joyce interrupted.

"And under twenty sentences please." Xander quipped, but Giles ignored him.

"There's a prophesy regarding Angel and his shanshu, or his redemption, and in order to achieve it he's going to have to balance the score between good and evil, even in different universes, such as this one." Giles elaborated.

"But which balance between good and evil did fix here?" Joyce asked

"His father."

Xander smirked, " Since he killed his last one."

"So how many more 'balances' does Angel have to fix? Until the prophecy is, you know, fulfilled?" Cordy asked, watching Buffy and Angel kiss in the distance.

"One more." Wesley answered.

"Which is? How many more evil things is it going to kill to get a pulse?" Xander asked, pointed to his wrist for emphasis.

"Himself. He's got to defeat his demons."

The group turned and walked away, knowing that if Buffy and Angel can't be together in their dimension now, they can at least be happy now.


end

Closeing Notes: *Like the little twist at the end? Anyway, I hoped you liked my little slice of life fic.

The name of this fic came from this quote:

"In a perfect world Human beings would co-exsist harmoniously, like a rainbow. A mulitiude of colors, each layer vibrant and clear by itself but in unison...boundless, breathtaking, and celestial. If you look closly, there's a story here, with a very happy ending. After every storm-if you look hard enough-a rainbow appears."

-Mariah Carey

So, in short, if you look hard enough into every situation, no matter how difficult it seems, there's a light shinning through the clouds somewhere, and if you can't see it then maybe you aren't looking hard enough, or you just don't want to see it.

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