Title: Back To Home (#3 in my as yet untitled series)

Author: Jada

Disclaimer: I own nothing except what I make the characters do.

Spoilers: "Something Borrowed, Something Blue"

Summery: Angel comes home. Fluffy. (When is it never fluffy when I’m the writer?)

Rating: PG14? (If you can watch the show, you can read this)

Timeline: Okay, everybody listen up. This could get confusing. In Sunnydale, “Something Borrowed, Something Blue” pretty much didn’t happen, just b/c it doesn’t fit into this fic. I loved the ep though. Anyway, the first scene is like the picnic scene from SBSB, but just without Riley. In LA, “Hero” didn’t happen, I’ll explain things as I go along. Please bare with me.

Author’s Notes: Okay, in my last story, “Interlude” I said in the AN that I was going to try to rewrite season 4. I’m not going to take each ep and just add Angel. It’s going to pretty much become AU with some season 4 influences. I plan to add in some of the AtS, season 1, also.

Author’s Notes 2: I would like to dedicate “Back To Home” to Ice Princess and AnGel 15. Thanks for the encouragement. That’s why this story’s out so soon.

Author’s Notes 3: I am looking for a name for this series. If you have one, please e-mail it to me. I could use all the help I can get. And I will thank you profusely because I suck at titles.

Feedback: Please. No flames, though.

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     It was a sunny, Friday afternoon and Buffy was having a picnic with Willow. She was trying to cheer up the little witch who was suffering massive Oz depression. She was not having much success. Willow was sadly staring at the slices of apple in front of her. “They’re turning brown,” she stated.

     “They do that,” Buffy responded.

     “Yes, they do,” Willow agreed.

     A shadow crossed over the two girls’ heads and as the looked up they saw Angel standing there. As soon as Buffy laid eyes on her lover, she jumped up off of the blanket and into his arms. When Buffy had calmed down enough to let go of Angel’s neck, she said, “Not that I’m not ecstatic to see you, but aren’t you suppose to be in LA?”

     “I wrapped things up early, thought that I’d come down today. But, if you want, I can go and come back tomorrow . . .” Angel said, untangling himself from Buffy.

     “No!” Buffy said, a little too loudly. Grabbing on to Angel’s hand, she said, “why don’t you join us?”

     “I don’t want to intrude,” Angel said.

     When Buffy glanced down at Willow, the red head was staring at them, open-mouthed. “He’s not a big pile of dust,” Willow said. “Why is he not a big pile of dust? And why are you not surprised that he’s not a big pile of dust? And what’s with the smooches?” she continued.

     “That’s a long story, Will. One that I would prefer not to tell more than once. I was going to explain tomorrow. You know how we were all going to meet at Giles’ place, well, I asked my mom to come too and Angel was going to drive up from LA, and . . . Well, he’s human. We’re together. He’s moving back. Any other questions, can they please wait until tomorrow?” Buffy said.

     “Wow,” Willow said.

     “Yeah, wow,” Buffy replied.

     “I know you said ‘no questions’, but you have to answer one. Why didn’t yo tell me?” Willow asked, somewhat hurt.

     “I don’t know Will. At first, I just wanted to tell everyone. Then, I started thinking. ‘How would you guys react?’ I mean, would you be mad, upset, or what? I was just scared. I needed Angel there. That’s why I waited.”

     “But, Buffy, I’m not talking about Giles or Xander or your mother. I’m talking about me, your best friend. Why couldn’t you tell me?”

     “I don’t know why I didn’t. I’m sorry Will. But on the up side, Angel, King of Stubbornness and Brooding, is standing here in the sun, not bursting into flames, might I add, and, the most important part: he came back to me. Maybe this is a sign that Oz will realize his mistake too, and come back to you. If he doesn’t, then you weren’t meant to be. Either that or the would is just royally screwed up.”

     “Look, Buffy, it’s okay. You can stop trying to cheer me up. Hey,  I’m the first one to know, right? Or maybe you told people in LA? But I’m the first person in Sunnydale to know, right?” Willow asked.

     “First person,” Buffy confirmed. There was no need to tell Willow about that little run in with Riley.

     “Well, now that we got all of that out of the way, I’m really happy for you guys. Really, if anybody deserved to find happiness, it’s you guys. I mean, you save the world enough, you should get something in return for all you’ve had to suffer.”

     “That’s what I’ve always said. Finally, someone listened,” Buffy said.

     “Why don’t you guys go . . . where ever it is you go. I’m gonna clean up here and hit the books,” said Willow.

     “No, Will, Angel and I don’t have to leave. He can join our picnic,” Buffy said.

     “Or I can leave you two alone and Buffy, you and I can catch up later,” Angel said.

     “No, you guys go have fun. I’m fine, really. The picnic idea was great, and I appreciate you trying to cheer me up, but I’m just not all into it. I’ll catch up with you later . . . or tomorrow, with the way Angel’s looking at you,” Willow said.

     At that, Angel blushed. It was something that Buffy had never seen him do. ‘Oh, he even looks good when he’s embarrassed,’ thought Buffy. Her thoughts quickly snapped back to Willow and Buffy asked, “are you sure?”

     “I’m positive. I give you leave to go. So, go, have that thing called fun.”

     They said their goodbyes and Angel led Buffy away.

 

 

 

     When they got to Angel’s car, Buffy stopped walking and asked, “where are we going?”

     “It’s a surprise,” Angel responded.

     “What if I said that I don’t like surprises?”

     “Then I’d have to say, ‘tough luck, you’re getting one.’”

     “What if I don’t get in the car?”

     “Then I’d have to pick you up and put you in the car.”

     “Taking me against my will, that could be classified as kidnaping.”

     “Oh, I’ll just have to take my chances,” Angel said, taking a step towards Buffy. When he reached for her she swerved to avoid his grasp but he anticipated her move and captured her anyway. With one quick swoop, Angel picked a laughing Buffy up and dumped her into the passenger seat of the car. He then walked around the car to the driver’s side and got in himself.

     “So, where are we going?” Buffy asked.

     “Nice try, Summers, but I am not going to tell. You’ll just have to wait,” Angel said, starting up the car.

     Buffy crossed her arms over her chest and asked, “you know you’re going to pay for this, right?”

     “Oh, I think you might be a little more forgiving when you see what I have in store for you.”

     “We’ll see. But I wouldn’t count on it.”

     “Then I guess we’ll have fun when I pay.”

     Buffy couldn’t help but smile as Angel continued to drive them to the surprise. Whatever it was.

 

 

 

     A short distance away, Angel pulled into a parking lot. In front of them stood a building, at least eight stories high. (Think the outside of Glory’s place when Buffy chased down that snake thing) Angel, always the gentleman, walked around the car and opened Buffy’s door for her. Taking her hand, Angel led her into the building and into the elevator. After hitting the button marked ‘8', Angel patiently waited for the elevator to start moving. Buffy, on the other hand, couldn’t take the waiting any longer. “Where are we?” she asked.

     “You’ll see,” Angel responded, cryptically. The elevator continued its climb until it reached the eighth floor. Angel then led Buffy down the hallway a bit until they came to the door with the number 76 on it.

     “Does this building have seventy-six rooms in it?” Buffy asked, staring at the door.

     “No, it has eighty apartments in it.”

     “Apartments?”

     Angel pulled out a key from his inside coat pocket. Putting the key in the lock and opening the door, Angel ushered Buffy into the apartment. Buffy was stunned. In front of her was a huge window that covered nearly the whole wall, letting the light shine through brightly. There was a white couch and two white chairs set up in a horse shoe shape and a brown, wooden coffee table in the center.  To Buffy’s right, was a table with six chairs around it, it was all a light brown, wood color. To Buffy’s left, was a kitchen that reminded her of Giles’ kitchen. It had the same set up and even had the counter with stools next to it. As Buffy stepped further into the apartment, she noticed that behind one of the chairs was a fireplace.  In between the fireplace and the counter with stools, was a long hallway. Buffy looked at Angel, silently asking if it was okay for her to explore. At his nod, she started walking down the hallway. First, on her left there was a linen closet. Next, there was a bathroom on the right. Then, an empty room on the left, which looked out of place since the rest of the place was furnished. Forgetting about the room,  Buffy continued down the hallway to the end. At the end, there was a doorway leading into the master bedroom. Buffy stepped into the room and gasped. It was beautiful. The bed had a black, iron frame and white, satin bedding. There was a skylight over the bed and the light shone though producing a magnificent glow. To the left was a huge bathroom with a large bathtub and a separate, also large, shower. Both were big enough for two people. Next to the bathroom entrance there was a closet. To the right there was a chest of drawers and a sliding glass door, that led out on to a patio. Buffy walked to the door and pushed it open. Stepping outside a gentle breeze hit her face and as Buffy looked down, she realized how high up they really were. It was high. The railing around the patio was solid cement and there were two chairs and a little table already out there. As Buffy stood there looking out over the town, Angel slid his arms around her waist. “So, what do you think of the place?” he asked.

     “It’s incredible,” she breathed.

     “So, you wouldn’t mind it if I lived here?”

     “Mind? Angel this place is . . .is . . .” Buffy was at a loss of words.

     “Incredible?” he offered.

     “Yeah.” 

     “So, you really like it?”

     “Like it? I love it.”

     “Good, because I already signed the papers.”

     “Really? You’re really going to live here?”

     “Really. The place is mine. Most of my stuff is already here.”

      “Well, if the place is already yours,” Buffy began, as she started to lead him inside. “Then I think that we might want to celebrate.”

      “What did you have in mind?” Angel asked.

      “Oh, you see, I heard this rumor that you have to christen a new apartment if you want to have any sort of happiness there. Kind of like good luck,” she said, backing him up until the back of his legs touched the bed.

     “Really?” He asked, grinning.

     “Really,” she confirmed, pushing him on to his back. Buffy then climbed up on top of Angel and straddled his waist. “What do you say, we start with the bedroom?” she asked, leaning down to kiss him.

     “I’d say, I love the way your mind works,” he replied, kissing her back with just as much passion. No other words were passed between the two for hours.

 

 

 

     The next day . . .

     The sun had just rose from it’s sleep, bathing the world in an orange glow. As Buffy opened her eyes, she saw a sight that she had wanted to see for so long. Her lover, staring down at her, a smile on his face as the sun bathed them both in its warmth. “Morning,” she murmured, stretching her achy muscles from the day  before’s activities. And night before’s activities. Oh, it was all good.

     “It’s a very good morning,” Angel said, giving Buffy a sweet kiss.

     “I love you,” Buffy said.

     “I lo-” Buffy cut Angel off by placing her fingers over his lips.

     “I didn’t say it to hear it back. I just felt like saying it.” she said.

     The two sat there in silence for a while, just being comforted by each other’s presence before Angel moved away from Buffy. “What is it?”she asked.

     “There’s something that I have to tell you,” Angel said, sitting up.

     “What is it?” Buffy asked, sitting up behind Angel and resting her chin on his shoulder.

     “I don’t know how to tell you this, Buffy,” Angel admitted.

     “Just spit it out, Angel. You’re scarring me.”

     “After I left here Monday, I went back to LA. When I got there, Doyle had a vision. Buffy, the Morah demon regenerated more than just me; it regenerated itself, too. I had no choice; I had to go kill it again. Before you say anything, I know it was dangerous, but I had to. I have to be able to fight, or this is never going to work between us. So, Doyle and I went to the salt factory where the demon was. It was hard; we almost didn’t make it. If it wasn’t for Doyle, I’d be dead right now. I was wounded and lying on the ground when Doyle smashed the jewel on its forehead. That’s the only way to kill it. The Morah fell on me and more of its blood mixed with mine. I felt this surge of power go through me and when Doyle went to get the Morah off of me, I pushed it too and it went flying across the room. I think that when its blood mixed with mine for a second time, as a human, I just got stronger. We’ve been testing it for the past few days. When I get cut, I heal almost instantaneously. I’m just as fast, if not faster, then I was when I was a vampire. I’m stronger then I was when I was a vampire. I think I might even be stronger than you, but that’d be something we’d have to test out. Look, Buffy, if you didn’t want to have anything to do with me, I’d understand. It’d hurt, but I’d understand.”

     “Okay, first of all . . .stupid!” she said, hitting him on the arm. “How could you risk you life like that?!”

     “Buffy, I had to. If I couldn’t help you fight, or at the very least, protect myself, I’d just be a liability to you and we both know it.”

     “Okay, maybe you’re right. But it was still stupid and I’m still mad. Next, I’m not too sure about that whole ‘you’re stronger than me theory.’ We can test that out later. Third, how could you not tell me immediately? Angel, I thought that we weren’t the kind of couple that kept secrets. I don’t want us to keep secrets.”

     “I know, I don’t want us to keep secrets either. I just, I didn’t know how to tell you. That’s why, if you didn’t want to be with me, I’d understand.”

     “Okay, you have got to stop with that right now. I want you. I wanted you when you were a vampire, why would I not want you now? Angel, this is a good thing. Maybe you were right about the whole ‘you need to be able to fight’ thing. I remember when I lost my powers on my eighteenth birthday, I was miserable. You can’t know what’s out there, fight to destroy for so long, and then one day just forget and go about your life like you don’t know what goes bump in the night. Especially when your girlfriend is the Slayer.”

     “So, you’re okay with all this?”

     “Yes, I’m okay. I’m happy, in love with you and can’t wait to find out what happens next in the Buffy and Angel story.”

     “Well, in that case, I have something for you,” Angel said, getting out of bed and going over to the black duffle bag in the corner. He got something out of said bag and sild back into bed. “Buffy, I’ve been debating whether or not to give this to you, but now, I think I have to.” Angel opened his hand and reveled a silver claddagh ring. Buffy gasped upon seeing it. “I know you’ve lost yours over the years, so I thought that it would be fitting you give you a new one, to go along with this new start we’ve gotten. Buffy, this ring, this ring is a promise. When I give you this ring, I’m giving you the promise that one day, when you’re ready, I’m going to ask you to marry me and I’m going to want to replace it with an engagement ring, then, a wedding ring. This is my promise to you, that I am going to love you and make you happy and protect you and the family I hope we have some day. So, will you wear this ring?” he asked, holding the ring between his fingertips.

     By now, Buffy was in tears at his declarations of love when she asked, “so, you really want to marry me?”

     “When you’re ready, there is nothing I would want more.”

     “Then yes, I’ll wear the ring, and yes, I’ll marry you some day, and yes, we’ll have a family some day, because I love you and I’m never letting you go again.” She declared, tears streaming down her face. Angel gently slid the ring on her left hand, heart facing in and said, “this ring is a promise for some day, a promise that I’m going to keep.”

     Their lips met in a furry as they began to seal that promise in the only way they knew how. Buffy and Angel made love. And it was sweet, and full of a promise for some day. Now they just had to tell their families.

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