That’s how this night started, and that’s how it’s gonna end. No vampires, no demons. No zombies, which, when you think about it, is actually a good thing. I roll my shoulders a few times, trying to stay loose.
Sighing, I decide to pack it in. Grab my awesomely stylish new black backpack, and stuff Mr. Pointy back in. Jump over the few headstones on my way to the cemetery gates, and suddenly my joy is totally destroyed.
A screeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaam! splits the midnight air to my left.
All instinct now, I drop my bag, having grabbed up my stake again, and race toward the shrill noise.
Sprinting around a small mausoleum, I menace the horrible, noxious, vile… Xander that is flapping at Cordelia to “shut up, Cordy! It was just a rat.”
Sighing again for the second time in as many minutes, I tell the couple, “my kingdom for a monster.”
“Sorry, Buff. You know how Cordy feels about animals of the rodent persuasion. We didn’t mean to disturb your patrol.”
Cordelia, still flapping her hands, interrupts. “I meant to. Gross! There has GOT to be a better way to find some quality alone time. Get me out of here, Xander!”
Shaking his head, Xander complies. I yell after them as they walk away.
Next time, just stay in the janitors closet!”
Back to boring. And back to heading for home.
A rustling sound reaches my ears, and I whip around, Mr. Pointy at the ready.
“Whoa, Buffy. No staking your friends, or didn’t Giles ever tell you that?”
“Will? What are you doing here? It’s late! And, duh, the cemetery? Dangerous?”
My bestest friend in the world cocks her eyebrow at me. “Buffy, this is the only place wolfs bane grows in the town. And I needed some. For a spell… a project I’m working on.”
Now it’s my turn to cock the eyebrow.
“Uh-huh. A project for what? Black arts 101? I thought that wasn’t offered til senior year.”
She smiles, embarrassed. “Well, it just suddenly struck me that the only thing missing from the glamour Amy and I have been working on was wolfs bane, and thus, well, wolfs bane.” She holds up the sprigs of a leafy dark green plant obviously plucked from the ground recently, dirt hanging from the roots.
“Will, go home. I can’t patrol with all of you interrupting me all the time.”
“All of us?
Who else is all of us?” she questions, a little panic creeping into her voice.
“Oh, I ran into Xander and Cordelia out here. I guess make-out point is getting a little blasé,” I tell her, trying to downplay the whole Xander/Cordelia thing. She frowns anyway.
“Well, I hope they… get poison ivy! Or something itchy, anyway.”
I laugh, shaking my head. “Get thee home, Rosenberg. And do not let me look upon thine countenance again.”
Huhn? I think to ask her, but she’s gone.
Finally, some alone patrol time.
I do one more sweep, and right as I reach the gates, and am about to escape to my freedom, well, and a load of math homework, when I hear loud whispering from a nearby tree. Circling warily, I chance a look up.
“Giles,” I say, exasperated. “What the heck are you doing?”
He hurriedly climbs down, shuffling some books and papers, while trying to find easy footing. I snort to see him fall flat on his butt as he misses the last knot on the tree trunk.
“Ow! I am not spying,
That’s for certain. I just realized that my watcher diary is hopelessly out of date, and needed to add to it, so…”
“So you’re spying on me.” I shake Mr. Pointy at him. “Giles, how am I supposed to concentrate with you people crowding me? I’m trying to patrol, for goodness sake. Not wanting to exactly make with the fiesta-ing here.”
“Yes, Buffy, I realize that. I apologize for intruding. I will head home straight away. As you should as well. It is late, and as you have turned up nothing useful…”
“Excuse me? Nothing useful? I have turned up lots of things! As in, um, well, the crypts, are looking, uh, well, very cryptic! And empty. So no action, no slayage. Go home, Giles. I’ll fill you in the morning, I promise,” I tell him, and thankfully, he heads toward the cemetery gates as well.
“Very well, Buffy. Do be careful. I’ll see you in the morning.”
My eyes follow him as he gets in his battered old tiny car and tools off down the street.
I plop down on a bench in front of the Hardcastle crypt. They have been looking a little too empty for my taste, so I decide a look out for a few minutes wouldn’t hurt.
As I sit my thoughts wander to the one person I hadn’t seen tonight, and really was the only one with any business in a cemetery besides me.
Biiiiiig sigh. Except this time a good one.
He has such big, gentle hands. It’s funny when you notice little insignificant details like that. And I’ve never known a guy to wear rings before. The one he wears on his right hand, the one with the little crown and hands on it, I’ve seen those before. I just can’t think where.
And the hair! Now, I know he has an excuse, no mirrors, duh. But it’s cute, in a funny way. Makes me want to fix it for him, just to have an excuse to run my hands through it.
His eyes, too. Deep pools of liquid chocolate, as one of those silly romance books my mom reads would say. Yet there’s something about them. I know about his past. He has a right to be haunted. But his eyes… it’s like his soul is trying to touch mine when I meet his gaze with my own. His gaze that’s so intense, I can only meet it for so long without a blush creeping up my neck.
I’ve had crushes before.
But, boy, is this worse. I spend every second thinking about him, or what he would being doing in my situation. I have no future except with him. That he would feel the same about me is mind blowing. Mind numbing, even. He’s so beautiful.
I absent-mindedly finger the cross he gave me at our first meeting that I’m wearing around my neck. It’s simple, but solid. Kinda like us, actually.
“What are you doing?”
A scream escapes my lips, and I whip out with my right hand, the stake poised a breath away from his heart.
“Angel! For the love of puppies don’t do that! I could have staked you.”
He flashes a grin of white teeth at me. “Sorry, little lady. Didn’t mean to frighten you.”
I shake my head, and cross my arms over my chest, trying to be angry at him.
He sits gently next to me on the bench, the collar of his wow blue! shirt twisted on the edge of his leather coat. I do love the leather on him. But I’m mad.
Mustn’t feel his arm snake around my shoulders…
I give up, and he enfolds me in a soft embrace, my head resting in the crook of his neck. Deep breath. He smells like wet leaves, and sandalwood, and Angel. Sigh.
“You okay, Buffy? I’ve been standing behind you for a few minutes now, and you didn’t even notice. Distracted? Did something happen?”
“Your collar’s twisted,” I tell him, not wanting to admit I was thinking about him. He fumbles at it, making it worse. I raise my head up, and fix it for him. I meet his eyes and realize we’re this close and his soft,
strong lips are right in front of mine. So what’s a girl to do but reach out and…
Electricity arcs between us and we’re swept away by the simple act of kissing. Slow, gentle. Subtle. An act of love. Then a little harder, more demanding. His lips part and he touches his tongue to my own.
A shiver runs down my spine and I grip him tighter, sighing into his mouth. He runs his hands (so big!) up my back and into my hair, tangling his fingers in the strands. I touch my hand to his cheek, and we break apart, our breathing a little, well, intense. He places his forehead against mine, and we stare at each other, both with really dumb big grins on our faces. He has such pain in his life, that to see that smile, to be the cause of it, breaks my heart. God, uh oh. I think I might love him. Actually, I don’t think. I know.
When I look into the future, all I see is you, Angel.
He kisses my forehead, and pulls back, business now. Damn business! More kissing! Oh, well.
A growl splits the air, and we leap apart, my stake in my hand, Angel’s game face on. A HUGE, and might I mention ugly, fyarl demon stands before us, with yet another HUGE axe in its hands. I give Angel a look.
“I go right, right?”
“Ladies first,” he tells me, and we round the bench as one, and leap on the nasty demon. I subdue it rather quickly as Angel breaks it’s arm with a satisfying crunch, pulling the axe out of it’s now limp hand. Pulling no punches, I snap its neck. That’s it. End of threat.
We stand together, Angel’s feral brow dripping sweat as I heave in lung fulls of air, trying to figure out just why the hell that was so easy.
“Why the hell was that so easy?” my boyfriend asks, face morphing back to his human form.
“Funny, I was just thinking that. The demons around here lately seem really off their game. Maybe I should ask Giles…” glancing at my watch, I gasp.
“What is it?
Did it hurt you?” Angel says, running to my side.
“No. It’s 2 A.M! My mom’s gonna kill me! Literally,” I answer, trying desperately to come up with a good excuse.
“Maybe I can tell her I spent the night with Willow, or maybe I can tell her we studied all night at the library…”
“Buffy, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll think of something.” He takes my watch hand, kisses the palm. “You sure it didn’t hurt you?”
“Please, Angel. Did you so how fast I snapped it’s neck? It barely had time to breath, much less hurt me. But I love your concern,” I tell him, putting my arms around his neck. “Do it some more.”
He laughs, and obliges.
More kissage is a good thing.
We walk the last few steps to my door. The porch light is off. Phew! Mom’s asleep. She’s gotten kind of used to my weird hours. I sit down on the top step to the door, back to it, Angel joining me. I sigh for the
billionth time that night.
He puts his hand on the back of my neck, rubbing lightly. I close my eyes, and lean in to it. He turns me gently away from him, and uses both hands to massage my back, running his hands up and down the muscles on either side of my spine. God! Even this simple pleasure makes me want to weep with the feeling it causes… oh… oh yeah, that’s it.
“Oh, yeah. That’s it,” I groan, and he pushes harder on the very large knot next to my left shoulder blade. That’s gonna leave a bruise. But an Angel bruise, well, that’s not a bad thing. Smile.
The porch light snaps on, and a very angry mother opens the door.
“Buffy. Get. Inside. Now.”
Angel and I leap apart and I slink guiltily into the hall.
“Goodnight, Angel,” mom tells him pointedly, and he gives her a sheepish smile with a little wave.
“Goodnight, Mrs. Summers.”
I wave at him as well, and blow him a kiss behind her back. He “catches” it in his hand, and touches his chest where his unbeating heart lies. The door swings shut in my face.
“Uh, mom! Hi! Angel was just walking me home from the library. Gosh, Willow and I got so carried away, you know how the history just defeats me every time… get it? Defeat? You know, war reference?” I give it up and trail off.
“Goodnight, Buffy. We’ll talk in the morning,” she snaps at me, and turns on her heel, walking up the stairs.
“Oh, really looking forward to that,”
I mumble dejectedly, following her up the stairs.
A few minutes later, after brushing, flossing, changing, and washing, I head for my room, and the forbidden visitor I know is waiting for me outside my window. It’s funny, I can always feel him before I see him.
“Angel?” I whisper out the window, swinging it open, sticking my head out. “You still here?”
“Wouldn’t leave without saying my own goodnight,” he whispers back, crouching on the edge of my windowsill. I really like having that oak tree in front of my room.
“Sorry about that. Mom gets overzealous in her protective ways sometimes,” I tell him, sitting in the window seat as he steps into the room through the open window.
“She ought to be. You’re her daughter. Nothing wrong with being a little overprotective.” He takes my hand, faces me on the small seat. It’s so small, actually, that we’re smooched together, hip to hip. He’s cool, I’m warm. We complement each other that way.
The gaze again. I tentatively reach up, touching his hair the way I had thought about earlier. He closes his eyes, and relaxes under my ministrations. I fuss about with his spikes, twisting it this way and that, trying to give it a critical eye. No good. It’s just too thick to do anything else with. So I give up and just enjoy the feel of it between my fingers.
His eyes snap open and he pulls me roughly to him, nuzzling my neck first.
Not what I had expected but… whoa! Whoa.
Then he moves to my collarbone, exposed due to the tank top I’m wearing. I’m suddenly very conscious of the fact I have on a tank, boxers, and shhh! no bra. I push him away, his proximity to my chest a good thing and a verrrrrry bad thing.
“Buffy, what?” he starts, and I put a finger to his lips.
“What about saying goodnight?” I ask him, teasing somewhat.
He doesn’t laugh.
I immediately sober up myself.
“Angel, I better… go to bed. I still have school in the morning.”
“I know,” he says, neither one of us moving.
“Alright, one of us needs to move, here,” I say, and finally stand up, stomach level with his face. I can’t stand it, and wrap my arms around his neck, and he presses his face into my fabric clad middle, inhaling deeply.
He turns his head, and lays his cheek on my stomach. I drop my own cheek to rest on the top of his head. We stay that way.
He stands eventually, my arms sliding down to rest around his waist, and bury my face in his chest, his coat coming around me like a cool leather blanket.
“I love the way you smell,”
I tell him shyly.
“Funny, I was just going to say the same thing about you,” he smiles as he tilts my chin up to look him in the eyes.
“Goodnight, Buffy. Pleasant dreams.”
“Trust me,” I tell him.
One last kiss, and he’s gone out the window before I can say duh.
I slide into bed, and snap off the light. I snuggle up with Mr. Gordo, my pig, and as I drift off, I think of him one more time that night.
Standing tall, dark, and oh so handsome at my side. Fighting with me.
Supporting me. Helping me. Loving me.
What did I do to deserve him?
As far as patrolling goes, tonight was a bust.
But not in the important ways.