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Falling Apart

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She moved about her room as if on autopilot. She was getting ready to meet Riley and the guys at the Bronze and her heart wasn't really in it.

Her heart. Just exactly where was her heart these days? Where it had been for the last few months. With Angel. Wherever he was. She had no idea of his location. She didn't even know if he was still 'alive'. No, that wasn't right. She did know that much. If he hadn't been the pain inside of her would have been much much worse. Her soul could still sense his. He was ok. He just wasn't with her.

She sat in front of her mirror and started to run a brush through her hair. Staring at her reflection she let out a deep sigh. Why was she doing this? She didn't love Riley and the mood she was in didn't mix well with company.

What was Angel doing now? Was he with someone else? Her chest tightened at the thought. But what could she do about it even if he was? Shaking herself back into the here and now she picked up her silver cross and fastened it round her neck. It and the silver ring on her hand flashed in the light. Both were gifts from him. From Angel.

Damn him! She couldn't get him out of her mind for more than five seconds. She wished that she had never met him. No, that wasn't right either. Despite the fact that she felt as if someone had staked her through the heart she wouldn't change a thing. Every moment, good or bad, that she had spent with him had been precious. Even now she savoured the memories. Or was that tortured herself with them? Nothing was clear anymore.

A noise outside caught her attention. Voices raised. His voice. She sank back into her chair, her head falling into her hands. 'He-llo! I'm really losing it now!' she thought.

She looked at the bedside clock. She was late. Did she care? Truthfully? Not a bit. She loved Willow and Xander dearly. Riley? He was nice, but he wasn't Angel. Moving across the room to her bed she lay back on it and turned to face the wall. How long was it going to hurt like this? From somewhere deep inside her a little voice replied softly "Forever". 'Thanks,' she thought bitterly, 'some comfort you are!'

She heard a gentle tapping on her window. Her whole world seemed to freeze-frame. The tapping was unrelenting.

'That's it. I'm over the edge! Angel has managed to achieve what Angelus couldn't. How ironic!!' she mused.

Still the tapping continued. Did she dare look? If there were no one there then it would prove that she really was unhinged. 'Come on girl, you're the Slayer.' Turning, she sat up and focused in disbelief on the figure outside her window. Her heart beat faster and a smile spread across her face. She stood up and made her way towards him. One word escaped her lips.

"Angel."