The Morning After the Last Scene in Surprise
Buffy woke slowly, with that initial disorientation that sometimes accompanies a gradual return to consciousness. Her first muddled thought was, Where am I? This definitely isn’t my house. Rubbing her eyes, she looked around. Ah, right, Angel’s apartment. But why- oh. Ohhh. She blushed as memories of the previous night came flooding back into her mind.
But Angel wasn’t there anymore. He was gone now. Why was he gone? Suddenly a thousand worries and doubts filled her thoughts.
Trying to push away such thoughts, she determinedly got up and set about looking for her clothes. They were a bit wrinkled, but at least dry.
Then the door opened, and there was Angel, standing there looking so damn calm while she had been worrying that something inside her just snapped and she lashed out.
“Where were you?” Buffy demanded.
“Oh, out,” Angel held up a shopping bag, explaining. “I went to get you some breakfast, considering I don’t exactly have much in the way of normal food around. I’m sorry; I’d hoped to be back before you woke up.”
“Oh.” Buffy suddenly felt extremely stupid as she realized how irrationally she’d been acting. That’s it, nice job jumping to conclusions. A closed mouth gathers no foot, you know. Oh god, what’s he gonna think of me now? He must think I’m an idiot, or clingy, or something. “Thanks. That’s really sweet of you. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that. I just …I was worried, when you weren’t here. I was afraid something had happened to you … or that you’d left me.” By the end of this admission, her voice had grown very small.
“Don’t worry,” Angel soothed, wrapping her in his arms. “I’ll never leave you, I promise.”
“I love you,” she murmured into his chest.
“Love you too,” he replied, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. “Now come on, you should have something to eat, and then we’d better check in with the others. They’re bound to be wondering where we are by now.”
“Right.” Suddenly she groaned. “And blue demon guy to fight. Damn it! I’d actually managed to forget the impending doom stuff for once. But no, it’s right back to business as usual. Figures,” Buffy grumbled. But she couldn’t really bring herself to care because just then, as she pressed herself closer to the comforting mass of her boyfriend, she was content.
Buffy threw another punch at the vampire, a fledgling that she was completely pummeling. Giles had told her that she didn’t really need to patrol that night, that she could take a short break since they’d just dealt with the Judge. She’d said that was no excuse for neglecting her duty, but really she just needed to work off some tension after everything that had happened that day. Xander’s plan to destroy the demon had turned out admirably, but that was about the only thing that had gone well. Ms. Calendar’s betrayal, then so much fighting and confusion, and then somehow in the muddled course of events they’d thought that Angel was gone. They’d been sure of it until he’d miraculously shown up again to support them in the battle, and she had been so scared. Paranoid as usual. Nice going, girl, big bad in town and you’re a total basket case over a false alarm. But it was way too much like my dream, too easy to believe. I’m just glad he’s still alive … well, undead, technically, but that’s beside the point.
Finally, she began to come out of her red haze. She neatly staked the fledgling and straightened up, still feeling slightly uneasy. A good slaying was the best way to work off excess aggression, but it left her worked up in other ways. She would never admit it, but she tended to end up rather hungry and horny afterwards. Tonight was worse than usual; some passions, it seemed, once awakened were not nearly so easy to shut off.
Feeling a familiar presence behind her, she spun around, her face lighting up. “Angel!” she called out to her approaching boyfriend.
“Buffy.” Angel stepped out of the shadows where he had, as usual, been lurking.
Without any further thought, she launched herself at him. “Never again,” she declared emphatically. “That’s at least twice in as many days that I’ve nearly lost you. I can’t take that. You promised never to leave me, but then you were just gone … or at least we all thought so. I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do.” She paused, then said softly, “I need you, Angel.”
He looked down at the petite golden girl in his arms, touched more than he could say by her concern for him. She was so young, so strong, so vibrant that being with her made him feel alive again. Surely she could have anything she wanted; yet she chose him. He knew he could never deserve her, but she was far too important for him to ever jeopardize what they had. He leaned down and kissed her softly.
He’d only meant it as a reassuring kiss, but then passion flared between them and suddenly it was something more. As the kiss deepened, their tongues battled for dominance. Her hands began to roam over him, and he reciprocated. But when she began fumbling to unbutton his shirt, he pulled away, gently but firmly stopping her.
“You don’t want…?” she said disappointedly, her voice trailing off.
“Oh, I do,” he said, pulling her up against him to prove his answer. “But we’re out in the middle of a graveyard. This is not the place.”
“Oh, of course,” Buffy said, mentally thwapping herself. Then her expression turned eager again. “Take me back to your place?”
“Certainly,” he replied. They left quickly.