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Why'd you go and break what's already broken?

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Title: Why'd you go and break what's already broken?
Author: Elisabeth
Rating: PG
Pairing: Willow/Angel (friendship)
Summary: Aftermath of a confrontation between Willow and Angel.
Word Count: 553
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Spoilers/Timeline: after Pangs
Distribution: My site, my LJ, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Betas: velvetwhip and angelskuuipo
Note 1: Written based on prompts from velvetwhip, aaronlisa and rua1412.
Note 2: Title from the song "How Long" by Hinder.

Willow sat on a sun-warmed bench near the entrance to the beach. Her eyes stared blindly at the horizon, not seeing the changing colors of the sky as the sun set over the ocean. She was vaguely aware of the growing darkness and knew she should head indoors, but she wasn't ready to face that arrogant vampire yet.

She still couldn't believe he'd kept this from her. She'd thought they were friends.

Willow barely acknowledged the man that sat beside her some time later. It was after sunset, so she assumed it was either Angel or a more dangerous vampire.

"I'm sorry, Willow," Angel said after several minutes of silence.

"You said that already," Willow spat; the hint of tears in her voice dulling the bite of her anger.

Angel winced slightly at her tone. He knew that there probably had been a better way to tell her, but she was much more upset than he thought was warranted.

"To be fair," Angel began, "you didn't exactly tell me that you and Oz had broken up."

Willow turned to glare at him. "I was in pain!"

"If we're as good friends as you seem to think we are, then you should have called to tell me about this major change in your life."

"I..." Willow deflated. "I didn't think you'd care."

Angel slid a little closer to Willow and rested a large hand over her smaller one.

"Of course I care," he insisted.

Rather than respond, Willow pressed against Angel's side, leaning her head on his shoulder. Angel automatically shifted to curl an arm around her. Willow sighed in contentment.

It was dark enough now that Willow could barely tell the ocean from the sky. The wind had picked up, bringing dark clouds with it.

"Tell me about Oz's visit," Willow quietly requested. "Please."

"There's not much to tell," Angel said. "He showed up at the office, out of the blue, and said he'd left Sunnydale. He came to see me because he was hoping that I could put him in touch with someone who could help him understand his wolf better."

"Did you?" Willow asked.

"I did," Angel answered. "There's a monastery in Tibet that I thought might be a good place for him to start."

Angel paused, not wanting to break confidences with Oz, but also wanting to ease Willow's pain.

"Oz told me about what happened with Veruca," Angel reluctantly admitted.

Willow pushed away from him. "He told you?" She stood to pace. "What? He needed to brag about his wolfie conquests?"

Angel stood, catching Willow in his arms, forcing her to meet his eyes. "No. That wasn't it at all. He wasn't bragging. He was ashamed. Ashamed to have given in to the wolf and of hurting you so badly."

Willow broke into fresh tears and Angel pulled her into an embrace. As if Mother Nature wanted to show her sympathy for Willow's plight, it began to lightly rain.

After a minute or two of standing, holding each other under the light of the lamp, Angel softly said, "Will you come back to my place now?"

Willow dried her eyes, laughing as she realized she was wiping away raindrops as well as tears.

"Yeah, that's probably a good idea." Willow stretched up and kissed his cheek. "Thank you, Angel."

The End