Good Things Come to Those Who Wait...
Disclaimer: Own nothing whatsoever regarding Buffy or Angel. Joss and Co. own all.
Authors Note: Set in Los Angeles sometime after the battle with Wolfram and Hart. I don’t hate Spike so sue me. I just happen to think Angel and Buffy still love each other.
Feedback: Only here please.
Buffy wasn’t sure what to think about this....mostly, she was just tired. But Angel, her Angel (she could never stop thinking of him like that, even though she knew there had been, like, a gazillion women in his life and bed) was standing in front of her and he had just gone all Pinocchio on her. As in a ‘real boy’. And he was staring at her like she was the second coming. She vaguely recalled that he used to look at her like that all the time. Huh. Seemed like a million years ago.
“Buffy”. Angel gently spoke, nudging her from her mental ‘time out’ in a much nicer place, in a distant past that seemed far, far away. She watched as he walked towards her, slowly, almost as though he expected her to jump on a short bus any moment now. “Did you hear what I said? I am human. It’s the result of a prophecy about...well, never mind. I just, well, my first thought was to come to you. Was I wrong?”
Buffy tried to look directly at him but she found herself picking up pieces of him...his general largeness and his hair and his feet...and now he was backing away like she was his kryptonite. Actually, she kind of had been his kryptonite, only now, not so much. She wondered if he knew about Superman and his problem with green rocks. Wait a second, Angel was backing away. She really should say something. She thought she heard him mumble something about it being different than last time.
“Last time? What do you mean?”
Angel ever so slightly jumped as she suddenly spoke. He sheepishly looked at her. “I guess I’ve thought about what this would be like a few times.”
“So I bet this is a bit of a letdown, huh? I am really happy for you, Angel. I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around it. Is there is a heartbeat and everything?”
Angel gave her one of his gentle smiles and stepped closer to her, lifting her hand in his, and placing it over his heart.
“Can you hear it, Buffy? It’s my second chance for everything. To love, and to live, and to have children....”
Buffy listened to his voice wind down as Angel actually blushed upon realizing what he was saying…and to whom. The Scourge of Europe was blushing at the mention of children. It was really too funny and Buffy began to giggle uncontrollably. Was she supposed to have these children? Was that Angel’s dream all along? Didn’t he already have some unholy brat that he had sired? She sometimes heard rumours of a boy slayer and knew that it had to be Angel’s kid.
Angel drew her attention towards him once again with a soft mention of her name. She looked him in the eyes for the first time since he had surprised her in the alley. She had been in the midst of a rather amusing game of hide and seek with an ancient vampire when Angel had appeared. In a rather similar manner to when she first met him all those years ago. Perhaps he had planned it that way.
In his eyes, she saw all his hopes, wrapped up in and around her. It was odd finding out, after all these years, that in his head at least, she had still been his personal reward. The pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. Odd but gratifying. She felt him slowly bringing her towards him and knew she should put a stop to this soap opera. But before she knew it, she was laying her head on his chest and his arms were tight around her. Very tight. Angel was human but he was still strong. Good to know.
Suddenly, Angel pushed her away and turned around with a curse under his breath. Buffy already knew what had caused Angel’s reaction. Angel and Spike, Part Deux. Every once in awhile, Buffy wished the opportunity had come along for the whole ‘oil being involved’ idea. But when she had found Spike still alive after the whole Wolfram and Hart debacle, she had decided to go with the minimum of happiness she was allowed. That translated to Spike and her fighting the good fight together as well as doing a few other things they were good at together. Angel couldn’t be around them much for the sake of his sanity, or at least that’s what he said. It had always suited her just fine, as she just couldn’t handle the look on Angel’s face when Spike would start the PDA around him. Stupid possessive vampires.
Angel and Spike lightly growled at each other. Actually, it was more like Spike growled and Angel tried to growl. Instead, to his and Spike’s obvious surprise, nothing happened. Buffy watched in amusement as Spike suddenly went still and tilted his head in Angel’s direction. She started to count down from ten wondering how long it would take Spike. Not that long apparently.
“Bloody hell!” Spike yelled. “You’ve gone and got yourself a heart beat! What made you all deserving of the Shanshu, I’d like to know.”
“The Shan what?” Buffy heard herself ask. This was confusing. Why did Spike seem to know what was happening? She had been bracing herself for an explosion from Spike and it seemed that was not going to happen. He hadn’t even hit Angel for touching her. Rather out of character really, and all his muttering about “ponces who get everything when they haven’t even died to save the world” wasn’t clearing up anything at all. Quite the opposite. She would say things were murkier than the usual LA morning smog.
Both of them were currently looking at her with sheepish looks on their faces and eyes downcast. Buffy recognized well the patented ‘we forgot to tell Buffy something that could change her entire life’ hangdog look. Well, wasn’t that just peachy. She just couldn’t wait to find out this one.
“So is someone else pretending to be dead, when they are actually alive and well, and too stupid to tell me about it?”
Angel just kept his eyes down but Spike bounced right up. “Hey now. Thought we had that sussed out.”
So that left Angel to explain. She gave Angel the evil eye and tapped her foot impatiently. Angel managed to look her in the eye, barely.
“Buffy, I am not sure where to start, really. The Shanshu was a reward for me that was prophesied. That I would become human. And I guess that reward has come for me.” Angel lifted his hands toward her in a way that reminded her of all those religious paintings. Like she was his eternal reward for good. She wished her heart wouldn’t go all pitter patter at Angel when he was all sincere and romantic like this. It was like her own personal sickness. She knew Spike could hear it. Deep breaths. That was the way to go.
“You going to take him up on his offer, luv?” Spike snarked, though it didn’t hide the pathetic hope in his voice. But Buffy was looking straight into Angels eyes, and neither looked away, even as Spike started up a streak of English curse words.
“Are you, Buffy?” Angel’s question was sincere and as serious as it would ever come. Buffy knew that. Angel was human and what was she going to do with that, really? It would be her one chance for real love and family and a bit of normality. But with Angel, who knew all about her, and could support her in the good fight. But she had that with Spike, didn’t she?
But Spike was cursing for a reason. He knew. A piece of her would always be missing because Angel held it within him. She would never be complete until she was with him again. But reality always bites you in the butt and this was one of those times.
“Spike, you can give us this time, can’t you? Angel is human and that means he is going to die. Likely sooner than later.” Buffy could hear the stillness after her dreadful pronouncement. “I think that you should be able to find it within yourself to give us that chance.”
Angel went a little white at this truism raining on his parade. But he stood his ground as Buffy walked right back into his arms and snuggled in. Spike ground his teeth so loud they could hear it and muttered about “mad little Slayers with no consideration” as he walked towards them. Angel wrapped himself around Buffy out of sheer habit, though he could hardly protect her from Spike now.
Spike leaned in and kissed Buffy on the forehead even as Angel tried to push him away. “Don’t do that, peaches. I’m not going to fight this. It’s what she wants and she deserves what she wants just once in her life. You’re going to die and who is going to look after her and these children you spoke of, hey? We all know she hasn’t aged a day since she came back the last time.”
Spike ran his fingers down Buffy’s arm, as if he was trying to memorize the feel of her skin. Buffy gently took his hand in hers and brought it up to her mouth, kissing it softly. “Thank you, Spike.”
Spike shook his head at her and walked away. Angel and Buffy watched him light a cigarette as he rounded the corner. Angel took her face in his hand and tilted her head up towards his. He lightly kissed her and said with some wonderment, “He really loves you, Buffy.”
Buffy reached up towards Angel and wrapped her arms around him. “And I really love you, Angel.” She gave everything she had into her kiss this time. After all, the clock was already ticking on Angel’s life and she didn’t want to waste a minute.