Summary: A series of vignettes about Angel, the seven sins, and his relationship with Buffy.
Author’s Notes: Set in season 2, starting post-Reptile Boy and continuing on. All pre-Surprise.
“Do you want something with your coffee?”
Angel shakes his head. “I wouldn’t be able to taste it anyway.”
She looks guiltily down at the scone she’d purchased and Angel quickly adds, “That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it.”
He smiles, she smiles back, and they begin talking. It’s light, but it feels good, just sitting here, listening to her speak and speaking back to her. He’s glad he took Willow’s advice about asking her for coffee and that she said yes.
There’s something she wants to ask, he can see it in the way her fingers tighten around her cup and the way her eyes dart around, but he doesn’t pursue it. Angel won’t force her on anything. Finally she asks.
“Do you ever miss it?” At his questioning look, she clarifies, “Eating. Food. Taste.”
“Sometimes…” He doesn’t want their date to become one big pity session and he doesn’t clarify that technically he can still taste. Not food, true, but blood. Sometimes he wishes that he couldn’t taste even that; animal blood, especially from a bag, is bland at its best, plain vile at its worst.
He can’t remember the taste of normal food very well, but he can still remember the taste of human blood. The warmth, the life, the intoxicating mixtures of fear and adrenaline after a chase, the feel of teeth sinking into flesh and that first spurt of coppery liquid. Even as he misses that taste, he’s ashamed of it.
His eyes dart to the vein in Buffy’s neck. He can hear her from here, the gentle thump-thump of her heart, and he wonders what her blood would taste like. Like power and love? Like heaven? The sweetest ambrosia in all the world.
“I wish...” She glances down, as if it’s silly to wish things. It is, wishes never come true but then what is this? A wish come true surely.
He gives her a small smile, reassuring, and tries to forget about the thought of her sweet blood in his mouth, flowing down his throat. “It’s not a big deal. Can’t miss what you don’t remember.”
She looks closely at him and he gets the crawling feeling that she hasn’t believed his lie. However, she lets it go and bites into the scone, some raspberry jam escaping to smear the corner of her mouth. He wishes that he could lean over and lick the jam away, that he could taste the jam on her skin when he does.
“Physics was the worst.”
The two of them are sitting against a gravestone, her body curled up in his arms. There haven’t been any vampires around, so they’ve stopped walking and have started talking. And, he knows this for a fact because one thing always leads to another, they’ll start kissing soon enough. But first talking, which is also good.
Buffy launches into a story of the crimes of Mr. Kerpowski. Angel listens with genuine interest. He relishes moments like these when he gets to learn about the rest of her life. It almost makes up for not experiencing them firsthand.
“If it wasn’t for Xander, I think I would’ve died of boredom.”
His eyes narrow slightly at the boy’s name. Is he jealous? No, Xander doesn’t have Buffy’s love like he does. He doesn’t get her kisses like Angel does. He isn’t here in the graveyard, holding Buffy
But… he envies the way Xander can be a part of her normal life in the sun. Part of her classes, her day-to-day activities, her life away from cemeteries and shadows.
“It’s too dangerous!”
They’ve been arguing for several minutes now, voices quickly escalating, charged with energy as everything they do is.
“I’m the Slayer; I do danger all the time.”
“That doesn’t mean you have to be stupid.”
Her eyes flash. “I’m going in.”
He doesn’t mean to, he never means to, but his face shifts and he growls at her, grabbing her arm tightly. “Don’t.”
He can’t let her do this and damn why won’t she just listen to him? There are too many of them and if it’s just the two of them against the nest, their chances aren’t great. Better to wait, consider strategies beyond 1, 2, 3 go. Stay safe.
Buffy stares at him wide-eyed. It’s the first time Angel’s pulled the vamp face out on her excluding the time in her bedroom when they’d first kissed. And that had been his hunger at the surface, not this rage, furious at her for not listening and afraid for her life.
Her paralysis only lasts a second, because then she twists her arm away, slamming her other arm into his chest. He backs away, the momentary pain of her swing taking a backseat to the shame he feels over growling at her.
“Buffy…” He wants to apologize right now, but his emotions are still haywire and he’s still so damn mad.
She leaves before he can get anything else out. He doesn’t follow, too ashamed to even consider the option and too angry with her to.
Angel knows he was right. There’d been too many vampires in the nest for just the two of them to take on without a plan. Yet that doesn’t ease his guilt.
He lingers outside her window, debating whether to knock and announce his presence. A part of him refuses to let up on his point. He was right – there was no way he was going to apologize. Yet he’d growled at her, flashed those fangs and grabbed her arm…
He watches Buffy take off her jacket and wince. He peers closer – there are purple marks on her arm. They aren’t the worst of her injuries; there’s a long cut along her upper arm and her shirt is stained from another cut along her stomach. There could be more bruises underneath too.
Though his pride yells at him to just leave (he was right, dammit, he shouldn’t have to come to her, tail between legs) and make up at a later date, Angel jumps up to the window and knocks.
Buffy turns around and stares at him before sighing and opening the window.
“I was right. There were too many.” The words slip out of his mouth before he can stop them.
She shoots him a weak glare. “I got them all, didn’t I?”
“You shouldn’t have risked it.”
The glare turns into a scowl. “If you’re here to lecture, you can leave. Window’s right there.”
Angel sighs. He didn’t mean to start things off like that. “I’m sorry.” Her eyes soften somewhat. “Where does it hurt?”
Buffy plops down on the bed. “Everywhere.”
Shame fills him at the sight of the bruises on her arm, his fault, all his fault. Why had he let her go alone?
She notices his gaze and shakes her head. “I can’t even feel those. There’s a bruise on my back that’s killing me though. Plus my shirt’s ruined. I liked this shirt.” He glances away from the bruisemarks to the scarlet across her stomach.
Angel knows she’s forgiven him and it reassures him though he’s still concerned about the general state of her injuries. “Can I help?”
She smiles and nods her head. He goes off to fetch the first-aid kit. No more words about the incident are spoken though it’s silently acknowledged that he was right.
It’s a sunny day and they’re on the beach, a picnic blanket beneath them. Everything’s pristine: white sand, deep blue water, sky blue sky with wisps of cloud. Like one of those postcards for Hawaii times ten.
But he only has eyes for Buffy. She’s spread before him, golden hair out in a halo around her head. Her skin’s tanned and when his hands glide over it, it’s soft and warm, getting hotter and hotter as he trails down to her core.
Generally Angel doesn’t like to sleep in. He doesn’t like wasting away his nighttime hours when he could be out there doing something or at least reading. Anyway, it’s not as if his dreams are generally pleasant. They tend to focus on his past with victims pleading for their lives as he rapes and tortures them. Blood seems to be the common denominator in his dreams though his victims change daily. These dreams, while pleasurable to his demon, leave him guilty and self-hating when he wakes up.
This time they’re in his room. Everything’s the same, but he’s not alone.
Buffy’s lips curve into a smile and he captures them with his own. Clothes fly off quickly until there’s nothing left, just skin on skin until they’re one.
Lately his dreams have taken on a nicer quality. They’re about her. Kissing her, sitting in the sun with her, making love.
It’s an unfamiliar house, but it reminds him of his old home. The one back in Ireland. In the country, quaint and pleasant, but filled with modern appliances. The sun streams through the open window, warming his face.
He can see Buffy outside. She’s in a sundress, hair blowing in the wind. She turns and smiles at him, a big smile. Then there are footsteps, quick pattering footsteps from behind.
If it wasn’t for her presence in his waking hours, he has a feeling he’d sink into dreamland and just stay there, ensconced in the lovely visions of what-could-never-be.
It’s time to research their newest baddie, but they’ve found themselves alone in the same stack, away from the gaze of the others. Hands touch briefly and then lips. Fire runs through his blood. He feels alive, buzzing with energy.
Angel wants more. Always more. So does she.
His tongue curls around hers, two serpents dancing and weaving among each other. He presses her back against the library wall, lips still locked. One hand trails down, stopping at her waist, while the other loses itself in her honey locks. Her hands are running across his back, stopping to tug at his hair or just rub circles into his muscles.
He drops kisses along her jaw; small moans escape her lips until his lips are back against them. The hand on her waist slides under her sweater, touching the warm skin beneath. She presses against him, more more more. His hand travels up, stopping at her bra. One finger teases under the material.
“Buffy, have you found the – oh well ah…” Fortunately they had pulled apart some by the time Giles turned the corner, she was in the process of fixing her sweater and he had stuffed both hands into his pockets but it’s still obvious to any onlooker what happened. Giles is blushing, eyes anywhere but them. “May I remind you that this is a library and…”
“And Angel was helping me get a book.” Buffy reaches up and grabs a random book off the shelf. “This one looks promising.” She doesn’t meet Giles’ eyes though she does shoot Angel a smoldering glance before leaving.
Giles leaves as well and Angel is left there, wanting more and having none. For now, at least.