Author: Dark Star
Written for the 2007 IWRY Marathon, run by Chrislee.
Thanks to Jo for the beta.
Summary: sometimes the easiest decisions are the hardest to make.
This story is set between Choices and The Prom.
Thanks to http://www.buffyworld.com/ for the transcript extract used.
Buffy: It's gonna be fun. Will and I are going to go on Saturday to check out the campus. I'm hoping Mom will let me live there. It's too far to come home every night. Plus the whole lack of cool factor. Either way, I'll be close to your place. I don't know what the Mayor was talking about. How could he know anything about us?
Angel: Well, he's evil.
Buffy: Big time. He doesn't even know what a lasting relationship is.
Buffy: Probably the only lasting relationship he's ever had is with evil.
Buffy: Big, stupid, evil guy. We'll be okay.
Angel: We will.
They sit together in the graveyard for a long time. Neither would admit it, but both are thinking about what the Mayor had said to them.
She is lightening fast, spinning on the vampire with a prefect roundhouse kick before he can react.
Angel watches her graceful moments with appreciation. She is good at what she does, elegant and deadly, and he longs to be allowed to get closer to her. The vampire she fights disappears amid a cloud of dust, and Buffy sprints to his side.
"Did you see that? It was what…? Thirty seconds?" Her eyes are wide with excitement, and he loves that she enjoys her work so much.
"How many is that tonight? Fifteen?"
"Not enough," she says, and something sparks behind her eyes. He understands why she must keep going, why she has so much energy to expel, and he wishes that it didn't have to be like this.
"Do you want to call it a night?" he asks.
"Not yet," she says, and goes off to burn some more energy.
Hours later, exhausted by the nights' slayage, they end up back at the Mansion. Angel makes her a drink, and they take it upstairs so that Buffy can have a quick rest before she goes home.
She kicks her shoes off and curls up on the bed. She likes it when they do this, almost like a proper couple. He sits next to her, and they talk about everything except their romance or the coming Ascension.
All the time she sits there, Angel is acutely conscious of her. The sound of her breath, the steady rhythm of her heart, and the way it breaks into a trot in anticipation every time he moves. He knows what she needs, and he feels helpless because he can't give it to her.
Eventually, she says she must go home, and he hears the disappointment in her voice. She turns to give him a quick peck on the cheek, but somehow he turns his head at exactly that moment, and her lips brush against his.
Shocked, he tries to pull back, but his body doesn't want to obey him, and he tells himself that a little kiss can't do any harm. Her lips are soft, and her skin is warm, and suddenly, her shirt is rucked up and his fingers are squirming under her bra. He just needs to touch her, just for a moment, and his kisses are growing more desperate.
His thoughts are dragged back to the present by a small hand fumbling with the zip of his jeans. "No." He wrenches his mouth away from hers, and her hand away from heaven.
"Angel…" she begs, and he wants to let her, just this once, but he is afraid of the consequences. Her eyes are so deep, so painful for him, and it hurts that he can't be the man that she wants him to be.
The thought makes him angry and his lips close on hers, but this time the kiss is hard, and deep. She moans, surprised by the ferocity of it, and lets him lay her back on the bed. His hands are everywhere, exploring and touching the forbidden fruit of her body. But every time she tries to touch him, he stops her. His fingers are long and hard, and he stretches her almost-virginal cunt, making her squirm and he loves the breathy moans she makes. He builds her up slowly, waits until her hips are rocking against his hand and lets her come, and through it all, he doesn't allow her to touch him at all.
She falls into an exhausted sleep in his arms, and he is disturbed by how easy it would have been to just give in and lose himself inside her. Every minute he spends with her is dangerous. Not just for them, but for everything she holds dear. The Mayor was right. He is a selfish bastard.
She is pretty when she sleeps, and he likes that she can relax in her dreams. That must be nice; not to fear the images that come when your brain relaxes. He shakes those thoughts away: she is the Slayer. She has done nothing to warrant bad dreams; he does not begrudge her peace, and he wishes that she could stay like this forever. But… she is the Slayer. The likelihood of her reaching a vast old age are remote, and he worries that he is keeping her away from the things that she should be doing. He wants her to have more than a life of darkness. One day she will realise what she is missing; she will want sunshine and children, and a proper physical relationship. He is afraid that when the day dawns that she understands what she is missing, then she will resent him for holding her back.
He rests his head on his arm and watches her. Beautiful. He allows his thoughts to wander to the topic that has recently been worrying him. He'd thought that she would be going away to college, and that would have been a wonderful opportunity for her. Now that she is staying in Sunnydale, he is more worried about her future. If she had gone away, she would have made new friends, maybe even had a new boyfriend, and she would have had the chance of a normal life. She should not be wasting her life with him; he is a freak. A man… no, not even a man. He is a thing whose heart does not beat. A thing that lives in the dark and feeds on the blood of the living. Why does she not see how disgusting that is?
Angel sits up and props himself against the headboard. He does not take his eyes from her. It's as though he fears that she will be gone if he looks away. In his heart, he knows what he must do. She deserves better, but he is afraid to make the move that must be done. Perhaps something will turn up.
She stirs, and she smiles at him as her eyes open and focus on him.
"What? Do I have funny bed hair or something?"
"I guess we got a little carried away with the whole post-slayage nap thing…."
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