Summary: The Buffy/Angel reunion that was so meanly not shown. Or at least my version of it.
Spoilers: Through Carpe Noctem and Flooded.
Disclaimer: Joss made these characters. And now he and everyone else around him are not letting us see them together. ...I have some very choice words I could say, but this is a PG rated fic.
Rating: PG (see above. < g >)
To all of the B/A lovers out there who, like me, feel deprived.

There's a Place
By Amy
-----



"Meet me there," was all he'd said, after he'd asked if it was really her.
"Meet me there, I need to see you."

He didn't specify the where but then, he didn't have to. She knew, just like
she would always know with him. She left as soon as they hung up the phone,
and even separating herself from him in that small way was painful, though
she knew she would see him in a little while.

Buffy drove, unthinkingly, following the moderately crowded freeway until her
exit. She wasn't worried about getting in an accident for the first time and
was a surprisingly better driver than she had been before her death, but she
didn't notice it. She didn't notice anything. Her mind was too crowded with
thoughts to spare another to her skills on the road.

After what seemed like days, she reached the place. It was an abandoned
campsite in between Sunnydale and LA, a wooded area that used to have heavy
demon activity until she and Angel scoured it a few months before he left
Sunnydale.

It was in that place that he told her what Hell was like. The place where he
held her and said that he'd love her forever. The place that seemed safe,
just moments after they had cleaned it out. Safe because it was him and her.

Buffy parked and walked through the woods, barely hearing the crunch of dirt
and pebbles beneath her feet, hardly hearing the wind blow through the trees.
He was all that was there.

She found the right cave instinctively and entered, and stopped when she
heard him draw a breath. Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dim light and she
smiled in the darkness. "Why do you do that? You always do that. We both
know you don't need to breathe."

"Don't make jokes, Buffy," he said, and his voice was rough. "Don't make
light of it. Just..."

She finally focused on his face-- that beautiful face she'd fallen hopelessly
in love with five years before-- and rushed to him.

"Come here," he finished as her arms closed around his waist. She let out a
half sob, half laugh, and squeezed him tighter. His hands touched her
gently, running down the length of her body.

"Please don't be gentle with me, Angel," she whispered against his chest.
"Everyone's being gentle with me."

"Are you the same?"

"Physically."

With that he crushed her to him, feeling small bones against his larger
frame, feeling the her heartbeat, like a butterfly, against his chest. He
tilted his head down and kissed her, first quickly and then longer, his hands
slipping through her hair, The kiss was slick and hot and liquid and Angel
felt something stir inside his chest, something he hadn't felt in months.
Something he'd thought he would never feel again. The incredible rightness
of it all.

Finally pulling away, he allowed her to catch her breath and rested his chin
against the top of her head. "How did it happen?"

"Willow did a spell."

"And do they know?"

Buffy paused. "Know what?"

"Where you were," he said softly.

Another pause. "How did you?"

Angel cursed under his breath, closing his eyes. "Because where else would
you have gone, Buffy? And even if I didn't know you well enough to know
that, I've been to Hell. I know that when you get back, you're not the same,
physically, as you were before. Not even as the Slayer. Not even the Powers
That Be could be so cruel as to let you go to Hell, after all that you've
done."

Her hand pawed tenderly at his face. "Why that look?"

"It hurts to know that you're hurting, Buffy," he explained, his voice low.
"I wish I could wish I was wrong about you being in Hell, but I don't wish
that place on anyone-- especially you. But that only means that you were
ripped away from... Where?"

"Heaven. I think."

"You think?"

"Okay, Heaven." She shrugged, feeling small and comfortable in his arms.
"At least it was to me."

Angel nodded and led her over to a large rock against one of the walls. They
sat down, clasping hands.

"Buffy..."

"I know what you're going to say," she sighed. "Please don't, Angel. Please
just don't. Not yet."

He nodded again, shorter this time and then smiled. "You don't know what it
feels like to hear you say my name again after all of this. I was sure..."
He cleared his throat. "I was sure I never would. Not hear your voice, see
your eyes... Be able to kiss you or hold you in any place other than my
dreams, ever again."

Buffy smiled back at him, leaning in, touching her forehead to his. "I feel
better here than I have anywhere since I got back... Actually, more, too.
Every now and then-- like when Giles came back, or when Dawn touches me--
I'll get a glimmer of feeling. Of emotion. And it's just so foreign to me
now, so strange. Anything other than perfect bliss. But with you, I feel
everything, and that in itself seems wonderful to me."

He tilted her chin up and kissed her, briefly, on the mouth. "I feel
everything too, Buffy. Which is why I have to say what I'm going to say
next."

She pulled away reluctantly and looked into his eyes. Her mouth curved in a
sad smile. "Shoot."

"I had every intention as I was driving here to tell you that we had to be
together. That I couldn't stand it another minute, not after losing you like
that," he began. "I was going to say that I would do anything... Give up
working in LA, or have you move in with me. I was going to offer that Dawn
come too, if you wanted to. If not, I can always remake my life in
Sunnydale."

He lifted his shoulders helplessly and Buffy wasted a warm second admiring
that thoughtless gesture, like all of his gestures, that were so beautiful in
their thoughtlessness. "But?" she finally asked.

"But seeing you... More than that. Touching you, kissing you. Being near
you like this in a way that assures me you're real and true and that I'm not
dreaming, shows me that I can't," Angel said. He brushed a strand of hair
away from her face with his fingers, reveling in the feel of her skin against
his hand. "I come so close to that perfect bliss every time I'm with you,
and that's dangerous for both of us. For everyone. Now that you're here, I
know that I can't..."

"Typical male," she broke in wryly. "In it for the chase. As soon as I run
to your arms, you don't want me anymore."

"That's not..."

"I know." She shot him a tiny grin. "I was teasing. And I also know what
you mean. I'm a grownup now, Angel, or I'm at least trying to be. Not that
it's easy, far from it. But I'll take the responsibilities thrown my way,
even if they're not wanted. Even if that includes not being with you."

He slumped a little, nodding, and Buffy giggled lightly. "You look
miserable."

"I hate being noble," he mumbled.

This time her laughter was full, and genuine. "I know. I hate it when
you're noble too. But I understand it. And I guess, even with all of my
current hate towards doing the right thing, I appreciate you for it. It
makes it easier for me to do the right thing."

"But there is one thing, Buffy," he added after a minute.

"What?"

"I can't never see you, like before." His eyes were seeking, almost
pleading. "I want you to be free to live your own life, and I respect that.
Find love, normalcy, whatever you can with whomever you can and I'll stay out
of your way. I won't step in on that part of your life. But it can't be
like it's been for the past three years. I have to know that you're okay. I
have to be able to touch you, to make sure. I have to... I have to see you."
He hesitated. "I know it's selfish to even ask--"

"No!" she burst out and at his startled look, softened her voice. "No.
Angel, I can't get through it without you. And by it, I mean the rest of my
life. I have to see you, too. I know it'll be hard, but we'll work it out
somehow. We have to. Just knowing that you're out there and I couldn't be
with you even a little... That killed me. Um, even before I died. ...You
know what I mean. And now, I need you more than ever. I don't think I'd be
able to live through the next minute, not knowing when I'd see you again. Or
even if I ever would."

Angel exhaled with relief and then kissed her hard. "Next month," he said.
"Here. Let's always have it be here. Not your world, not mine. Just..."

"Ours," she agreed softly. "One month from today. I'll be here."

He smiled and leaned against the wall, her body following his until they were
pressed comfortably together. "The sun just set," he commented after a few
moments of silence.

"Yeah, about that," she said curiously, "how did you get here?"

"Painted windows on the car. Blanket over myself until the cave," he
explained simply, and Buffy nodded.

"But you don't have to leave yet, right?" she asked.

Their mouths met in a sweet kiss. "No. Not for a while."

She snuggled down against him and he tightened his hold on her. "Perfect."

Angel grinned. "Being with you often is."



The End




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