"What's wrong with him?"
"I'll give you three guesses. And the first two don't count."
"It's not Buffy," Angel said to Doyle and Cordelia as he tapped his pencil on his desktop blotter with almost breakneck speed. Of course it was Buffy. It always was and always would be, but he had left.
"Right," Cordelia said with a roll of her eyes that Angel knew she believed he could not see.
He slammed the pencil down on his desk and glared at them. "It is not Buffy."
"If you say so," Cordelia said and left his office. "Maybe you can talk some sense into him," she whispered to Doyle as she left the room. She apparently either forgot he had enhanced hearing or wanted him to hear her. Cordelia was blunt if she was anything so he imagined she just forgot.
"How bad is it?" Doyle asked after a moment or two of uncomfortable silence.
"Spike said she took up with a player."
"She deserves better than getting used."
"She does at that, but it's out of your hands now."
"Would you stop trying to handle me."
"I'm not. Just making conversation."
He wondered who the guy was. How had Buffy met him? She always did like a good time. How had he gotten her to give into him? Was she over him already? Was she working on replacing him with someone else? He closed his eyes. He could pull up her image from his memory with such ease. He remembered the first time he saw her. And the last. His heart broke into pieces at the look of loss on her face. He had no choice but to leave.
"Our work load is pretty light right now."
"What?" Angel asked, still stuck in his thoughts about Buffy. The high school was in shambles and the surrounding area was pure chaos, but he had known where she was without question. He had never had a bond so strong with someone until her.
"I was saying that our work load is next to nothing right now."
"And your point?"
"Maybe a road trip is in order."
"I can't go see her."
"But you could check on her. You know you want to."
Doyle was right he did want to. He wanted to kill the guy who had hurt her, too. It would not take that long and no one would have to know. What was one more dead guy in a town like Sunnydale? He shook his head. He could not revert to murdering the guys who earned a spot in Buffy's heart. Or her bed.
"I can't. I left her I have to trust she knows what she's doing."
"And if she doesn't?"
"She's a big girl, Doyle. She's the slayer for crying out loud."
"Being the slayer doesn't protect her from getting her heart dragged through the mud."
Angel turned around in his chair so his back was to Doyle as he looked outside. It would not be unreasonable. He did miss her, he missed their time together. That dance at her Prom had left him wanting to hold her in his arms forever. They had talked about forever once.
"Come on, Man, you know you're dying to know how she's doing."
He would always want to know how she was doing. Maybe moving to LA had been a bad plan. He was still close enough that he could entertain the thought of going to see her any time. He had been tempted before tonight to do just that but he had always been able to refrain.
Now he knew she had been with another guy. She had been hurt by another guy. Unless Spike was lying to him. It was possible, but he did not like the idea of Spike having free reign in Sunnydale either.
"I suppose I should find out if Spike went back there or not."
"It would be the gentlemanly thing to do." He turned to face Doyle again. "Well, you know, letting her know that she might have a pissed off vampire on her hands."
Angel stood from his chair and walked to his office door. "I'm going out. I won't be here tomorrow when you get here so don't bother looking for me."
He ignored the look that passed between Doyle and Cordelia as he grabbed his coat and his keys.
"Thank God," he heard Cordelia say. "I thought he was going to sit here and mope about her for days."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com