"Buffy, he's lost a lot of blood," Buffy heard the female agent say.
"I know," she said simply still clutching Angel's face, burying her head against his neck. She was whispering in his ear, telling him it would be all right. She was worried that his game face had not dropped, giving way to his human face. Did that mean something? "I have blood at my house to give him."
"Packets of blood in the freezer," Buffy explained.
"I don't think I want to hear about it," Scully said. "Particularly if it's human blood and obtained illegally."
"Well, it's better than the other ways, Agent Scully."
"Which are what? Your boyfriend goes off and kills people?"
"No," Buffy exclaimed. "It's not like that. He's not like that. Do you think I would be here with him, that I would love him if he was like that?"
"I don't know, Buffy," she heard the agent say. "Love can make people do strange things."
"I've heard that before," Buffy said dryly. "Love makes you do the whacky is what Willow says."
"Keep talking to him, I'll pull the stake out. Do I go slow or fast?"
"Quick and straight. Don't move or jiggle it. If you don't have steady hands, I'll do it."
"I'm a medical doctor, Buffy. I perform autopsies I think I can handle pulling a stake out of a man's chest."
"Yes, but there's a difference here, Agent Scully, Angel is undead not dead. And I'd rather not have to keep my boyfriend's ashes in an urn."
"Isn't it kind of against the rules to have a vampire as a boyfriend? I mean, if what Mulder tells me about you is true, it would seem sort of contradictory."
"Don't get all lectury or preachy on me, Agent Scully. I've heard it all before from Giles, from my friends."
Buffy heard Scully sigh and heard a soft but determined, "get ready." Buffy's eyes fell closed almost of their own accord and she kissed Angel's lips. "Please," she whispered. "Please be okay. I can't lose you. I can't lose you," she repeated over and over again.
Buffy heard the suctioning sound the stake getting pulled from his chest made despite trying to distract herself so she would not have to hear it. "It's done," Scully said. "We need something to put over the wound, though."
"His shirt," Buffy said numbly as she drew away from Angel to begin removing his shirt.
"He'll need it to keep warm or he could go into shock, if he's not already."
"Agent Scully, he's not human. He won't get cold. Don't know about the shock part," Buffy admitted with a frown. "I'll give him my jacket, but unless one of us is going to take off our shirts, it's his shirt."
His shirt removed, Buffy watched as Agent Scully bound the chest wound using his shirt. It was one she had seen him wear frequently over the past months and now it was covered in his blood. Okay, it was not really his blood. "Thank you for your help. I," she stammered, pausing when she saw Angel's game face drop and his human face take shape. "That has to be a good sign," she whispered. "Thanks."
"You're welcome, Buffy. I'm glad I was here to help. Now where's Mulder," she asked glancing at her wristwatch.
"He likes you, you know," Buffy said moving to cradle Angel's head in her lap. She ran her fingers through his well-moussed hair absently. Other than a few whispered "Buffy's" Angel had not made a sound. Buffy was distracting herself, hoping it would prevent her from worrying too much more than anything.
"He told you that?"
"Well, sort of. Okay, no not really. But hello? It's obvious. He doesn't like to dance, right."
"No," Scully said softly. "No, Mulder does not like to dance."
"He danced with you tonight, more than one dance. And he kissed you."
"Buffy, it's not so easy when you work together."
"Why not? I mean, one of the reasons Angel appeals to me is because I have nothing to hide from him."
"I don't hide from Mulder," Scully said. A little too adamantly Buffy noticed and would love to know just what Scully might have to hide from Agent Mulder.
"That's my point, Agent Scully. Angel knows about me, he knows my secret and I know his. He helps me and I don't have to worry about him like I would if Xander or Willow came patrolling with me. We work well together and we love each other," she said realizing she was putting words into Angel's mouth. "But we don't go all whacky on each other when we're in a fight."
"I don't believe a seventeen year old girl is giving me advice."
"Sixteen," Buffy said with a wry smile. "And I don't believe I'm giving it. But it's just, I've tried to date normal boys, humans, high school students, even a college guy and it always goes badly. I worry about them or they think I'm a complete nut job because I stand them up all the time. As if apocalypses and things are my fault!"
"I suppose it is hard," Scully said. Buffy glanced from where she had been focused on Angel's forehead waiting for him to open his eyes to Scully. Buffy sensed somehow that Agent Scully did not accept or believe anything she had seen tonight, but yet seemed to comprehend no matter what her version of the truth was that Buffy's life was not a normal one.
"I hate it sometimes," Buffy admitted. "I wouldn't have my friends or Angel if it weren't for what I do, so I guess it's not all bad." As she spoke Angel's name, her hand caressed his cheek, her fingertips grazing his jaw. "There's Agent Mulder," Buffy said happily.
"Well, he's still not conscious. I'll carry him."
Buffy smirked and proceeded to lift Angel into her arms. It was not the easiest thing she had done, but sheer determination to see to Angel's well being drove her and it helped that she was aided by her Slayer strength. "Just open the door for me," Buffy said as they approached the car Mulder had driven as close to them as he could.
"Where do we take him," Mulder asked once Angel had been positioned in the back seat.
"A hospital would be," Scully started to say but was cut off by Buffy.
"No, they would want to keep him over night. They'd want to know why he heals so quickly. They would want to know how he survived a stabbing to his chest. I'll call Giles when I get there. He'll help. Just take us to my house."
"Scully," Mulder said extending his hand. Buffy frowned until she saw Scully reach into her coat pocket and pull out a cell phone, handing it to Mulder. "Here, Buffy, call Mr. Giles."
"Thanks," Buffy said offering him a wane smile. She crawled into the backseat, kneeling on the floor and placing a hand over Angel's cold one.
"Aren't your parents going to have something to say about us bringing your boyfriend to your house for the night," Mulder asked glancing at Buffy from the front seat.
"Mom's not home. In LA on business for the weekend."
"Divorce," Buffy said simply.
"She lets you stay home alone," Scully asked.
"Giles," Buffy said into the phone. "Can you meet me at the house? Angel's hurt and he's not waking up." As expected, Giles was full of questions. "Giles, please just meet us there." Getting the response she wanted she hung up the phone and handed it to Scully. "Thanks."
"Do you have someone to stay with you, Buffy," Scully asked.
"No. I'd stay at Willow's usually, but not tonight."
"Will you be safe," Mulder asked.
"Usually? She does this often," Scully continued.
"No," Buffy said annoyed. "It's not like that. She runs an art gallery. She's getting some items in or something. I don't know. Can you please just stop with the questions? And yes, Agent Mulder I'll be safe. Angel won't hurt me."
"Sorry," Scully said and Buffy saw the female agent give Mulder a look that Buffy was not sure she liked. Oh well, can't worry about that now, she said clutching Angel's cold, unresponsive hand with hers.
"Let me help," Mulder offered once they were at the Revello Drive house. He stood by the back seat door, holding it open for her.
"Thanks," Buffy said taking hold of Angel's feet while Mulder took the top half of her boyfriend. She normally would have been stubborn, insisted on doing it herself, afraid Mulder might drop him. It had been hard enough to carry him at the cemetery and that did not include having to haul him out of a back seat. She was grateful for the help.
Scully closed the door once Buffy exited the car. "Do you have keys?"
"The door's unlocked," Buffy said. Scully opened the door and Mulder and Buffy carried Angel into the living room. Buffy placed him on the couch. "Thanks," she said not bothering to glance at the agents. Her hand went instantly to Angel's face.
"Mr. Giles isn't here yet and despite your assurances, Buffy I'd rather not leave you alone. So, is there anything we can do while we're waiting," Mulder asked.
"I have to get him some blood," she said glancing at his chest. "Agent Scully?"
"Could you check the wound? You said you're a doctor."
"Yes, I am. I can, I don't know that there's much I can do for him, though, Buffy. I'm sorry, this isn't something I know anything about."
"Just look at it. It should be healing by now," Buffy said as she stood. "I have to go to the basement. I'll be a minute. I've got the bags hidden so Mom won't wonder why I have blood in the house."
"No problem," Scully said already unwrapping the wound. "Wait, Buffy, maybe you have some real bandages."
"Oh yeah. Sure," she said. She took the stairs two at a time and got everything she could think of Scully might need before returning downstairs. "Be right back then," she said again going down to the basement.
It did not take Buffy that long to find the blood. The small refrigerator Giles had bought for her from Sears was well hidden. Unless her mom decided to go through boxes that had been in their old house in LA for some reason she was safe. Just to be safe, the blood was at the very bottom of the freezer with some food on top of it. She took out two packets of blood, examining them both to be sure there were no tears in them before taking them upstairs.
She defrosted them in the microwave before pouring the blood into a large thermal cup she had gotten from a convenience store one day on a trip with Xander and Willow to the beach. The cup even had a straw with it that was bigger than a regular straw. Hopefully, it would make drinking blood easier for Angel.
She snapped the lid in place and made her way back to the living room, almost dropping the cup when she saw that Angel was awake. He was still lying on the couch, but Scully had placed a pillow beneath his head which now rested against the couch's arm. Hazel eyes met brown and she was surprised at seeing the relief she felt mirrored in his eyes.
"Buffy," was all he said, but her name from his lips was all that she needed to hear to know he was going to be okay. "You're all right."
"Hi," she said glancing at Mulder and Scully who were seated in armchairs in the room, both looking from Buffy to Angel. They looked somewhat nervous. "Is everything okay?"
"Nothing that can't be fixed by what I hope you have there in that cup."
"Oh yeah, blood," she said handing it to him. She dropped her hand to his hair, running her fingers through it. He took her hand and kissed the palm of it before releasing it, moving his attentions to the cup of sustenance Buffy knew he needed badly.
"We tried to tell him you were okay, but he wouldn't believe us," Mulder said with a wide grin. "I thought he was going to toss Scully across the room when she tried to restrain him from going to look for you."
"Sorry," she said with a grimace.
"It was a good thing you came upstairs when you did. He heard the basement door close I guess and believed us."
"He wouldn't have hurt you."
"Ordinarily you're right, Buffy," came Giles' voice from the hallway.
"Giles," Buffy said relieved to see him. She would not have to sit watch over Angel tonight alone.
"Glad to see you're all right, Buffy," he said walking into the room. He regarded Angel and then returned his attentions to Buffy. "I was worried when you called me."
"I know. I was wigging out big time, he wouldn't wake up."
"And when he came to you were gone?"
"Yeah, downstairs getting blood."
"Right, well, you're his mate, Buffy, his first instinct when he came to was going to be your protection. So, while ordinarily he would not hurt a human if he perceived them as a threat or that they were hindering him from finding you I am not sure he would be stopped."
"Oh," Buffy said simply. Giles never ceased to amaze her with the information he provided. She had seen Angel go all protective and cavemanish before, but never thought it would happen in a situation like this. Those times had been at the frat house or on Halloween or when she was seriously in trouble.
"At least he knew us, I think it helped quell his suspicions a bit. He just wanted to know you were all right."
"I'm sorry," she said to Angel. His gaze met hers and she smiled slightly at the look on his face. He was paying attention to them, but he was clearly more focused on drinking the blood.
"Well, if there's nothing else Scully and I are going to head back to our room I think."
"You're going to stay here right, Giles," Buffy asked hopefully.
"Yes, of course, I can stay. You need your rest too. Thank you, Agents, for getting both of them to safety."
"I'm just glad we happened upon them," Mulder said. "You were going easy on me earlier tonight, weren't you, Buffy?"
Buffy nodded. "A little, not really intentionally though. It's always slower earlier in the evening for some reason."
Scully stood and Mulder placed his hand at the small of her back. "Well, I'm glad it's not because you didn't think I would get in your way or something."
Buffy laughed lightly. "You weren't in my way, Agent Mulder."
"Good night, Buffy," Scully said.
"Good night, Agent Scully. Thanks for not asking questions."
"Oh, I think we'll be back tomorrow for some answers, Buffy, but now is obviously not the time for them," Mulder said.
"Great," Buffy said taking a seat on the couch by Angel's feet.
"Only if she's up to answering them, Agents. She's had a traumatic evening."
"Understood," Mulder said simply. "Good night then. Get some rest, Buffy."
She smiled no longer paying much attention to the FBI agents. Angel had finished the blood and had taken her hand in his. Her heart skipped a bit at the gentleness and love in his touch.
"Agent Scully said you carried me," he said softly.
"Yeah, I did. I'll probably be sore in the morning."
"Thanks. I don't know how he got that stake."
"One of us dropped it obviously."
He grimaced. "I guess. I'm just glad they went after me with it instead of you. That was what had me scared, I thought they had killed you."
"I'm here, Baby," she said softly grazing the back of his hand with the pad of her thumb.
"You have to answer more questions tomorrow."
She shrugged. "I'll let Giles field the questions. He's answer man, I'm just the Slayer."
"Hey," Giles said. "I did not sign up to talk to FBI agents. It wasn't my idea to get so chummy with them."
"Good," Angel said. Buffy was not sure if he was saying good to her comment or to Giles'.
"Are you feeling better?"
"Other than a pain in my chest, yeah. The blood helped."
"Buffy, perhaps it's time for you to go to bed. You see that Angel is fine, I can keep watch over him for the rest of the night."
Buffy frowned. She did not want Angel to sleep down on here on the couch, but Giles would never allow her to bring him up to her room. She should not have called him, but her instincts had taken over when she saw Angel unconscious and she had reached out to her Watcher.
"Can I have a few minutes alone with him, Giles?"
"Yes, I suppose I can go make myself some coffee. But then to bed with you."
"I know," she said with a shake of her head as Giles walked to the kitchen. "How are you really," she said as she stood. She knelt on the floor and leaned towards him, her hand cupping his face. She stroked his cheek before kissing him.
"I'm better now," he said when they broke the kiss. She needed to break it, not him. It was a little strange sometimes realizing he did not need to breathe, that he could perhaps kiss her to death. There were times she believed he would do just that if she let her emotions take over and went with what she felt.
"Good. Do you need anything? I'll get some blankets and a shirt for you to wear."
"You have something that will fit me?"
"I have a shirt of my dad's."
"Oh," he said and she thought she saw relief in his eyes.
"I'll get those things and then I guess say good night before Giles kicks you out."
"Buffy," he said gripping her hand.
"I don't ever want to lose you."
"Me neither, so that's good. We're on the same page and stuff for once."
He shook his head slightly. "Good."
She returned a few minutes later with a flannel shirt of her dad's. It was worn, had seen better days, but it had been a shirt he had worn around the house when doing the ‘honey do's' her mother had left for him on the weekends.
"Good night," she whispered before leaning down to kiss him again.
"Good night, Buffy," he said softly.
"Good night, Giles," she said with a wave to her Watcher who was now sitting in an armchair, coffee cup in hand. She left the room knowing Angel watched her.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com