**Part Twelve**

May 1999

It was done. She'd graduated from high school and managed to take down the mayor, stopping him from turning Sunnydale into a demon playground. With help. She was beginning to understand the difference between her and other slayers was that she had that and they didn't.

Her eyes scanned the mayhem, the destruction. Too many had died. Classmates, parents, teachers. There was only so much she could do. Her gaze fell on the shadowy figure and she waved. He'd return to LA the same way he'd arrived in Sunnydale. Quietly, without fanfare. She got a Class Protector award, but there were so many who helped her do the protecting. Willow, Oz, Xander, Giles, and Cordelia were faces her classmates knew. Angel's was not, but he'd helped.

He returned the wave and turned away from her, a swish of his coat trailing behind him. He'd been a phone call away just as he said he'd be. She'd tried to get around needing him, but when it got down to it there had been no other way.

She brought her hand up to her neck, pressing against the bite mark that still throbbed. It was healing, but she could tell already it would leave a scar. Her first since becoming the Slayer. She would have to explain it to Lindsey, who hopefully had made it to his house in LA with her mom.

He'd wanted to help, to be here for her, but she'd told him the biggest help he could be to her is making sure he and her mom were safe. She would be useless in battle if she had to worry about them, particularly her mom.

Once she was certain Angel had made it okay, she sought out the others. She wished there was time for them to talk, to catch up. The days of catching up were done in a way. They led their own lives, separated yet still connected by the cause they both fought. He was making a difference. She followed along in the news as best as she could. So far, Lindsey had managed to stay out of trouble, so the plan seemed to be working.

It was hard to be jovial when people had died today, but she'd made it through high school. She had the summer to look forward to. A summer in LA, with Lindsey. And then college. She was alive and as selfish as it may seem, she was glad to be.

"Hi guys," she said once they had all gathered together.

"I guess this is it until the fall."

"It is," Buffy said.

"I still can't believe you're driving to LA. Isn't your mom worried?"

Leave it to Willow to be the thoughtful one under the circumstances. Of course her mom was worried. Buffy wasn't a terrible driver, but she wasn't the best either.

"I'm sure she'll be frantic until I pull onto Lindsey's driveway. I'll call you as soon as I get there."

"As soon as?"

"Well, okay, maybe I'll say hi to Lindsey first."

"I thought so."

"Have a good summer, Buff."

"You, too, Xander. Where are you off to?"

"Not sure. I'm going to get in the Xanmobile and see where it takes me."

"Sounds like a plan. Are you going to say goodbye to Cordelia?"

They both glanced at the brunette in question who was busy talking to a few of her clique. There were a few missing, Buffy noticed. She scanned the crowd, looking to see who else might be missing. One was too many as far as she was concerned.

"You did the best you could, Buff."

"I know. Thanks."

She gave him a hug, said bye to Oz and made her way to Giles. Giles seemed thoughtful, but he always was.

"Hi there. Thinking about all the books you just lost?"

"Huh? Oh no, I moved them all."

"I know. It was a joke."

"Oh right. I'm glad to see you made it."

"Are you?"

"Of course."


"And Angel?"

"Yup. I saw him briefly."

"He's doing well in LA, Buffy."

"I know."

"It was a good move for him, and probably for you, too."

"I know that, too."

"Very well. I'm being repetitive."

"Yup. So, what will you do for the summer?"

"Take a trip to England for a while. Otherwise, I'm not really sure. Put a resume together."

"Well, I bet UC Sunnydale would love to have you."

"Yes, that's one option."

"Okay, then I'll see you when I get back."

"Yes, I suppose you will. Job well done, Buffy. Again."

"I had help, couldn't have done it without that. And Anya," Buffy shrugged. "Who'd have thought she'd come through with some information?"

"People never cease to amaze me, Buffy. One day you'll come to see that as well."

"Hmm," she said simply, not sure she and Giles would ever see eye to eye on things. She leaned in and gave him a hug. "Have a good trip, Giles."

"I will, you do the same, Buffy. Be careful."

"I will!"

It was time to go. If she didn't get back to the house and call Lindsey's, they'd worry. It was time for her annual reprieve from Sunnydale. She not only wanted it, she needed it, this summer more than ever. She still couldn't believe she'd met Lindsey two years ago.

It was hard for her to remember what things had been like for her then. Depressing. Pining away for a guy centuries older than her. And she owed it all to a silly volleyball game. She supposed she'd see her friends again this summer. There were liable to be some good parties being the summer before everyone went in different directions for college. She didn't really care one way or another anymore. Her first summer back in LA she'd cared a lot. Last summer, it was different. This summer was very different. Sunnydale was home now. Willow, Xander, Oz, and even Cordelia were her friends. She made a difference here. The only thing LA had going for it was Lindsey being there.

She made it back to her house on Revello Drive in record time. Her mom's Jeep was already packed and ready to go, so all she had to do was call Lindsey and double-check that everything was locked. That done, she headed to LA.


She couldn't remember being as glad to see a driveway as when she pulled onto Lindsey's. She let out a deep breath in relief.

"You're really okay."

She hugged her mom back, she understood how her mom felt. Buffy felt the same way.

"I am."

"Was it bad?"

"It wasn't as bad as it would have been, but yeah. Not everyone made it."

Mom brushed her hair down with her hands and planted a kiss on Buffy's forehead. It was kind of embarrassing. Considering the alternative, though, Buffy let her do the mom thing.


"I'm so proud of you, Buffy. I know we've had some arguments this year over all of this. With everything that happened with Faith. Well, I see how easy it would be for you to take the gifts you've been given and use them to do other things."

"Yeah." Faith's way of life had been tempting. For a night. Buffy learned quickly that while the right way could be boring, it was what was right for a reason. Just because she was stronger and had abilities other people didn't, didn't give her the right to want, take, and have.

"I'm going to head back now. Okay?"

"You are?"

"Yes, as soon as we get your stuff out of my Jeep."


"Be sure and call your father some time, Buffy."

"I will."

"He wasn't too happy about these arrangements. You're eighteen now, so you can do what you want with or without my permission."

"I know."

"But to him, you're still his little girl. And he doesn't know the things I know, so he doesn't realize how very special you are."


"I agree," Lindsey said, coming up behind her and sliding his arms around her. He kissed her cheek. "I wish more people knew what you do."

"Well, then there would be no secret identity. And neither of you would think it's cool or that I'm so special."

"Of course we would, Buffy. Now, let's get your stuff out of my Jeep and you can get on with your summer."

"You have the number and stuff?"

"Yes, on a piece of paper by every phone in the house and at work."

"Okay, so I wanted to be sure you didn't forget."

She kissed the top of Buffy's head. "Not a chance."

Buffy didn't have much to unload since she was just here for the summer. That and Lindsey had taken a load with him earlier. So, it didn't take long. She noticed her mom didn't go inside with them to see where any of her stuff was put. It was so mom-like. She was capable of admitting Buffy could spend the summer with Lindsey with or without her permission, but still didn't want to really think too hard on it.

Lindsey draped his arm around her shoulders as she waved to her mom as she backed out of the driveway. Tears formed in her eyes. The thought of something happening to her mom if they hadn't found out what Mayor Wilkins' plans had been scared her. Or more importantly, when.

"Thank you."

"For what, babe."

"I know you wanted to be involved with things, but I hope you understand that I asked you to get my mom out because you're the only one I trusted to do it."

"I know."

She turned, hugging him. "You do?"

"I do. You look good. Fairly unscathed."

"Yeah, fairly. There's something I need to tell you, though."


She left her arm around him as they walked indoors. For the next three months this was their house. It was sort of depressing, actually, because she'd be used to seeing him every day, every night and then come fall she'd be back to seeing him once a month or so. She couldn't think about that now.

"Well, Faith tried to kill Angel."


"Well, I don't think she was really trying to kill him actually. Her aim was too off for it not to be intentional. She poisoned him."

"All right."

"The only cure was a slayer's blood."

"Uh huh." He seemed more intent on making sure she was really all right, which was fine.

"I tried to get her, to take her to him, but she got away. Barely. She's in a coma."

"A coma?"


"Jesus, Buffy, what did you do?"

"Two slayers, fighting to the death."

"Okay, I'm glad I wasn't there."

She laughed. "Anyway, I, um," she averted his eyes and showed him her neck, pulling her hair away so he could see. "I let him."

"Ah. Okay. I get it."

He reached, touching her neck with his fingertip. She couldn't feel it too well, scar tissue she guessed.

"I couldn't let him die, Lindsey."

"And you thought I'd be mad?"

"Well, yeah, I know you always wonder what would have been between us if I hadn't met you."

"But you did meet me, so it's not important. If he wanted a shot at you, Buffy, he wouldn't have come to LA. I'm not saying he didn't like you, love you, or whatever his feelings were for you. I know he did, because everything he felt I feel. Ten times as much. But, he knew you'd moved on, so he left. It was the noble thing, the right thing to do."

"So, you're okay?"


"We're okay?"

"Are you planning on donating your blood to his cause every day?"

"No. It was a one-time thing."

"Then there's nothing for us not to be okay about, Buffy. I know why you did it. I get it. He's fighting for your cause. He'd have done the same for you if he could have."

"He did."


"He was with Xander when he saved my life. If it wasn't for Angel, Xander wouldn't have known where to go. I would have died down there."

"Well, then, I'd say you're even."

"I guess we are."

"I know you care for him. I get that."

"Thank you. You're too good to me." She cupped his face, tearing up. She seemed to be doing that a lot today. She kissed him.


She rested her cheek against his, just enjoying being able to hug him. Hold him. Willow had been shocked they hadn't done the usual rent a room for Prom. Buffy had thought about it, but Lindsey seemed like he wanted to wait. Until what she wasn't sure.

"You are."

"You wouldn't be saying that if you knew what I was thinking right now."

"What's that?"

"Do you really want to know?"

"Yes. Tell me."

"I'm wondering how much time has to go by before I get to show you where you'll be sleeping."

"Do I look tired?"

He smiled then with a soft chuckle and nodded, kissing her lips. It was such a gentle moment, which didn't help with her teary mood any. He took her lower lip between his teeth and tugged on it before pulling away.


"Oh. Well, in that case."

"Buffy, if I get you up there."

She draped her arms around his shoulders, pulling him against her. "I'm not that tired, Lindsey."

"But you've only been here for like half an hour."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"It seems like there should be some time limit or something on how long you're here and my being able to tear your clothes off."

She smiled widely. He'd avoided talking like this until recently, when they'd talked about and decided she'd stay with him for the summer not her dad.

"What if I take them off instead? Does the time limit still apply?"

He groaned softly, kissing her jaw.

"I should get some sort of award or something," he murmured as he found her ear with his mouth.

She sucked in a breath, startled at the feeling that washed over her as he swirled her ear with his tongue. "Oh?"

"Yes. Almost two years."

"That was your choice."

"I know it was. In a hotel room seemed so wrong."

"I get that." And she did. It was one of the reasons she loved him. There were so many it was difficult to keep track anymore. The fact that he cared enough about her, wanted to be sure her first time wasn't something she regretted later.

She gasped when his mouth found the bite marks on her neck. "Oh God," she cried out, her eyes falling closed. She shouldn't have felt anything there, but his mouth and tongue were making her aware the skin there wasn't as dead as she thought. Her body clenched as he nipped at the skin next to the bite marks.


He drew away, stood slowly almost as if he was drunk and raked his fingers through his hair. "I'm sorry."

"What are you sorry for?" She was confused. Had she said or done something to make him think she wanted him to stop?

"I. God, you're not even here an hour."

"Lindsey, I'm not complaining. God, I was. Holy cow. It was nice. You've never done that before. Not like that."

"Because I knew if I started I wouldn't be able to stop." He held his hand out in front of him. "I'm trembling, Buffy. I've never," he shook his head, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"You've never what?"

"A couple of times in college. It's been so long. And never with feelings involved."

"You didn't like the girls?"

"Girl. Just one. And, sure I liked her, but I didn't love her. I didn't want to live with her. And I realized when we were over that I didn't want to lose focus on my coursework."

"There's nothing wrong with that."

"Oh God, you're not hearing me."

"I'm trying to. I'm listening. What?"

"I don't want to disappoint you."

She laughed then and stood from the couch. She could tell it took a lot out of him to admit that. He was unsure. Maybe there was more to his waiting than just her being ready. Maybe he hadn't been ready either. Love was a pretty intense emotion to play around with.

She worked the buttons on her blouse, normally nimble fingers working slowly, clumsily. She hoped she was being seductive as she took a couple of steps toward him and then stopped. She let the blouse fall to her shoulders and undid the front clasp of her bra, letting it fall loose. She was aroused already, visibly so. Just from him kissing her, nuzzling her. Her peaks stood at attention, perky and hardened, waiting for relief. To be touched. By him. His hands, his mouth, his tongue. It didn't matter.

"Does this look like I'm disappointed?"


She took the last few steps she needed to take to press against him. "Are we going to dance around this all summer?"

He smirked then. "Dancing wasn't first thing on my mind."



She blinked and took a deep breath, grabbing hold of his hand. She pressed it against her stomach. He'd touched her stomach before, but never with her shirt open like this. "Show me what's on your mind, Lindsey."

His mouth found hers as his hand slid higher along her torso to cup a breast. She groaned, almost a purr really, and met his tongue with hers. She hoped he realized she'd been about as assertive as she was capable of. She was more than willing and able, but the actual instigating she was a little nervous about.

She apparently didn't have to worry about him not being assertive. It seemed all it took was letting him know she really was willing. And, maybe knowing she was here with him to stay not a hotel room or his car. His kisses became urgent, needy, which was fine because she felt those things, too. Her body was like a car that had just been hot wired.

He found the bite mark on her neck again and she groaned as he helped her shed her blouse and bra. His mouth found her breast and her knees just about buckled under her. He guided her to the couch. She'd imagined, thought on what all of this would feel like. Her imagination hadn't been very accurate. There was no way she could have anticipated feeling this way.

Her head fell against the back of the couch as his hand was attentive to the breast his mouth wasn't on at the moment. She lifted her hips, her legs going around his as best as she could given their position. She wanted him, needed him. She arched into him as he rolled a nipple between his teeth, crying out. Was it possible to orgasm just from this?

She felt like she should be doing something, but she wasn't quite sure what. Her imagination had never really gotten to the down and dirty part of things. Her hands found his shirt, the buttons there and she worked those. She wasn't sure if the groan came from her or him when she touched his bare chest with her hands, stroking one of his nipples in much the same way he was doing to hers.

He switched breasts and the sensations, the arousal started all over again. It hadn't faded, so instead it was just compounding. More on top of more until she felt like she was going to burst.

"Lindsey, please," she murmured. She wasn't even sure what she was asking, no pleading, for. She just knew he could do it, whatever it was.

"I don't have anything."

Her eyes snapped open at that. She was on the pill, so that wasn't a problem. But after two years he wasn't prepared for this happening?

"Huh? I guess I should take that as a compliment you weren't certain I was a sure thing."

He chuckled, kissing her abdomen. "No, honey, just not here in the living room." He nipped at her belly button, circling it with his tongue.

"Ohhh," she cried out as his tongue slithered lower. And lower still until he had to unfasten her pants. Think, Buffy, think. "I'm on the pill."

"You are?"

She nodded with a whimper, hoping he understood that was a yes. His fingers were sliding under her panties now.

"A couple of months ago. Just in case."

"Smart woman."

She laughed at that. He knelt in front of her, sliding her pants and panties off. She took a peak to be sure she had worn a nice pair today. Yup, red satin. Brand new, too, so they weren't faded or anything. Evidently, her brain had carnal things on it when she got dressed.

Her soft laughter was cut off when he slid a finger inside of her. He hissed as she arched into him, pushing against him. Her legs, still wrapped him were trying to pull him closer, into her where he belonged. Where she needed him to be.

"Do you have any idea how much it turns me on knowing no one's done this to you before?"

She bit her lower lip, forcing her eyes to open and shook her head.

"You are so amazing. I knew that first day on the beach. I can't remember wanting anything as much as I want you." He slid his finger in deeper and she gasped. "And I don't mean just this way either."

"I know," she whispered. She did know. They'd built something pretty amazing over the last two years.

"Christ, Buffy, don't do that!"

"Do what?"

He chuckled. "You clenched."

"That's bad?"

"I, uh, I could probably get myself off just doing this. So, no, not bad, just I had better in mind for our first time. Your first time."

"Oh," she whispered. She smiled then. "Maybe you should undress yourself then and," she let her eyes drift to the front of his jeans. "And maybe replace your finger with something more useful."

"Useful, huh. I'll remind you of that some other time when you're begging me to use them more."

"Okay," she said softly and watched as he stood. He wasn't very careful about how he undressed. In fact, he seemed downright hurried, which just turned her on even more.

"You sure you don't want to go upstairs? To our bed?"

"We have plenty of time for a bed."

He knelt in front of her and kissed her, spreading her legs. "That we do. It's just."

She cut him off by thrusting her hips against him. He was definitely ready. "This is special, Lindsey. It's with you."

He tried to be careful, gentle, she could tell but he gave in to what his body wanted. What she wanted. She wanted all of him, gentle and not so gentle. Slow and fast. Deep and shallow. All of it. He gave and gave. She took it all, letting him push her body and mind both to the limit until she burst with a strangled cry. He followed soon after.

"Definitely Superman," she whispered after a few minutes, kissing his jaw.


"A while ago you said something about being Superman for not molesting me."

He chuckled, brushing his jaw against her neck. She shifted, arching into him, drawing him deeper one last time. She cried out as her body gave a last spasm around him, which resulted in pushing him out.

"Sorry," she murmured, kissing his jaw again, lapping at it with her tongue.

"It's okay. It would have happened sooner rather than later anyway. But, give me a little while and if you're not sore or anything."

"Slayer healing. I think I'll be just dandy."

"Why didn't that heal?" He kissed the marks in question.

"I don't know. I haven't seen Angel since to ask him. I imagine it has something to do with the fact he didn't close them. But, I don't know. It's the first time I've gotten a scar since I was called, so it's definitely strange."

He shifted so he was under her, which was a tricky thing on a couch without dislodging one or both of them. He held her to him, she rested her head against his chest. She listened to his heart. It was pumping so fast. She had caused that.

"You okay?"

"Yes, more than okay. I'm sorry. Are we supposed to talk about it now or something?"

He laughed, brushing some of her hair away from her face. "We can do whatever you like."

"Well, I say we try out the bed next. And then maybe order in. I don't plan on wearing clothes again for days."

"Days, huh?"


"I sure hope I'm up to the task, ma'am."

"We'll see what we can do about that."

"It's a rough job."

"I know, terrible." She shifted and kissed him. "I love you."

"I love you, too, Buffy. More than you know."

She did know. They didn't say the words often, but the actions were there even when the words weren't. He treated her well, with respect, as his equal. He didn't seem to mind she was stronger than he was, that she was a superhero complete with secret identity. She let her eyes drift close, letting the beat of his heart lull her to sleep.

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