"I thought I might find you here."
"Your mom said you'd gone for a walk. She said you seemed kind of down."
"Yeah. So many died."
"You couldn't have stopped it."
"Some of them."
"Maybe, but not all of them."
"I just didn't even think."
He came up behind her, placed his hands on her shoulders, and gently tugged her against his chest. "You didn't do anything wrong, Buffy."
"I did. People died while I was off playing house with Lindsey."
"Don't try to make excuses for me, Angel. I was wrong."
"Okay. You were wrong. Does that undo it?"
"Did you learn from it?"
"Is it going to happen again?"
"Then we're good. The world's good. No one's perfect, Buffy. Not even you."
"It's Memorial Day tomorrow."
"I know. That's why I presumed you were here. I couldn't think of a bigger memorial than the high school's grounds."
"One big grave, isn't it?"
"I'm so sorry, Angel. I should have been here to help you. Then I wouldn't even be in this mess."
"You're not in a mess, Buffy."
"I am. I'm pregnant, divorced, and I can't tell the baby's father I'm pregnant so I'm not going to get any help. What am I supposed to do? I don't even have a high school diploma, I got my GED. I can't support a baby. I'm nineteen years old!"
"I know all that. Your mom will help."
"Angel, I can't expect my mom to give up her life because I screwed up."
"You didn't screw up."
"I did. I shouldn't have run away."
"You did what you had to do. No one knows what you went through that day at the mansion, not even me. I've killed the people who loved me, but I was so full of rage and hatred it didn't affect me. The demon wasn't their son, their brother."
She turned in his arms and he welcomed her into his embrace. She was starting to show a little bit. The skirt and shirt she was wearing tonight accentuated the mound taking shape. His child. He still couldn't believe it. Her arms went around his neck. She tugged him toward her, not that he needed much coaxing.
His mouth sought hers just as eagerly. He would never forget the taste of her as long as he walked the earth. She was his. Forever. Not even impaling him with the blade of a sword could lessen his love for her.
Their connection was one of the most mystifying things to him. He knew it puzzled Wesley and Giles, too. She had saved his life and suffered for it, losing a child. He was glad she had. It was selfish. If she had carried that child, she would not be pregnant now. This child was his. Theirs. The child that was meant to be. Who would have thought one day of lovemaking could change things so drastically?
She gasped into his kiss and he drew away, afraid something was wrong. He wasn't sure if she was still on bed rest, but presumed her mother wouldn't have let her go out if that was the case.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, sorry. I'm just not used to kissing you like that anymore."
"Well, there's plenty more where that came from."
"Yes. I need you, Angel. I just need."
"Are you sure we won't hurt you or the baby?"
He shifted his gaze, scanning the perimeter to see if they were alone.
"What's a matter? Afraid of getting caught with your pants down?"
"I'm more worried about you."
"I think we can defend ourselves. Besides."
He watched as she knelt on the ground. Her hands rested at her thighs even with the hem of the skirt she wore. She began lifting the hem of the skirt. He was riveted as he watched more and more of her thighs become exposed.
"I don't have any pants to pull down."
She stopped raising the skirt just short of being indecent. She skimmed her hands up along her waist, her torso, lifting her shirt as she went exposing her pert breasts. He let out an audible groan at the sight of her. He tried to get jealous that another man had been privy to the delight that was Buffy acting as a seductress but he just couldn't right now. He was too pleased to be on the receiving end of her ministrations.
She licked her lips and then pursed them, crooking her finger for him to come hither. He obeyed. God, she was beautiful. His woman.
"You deserve better than this."
"This is what I need right now, Angel."
Some might have found it perverse or macabre, her need rearing its head here and now. He didn't, though. So much of her life's blood and sweat had been shed here that it seemed fitting facing the destruction of it, she'd need a physical reminder.
She patted the ground next to her and he sat. He couldn't help but chuckle at the fact he wasn't putting up a fight. He wasn't sure a monk would be able to resist her charms.
"You're beautiful," he whispered.
She placed her hands at his shoulders and pushed him to the ground. She practically tore his shirt from the waist of his pants, working the buttons at a frantic pace. She spread the shirt open, running her fingers along his chest and abdomen. She found the fly of his jeans, worked it down and pushed the jeans low along his hips. She was a woman on a mission and it seemed as she positioned herself above him so he could enter her that the mission was very personal in nature.
He slid his hands to her hips, wanting to let her set the pace as she sank her core over his length. There was no question she knew what to do. They had both been in awe by his being human back in November. They were almost hesitant with one another, as if they might wake and discover it was a dream. This, tonight, was real. There was no way either of them could doubt it.
He fought to keep his eyes open, wanting to take in everything about her, commit it to memory. The mother of his child. She settled on top of him, both sated. He could feel her heart racing, her lungs working hard as her body came down from her release. His hands roamed along her body. Every curve, every dip, every freckle was engrained in his mind. He had vowed never to forget, thinking their last time would be his only time with her. He should never have doubted the Powers That Be. He should have known that somehow he and Buffy would be together.
"I'm sorry. I just needed."
"Don't apologize, Buffy. Please don't ever apologize for wanting me."
She lifted her head to look at him and smiled. "Okay."
He kissed her forehead then leaned up and kissed her mouth. "Now that we have that settled."
"Mm. That's just what I needed too."
"Something good to do here."
"I'm happy to do what I can for the cause."
"Right." She kissed his jaw and sighed, running a finger over the spot she'd just kissed. "It doesn't solve my problems, but it helped distract me for a little while."
"We'll figure it out, Buffy."
"This shouldn't be your problem, Angel."
"Nothing to do with you is a problem."
"You say that now."
"I'll say it until the end of time, Buffy. And mean it each and every time."
She cupped his face with her hands and looked into his eyes.
"I love you so much."
"I love you, too."
"I wake up some mornings and think the last couple of years were nothing but a dream."
"As much as I don't like thinking about you marrying someone else, I think it was necessary."
"I don't think we could really be together if I was your only."
"Hmmph, and what makes you think you were my only to begin with?"
"Come on, Buffy."
"You're right, of course. I'd have a lot of necessarying to do to catch up with you."
"I didn't say anything about catching up with me. Besides, one woman in almost two hundred fifty years."
"Mm, who would that be?"
He ran his fingers through her hair. "This beautiful blonde who had me from the first moment I saw her."
"I can't wait to meet her."
"She's pretty shy. I can't take her anywhere."
She nuzzled his jaw as they laughed together.
"When did you get here?"
"Not too long ago. I went to your house, your mom said you weren't home and I came here."
"I'm glad you came looking for me."
"Me, too. If I didn't demonstrate that already well enough let me know."
"You demonstrated just fine." She kissed him and slid off him, moving so she was sitting beside him. "It's easier knowing you're with me."
"You know I am."
"I know now."
"I'm trying to be careful. I don't want him to find you. I don't want him to know he could find you through me."
"I can handle him."
"Normally, I'd agree with you, but not right now. Your condition is still delicate. You're still fragile. The baby is still fragile."
He watched as she placed her hands over her abdomen. She wasn't a delicate woman, but at times like this he realized how vulnerable she still was. He rolled onto his side, reaching to place his hand over hers.
"Making love to you is like coming home for me, Buffy."
"I can't stand the thought of you with him."
"I know. I'm not going to be ever again. Nobody but you."
"Are you sure that's what you want?"
"I'm positive, Angel."
"Then we'll make it work. Somehow. Maybe leave California entirely."
"Will that work?"
"I don't see why not. There are other hellmouth's."
"I'm sure we could set up there."
"You, me, our baby."
"Our baby. I like the sound of that."
"Too bad it won't happen."
"What if it could happen?"
"What do you mean?"
"I'd love it more than anything. Maybe even more than you."
"Hmm. That'd be pretty stiff competition for me then, especially if it was a girl and looked like you."
They stayed quiet for a minute. He could imagine what was going through her mind as she looked over the destruction. They were evidently going to do something with the site because he saw evidence of construction equipment.
"So, are you trying to tell me something?"
"Like it's yours."
"You wouldn't be wrong. I think you knew that already, though."
"Yeah, I think I've known since the first doctor appointment. Tell me how it happened? Because it wasn't a dream."
"No. I'm not sure how it happened." At her curious look he chuckled. "I mean, I know how it happened, just not the how you're pregnant part. I had a chance to reverse a day and I did."
"Because I realized I wouldn't be any good to you, to the cause, human."
"You were human?"
"Yup. As human as you. Heartbeat and all."
"Did we get to enjoy the sun?"
"We did. Among other things."
"Yeah, I'm guessing it's the other things that got me here today."
"I think so."
"Was it good?"
"Not that. I mean the day."
"It was the best day of my life. It always will be."
"And we'll never get it again, will we?"
"I doubt it."
"Why don't I remember it?"
"It was part of the deal, I guess. My punishment for wanting them to alter time, reality."
"You have to live with the memories knowing you're the only one."
"Yet, we're going to have a baby. What would have happened if I hadn't been married or in a situation where I could have been pregnant otherwise?"
"I don't know."
"Can they give me my memories back?"
"I'd rather make new ones."
"Well, me, too, but," she leaned toward him and placed her hand against his chest. "To feel your heartbeat."
"It's not that special, Buffy."
"I always wondered what happened."
"Well, I remember going there that day to tell you I was leaving Lindsey. I know I was going to tell you, but it never happened. And it just puzzled me why I never told you. I don't know."
"You did tell me. We were going to finally be together."
"And you gave that up for me?"
"Mostly for you, yes. You need all the help you can get, I'd be a hindrance to you as a human. You'd worry about me, fret over my getting hurt, which would lead to you being distracted. Distracted slayers end up dead."
"Being human is overrated."
"I kind of like it."
"You would. You were meant to be human."
She leaned her head against his chest, devoid of a heartbeat or even his lungs working to breathe. Her fingertip grazed his nipple, still exposed since he hadn't bothered to button his shirt again.
"Thank you. I wish you'd told me sooner."
"I didn't know how. I was afraid you'd be mad."
"Well, I admit it's tempting, but I don't want to be mad at you. You altered my memories, my life and didn't tell me. We finally have a chance, though. A real one. Your soul's permanent so we don't have that to worry about. Once this stuff with Wolfram & Hart is handled, we can move on. And we'll have a little Angel or Buffy with us."
"You realize it may never be handled?"
"Yeah, I know."
"Just making sure. This may be our life, fighting them. And even if we win, defeat them, there's always going to be another one."
"Another evil law firm?"
"Another entity to fight, whatever form it takes."
"I wonder what he'll do."
"When he finds out who you are, you mean?"
"Probably shit his pants that he was that close to the slayer and didn't know it. I imagine his prestigious position at the firm might get dropped down a notch or two as well."
"You think so?"
"Buffy, he was in a position to take you out of the game. Night after night he slept beside you for almost two years. He could have killed you, poisoned you, cast a spell on you, adjusted your memories, anything to keep you as Anne Williams."
"I hadn't thought of that."
"I have. Every day since I realized you were involved with him."
"It's not your fault. We can't pick and choose our enemies, I wouldn't be doing anything different."
"Well, then we come up with a plan."
"No matter where you go, I'll be there when the baby's born."
"I wouldn't miss it for the world."
"Would you say that if it wasn't yours?"
"Yes. We're going to raise it. We're going to teach it right from wrong. We're going to teach it to be strong both of mind and body. Whose sperm made it wouldn't matter to me."
"That means a lot."
"You mean a lot."
She leaned in and kissed him. He did his best to convey the fact he wasn't just spouting off random words without meaning them. He meant everything he'd just said. When she whimpered, a sound he had become familiar with he knew she understood.
"Let's get you back to your house. I'm not sure I want to go a second round with you out here."
"And my bedroom with my mom down the hall is much better?"
"You were married, you're pregnant. We'll leave the door open."
"Okay, we'll close it for a little while, then open it."
"Mm, I like that plan."
She stood, offering him her hand, which he took. He slid his arm around her waist as they made their way in the direction of her house for the rest of the night.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com