He had felt a bit guilty, which was why he had joined in the fray to help her with the three to begin with. He realized she probably had thought the person following her was Angel bearing more news of pending doom and gloom.
His staying here was not the brightest thing he had ever done, and not because he was concerned about Joyce Summers finding him either. The more time he spent with the Slayer the more attached to her he felt himself becoming. With more attachment came difficulty in pushing his growing attraction and feelings toward her down. It was better, for her sake at any rate, if he did not get attached to her.
"Do you snore?" she had asked him. It had been close to a century since he had allowed anyone close enough to him to find out such a personal detail.
He sat up and watched as she slept. Her eyes were moving rapidly beneath her eyelids, so Angel suspected she was dreaming at the moment. He wondered what she dreamt about when she was not having prophetic dreams. Did she dream about him? Or was there someone her age that she dreamt about?
He should go, the three would have given up on her coming out again and The Master sent them after her not Angel. He glanced at the blanket on the floor she had provided him, conflicted. He knew he should stay as far away from her and her life as he could, but he did not want to. Angel knew despite this chance he was getting from whoever that he did not deserve someone like Buffy. Even before he had been turned he had been a pretty despicable human being.
He could not help but smile when she whispered his name in her sleep and took that to mean that she did not dream about someone else. She was beautiful when she slept, looked so peaceful as if she did not have the weight of the world on her shoulders. Angel knew differently, knew that she was never truly at peace no matter how she tried to fool others.
He walked to her window and opened one of the slats in the blinds to peer outside. The three were probably gone, but it would not hurt to stay put for now. She might think something happened to him if he left without an explanation in the middle of the night. The fact that he could have merely left her a note never entered his mind.
He approached her bed, taking in her appearance. She was a brave girl changing clothes in front of him. He was, after all, a virtual stranger. Sure he had somehow managed to gain her trust, at least a little bit, but she did not know anything about him. He imagined she had ideas in her head about him, but those ideas were probably as far from the truth as she could get.
Did Whistler realize that Angel was going to have such one-on-one contact with the Slayer? Or was he imagining Angel would just put up smoke signals or other less up front ways of communicating things to her? He reached out to wrap an errant curl of hers around his little finger, surprised at how soft it felt.
She was still so innocent, still needed a lot of work to face the things coming up. Whistler had not been specific about what she was to face, but Angel knew that unlike Slayers before her Buffy had no clue about her calling until her watcher had found her.
Angel had decided that he was not only going to help her, but that he was somehow going to protect her so that her world did not get taken over and ruled by the darkness. How he was going to accomplish this he had no idea exactly, he was still adjusting to having a roof over his head and not having to feed off rats for sustenance as he was doing just a short while ago in New York.
He could not leave her, could not make her think that something had happened to him on his way home from her house. The wisest course of action or not, he dislodged his finger from the lock of hair and returned to the makeshift bed on the floor next to her bed.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com