Timeline: The morning after Buffy has the Drucilla nightmare at the beginning of Surprise, and goes to Angel's apartment.
Special note: All dialogue marked with an * signifies dialogue that was written by the show's writers and not by me.
I couldn't even eat breakfast. I told Mom I'd grab something on the way to school. I had to know he was OK or I would be wigging all day. I've never gone to his apartment during the day but I'd didn't care if I was acting looney. I had to see him.
I choked a little when he opened the door, and that was funny, because I've seen him without a shirt before. He's breathtaking, but it was something else...it was seeing him at a different time. You get used to things, even to people, or to people in certain settings. Like, it's weird to see your Mom with a boyfriend and acting like a ditz, instead of at home and doing what she always does. Or when I get to hang out with Willow after school it's so much more fun than just seeing her AT school. Seeing him half undressed when I was on my way to school was really different. It was like seeing him in contrast to all the boys I knew, and he just totally blows them all away. Not because he's older, either. He's more real, and he's smarter, and he knows how to care about someone. Well, about me.
"Everything OK?"* he said. He was surprised to see me.
Then I started to feel stupid, but I was so relieved to see him I didn't care if I was stupid or not.
"Ummm, yeah,"* I said. He stepped aside so I could come in. He went to put a shirt on and I almost said out loud, oh, no, don't get dressed....
Then I started telling him about my dream and it was like he was talking me down from panic or something. He wasn't condescending, but he really gave me the feeling that I might be exaggerating.
"She killed you,"* I said, and I almost felt sick just telling it, "Right in front of me,"*
"It was just a dream,"* he said, "It wasn't real,"*
"It felt so real,"* I said. I just couldn't explain the feeling.
He put his hand on my cheek and this warm liquidly feeling shivered through me, it started where his hand was and flowed through me. His hand was cool and it warmed on my skin. His hands are big, and they're so gentle, it's amazing.
I was telling him about how my dreams about the Master came true, but he said that not all my dreams come true.
"I mean, what else did you dream last night?"* his eyes are the prettiest eyes I've ever seen, they're so dark they reflect everything, but they're also hungry, they were searching my face in a way that wasn't just worried, "Can you remember?"* he asked.
"I dreamt-"* then I was embarrassed, "I dreamt that Giles and I opened an office supply warehouse in Vegas,"*
He smiled, "See my point?"*
"Yeah- I do- but what if Drucilla is alive? We never saw her body,"*
"She's not. Even if she was,"* he said, with this little jerk of his head I'd never seen before, it was such a strong thing, "Big deal,"*
"But-what-what if she-"*
He kissed me, and my mind came apart. Every thought I had dissolved for a second. All of last night, with being so close to him and not being able to even touch him, it was like something started then that still hadn't stopped, and I was so hungry for him to kiss me and hold me and touch me that I just crumbled.
"What if what?"* he said.
"I'm sorry,"* I whispered, I was completely lost, "Were we talking?"*
I love the way his arms pull me to him and he leans me back, his arms are so tight, I could feel them around my back, holding me in the most secure place I've ever been. I felt all of the fear and all of the tension and everything bad just drain right out of me and all I could feel was him, being surrounded by him, his wonderful smell and elegant body and his courage, I felt just wrapped up in all of him completely, and the whole outside world just disappeared. Nothing bad could ever happen to me when he holds me. He slips his tongue very gently along my lips when he kisses me, he tickles me that way, and then he mashes his lips on mine and satisfies me, and then he does it again, and I get breathless and I become like a slave to whatever he's going to do, just waiting for what every kiss is going to be like, but at the same time I can't get enough of the taste of him, I maul him. I was starting to shake and get seriously heated, and his bed was right there and I was having real thoughts about it, and I realized that I had to get a grip, because this was day time.
"I-I'm sorry, I have-have to go to school,"* my breath was shivering, I felt disconnected from the world.
I started to walk away, fast, but he took my arm and spun me around and pulled me against him again and he was hard, and he drove his tongue into my mouth and I moaned, I slid my arm around his back and my other hand down his chest and over him and I almost stumbled, my heart was racing. I wanted my hands inside his shirt, I wanted to rip it right off him.
"God, you feel-"* I whispered, I wanted his skin against mine, I wanted to feel that silky chest right up against me, I wanted him inside me, deep inside me, driving me apart, it was too vivid, my mouth would have gone dry but he was kissing me the way a thirsty animal drinks water. I have never wanted anything so much as I wanted him, right then.
He started walking me backwards with him, "You have to go to school,"*
"Right,"* I said, "I know. This is me..."* I reached for the door knob, "I'm going..."*
He kissed me again, and the air went out of me, it was getting worse and worse, I could barely keep my hands where they should have been. I wanted him to carry me to his bed and make me late for school. Like, a century late.
He was kissing my throat, and under my ear, and I was so sensitive all over I made this sound and we both paused and laughed a little.
"You still haven't told me what you want for your birthday,"* he said, smiling with that sweet smile.
Oh, yeah, duh. My birthday. I didn't care what he got me. Him, I'd like him.
"Surprise me,"* I said.
"OK," * We looked at each other and it felt so close and safe and warm, a place I never want to leave, a perfect place, that's what we have, that's what we make, wherever we are. I wanted that place to be a real place we can have, like other people get, someplace to come home to. It doesn't matter where it is, just that it's us.
"This is nice,"* I said, taking a deep breath, and a deep breath of him, "I like seeing you in the daytime,"*
"This is bedtime for me,"* he said, a little shyly.
"Then, I like seeing you at bedtime,"* and then I felt so busted, "I-I mean...you know what I mean,"*
"I think so,"* he said, and then he looked at me and his eyes were full of affection, "What do you mean?"*
I loved that, that he had the courage to ask me instead of just letting it go. He cares about how I feel. He cares about me and he wants to know if I care about him, it means everything. I could tell all of that.
"I like seeing you,"* I said, and I looked up at him, "And that part at the end of the night when we say goodbye... it's getting harder,"*
"Yeah," *he said, and I could feel it almost happening, almost-love time, and he said, "It is,"* and he was very serious.
We looked at each other for a long time and then he wrapped his arms around me very gently and we just held each other, with our hearts next to each other. I can feel his, which sounds wrong because it doesn't beat, but that's not what I mean. It was strong and true somehow and I could feel that, I've always felt it. It's solid, and it's....it's mine.
He pushed open the door behind me. He leaned his face toward mine and looked me deep in the eyes.
"Go to school," he whispered sternly, and I laughed and then I left.
I just know it's time. It's time to for us to really make the next step and it's time to use the L word. Either one of us could vanish tomorrow. It's not just a philosophical thing, that would be for other people who don't fight vampires every night, or demons, or who knows what, it's for people who don't live on a Hellmouth and don't have a sacred duty. It's for people who don't have extreme allergic reactions to sunlight and holy water and crosses and wooden stakes. "Live in the now" is a good one for most people, but for us it's the only option. Slayers don't usually live long, I'm at home with the concept now, and Angel is constantly putting himself in danger for me and I know he'd throw himself into the daylight for me if the need ever came up.
This is our life, and we both know it. So if we have this chance, this chance that a lot of people never get, to feel SO GOOD, so good that you feel like your melting a little all the time, and you feel so happy when you see that person that you understand that it doesn't matter if life is short, as long as it's a GOOD life, as long as you've used every opportunity you have to make it good and right and loving, really LOVING...how many people ever feel like this? I don't know anyone who has. It's in storybooks, it's such a rare thing. I love him, I love him and I'm not going to mope around wishing it could be different. This is my life, and I'm going to live it right. I'll do everything I'm supposed to do, I'll kill evil and I'll not lie to Mom about my report card and I'll do my homework and I'll look both ways before crossing the street, yadda yadda yadda, but there's no reason why we can't have just a taste of the good stuff other people get, too. I don't WANT the idiot football captain who'll dump me when he graduates. I want Angel. I want to show him that I really love him. I want to really love him.
I'm going to.
And yay, I just know Mom's going to take me shopping on Saturday, and I know
she'll never let me get the leather pants, so if I angle for that first
she'll have to back down on the silk mini and the patent go-go boots. My
birthday! At last, licence for driviness.