Cross posted in sickchicks and my regular journal.
Hell Is In the Details – Fool’s Gold – An Interlude
It was a long plane ride. Nine hours from London to Los Angeles, if you didn’t count hang time at the airport and the inevitable delays. Lots of time for self-reflection.
Buffy settled into her seat and closed her eyes. She was on her way to her first love. The man ~no, vampire~ she’d willingly have died for as a teenager. The vampire she’d sent to hell when things got twisted. The vampire who’d left her twisting in the wind for her own good.
And all because the vampire she really wanted was dust at the bottom of a closed Hellmouth.
She’d tried the normal life. Really, she had. Cut way back on the slaying with the help of all those newbies out there. Actually dated – frequently. Lots of men.
Never more than once or twice each. They left her unfulfilled and bored. And can we say absolutely no staying power? Not to mention the restraint necessary to keep from… bruising the boys.
Which brought her back to him, once again. No matter what she did, who she did or where she went, that infuriating little half smirk/half heart rending smile followed her. The peace she’d found in his arms those last few days… it eluded her at every twist and turn of her life.
A year had passed since life as she knew it ended, and it was time to move on. Angel was a known quantity – mostly. She had no other choice. The normal life with the normal lover she thought she craved couldn’t hold up to her abnormal reality. She wasn’t The Chosen One anymore, but still – it had left its taint.
She sighed, turning her face to the tiny window. Nothing to see but clouds, blocking everything from her vision. Best thing she could do was close her eyes, sleep and wake up to the possibility of a new life with Angel.
The wait at LAX was interminable. Teeming with people, it set Angel’s vampire senses on edge; the thud-thudding of thousands of heartbeats, the whooshing of blood through veins – and the smells. Never before had he cursed his enhanced senses as he was at that very moment.
Buffy was finally going to be his, just as she should be. As she always should have been. No more human weaklings, vying for her attention. No more snarky pretenders to the good fight taking up space in her heart. No more worries about loosing Angelus on the world.
The stench from the food courts was making him ill. Why the hell couldn’t her plane come in at some other terminal? Oh, how he longed for the days when he could let loose the demon and tear through the annoyances in his way.
Instead, he walked to the far end of the terminal, putting as much space between him and the masses as he could. He knew he was making himself crazy. All he needed to feel right again was to see her face, looking at him, full of expectations for their life together.
Angel admitted to himself that their future happiness wasn’t exactly set in stone. Buffy was no longer a naïve teenager, easily led and swayed by the older and wiser man in her life. Not that she’d ever been exactly that.
There were certainly issues to be discussed. Wolfram & Hart, for one. He knew she wasn’t happy about his easy trust in his new mission as CEO. For another, she would need to find something to occupy herself – maybe she could go back to school. He’d even find a place for her at W&H, if she’d let him.
The possibilities were endless, and the possible rewards more boundless still. To not be alone. It had been so long since he’d been part of a couple, or a family – one he wanted, anyway. Something that annoying shit Spike had gotten right after all – he could pick and choose his family.
He looked up at the monitors. The flight was about to land.
Gods, she was so tired of planes and airports. She remembered the days when all she wanted was a trip out of Sunnydale. Never thought she’d live long enough to go on vacation, or visit Europe. Now, she’s seen more of the world than she cares to remember. And always alone. So damned alone.
The landing was smooth enough to be boring. As she gathered up her handbags, preparing to deplane – she spared a final thought for her fallen… companion? Those last weeks would never be forgotten, and neither would his unflinching support of her:
Time to move on, Spike. I know you’d tell me my decision was ‘the dog’s bollocks’ but I’m not strong enough to do this on my own anymore. I wish you were here. At least…”
She sighed, and left the plane, and began her search for Angel.
Angel stared at the doors, waiting for the passengers to deplane. He smelled her before he saw her; it was a scent he’d never been able to forget. Slowly, he walked to the velvet ropes that separated the disembarking passengers from the waiting throng.
Their eyes caught, and Buffy’s face softened with recognition.
She dropped her bags and allowed herself to be caught up in the bear hug that was Angel. Much like the last time they’d kissed at the vineyard, it was all consuming – blocking out the sounds and sights around them.
But when she had to break the kiss to catch her breath she realized one very important fact.
The road she was prepared to travel with this vampire was gonna need a whole lot of paving.