Chapter 89: Changes of Epic Proportions
Three Weeks Later. BPOV
Something that no one ever tells you when you're growing up, is that having a normal life, for the most part, is kind of boring. Take right now for example: my nineteen-year-old self would be bored out of her mind if she had to sit through this. The boys are playing some video game that Faith brought home with her tonight, she's sprawled out on the couch and Missy is curled up on her stomach having her back scratched, and I'm braiding Addison's hair and we're watching the boys kill all kinds of monsters and whatnot. Totally boring, right? To my nineteen-year-old self, yes this would have her nodding off in no time. But for me these are the moments I fight so hard to get. A quiet evening with my family is worth all of the slaying and sacrifices I've made over the years.
"Come on, Joey, we need to clear this area or we won't be able to get to the next level," Matthew says and he sounds like he's getting a little irritated. He's a lot like Faith when it comes to videos games. He takes them a little too seriously. You should see the two of them play together. You'd think they were performing actual government operations through the television by the way they act. We've spent more money replacing the controllers Faith has slammed on the ground when she loses then we have table lamps that Matthew destroyed when he was little. Yeah, that's how bad it is.
"I'm not the one that keeps getting shot," Joey says and starts button mashing. I guess in a way that's cheating but since I don't really care I'm not going to point it out. They keep arguing back and forth while they play and I glance over at Faith. She's watching them with a little smirk on her face and I know exactly what that expression on her face means. I know because I have the same one on my face too. It's contentment. It's the look that says 'I can't believe we're so freaking normal.' But we are so freaking normal. A normal life is something I've always wanted especially after I became a slayer and I thought I would never have this. Yeah we still slay and have to deal with the occasional end of the world scenario, but that doesn't happen as often as it used to and for the most part we are just another normal kinda boring family.
"Ow, Mom, don't pull so hard," Addison says and reaches back to touch the spot on her scalp that hurts now. Oops, I guess I zoned out really bad back there and pulled a little too hard. I hate it when things like that happen. I tell her I'm sorry and then I lean forward and place a little kiss over the spot. I know she isn't three but there is something that kids never get too old for. Kissing the booboo is one of those things and thankfully she doesn't say anything about it. She's a fourth grader now so she's getting too old for certain things. Like having her swing pushed when we go to the park, and ordering her own food when we go out to eat instead of me telling the server for her. My little baby is growing up and I don't like it one bit. They really need to cut it out. One of these days they'll all be out of the house and I won't be able to see them every day.
The doorbell rings and I automatically glance over at the clock on the wall. Who the hell would be showing up at our house at nine-thirty at night? Ok, so it isn't all that late but all of our friends and family know to call before they come over. I don't know what it is about getting older but you kind of lose your tolerance for people just showing up at your house. I think it has something, or everything, to do with control. But I'm not going to dwell on it. Whoever is here is here and there's nothing I can do about it now. I glance over at Faith and she shakes her head no. I guess she's too comfortable to get up. I let out a little sigh and carefully maneuver around Addison so I don't step on her. The doorbell rings again and I let out an irritated sigh. Sasha starts barking and runs for the door. The big bad guard dog at work. As if. She's afraid of squirrels. I'd hate to see how she would react if we actually needed protecting.
"I'm coming!" I yell out as I make my way to the door. This better be important if this person is being so impatient. God I hope it's not too important. I really don't want to have to deal with an end of the world situation. But you never know. It could be Willow saying the school called and the world is going to catch on fire tonight if we don't stop some demons from performing a ritual, or it could be Dawn coming over to tell me about something that happened at work. It's a tossup, really. When I open the door my heart skips a beat in surprise, but there's also a little part of me that will never be surprised to see him. How come I didn't sense it was him? You'd think after all of this time my slayer senses would be a little more finely tuned. "Angel, what are you doing here?" He has a little smirk on his face and it's making me uncomfortable. Please tell me he hasn't turned. I really don't think I could handle that again.
"I'm sorry I didn't call first but I have to talk to you. It couldn't wait," he says and takes a step forward. I step back and open the door a little wider. If Angel had turned someone would have called me to tell me. Willow would be the first to know if he was evil again. When she did the spell the second time in L.A. there was so much intense magic going on and Angel was under the influence of that magic infused drug that they're linked somehow. Willow tried to explain it once but I couldn't follow. I lost her after 'so, it's like this'. She would have felt it if he lost his soul and she would have told me. Yeah, I would probably be a little cranky with her for waking me up in the middle of the night or something, but she knows it's more important than my potential crankiness. I think I need to start switching to decaf because my mind is racing all over the place right now.
Anyway, before I can open my mouth to tell him he's invited in he holds up his hand like the way people do to indicate they want the other person to stop talking. Ok, so what the hell is going on? Angel has never been invited into this house before and even if he were we would have done the invite reversal spell just in case. I honestly don't know why I was so stupid back in Sunnydale and didn't have Willow do that spell after all of the vampires in my life were just invited into my home. Now that I have kids Angel knows the drill. If he's ever invited in we're going to do the spell pretty much right after he leaves depending on the time of night. I'm not willing to take those same changes anymore. But he's never been invited in so right now that's not the issue. I take another step back as he puts his foot inside the doorway. What the hell? I stare at him with wide eyes as he walks through the doorway and stands next to me.
"Angel what…how?" I try to ask but I can't get the words completely out. This is so…I don't even know what this is. What does this mean? How can he just walk into my home like this? Does this mean that my town is more overrun with demons than I thought and how they're literally taking over? That happened in Sunnydale towards the end with the battle with the First. When I was kicked out of my house and I found that one to stay in and Spike showed up he didn't even need to be invited in because the town belonged to evil. I don't think that's the reason, though. He has a huge smile on his face now and I don't think I've ever seen his eyes gleam the way they are now. He's so happy. I've never seen him this happy, ever. An explanation right now would be of the good because my head feels like it's about to fall off.
"The Powers," he says and he sounds so excited. I'm still so confused that it's kind of hard to be happy with or for him since I still have no idea what the hell is going on. "They made me human." They did what? I can't breathe, and I think my heart stopped beating. Great, Angel is alive and now I'm dying. Talk about irony. "It happened yesterday. I saved a family from a hellhound and when I got back to the hotel, I changed." I honestly don't know how to react to that. He's human. Angel is human again. God that is never going to not sound weird. "It hurt, a lot. I guess being reborn doesn't happen easy." I finally start to gather my wits. Or maybe my wits start to force their way into my brain. Either way, I shut the door and step back further into the foyer and he steps towards me. He's being careful about staying out of my personal space but he's staying kind of close.
"Ok so when you say you were reborn, you mean you have a heartbeat and can regulate your own body temperature again and not the metaphorical 'reborn', right? Because if you're here to push any kind of religion and start talking to me about all of my sins I might have to throw you out the door," I say and he smiles at me again. Well, he smiles wider since his smile never really left in the first place. He shakes his head a little and scratches the back of his neck. Now that I'm really paying attention I can feel it. I can feel the body heat coming off of him. I can hear his heartbeat and it's beating loudly and very hard. Maybe he has some kind of condition. Or maybe he's just happy to see me. I'm sure that option is always on the table.
"It's nice to see you haven't lost your inappropriate sense of humor," he says and I can't help but smile a little. I used to think that things between us could never be easy. That seeing him would always feel like a knife to my heart, but right now it's not that difficult. Ok, so it's extremely hard to understand because he's human again and there are about a thousand questions running through my mind. Actually seeing him and being in the same room with him isn't hard like it used to be. It's actually kind of comforting that things can be like this. It doesn't have to be this hard struggle. I look over when I hear someone walking up to us, and I see Faith and she looks surprised. I guess there's a lot of that going around tonight.
"Hey Angel," she says and she sounds glad to see him. I hope she doesn't do that thing where she gets jealous because he and I used to date. I hate it when she gets jealous like that. Getting jealous of Spike I can totally understand because whenever he comes into town he always has selfish motives, but that hasn't happened in years so she doesn't have anything to worry about. "Didn't know you were stopping by our neck of the woods." She gives him a little smile and I see her eyebrows furrow just a little bit. She looks over at me and now she looks a little concerned. Ok, that was quick. What's going through her mind right now? "He looks happy." She looks over at him again and I can tell she's getting ready for an attack. "You're not evil again, are you? I've had a pretty good day. Hate to have you ruin it by showin up all soulless."
"He isn't evil," I tell her and I can't believe it. Angel is human again. Now that the shock is starting to wear off, I get it now. Angel is alive. He can be a normal man. He's going to grow old and die just like the rest of us. He can have a normal life now. "We don't have to worry about that anymore, right?" I probably should have asked that first. This is just such a big shock. I didn't even know something like this was possible. I'm going to have to get Willow on this. Make sure there aren't going to be any consequences. When she and the gang brought me back from the dead there was that evil hitchhiker. We need to make sure nothing like that happened. How does he even know it's the Powers that changed him? I'm starting to get a headache; too many questions, too small of a brain. "This doesn't come with any stringy loopholes?"
"No, no loopholes. I can be as happy as I want and not have to worry or feel guilty about it," he says and my eyes water up. I don't know why I'm having this reaction. I guess I'm just so freaking happy I don't know what else to do but cry. I step up to him and wrap him in a big hug. I feel his arms wrap around me and I put my head against his chest. I can hear it loud and clear; his heartbeat. I shut my eyes and just listen. There used to be nothing here. No comforting sound, just the harsh reminder that he would never be right for me because we're too different. I feel his body heat and that's another thing I thought I would never get to feel. His body itself was never a comfort on cold days. It never helped fight off the cold. It usually just made me shiver a little harder.
"Angel, I'm so happy for you," I tell him and look up into his eyes. I remember how I used to feel whenever we embraced like this. I used to feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I have this handsome man looking down on me with all the love in the universe. I don't feel like that now, obviously, but I still get a little flutter in my stomach at the memory of it. "This is so great." I'll admit that for just a moment I do get a little lost in his eyes. I've always thought that his eyes are beautiful but you could never really get anything out of them. Right now I can see his happiness and the relief he's feeling pouring out of him and his eyes are so bright and I can see his emotions passing through them. It's amazing to see and it's a little hypnotic.
"Ok, someone wanna tell me what's going on?" I hear Faith ask and I instantly break eye contact with Angel. I can't believe that happened. And I can't believe it happened right in front of Faith. I won't blame her if she gets jealous this time. That was so not a cool thing to do. It's one thing to be friendly with your ex but it's a whole other thing to be that open and kinda touchy feely in front of your wife. That's like rubbing her nose in the fact that Angel had me first. "I'm kinda in the dark over here." Wow, she's right. We haven't actually said the good news to her yet. We've just been going on and on about it without really saying it. I step out of Angel's arms and he lets me go without a problem. I stand next to Faith and hold onto her hand, and I can't get rid of the big dopey smile I have on my face.
"I'm not a vampire anymore," he says and he has that infectious smile on his face again. Faith must have some sort of natural immunity because she isn't smiling or smirking. She still looks confused and also a little irritated. I guess she agrees that I shouldn't have hugged him for that long or have gotten lost in his eyes the way I did when we were standing right in front of her. Nope, I think it's safe to say she doesn't like that at all. "The Powers turned me into a human. It's my reward for being their champion and saving so many lives." Tension falls over us as Faith doesn't respond right away. I have no idea what's going on inside her mind and I really hate it. Wouldn't it be nice to read minds at times like these? I think that would definitely help out a lot. I think I need to have Willow teach me how to do that.
I watch her face very closely. At first she's completely stiff. She doesn't really have any emotions on her face, except her eyes. You can tell that she's conflicted, or at least I can. I've been with her for so long I know what to look for. She takes in a little breath and lets it out very quickly. That's not a very good sign. I glance over at Angel and I can tell he looks worried too. I thought Faith of all people would be happy for him. He finally gets to live his life out in peace and then die naturally like everyone else. She should get that, right? They had that whole walkabout in Angel's head before she came back to Sunnydale so she knows more than anyone how much he's suffered. He saved her, brought her back from insanity, shouldn't she be happy for him? She lets go of my hand and walks back into the living room without saying a word. So much for happiness.
I don't really know what to fuckin think about this. Five minutes ago I'm lying on the couch just relaxing and now this news has been thrown at me. How the hell could they just tell me like that? I feel completely blindsided. Angel just shows up, which isn't always a good thing, and he tells us this huge news without any warning. He's human, Angel is a human again. That doesn't sound real. It's like those words are magnets fighting against each other and no matter how hard you push 'em together they just won't stick. He's a human, he's normal. He isn't cursed anymore. He can do whatever the fuck he wants without having to worry about losing his soul. He finds that out and the first person he runs to is Buffy? Yeah, color me surprised on that one. That was sarcasm, I'm totally not surprised.
"You kids need to get to bed," I say and Addy looks a little irritated 'cause B didn't get to finish braiding her hair, but the boys don't even look up from the TV. Why did I buy 'em that new game when it's so close to Christmas? That should've been a present then I wouldn't have to deal with them right now. "Addy, just leave it down tonight. I'll brush it out really good in the morning, ok?" She nods her head and she doesn't say anything which is really fuckin surprising. This kid always has something to say. I guess she knows something is really wrong and she doesn't wanna step on anyone's toes. I know, that doesn't sound like her either but she's been surprising me a lot lately. "Guys, it's time for bed. Shut this off and head upstairs." They still ignore me and I'm out of patience. I reach down and rip the power cord out of the console and that got their fuckin attention.
"Mama, what the hell?" Mattie says and tosses his controller to the ground. Great, and it's time for another round of teenage hormone induced moodiness. Oh fucking joy. "It's not even nine-thirty and it's Friday." They both look pissed as hell. Well, Mattie looks pissed. Joey looks scared for his big brother 'cause he knows I'm not going to let that slide. I don't let my kids cuss at me like that but Mattie's been pushing all kinds of boundaries lately. I think we need to have a sparring match and I need to whop his ass so he knows who's in charge around here. I swear I don't know what the fuck runs through his head sometimes. B says its normal teenage boy behavior but I think it's more than that.
"You need to get to bed, ok? I need to talk with Mom and I need some privacy. You don't have to go to sleep, just stay in your rooms, ok?" I tell them, and they both look behind me. I can tell just by the look on Mattie's face that Buffy and Angel are standing in the living room now. He looks like a light bulb just went off in his mind and he stands up. He looks into my eyes and all of that attitude he was just giving me is gone. This kid switches gears so fast it's really fuckin hard to keep up. Joey stands up too and I can tell that he's really confused. I don't think he's ever met Angel, he's heard of him but he doesn't know what he looks like. It's not like B had any pictures lying around because vampires don't photograph, and even if they did she would have lost those pictures when Sunnydale went boom. I guess she can get a whole photo album full of 'em now if she wanted.
"Please don't fight," Mattie says and gives me a hug. Joey gives me one too and I give them both a kiss on the cheek. Damn, sometimes all you need is a tight hug from your kids to calm you the fuck down. I look over at the recliner and Addy is already gone. Addy knows who Angel is, she knows what he looks like and she doesn't really like him all that much. Probably because I didn't have a lot of nice things to say about him when she asked how I met him. And ok, I probably shouldn't have mentioned the whole 'he sometimes loses his soul and kills people' but I didn't want to lie to her. I'll have to check on her later after this is all over. Whatever this is. I don't know for sure what Angel's motives are but if it was to come and try and convince my wife to run off with him I don't think he's gonna be leaving with a face.
"I promise we won't fight. Goodnight, I love you," I tell them, and they say it back. I watch them walk up the stairs and I feel a lot calmer than I did just a few minutes ago. I guess it's because I know I have some people in my corner even if they aren't fully grown yet. I sit down on the couch and do my best to ignore the fact that they're both staring at me like I've gone completely fuckin crazy. Ok, so maybe they're not but that's what it feels like. I pick my little dog up and start petting her. I feel my heart rate slow down a little and I look up at Angel. I guess I need to put all of my cards on the table if this conversation is gonna go smoothly. "Sorry for just walking out on ya back there. I'm happy for you, I really am. I'm just really fuckin thrown, is all." He nods his head and they both sit down; Angel in the recliner and Buffy next to me on the couch.
"I understand. This is pretty shocking. I still can't fully wrap my mind around it myself," he says and I can tell he's telling the truth. I can tell because he's starting to brood and get all introspective. He's had a lot of time to perfect that. I hope he isn't like that for the rest of his life. Now that he has a limited time just like everyone else I want him to be able to open up and be happy with someone. I just want that 'someone' to not be my wife. I know I sound like a possessive dog but that's just the way I'm always gonna be when it comes to Angel. B may not feel the same about him anymore but he still feels pretty fuckin strongly about her and whenever he comes around he always brings out that possessive primal side of me.
"But this is a good thing, a really good thing," B says and she sounds like she's about to burst she's so happy. I look over at her and she has that big dopey smile on her face again. I have to admit I love seeing her like this no matter what the cause is. Ok, so if the cause is that she's really happy because someone other than me or her got her off than I'd have a problem with that. But I don't really have a problem with her being happy for Angel. I just wanna know what he's up to and not knowing is starting to get to me. Ok so it got to me the second he said he's human again. Those words still sound so fuckin strange even if they are just in my head. "You've worked so hard to redeem yourself and it finally happened." He chuckles a little and smiles and shakes his head. I guess it's weird for him to hear too. Glad I'm not the only one.
"I never thought it would happen in this lifetime," he says and shakes his head again. Wait, so he knew this might happen? He had a heads up that one day he could become human again and he kept that information to himself? I guess I get it. He didn't wanna give B false hope that they could one day be happy together and not become human until three hundred years from now. But that didn't happen. He is human again so what the fuck is he doing here? "I thought it would be after something a little more…special. Killing a hellhound is simple enough. Stopping the world from ending is a little more note worthy." I can't help the little chuckle that escapes my throat. Talk about redemption being anti-climatic. His smile goes away and he gets a more serious expression on his face. Ok, what the hell is this about? "Faith, you mind if I talk to Buffy alone for a minute?" Great, here it comes.
"I'd be lying if I said no," I tell him and I can practically feel Buffy tense up. I really don't want this shit to turn into a fight but I wanna know what the fuck he's going to say to her. I don't want to be left in the dark and I have a feeling he's not here with noble intentions. Probably gonna try to sweep her off her feet and why wouldn't she want that? This is Angel for God's sake. This is the one thing she's wanted most in her life and now it's being handed to her. You can't really blame me for being a little skittish about leaving the two of them alone in a room. I look over at B and she looks irritated but I can tell she's trying to hide it. I guess she doesn't want this to be a fight as much as I don't want it to be.
"But I get it," I say and shrug my shoulders. "You had this huge change and you wanna do the whole reunion thing. No big deal, I'll just get outta your way for a while. I'll do a quick patrol and let you guys talk." I can't believe I'm running off with my tail between my legs. And I'm running out of my own house no fucking less. I lean over and give B a kiss on the cheek. She looks confused but I don't give her the chance to say anything. I get up and leave the room. I put on my jacket, grab my cell phone and keys outta my purse and lock the door behind me when I leave. I don't really wanna leave 'cause I promised Mattie we weren't gonna fight and now he's gonna think we got into a fight but I can't be in that house with Angel there. He wants to talk to B alone and that's cool but I can't just sit in the kitchen like a jack ass while he says his piece to her.
Man, I really fuckin wish I had a cigarette. I quit smoking a long time ago and I don't get a lot of cravings but right now I'd kill for one. Or not 'cause I don't kill people anymore, but you know what I'm saying. This shit is huge. Angel is a human being. He's just a regular Joe like most of the world. I didn't get a chance to ask but I think it's safe to assume he doesn't have any super powers. No super strength, no accelerating healing, nothing like that. So what the fuck does this mean? Angel isn't the kinda guy to just back down from a fight. He'll run if he knows he can't win but if he sees someone in trouble he's gonna help 'em out. He could get killed now. He's been shot a bunch of times 'cause bullets are damaging but not lethal. What if he's walking down a street at night, he hears someone getting mugged, steps in to try and help 'em out, and gets shot in the chest?
I don't always get along with him, hell I don't always like him, but the big guy is important to me. He was there when I needed someone, pulled me back from the blackness that had consumed my life and now he's gonna die someday and it could be before I die. I don't think I could handle that. I don't think I could handle going to his funeral and laying a rose over his grave and say goodbye. Just that thought is making a tight knot form in my chest and my eyes are watering up. Fuck, I can't believe this shit is happening. I'm crying over nothing. Angel isn't stupid, he can be a little possessive and turn into a cro-mag when it comes to Buffy but he won't just jump in on a fight or try to take out some hella strong demon now that he's a person. I need to stop being such a fuckin baby all the time 'cause I'm getting too old to be by myself crying in the dark like some sixteen-year-old drama queen.
"What's the matter, sad eyes, life getting you down?" I hear someone ask and I hope to God that's a vampire 'cause if I don't get to beat the shit out of that guy for being creepy I'm gonna be really fuckin pissed off. I turn around and sure enough it's a vampire standing there. It looks like he's still in his funeral clothes. I was really hoping to get in a good fight tonight but this guy's a newb. I'm not going to get a good fight outta a newb. It hasn't happened so far in my life and I don't think it's ever gonna happen. But maybe tonight will be my luckily night and I'll get in a good slay. Then maybe I can head back home and work off the post slay double H's with B. If she isn't too busy mopey after her visit with Angel, I mean. This could put her in a funk for days and I'll be left to satisfy my itch on my own. Why am I fuckin thinking about this?
"Why do vamps always gotta be so damn creepy?" I ask and pull my stake outta my jacket pocket. He stops walking towards me and that creepy smile he has on his face goes away. I guess he's figuring out that this was the wrong chick to try and make a meal out of. I can't really blame him for picking me, though. Let's face it I'm totally bite-able. "Is it a predator thing 'cause dude it's bad enough you hunt people down like we're animals and kill us, but do you really gotta sound like a sexual predator while you do it?" He opens his mouth to say something but I guess I don't gotta whole lot of patience tonight 'cause I lunge before he gets a word out. I punch him in the face and kick up really fuckin high and clip him on his chin. He stumbles backwards and makes a noise like that really fucking hurt.
"Sorry, Fang, shoulda made myself clearer about that being rhetorical." I get into a defensive pose and wait for him to fight back. Maybe he'll have a little bit of fight in him after all. He starts doing that thing that newbie vamps do when they get in their first fight. Ya know, that weird stalking thing that reminds me of a cat. Ya know, they put their bodies a little lower to the ground, they lock their eyes onto you, and they growl a little in the back of their throats. It's creepy as hell and it always makes me feel like a gazelle about to be taken down by a hungry lion. All I gotta do is remember that I'm just as scary and the fear starts to go away. "Come on, Fang, aren't you gonna come and get it? Hot tasty meal just waiting for you right here." He lunges and I use his momentum to toss him to the ground.
My whole body tenses up, and I suck in a deep breath that I think got lost somewhere in my lungs when I feel someone grab my throat from behind. My back is pressed up against something hard and cold but also soft in the right places. I feel soft lips against my ear and sharp teeth nibble at my earlobe. Fuck, I am so fucked. How the fuck did I not see this one coming? I can't move, it's like I'm paralyzed and I hope no one finds out about this because that would be really embarrassing. The big, badass, scary Faith gets caught off guard and turns into a little damsel in distress. Yeah, my rep back at the school and the training house doesn't need that, that's for fucking sure.
"Naughty, naughty," the chick whispers into my ear and a cold shiver runs down my spine. There should have been a breath against my skin when she said that but there wasn't. So she's definitely a vampire. A fuckin wicked strong vampire since I can't get her off me and trust me I'm trying to throw her over my shoulder but it ain't working. "That's not very nice of you, trying to stake my Christopher. I just got him back." Great, so it's a weird, twisted love story. She was head over heels for this guy, she was turned, she turned him and now they're gonna live happily ever after being freaks together and slaughtering people as they please. Yeah, I don't fuckin think so. "I don't think I should even bother feeding from you. I think I'll just let you bleed." Before I can fuckin move or scream or do anything, this evil bitch slides a knife across my stomach faster than the blink of an eye.
"Come on, Christopher," I hear her say and she walks towards the vamp I was gonna stake. I fall to the ground and I think I'm going into shock. I don't think I've ever gone into shock before so I don't know what that feels like so I can't be a hundred percent sure but I think it's happening. My hands are shaking and I try to get my legs to move but they won't, my heart is beating like you wouldn't believe and I can't fuckin breathe. I look down at my wound and she cut my stomach open diagonally from the right side of my abdomen to the left side of my rib cage. There's blood everywhere but my intestines are still inside me so I guess she didn't cut too deep. "Let's go find you a proper meal, let someone else collect the trash." I'm gonna kill that fuckin bitch. Soon as my legs let me move I'm gonna beat the shit out of her and make her pay for what she did. I just bought this top and now it's shredded and she's gonna fuckin regret it.
"I'm so sorry, Angel," I say and let out a little sigh. She can be such a drama queen sometimes. I get the fact that she doesn't like Angel. I can understand why she would be a little upset. She has this pathological fear that I'm going to leave her and now that Angel is human again and he isn't cursed anymore, I can understand why she might be a little freaked. She's completely wrong, though, and she left before I got the chance to tell her that. I don't know what's really going through her head right now and I'm afraid she's going to do something really stupid. I can't just leave the kids alone so I'll have to wait until she comes back to talk to her. "You know how Faith can get sometimes. Don't take it personally." His lips curl up in a little smile and he nods his head. Angel knows better than most people how Faith can be.
"She's really changed over the years," he says and he has that proud look on his face he gets whenever we talk about Faith. I totally understand it because I'm proud of her too. You have no idea how unbelievably proud I am of her and to be her wife. She's amazing, but I'm gushing and I really don't think anyone has the stomach for that. "I was expecting a fight, or a threat on her way out at least, but she just left." His eyebrows furrow a little bit and he has a more serious look on his face. It's strange seeing this. I'm not used to open-book Angel. I'm used to having to practically pull teeth to get him to really open up about what he's thinking and feeling. "Of course what I meant was for her to go into a different room, not leave the house entirely. Maybe I should have mentioned that." I can help the little chuckle that escapes that back of my throat.
"We wouldn't have gotten any privacy if she stayed. She would have eavesdropped on us eventually," I tell him and he nods his head a little. The suspense would have been too much for her to take and she would have tried to find out what he wants to tell me instead of just waiting for him to leave and hearing it from me. She really has come a long way over the years. "So, Angel, what did you want to talk about? It must be super important if you don't want anyone else to hear." I know why Faith is jealous, because Angel always has it in the back of his mind that maybe one day we'll be together. That would mean shoving Faith aside. I'm a little worried that's what he's about to propose but I don't think he's that stupid. At least I hope he's not that stupid.
"I wanted to give you this," he says and pulls an envelope out of his inside jacket pocket. He hands it to me and lets out a little sigh. It's weird hearing him do that. I've never heard him breathe before and it's going to take a long time to get used to it. "I wanted to leave you my contact information. My cell number, also Kennedy and Cordelia's contact information in case you need some extra help and I'm out of reach." Ok, what the hell is he talking about? I know we don't live in California anymore, but L.A. really isn't that far from here. It's a five hour drive if traffic isn't too hectic. Besides, I already have all of his contact information in case I need his help with something, and Faith would be the one to call Kennedy because I haven't spoken to her in years.
"Angel, what's this all about?" I ask and open the envelope. There's more in here than he said. If he was writing down contact information it would be a page, maybe two, but there are at least ten pages in here. "Are you going on vacation?" It's the only thing that makes sense, really. He shows up here saying he's human now, and then he gives me updated contact information and what I'm going to assume is a letter. If I were him, all of those years of living in the dark, sticking to the shadows, I would get to a beach right away and work on my tan. But I'm sure that's not what Angel is concerned about. Although to be honest, he really should be because that skin…yeah, I think it speaks for itself.
"Sort of," he says and smiles a little when Sasha puts her head on his knee. I guess she's decided he's not a bad or scary person since she wants him to pet her. He starts scratching the top of her head and it's nice to see. Tucker always hated Angel because of the whole vampire vibe. When we were in Ohio trying to get the slayers in training back on course Angel stopped by for a little visit when it got close to my birthday and Tucker went crazy. Luckily he was in his crate or he would have torn Angel apart. That's really not the thing I should be focusing on, though. I need to focus on why Angel looks kind of guilty right now. "I'm leaving the states and I don't know when I'll be coming back." I honestly don't know how to respond to that.
"Why?" That's always a good response. A classic, really, I'm not sure why I hesitated in the first place since it works so well in most cases. He shifts in his seat and he looks a little uncomfortable now. Ok, so what he's going to tell me might be something kind of private. Like, maybe he's been seeing someone long distance or something and now that he's human he can go to wherever she lives and be with her in person. Or maybe he's going back to Ireland to see what his hometown looks like now, ya know, in the daylight. Or maybe I should just stop jumping to conclusions and just let him talk. I think that sounds like a good option.
"I spent a lot of time in traveling around Europe, but most of the time it wasn't to take in the culture and see the sights. I caused so much death and destruction with Darla, and Drusilla and Spike. I want to go back and see it right. Go back in the day and see all of the things I missed out on the first time," he says and starts scratching behind my dog's ear. He found her weak spot. She's going to love him for the rest of her life. But that's not even close to the point I should be focusing on. Angel's leaving and he might not be coming back. He could find a different country to settle down in. Somewhere that's not here. We haven't been together for years but knowing he was just a phone call away was a comfort, like a security blanket, and now it's leaving. No more security or comfort for Buffy.
"I understand, Angel," I say and then my eyebrows furrow a little. You know, the way they do when I'm confused about something. And I am, confused about something that is. "But why did you want to tell that to me alone? Faith would have understood even without the explanation." She's been planning a trip to Boston to put some of her past to rest, she's just been a little too…cowardly is such a strong word so we'll go with busy. She's just been too busy to go. She would totally understand why Angel needs to go back to Europe. He looks a little embarrassed now and if we were still together seeing that look on his face and the little blush on his cheeks would make me want to kiss him. But I totally don't want to…at least not very much.
"I just didn't know how you would take it and sometimes you two feed off of each other's emotions. I didn't want to cause a big scene and then have it made even worse by Faith getting upset too," he says and I don't know if I should be offended. I feel like I should be offended but it sounds so rational it's hard to feel offended. I'll just wait until he leaves and then talk about it with Faith. I'm sure she's going to have a lot of not nice things to say too. She care about Angel, don't get me wrong, but I'm sure she's going to be a little hurt that he's leaving and when Faith is hurt by someone the smack talk can be pretty vicious.
"Yeah, I can see that," I say because I didn't know how else to respond to that. He keeps petting Sasha's head and he's looking down at her with a little smile. I don't think I've ever seen Angel this relaxed before. It's really nice to see him this way; calm, unburdened, and content. I'd like to think it mostly has to do with seeing me but I highly doubt that's the case. "She likes you. She doesn't like most people." He just shrugs his shoulders a little but it's true. This dog is kind of stand offish when it comes to most people. Except kids, she really loves playing with kids. But that's very far from the topic and I don't know why I keep getting distracted. Probably because my name starts with 'B' and ends with 'uffy'. "So when are you going on this big European tour?"
"As soon as I can. After I talk with Faith I'm driving to Vegas and getting on the earliest plane to London," he says and looks up at me. I can tell he's trying to read me and I try to hide my emotions but I don't think I'm doing a very good job. I settle more into the couch and let out a little sigh. I wish Faith were here. I can admit that I'm sad about Angel leaving and I want her to hold me. But that isn't going to happen. She took off to go slaying and now I have to deal with this by myself, at least for now. I hope she doesn't come back uber-horny or trying to have a conversation with her is going to be a nightmare. I chuckle a little at what he said and now he's looking at me like I'm crazy.
"Well you might be staying here for the night if you want to talk to Faith before you leave. Normally when she gets like this doing a quick patrol is code for going to the local bar a having a few drinks," I tell him and he gives me that look. You know the look that people get on their faces when they don't approve of something. Over the years I've stayed into contact with Angel. We talk very occasionally on the phone and during some of our rougher times I've shared my relationship problems with him. He knows that Faith had a problem with drinking and for a while it drove us apart. I guess this is him showing his concern. I just wish he didn't look so smug and condescending.
"It isn't like that," I tell him and his eyebrows quirk just a little bit. I can see he's going to be just as bad as Faith when it comes to the facial expressions. God help us all. "She isn't a heavy drinker like she used to be. Sometimes she just needs to unwind." He's still giving me the same look and I'm starting to get very agitated. He's just lucky I'm in a good mood or I might kick him out of my house for practically accusing my wife of being an alcoholic. "I know what it sounds like, it sounds like I'm making excuses for her but I'm not. It isn't a problem and unless you want to sleep on the porch with the dogs you'll lose the smarmy look." He sits up a little straighter and stops petting the dog. She lets out a little whine but he ignores it.
"As long as it isn't a problem," he says and I nod a little bit. I don't know what he would try to do if it was a problem. Even if he wasn't a human now it's not like he can just kick Faith out of our house. Now that I'm thinking about it, I really want to see him try. Now that he's a human I bet Faith could throw him clear across the front yard. That would be really funny to see. I'd have to pretend to be mad at her and go to his aid and all of that, but on the inside I would be falling to the floor with laughter. Anyway, getting back to what's actually happening right now in front of me. I shift around on the couch because I can't seem to get comfortable. I really want Faith to be here holding me in her arms and until that happens there's no such thing as the comfy spot.
"It's not," I say and my eyebrows furrow when I hear a noise. It sounded like footsteps on the front porch. Now that Matthew and Joseph aren't playing that loud game I can actually hear what is going on around me. "That's probably her right now. She just needed to let off a little steam." I get up and walk to the front door. The dogs follow me and they're both wagging their tails so hard their butts are wiggling back and forth. They only get that excited when Faith comes home and I don't know how they know it's her but it's freaky. I unlock the front door and when I open it I have to fight to hold back the scream of surprise that wants so badly to come out. "Oh my God!" Ok, so maybe I could have tried harder.
Faith falls to the floor in front of me and there's blood everywhere. Instantly I'm on my knees next to her and I roll her over onto her back. She's barely conscious and she's trying to say something but her words are barely above a whisper. My ears are pounding, probably because my heart is racing ten miles a minute and I gasp when I see the huge cut mark that starts at her abdomen and goes all the way up to her ribs. I put my hands on her and add as much pressure as I can. I don't want to hurt her but I need to get a hold of this bleeding or else she's going to die right here in the foyer. I hear footsteps behind me and I look up to see Angel looking just as shocked as I feel.
"Help me get her into the bathroom. We need to stop this bleeding," I tell him and he squats down and puts his hands under her and gets ready to lift. Faith isn't that heavy but I can't let go of her stomach or she'll start bleeding really bad again. I can't believe this happened. This wasn't supposed to happen! She was supposed to go out, do a little bit of slaying, have a beer or two at the bar and come home kinda tipsy and horny. She wasn't supposed to come back gutted and mumbling something about a vampire bitch. I can only assume she's talking about the thing that did this to her. Anyway, we carry her into the bathroom and set her down on the floor. I rip her shirt off and give a little thanks to whatever gods or goddesses were watching over her tonight. She's cut up pretty bad and she's lost a lot of blood but the wound isn't too deep which means her organs are safe.
"Under the sink," I say and look up at Angel. He looks pretty freaked but not as shocked as he did before. I guess he's used to seeing this kind of thing. With the line of work we're both in I'm surprised he was shocked at all. I'm sure he's faced just as many deadly demons as we have. Anyway, getting back to now. "The plastic container with the purple lid, it's the first aid kit. I need that like five minutes ago." He digs in the cupboard under the sink and Faith opens her eyes a little wider. I guess she's trying as hard as she can to stay awake. "Faith, baby, can you hear me?" I really wish I could caress her face, turn her head in my direction, anything to get her to look at me, but if I let go now she'll just start bleeding again.
"Ok, I got it," Angel says and before I can tell him exactly what I need out of our homemade kit, he rips the lid off and starts digging through it. I guess he really has done something like this before because he's grabbing all of the right stuff: the anesthetic, the sutures, and the bottle of pain killers. He injects her with the local anesthetic and when the needle goes into her skin she whimpers. That's good, that means her body isn't going into shock or anything. I'm surprised that hasn't happened. Sure, Faith is strong and it seems like she always has adrenaline flowing through her veins but this is way worse than the normal wounds she gets on patrol. After she's numb Angel opens the pack of sutures and I reach out to take it from him because giving Faith stitches is something I've always done and I can be pretty possessive about it for some reason.
"I've got this," Angel says and a small part of me wants to reach out and take the needle and thread from him like a three year old, but I don't. "I know what I'm doing. I've done this too many times to count. You just try to keep her awake." That sounds like a good plan. She's lost a lot of blood but she doesn't look like she needs a transfusion and unfortunately I know what that would look like. Even though wounds like this aren't normal, we get them often enough, and most of the time our bodies will start to heal because we're slayers. I know that's the only reason she isn't dead right now and that thought is chilling me all the way to my soul as melodramatic as that sounds. Can someone please tell me when this crap is going to stop? I honestly don't know how much more of this I can take, how many more times I can clean blood off my floors, before I finally snap, and trust me that is not a fun feeling to have.
I can't fucking believe this shit is happening to me again. How many times over the years have I been stabbed, sliced, blown up, or beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die? That question wasn't rhetorical, I want a number. The point is, I'm getting too told for this shit. I go out for a quiet patrol to get my brood on and then I'm gutted by some bitch vampire 'cause her boyfriend attacked me and I was defending myself. And I am not trash! Slayer blood is considered a delicacy and I'm one of the originals so my blood is like top shelf, dammit. Any vamp should consider themselves fuckin lucky and practically touched by God if they ever got a taste of my O neg.
What the fuck ever. I'm not going to worry about some random vampire guttin me the way she did when I have an ex-vampire in the house that I still need to talk to. I don't know why he wanted me outta the room in the first place. I regained consciousness while Angel was stitching me back up and there isn't any weird tension between him and B so I'm pretty sure he didn't ask her to run off with him. But something definitely isn't right. There's something B's not telling me and I know because she won't stay by my side for more than a minute or two and normally when I get hurt like this she won't leave until she absolutely has to. I don't wanna sound like a baby but I'm starting to feel a little neglected over here.
"Mama?" Fuck! That scared the hell out of me. Man, this kid has always had a bad habit of sneaking up on me when I'm injured and downed. I look over and Addy is standing a few feet away from the bed and she looks nervous. I guess she could tell I jumped and now she's afraid I'm going to get mad. At least that's what I'm assuming. She could be nervous because Angel's still here. Who am I kidding? She's nervous because I'm hurt and she knows it and she doesn't want to get in trouble for being out of bed so late, but at the same time she wants to make sure I'm ok. This kid has always been like that, ever since she was just a little thing.
"Hey, what are you still doin up, Angel Girl?" I ask in the softest tone I can summon at the moment and I surprised even myself by how gentle it was. I'm in pain, I'm kinda drugged, and B won't stay in the same room with me for more than a minute so you bet your ass I'm in a bad mood right now. Anyway, Addy steps closer but she's still being cautious. I know 'cause she's picking at her cuticles and she only does that when she's really nervous. Plus she won't make eye contact with me. She's too busy staring at the huge bandage across my stomach and ribs. But she keeps inching closer so at least she isn't letting her nerves hold her back. She takes after her mother, too stubborn for her own good.
"I heard a lot of noise and I couldn't get to sleep," she says and stands next to the bed. She isn't too far away from me but she's keeping her distance. I don't want her to be nervous around me. I feel kinda sick with myself that my kid is so afraid of me that she won't come near me when I'm hurt. What the fuck kind of a mother am I? I do the only thing I can think of to make her feel a little better. I hold out my arms towards her and she gets the message right away. She climbs onto the bed and sits down next to me. I'm propped up on the pillows and resting against the headboard. B thinks it would be better if I stayed elevated or whatever and since I don't feel like arguing with her that's exactly what I'm doing. "Mama, what hurt you?" Her voice is so soft and quiet and I'm getting flashbacks to the time B was kidnapped by that demon and I was lying in the hotel bed beaten to hell and back.
"A vampire, baby," I tell her and I wrap one of my arms around her. It hurts a little 'cause the anesthetic is wearing off but I'm going to comfort her even if it does cause me pain. She's my baby girl. That takes priority over my own well being. "It was just a vampire." I give her a little kiss on the side of the head but she still looks worried. I have no idea what she's thinking and I can't help but tear up a little bit 'cause she looks so damn much like Buffy right now. Fuck, I hate these pain killers. They make it impossible for me to keep my emotions in check. Her expression is just like Buffy's, she's acting just like Buffy, but she's not Buffy. I practically had surgery done on me on my bathroom floor, I could have died tonight, and what I need the most right now is my wife sitting next to me letting me know that everything is going to be ok.
"Did you stake the vampire?" she asks and her little eyebrows furrow. She's worried about something. What I'm not sure. If I had to guess I'd say she's worried about the fact that her mom was sliced open and the thing that did it could still be walking around. Yeah, that's a pretty scary thought considering my daughter thinks I'm in biggest, baddest slayer in the whole fuckin world. And don't you fuckin forget it. I'm not too sure how to answer that. Should I lie to her and say I staked it? I have to tell B what really went down so she can get someone after that bitch, and if Addy over hears me saying it she might freak out even worse. Ok, I guess I gotta just bite the bullet and hope for the best. Why can't kids come with manuals? That would be so fuckin sweet.
"No, I didn't," I say and now she looks a little freaked out. So I was right, she was worried about a big monster roaming around. And now she's probably afraid to go outside. Addy isn't as sure of herself when it comes to the slaying at Mattie is. She's always been extra cautious when it comes to anything she doesn't have complete control over. Like learning how to swim. That's still an ongoing process. "But I beat it up pretty bad. Auntie Sky or Lily will find it and put it out of its misery since I left it barely walkin. This right here…" I point at the huge bandage covering my stomach and she glances down. She looks totally freaked out by it. "…just a lucky shot. You got nothin to worry about, Toots." She smiles a little 'cause I don't call her that very often and when I do it always makes her smile. She rests her head against my shoulder but she's not putting much weight on it. Guess she's afraid she's gonna hurt me.
"How bad did it hurt?" she asks and she looks like she wants to reach out and touch the bandage which isn't unusual. It seems like all little kids are fascinated with things that are kinda fuckin gross and all these stitches and my red and kinda swollen skin are pretty fuckin gross. I need to word my answer very fuckin carefully. Ever since we had that incident a while back when me and Addy were trapped in that mine shaft she isn't as gung-ho about patrolling or training or anything to do with slaying at all. B thinks she's traumatized but I think she's just starting to understand that slaying can be dangerous and she wants to proceed with caution. Either way, I need to be careful 'cause if I say the wrong thing I could scare her really fuckin bad since she's already on edge about the whole slaying thing.
"I'm not gonna lie to ya, it hurt really bad, but it doesn't hurt anymore," I say and yeah I'm lying but it's just a little white lie. Parents tell white lies to their kids all the time to protect them and that's exactly what I'm doing. The expression on her face changes and now she doesn't look freaked anymore, she looks worried. Since she's looking down at my stomach I'm going to assume she's worried about the wound. I'm not going to show it to her 'cause it'll just gross her out and she doesn't really need to see a wound like this if she's already afraid of getting hurt on patrol. "Don't worry, Addy, Angel fixed me up alright and in a couple days I'll be as good as new." Except I'm going to have a pretty wicked scar, even more wicked than the one B gave me. "The stitches are starting to make my stomach itch." Yeah, I just whined like a two year old but it made her smile so I'll pretend that was the reason I did it.
"Am I ever going to get hurt like that?" she asks and she leans a little more of her weight against me. I guess she's not as afraid of hurting me anymore. I'm glad. I don't want her to feel like she has to walk on egg shells when she's around me. That question is making me really fuckin worried. How the hell am I supposed to answer that without freaking her out? I don't want to lie and make her feel like it's impossible for her to get hurt on patrol because we both know that's not fuckin true. But I don't want her losing sleep over the thought of getting cut up like this. This is another reason why Buffy should be in the room right now instead of out there doing God knows what. She's better at explaining shit like this to the kids. But since she's not here I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and do this myself.
"You might, Angel Girl," I say and hug her a little tighter. I really don't want to scare her but I need to be as honest as I can with her. It would be wrong to mislead her. "Slaying is dangerous. Your mom and I make it look easy 'cause we've been doing it for so long and we had a lot of good training, but every once in a while the bad guys get in a lucky shot." This was more than just a lucky shot. That vampire was so strong I couldn't even fuckin move. We're definitely gonna have to look into it. Maybe she has some special kind of super power. B told me a vamp named Drusilla could hypnotize people, and she was prophetic. "Lots of slayers get hurt but they get patched up, and their accelerated healing makes them all better and they go back out and fight because they believe it's the right thing to do." I feel her take in a deep breath but she doesn't let it out right away.
"Will you be mad at me if I don't want to be a slayer anymore?" she asks and her voice sound so fucking small. I didn't think it was possible for her to sound like that. Addy's always had a big personality and she always takes up all the space in a room just with her larger than life presence. Now she sounds like she's about the size of a church mouse and just as quiet. And I can't believe she thinks I'd be mad at her. What the fuck have I been doing to my kids over the years that they're so damn afraid of me when they wanna make big decisions? I need to start having more one-on-one talks with them if this is the reaction I get whenever we have one. Anyway, I give her a kiss on the side of her head and hug her to me a little tighter. Right now that's pretty freakin tight but she's not complaining.
"No, Addy, I'm not gonna be mad," I say and my voice sounds all fucked up. Probably because I'm holding back some tears. It's the drugs, they make it hella fuckin hard for me to keep my emotions in check and I'm getting a little overly emotional right now. Damn, I wish B were in here to help me out 'cause this is gonna get hard if I'm trying to comfort her and trying not to cry at the same time. "You'll always be a slayer, sweetie, that's just the way you were born. But if you don't want to train with your brothers and patrol with your mom and me, you don't have to. You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up and if you don't want to be an active slayer that's ok." I give her another kiss on the head and she wraps her arms around me in a big hug and I have to fight back the pain 'cause she's pressing against some of the stitches. Fuck, that really fucking hurts.
"Addison, how's the patient doing?" B asks and walks into the room. I didn't even hear her coming. These drugs must be fucking me up if my senses are that dulled. She's got a little smile on her face and I can think of a reason why. She must've over heard our conversation from the doorway 'cause it's the 'my wife and kids make my heart melt' smile. She's got a million of 'em and I know them all. I smile back at her and Addy pulls back from the hug, thank God, and scoots away from me a little bit. I try not to pout about it because I don't wanna look like I'm two but there's nothing better than cuddling with your kids. Cuddling with B in a post sex haze runs a very close second, but the kids are number one. Anyway, B sits down on the bed and I hold onto her hand. Now that she's finally here I'm gonna make sure she stays put.
"She's doing ok," Addy says and relaxes. She was all tensed up. Probably worried she was going to get in trouble for being up past her bedtime. "She said her stitches were making her itchy." Now why did she have to go and say something like that? B doesn't need to know what's going on under the bandage 'cause now she's going to leave to go find something to stop the itching and I just want her to stay with me. I look over at B and she smiles and gets that condescending look on her face. Great, so it's going to be one of those responses. Why oh why did Addy have to say something?
"Awww, poor baby," she says and I roll my eyes a little. I can't believe she's making fun of me after I was almost gutted and left for dead. Well, now that I'm thinking about it I can totally believe she'd do something like that. Before I get a chance to say anything she leans forward and places the softest kiss she's even give me on my lips and I get a fucked up feeling in my chest. This woman is going to be the death of me, I swear it. Being loved to death doesn't sound so bad, though. Anyway, she ends the kiss and looks into my eyes with a sweet smile on her face and starts running her fingers through my hair.
"Did I say it was just itching? 'Cause it hurts really bad too," I say and I get a big pout on my face. You might think I'm acting like a big baby and I'm just milking this for all it's worth, which I'm so fucking going to do, but you should see B when she gets something little like a paper cut. Total fuckin drama. You'd think her whole hand had been sliced open the way she'll go on and on about it just to get sympathy kisses. And it works every fuckin time 'cause I think she's so fuckin adorable when she's all pouty and I'm never going to turn down make-out time with B. I mean, you've seen her, right? So you can't really blame me for that. Anyway, B's smile gets a little bigger and she gently caresses my cheek and I let out a little sigh. This is just what I needed.
"I know what will make you feel better," she says and kisses me again. We keep it tame since we have an audience in the room. Kinda sucks because I really wanna feel her up. It's kinda crazy that we've been together for so long and we're still hot for each other. Not as much as we used to be before we had kids, but it still only takes a look from her and I'm worked up and ready to ravish her. I can't help the little moan that sneaks out the back of my throat when she lightly tugs on my hair. She's always been a hair puller and it gets me worked up like you wouldn't fuckin believe. I hear a little giggle and it brings me back to reality. We end the kiss and I look over at the source of the giggling and I can't help the smile that spreads across my face at the adorable look on Addy's face.
"What's so funny?" B asks and Addy giggles a little more. I reach over and tickle her under her armpits and that makes her laugh even harder. This kid's armpits are so fuckin sensitive to being tickled. She takes after B and it's pretty much awesome. Addy scoots away and if I weren't injured I'd go after her. That's probably not a good idea, though. She'd get all riled up and then I'd get yelled at by B for getting her all riled up when she's supposed to be calming down so she can go to bed. I swear, sometimes having a wife is like living with your mom only not in a creepy incestuous way. "Come on, what are you laughing about?" It's gonna drive B crazy until Addy tells her. B hates it when people laugh but try to keep the reason a secret. It's usually pretty funny to watch when it's the kids who are doing it.
"Joe always pouts and whines when he wants your attention and I think he learned it from Mama," she says and I give her a little glare but I'm smirking too so she knows I'm just joking around. Buffy reaches over and tickles her some more and I can't stop a huge smile from breakin out on my face when she squeals and starts laughing like crazy. God damn this kid makes my heart fuckin melt. "It's true, Mom." She's trying not to laugh while she talks, and her voice sounds kinda weird but adorable. She looks over at me with a little smirk on her face and I know she's going to say something I'm not gonna like. How do I know that? 'Cause it's the same look I get on my face before I start teasing Buffy or Willow or Xander or Lily or Sky and pretty much everyone else I know. "Mama can be a big baby sometimes." I try to grab her so I can tickle her but she jumps outta my reach and crawls into Buffy's lap.
"Ok, that's enough," B says and gives Addy a kiss on the top of her head. "Time to go to bed, Angel Girl." Addy groans the way almost all little kids do when it's time to go to bed. But as soon as the groan leaves she yawns a huge fuckin yawn and I can tell she just decided against arguing that she's not tired 'cause now we all know it's a total lie. "Come on, I'll tuck you in. Oh Faith, before I forget, Angel wanted me to give this to you." What the fuck? She pulls an envelope out of her hoodie pocket and hands it to me. "He didn't want to stay since it's getting so late so he wrote down everything he wanted to say to you." Huh, guess I shouldn't have stormed outta the house like that. Not only 'cause I got sliced up, but 'cause the big guy wanted to talk to me too after all. Well now I feel stupid.
Anyway, I tell Addy goodnight and she gives me a kiss on the cheek and B herds her off to bed. I open the envelope and take the letter out. It's not as long as I thought it was going to be, only two pages, but I shouldn't be too surprised. If he wrote one for B I'm sure it would be hella fuckin long, but he knows I don't need every little detail like she does. Just give me the gist and move on, that's all I really need. According to this the big guy isn't gonna be around. Says he needs to get away, go back to all the places he helped destroy, or took advantage of while humans were doing the destroying so he can put it to rest once and for all. I totally fucking get that. I wanna head back to Boston for a little visit to put some of my ghosts to rest, but it hasn't happened. Guess if Angel is brave enough to face his past I can be brave enough to face mine. Even when the guy's not here he's giving me strength. He's kind of an ass like that.