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They had spent the past three weeks going out on dates, her showing up at his work and him surprising her at home during his longer lunch breaks; each time they spent together strengthened their feelings towards each other.

She had seen Harmony at the office and sometimes saw her at the mall, the blonde bimbo always sneered at her or acted extra sweet to Angel in front of her; the look he gave her was one of indifference, her worries hadn't came back.

One thing she was unsure of was if they were casually dating or if they had resumed their former relationship, it felt like they had but they hadn't discussed that. They shared kisses and a lot of them but it never went further than that which she was unsure how she felt about that too.

"How are things with Angel, honey?" she looked over to her mother and smiled, Joyce sliced some fruit then popped it in a bowl and handed to her, she picked a piece of apple and took a bite "Good… he's taking me out for dinner tonight"

Joyce smiled excitedly "Oh, anywhere special?" Buffy shrugged as she ate more fruit, Joyce wiped her hands on a towel then scrunched her nose in thought "I saw Mr Giles yesterday… he said you've been to a lot more therapy than before"

It confused her, her daughter was doing so much better, she didn't rely on any medication, she could venture outside by herself without panicking; she thought that she was doing okay. Buffy nodded "Yeah, He said I can cut down the sessions but I like talking to him"

A thought came to her "Say mom, Giles is kind and caring; he's smart and single…" she raised an eyebrow at what she was implying. Joyce gasped "Buffy, are you trying to set me up with him?" Giles was a nice man to speak to, that was true.

Buffy giggled "If you want to be set up I can… mom, you've done so much for Dawn and especially me in this past year, I know you've declined dates, I want to make it up to you" she looked at her mom seriously then nodded.

Joyce closed her eyes and nodded, it had been a while since any man showed some sort of interest in her; some of them were a waste of time, they liked her and held promises until they heard that she would take care of Buffy, then they flew away like a bat out of hell.

"Great! I'm seeing him later, I'll give him your number to call" she finished off the bowl of fruit then kissed Joyce on the cheek "Thanks mom" she grabbed her purse then headed out.


She lay down on the large sofa and crossed her ankles that lay at the edge, Giles cleared his throat then shook his head, she hardly ever listened to him anyway so reprimanding her for her un-lady like behaviour would be of no use.

"What would you like to talk about today? It'll have to be brief, as you didn't book in with me, I have another client in shortly" he opened up her file and took out the notes from the last time she had attended, skimming over them quickly.

Buffy smiled nervously, she couldn't believe she was going to bring this up to Giles of all people "Well, me and Angel, I think we're dating" when he raised his eyebrow she continued "we go on dates, we've kissed but nothing more… has happened"

Giles nodded then he thought about what she said and almost blushed "And do you want to be intimate with him?" Buffy was like his daughter, not having any children of his own he fortunately didn't have to discuss such matters.

She shrugged then sat up and crossed her legs underneath her "It's just, the first time we were together we moved a with a bit more speed?" she had shunned all forms of intimate contact for months but each time he kissed her it brought her defences down.

"Although you and Angel have a past, you have to think of this as something new… if you didn't share memories with him, would you be asking me this?" he saw her eyes dart around the room then focus on her legs as she shook her head.

"It's not my place to tell you what to do Buffy, just follow your heart, if you think it's right then I can't tell you otherwise, you do share a past and maybe he wants to take it slow because of all you've been through… he hasn't pushed, has he?"

She looked at him in shock "NO! He's so caring and attentive; he would never do anything to hurt me" that was true, he certainly wouldn't. She wanted to speak to Giles just to reconfirm her feelings; she knew that it was her choice alone.

After sitting in silence for a moment she sighed and stood up, smoothing down her rumpled clothes "Thanks for being here Giles" she took a pen from his desk and scribbled before handing him the note "This is my mom's number, I'd like you to give her a call"

He looked at the writing then back at her "I have your mothers number on file… what would she like to discuss with me?"

Buffy rolled her eyes and chuckled "No you dummy, to ask her out on a date! God knows you need one, it's been a while since you've been out hasn't it?" Giles blushed at her suggestion then took his glasses off to clean the lenses quickly.

"Buffy! I don't think that's appropriate" before he could say anything further she smiled kindly "Look, you two get on well from what I've seen… and after today, I'll no longer be your patient, so no inappropriateness here"

Giles looked up at her in shock, although he found it strange that she had upped their appointments he didn't think that she would stop the course so sudden "Oh, uh" his mouth opened and closed like a fish then he chuckled.

"You have done wonderfully Buffy, you know if you ever need to speak to anyone I'll always be here for you…" he stood awkwardly as she gave him a tight hug then nodded and patted her on the shoulder.

"So you'll call my mom?" she smiled sweetly at him then punched his shoulder when he shrugged and smiled "Good, we'll I'll see you soon G-man" she waved one last time at him then left his office to prepare for that evening.


Having gone on a body and soul reboot, she dressed with the baby pink dress that she had picked up from the mall. She looked at her reflection and smiled, spending more time outside she had the familiar bronze glow to her skin and looked healthy for the first time in a while.

When she had been spring cleaning her room she came across the antique jewellery box that she thought she had lost years ago. There were earrings, bracelets and necklaces inside that she hadn't seen since she was a teenager; when her fingers touched that band her heart clenched.

Deep down she knew that she would have never thrown it out, she had hid it from Riley, he'd been told the story of how she got it and wasn't amused; told her flat out to get rid of it, that it wasn't allowed in their home – to find it was relieving.

Looking down at the Claddagh that Angel had given her on their six month anniversary she felt overcome with emotions. What the ring symbolised was true of them; she always believed that; even the elegant engagement ring that was presented to her didn't hold a candle to it.

Buffy threaded the ring through her necklace and tucked it inside her dress; she didn't want to be too presumptuous and put it on, she wanted to discuss what was happening with them then broach the subject.

Willow hollered that he had arrived; taking one last look and reapplying her lipstick she headed downstairs to meet him. Once again the look on her face told her that she had made a good choice, he let out a silent chuckle then grinned at her.

Angel walked over to her when she reached the bottom step, he leaned over to kiss her briefly "Buffy, you look beautiful" he handed her the bouquet of flowers he had brought with him which thanked him for.

Quickly she went to the kitchen and placed them in a vase before being escorted to his car. Throughout the journey he refused to tell her where they were going, told her that she was being impatient and should wait a little longer.

Her mouth dropped open when he pulled up outside the little bistro outside of town, the place that they had went on their anniversary all those years ago. It made her heart flutter that first she had found his gift and by a freak coincidence this was where they would be eating.

"Angel?" she looked to him with tears in her eyes, this was a place that was off limits; she had never ventured since that night. He only shrugged then brought her hand to his mouth to kiss it "good food?"

Buffy giggled then got out of the car; like they had done years ago he escorted her to their private booth by the fireplace then put in an order for their meals. She looked around the interior then back at Angel "This place hasn't changed"

"Yeah, still just as beautiful as all those years ago" she flushed under his warm gaze, the compliment hitting its mark. Buffy bit her lip then took a sip of the wine that had been placed in front of her, that long lost tingle travelling up her spine.

Angel smirked as she squirmed in her seat then dug into the food that was just served, she exhaled sharply as she calmed down her nerves and fixed a faux annoyed look on her face; getting compliments lately helped her regain her confidence.

Giving her a break he switched the topic of conversation to something lighter, she had mentioned that she was unsure if she wanted to find another job and what to study in College, she had dropped out during first year at college after the Parker incident.

It was nice to see that she was getting back on the horse and taking hold of her life again, she had been the dutiful housewife for years then had spent almost a year shutting herself off from the outside world.

Buffy slapped the napkin off the table then rubbed her tummy in delight, she had began eating healthier lately but never as much food as she had just consumed, it was a change and it was good – the food was delicious.

Angel left the money on the table in the leather-bound book then took her hand as they walked back to the car, Buffy pressed her side against his to keep the chill away from her; automatically he wrapped his arm around her waist so she could get closer.

"It's still early, do you want to come back to mine for coffee?" she peered up at him from her position nestled against his side and smiled "Yeah, that sounds good" he nodded once then opened the passenger side door, letting her in.

He drove back to his house in record time without breaking any speed limits then escorted her inside; Buffy took off her heels then curled up on the sofa in wait for him to return. Angel came back in a few minutes later and handed her a mug.

"Thanks" she smiled up at him then scooted over to let him sit beside her on the sofa, they got comfortable as he switched the TV on and put a movie on for them to watch. Once she'd drained the mug she placed it on the table then laid her head against his shoulder.

Like earlier he wrapped his arm around her, bringing her further against his chest "Hmm" Angel laid his cheek against the top of her head, she had mumbled something that he couldn't make out.

Buffy turned so she could face him properly "You know that I couldn't be more grateful that you're in my life again?" he nodded once then gave her a look, wondering where this could be leading "It got me thinking and uh…"

She ran her hand over the back of her neck then giggled nervously "I want to be honest with you… Riley knew I didn't love him, he knew it was because I still… I still had feelings" she looked him dead in the eye, it was now or never.

"I still have feelings… for you…" she pursed her lips together then quickly added "I never forgot you" she pulled out the necklace to show him the ring that was dangling at the bottom.

Angel looked from the ring back to her glittering green eyes, his breath caught in his throat, everything that he wanted, everything that he hoped he could get, could become a reality instead of a fantasy.

Buffy shifted with unease as he evaluated the ring then looked back at her face, for once his eyes gave away nothing, his face gave away nothing all she could feel was the muscles in his body tighten. She held back a sob "Oh God"

Feeling embarrassed by the admission she made a move to get as far away from him as possible. Seeing that she misread his silence he wrapped his arms around her waist to pull her over, her legs falling either side of his lap.

Her pouty lips fell open in shock by the sudden shift; he leaned over to press his lips against hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck as the kiss deepened, he let go of her waist so that his hands could wander her body.

She arched against him in surprise when his cool hand palmed her ass; she decided when getting dressed earlier to slip on a thong, one of her new me, new clothes idea. It turned out to be a good idea after all.

They both let out a lusty chuckle as she broke the kiss, her lips hovered over his as her fingers worked on the buttons of his shirt. Angel bit back the urge to rip her clothes off and plunge deep inside; he didn't want to rush anything "Buff"

She sat back on his lap to look at him, she could tell by the look in his eyes that he was shutting this down, she shook her head slowly "No, I want this… you want this" she could feel how much he wanted this as it was pressed against her a moment ago.

Angel pulled her hands away from unbuttoning his shirt and sighed "I don't want…" feeling annoyed by his dismissal she grabbed his face so he couldn't look away "You don't want this? You don't want… us?"

Her voice started to crack as the emotion took over "Angel, I've spent so long being upset and letting life pass me by, I'm done being passive, I want this… I want you and if you want me too you have to tell me now, I can't get attached just to lose you all over again"

Her big doe eyes glazed over with unshed tears as she stared into the molten pools of chocolate of his own, she stayed silent, letting her eyes express how much he meant to her and hoping that this wasn't going to blow up in her face.