Disclaimer: I take no credit for the series or characters.

A/N: Set in those couple of hours between the end of 3.14 "Bad Girls" and 3.15 "Consequences."

Special thanks to MáireAilbhe for coming up with the title.

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all.

Buffy shows up early. Angel isn't sure how early exactly, but when he wakes up around noon, she's already sitting on his couch. She's sideways, her back to the arm, her legs crossed at the ankles, and she's got a pillow to her chest. Her pale blue coat is hung across the back of the couch and she's clearly been here a while.

"Hey," he says.

"Hey," she says. She turns her head to look at him but keeps her chin on the pillow.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know you'd be here so early."

Buffy shrugs. "No big. Me neither." She draws her legs back, tucks her feet almost underneath herself, and looks down to rearrange her dress. "Had to talk to Faith. Thought I'd come here after."

Angel takes a seat beside her and his leg brushes her knees. "And that didn't go well?"

Buffy doesn't look up. She shrugs again. "Can we not talk about Faith?"


Buffy picks one of her hairs off of the pillow, then sets the pillow aside. She leans in, scoots forward, and, like on Thursday, she curls into his side, her chin on his shoulder. And, like on Thursday, he can tell something's very off about her. Buffy's been a little erratic lately, but this, today and last night, is different.

"Something's bothering you."

She doesn't respond for a minute. She breathes in, out. "I don't really want to talk about it right now, okay?"


He'd say it was the close fight last night, Giles being taken and him almost having his head torn off, but he knows something was wrong before that. She was already shaken when he found her in the alley.

Maybe he'll look into it.

Buffy's hand drifts up his arm over the top of his and Angel opens his hand so she can slip her palm in. He clasps her fingers.

She nuzzles into his shoulder a little more and sighs, softly, sadly. "Happy Valentine's Day."

She's not happy.

"Happy Valentine's Day."