"So, you're really thinking about it?"

"Yeah. I am. I really am."

"Wow."

"Tell me about it."

"Wow."

"Okay, just telling me about it the one time will work, too."

"Oh, right. Sorry! It's just, um-- it's... um."

"I know, I know. It's a big deal. But... I'm ready. Well, I think so anyway." Hmm. Let's just take a second to think this through; Angel kissing me, Angel touching me, Angel kissing and touching me without any clothes on... Mmm-kay! "Yep, I'm ready!"

"Have you, um, talked to him about... you know? Yet?"

"No," I sigh. "After you left, Angel and I made with the kissing for about fifteen minutes, but then we went inside and my mom saw us and pretty much figured out what happened. We spent the rest of the night sitting thirty feet away from each other and watching ooompa-loompas flail around."

"Still!" Willow enthuses, grinning. "Fifteen minutes of kissing is good! I think. N-not that I would know, of course. Um... it is good, right?"

"Oh, I highly recommend it," I say cheekily.

"I knew it! Sometimes... I think about fifteen minutes of kissing with Xander! But then my brain kinda goes all mushy and I have to stop."

I laugh. "Willow, what are we going to do with you?"

She shrugs and smiles her Willow-shaped smile. Her crush on Xander is just about the cutest thing ever. God, sometimes I could just smack him for being so oblivious.

"What we really need is to buy that boy a clue," I announce. "And maybe a new wardrobe."

"Nooo! I like his clothes! They're Xander clothes!"

I laugh again and shake my head, turning towards the board when the teacher comes in. I guess it's true what they say about love being blind...



"Hey you," says my incredibly gorgeous make-out friend who is leaning against the wall outside my classroom when the bell rings.

"Hey you," I say back with a face-splitting smile. Not high on the originality scale, I know. But I couldn't think of anything better because I was too busy looking at my hottie boyfriend's jeans. Just look at the fine workmanship of that denim. Mm-mmm. Asslicious!

I slide my backpack a little higher on my shoulder and lean casually against the wall next to him. "Whatcha doin'?" I ask coyly.

"I'm waiting for my girlfriend," he drawls in a quiet voice, sliding his hand up my arm until it stops on my shoulder. He calmly straightens my backpack strap that had twisted a little when I adjusted it. I feel a little thrill, but I'm not sure whether it's from his hand so close to my bra strap or from hearing him refer to me as his 'girlfriend'.

I know, I know... I'm like 12 years old. But I don't really care anymore because I'm Angel's 12 year old girlfriend!

...

Except not in a gross pedophile way.

"Yeah? What does she look like?" I ask, dragging myself back into the conversation and leaning into his hand that was now making its way slowly up my neck to my cheek.

"That's priviledged information," he mumbles before sliding his fingers through my hair at the back of my head and pulling me gently towards him. "A gentleman never kisses and tells..."

I barely hear what he said before our lips collide and then we're kissing and kissing and ahhhhh...

"BUFFY? What the hell are you doing?!"

Angel and I reluctantly break apart and I immediately touch my fingers to my lips to check for spit trails. I don't have any, but I notice Angel casually rubbing the side of his mouth with his thumb.

How said is it that I'm turned on by the thought that I left my spit on his face? I really have issues.

The number one issue, of course, being XANDER and his HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE TIMING.

"It's called 'kissing', Xander," I mutter, turning to see him glaring at Angel as if he were kicking puppies through a plate glass window. What is his problem lately?

"Really? Because it looked like 'swallowing' from where I was standing."

I roll my eyes and glance over at Willow who was standing quietly in the doorway to the classroom. I realize in embarrassment that her cheeks are bright red from having to watch Angel and I make out in front of her. Oops. I give her an apologetic look and she smiles back immediately. 'Kay. No long term damage.

"So... what?" Xander continues. "Is this a cultural exchange thing? 'Welcome to my country, let me put my tongue in your mouth?"

"NO," I reply darkly. "Angel and I are dating."

I grab Angel's hand firmly and he gives me a little half-smile in support. I grin up at him, my mood instantly swinging back to the constant ecstatic high I've been on since the night of the dance.

Willow makes a little squealing noise and rocks up on her toes while sharing my grin. "Isn't it GREAT?"

Did I mention that I love Willow? She's my John Hughes perfect best friend. Only without the scary 80's hair.

"Yeah. Great," Xander mumbles, looking distinctly uncomfortable. "You know, we should probably be getting to gym before all the good urinals are taken."

I scrunch up my nose in the universal symbol for 'Ewwwwwwww!'. "I so didn't need to hear that."

Angel pushes away from the wall with his shoulder and squeezes my hand a little. I squeeze back in response and we start walking towards the gym, but I sneak a couple glances back at Xander along the way. Something is definitely up with him lately and I'm determinded to find out what it is. By force if necessary.Well... considering I weigh less than most 10-year old boys, it'll probably be less 'force' and more of a 'stern-talking-to'.

But never underestimate the effectiveness of a good stern talking to. Just ask my mother.



"He is a complete TWEAKO. He doesn't even know how to work our digital cappuchino machine. I tell him I want LIGHT foam, but what does he bring me? Something that looks like brown water with toothpaste floating in it! Ugh. The things I put up with."

Oh, wonderful. Looks like I got to the locker room just in time to witness Cordelia's latest excursion off the planet Earth.

"Drama," Aura clucks sympathetically. "You're so generous to be doing this for those less fortunate."

"Yeah," Aphrodesia pipes in. "You're like that nun woman that, like, helped some people, you know? Mother Contessa?"

Oh my god. Aphrodesia is not exactly frantic with brains, but that was whole new levels of stupid even for her.

Cordelia scrunches up her nose and an all-too-brief look of disbelief flashes across her face. You know, sometimes I forget that she's actually really smart...

"Well, whatever. You'd think he'd show a little more initiative learning American stuff. And what's more American than cappuchino?"

... usually because she says things like that.

"I don't know, Cordelia. What COULD be more American than Italian coffee?" I mutter quietly to myself, dropping my bag next to them and tugging on my sneakers.

"Talking to yourself again, Buffy?" Cordelia snarks, glancing once again at my outfit. "Gee, I wish the voices in your head would have told you to stay away from K-Mart."

Okay, that is IT.

"EXCUSE me, but this skirt is Calvin Klein. Just because I don't dress like I've got a second job after the sun goes down doesn't mean I don't know style," I bluster, standing up and slamming my locker. "Why don't you leave me alone and go back to feeding the hungry, MOTHER CONTESSA?"

With that, I turn and march out of the locker room amid a sea of shocked faces. I know I just committed the eighth deadly sin: 'Thou Shalt Not Stand Up to a Chase', but she totally deserved it.

Besides, if there's one thing I learned in the trenches at Hemery, it's that you have to fight bitch with bitch. And occasionally with pepper spray, but that's only under extreme circumstances.




Twenty minutes later, Angel and I are playing tennis. We're both unspeakably bad, so it's not really 'playing' as much as 'goofing off and occasionally swinging a racket in the general direction of the ball'.

"I'm totally kicking your ass," I snark, grinning over the net at Angel. "I almost hit it over the net last time. Scared, yet?"

Angel bounces the ball against the court and gives me a little smile. "Terrified."

"Well, you should be," I say, holding in laughter. "I'm the golden goddess of tennis."

"Try to be gentle," he asks, throwing the ball up and tapping it with his racket in my direction.

The ball hops over the net to my side of the court and I run forward to take a big swing at it. I manage to hit it pretty hard and it goes flying somewhere in the general direction of the court next to us. Angel and I watch it go before I burst into a fit of giggles.

"I think that was Angel's point," Willow supplies from her spot sitting next to the court.

"Are you sure that was out-of-bounds? It looked pretty close to me," I remark.

Willow shades her eyes with her hand and looks over towards where the ball disappeared. "I think it might have landed in Nevada."

"And that's out-of-bounds?" I ask with a pretend pout. "This game is so strict."

"Really, Will," Xander fake chides while lying on his back next to her. "Calling a shot out when it only lands six courts away? You're like the tennis gestapo."

Willow crosses her arms over her chest. "As a judge, I'm tough but fair."

"So what's the score then?" Angel asks while standing casually near the net.

"Well, after fifteen minutes of intense hardcourt action, careful analysis of the statistics reveal that you both are godawful at tennis," Xander answers, not moving from his position stretched out on his back. "But I think Buffy is point-oh-oh-one percent more godawful than Angel."

"Winner and still champion," I boast, smiling brightly.

"So what are we doing tonight?" Willow asks, standing up and grabbing her racket. "I hear Cibo Matto are playing at the Bronze."

Ooo, Cibo Matto! Mood music for the first steps of the carefully planned seduction of my helpless foreign exchange student. He'll never know what hit him...

"Perfect! We're there," I say, turning to flash a smile at Angel. "Wanna be my date?"

"Love to," he replies. "I'll try not to break your nose this time."

I laugh, but it's a small, embarassed laugh and I unconsciously move my hand up to touch my now normal-sized nose. "That would be good."

I notice Xander wince out of the corner of my eye, but I don't twist the knife. It was a complete accident, anyway.

Besides, I'm way too psyched about tonight to care. I anticipate a full evening of the dancing, the making of love, and the general getting down tonight. I can't WAIT!