Of Love's Mind

Disclaimer: Yeah right I own them. Buffy's in Rome! Oh yeah I own them *snort*

Summary: Buffy/Angel, written from Angel's point of view. Angst, lots and lots of Angst and can I have that with a side of Angst. That's all you're getting.

Spoilers: Everything.

I'm going to see her. There's so much on my mind I'm grateful for the long drive. A thousand memories dance through my mind. The first one I always think of is the first time I saw her. There are very few moments in life where that one moment changes your entire existence and you know at that moment you will never be the same again. Seeing Buffy for the first time did that to me. I wanted to be a better person, a better man a better everything for her, because of her. She was so young, so naïve and innocent and so alive that I wanted to guard her, protect her, no matter the costs. At the time I had thought those costs would be so high, but they never were, not to me. Loving Buffy comes so easy. It's not loving her that was hard. It's not loving her that proved impossible. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I told myself I couldn't, I shouldn't, I did. It was like the sun rising. Loving Buffy is inevitable and easy and natural.

"I love you. I try not to, but I can't stop."

"Me, me too. I can't either."

The first time I met her, she knocked me flat on my back. I never really recovered. Then when she found out I was a vampire, I thought the problem would take care of itself. I never dreamed she could love me, knowing what I am, like I love her. That's Buffy though. She loves with her entire being. There's no halfway point, no sort of, no maybe. She doesn't know how. She accepts what I am. She even loves the demon. Angelus will deny it to our dying day, but he loves her too. He gets protective, he gets jealous and he would kill anyone who hurt our mate.

"You shouldn't have to touch me when I'm like this."

"Oh. I didn't even notice."

She kissed me when I had my game face on. It might not seem like much but that was it for me. She trusts me. That's not an easy thing to do when I look like something off of a bad B horror movie. I knew I loved Buffy long before then, but that was when I realized how much she loves me. I spent ninety eight years feeling like I was the most unlovable, horrible, cursed creature on the face of this earth. It took Buffy 8 months to make me feel loved. I know, she's amazing. That's not to say I deserved Buffy. This is going to sound like blasphemy but trying to earn Buffy's love, would be like trying to earn God's grace. You just can't. You can't ever be good enough, you can't work hard enough, to deserve something like Buffy's love, but she loves me anyway, completely, totally, with all her heart and soul.

Buffy saved me, in every way a person can be saved. She saved me the first time by pulling me out of the alley and making me want something in life, her. She saved me again, with a little help from the Powers above, on cold Christmas morning when it snowed in Southern California. I know it doesn't snow in Southern California; it never snows in Southern California. It did once. I don't think the Powers did it so much because I was worth saving. I think they couldn't stand to see her in so much pain and I was stubborn and stupid that I was intent on being "strong" and facing the sunrise.

"Strong is fighting, it's hard and its everyday and we can do it together."

And we do, although we aren't and never were physically together for most of the time. It was too hard, it hurt too much to be able to see her and touch her and love her so damned much and not be able to make love to her. We spent a lot of time apart, but she was never out of my heart, she was never out of my soul. That would be pretty much impossible since we're halves of the same soul.

"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies"

Aristotle said that, a much older and wise man then I.

We had one perfect day. One beautiful day I have always kept in my mind. I was human. I kissed her in the sun. God, she's beautiful in the sun. I remember a time when she told me she didn't look good in direct light. She lied. She's breathtaking. I am certain of this, even though I have no breath to take. We walked on the beach. We ate ice cream and chocolate and peanut butter. We made love. She listened to my heartbeat and for once I couldn't hear hers without laying my head to her chest. And then I took it all back, for her. The Oracles said she would die sooner if I was human. I should have asked them to define sooner. She died 18 months later. I know I got gypped. She came back though. That was the happiest day of my life. The entire way to meet her I thought gladly thought of every face of every person I've ever killed or tortured. I reminded myself of every single atrocity I have ever committed. I am still surprised I didn't lose my soul at first sight of her, alive. I think it was because Angelus was happy to see her too. He mourned the death of our mate as much as I did.

I park the car. I'm here. I get the basket out of the trunk, a trunk that normally holds weapons and chains. Not today, today is our special day. I get candles from the basket and set them in the grass. I light them with matches and get her flowers out of the basket. White roses, always white. Angelus got her red. I get her book out. The one I gave her so long ago on her eighteenth birthday. I open the faded copy of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese". The word Always is written on the title page. It's faded over the years, but it's still there.

"You still my girl?"


I spend the next several hours reading poems to her. I glance up at the lightening sky. Its almost time for me to go.

"Buffy, I love you. That has never changed, never wavered, never faltered since the moment I saw you sitting on the steps in the sunlight. It never will. There are some things in life that don't change, very few, but some. My love for you is one of those."

I run my fingers over the engraving on her headstone one last time before I get up to go.

"True love burns the brightest, but it's the brightest flames that leave the deepest scars."