Waterfall By D.M. Evans Disclaimer - Nope, don't own them. Mr. Whedon does. Rating - PG-13 Spoilers - zero. This is very early S2 BtVS Summary - A moment at the Bronze. Author's Note - This was written for the Valentine Rosebud 500 word story challenge at Blood Roses

"What's that?" Buffy peered over Angel's shoulder, startling him.

Angel tried to cover up the artist pad he had brought to the Bronze to kill time waiting for her, figuring if he looked busy he could avoid Cordelia. "Buffy! I didn't hear...see...I wasn't expecting you yet."

"Boring patrol." She sat next to him, slinging her hair back. "So what were you doodling?"

"It's nothing, really." He crossed his arms over it.

Buffy pouted. "I want to see it. I don't care if it's not done yet. I'm just curious."

"You've heard what that did to the cat?" He looked away. "I wasn't sure if I was going to show you."

"How bad could it be?" She put her hands on the cover.

Angel gave in and lifted his elbows. She flipped it open and felt her breath whoosh out of her. The pencil sketch stunned her. She hadn't known Angel could draw this well. She was vaguely aware of him shifting about in his seat uncomfortable but all she could concentrate on was the sketch of her standing under a waterfall. She knew the setting was common, every swimsuit model did something like this.

But Angel's sketch was anything but common. The overhanging trees, the rocks in the background, the water, all seemed to have color, so much life that she felt she could feel the coolness of the water splashing her, taste its freshness. Even though it was a mere pencil sketch, she knew there was sunlight drenching the scene. Though naked under the cascading water, there was nothing vulgar or even sexual about the pose. Angel had never seen her naked - to her knowledge - but he had captured her as perfectly as if he had studied her every curve and line.

Buffy looked at her upturned face and wished she knew what it was like to feel that peaceful. The way the water and the locks of her hair gave her modesty in Angel's drawing made Buffy feel like he saw her as some kind of fey creature, precious and perfect. "Why wouldn't you want me to see this? It's beautiful."

He traced a finger over it. "I was afraid you'd think it was...weird, me drawing you like this." "I think it's wonderful. Is it a real place?"

"It's Gleann an Chairthe, Glencar Falls, in Sligo. Yeats used it as inspiration. I was there once a very long time ago. I can still remember the way the sun poured through the trees, fracturing into little rainbows in the water coming off the falls, like jewels floating in air," he said, his voice in a faraway place. "I realized this was the only way I'd ever see you in sunlight."

Buffy heard the catch in his voice, the pain. She threw her arms around his neck, snuggling in. "You keep this then, keep it closer, forever, until the lead fades away."

He kissed her softly closing the cover to the artists' pad. "Until then and beyond."