Title: Maybe Not
Disclaimer: Joss owns all. I'm not making a profit, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda. I will tell you, though, I care a lot more for these guys than he ever did.
Author's Notes: So the end of 'The Girl in Question' left me a lot to ponder over. I mean, there's all these things that happen that don't really make sense. Why haven't Angel or Spike ever seen the Immortal? Why is Andrew Buffy's new best friend? For that matter, why is Andrew living with Buffy? How come Andrew could invite Spike and Angel in? What the HECK was Andrew doing with two hot dates? Anyhoo. Something didn't smell right. So I wrote a fic.
Author's Notes 2: I wrote an original B/A fanfic. Wow… it's been a long time. It's not my best work, but the idea wouldn't leave me alone.
Sometime in the middle of the night I wake up.
I'm alert immediately, attuned to the surroundings. Something is not right. I close my eyes, searching the room with my senses, reaching out to hear the smallest noise, smell the faintest trace of whatever had awoken me.
It only worries me more. Something must have happened to one of the others. Lorne accused me of being on "high alert" since Fred's death. I didn't bother to point out that it was probably with good reason, seeing as Gunn got trapped in a hell dimension, and Wesley took a little dive off the deep end.
I slip on a shirt, not bothering with shoes or pants. Quietly I pad out of the penthouse, creeping down to Wolfram & Hart's lobby.
It's eerily silent, the buzz of activity in the day snuffed out. Even business takes time to sleep. And, besides Illyria and the coming Apocalypse problem, Wolfram & Hart is enjoying a small business break at the moment.
I creep into my office, my back hunching up as my eyes dart around to every corner. Nothing, nothing, and nothing. My eyes fall on the desk, where a bag containing a decapitated head mocks me silently. I pad over to it, my bare feet not making any noise on the carpet.
Even in the dark I can read the note perfectly. And my stomach sinks as I trace the words. Because isn't that really why I had gotten out of bed in the middle of the night on a wild goose chase? The sinking feeling that the person I loved more than anything else in the world had moved on (for real) this time? And this note remained down on my desk, driving home the inevitable truth.
Buffy had moved on.
I hadn't. I waited, patiently, going through the motions, trying to ignore Spike's comments, content at knowing that she was trying to "find herself." And most certainly not snuggling with my enemy.
And still, I couldn't really accept it as truth. In Italy, when Spike and I had traced her around the country to no avail, I knew that something was not right. Because Buffy could not move on with her life. She couldn't. It wasn't because I was in denial, or because I hadn't moved on, it was the plain and simple truth. Buffy and I always knew that there would be no getting over each other. It just… was.
Until the Immortal came and ruined it.
I shut my eyes, the pain of the last few days finally sinking in. I sink down to the floor, leaning my head back against the desk in defeat. I'm still holding the Immortal's note.
The lights in the office flip on. My vampiric vision blinded by the light, I bring my arm up for protection.
Then I hear the voice. "Hey."
I jerk up, bashing my head against the edge of my desk. It rocks back on its hinges and I stumble ungracefully to my feet. Christ. When did the accident prone thing start?
Then I notice her standing there in all her glory. Her blonde hair spilling down just past her shoulders, her eyes bright and alert despite the late hour. She's wearing jeans and a black tank top and looks… well, really, really good. But then, she's always looked really good.
In sudden fear, I glance down and wince. Oh, shit. "Uhhh… hi. Sorry about the look, I wasn't really expecting anyone."
Next time I go after something in the middle of the night, I'm so remembering to put on pants and a pair of socks. Because this is just ridiculous. I stare at her for a moment, part in mortification, part in simple admiration.
And then I remember. The immortal. Italy. Snuggling. My intense grieving over it. "What are you doing here?"
She sighs, and paces around nervously. "I don't really know." She eyes me for a moment, and (I swear to God) actually looks a little interested. "I like the look. It definitely suits you."
I smile. "Hey, it's what I was going for."
She shakes herself and looks serious again. "Andrew told me that you guys were in Italy."
My tongue feels like lead, so I only nod.
"When were you planning on telling me that Spike was alive?"
"When were you planning on telling me that you were dating the Immortal?" I shoot back. "And for the record," I say, irritably. "Spike was the one who didn't want you to know he was alive. I only respected what he wanted."
"Since when?" she replies, bitterly.
"We're actually getting along a lot better than we used to." And that's true. Sort of. Well, we haven't actually all out fought since that one time. Plus, he follows my orders now. Sort of. "It's funny, there's a lot of empathy going around when you find out the woman you love is with an old enemy."
"Angel," she says quietly. "I didn't come here to fight."
"Then why did you come?" I snap. "To rub it in? That you've finally moved on? That your cookie dough promise was a lie? Because if you did, I really don't think I can handle it right now."
"I was waiting for you! I mean, I knew it could be years. But I was waiting patiently, which is more than I can say for some other souled vampires. And if I had known that I should have been moving on… I would have been moving on!"
"Angel! There is no Immortal!"
"I have a girlfriend, too, you know!" And then… her words finally catch up to me. Oh, god. Now I officially feel like a big, stupid, idiot. You'd think, after 250 years, I wouldn't act like such a jerk some of the time. "He's a… what?"
"Ever wondered why you guys never ran into him? That he did all these really wonderful things, seduced so many women, but you never actually met him?"
"So you're not snuggling with him, then?" I ask, pathetically.
"Right, sorry. But… he is, real. He did both Drusilla and Darla. Besides, all kinds of people have heard of him. In Italy they kept getting all excited every time we mentioned his name."
"He's more of a legend than reality, you know? He's like… that really famous Spanish guy that people are always imitating. Johnny Depp once played him."
"Johnny Depp's the Immortal?"
"No," Buffy replies, frustrated. "The famous Spanish seducer."
"Oh. You mean Don Juan?"
"Yeah, whatever." She shrugs. "I just… wanted you to know that. I was sent undercover to try and determine what the Immortal was, exactly. Besides, I would never…. And, also? Andrew? When did Andrew become my new, bestest friend? Do you have any idea how much I want to snap his neck most of the time? I won't give Andrew my phone number, much less the name of anyone I may be dating."
The relief comes next. So much that my knees actually buckle and I shrink to the ground. "Oh, thank God. You don't know how much… when I thought about you and… and the Immortal. It was… a fear like I'd never felt before."
Buffy crouches down in front of me, and plucks the note out of my hand. She reads it with a grim smile on her face. "Andrew's handwriting."
"Andrew?" I whisper faintly.
"His handwriting. It sounds like he set you guys up big-time. I was pummelling him for information when he let it slip that you and Spike had been by."
"So you're still baking, right? No one's had cookies yet?"
Oh, Lord. I can't even believe the level I've sunk to.
She smiles. "Still bakey." She raises her eyebrows, moves in a little closer. "You have a girlfriend?"
She smells so good, fresh and like vanilla. She's so close that all I can do is stare into her eyes, sinking into her like always. "Girlfriend… who has a girlfriend?"
She jabs a finger into my chest. "You do," she says teasingly. "You said so. When you thought I was snuggling with the Immortal."
"There is no Immortal," I remind her.
"Hmm," she leans closer, and I feel her breath tickling across my skin. "I feel like someone's avoiding the question."
"It's not so much a girlfriend as… as mostly a lie. There was this girl I almost went to breakfast with. But I never called her back so…" And then her lips are covering mine, her hands are through my hair and down my back. I cup her cheek, deepening the kiss. desperate to reassure myself that she's really here, that's she's Buffy, and that's she's kissing me.
She pulls away, a small smile playing across her lips. She kisses the tip of my nose, then my forehead, then pulls away again to look into my eyes. "See? Still your girl, Silly."
"Always," I answer back, tracing her cheek with my thumbs. Her skin is soft and smooth beneath my fingertips.
She leans in for another chaste kiss before pulling away. "I should probably…"
"Go," I finish, sadly.
She nods. "But I hear you guys have an apocalypse coming up. I'll be around to give you a hand… if you want it."
I look at her gratefully, drinking in her features with my eyes. "We're going to need it."
She stands up. "Sorry to barge in on you, but I really wanted to get you alone."
Yes. Thank God. Thank God. Thank God.
"And remember, if you hear about me from Andrew please don't take it seriously, okay?"
I give a bark of laughter, partly from overwhelming relief and partly from being slightly hysterical. "Yeah, it won't happen again."
She turns around in the doorway, surveying me one last time. "I'll see you later, Angel. I'll let you know when I have cookies."
"I like cookies."
Her soft laughter echoes down the hall as I watch her get into the elevator and disappear.
And for the first time, being woken up in the middle of the night wasn't so bad, after all.
A/N: So… it doesn't really answer anything, but it was fun, right? Anyhoo. B/A forever!