Summary: Buffy and Angel have something important to tell each other, something that will affect their future together.
I stand hesitantly at the doors to the Hyperion Hotel. He's inside. I can feel him. I've always felt him. I've known him for more then a decade of my life now. I've felt him for more then a decade of my life. It's a long time. It seems shorter now then it ever did. A decade is nothing to me anymore. It's a blink, a heart beat, a soft sigh.
I push open the door and walk into a silent lobby. There's a young man with ebony skin sitting on this funky round couch. I glance around the hotel and chuckle softly.
"And I thought the mansion was all creepy sinister. I bet there's ghosts and everything here," I say.
"Yeah, actually there is one. She stays in the pool though. I'm Charles Gunn," he says standing up and offering his hand.
"Buffy Summers," I say.
"Oooo, that Buffy?" He asks.
I shrug. "Why does my name always get that response?" I ask.
Charles chuckles. "It's just, well on occasion you're a topic of conversation around here."
"Wait, am I a good topic or a bad topic? Never mind I don't want to know, actually I kind of do. No, don't tell me. Is Angel here?" I ask even though I know he's here. I feel him here.
Charles nods. "Yeah he's upstairs. You might wanna…go on up…" he trails off as I jog up the stairs.
I stop again at Angel's door. I place my hand on the knob, so easy to go in and yet so hard. I swallow hard. I can't imagine how I'm going to tell him this. It's the answer to a lot of our problems and Willow is working on fixing some of the others. For the first time in over a decade, Angel and I could have a real future as long as he doesn't let a little thing like sunlight stand in our way. I take a deep breathe and open the door.
He's standing with the French doors flung open, just on the threshold of the balcony. The moonlight silvers him and makes him look like a statue of alabaster or maybe perfect vanilla ice cream.
"I was beginning to wonder when you'd come in. I thought you were going to stand outside the door all night," he says without turning around.
"I was thinking you look like ice cream," I say.
He turns with a chuckle. "Cookie-dough-mint-fudge?"
"Vanilla. They stopped making that last year you know," I say.
It's funny. He looks incredibly disappointed that they discontinued an ice cream flavor he's never tasted. I step closer to him. He looks different some how and I know that's impossible. He's immortal. He's never gonna change.
"Buffy, there's something…" he trails off.
"Something what?" I ask.
"Come here," he says and beckons me closer. He holds out his hand and I take it.
Oh God, oh God, oh God.
He pulls me closer and I look up at him with tears in my eyes. It's not possible. They wouldn't. There's a limit to how much…they wouldn't.
He smiles at me, mistaking my tears for something else, something like joy or happiness. I hesitantly lay my head on his chest, needing more confirmation then warm hands.
thump thump-thump thump-thump thump
I bite down on my lip so hard I taste blood and the pain is welcome and good and wonderful. I wonder if it's bad to hurt yourself. I force the tears back into that dark place in my heart. I can not rain on his parade. I will not rain on his parade.
"Buffy, what's wrong?" He asks.
The tears make my voice sound like it's stretched too thin.
"It's just-I'm immortal now and you're not," I say.
He stares at me, confusion, denial and finally pain flit across his face. He shakes his head. His raven eyes fill up with tears. "How?" He finally asks.
I swallow hard and wrap my arms around myself. I have to hold myself together literally or I'll fall to pieces so many pieces that all the kings' horses and all the kings' men won't ever, ever be able to put me back together again.
"We kind of suspected when I got impaled during the fight with the First and it didn't even slow me down. We forgot about it though in all the chaos. After that things were pretty normal. I mean I got a cut here, a bruise there but nothing major. I kind of noticed that I was aging really well, but Cordy always said Mom had great skin. I figured good genes. Six months ago I got beat within an inch of my life, ribs punctured lungs and my heart. I didn't even go to the hospital, Angel." I pause and take a deep breath. I didn't know how I was going to tell him this. It was supposed to be the start of our eternity together.
"Willow did some tests, some magic. When I first came back from Heaven, I had Tara do some tests and she said I was different but it was like a sunburn. It turns out the sunburn was immortality." My voice cracks and breaks on immortality. God I imagined this so differently.
Angel doesn't say anything. He swallows hard and clenches his jaw. His eyes glisten with unshed tears. He shakes his head. "No."
That one word carries so much and I never realized a word like that could hurt so much.
"It's true, no matter how much I want it to not be, it's true. Get a sword and run me through, Angel. It won't kill me. It won't even slow me down." My voice is a dead, cold thing and that's appropriate because it's all that's left of me.
Angel shakes his head again. He crosses the room in two steps and crushes me into his embrace. He sobs silently into the crook of my neck and the dam inside breaks. I don't convulse with tears like I once would have. They just flow down my cheeks in never ending, salty rivers.
I'm immortal and Angel isn't.
A/N: This idea was heavily inspired by a gorgeous story by Alley called Mortality. You can find it here I highly recommend it to any BA fan.