TITLE: I Cherish You
AUTHOR: Goddess Isa
EMAIL: goddessisa@aol.com
SUMMARY: Buffy and Angel spend Christmas Day together in bed. Takes place right after Afterthoughts - Amends
DISTRIBUTION: Sure, just email me & lmk where it's going - I like seeing my name in print =)
FEEDBACK: Please, I'd hate to have to Slay for it. =P
DISCLAIMER: Buffy and Angel aren't mine, but sometimes I pretend they are and this is one of those times so why don't you guys humour me? 'I Do' is by 98Degrees

//All I am, all I'll be

Everything in this world

All that I'll ever need

Is in your eyes

Shining at me

When you smile I can feel

All my passion unfolding

When you hand brushes mine

And a thousand sensations

Seduce me\\

I can't believe he almost left me forever today. Christmas Eve, and his ashes were almost my gift. It's bad enough that he was going to leave me, but he was going to let me watch. I know he thought that was his way of being strong, his way to let me go, but I don't need to be free. I wanna be with him forever. And what's more, I watched him die once. God knows I can never go through that again.


He rolls over in bed. The silk sheets aren't clinging to his body and I can see everything, including his erection. Of course, I don't let on. He brushes the hair from my eyes and looks at me with his heart and soul. "What is it baby?"

"I just wanted to see your face." I touched his cheek. "I'm so thankful that we're together."

"Wrong holiday sweetie," he smiled. "This is Christmas. So, Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas." I started dragging my fingers around on his chest. "Angel?"

"Yeah baby?" his fingers traced my eyebrows.

"Don't ever leave me." I snuggled into his arms. "Promise me."

"I promise."

//I do cherish you

For the rest of my life

You don't have to think twice

I will love you still

From the depths of my soul

It's beyond my control

I've waited so long to say this to you

If you're asking do I love you this much

Baby, I do\\

She's so perfect. So beautiful. Maybe her name should've been Angel instead of Buffy. That's how perfect she is.

She's fallen asleep again, the back of her head using my chest as a pillow. It's five-fifteen and the snow is still falling outside. I wonder if her mother is sitting down to Christmas dinner, and if she's alone. I feel bad that she's here, she should be spending Christmas with her family.

I can't get the image out of my head. I was standing on the cliff. I was ready to die. I almost killed myself. Almost left her alone. What a selfish thought to entertain.

Sometimes I wonder why I was even put here. Why I have to hurt someone so much because I love her. I Her tears are dry now, have been for a long time, but when we first got back to my place, crying was all she did. She said they were happy tears, but they were tears of release, of thankfulness, of relief.

"Angel," she turned and smiled at me. "I just remembered. It's Christmas and your gift is at my house."

"That's okay. Having you," I kissed her forehead. "Here," I kissed the tip of her nose. "In my bed," I kissed her lips until she had to stop to breathe. "This is all the present I need. I do have something for you though."

She sat up in bed, not caring that she wasn't wearing any clothes. Her breasts jiggled as she bounced on the bed like a two year old. I handed her the thin box wrapped in silver paper.

"Yea! Presents for Buffy!" she carefully took off the paper, intending to save it, and found a matted poem. She knew by the calligraphy that Angel had written it, just for her.

//In my world, before you

I loved outside my emotions

Didn't know where I was going

'Till that day I found you

How you opened my life

To a new paradise

In a world torn by change

Still with all of my heart

'Till my dying day

I do cherish you

For the rest of my life

You don't have to think twice

I will love you still

From the depths of my soul

It's beyond my control

I've waited so long to say this to you

If you're asking do I love you this much

Baby, I do\\

Tears were streaming down my face when I finished reading it.

I looked up at him, wishing he wasn't seeing my tears. "You wrote that for me?" I managed to whisper.

"I intended for you to find it.....maybe it was a stupid idea to give it to you anyway."

"No, Angel, it's beautiful. It's perfect." I sniffled. "No one has ever done anything like this for me before."

We were silent for a moment and then he leaned forward to brush away my tears. "I love you," he kissed my forehead.

"I love you too." I closed my eyes to try and stop the tears. "Angel, I need you to promise me something."
"All right."

"Promise me you'll never leave."

He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight. "I promise."

I laid my head on his shoulders and fell asleep to his voice whispering his poem to me. "I do, cherish you..."

As sleep overtook me, I prayed that once, just once, someone would keep the promise they make to me.