Title: A Trip to the Pound
Author: Goldy
Disclaimer: I'll give you a hint: it isn't me and apparently isn't the WB anymore either. So it must be that evil guy who split up the couple we all love so much. What's his name again? Oh yeah, Joss Imthemeanestpersonintheworld Whedon. I do not own anything cause if I did believe me when I say the show would be a whole lot different. Well, I own Brandon, but that's not even true because the shirt isn't mine, and the name came from my friend. *Sigh!*
Synopsis: Oh please, it's B/A mush there isn't a damn plot for god's sake.
Author's notes: I just want to say thanku to Tornpaperdoll cause without her I wouldn't have gone to 242 or heard any of her stories. Thus, Angel wouldn't get jealous. And Angel is human in case you haven't figured it out already. When and where he got his reward you are gonna have to figure out. I know I'm cheap. This story also has nothing to do with any of my others. Okay I think I am finally done now...

"I," Buffy cried imperiously, "want a dog."

"That's nice dear," Angel replied without looking up from the newspaper he was reading.

"I'm serious."


"So, here I go out the door to get a dog." Buffy grabbed her purse and made a beeline for the kitchen door.

"Wait hold on there... did you say dog?" Angel said stopping Buffy in her tracks.

"Maybe," Buffy squeaked.

"We're not getting a dog." Angel declared firmly.

Buffy raised her eyebrows, "and why not?"

"Because... because," Angel fumbled.

"Because they're cute, adorable, and worship the ground that you walk on?"

"No because they're stinky, hairy, and they poop in the house. And if that happens I'll be the one that ends up cleaning it up."

Buffy stuck her tongue out at her husband, "they don't have accidents if they're well trained."

"Oh, so you're planning on training a puppy now?"

"You're mean."

"I know, but you love me anyway." Angel retorted smartly.

"Angel," Buffy whined pitifully, "I want a dog."

"Why can't we get a cat?" He asked hopefully.

Buffy sighed and walked over to where he was sitting at the kitchen table. She sat herself comfortably down on Angel's lap. She gave him her best sexy smile, and rubbed her nose with his.

"Whatever you're doing it's not going to work," Angel murmured huskily.

"That's what you think." Buffy said letting her tongue slowly drag against his lower lip. She widened her eyes a little and looked back up at him hopefully.

"Definitely not," Angel whispered breathlessly, "...working."

Buffy smiled and brought her lips down to meet his. She kissed him softly at first, and then with more passion. Just as Angel slipped his arms around her and they were getting towards the point of no return Buffy abruptly pulled back away from him. "Please," she begged.

"I'll reconsider it..." Angel got out right before he pulled his wife back against him. And began his attack on her lips again.

She smiled against his mouth, it looked like she was going to get her way...again. Angel slipped his tongue into her mouth and Buffy let out an involuntary groan erasing any more coherent thoughts from her brain. It didn't matter that they had shared thousands of kisses like this in the past, each time felt like the first.

She nibbled gently on his bottom lip and swept down to meet his tongue with hers desperate to taste him. Angel slipped his hands neatly under her pants and Buffy nearly ripped his shirt off then and there ready to do it on the kitchen table-not like they hadn't before-when she suddenly remembered her mission.

Buffy pulled back a little from Angel's mouth, and he used that opportunity to suck gently on her ear lob. 'Oh no he isn't making this too hard...' "So that was a yes then?" She panted.

"Oh yes." He managed before tilting her head back to allow him access to her neck.

"Oooh that tickles... no wait I mean," Buffy paused what was she trying to get out of him again? "Dog... yes?"

Angel suddenly pulled away from her. Buffy whined in frustration. She hadn't really been expecting an answer. "Could you please not say 'dog' when were about to..."

"Have sex on the kitchen table?" Buffy finished brightly.

Angel smirked at her, "make love on the kitchen table," he corrected.

Buffy smacked her forehead. "Right I forgot. We 'make love.' Stupid me."

"You're not stupid." He interjected.

Buffy smiled at him and kissed the tip of his nose, "you aren't at all biased."

"I'm not. You aren't stupid you just don't apply yourself."

Buffy sighed she was not going to get into this argument with Angel again. Yeah she worked as a waitress at a bar. Not the most successful job in the world or that well paid, but it wasn't that bad for a college dropout like her. And she enjoyed it, which was the most important thing. She'd always been tough even after she lost her slaying powers. She knew that Angel didn't like her job. He got worried about her safety, but she knew how to handle herself. He was probably just jealous of all the drunken guys that paid her so much attention.

"You've got enough knowledge in there for both of us, sweetheart," Buffy said patronizingly. It was true. The ex-vampire had 250 years of experience and not just in the smarts... but Buffy wasn't going to let herself think about the "other" skills he had at the moment.

Angel scowled, "But you could do so much better than that bar you work at."

Buffy rolled her eyes here they went again. "You make quite enough for both of us being such a successful lawyer," Buffy interrupted quickly before Angel could get going. Sometimes he went on longer than Giles. "Anyway weren't we talking about dogs?"

"Dogs are hairy, smelly, and poopy," Angel grumbled.

"Why am I getting a sudden sense of déjà vu?" Buffy asked the kitchen. When it didn't give her an answer she looked questioningly back at Angel. "I'm getting the feeling there is more to it than the "poopy" thing."

Angel hung is head, "promise you won't laugh?"

Buffy smiled at him and forced his head up so she could look him in the eye, "I promise."

"I kinda have this thing... with dogs."

"Yeah I've noticed." Buffy pointed out sarcastically. When Angel gave her a hurt look she immediately softened, "you can tell me anything. I'll love you anyway."

Angel took a deep breath and focused his eyes somewhere on the fridge. "I'm afraid of dogs," he said in a rush. "Petrified would actually be a more accurate term."

Buffy snorted. Then all out laughed. She couldn't help it. It wasn't everyday that a big man like Angel admitted to being afraid of dogs.

Angel glared at her, "I thought you said you weren't going to laugh!"

"Sorry I've just never heard of a vampire that admits to being afraid of dogs," Buffy managed to choke out between giggles.

"Ex-vampire, and there's just something about them..."

"Let me guess, they're poopy right?" Buffy gasped and collapsed in a fit of laughter again.

"Its not funny," Angel complained, but Buffy could see that he was just itching not to smile.

Buffy did her best to somber up, "No, your right it isn't funny," Buffy stated, but then she immediately smiled again. "No, I lied it is funny."

"Last time I ever tell you anything," Angel huffed, but he pulled her close to him again.

Buffy leaned against him absentmindedly fiddling with his top shirt button. "Love, I hate to break it to you, but whatever dog phobia you might have. I want you to get over. And fast cause I want a black Labrador."

Angel literally paled at her words, "a black Labrador? But they're so... so big."

Buffy giggled again. She had to admit that he was cute. In the big-strong-man-scared-of-a-little-puppy cute sense. Dropping a kiss on his forehead she murmured, "don't worry I won't let her bite you." Buffy jumped off of his lap planning on taking a shower before she headed over to the pound.

"Where are you going? This conversation isn't done yet."

"Shower. And yes it is. Or at least it's going on hold. Are you coming with me?"

Angel grinned at her and she noticed that evil twinkle that he got in his eye when he wasn't having the purest of thoughts about her. "Hold... is okay."

Buffy grinned at him adoringly, "I thought so."

"Oh and honey?"

"Yes, love."

"It's going to be a him."

Buffy shook her head, "I don't think so."

Sometimes Angel thought that he spoiled Buffy too much. Other times he felt like he didn't spoil her enough. Mostly he just liked to do nice things for her. She was the most important person-thing-in his life and he didn't mind letting the world know.

Right now wasn't one of those times when he wanted to do what she wanted. But he did anyway. Angel was pretty damn sure that if Buffy asked him to cut off his own hand he would do it. Although, getting a puppy was much much worse than loosing a hand. Still, here he was in the kitchen in only a towel calling the pound. To get Buffy a dog.

"Yes hi, I was wondering if you by any chance had some puppies," Angel said into the phone after he was greeted with a very chipper, "Sunnydale pound, how can I help you?"

His heart sunk low in his chest when he heard that yes someone had just dropped in a new load of puppy dogs. "What um... breed are they?" Angel asked with difficulty. He prayed to the Powers above that the only thing they had right now was a nice friendly Chihuahua.

Of course since today was Angel's lucky day they only had black Lab German Shepard mixes. Angel sighed painfully and almost slammed the phone on the hook when the lady on the other end asked he would be coming by later. "Probably," he muttered in reply right before he gently placed the phone in its cradle.

Suddenly Angel felt warm arms slip around his waist and someone kiss his tattoo. "Just can't get enough of me can we?" Angel teased. Buffy came around to his front side, and let her hands travel up his hard well muscled stomach and encircle his neck.

"I like it when you're not wearing anything." Buffy explained giving him an adoring smile. Angel felt himself glow with happiness. He had had so much of that since he regained his humanity. Angel mentally thanked the Powers for his gift and forgave them for allowing the pound to carry puppies. If it made Buffy happy then it would make him happy.

"It's even better when you're not wearing anything." He teased.

"Oh, now who can't get enough of who?" She retorted.

"I couldn't get enough of you if we were the last to people on the Earth and we had to reproduce all day."

Buffy wrinkled her nose and looked at him thoughtfully, "that's sweet... kinda of disturbing, but sweet."

"I'm glad you thought so," Angel said leaning down to lightly brush his mouth with hers.

"So, are you gonna tell me what you found out, or do I have to chain you up to get answers?" Buffy asked when they pulled away.

Angel sighed debating whether or not he should tell her the truth. Although, it probably didn't matter-Buffy could tell when he was lying-and he probably couldn't lie to her either. "German Shepard, Black Lab mixes."

Buffy's eyes lit up. "Puppies?"

"Yes, puppies."

Buffy threw herself into his arms, "I kinda love you a lot, you know."

Angel kissed the top of Buffy's (still wet) hair, and rested his chin comfortably on her head. They fit perfectly together, as if made especially to be that way. "I love you even more than that."

Buffy smiled mischievously up at him, "and you can show me just how much you love me by driving me to the pound..."

"Sorry Buffy, I'm already letting you have a dog. I'm not letting you actually take me inside a place where there are dogs no matter which way you turn your head."

"Angel, you have to come. Were getting our first pet here. It's a big deal. And if you can't even go in a place where they have dogs chained up then you are never going to get over this dogaphobia of yours."

"Actually it's canine phob--"

"Whatever, look my point is you have to come. I want to go dog shopping with you." Buffy interrupted.

"Well, if you need me that much..." Angel teased hoping that if he stalled long enough they wouldn't have any dogs left. But that was just wishful thinking, and he knew it.

"I do need you that much," Buffy answered seriously looking him right in the eye.

Angel wondered if she was still just talking about getting a dog. "I need you too," he told her softly remembering all of the years that they had spent apart.

Buffy's eyes filled with tears and she immediately leaned up to kiss him. He kissed her back fiercely. Buffy seized the moment and jumped up wrapping her legs around his waist, and Angel held her closely against him.

Buffy ended the kiss as suddenly as she started it. She buried her face in Angel's neck and let out a low shuddering sob. He rubbed her back slowly waiting until she calmed down.

After a minute Buffy got a hold of herself, and she slid back down so she was on her feet again, but she didn't move away from Angel. "I'm sorry," Buffy sniffed looking up at Angel with big frightened little girl eyes.

"For what?"

"For... I don't know... breaking down without a reason maybe?"

"Nothing to apologize for, love. I'm just worried. What happened?"

Buffy looked at the ground, absentmindedly chewing on her bottom lip. Angel didn't say anything. He knew that she was deep in thought and when she was ready to share she would.

Buffy looked up at him again. She reached up and ran a hand down Angel's cheek. "I think that for the first time I realized how happy I was, and how lucky it was for me to finally have you. Really have you, I mean," Buffy admitted with some difficulty. "We've been married for a little over a year now, and it suddenly hit me that it wasn't just a dream. You belong to me, Angel. Always have and always will."

Angel felt his eyes tearing up a little at her heartfelt speech. He knew exactly what she meant, because that was how he felt too. "So, you got all this from a dog?" he asked trying to break the tension.

He was relieved when Buffy giggled. "I think it's been in me for awhile, but just now I noticed that I could probably ask you to cut of your hand and you would do it for me."

Angel almost choked on her last words. He could understand where she was coming from. "You really think so?"

"Well, lets see... Angel cut off your hand."

"Yes ma'am." Angel got up and detached himself from his clingy wife-not that he minded that-and went to the kitchen to find a nice big butcher knife.

Buffy laughed again, and followed Angel into the kitchen. "Wait hold on there. Your wedding ring is on your hand and you wouldn't want to cut off that. Would you?"

"I could always put it on the other hand, love." Angel said reasonably.

Buffy smirked at him. She knew that he was waiting for her to tell him not to cut off his hand. Buffy thought maybe she should see whether or not he would really go through with it. But he was buying her dog.... "Honey, I like your hand better when it's attached to your arm."

Angel nodded, "yeah, me too."

"Plus you can do so much good with your hands..."

"And you did threaten to chain me up..."

"I should definitely do that anyway."

"Instead of going to the pound."

"No way, I hate to break it to you sweetheart, but we're going and you're coming with me." Buffy silenced leaving no more room for argument, "well, at least after you get dressed."

Angel groaned he didn't think that he was getting out of this. Maybe if he just took a long time getting dressed she wouldn't insist on dragging him out to the pound of all places.

"And if you take more than ten minutes to dress I'll do something...bad!"

Angel shook his head sadly. He was doomed. Buffy knew him too well. Sighing he disappeared up the stairs to put some clothes on.

When Angel came back downstairs he found a very impatient Buffy tapping her foot and looking at her watch. Angel kissed her forehead and said, "I'm driving."

"Angel, you've had 250 years to drive. I haven't."

"Cars haven't been around for quite that long, sweetie."

Buffy rolled her eyes, "you're right you've only had 100 years to drive. Silly me." She grabbed the keys from the hook behind the kitchen door and took off for the car.

"Hey," Angel yelled to her retreating figure right before he took off after her, "that's cheating!"

"I know, but it's so worthwhile," Buffy called over her shoulder.

Angel tore on after her managing to catch up right before she reached the car. He encircled his arms around her waist, pulling her against him. "Give up?" he whispered in her ear.

"Never," Buffy gasped, squirming as hard as she could to get out of his grasp.

Angel tickled her sides, and soon Buffy was rolling around on the ground with Angel on his knees next to her. "Give up?" he asked again.

"Nope, you're gonna have to do better than that," Buffy replied snottily.

Angel raised his eyebrows and tickled her again this time until she could hardly breathe from laughing so hard. "Stop! I give up," Buffy choked out as she held out the car keys.

Angel snatched the car keys from her hand and stood up surveying Buffy. Her white miniskirt was covered in grass stains and her black sweater had more wrinkles than a 100-year-old women. Her blond hair was a mess with pieces of grass thrown in here and there. He chuckled a bit when he saw her, he didn't think that she had ever looked better.

Buffy glared up at him, "it's not funny. Do you have any idea how much this skirt cost?"

"Since I probably paid for it, not really." Angel answered. Smirking he turned around heading back to the car. Before he could take one step a hand reached out and grabbed his ankle pulling it out from under him. Angel landed with his back on the grass.

Buffy climbed on top of Angel seconds after he landed. She folded her arms across his chest and rested her chin on them. "Look at you... on the ground."

"That hurt," Angel grumbled.

"I hope so."

"You're getting me full of grass."

"Oh, poor baby," Buffy said without sympathy.

"Do you want me to tickle you again?" Angel demanded.

Buffy grinned evilly at him, and wiggled herself forward to kiss him. She cupped his face and lightly brushed her mouth over his waiting for him to respond. Angel didn't really need much urging, and quickly pushed his lips harder against Buffy's, encircling his arms around her back.

When they pulled away for breath Angel held out the car keys. "So, you wanted to drive?"

Buffy grinned and took the keys, "I always get my way," she cried happily as she started to pick herself off of her husband.

Angel kept his arms around Buffy, "the pound doesn't close for a few hours yet..."

"You're right it doesn't, but the sooner we come back the sooner we can use the chains." Buffy pointed out.

Angel considered that. Buffy did have a point. He released her, and stood up next to her. He looked himself over up and down and realized he wasn't in any better shape than Buffy was. "Maybe we should get cleaned up first."

Buffy nodded, "we should. But if we do, you know as well as I do that we'll never leave the house."

"I'm failing to see why that's a bad thing."

Buffy sighed frustrated. She was beginning not to see a bad side to that plan too. "Oh, just c'mon." Buffy grabbed Angel by the arm and dragged him to the car.

Buffy absentmindedly smoothed down her hair when she got out of the car at the pound. She scowled at the blades of grass that came out attached to her hand. She looked at Angel and plucked a dandelion petal from his shirt. "Maybe we should have cleaned up before we left."

Angel shook his head, "no, you were right the first time. Coming full of grass stains is a good thing."

"You're just hoping that they won't sell us a dog if we look like this."

"Is it that obvious?" Angel muttered.

Buffy smiled grimly, "sorry hon, it's pretty obvious."

Angel took a deep breath, "I guess we should go in at some point..."

"Yeah, that would probably be a good thing." Buffy agreed as she started up the steps.

Angel looked around wearily and nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a dog bark. He was thinking it would be a good idea for him to stay in the car. Preferably, with all the doors locked. Angel turned around to tell his idea to Buffy. Except, she wasn't there anymore. "Great," he whispered to himself as he started up the steps to the entrance.

Inside he saw some guy sitting behind a large white desk in a deep conversation with Buffy. He said something to her, and Buffy laughed and shook her head.

If Angel hadn't been so jealous at that moment, he would have heard dogs barking in a room along the hallway, with the occasional meow of a cat. As it was, Angel was too absorbed in scrutinizing the guy on the other side of the counter. He was just over five feet tall. He was probably in his middle twenties. He had spiked hair and an eyebrow ring. Angel immediately didn't like him.

Angel glared at the guy who was flirting with his wife. He was way too cute to be working in a place like this. And what was up with the eyebrow ring anyway? No one would dare dress like that back in Angel's day.

Angel saddled up to the counter and possessively slipped his arm around Buffy's waist. Buffy smiled happily at him, "hey you finally showed up." Angel opened his mouth to answer when Buffy gestured to Mr. Eyebrowring on the other side of the counter. "Angel this is Brandon, Brandon this is Angel."

"Her husband," Angel added quickly making sure to glare at Brandon.

Buffy gave Angel a weird look, but didn't comment. "So, Buffy tells me your interested in the puppies that arrived yesterday." Brandon said.

On the word puppies Angel suddenly remembered where he was. The barking of the dogs drifted over to Angel's ears and he gave an involuntary shiver. He grabbed Buffy's hand and managed to calm himself down a little.

"Dude, are you okay?" Brandon asked looking at Angel quizzically.

Angel nodded weakly wishing he had stayed in the safety of his car. Buffy leaned down towards Brandon as if she was a little girl telling a very important secret. "He's got dogaphobia," she explained.

Realization struck Brandon's face. "Dude, you can stay here while your wife and I check out the pups."

Angel scowled at him, feeling like a sissy for the first time... ever. "No, I'm fine."

Brandon shrugged, "sure man whatever you say." He turned his attention back to Buffy, "and it's canine phobia."

Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes. "Sure. Great. Whatever. Can we see the puppies now please?"

Brandon nodded and came around to the other side of his desk. He bowed and said, "right this way please." Buffy giggled again and followed Brandon back out of the door of the pound with Angel in tow.

Once outside Angel let out a deep sigh of relief. He didn't like the pound at all. And he didn't like Brandon. Who did he think he was with his little bows and eyebrow rings?

Angel cursed inwardly as he realized that he had no idea what Buffy and Brandon were talking about, and he didn't think that Buffy would except an "I didn't like Brandon so I didn't pay attention," excuse. he did his best to tune his mind on the conversation that they were having.

"I thought that the dogs were kept inside the building where we were." Buffy was saying.

"They are, but the puppies are kept in their own building a little up the road here," Brandon explained.

"How many do you have left?"

"Five, I think."

"How old are they?"

"About 10 weeks."

Angel groaned inwardly. He didn't really want to hear the rest of this conversation. It didn't really matter to him what kind of dog they got. Or how old it was. He just didn't really want to have anything to do with it. He glared at Brandon's back. The guy was still flirting with Buffy even though Angel was right there.

He absentmindedly read the back of Brandon's shirt. 'Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire.' Angel snorted. He couldn't help it. People were so clueless. If they had any idea what it was really like... unfortunately Buffy heard Angel's half snort laughter and stood glaring at him.

"What's so funny?" She demanded.

Angel pointed to Brandon's shirt, and almost started laughing again. "You think it would be cool to be a vampire?" He taunted.

Brandon turned around and glared back at Angel, "dude, I don't know what your problem is here. Lighten up will you? It's just a shirt."

"Just a shirt. You have no idea do you?" Angel clenched his fists and advanced on Brandon who still managed to look rather unfazed.

"Angel!" Buffy yelled as she grabbed his arm. "Stop!"

Angel stopped as suddenly as someone with a gun to their head. He turned around to find a very angry ex-slayer. He felt guilt crash on to him from all sides as he realized that he'd almost attacked the guy. He wouldn't have minded attacking Brandon... if Buffy hadn't minded. But Angel didn't think that Buffy was very keen on that idea. "I'm sorry," he mumbled trying not to look Buffy in the eye.

"I'm not really one who deserves that apology," Buffy said not sounding any less angry.

Angel sighed. He didn't mind apologizing to Buffy, but Brandon was another matter altogether. Still, Angel figured that if he wanted Buffy to ever talk to him again he'd better do what she said. "I'm sorry about that I don't know what came over me." Angel said firmly to Brandon.

Brandon nodded at him; "it's cool." He turned back around and headed towards a small building.

Angel looked back at Buffy who was still glaring at him. "I love you," he tried hesitantly hoping for her to at least smile at him.

Buffy's face softened. "I love you too, but damn it Angel, when you get jealous you really get jealous."

"Jealous? Who's jealous? Why would I be jealous of some kid 225 years younger than me who is part of a vampire cult?"

Buffy sighed and jogged to catch up with Brandon. "I don't know. You tell me." Buffy called over her shoulder.

"And don't even get me started on the eyebrow ring... wait Buffy!" Angel ran to catch up with the woman he loved.

When the mismatched trio finally reached the house where the pups were kept, Angel felt himself tense up as he realized he was going to have to go inside, and pick out a dog. Harder than it sounded. Buffy raised her eyebrows at him as he visibly paled. "You can stay out here if you want," she offered.

Angel glanced sideways at where Brandon was openly watching the two of them. "No, I'm fine." With another glance at Brandon, Angel bravely opened the door and walked in.

In the corner of the small room, there was maybe four or five puppies running around in a relatively small wire cage. They all started yapping as the three humans entered the room. Buffy squealed in delight, and Angel watched her fondly as she ran over to the wire cage and started cooing at the tiny animals.

"Do you have any females left?" Buffy asked Brandon excitedly.

Brandon nodded and reached down to pull out one squirming ball of fur. "Her name is Pixie."

Buffy took the little dog in her arms, and stroked its quivering body. Under Buffy's gently affections the pup quickly relaxed, and licked Buffy's hands as a thank you.

The puppy was all black except for a small white patch on her chest. The colouring was clearly Black Labrador. She had a long pointed snout, and ears about twice the size of the rest of her body that stuck straight up in the air.

She was the funniest looking dog that Angel had ever seen, but then again he didn't really see many dogs because of the whole canine phobia. He also had to grudgingly admit to himself that the dog was also very appealing. But Angel was never ever going to tell that to anybody else. There were some things that in his opinion were better off left unsaid.

Buffy came over to where Angel was standing near the door. "She's perfect. Isn't she? Well, except for the name."

Angel looked at Buffy smiled a little at how eager she seemed for his approval, "yeah she is pretty perfect... and that name really does have to go."

Buffy's whole face lit up, "so you don't mind if we buy her?"

"I don't mind," Angel said, as he tentatively reached out to pat the little dog. Pixie eagerly leaned into his hand desperate for attention. Angel chuckled, he almost liked the dog. And she wasn't really that scary after all.

Buffy smiled at her husband. "A few minutes ago you almost puked at the sight of a dog, and now your looking at Pixie the way you look at me. Should I be worried here?"

Angel stroked the dog one last time before answering Buffy's question, "I'd never look at anyone the way I look at you."

Buffy's eyes literally sparkled, "have I ever told you that you could charm anyone?" she asked right before she leaned up to kiss him.

Before the kiss could get anywhere near passionate, the couple was interrupted by the dog in Buffy's arms that wiggled up right between their faces. "Okay, I will throw her out if she ever does that again," Angel said so seriously that Buffy wasn't sure if he was joking or not.

"Actually, I will throw you two out if I ever have to see that again," Brandon exclaimed loudly from his spot next to the puppies cage. "So, why exactly are the two of you full of grass stains?"

Buffy gave the guy a sheepish smile. "Gardening?" she answered perkily looking at Angel for support.

Angel nodded, "yes, definitely gardening."

Brandon grinned at the small Summer's family, "sure whatever you say."

Despite Angel's best efforts to suppress a smile he found himself grinning back at the man who was hitting on his wife just minutes ago. 'As much as I hate to admit it I almost like him,' Angel thought somewhat embarrassed. Brandon reminded Angel of Oz who he hadn't seen in years, and Angel always liked Oz. Plus, Angel didn't think that he really had anything to worry about. The way that Buffy was looking at him right now - like he was the most amazing thing in the whole world - was enough to convince him that nothing would ever come between them again. Ever.

"So, are you two gonna actually buy this dog? Or are you planning on standing here all day looking at each other?" Brandon prodded.

Angel and Buffy forced their eyes away from each other. "Yeah, were going to buy her." Angel confirmed.

Buffy nodded, "yup, Angel is going to fill out the paperwork while I take Pixie for a walk."

Angel's eyebrows shot up, "I'm filling out the paperwork?" he huffed.

Buffy looked up at him with big pleading eyes, "well, I just thought that since you're so much better at that stuff than I am... "

"Do I need to remind you, who it was exactly that wanted this dog in the first place?"

"Please, please, please."

Angel shook his head vigorously, "no."

Buffy smiled innocently at him, and lifted Pixie up so that Angel was starring into the puppy's big brown eyes. "Do it for Pixie."

Angel sighed and here they were back to the whole cutting off his hand scenario... "Fine I will fill out the paperwork."

Buffy squealed and took off out the door with Pixie in her arms before Angel could make another argument. Angel winced, he really hated filling out credit card numbers, and social security numbers, and phone numbers, and all other numbers. 'But it would probably be somewhat disastrous if Buffy were to do it, because we all know what great patience she has.' "So, paperwork?" He asked Brandon.

Brandon shrugged, "don't worry it usually doesn't take more than an hour."

Angel glowered at him. He really did not like Brandon. "Thanks, that really helped."

Brandon tilted his head, "that's what I was shooting for. C'mon we gotta go back to the main building."

Angel sighed and followed Brandon out the door. Once outside he looked around for Buffy, already missing her. He saw her walking along the road with Pixie down near their car. He followed her with his eyes for awhile thinking about how much he loved her and how he would do anything to make her happy. Even if that anything included getting her a dog.

When Buffy looked up suddenly and caught Angel watching her he quickly adverted his eyes knowing that she was going to smirk at him later. As Angel glanced around he saw Brandon studying him thoughtfully. "You really love her, don't you?" he asked quietly.

Angel nodded realizing that there was more to Brandon than just the eyebrow ring and vampire cult shirt. He still didn't particularly like him, but he had to admit that Brandon certainly thought a lot more than the average person. "I really do."

Brandon still studying Angel smiled sadly, "you guys are lucky. You have something very special. Don't ever ruin that."

Angel studied Brandon back with the same intensity filled gazed. He realized that the seemingly care-free guy had deep dark and probably painful secrets just like him. And Buffy. And whoever else sacrificed their lives countless times to save the world. Angel chided himself for making a judgmental decision about Brandon before. "I'll do everything and anything I can."

Brandon nodded at him. "You're okay, man."

Angel playfully punched his arm, "you aren't too bad yourself."