Always

Prompt: #001 Disease
Word Count: 605

"Will you still love me if I grow a second head?" Buffy asked Angel, frantically. An expression of abject terror crossed her face at the thought that the vampire could, quite easily, leave her and she chewed on her bottom lip nervously as she waited for his response.

The two of them were at Angel's place – Buffy had gone there immediately after patrol as soon as she had noticed the bluish-green demon blood seeping into her skin. The demon had escaped and it eerily resembled the one that had enabled her to read minds.

Angel chuckled softly and gazed down into the frenzied Slayers' eyes. "I will," he comforted her. "I always will."

Buffy smiled, convinced for the moment and moving closer to the vampire, snuggled into his arms. They remained that way for some time, until the fear crept back into her mind and lines of worry ventured back onto her face once again. Twirling a strand of mouse-blonde hair around her finger, she asked another question.

"Will you still love me if I get some horrible disease that makes my skin go all dry and flaky and fall off in big clumps?" Buffy screwed her nose up in disgust as a mental image hit her. She was the Slayer, but the thought that something like that could happen frightened her more than she thought possible. "God! I hope that doesn't happen!"

"Of course I will, Buffy. Forever," Angel answered, halfway between bemused and worried at her strange behaviour. "Is everything okay?" He finally asked her, brow furrowed in worry and a small scowl finding its way onto his face.

"No," Buffy frowned. "When I was on patrol, I slayed a demon," she explained, glancing up at her boyfriend. "It's blood oozed into my skin again. And if it's anything like last time…" she let her words fade out and gave an involuntary shudder at the memory.

Last time that demon blood had seeped into her skin, she'd gotten the power to read people's minds. It had been quite fun to start with, but eventually the warm fuzzies had been soaked up as she'd learnt things that no one in their right mind would want to know, such as some very particular details of interaction that went on between her mother and her Watcher when they had eaten some of the spelled band candy…

Also, while Giles had been researching for a cure, he had discovered that it had happened only one time before. The receiver of the mind reading powers had gone insane.

Buffy smiled weakly. "Angel…I'm scared."

Angel grimaced at the pain that shone in the Slayers eyes, desperately wishing that he could take it all away and make it so she'd never have to hurt anymore. That was impossible though, so he cupped her face in one hand and caught her eye, determined to ease the girls' pain.

"Buffy. Whatever happens, I'll be there for you. I'll never stop loving you."

Buffy nodded, somewhat less mortified about the demon trait that she may or may not soon possess. If Angel was with her, everything would work out fine, after all.

"Close your eyes," Angel instructed her gently. Buffy complied.

A few moments later, Angel's lips touched hers and he kissed her passionately to show just how much he cared for her. He wanted her to know that she meant more to him than life itself. Nothing mattered more.

"What was that for?" Buffy asked him as she broke away. A soft smile had formed on her face, chasing away the fear.

Angel smiled back at her. "I love you, Buffy. Always."