Angel threw the blankets and sheets in the washer, along with their wet clothes, and went and got them something to drink while Buffy went ahead and jumped in the shower. He debated while doing the other tasks but wound up going into the bathroom. She had went ahead into the one connected to the bedroom, he knocked to let her know he was there.

Buffy stuck her head out around the shower curtain, smiling when he held up the soda can. He brought it over for her, took a sip of his own before setting it down and then coming in to join her.

"You okay?" he asked, not for the first time.

Buffy was already blushing from him slipping in behind her but that only grew. "Yes," she said with a nod. She was a little sore, but honestly was still riding on her little cloud from their dirty activities. It sure didn't hurt that Angel was naked under the spray with her. He certainly was one hell of a sight-especially naked, as she had learned.

"You're beautiful, you know that?" he whispered, his hands reaching out for her.

"Hmm. I was just thinking that about you." She bit her lip, leaning back against him.

He chuckled, kissing her shoulder. "I'm going to go put new sheets on the bed," he told her after letting the spray hit them both for a few minutes, and just standing there enjoying the sight. "You better not stay in here too long with the storm going on."

Buffy nodded. "I'll be back out in a minute."

Kissing her quickly, he stepped back out and went to go about getting their bed back covered, as well as himself.

He'd just finished when Buffy came out, in one of his plain white tee shirts he kept in a stack in there, nearly making him run over to her and jump her all over again.

"Come here," he told her after a moment of oogling her as she stood in the doorway looking all shy again.

She obeyed the command, though her face was a bright shade of red as she did. Angel reached out for her when she was close enough, pulling him to her. He kissed her, pulling her back down onto the bed.

"I've missed you," he told her, propping up on one elbow.

"I haven't gone anywhere."

His lips twisted up a bit. "Yeah, you did. And I'm sorry for that, Buffy. I honestly didn't want to make you upset over anything, I was just an idiot. I promise, nothing more than that."

She looked down for a moment. "I'm sorry. I overreacted to things, but it's just been a lot to take in and find myself in the middle of."

"I know," he said, kissing her forehead.

"I'm just always terrified this is a dream that I'm going to wake up from and none of it would have been real."

"Everything between you and me is. Despite how things came to be, when I asked you to be with me I meant that. When I asked you to move in here, it was because I wanted you here. When I asked you to marry me and we said 'I do', it wouldn't have happened only for the sake of keeping you safe from everything you ran from. I asked you wanting you to be with me, then and forever. I know we have still to figure out, but that's the truth to it. I have a past, which I know makes you uncomfortable with some things and I will continue to do what I can to ease that, but it's the past. You are my future, and the only one I want."

Buffy felt her heart pick up pace some, spirits lifting at his words. But that didn't entirely cool her doubts, but she wasn't sure anything would, and explained that to him.

"Well, I will just have to continue to try and prove it every day in that case."


The storm outside raged on for awhile longer. For the first time, one honestly hadn't bothered her. Less as she crawled in bed and cocooned herself in Angel's arms and felt as though right there was the safest place a person could be.

Buffy thought about how much she'd missed this the past few weeks, how they'd only ate at her. She thought about how much he'd done for her, how many times he'd done everything possible to show her he loved her, the way he'd look at her, things he'd say. Buffy thought about her first night in his bed through this one.

Buffy thought back to their wedding, how he'd poured his heart out to her in front of his any friends and family.

She knew her worries and any trouble that had brewed between them mostly came from her, her doubts, her insecurities. But maybe there was a way around those, and Buffy fell into sleep with ideas of a forever in this life with her and Angel.

Angel stayed awake awhile longer, just enjoying her back in his arms, listening as the rain quietened down. He whispered words of love at his sleeping bride, then eventually was off to sleep as well.


When Buffy woke the next morning, she had to admit her body was feeling a little less than perfect - especially certain areas. Groaning, she untangled herself from Angel and the bed, checked to see what time it was, let their pup out and went to go draw herself a bath hoping that would help.

Afterward she felt a little better, but would have killed to be able to just go crawl back in bed with Angel. Instead though, she went to let Skywalker back in, got dressed for the day, then went to go find what homework she knew she had from yesterday that was currently very far from finished.

Upon getting back out to the living room, she knew that would have to wait though. A big smile broke out on her face as she only now noticed the pile of presents laid out on the sofa and floor below. She tip-toed over, then plopped down on the floor and began digging in to see what all she still had left to open.

Buffy was about halfway through when she heard "You hungry?" come from behind her. She let out a little yelp, then turned to look at a tired looking Angel behind her.

"Geez, give me a heart attack! I didn't even hear you come in."

He smirked. "Sorry."

He didn't sound sorry at all.

"Like your gifts?" he asked. "Would have given them to you last night but... well... I got a little distracted with other things. As you might recall."

Buffy blushed. "I remember something of that nature having happened. But yes, I love everything. Thank you."

He came over, bent to kiss her. "I think you wore me out, I am starving," he grumbled then rubbed his eyes as he headed toward the kitchen.


Buffy finished opening her gifts then finally got around to her school work, having to continue working on some papers as she ate breakfast. When Cordelia came by to get her, she was just finishing up, feeling thankful she had a light load yesterday as she'd have been in trouble otherwise.

She told her boys goodbye for the next eight hours, then headed back off to school.

"You two seem to be getting along better," Cordelia commented as they drove off.

Buffy smiled, looking down at her hands. "You could say that. We kind of.. uhh... made up last night after everything that has been going on."

Cordy smiled. "Good. You two can only pretend so much and none of us liked the darkness hanging in the air. So I'm glad you two worked things out. So, did you have a good birthday?"

Buffy smiled brighter at that. "The absolute best I've ever had."


Buffy had a hard time concentrating throughout the day so she could not have been more relieved when school let out and now she had a whole weekend to try and recover from her birthday. And it didn't hurt that when Angel picked her up he sprung it on her that they were going to go away for the weekend, just the two of them.