I heard about Mrs

Author: Buffychick, 7/01

Summary: Someone watches and listens from the trees while Buffy and Angel have their talk during "Forever."

Timeline: Duh. It's during the episode, "Forever." (Season 5)

Feedback: Absolutely. In fact, it's a requirement!

Email: cbt377@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.angelfire.com/mo3/fanfic/SMGMain.html

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I heard about Mrs. Summers, Joyce, through the grapevine, and naturally, I went running. She might need me. Buffy…she might. Maybe. I know she hates me right now…can't blame her. Our relationship, if you can call what we have a relationship, is…well, strained is putting it mildly. But we've come a long way, this Vampire Slayer and I have.

Can't be at the funeral, but I show up that night…she's standing by the grave, staring, and I watch her. She's beautiful. And sad, destroyed. I want to hold her, but she'd just push me away. I'm about to come out of the bushes, make myself known, when someone else walks up. Someone dark, someone male. Angel. He mumbles something I can't hear, and she says nothing, just reaches back and locks onto his hand in quiet desperation.

After all this time. She reaches for his hand. His hand.

So I lurk, watching them. After a while they settle down at the base of a tree, her tucked into the crook of his arm, so comfortable, and talk. I flex my hands, which keep bunching into fists. I need a cigarette. They talk all night, and I just sit, watching, taking in the pain. They're too distracted to even sense I'm there.

A few minutes before daylight they kiss. It's slow to start, then deepens, and even from my vantagepoint I can see the heat in it. And that rips through me. A memory flashes in my head, of a conversation…

"The girl need some monster in her man."

I want to scream, to rip her from his arms. It's always him. It's never me. It never was. It never will be.

They break away reluctantly, breathing heavy, and talk some more before it's almost day and we all have to go. I watch them leave before I take off.

It's on the tip of my tongue to scream at her, I know you'll never love me…but...just be with me…I don't care anymore… But the pain's still there, too new and yet too old, too familiar. It's an ache.

I was wrong to come. To think she'd want to see me, that I might be able to help. Turning from the fresh grave I head back to the base, lighting a cigarette to further along the habit I've picked up from some of the other soldiers. Back to the military, back to my life. Without her.