Nope, Don't Belong To Me. Still. Thanks KK.
There was nothing she could do.
He was leaving and she knew no matter what she said or did it wasn't going to change anything.
She always knew this day would come, she feared it, tried to ignore it, but she no longer could. It was here.
Buffy just wished she would have had a little bit more of a warning. And if she had known that Angel had only known that he was going to leave only hours before, she would have wished him the same as well.
She never knew what brought it on and had never asked. She supposed it was probably nothing. There didn't have to be anything, she knew that. He didn't have to have a reason.
He made it clear early on that no matter what happened, it was always going to end. Some days she wished that she would have listened, some she was thankful for their short time together no matter what. It wasn't that she hadn't believed him so it wasn't as if she hadn't known what she was getting into, but there was still that small hope she always carried with her deep inside that she'd find a way to keep him.
Apparently she hadn't.
It was all sort of a blur now, that night. There was just so much going on, such a mixture of emotions. The day had already been busy and filled with some highs and lows, then the biggest of all came at her doctor's appointment. She hadn't told Angel she was going or about the home tests she'd taken or that she even thought that maybe... she just wanted to be sure she supposed. She couldn't wait to tell him after though and was just a bundle of excitment and nerves as she waited for him to come home. Looking back, she knew she could have probably told something was wrong as soon as he walked in but she was just too wrapped up to notice then, so she just went on until she had no choice but to notice something wasn't right.
She remained as quiet as he had as he took his turn to deliever his own news. His much less happier news. She could hear the hurt in his voice, the pain in his face as he broke it to her. She remembered trying to zone out, not wanting to make it worse on him. She ignored the tears that wanted to come, the sick feeling in her stomach, the desperate need for him.. everything. She let him finish without incident.
Silence fell over them and he had softly called her name. She blinked and watched as he tried to reach for her hand. She dropped her eyes from him and he stopped midair and then retreated away. A mixture of emotions and thoughts came flying at her and she knew she needed to get away. She hurried to tell him it was okay, though it was anything but, then got up to leave knowing he wasn't going to be there when she returned.
The last image of him she thought she'd ever have was in that small glance back at him before she closed the door. Apparently he had waited to be alone to fall apart as well. It broke her heart but there was nothing she could do. She hurried away before he could notice she was still there.
She wasn't sure if tonight was going to be an even better image to remember him by though. It seemed like he hadn't stopped falling apart.
She hadn't expected to see him, not tonight, possibly not ever again.
The only time they've ever interracted again at all was for the divorce which was easily taken care through lawyers and paperwork and also for the one time she wrote him asking if he could send a few items she had accidentally left behind. She'd fought with herself for so long, not wanting to bother him, but it killed her that she'd left some of the only pieces of her mother she still had.
She didn't know if he'd even receive it, read it or care but she sent it out anyway. She didn't even know if he'd even have them either. But she sent it out, sending it to his office with hope for better luck since they both seemingly had moved out of their house.
It was four days later when they arrived after having been overnightted. And he hadn't only sent the few things she'd asked for, but the rest of the items she'd left behind as well. She could have lived without the things she'd left but was thankful for them anyway.
Once the delievery men had retreaved all of the large boxes, he brought her the smaller one with the items she'd requested and a note. She signed for everything and he left her alone again. She looked over at the boxes then went to go take a seat, slitting the envelope open with shaking hands.
"Sorry, I was out of town for a few days. I'll overnight everything to you in the morning."
She sat staring down at that pieces of paper for who knew how long. The words hurt. Everything hurt.
She finally forced herself to look away, wiping her eyes, then opening the small box in her hand. She smiled as the contents poured out into her lap. Everything was there. Everything had been carefully wrapped and guarded.
She hurried to go put them away and then returned to the living room and started going through the rest of the boxes. Most of them were filled with clothing or shoes, some with bags, purses or jewlery, most of the artwork from the house, a few knick knacks she'd received through the years... things like that.
When she got to the photos though... that was the hardest.
She also found another note with them.
"I kept the rest, I hope you don't mind."
She'd lost it all over again.
But that had been the end of it. She hadn't contacted him again though she more often than not wanted to. And he hadn't contacted her either. It was just... done.
Then tonight happened.
She had been smiling and discussing her news about the twins with some of the other guests when she heard Willow mutter an "Oh my God." She turned her head and looked at her questioningly. Willow stared on for a moment then snapped out of it and whispered that she thought they should probably leave. Buffy gave her own confused look wondering why. They'd only been here for about an hour and the night really hadn't even started.
Willow looked pained as she tried to think of what to say. Finally she just said one word. "Angel." And she looked deflated after it was out.
Buffy stared at her again and then slowly turned her head back around, spotting him a moment later as he was still making his way inside, greeting people every few steps.
"Oh, dear," she heard Mrs Walsh beside her. The older woman put her hand on Buffy's back. Buffy could feel the tears pouring over and didn't try and fight it as she was lead away from sight.
She knew she could have left, should have left, but she couldn't get herself to do it. She had gone outside for the longest time after seeing him but finally came back to the party, keeping out of his way but she couldn't help but make sure she could still see him. It was damaging, but that's all it was between them in the end.
He had made his way through the guests, stopping to say hello or to discuss this or that with them, catch up or telling a story or joke, then firmly took his place at the bar where he hardly left since. She watched as he drowned himself, arguing constantly with Xander, faking a cheerful smile and attitude when he thought someone was watching or came over to him. She watched how miserable he seemed when he wasn't.
"How is my grandchild?" she heard someone whisper against her ear.
Taking her head away from Angel, she looked over her shoulder and then smiled. "Daniel, hello."
"Hello," he returned her smile.
Buffy put her hands on her stomach. "Grandchildren," she told him, receiving raised eyebrows in response, "And they are fine."
"Well, I couldn't be happier."
He looked her over for a moment, his expression changed, then looked over to where his son was. Where his son still was. "I think we both know you could."
Buffy couldn't deny that. "Is he.. you know... okay?"
He huffed. "No."
Buffy lowered her eyes but they lifted again as his hand held out to her.
She smiled despite herself and agreed. He helped her back out of the chair and onto the floor.
That's when Xander couldn't help but spot her.
She tried not to look over there, pretend she was still invisble, but she noticed Xander staring at her. She watched him nudge his friend and then point her way. She hurried to turn her head before he had, refusing to look that way again.
"He's staring at us," she heard her former father in law whisper. She nodded but said nothing. And especially didn't turn to see. Daniel just chuckled and they continued dancing through to the end of the song.
He led her back off of the dance floor and to the side where she was immediatly complimented and drawn into their conversations.
The next time she dared to look up, Angel was standing and was indeed staring. She held his gaze, feeling her stomach fall, her heart lurch. It seemed to last for an eternity but was broken off far too quickly all the same. He'd looked back at Xander for a moment then she watched him carefully look back around while not meeting her eyes and start making his way toward the door.
She looked over at Xander then at Daniel who smiled and told her she should go and found herself moving without even knowing it a second later, following him out into the darkened night.
She watched him open his car door and start to get in. She didn't know what to say. But the news of their children made their way out.
She watched him stiffen for a moment then slowly fall down into the driver's seat. He gripped the wheel and looked over at her, those eyes tearing her up inside.
"We're having twins," she clarrified, feeling uneasy. More so as he said nothing, he just stared at her. First into her eyes then trailed down, stopping at her bump.
She nervously stumbled out some more words then hurried to excuse herself. This had been a bad idea.
His eyes came back to her face and he nodded. He dragged his other leg back inside and closed the door. She watched him for a moment, smiling though tears were forming and stinging at her eyes again. She hurried to turn away.
She glanced back at him as he drove on, watching him leave like it was all over again.
There was still nothing she could do.
He was out of sight before she even reached the stairs again. WHen she reached the first step she lowered down to it, putting her head in her hands, her heart crying out for him.