Summary: B/A, post Chosen/NFA, an observer's POV on Buffy and (a very alive) Angel.
A/N: This could take place sometime between my two stories "Breathe Me" and "Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away", but could stand alone. Not necessary to read those two, but please do if you have the chance, I'm really proud of them!! Please review :)
Disclaimer: Anything recognizable from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or Angel belongs to the creators of the show and not me. The song "Crash" belongs to Dave Matthews Band.
You've got your ball, you've got your chain
Tied to me tight, tie me up again
Who's got their claws in you my friend
Into your heart I'll beat again
Sweet like candy to my soul
Sweet you rock and sweet you roll
Lost for you, I'm so lost for you
There goes another twenty bucks out of my wallet for a new work shirt. One of the bus boys grimaces at me as I try and wipe away the shrimp scampi from the black shirt that's required for all Camilla servers. Camilla is LA's newest gourmet Italian restaurant that's sure to gain celebrity status within the next few months. I grab a nearby damp rag, not caring if it's clean or not and try to scrub as much of the butter and oil out of my shirt as possible, but both the bus boy (Bobby, I think) and I know it's fruitless. Oil stains, and the garlic smell will never go away. I throw down the rag as I realize I'll just have to get another shirt.
"Hon, you've been frownin' all night, what's wrong?" Ann, one of the older more matronly waitresses, asks me. "And don't tell me nothin', I know you Emily." I take a breath, about to tell her that I have tables waiting but Ann just keeps going. "It's Paul isn't it? Oh honey, what'd that bastard do now?"
Truth was, Ann hit the nail right on the head. Damn her. I roll my eyes and sigh. "I caught him with Malibu Barbie." Again, but I left that part out. "Remember Cindy? She tends to not eat, orange, leathery skin, lots of silicone, blonde…" I grumble as I think of my own mousy brown hair.
"Screw 'em both, who needs men?" Ann tells me and I smile at her as Rose, the hostess pokes her head in the kitchen.
"Em, you got a new guy at table 12. Real hunk too," she says, smirking before she leaves the kitchen.
Ann elbows me and says, "This might be exactly what you need, huh?" before following Rose out of the kitchen.
I attempt to quickly adjust my hair and ruined shirt and grab my notepad and pen before heading out of the kitchen. I peek at my other tables while making my way over to table 12, making sure there are no plates to be cleared or drinks to be refilled. I finally reach 12 and look up at its lone occupant.
Holy. Crap. Rose wasn't kidding. This was probably the most gorgeous man I've ever laid eyes on. All thoughts of Paul and Malibu Barbie are gone as I realize I have butterflies in my stomach as I slowly walk over to this angel. I glance him over from head to toe and quickly decide that this guy has got money. He's dressed in black dress pants and matching jacket, with a crisp white dress shirt underneath that's got the top few buttons undone, showing a bit of his tan and toned chest. His face is clean shaven and his brown hair is immaculate.
He's looking over the wine list that Rose must have given him when I finally get my suddenly very heavy feet to move myself over to his side. I muster up as much confidence as possible (which wasn't a lot) and say in one breath and probably an octave higher than usual, "Welcome to Camilla, I'm Emily, I'll be your server tonight, can I start you off with something to drink?"
He looks up at me and I'm staring into warm brown eyes and a smile that could make any Hollywood hunk look like Shrek. "Yeah, I'll have a bottle of the House red to start." Damn, the House wine was pretty expensive.
"Okay, I'll get that right away," I say and take the wine list from him. I find the correct bottle by the bar and take a few breaths to calm down as I make my way back to his table. I try to uncork the thing as gracefully as possible, I look him over again as he reads the menu.
No ring. That's a pretty good sign he's single. Also, dining alone, another good sign. After I successfully pour him a glass of wine, I reach over to start to clear away the place setting at the empty chair across from him.
"Oh no, I'm meeting someone, they should be here soon," he says, making me freeze in the middle of picking up the empty wine glass.
"Okay!" I say a bit too happily, with one of the biggest, fakest smiles ever plastered across my face, before walking away to check on another table.
Crap. Well it could just be a friend, or his sister. I bet that's it. Or maybe even his mom.
I'm talking drink orders from the table next to the hunk, with my back to him when I hear him get up and pull out the chair across from him and then a female's voice.
"God, sorry I'm so late, that meeting with Giles ran really late and then Xand kept bugging me about doing something this weekend and Dawn-"
"Hey, it's okay," he said quietly cutting her off, and I could hear a smile in his voice. "I ordered some wine already."
"Okay," she replied softly, a smile also evident in her voice. And then I heard the unmistakable sound of a soft kiss.
I chose this moment to turn around and plaster on that fake smile again. The woman was sitting in her chair and my dream guy was standing next to her, the two obviously having just shared an intimate moment.
Definitely not his sister.
The first thing I noticed was that she was blonde. Great. The second thing was the huge rock that was on this woman's ring finger. So they were engaged. What a great night this was turning out to be. The man sat back down in his chair and reached across the table to lace his fingers with hers. I cleared my throat a little louder than necessary and said, "Would you like an appetizer to start out?" I didn't bother introducing myself to this girl.
"Sure, we'll take a plate of the calamari," he said, barely glancing at me, before turning back to his fiancé and rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand and smiling at her.
I start to walk back to the kitchen to place the order and take one last glance at the blonde and notice that like him, she looks like she has money and is very nicely dressed. She's in great shape and her petite, tan frame is wearing a colorful cocktail dress with expensive looking shoes, both of which I've only seen in the pages of Vogue. She's actually very pretty, I grudgingly admit to myself.
As the night goes on, my tables come and go, but this couple isn't planning on going anywhere for a while. They look into each other's eyes all night, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. I find myself perfectly content just watching them all night, which is what I wind up doing. Who cares if I get a bad tip from one or two tables? I need this reassurance that there are still at least two people who are utterly and completely in love and devoted to one another.
I watch as they continue to drink more and more wine all night, but never getting drunk and rowdy like so many other young people in this town. They're so wrapped up in each other and I can tell there's something else hiding behind their gaze. I can feel it rolling off them in waves. Not sadness, but more…bittersweet. Like this moment is treasured and they might not get another one like it. Or they worked so hard to get to this point and they're basking in their success. Whatever the case, I can tell they've had their hardships.
But somehow they made it. I suddenly feel rejuvenated and fresh, ready to take on whatever crap life decides to throw at me next as I look at the couple. Because if two people who look like they could be the American version of the Beckhams have troubled pasts and made it out on top without becoming another Hollywood sob story, maybe I could make it too.
Touch your lips just so I know
In your eyes, love it glows so
I'm bare boned and crazy for you
When you come crash into me, baby
And I come into you