Authors' Note: As per usual, I do not own Buffy The Vampire Slayer or any of its' characters, they are solely the property of Joss Whedon &etc.
Well, this is how I think earshot would have gone if Buffy had actually been able to hear Angel's thoughts. I changed the script a bit to accommodate my wants, but it keeps some of the lines and the same general direction. I wrote this after reading ashes at midnight's story Love Is Never Wise (which I would go and read because it's really good).
Walking into the mansion, Buffy felt both giddy and nervous in anticipation of something that she had wished for many times in many different ways: she'd be able to read Angel's thoughts. Insight into the depths of his tortured mind was too good an opportunity to miss. Much better than school.
"Angel?" she called out, searching for him. If he wasn't here... But it was day, he would be. He was probably sleeping. "Angel?" she called again, slightly louder this time.
She heard his thoughts before she heard him. The bluntness of them reminded her of Oz.
Hm, I thought she was at school. Maybe she's here to tell me she's leaving me. After the event with Angelus and Faith. I wonder what it would have been like if it had been the other way around, she'd lost her soul, Buffy felt him recall their perfect night together and then imagine a soulless vampiric Buffy. He was genuinely horrified by this and his thoughts darted away from it quickly. I really hate this town. Still, it's worth it for her.
This last part, even in Angel's thoughts, was added quietly.
This was like nothing else, Buffy realised. She could not only hear his thoughts, she could... Feel their emotional frequency. It was a humming in her mind that tuned her to the right emotion, but she knew that these were not her feelings - it was like watching a three dimensional movie, but instead of all-too-real pictures she had very palpable thoughts. This must have had to do with their connection; she felt him, he felt her. This totally unique experience sent a thrill up her spine until she considered what he'd said. She decided not to contradict him, instead being sneaky and peeping in on his thoughts. The word peeping almost made her feel like she was intruding, it almost made admit to her new talent. Almost.
Angel's thoughts were quiet and busy, for someone so laconic he sure did think a lot.
I wonder what part of a demon she'll get. Huh; Buffy with a tail, there was light amusement in his mental tone, I can only imagine how she'd react to that.
Their connection made her privy to that mental image. She cringed away from it, and then examined it more deeply; she wondered how she would look in Angel's mind. In his mind she was bathed in light and her skin appeared to be glowing. She was much more attractive, she thought, in his mind than what she saw. Her smile was gentle and her eyes held a loving gaze that she knew was the one she used when she looked at Angel. She did, however, have a tail. She felt disgruntled by this image.
"Was there something you needed?" Angel asked, noticing Buffy's mind was elsewhere (and not realising it was actually in his).
"Yeah, I, uh,"
Here it goes, he thought sadly. Buffy ached a little inside knowing that he was so ready to think that she could just leave him. Then again, she had both killed him and tried to leave him. Suddenly he didn't seem so unreasonable.
"I, uh, just wanted to stop by and say hi,"
She's stammering; she must be preoccupied. I wish she would just ask me whatever it is, it's probably about Faith. Oh well, her rambling's cute anyway.
She almost laughed; she'd never heard Angel say that her rambling was cute. She did a few little jumps on the inside at the thought that he could love so many little things about her without saying them. Suddenly she wanted to know more. But first, Faith.
Angel walked over and took her hand. She was surprised by the fact that the stream of happy thoughts caused by this one gesture matched, if not surpassed, her own.
"Sit down," he told her, and she did. "No aspect of the demon yet?" he enquired. She detected no suspicion in his voice. She's the only girl who could pull off scales. I wonder what it'll be. It could be mental. Maybe she'll be able to communicate with the demons.
"Uh, nope," she lied. "So uh, I... Ran into Faith."
Angel cringed mentally.
"You know... Faith's actually not that bad,"
Disbelief and disdain crossed his mind.
"I mean... She's got that whole bad girl look going for her, which some would find appealing," Buffy gushed.
His thoughts ran back to many girls like Faith that he had as Angelus, and then back to Buffy. She noticed that she still glowed in his mind, and in comparison to the dank girls of Angelus' past she looked particularly radiant. She then realised that this was his emotional comparison, not a change in lighting. Man, this connection thing was cool...And great for her ego.
Yeah, some like Xander, he laughed to himself, remembering smelling Faith on Xander and vice versa. His mind unconsciously lead him back to his watching Buffy 'dance' with Xander, and she tried not to blush at the way he looked at it. In his mind-set it did look alarmingly close to mating. You stupid, beautiful girl, he thought. You should know me better by now, after all we've been through.
"Buffy, I've lived a long time, I've been with dozens of girls like Faith, hundreds," Angel began. And I don't love Faith.
Yeah, I saw the girls, Buffy thought, but settled aloud for, "Oh boy, this honesty stuff is fun."
"And there's no comparison. In the two hundred and forty three years I've lived I've loved exactly one person."
Buffy was intrigued that in that one instance Angel's thoughts and words were exactly on par. She scooted over near him on the lounge. "It is me, right?"
No, I'm secretly in love with Giles, sorry about that, he thought sarcastically. Buffy stifled a giggle. Angel smiled, "Yeah." His head was filled with shapeless affection. She caught the... Scent? Of certain things he admired and loved about her: her passion, her ability to love, her fire. This was better than mind-reading, she could read his soul.
"What did you want to ask? What I felt like kissing Faith, or hurting you?" His thoughts of the kiss were indifferent and tainted with self-contempt and his recollection of knocking her out was physically painful for him to think about.
"Well, yeah. You're not exactly Mr. Here's-what-I'm-thinking."
So ask me. He laid his palms face up, offering a resolution, "So ask me."
"Oh, but that would have made sense."
Suddenly and without warning Angel's mind flashed to a different place. She felt - and shared - his hunger and his desire for what they had had but once. He was wondering whether he could take being so close to her and still not being able to take comfort in her. He was wondering if it were better that he left. He dismissed this thought quickly. Buffy observed that his face remained smooth as his emotional temperature became so, very altered. He could have been thinking about this sort of thing on a regular basis while talking to her without giving away any signs at all! She tried to pick up on some for future reference, but to no avail. Feeling a little sick, she returned to reading his thoughts.
Maybe I should ask her to stay for a while longer. "Maybe you should go...Back to school."
Startled by the contrast between what he thought and what he said, she replied that she would come back later.
Good. I'll miss you, until then. How is it that I get to live forever and she's nearly guaranteed an early death? I must have pissed off a lot of Powers.
Smiling sadly, Buffy stood to take her leave. "Well... Bye." She gazed at him and knew that her eyes said 'I love you.'
I love you, too, Angel thought.
Walking out the door, Buffy could swear she heard Angel thinking loudly: You know Buffy, some things that seem like a gift can actually be a curse.
... Like mind reading.
Spinning around, Buffy looked at Angel, who had one eyebrow raised and a knowing smile teasing the corner of his lips.
And immortality. I'm dying to get rid of that.
"Funny," Buffy muttered quietly, knowing he would hear it.
I'm a funny guy.
She chuckled and walked out the door, still picking up on the passion and admiration and love Angel radiated when he saw her in the sunlight. Faith may have kissed him, tried to steal him away, but no matter what she would always be something more crucial.
She was his sunlight.
And there you have it. I didn't mind how this turned out, and I just had to add in "I'm a funny guy" :D
Thanks for reading! Comments and reviews are always welcome.