Valentine's Day

It's a perfect night. A perfect Saturday night. A perfect Valentine's Saturday night. A warm, moonlight night with a gentle breeze; the kind that a midnight swim is made for or a stroll on a boardwalk or a snuggle outside on a blanket.

You, of course, are not doing any any of those things.

You are strolling around a graveyard killing vampires. And demons too, if one should cross your path.

You don't do this very much any more, which is odd considering that you're Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and you've been doing this for a long time. But there always seems to be an apocalypse to stop or some hellgod that needs to be sent back whence she came (and Giles is all over that whence thing) and just hanging around a graveyard just doesn't happen much anymore.

But it's nice to remember your roots once in a while. The fact that it's Valentine's day has nothing to do with you being here.

So here you are.

You've already staked one vamp. Not much of a challenge, but even at the beginning newbies rarely were and now? Been there, dusted that about a million times.

And just like that, your whole body tenses. You can't define it. A scent, the way the air seems sharper right before a storm. Or maybe it's a sound, the insect buzz just a bit louder than normal. You whirl around...

But it's too late. He's already in front of you. You frown, not bothering to hide your displeasure. He's not put off by your scowl, in fact he takes a step toward you. "You need to pay more attention," he lectures.

You cross your arms over your chest and you tilt your head ever so slightly, as your eyes narrow. It's obvious that now that he's in your sights, that this was going to go down this way. After all, it's a day for lovers, right?

You snap kick and it misses his chin by a fraction of an inch. He growls, and you twist out of the way of his oncoming fist.

You can feel your shirt stick to you as the sweat runs down your back. You give a fast huff to blow the hair out of your face,as you do a forward roll into a standing leg sweep. Your limbs are moving so fast that a bystander probably couldn't make out where his arms end and yours begin.

There's a dip in the ground and too late, you realize it's an abandoned rabbit den. Your ankle twists slightly, but it's enough to make you stumble half a step. He immediately takes advantage and just like that, you're on your back, his weight pressing you into the ground, his hands like manacles around your wrists. You try to get leverage to push him off, but you can't find any give.

He's got that smirk that vampires get when they know (when they think) they've won, and he's already dipping his head, aiming straight for that spot where your neck curves into your shoulder. He licks you, long and slow, and his cool tongue leaves a trail of moisture against your heated skin. "Stop that!" Now you're pissed.

"I don't think so, " he whispers. He does it again and this time you can't help the shudder than runs through your body.

He lifts his head and you take the opportunity to try again to throw him off your body. Instead he presses your arms harder into the ground and before you can protest, his lips are against yours.

It's soft for just a second and then his lips are demanding, the tip of his tongue teasing your mouth and his groan echoes through you. You open up to him as your thoughts dissolve into white noise, and you lift your head so that you can give back just as much as he's giving to you. When he finally finishes, your heart is pounding, you're finding it hard to catch your breath and you don't think you'll ever stop tasting him.

"Angel," you gasp. "I'm still mad at you."

"You sure?" He's pouting, which makes him look about twelve. You are immune to this secret weapon of his however. Instead you scrunch your face up. You are the queen of pout, after all.

"This is our first Valentine's day together. I thought it was going to be special."

"I didn't forget what day this is."

"Oh really," you drawl. "I didn't see any flowers, chocolates or jewelry. Not even a card." You have needs, after all, girl type needs. You've been back together eight months now and there are still a lot of rough edges for the two of you. Past lovers, all the big and little ways the two of you have changed, all the difficulties of navigating a relationship. The fact that he's a good kisser (ok, really fantastic, two hundred and fifty years of practice type kisser), doesn't sway you.

"I got us a reservation at the new, hard to get into French restaurant."

"You did?" You feel the tiniest tickle of guilt. And then the time occurs to you. "How are we going to make it there tonight?" you say suspiciously.

"We're not." he sighs. "I canceled and rebooked for two months from now."

"Oh. I guess I shouldn't have run out like that."

"I should have told you earlier."

You make a non-committal noise of complete agreement. His hands are no longer wrapped around your wrists, instead they're beginning to travel down your sides nice and slowly. And you've shifted so that your knees are bent on either side of his legs, his body nestled in the cradle of your hips. "This reminds me of the old days."

He's kissing you lightly along your jawline and you can feel him smile against your skin. "Yeah, it does."

"Do you miss it?"

He stops after hearing your question, and you can see that he's seriously thinking about it. It's one of the things you've always liked about Angel. He never gives a pat answer. You wouldn't blame him if he did miss those days, before soul lossage, before hell and heaven, before mystical sisters and magical sons, before so much pain and loss and death. Before both of you lost your innocence.

One of his hands is under your shirt now, just lightly smoothing against the skin of your belly, the other hand splayed against the grass for balance. The answer is suddenly disproportionately important to you.

"Well, do you?"

He smiles. "This is better, Buffy. This is so much better."

For once his expression is unguarded and you can see just how much he means it.

You wrap you hand around the back of his neck, your fingers playing with his hair. "I'm not mad anymore."

His smile gets a bit broader.

"I'm thinking that maybe this isn't such a bad Valentine's. I still expect a box of chocolates and flowers, but for now?" You smile back at him. "Let's go home."