Buffy felt a need to strangle one Winifred Burkle the following morning, and was happy to let the petite brunette know all about it, too. After a very long shower and several cups of coffee. Not having any idea of last night's events, Fred asked her what was going on and Buffy did her best to fill her in on what all transpired yesterday. From Angel's mother coming into town to all of them going out for some drinks last night, to Angel again declaring his want to be with her again while they were out to him walking her to the door and kissing her. Buffy told Fred she had severely messed up her sense of judgement the last time they were together and continuing through some of their later talks with each other, that as she'd stood there in front of him she kept replaying some things Fred had said to her.

Buffy knew it was hardly all due to her friend, or friends for that matter, that her own feelings remained a huge part in everything as well. But she wasn't ready to think about all of that just yet.

Buffy cursed as she rushed through her morning ritual, already running late.


Luck, as always, was not on her side. As she hurried up to the elevator Buffy groaned, seeing Angel and Faith just coming up to it. Angel's eyes fell on her and she wanted to go bury herself in a hole somewhere.

Faith smirked, making up some excuse to leave them alone. Buffy was too busy trying to remind herself of all the wrongs that had happened between her and her ex to pay attention. Buffy was about to just go take the stairs when the doors opened and Angel scooted her in before she could make a break for it.

He went over to one corner of the elevator for a moment, just staring at her, then pushed the emergency stop button.

Buffy sighed. "What are you doing?" she asked, annoyed.


"I'm already running late, Angelus."

"Stop," he repeated.

"Stop what?" she asked, more annoyed, turning to look at him. She felt her knees already weakening from the look in his dark eyes.

He didn't match her anger or annoyance as he spoke, instead his voice was very soft. "Playing the past over and over on an endless loop, telling yourself every wrong thing that could potentially go wrong, just to build up that damn wall against me."

Buffy clenched her jaw, looking away.

"We all know I fucked up before, but I'm not going to again. I want to be with you, more than you realize, Buffy. Just give me a goddamn chance here. Please," he begged in a whisper, similar to last night.

"Angel," Buffy said, her own voice much softer now as well, her eyes trained on the gray wall ahead of her. The annoyed tone remained. "If you want to sleep with someone than there are a million girls out there who would be happy to help you out with that."

Angel let out a growl at first. "If all I wanted to do was have sex with you, I could have done that last night," he told her.

Buffy stiffened some. She knew that was true. She'd just about thrown herself at him when he walked her from their cab up to her front door.

"But I don't just want to sleep with you. I want to be with you. Like I told you last night, trust me, there's no question I wanted to go in with you, no question that every single day I don't crave the idea of you and me tangled up somewhere. But I want more than that with you. I don't want to rush into the damn bedroom with everything else a mess. I don't want to because of some stupid ass shit that happened that day. When you and me start tearing one another's clothes off and heading for a bedroom door I want you to be deciding that with a clear mind and because you want it as bad as I do."

Buffy closed her eyes, an internal war raging on. "Why are you doing this?" she finally asked. "Why? Why now?"

Angel sighed, walking over to her. He reached his arms around her, holding her at the waist and drawing her closer. This wasn't the first time a similar question had been asked, and he gave her the best answer he could again.

"We're going to be late."

Angel continued to hold her, burying his face in her neck and hair.

"What do you want from me, Angel?" she asked after a few moments had passed.

What did he want? Angel sighed. He wanted her, wanted her to let him in, to give him another chance. He wanted to get her to trust him again, love him again. He wanted to take her out to dinner, movies, go on vacations together, go to amusement parks, have picnics, go out dancing. He wanted to have a home with her, fall asleep next to her every night, be a reason she smiled every day. He wanted to laugh with her, be the person she came to when she had a problem. He wanted to be able to call her his, know they had a forever waiting for them, be committed to her as he should have been from the start. He wanted to show her how he felt, how sorry he was for the past, to at least try to make up for it. He wanted to celebrate birthdays, holidays with her, he wanted to fight and argue with her, give her anything she wanted. He wanted to marry this girl, have a life with her, a family with her. He wanted everything.

"You can have anybody you want," she spoke again while he was in his head.

"I only want you."


Finally making it in for their meeting, they earned a few looks but nothing more. For the time being. They had two weddings to tend to tomorrow so today was a lot of last minute running around, getting things together, making sure everything would be perfect. They also quickly discussed some of their other matters at hand before disbursing.

Buffy went to her office to gather a few things then was heading back out to go to the house. Angel cut her off along the way, offering a ride. She started to argue but then just gave up, agreed and waited for him.

Angel grabbed her hand soon after they started off. The look he gave her nearly seemed like a dare to snatch it back out of his grasp but she didn't. So he kept his hand linked with hers the whole way there and just casually discussed the day ahead as if all of this was the most normal thing in the world.


Each had their own tasks to go do though a number of times throughout the day they wound up having to work together. Buffy always felt like he was watching her though.

When their day was winding down, she made a stop to his studio to tell him she had quite a few more things to do so he'd probably be finished long before her so he could go on ahead and she'd get another ride back. But after he was done for the day he came to find her, asking if there was anything he could do to help. And after he finished with one task after another, he simply said he'd wait.

He really didn't mind, he loved watching her. She was always in her element when it came to these things. You could see the wheels in her head turning with every move she made, always getting everything perfect. It made her a hell of a lot calmer too, so conversation went rather smoothly as he asked a variety of questions.

When she finally finished checking and then double checking everything one final time, they walked back to the car.

"What do you feel like?" he asked, buckling up.


"Food. Where'd you like to go?"

Her eyebrows raised. "I would like to go back to the office to drop these off."

"We'll get to that."


"You haven't stop to eat all day and I will bet you either skipped breakfast or had something quick on the go so you have to be hungry. I ate lunch and I'm hungry. So..."

"I can eat when I get home, thank you."

He thought for a moment. "I can cook?" he offered.

"You are unbelievable," she muttered.

"Determined," he amended.

She shook her head and was silent at first. "I haven't gone shopping yet, there's next to nothing at my house anyway."

He smiled. He could work with that.


Buffy couldn't believe she had agreed to this, but the pair went back to the office for a few moments, she got her car and the pair went shopping then back to her place. Angel helped her put everything away then started preparing to make them something. This was very much not part of her be civil but nothing more to him plans.

Kicking her shoes off, she got them something to drink then hopped up on one of her bar stools and watched him.

"Have you heard anything else from Mary?" Buffy asked after a few minutes passed.

"Uhh, other than a few angry voice mails she left for me, no. I'm sure I will sooner or later though."

"Sorry," she offered.

Angel shrugged then went on to tell her he'd done a quick Google search for this Holland Manners fellow, though he'd have to look more into him later. So far he didn't see anything incriminating but that was just through a quick browse.

At least that was better news than with her last husband. He'd gotten a post card in the mail with the news and did a search for the new husbands name... the first page was filled with a murder charge. Apparently he'd recently gotten released, later learning his mother had been writing to this guy while he was in prison.

She had a way with always finding the best men the world had to offer obviously.

From there, the two discussed other family members, Angel's cooking skills, and touched on a few better times from when they were younger.

Buffy joined him on the other side of the kitchen to grab some plates and start setting the table as he finished up. And soon they were seated with their refilled glasses and plates of spaghetti and garlic bread.


"This was actually kind of nice. Thank you," Buffy told him after they cleaned up and sat around talking awhile longer.

He smiled a bit. "I'm really not so bad, you know. Not all the time anyway."

Buffy smiled softly. "I know that. Always have."

Buffy had always seen better in him than anyone else. But also had seen the worst in him as well. "Guess I should be heading out, seems we have a busy day tomorrow."

Buffy nodded. "Right. That we do."

The pair seemed to be walking in near slow motion as they headed for her door. Angel opened it, leaning against it. "I love you, Buffy Summers," he told her wish a deep breath. "You loved me once, too. And I will do anything and everything possible to try and get you to again."

"Careful what you chase after, Angelus."

"Why? I might just catch it?" he asked back.

Buffy looked up at him slowly. "You might just realize you were wrong and it's still not what you really want."

His head shook. "That's not even possible," he told her. Keeping her from arguing back, he leaned down and gave her a soft but quick kiss. "Can you do me a favor?"


"Save me a dance tomorrow. Can I ask one more favor?"

"What's that?"

"Hold on to this feeling. Don't stay up all night playing a loop of all my mistakes so that you hate me come tomorrow all over again."


Buffy stood in the doorway watching him go out to his car and eventually take off. The two had stared at one another for a long while, but eventually she was back to being alone and staring at that same spot. Swallowing, she put a hand up to her necklace and toyed with it. She hated the feelings brewing inside of her when it came to that man.

Buffy was absolutely terrified he was going to pull her back in, despite any of her best efforts.

Sighing, she closed the door and went to go call Lorne and hope he had some words of wisdom to share before calling it a night.