For you, Mischief. How can I resist you? lol

"How can you say that to me?" she demanded, tears filling her large green eyes.

"It's not easy." Her companion replied. "But we have to realize there is no future for us together. What did you think, Buffy? We'd get married, ride off into the sunset, and live happily ever after? I can't give you that! I can't have children. I can't age. I can't even take you into the light. I'd spend your life loving you while I watch you age and die."

"But…Angel…I love you!" she protested from several feet in front of him. He nodded and tried to keep the calm front the twisting of his heart betrayed.

"I love you, too. But that's the problem. This love is gonna get us killed. It's already killing us the longer we pretend we can make it work out."

A few of the tears in her eyes slipped down her cheeks soundlessly, falling to the concrete floor beneath them.

"So that's it, then?" she asked bitterly. "Buffy, we're soulmates but I can't be with you?"

"We are soulmates. There will never be a time I don't think of you and no…we can't be together. I can't give you what you deserve. You deserve a life. A normal life."

"I don't give a damn about a normal life." She knew she'd said that once before but it was under different circumstances. The ghost had picked her…and she was beginning to understand him better.

"Yes, you do. If not now then you will. You'll want to get married, have children someday, and have a life out in the sun. I can't even make love to you!"

He cried out the last sentence in anguish. The sound of it echoed in the large space between them. She winced, remembering the only time they'd tried. Over a year ago now. They didn't mention it aloud to each other but she felt the pull of her body calling to his every time she was in his arms. There would always be that between them. When she felt bitter she recognized she should have known this wouldn't end well from their very first kiss when she pulled back to discover a vampire and not the boy she thought.

"When?"

"Soon."

"How am I supposed to breathe without you, Angel? How am I supposed to live with this?"

"You'll find a way. You'll get by. You did last year no matter how difficult I made it for you."

"How?" she asked him helplessly. She leaned against a stone column for support, hugging herself as she tended to do when she felt overwhelmed. He watched her, equally as helpless to dull her pain even when that's all he wanted to do. He was the cause of it and couldn't relent now…not this time.

"Rely on Giles. He's your strength. Ever since I saw you taking comfort with him, on that altar, when I was…him I knew he was your strength."

She stared, dumbfounded, knowing exactly what he was talking about and unable to bring the words to her lips to form the protest that it was only for Xander's sake. That wasn't all it was and she knew it deep down, even if she was in denial.

"Do you ever think about it?" he asked her softly.

"No." More than I should.

"Buffy. Trust me." He assured her.

So here she was at the door. His door. She tapped on it twice with the back of her knuckles. Her Watcher opened it and immediately his Slayer was in his arms, crying against his blue collared shirt. Without a word he closed the door and closed his arms around her. He held her while she cried without question or explanation given. She was his Slayer and he loved her enough to let her cry. As her sobs echoed through the living room of his flat he smoothed her hair and murmured meaningless comforting words.

When the tears subsided, nothing was solved. The words Angel spoke couldn't be erased this way. It didn't matter to either of them. They'd been Chosen for each other a long time ago and now neither could imagine life without the other. It was a given now, granted. Just being in his arms was enough to calm her breaking heart for now. They had each other. It was enough. It would always be enough.