TITLE: Always and Forever, Love Buffy

AUTHOR: Elora

E-MAIL: jedically@yahoo.com

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. I don't even own the computer I'm writing from.

TIMELINE: Er, anywhere from mid season four and after.

SPOILERS: Nothing that I can think of...just say everything season 4 and

earlier, okay?

SYNOPSIS: Angel gets a letter. Angsty.

AUTHORS NOTES: Thanks to my betas, Ice Princess and Heather! And everyone else that offered your help, I really appreciate it. This story has probably been done a thousand times, and will probably be done a thousand more. But then, most plots have been.

DISTRIBUTION: Wherever. Just tell me, I like to keep track!

FEEDBACK: Does anyone actually say NO to this?

RATING: G, maybe PG for talking about suicide...

With trembling fingers the vampire with a soul slowly opened the envelope. He

focused his bloodshot eyes on the familiar scrawl of his beloved, barely even

noticing that she hadn't written a greeting.



Did you know I'm nothing? No, of course you didn't. Everyone thinks that I

am someone special, that I have some wonderful personality. I don't. They

think there is more to me than a quick wit and the ability to fight. They're

wrong. Those other things? That passion? That fire of love and hate? The

desire to fight? Those things aren't there anymore.

Have I ever mentioned that everything hinged on you? I can

fight on, I'm a warrior, it's what I do. But at one point, There was

more to me than that.

There isn't now.

Willow thinks you did the right thing. Every time she looks at Riley I see

it in her eyes. It's the same look she used to have when she looked at you,

before Angelus stole our innocence. After he came, I was never the same

again. And I think that's why you left. I latched on to you because around

you I had a personality. I was smart, and funny, and I had passion. I could

love and hate, and spread friendship around like a cloak. But Angelus came,

and ripped that apart. None of them ever looked at me again, and I know,

deep in their hearts, they blame me. If not for me we would still have lost

our innocence, but in less tragic ways. Not by going to school and seeing an

empty classroom where our favorite teacher once sat. Not by waking up

without your lover beside you.

Did I ever tell you about Parker? I don't think I did, but things have been

rather muddled lately.

I slept with him. Desperate to feel what you gave me, I hopped into bed with

the first boy who said I was pretty. Pretty dumb.

I suppose I've had an inferiority complex for some time now. A girl

doesn't just get over hearing what Angelus told me the morning after very easily.

I knew somewhere that it wasn't what you thought, after all you had gotten a

moment of pure happiness. But still, it lingers you know?

Parker didn't help. He told me it had just been fun, I couldn't have thought it was

serious could I? No. I asked Willow 'Is this what always happens? Sleep with a

guy and he turns all evil on you?' but somewhere down inside, I was still

thinking that Parker was right not to want me.

Do you remember when I came to LA and found you with Faith? I don't suppose

I explained what happened did I? Why it hurt me so much? Faith switched our

bodies when she woke up. No one noticed, not my friends-the only one who

did, was Willow's girlfriend who I had never met before. That hurt beyond

belief, but the killer?

Riley slept with her. In my body. When I was back to normal I thought, why

didn't he know? Angel would have known. And still that niggling little

worry, that maybe Riley hadn't noticed, because Faith was better than me and

he didn't want to admit it wasn't me.

At least I could hold on to the fact that you loved me. You would have known

if you'd seen me, and you would have helped me.

Then you chose Faith over me. I was acting irrational, but I always do when

it comes to you.

I thought of something the other day. In everyone's hearts, they have a

kitchen. A fridge and a pantry for keeping love fresh and in stock, an oven

for preparing it and dishes for serving it to others. You have a kitchen a

chef would adore, with love to spare.

I have a mini-fridge, paper plates, and a microwave. Good for reheating

leftovers, but not much else. You sent me so much love that I had enough to

share with everyone. But they all got so used to me giving your leftover

love, that when you weren't sharing anymore, my well dried up, and my

microwave is just serving old love, twice reheated and bland. They blamed

Riley at first, they thought I was giving him all my love. They didn't

realize I didn't have any fresh love, and what he had was even older than

theirs. At least what I was giving them was recycled from what I used to

give them. Riley's...Riley got what I used to share with Tyler and Pike, and

other boyfriends I had pre-you. It was the love of a child, not a woman.

Maybe that would have satisfied him, it seemed to, until he met you. I know

he felt it when you were both in my room. I've never met anyone who didn't

feel it when we were around each other. That's when he realized that the

love I gave him wasn't quite as tasty as he thought.

That analogy got kind of gross somewhere along the line didn't it?

I should probably get to the point. I'm rambling, but you know I do that

when I'm nervous. I want you to understand why I act the way I do, why I was

always so desperate to have you with me. When I felt, or thought I felt you

slipping away I was terrified that I would lose that income of love, and

everyone would hate me because I couldn't love them as much, because who can

spread love when their heart and soul is a hundred miles away?

I guess what I'm trying to say is...I can't do it anymore. I can't pretend

to be who I used to, when I'm just a shell. I can't say I love Riley, and

sleep with him all the while trying my hardest not to wish it was you beside

me. And I have to admit I fail more often then not.

So the point of this letter is goodbye I guess. Because I can't survive on

my own, friends and family be damned, none of them are you.

You'll probably feel guilty when you read this. 'I should have stayed with

her' you'll think. Finally coming around eh? Hehe. But you did what you

thought was right. I don't blame you for that, not anymore. I understand, I

even...agree, on some level. You were risking Angelus by being around me.

It's funny, you lose your soul when you're around me, I lose my soul when

you're gone (did I ever tell you that my first roommate sucked my soul out

while I was asleep? Yeah, she was a demon. I so know how you feel now).

Get to the point Buff. Finish the letter. Okay.

I love you. Every scrap of love I have left is yours. Given the option

between living a hundred years alone or dying in your arms, I choose dying.

I've got a poison that I'm about to drink. I should be fine for two and a

half hours. After that it should take about ten minutes. I'm going to take

it right after I mail this letter. Then I'm going to drive out to LA. I want

you to be the last thing I see.

Always and Forever

Love,

Buffy



Angel put down the letter, his hands shaking once more. He finished his

glass of whisky in a quick gulp. He stared out the door of his office, into

the empty lobby. His associates hadn't come back to work in several days.

He'd ordered them away, he wanted to grieve he said. Maybe they knew, maybe

they understood.

That morning he greeted the sunrise with open arms. The only reminder of a

once vibrant lover was a pile of ashes, and a tearstained letter.

The End