Set after the events in Lover's walk. Angel comes upon Willow alone and upset. Can he help her though her grief?

Please read and review. I need feedback.

Sad ,but true, I own nothing. It all belongs to the genius that is Joss.

Willow sat at the top of the overlook, peering down at the town of Sunnydale. It was dark. Not a good time of day to be out on the hellmouth. She didn't really care about that right now. Actually the idea of a vampire or demon attacking her and killing her didn't seem all that horrible. In fact, she thought, she probably deserved to be mauled or eaten. She was a horrible person. She wished Spike would of went ahead and killed her the other night when he'd been holding her in the factory. "Oh God." she wailed as she remembered that night. What she and Xander did. The look on Oz and Cordelia's faces when they walked in. Fresh tears welled in her eyes before the last batch had even abated. She sniffed as she looked at the little pez witch in her hands. The gift Oz had given her. How could she have done such a thing to him? She definitely deserved a mauling.

Angel walked along the empty streets of Sunnydale. He had no particular destination in mind. He was just strolling aimlessly, fighting the urge to go lurking around Buffy's house. She had made it very clear the day before she didn't want them seeing each other anymore. Not unless he could tell her he didn't love her anymore. Angel smiled sardonically at the thought, like that was ever likely to happen. He was coming close to the overlook. He looked up and saw the figure sitting on top of it. He squinted and even in the dark and from this distance with his vampire vision was able to make out who it was. Willow. What was she doing out here alone at this time of night? What was she thinking? Well, he was going to find out.


She yelped at the sound of her name. Her heart started pounding. She whipped around. "Angel? What're doing here? You scared me."

"Well, good. You should be scared. What're you thinking being out here alone? You're lucky it's me that found you out here and not some other vampire. Why would you-" he abruptly cut off his admonishment of the young girl when he noticed the glistening in her eye's and the puffy redness around them. "What's wrong?" he asked voice softening. "You've been crying."

Willow wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand. "I'm fine." she said. "Nothing's wrong. Except for the fact that I am an awful person and if it had been another vampire that found me up here and decided to make me his dinner, well it would serve me right."

Angel was genuinely shocked by the girls outburst. And after over 200 years on this earth it took a lot to shock him. What's more he was also kind of frightened. If Willow was looking to get punished for her sins by a big bad, it wouldn't take much for her to get her wish here on the hellmouth. One thing Angel new was the world would be a much darker place without the light this little witch brought into it.

"You don't really mean that." he reasoned.

"No?" Willow challenged. "How would you know if I mean it or not? You have no idea what kind of person I am. You don't know what I did."

Angel looked down at his hands and softly said, "Yes I do." He looked back up at Willow. "Buffy told me about what happened with you and Xander."

"Oh great!" Willow remarked throwing up her hands. "Not only is the biggest mistake I ever made gossip for the whole high school, but for the towns underworld too. Perfect! Well so you know. So you get that I am awful. So just go away and leave me alone!" She pulled her knees up to her chest and bent her head on them to cry.

"I can't do that." Angel said, moving closer to the girl and crouching down next to her. He placed a hand on her shoulder and she shrugged it away. "Willow," he gently ventured, "you made a mistake. And yes people were hurt by it. But that doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you human. Hell, I make mistakes all the time and I don't even have that excuse." he heard a slight gurgle of laughter come from the girl and he smiled. "I've made more horrible mistakes than I can count. But you forgive me those. You're not an awful person Willow. I know exactly what kind of person you are. You're the kindest, sweetest, most understanding person I have ever met. And Willow, I've met a lot of people in 2 centuries, so that's saying something."

Willow had lifted her head to meet Angel's eye's. She gave him a watery, but grateful smile. "You really think so? You think I'm a good person?"

Angel smiled and swiped a tear from her cheek. "I know so."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." he returned rising to his feet. "Now how about you do me a favor in return."

"Uh, sure. Anything."

"Let me walk you home." he held out his hand to help the girl up. She smiled and took it. The pair walked silently hand and hand all the way to Willow's house. Neither felt the slightest bit uncomfortable doing so, as might be expected. But there was an understanding between the two they'd never realized before. It was nice.

"Angel," Willow said as they came to the french doors of her bedroom. "I just want to thank you again for what you did. It really helped a lot."

Angel smiled her put a hand gently on her cheek. "Anytime little one." he leaned down and brushed his lips ever so slightly over hers in a friendly way. "Anytime."

"Maybe we can talk again sometime?" Willow suggested.

"I'd like that."

"Good night." Willow beamed at him.

"Good night."

Willow went inside and Angel turned to walk back to the mansion. His steps feeling much lighter than they had been in a long time.