Summary: Some things change over time and distance. Some things never do. Angel/Buffy
Truth be told, he still thinks of her quite often, probably more than is quite normal for someone who left her years ago, but nothing about them has ever been normal, has it?
Sometimes, after long nights of fighting and falling and standing back up, he remembers the way they used to fight together. Shoulder to shoulder, back to back. And if they shared a celebratory kiss afterward, well, he remembers that too.
Every so often, Angel sits outside in the early hours of the morning before the sun can force him inside. The others just take it as another form of brooding; they always think he's brooding if he says he wants to be alone.
It's true, a lot of the time, he won't deny that.
But it's never true when he sits outside, stares at the moon, and thinks of her. He doesn't brood then; he smiles quietly and let's the memories play like a film reel inside his mind. He misses her and loves her, and sometimes it's enough to know that he had her love once, too. In fact, even once is most certainly more than he deserves, but he appreciates this gift all the more because of it.
So he sits and he prays to God, a god he believes must exist for people like her, that she's safe and happy.
And then he takes comfort in the moon and the hope that maybe, just maybe, love can stretch across the miles.
She's not the same person that she used to be when she was with him. She's not that needy teenager that couldn't live without him, nor the out of place college student that still yearned for his touch even while she was with someone else. She's not even really the same girl he knew.
She knows all this, and yet he's still very much a part of her. And so, in between slaying and keeping her world together, she thinks of him.
She patrols and if a slow night allows time for it to become a leisurely walk, she lets the memories come back to her. They used to hurt and make her hollow, but now they make her smile. Before she'd lost him to Angelus and hell, she'd loved him more than she'd ever loved anything.
And she understands, now, that it's okay to still love him and not have to be with him.
They're on two journeys, two separate paths, but part of her wants to believe that they still remain side by side.
So when the fighting is slow, she finds a place to sit beneath the black night sky and the bright moon, and tries to send thoughts of love and happiness his way. Across the miles, years, and changes they've faced, she hopes he can still feel it.
Many years later, after his heart begins to beat and after wars that used to be solely hers can now be fought by many, they lay beneath the moon and starry sky and marvel at this last wonder of the universe. She's wrapped in his warmth and he in hers, and it's only at this time do they both know with certainty that they've never truly been apart.