A/N One of my friends wanted a sequel to "My Own Version of the Buffyverse." I didn't really see a sequel to it this soon, so I settled for a prequel. This is what happened from when Buffy and Angel met at that place between Sunnydale and LA and the whole 9 months she was pregnant.

Chapter 1

Between "Buffy, what is it?" Giles asked when he saw Buffy come back into the trashed living room with a small traveling bag.

"Angel." Buffy answered, looking up at Giles.

"Is he in trouble?"

"He knows that I'm ... He, he needs to see me. I have to see him."

"Yes, of course. You'll leave for L.A. tomorrow."

"Not L.A. And not here. Somewhere in the middle. There's a, a place."

"I see. Well, we should get all these ... bills and things out of the way before."

"I gotta go now." Buffy turned to leave, but paused and look back at Giles. "Um, thanks for taking care of this for me." With that, Buffy headed out the door and into the Jeep. She started up the car and headed for the freeway. She loved everyone, but they just didn't understand the importance of how much she needed Angel right now. She didn't really know if she should tell him where she really had been, but there was something that told her she wouldn't have to. Somehow, Angel would know. He always knew. While she drove, Buffy's thoughts were on Angel and making sure she didn't get pulled over. She was driving without a license. Buffy tried not to speed, but at times it was almost impossible. She was ready to burst out crying at the very thought of seeing Angel's sweet and loving face again. But also, in a way, she felt guilty because she hadn't told Dawn anything to tell Angel. She told Dawn to tell Willow and everyone else something, but not Angel. He would understand though, wouldn't he? He was Angel. He loved her, would always love her. She loved him and would always love him.

"Get it together Summers! It's just Angel. God! Which is exactly why I'm so crazy right now. I've missed him. Ever since that kiss we shared at my mom's grave, I've missed him like I did when he first left Sunnydale. Sometimes I swear, I must be crazy for loving him and keeping hope alive for us. Ahh! This is so damned frustrating. I need a minor distraction." Buffy said to herself. She looked over at the radio. After a second, she turned it on and listened to the slow song that came out of it. The song was about lost love and heartache. Boy, could she ever identify to this song! Twice she had lost the man she loved, but only one meant more to her than anything ever had. Now she was going to see him again. Just the two of them, alone.

"That didn't work!" Buffy turned the radio off and went back to concentrating on where she was going.

As soon as exit 65 showed itself, she put her turn signal on and pulled onto the ramp. It was only a few miles now. A few miles separated her from Angel, from someone who understood perfectly what she must be going through. Maybe not exactly, but close. They both died twice and were both brought back from the dead. Strange how things worked out.

Buffy pulled up in the black Jeep and spotted Angel's black convertible. She looked around and spotted him skulking in the shadows not far from the car. She turned the engine off, pocketed the keys, and got out walking up to him. As soon as she reached him, he pulled her into the tightest most loving hug she had ever received from him.

"Buffy, God, Buffy!" he said frantically running his hands up and down her back, checking to see if she was really there in his arms, alive and well. He kissed her neck, shoulders, cheeks, nose, anything that he could find to kiss on her face.

Tears welled in her eyes as he hugged her and a knot got caught in her throat. She couldn't speak. All she wanted was for him to hold her and kiss her like he was right at this moment.

"Buffy, are you really here?"

"Yes, lover, I'm really here." She finally managed to choke out between sobs and fast falling tears. Her legs didn't support her though and she would have fell except for Angel's strong arms that held her up.

"I've got you baby. Don't worry." He picked her up and took her to a room not far from the cars. When he finally managed to get the door closed without hurting her, he took her to the bed and laid her down. She wouldn't let his neck go, so he was forced to climb into the bed with her. There they laid for hours, Buffy letting all her frustrations out through her tears and sobs like she had only done for Angel, and Angel laying there, holding her tightly to him.

When he made sure she was soundly asleep, Angel slipped from the room to get her something to eat. She looked so thin. Thinner than the last time he had seen her. Thank God he had picked a place with somewhere to eat. Maybe not for himself, but for her. Angel had brought his own food. There were four packets of blood in the mini refrigerator that had come with the room.

Angel walked into the restaurant and went to the counter. Surprisingly, the place was busy for a restaurant out in the middle of nowhere. He waited there for a good while before a lady came up to take his order. Angel remembered Buffy talking about chicken fingers and honey mustard that day that she shouldn't remember, but somehow did. She had said that that was her favorite food and that he should try them sometime. If only they had known how that day was going to end at the time.

"Can I take your order cutie?" the waitress asked in a think southern accent.

"Um, do you have chicken fingers and honey mustard?" Angel asked politely, ignoring the cutie comment.

"If we didn't I'd sure find you some. Looks like it's your lucky day. Yeah, we got 'em."

"All right, then can I have a thing of those with some French fries and a diet coke to go?"

"Anything for you doll. Not everyday I meet someone as good looking as you here. Are you single?"

"Um, not technically, no."

"She must be one hell of a gal to get you."

"She is."

"Where's she at then?"

"She's sleeping in the room I rented."

"You married? The way you're looking as you talk about her, you must be."

"No. No, we're not married." Angel replied sadly.

"But you wanna be." It wasn't a question, it was a statement.

"That'll never happen." Angel said to himself.

The waitress left to place his order and Angel went to sit down at a table to wait. He looked down at the claddagh ring he still wore. Angel wanted Buffy so much, that at times to even think her name it hurt. It didn't help him much that he refused to move on and always wore the ring. Buffy had probably taken hers off a long time ago. She had had Riley and she had loved him, so she doubtlessly hadn't worn it then. Buffy still loved him, of that he was certain, but she had moved on and she didn't see him like that. Not like he still saw her and would forever see her.

"Hey doll face, you ok?"

Angel looked up at the waitress that had taken his order. She was holding a Styrofoam food container and staring at him intently. "Excuse me?"

"I asked if you were ok. You've been sitting over here for a while looking at that ring of yours like it's the most important thing in the world."

"That's because it is."

"She give it to you?"

"No. I gave one to her and this is mine."

"It's pretty. Wish I could find a man to spend that kind of money on me." The waitress sighed. "Well, here's your food." She handed him the warm container.

"Thank you." Angel stood and started to walk away.

"Hey!"

Angel turned around.

"What's your name?"

"Angel."

"Pretty. My name's Caroline. It was a pleasure talking to ya."

"You too." Angel left the restaurant and headed back to the room. He turned the key and silently opened the door. When he got in, he found a few lights on and Buffy sitting on the bed looking a bit angrily at him.

"Where were you? I thought you had left me again!" Buffy cried, tears starting to form in her eyes.

"Shh, love. I'm right here. I went to get you some food. By the looks of you, it's exactly what you need."

"No, no, no. I need you, not food!"

"Buffy, baby, calm down."

"Promise me you won't do that again!"

"I promise."

After a short spell, Buffy looked up and said timidly, "What'd ya bring me?"

He smiled and walked over to her with the bag from the restaurant. When Buffy opened it and saw the contents, she let out the first genuine smile since she had been brought back. She pulled out a bag full of fries, a box of fried chicken tenders, a diet coke, and four things of honey mustard. Her favorites! Angel really knew how to spoil a girl!

"I.I remembered your favorite and when I saw they had it in the restaurant here, well, you know. I don't know if the honey mustard is exactly like what you like, but I got it anyway, just in case." Angel said, standing away from her.

"Come here." She stated simply.

He obeyed and sat down beside her. She pushed the food over to him and he gratefully took a fry, even though he didn't really need it like she did. She smiled watching him eat the fry and then she continued eating. Every now and then Angel would pick up a fry and feed that to her. She liked this: the very nearness of him.

They continued to chat lightly about everything but what was going on with Buffy. She finished her lunch slash dinner and put the container on the nightstand.

"My basement is still flooded and my house is a complete wreck." Buffy said.

"From that demon that was sent to kill you?"

"Well the wreck part, yeah. But the basement was kind of my fault."

"How?"

"There was a leak, I went to fix it, and I busted the pipe with my super power by accident."

"Why didn't you call a plumber?"

"We did. Afterwards. That is an even bigger problem though."

"Why's that?"

"Because we had to pay the plumber for telling us our pipes are busted and on top of that we need a full copper re-pipe which will cost even more that what's left of mom's life insurance. Which, trust me, isn't a lot."

"I thought your mom left you and Dawn a whole bunch of money."

"Oh she did."

"Then where did it all go?"

"The summer I was.gone, Willow and Tara used it all up on groceries and clothes for Dawn and minor repairs to things that had gotten a little smashed. How those things got smashed, I have yet to find out."

"God Buffy, I wish there was something I could do. I mean, you're going through this really hard time and I feel obligated to help you."

"Obligated? Angel, I'm not your responsibility anymore. And Dawn never was. I want you to help, but there is nothing you or anyone else can do."

"I'm going to give you some money to take care of things for a while."

"Angel, no."

"Buffy, you've always been my responsibility no matter what you think. I fell in love with you and I took care of you. I didn't mean for it to come out as obligated, but it's more of a 'I want to help' scenario."

"Thank you Angel." She looked up into his eyes and a moment passed between them. It scared Buffy a little because she hadn't felt anything like that in a long while. Buffy looked away sharply. "It's getting late and I'm kind of beat. Why don't I go get something else on and get to bed?"

"You sure you don't want to talk some more?"

"Yeah, I'm sure. I'll be right back. I left my bag in the car."

"All right."

Buffy left the room and went to her Jeep. As she opened the door to get her bag, she almost started to cry again. She had ruined a moment that she had wanted to feel again ever since Angel left Sunnydale those two and a half years ago. Angel loved her, he had admitted that, but he didn't want her like that anymore. Not like she still wanted him. Buffy slammed the door a little too hard and went back to the room. When she opened the door, Angel was nowhere in sight. She heard the shower going and figured he was in there. Buffy changed into a tank top and some pajama pants. She walked to the patio door that led out to a beautiful garden behind the hotel. Opening it, she stepped out and breathed the fresh air and the scent of flowers and greenery. This was what she had always wished her life with Angel could have been like. Living in the mansion, happily married, and walking out every night into the garden and smelling the beautiful sweet-fragranted flowers. Buffy sighed and turned to go back in, but nearly ran into Angel. He was in a pair of old sweat pants and naked from the waist up. There was a small sheen of water left on him from the shower and it made him look oh so irresistible.

Buffy swallowed hard. "Sorry."

"It's ok. What were you doing out there?"

"Just breathing some fresh air."

"I thought you were going to bed."

"I was. I just wanted some fresh air, that's all."

"Hey. Whoa, slow down. I was just saying. I wasn't trying to be confrontational."

"I know. I'm sorry. I'm just really edgy ever since." Buffy trailed off. "So, um, what about you? I mean, there's only one bed in here and a floor. Unless you wanna sleep in the bed with me."

"Are you sure? I mean, I pretty much know I can restrain myself from doing anything bad."

"I'm sure. I mean, I can restrain too. We both know that we should never. and besides, we've slept together before. I.I mean not SLEPT together, b.but you know sleep as in snooze. But we have.slept together. That was a long time ago though and you probably don't see me like that anymore." Buffy made her way towards the bed and sat down.

Angel went over to her and sat beside her. "Buffy, is that what you think, that I don't want you like that anymore?"

"Yeah, I mean, you left me. Remember?"

"Just because I left you doesn't mean that I don't still want you like that. I'll always want you Buffy. You're the only girl that ever really mattered to me."

"You're so calm about all this."

"I've had years of practice. Come on. You're babbling. Climb into bed."

Buffy stood up and Angel lifted the covers for her. She climbed in and settled down into the pillow. Angel went to the other side and climbed into bed with her. Buffy rolled over and snuggled against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her frail form and kissed her hair. After a while she drifted off to sleep and Angel listened to the steady rhythm of her heart. He listened for about an hour before it put him to sleep too. Both laid there and dreamed of the other all night long. Buffy was content to let this go on forever. For the first night in a long while, she rested peacefully in her lover's arms.