Something Surprising

Willow was sitting in an airport in London when the idea suddenly came to her – or rather, it crashed into her like a train – and she could scarcely give it credence. Could it be this simple? Could it? Was it possible she'd wasted so much time – given up years ago – when the solution, the simple solution, had been in her hands all along? Of course, now it was buried in the rubble of Sunnydale, but still…

It took two months of searching, but in the back of a bookstore – a plain, ordinary, non-magical bookstore – in Pasadena, California, she found it. Another copy of the book.

How long had it been? So very long since she'd cast that spell to have her will done… that spell which had gone so very awry. Well, she wasn't that inexperienced girl, the one with raw power and no control. Now she was mature – a true witch – and she didn't want to do this spell to ease her own pain. No, she wanted to do this spell to right a terrible wrong… and to ease the pain of a girl who had saved the world – a lot – and had nothing to show for it.

Harken all ye elements, I summon thee now. Control the outside, control within. Land and sea, fire and wind. Out of my passions, a web be spun. From this eve forth, my will be done. So mote it be.

Buffy nestled close to the cool body lying next to her, her eyes closed even though she wasn't sleeping. She wasn't a virgin anymore. Wow. And it had been… beyond special, beyond wonderful, beyond… well, beyond. Yeah, okay, she knew that soon she would have to get up and go warn the others so they could try and stop the Judge, but that was the Slayer's job. Right now? Right now she was just Buffy, and she was lying next to the man she loved, the man she'd just made love to. She let herself drift off, and for once, her dreams of Angel couldn't hold a candle to reality.

Angel felt the change in Buffy's breathing as she fell asleep beside him. The heat of her skin against him… it reminded him of the heat they'd created just a short while ago and he smiled. The salt taste of her sweat lingered on his tongue and he wished he could bottle every scent, every sound, every taste, every sensation of what they'd just shared and hang onto it forever. He was happy, so happy, and it was if he'd been forgiven by the God who'd forsaken him long ago. The woman he loved was in his arms, had shared herself completely with him. Yes, he knew that out there in the world there was danger, imminent danger, and people he needed to save. But right now? There were only two people in the whole world: Angel and Buffy. He pulled her closer and smiled again as she made soft, sleepy sounds, and he listened to her breathe as she dreamed.

They stayed that way for hours. And they were perfectly happy.

The End.