Disclaimer: It all belongs to someone else. All of it.

A/N: Does it count as angst if you know he's gonna be back?

Written a long time ago. Am trying to stick stuff in appropriate folders on my memory card, and have difficulty in putting things into folders (you know, out of sight) if they aren't finished and/or posted. Enjoy, if you can.

The end of the world hits hard and fast and for once, she doesn't even see it coming.

Of course-since karma's a git-she's in LA, recovering from the final battle with her army of slayers and talking to Angel when the reality of it all comes crashing down.

She turns to Willow, who is never far from her side, and then back to Angel. "Oh," she says in a small voice. "He's gone."

Angel doesn't have time to ask who she's talking about before she's collapsing in an unholy mess, sobs tearing from her the way they did four years ago, for an entirely different vampire. Only this time, it's all so much worse.

She knows Willow is kneeling next to her, hears frantic cries of "what's wrong, what happened?" and all she can think is How can they not know? They were there. How can they not know? The world ended just two days ago, how can they not know?

"What's wrong, Buffy? What's the matter?"

Angel. Angel wants to help, to make it all better, but he can't help this, not this time. She looks up at him, not sure if she's angry or devastated at his ignorance.

"The end, Angel. It's the end of the world." She says it almost matter-of-factly, a remarkable feat considering the tears still pouring down her face.

He still doesn't get it. Confused, and a little worried, he looks over his shoulder at Willow and then back to her. "Buffy… the world didn't end. You saved the world."

And suddenly she's furious, white-hot anger flooding her veins and sending a completely familiar and all-too-welcome jolt of energy through her body. She shoves away from him, green eyes flashing and screams, "I DIDN'T! Not me! HE did it! HE saved the world! He saved the world and then it ended, why can't you understand that?"

Only Angel does, she sees, finally does understand, because he has been lurking in the depths of every conversation, hidden behind every veiled reference to the past, standing there-smirking, she'd swear-every time someone said Sunnydale.

All the fight goes out of her all at once without him there to sustain it and she turns away from the vampire she once thought would be her one and only. He wasn't. He wasn't, and the one she was pretty sure had been taking his place is gone, gone, gone.

The First Evil was defeated, the Apocalypse was averted, and Buffy's world ended, all in a flash of fire and smoke and black leather.

A/N: Why yes, I did write a heck of a lot of sappy Spuffy a while back. How did you guess?