A/N I'm still bored. I'm actually looking forward to school starting. Sad, this I know. Well, I'm an avid B/A fan and all of my stories are B/A. This one is no different. I wanted to write what it would have been like if Buffy had gone after Angel after Graduation Day. If it's not good, it's because I'm bored. This is just my really bored brain swirling after scanning the B/A sites and stuff. Enjoy.



I'm Not Ready to Say Goodbye

Buffy watched her lover, the vampire with a soul named Angel, walk away from her. He walked past the screaming sirens and flashing lights and through the smoke that permeated the air. She spotted Willow, her best friend, in her peripheral vision. Buffy turned her head to the girl and saw that she was shaking her head and motioning for Buffy to go after him. The slayer's eyes filled with tears as she nodded and ran. She was not going to let him go. Not this time. She wasn't ready for him to leave her. She needed him.

The slayer ran through the streets trying to follow her heart to him. She could barely see through her tears. Her heart and soul cried out to him to please answer her. Nothing came to her. Buffy ran to the mansion, praying that he would be there. She searched every room, but Angel was not there.

Disappointed and heart broken, Buffy walked back to her house. She sat on the steps staring off into the night. She had lost him forever. How could her have done this to her? How could he have broken her heart so cruelly? She was 18! She was old enough to decide what she needed. What she needed was him to hold her and tell her that he loved her and was not going anywhere.

Unbeknownst to Buffy, her mother watched her from the living room. She had told Buffy that she would leave, but she had stayed. Now her heart broke for her little girl out on the porch. It didn't take a genius to know why Buffy was crying. And it was all Joyce's fault. She had practically told Angel to leave her daughter alone. She hadn't realized the full effect it would have on Buffy to lose this man that she loved so much.

Joyce had been wrong. Buffy wasn't just another young woman in love. This was different. Buffy was the slayer. From what Joyce knew of that, it meant that her daughter didn't have a long life span. She had found love and her mother had selfishly ripped that away from her. Now, the one happiness in her life was gone. And Joyce felt so guilty about it. She walked out onto the porch and shut the door.

Buffy turned and wiped away her tears. "Mom? I thought I told you to leave town?"

"You did. But Buffy, did you honestly think that I could leave knowing my little girl was going to go off and fight a horrible monster and possibly die doing do it?"

"Mom.."

"Buffy, I have a confession to make to you. You may hate me after I tell you this.."

"Mom, I could never hate you."

"No, but you may resent me for a while."

"No.."

"Buffy, I talked to Angel the other day."

"What?"

"And I said some things to him. Things that may be causing your tears right now." Buffy stood up and stared at her mother. "What did you say to him?"

"I said that when it came to Angel.. you were just another young woman in love. That there were going to be tough decisions to make ahead and that if you couldn't make them, he was going to have to make them for you. But I realize that I was wrong. You're not just another young woman. You're my daughter and you're the slayer. You're the most important thing in the world to me."

"How could you do this to me?"

"Buffy.."

"Angel was the one thing that I could have relied on to stay with me. To.. To not give up on us. He was always the one that fought to keep us together when I tried to give up."

"I know."

"I don't want anybody else! I don't need anybody else."

"Buffy.. please."

Buffy didn't listen. She stormed off down the street. She roamed the quiet dark streets and let her tears fall. She didn't even know where she was going until she looked up and realized that she was at Angel's old apartment. Her body and mind had brought her here, the place where she and Angel had found perfect happiness in each other's arms.

Silently, Buffy went to the door that led to the apartment and found it unlocked. She let herself in and found the door to his apartment. She expected it to be locked, but was shocked to find that it wasn't. Opening the door, she slipped in and turned on the dim light on the desk. There were the drawings he had made of her hanging on the walls. She smiled at the intricate details of her face that Angel had done from memory. To Buffy, these were better than photographs. Photographs were things that you took to make a memory. The drawings WERE memory, Angel's memory. This brought tears to her eyes again and Buffy let them fall.

Walking around the room, she studied the furniture and the statue in the glass case. Buffy couldn't recall if Angel had told her about the statue or not. It was pretty though. And it was wonderful because it had belonged to him. She belonged to him. The bite mark on her neck that she could feel scarring over, she knew that was a mark. His mark. Buffy started to laugh. The events of the past few of days hit her like a freight train and all she could think to do was laugh. Buffy had quit the Council, fed herself to Angel, blown up her high school, graduated, actually gotten help from everyone in her senior class, gone to prom, got awarded the class protector award, Angel had broken up with her, she had stopped a bunch of ugly hell hounds from destroying the prom, she had danced with Angel at the prom, and she had spent countless hours crying.

Crying. That was exactly what her laughter had ended as. Now Buffy was curled up on Angel's old bed, sobbing into the pillows that still smelled of him. The clothes that he had given her to change into still laid on the covers. Buffy remembered that she had folded them up and laid them on the bed that she had made the morning after she had woken up from the best night of her life. She remembered the last time she had been in this apartment.

Buffy entered the apartment. There were lights on, but she had left them on. She walked to the bed and touched the clothes that lay there. Behind her, Angel walked out of the bathroom in leather pants and no shirt. She turned, sensing him.

"Angel!" Buffy cried.

"Hey."

She ran to him and threw her arms around him. "Oh, God. I was so worried."

"Didn't mean to frighten you."

"Where did you go?"

"Been around."

"I was freaking out, you just disappeared."

He broke away from her. "What, I took off."

"But you didn't say anything. You just left."

"Yeah, like I really wanted to stick around after THAT."

"After. . . What do you. . ."

"You got a lot to learn about men kiddo. Although I guess you proved that last night."

"What are you saying?"

"Let's not make an issue of it. In fact, let's not talk about it at all. It happened."

"I don't understand. Was it m-me? Was I not good?"

Angel laughed. "No, you were great. Really. I thought you were a pro."

"How can you this to me?"

"Lighten up. It was a good time. Doesn't mean we have to make a big deal."

"It is a big deal."

"It's what? Fireworks? Bells ringing? A dulcet choir of pretty little birdies? Come on Buffy, it's not like I've never been there before."

He went to touch her cheek and she jerked away. "Don't touch me."

"I should have known you wouldn't be able to handle it." He started to leave.

"Angel!" He stopped and faced her. "I love you."

"Love you too." He opened the door. "I'll call you."

With that he was gone and all Buffy could do was stare after him.

Buffy hadn't known it at the time, but that had been her first encounter with the infamous Angelus. The Scourge of Europe himself. The next few months had been the worst hell of her life. Angel had killed Jenny Calendar, the first woman Giles had ever loved. He had tortured her and her friends. Stalked Buffy, killed people she knew from school, left pictures of her and her mother for Buffy to find, and he had killed Willow's fish. It had all come to an end one morning in the mansion.

Buffy slammed Angelus with a kick to the head, sending him to his knees. Raising the sword that Kendra had given her, she pulled back to cut his head off. Suddenly Angelus gasped in pain and flew forward. When he was able to look back up, a strange glow was in his eyes for a moment and then it was gone, replaced by tears. He sat there gasping for a few seconds before he looked up at her.

"Buffy? What's going on?"

He stood up and Buffy pulled her sword back again, not trusting him. Thinking it was a trick to save his ass.

"Where are we? I-I don't remember."

Buffy stared into his beautiful brown eyes, realizing that Willow had done the curse and her Angel was back. "Angel?"

He looked down at her arm. "You're hurt."

She looked down at her wound and felt his gentle touch on her arm. She ignored her cut, looked back up at him and stepped closer. He embraced her tightly.

"Oh, Buffy. . . God. I-I feel like I haven't seen you in months. Oh my God, everything's so muddled. I. . . Oh." He kissed her shoulder. "Buffy."

She cried into his shoulder and hugged him back. Behind him Acathla let out a low rumble. Buffy opened her eyes and stared in shock as Acathla's face contorted. His brows angled down, his eyes glowed red, his mouth opened grotesquely and the swirling vortex to Hell opened, small at first, but it grew steadily in size and emanated a deep, red glow. Buffy let go of Angel and looked up into his face.

"What's happening?" he asked.

"Shh. Don't worry about it." Buffy said.

She brushed her fingers over his lips and across his cheek. She laid her hand on his cheek and kissed him softly. He returned the kiss, and it became more passionate. Behind them the vortex grew to about five feet across and continued to get larger. Buffy broke off the kiss and looked deeply into Angel's eyes.

"I love you." Buffy said.

"I love you."

She touched his lips again. "Close your eyes."

She nodded reassuringly, and he closed his eyes. She tried hard not to start crying, and kissed him again gently. She stepped back, drew back her sword and thrust it into his chest. His eyes whipped open in surprise and pain, and a bright light emanated from the sword. She stepped away from him. He reached out to her and looked down at the sword thrust completely through him. He looked at her imploringly, completely bewildered by this turn of events. She could only stare at the sword protruding from his chest, and slowly step further back.

"Buffy. . ."

Behind him the power of the sword began to swirl into the vortex. Buffy stepped further back, still looking only at the sword in his chest and not into his face. The vortex enlarged to about twelve feet across, and the two energies began to interact. Angel still held out his hand to Buffy. When the vortex finally met him, it suddenly closed into Acathla's mouth without so much as a spark, taking him with it.

Buffy stared at the stone demon for a long moment, a light of awareness dawning in her as she truly realizes what she has done, what she has lost. She began to sob, her heart shattering.

As the memory cascaded over her thoughts, Buffy's weeping intensified. She didn't know what was worse, the pain she had felt that morning that had made her leave town or the pain she felt from the hole in her soul from watching her Angel walk away from her of his own will. The pain at remembering the words he had spoken to her in the sewer the day before the prom.

"No. No, if you have something to say, then say it. Angel drop the cryptic, you're scaring me." Buffy said.

"I've been thinking. . . about our future. And the more I do, the more I feel like us, you and me being together, is unfair to you." Angel said.

"Is this about what the mayor said? Because he was just trying to shake us up."

"He was right."

"No. . . No he wasn't. He's the bad guy!"

"You deserve more. You deserve something outside of demons and darkness. You should be with someone who can take you into the light. Someone who can make love to you."

"I don't care about that."

"You will. And children?"

"Children? Uh, can we say jumping the gun? I kill my goldfish!"

"Today. But you have no idea how fast it goes, Buffy. Before you know it, you'll want a normal life."

"I'll never have a normal life."

"Right, you'll always be a slayer. But that's all the more reason why you should have a real relationship instead of this. . . this freak show." Buffy looked at him stunned. "I didn't mean that."

"I'm gonna go." Buffy started to leave, but Angel grabbed her arm and stopped her.

"I'm sorry. Buffy, you know how much I love you, and it kills me to say this."

"Then don't. Who are you to tell me what's right for me? You think I haven't thought about this?"

"Have you? Rationally?"

"No. . . No of course not. I'm just some swoony little school girl right?"

"I'm trying to do what's right here, ok? I'm trying to think with my head instead of my heart."

"Heart? You have a heart? It isn't even beating!"

"Don't."

"Don't what? Don't love you? I'm sorry! You know what? I didn't know I got a choice in that. I'm never going to change. I can't change." Buffy sighed and looked him directly in the eye. "I want my life to be with you."

"I don't."

"You don't wanna be with me? I-I can't believe you're breaking up with me."

"It doesn't mean that I don't. . ."

"How am I supposed to stay away from you?"

"I'm leaving. After the Ascension, after it's finished with the Mayor and Faith. If we survive, I'll go."

"Where?"

"I don't know."

"Is this really happening?"

Buffy sat up. This memory didn't make her cry. It made her angry and frustrated at him. His reasons were so stupid! How could she have convinced herself so poorly that he had been right?

". . .But he's right. I mean, I think maybe in the long run that he's right."

"Yeah, I think he is. I mean, I tried to hope for the best, but. . . I'm sorry. Must be horrible." Willow said.

"I think horrible is still coming. Right now it's worse. Right now I'm just trying to keep from dying." Buffy sobbed. She fell forward onto Willow's lap and cried.

"Oh, Buffy."

"I can't breath, Will. I feel like I can't breath."

It was different now. Seeing Angel at the prom, being held by him, she realized that he had been so wrong. She knew that he had felt it too. Resolve washed over her and Buffy stood up. She wiped her face up, threw back her hair, and walked out into the night. It was only 1:00 in the morning according to the clock on city hall. Good, she still had about five hours until sunrise. She didn't think Angel would have left town yet. Buffy figured that he was walking around somewhere in town, being nostalgic and broody.