Don't own anything of Buffyverse. Boo!

It had been a long summer. After the big ordeal with The Master and school ending, Buffy left town to go spend some time with her father. Angel held back in Sunnydale, taking care of things in her absence.

He was hoping it'd be a good distraction over the time she'd be away, but he was sorely wrong. The Hellmouth was actually pretty calm. Sure, a vampire here, a demon there... but they were few and far between.

It was pretty depressing.

As the days neared for her return, he got more and more anxious. He couldn't wait to see her.

Yet, when the time came, he found himself staying away. Something just didn't feel right. With her, with the town. So, over the first few nights he did some digging. Hell, if nothing else, it'd be a reason to go to her.

The night he did, he waited to see if she'd go patrol but no go on that end. Instead, he watched her from afar as she did her homework, ate with her mother, wrote in her diary, then climbed into bed. It was obvious she wasn't having pleasant dreams.

When she began mumbling, he snuck up the side of the house to listen, Though, truthfully, he could have heard it just fine where he was.

He ducked out of the way when she woke but a few seconds later forced himself forward, climbing in swiftly. She noticed right away.

And didn't seem overly thrilled about seeing him. He was towards her, but kept those emotions to himself.

He tried to start of with some small talk, but that didn't turn out so well. Not that discussing "work" went any smoother.

There was something up with her, no question about that. He began to wonder if the events with The Master had done more damage than anyone had guessed.

He could tell she wanted him gone, which stung more than he'd want to admit. He knew the two of them would be a very bad idea, but that hadn't exactly changed or even lessened his feelings toward the young slayer.

He apologized, telling her he would go... then softly said he had missed her. Then he left.

He heard her say it back from the ground he'd landed on just as it came from her.

Angel supposed that was at least something.