Browsing and Buying

by: Serena

Disclaimer: They aren't mine.  Had I been Joss, I could claim them.  But I'm only Serena, which means that they don't belong to me.  Joss won't sell either, so I have to keep going behind his back and sneaking them around, making up excuses and such.  Poor guys.  Joss owns them, along with Mutant Enemy and Twentieth Century Fox.  Adia is mine, though.

Author's Notes: Sixth story in my fluff series.  Still trying to come up with a name for the would be appreciated!  This isn't really a Buffy/Angel fic, it's more of a girls' day out thing.  You'll have to read my Another Chance trilogy and the rest of the series to know what''s going on here.  That wasn't a plug or anything, I swear!!  And I think I got the name of a store wrong, I don't shop there so I don't know about it. You'll know what store it is when you get to it.  Oh, and for any of you who don't know what a shrug is, it's a little half sweater thing.  :-)  Feedback is always something I love to see in my mailbox, so send me some!!!

"Are you sure I look okay?" Buffy asked as she checked her reflection over.  She wrinkled her nose.  Turning back to her boyfriend, who lounged leisurely on the bed, she gazed down at her current choice.

"You look beautiful.  What's so important about looking great when you're just going to the mall?" Angel asked, slightly exasperated.  Buffy had been trying on outfits for an the past half hour, quickly discarding them after putting them on.  "You meeting someone there I should know about?" he teased.  She tossed him a smile.

"Yeah, he's this really great guy.  I've been seeing him for about a year now, he's tall, dark, and handsome and has the greatest eyes..." she trailed off, grinning broadly.  "You should meet him sometime."

"I'll remember that," he laughed as he rolled over and stretched, careful not to squoosh Adia.  The kitten was laying out on the bed, her body extended.  A halter top came flying at him and he carefully plucked the article off his body and folded it neatly.

"What about this?" she asked, spinning around to show her outfit off.  Angel nodded.

"I like," he said.  The skirt she wore fell to her knees and was light pink with pastel flowers on the sheer white material over it.  She wore a matching tube top and pulled on a white short sleeved blouse and pink platforms.

"Good?" she asked, checking her reflection again.

"Perfect," Angel agreed as he picked up Buffy's Cosmo and flipped through it.  She clipped her hair back with flower barrettes and applied mascara and lipstick.  The last touch was a tiny silver cross and her Baby G watch.  Angel's gasp caused her to turn around quickly.

"What is it, Angel?  What's wrong?" she asked as she walked over to the bed.  Angel was staring at her magazine with a look of shock on his face.  Buffy looked at the article he had been reading and smiled.

"This is where you learned that?" he demanded.  She nodded and giggled.

"You don't think someone else taught me, do you?" she replied.  Angel just continued to stare.  "Oh, you loved it, don't even give me that."

"You're right, I did," Angel agreed.  "You need a subscription to this magazine, honey?" he asked, grinning wickedly.  She returned it.

"Already have one," she replied, leaning down to give him a kiss.

"Oh, that reminds me," Angel said as he sat up and reached into his pocket.  He pulled out two hundred dollar bills.  "This is for you to spend at the mall."  Buffy gaped at the offered money and quickly shook her head.

"I can't take that, Angel," she said as she stood up straight.  Angel gave her a look.

"Yes you can, just open your hand and let me put it in.  I want you to have it, Buffy," he said as he stood and put his arms around her.

"No, Angel, I feel bad enough that you have to pay for the house and everything in it, I don't need more guilt knowing that you paid for my clothes.  I have money from my dad and stuff in the bank, I'll be fine," she assured him. She glanced at the bedside clock.  "Cordy'll be here any minute, I should go wait downstairs."

"You should," he agreed and kissed her gently, probing her lips with his own. She wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned in closer.  Adia meowed from the bed, causing both to look up at her.

"Do you like my outfit, sweetie?" Buffy asked the kitten.  Adia looked at her quizzically and yawned.  "I'll take that as a yes..."

She went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and returned to see Angel curled up with the kitten.  "What I wouldn't give for a camera right about now," she laughed.  Angel smiled at her.  "So what're you gonna do today?" she asked as she perched on the edge of the bed, pushing aside the burgundy material that hung down and wrapping it around the post.

"I figured I'd move some of the other artwork I have here.  Either that or sleep the entire day," he replied as he suppressed a yawn.  Buffy grinned and shifted on the bed.

"You should sleep, you're not used to working yet," Buffy told him.

"Yeah, that's true.  But then I won't be able to sleep tonight," Angel argued.

"You can always call Xander and Oz and have them come over for some male bonding," she suggested, a smile on her lips.  Angel groaned.

"I'll pass, thanks.  Oz is fine, but Xander drives me up the wall and back down," Angel said.  Buffy laughed and gave him a quick kiss.  A horn beeped loudly from outside and she grabbed her purse.  With a last kiss blown in Angel's direction, Buffy breezed down the stairs and out the door.  She smiled a greeting at Cordelia and jumped into the front seat, carefully buckling her seat belt as Cordelia peeled out into the street.  She had driven with Cordy before and knew how much of a risk she was taking.

"Hey, Cor.  Where's Willow?" Buffy asked over the loud music.

"We have to go pick her up," Cordy replied.  Within minutes they reached the Rosenberg residence.  Willow sat on the porch looking nervous.  She slid into the back seat as Cordy once again peeled out, narrowly missing a Toyota that was coming in the other direction.

"So, Will, you ready for some shopping?" Buffy asked as Cordelia turned onto the highway.  "Umm...Cordy, the mall is the other way."

"Wrong, my dear.  *Sunnydale's* mall is that way.  We're headed for South Hills," Cordelia said as she sped up.  Buffy unconsciously gripped the arm rest.

"South Hills?  Isn't that that three story mall an hour from here?" Willow asked from the back seat.  Cordelia nodded.

"Yep, it's huge.  You'll need it, Will, we are buying you a new wardrobe today," Cordelia said as she glanced in the rear view mirror and grinned at Willow¹s pale face.

The hour ride to the mall was spent talking about their boyfriends and about what they wanted to get at the mall.  They arrived in no time and Cordelia clicked on the anti-theft system as they walked to the entrance.  Knowing her way around, she quickly directed her friends to Nordstrom at the far end of the mall.

"Ooh, I like this dress," Cordelia said as they wandered through the store.  Willow fingered a fitted blouse and Buffy urged her to try it on.  Willow looked skeptical.

"C'mon, Will, it doesn't mean you're gonna buy it.  It just means you like it," Buffy told her as she skimmed through the capris.  She held up a pair of light purple ones.  "And these will be hanging in my closet soon."

"Okay, Willow, let's get started," Cordelia said with a gleam in her eye.  She was shoved into a dressing room and bombarded with clothes from both Buffy and Cordelia.  She tried on bell bottoms, flairs, capris, tanks, and even a halter top.  In between critiquing every piece of clothing she tried on, Buffy and Cordelia managed to try on several things themselves.

"I like that color on you, Cor," Buffy commented as she gazed at the red dress.  It was low cut and strappy with light swirls of black on it.  Buffy looked in the mirror at her short skirt and blood red tank top and matching shrug.  She adjusted the shrug slightly, feeling a bit awkward in the tiny piece of clothing.  "I feel like I stole my Barbie's sweater," she said as she looked once more in the mirror.

Willow appeared, wearing a long black skirt that had a slit up the side and a v-neck tank top.  An ornate dragon donned the tank top and Buffy and Cordy both agreed she had to get it.

"Geez, it's a good thing my parents gave me their credit card," Willow said as she placed everything on the counter.

"See, Willow, I told you.  You just needed some help and the right colors.  Oz will flip when he sees you," Cordelia said.

"I don't think Oz is the type that flips," Willow pointed out.

"Oh, right.  Well, he'll do something completely un-Oz when he sees you," Cordelia replied.

"Definitely, Will, when he sees you he'll forget how to..." Buffy trailed off as she opened her wallet.  Two hundred dollar bills were nestled in behind her ATM card.  "Oh my God.  I can't believe him!" she cried.

"Who?  Care to share, Buffy, or do we have to play twenty questions again?  Does it have anything to do with nude pictures of your boyfriend?" Cordelia asked hopefully.  Buffy laughed and shook her head, removing the money and waving it around.

"He offered me money and I turned him down.  He must've put it in my wallet while I was brushing my teeth," Buffy said as she paid for her purchases.  Willow and Cordelia gaped at her.

"Okay, that's it.  We're trading boyfriends, I don't care what you say.  Mine won't even buy me a pack of gum," Cordelia whined.  Buffy and Willow laughed.

"We'll work on him for you," Willow promised, putting an arm around her friend's shoulders.

The girls left Nordstrom and wandered around the mall, going into the Limited and Express.  In both stores Buffy and Cordelia found things to add to Willow's new wardrobe.  They stopped for lunch when Willow complained of a headache.

"Geez, you guys don't stop, do you?" Willow asked as she plopped herself down in a chair in the mall's food court.  She put her packages on the floor and began picking at her rice and chicken.

"We were born to shop," Buffy and Cordelia said at the same time, dissolving into giggles.  Willow gave them a strange look.

"You know, Summers, you're actually pretty fun to shop with.  Better than the airheads," Cordelia said as she took a bite of her vegetarian lasagna.

"Why thank you, *Chase,*" Buffy replied, accentuating her last name.  The girls chatted about what other stores they wanted to go to throughout lunch.  Willow wanted to go to the book store and music store, and Buffy and Cordelia reluctantly agreed.  They would rather have shopped for more clothes, but decided to go along with her.

"I probably should buy Angel something, considering he bought me some really nice outfits," Buffy said as she sipped her soda.  The others nodded.

"Any ideas?  Angel doesn't exactly strike me as an easy person to shop for," Willow said.  Buffy sighed.

"Tell me about it, it's like pulling teeth to get him to tell me what he wants for dinner.  Actually, pulling teeth is probably easier..." Buffy said as she finished the last of her pizza.  A stray piece of hair feel down and she brushed it aside.  Seeing that her companions were done, she stood and took her tray to the garbage can.

The girls headed for Barnes and Noble.  Cordelia immediately went to the magazines, scouting for the latest issue of Vogue.  Buffy wandered the aisles, coming upon the poetry section.  She stopped and studied the titles, knowing Angel adored poetry.  She settled on a book of various poets, including Edgar Allen Poe and Sylvia Plath.  An X-Files guide also fell into her hands, she and Angel loved the show.  She paid for her books and scooted into the pet shop that was right next door as she waited for her friends  She picked up a leash for Adia and a new toy before leaving the store.  She sat down on a bench outside, waiting for Willow and Cordelia to emerge.

Cordelia came out of the bookstore, looking around to make sure no one saw her leaving.  Her bag was nowhere to be seen and Buffy laughed silently as she realized some things would never change...

"What?" Cordelia demanded.  Buffy waved her hand.

"Nothing," she said.  Willow came out at that point and they moved on to Record Town.  Skimming through the CDs, Buffy picked out 'Solace' and a copy of 'Surfacing' for the car.  Cordelia had gotten the new Lauryn Hill disc and Willow bought Third Eye Blind.  They roamed the large mall, going into Contempo Casuals to look around.

"Ooh, now this is an awesome outfit," Buffy said as she approached the blue capris and yellow shirt with tiny sleeves and a deep v.

"I saw it first," a snotty voice said from behind her.  Buffy sighed and turned around.

"Hi Harmony.  Fancy meeting you here," Buffy said as Cordelia and Willow walked up behind her.

"I saw the outfit first, so it's mine," Harmony repeated.

"Last time I checked there was more than one," Buffy retorted.  Harmony fumed.

"As if I'll be caught dead in something you own," Harmony said.  Buffy smirked.

"Well, then you'll probably want to go burn that shirt right about now, I've had mine for three years.  That style is so over, Harmony," Buffy said in her best valley girl impersonation.  Harmony blushed.

"Yeah, maid didn't have time to do the laundry today," Harmony said quickly.  Cordelia snorted.

"What maid?  Everyone knows you do your own laundry, Harmony.  You can't afford one," Cordelia spat.

"Yeah, well at least I didn't move in with my boyfriend when I was seventeen.  Are you really pregnant, Buffy?  'Cause you look like you're starting to show," she retorted, her eyebrow quirked.  Buffy suppressed the urge to hit the annoying girl.

"No, I'm not pregnant.  But at least I'm getting some, which is more than you can say," Buffy replied sweetly.  Harmony turned on her heel and stormed off in the other direction.  "Was it something I said?" Buffy asked wickedly.  She reached for her size.  "Damn, now everyone's gonna know that I wear Harmony's rejects," Buffy said with a fake pout on her face.

"You're evil," Willow said as she turned to the sweaters.  Cordelia saw where she was headed and stopped her.

"Uh uh, Willow, we're trying to break you of that habit, remember?  I think these halter tops are much better for you," Cordelia said soothingly as she steered her in the direction of them.  Buffy shook her head and went browsing.  She picked up a pair of platform sandals and high heels, along with some new tank tops and a shirt on sale.  Cordelia was giving Willow advice on makeup when Buffy paid for her items.  Cordelia bought a dress and Willow bought a pair of knee high boots at Buffy and Cordelia's urging.

"Nine and Co.?" Cordy asked as they walked out of the store.  "Willow needs some shoes to match her outfits.²"

They walked into the store and sat Willow down.  Both girls began throwing shoes in her direction, suggesting what she could wear with them all.  Willow sat quietly, pulling on the different shoes, keeping some and discarding others.

"I think these would look better on you," Willow said, handing a pair of red pumps to Buffy.  Since all three girls were the same size, they traded different shoes as they tried them on.  Finally, an hour and a few hundred pairs of shoes later they were ready to leave.  Lugging the many bags they had around, they wandered the mall for a while.

"You guys ready to go?" Buffy asked as she glanced at her watch.  It was a quarter to seven.  Willow nodded as Cordelia's head snapped around and she stopped.  The other girls stopped as well and looked strangely at her.

"I know the perfect thing you can buy Angel, Buff," she said as she smiled mischievously and grabbed her friend's hand.  Buffy looked up in the direction Cordelia was pulling her and her eyes widened.

"Cordy, there is no way I'm going into Frederick's of Hollywood," she said.  Her cries fell on deaf ears.


"Hi honey, I'm home," Buffy said as she opened the front door, lugging her bags.  "Angel?" she called as she dropped her keys and purse on the small table in the foyer.

"In here," her boyfriend's voice called, floating in from the living room.  He sat in the recliner, curled up with Adia.

"Should I be jealous?" she teased as she gave him a kiss and perched on the arm of the chair.

"Maybe..." her boyfriend replied.  She laughed.  "Did you have fun?"

"I can't believe you!!  I told you I didn't want your money, Angel," she said as she playfully smacked him on the arm.

"I know, I know.  I couldn't help it.  You were so cute when you told me you didn't want it, I had to give it to you," Angel replied.

"Whoa, are we talking about the money or something else?" she asked with a gleam in her eye.

"Did you spend it?" Angel questioned.  She nodded.  "Okay, then."

"That made sense," Buffy commented wryly as she snuggled down into his lap, careful not to disturb Adia.

"It just goes to show that you wanted it," Angel said as he stroked her hair softly.

"I should probably go put everything away.  We might need more closet space, Angel," she warned as she stood and grabbed all her bags.  He groaned playfully.

"I think we'll need an extra *room* to hold all this," he said as he surveyed the bags.  She laughed and began carrying them upstairs.  Opening the bedroom door, she stopped and gasped.  A beautiful rocking chair sat in the corner.  It looked very old.  "Oh, did I forget to tell you I brought some of the stuff in storage out?" Angel laughed as he saw her reaction.

"Angel, it's beautiful," she breathed as she set her bags down and walked over to it, running a hand down its smooth arm.

"I'm glad you like it," Angel said as he came up behind her and spun her around, catching her lips in a sweet kiss.

"Thank you," Buffy said as she pulled away and gazed into his brown eyes.  He smiled gently at her.

"Anything for the woman I love," he replied, kissing her again before excusing himself, saying there was a golf tournament on that he wanted to see.  Buffy laughed and switched on the CD player they had put in the bedroom.  She began taking out her clothes, removing the tags and hanging them neatly in the closet.  Her clothes took up three quarters of the space, while Angel's hung huddled in a corner.  She grinned and remembered the last bag that was still hidden in her Nine and Co. bag.  After stashing it in the bathroom cabinet under the sink, she grabbed the bags that had Angel's books and the cat things and walked downstairs.  Her boyfriend was munching on chips and sipping a Pepsi, staring intently at the TV.

"Golf, huh?" Buffy asked as she stepped into the room.  Xena's warrior cry echoed.  Angel glanced up sheepishly.

"The golf tournament was over," Angel said hastily.  Buffy gave him an incredulous look and crossed her arms.

"Maybe I should do that cry when I'm staking vampires," she said thoughtfully as she plopped down on the couch and stretched out.  "Now I don't know if you deserve your present," she said playfully.  Angel sat up straight in his chair and gave her a curious look.  She looked away, staring intently at the TV.  Angel got up and sat on the couch, cradling her head in his lap.

"I sorry," he said in a baby voice.  Buffy gave him a look and smiled.

"I forgive you.  Here," she said, handing him the bag.  He dangled it from his fingertips.  "It won't bite you, Angel."

He opened the bag, pulling the poetry book and X-Files guide out.  Smiling, he flipped through them before giving her a quick kiss.  "Thanks, baby, I love them."

"You bought 'em," she grinned.  He stroked her hair softly as they watched Xena.  "You hungry?" she asked when it was over.  He shook his head.

"I had a Big Mac before," he replied.

She pulled the new toy for the cat and the leash out of the other bag.  She tossed the toy on the floor and Adia immediately pounced on it, batting it furiously around the floor.  The bell on her collar rang every time she moved.  Buffy showed Angel the leash.

"What is that for?" Angel asked, his eyebrow raised.  Buffy gave him a look.

"It's for Adia.  We can take her outside now," Buffy said proudly.

"You mean like walk the *cat*?" Angel asked incredulously.  Buffy nodded.  "Now that's something I've never heard of. Don't you think it's a little bizarre?"

"Angel, you're two hundred and forty two years old.  You're a converted vampire who fell in love with the Slayer and is now living with her on the Mouth of Hell.  If that isn't bizarre, I don't know what is.  Walking our kitten is like having afternoon tea in England compared to it," Buffy said as she laid it down on the end table and began criticizing Xena¹s fighting ability.

Angel sat up in bed, flipping through his book.  Buffy was in the bathroom, doing her nightly routine.  A single lamp was on, and it cast a soft glow over the room.  The bathroom door opened slowly and Angel looked up, about to ask his girlfriend what had taken so long.  He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out.

Buffy stood, one hand on the door frame, in a tiny black nightie.  It barely covered her and the empire waist caused the rest of the material to flow as she slowly walked to the bed.  His book was dropped on the floor, forgotten, as he gazed at her.  She gave him a little smile and crawled into bed.

"Did I mention Cordy dragged me into Frederick's of Hollywood?" she grinned.  Angel shook his head, not being able to make any coherent sentences.  She kissed him passionately and he wrapped his arms around her body.

"What else did you get?" he asked suddenly.  She giggled playfully and pulled his head back down.


On to the next story, An Unexpected Guest

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