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Fall

Author: Torey

Summary: AU. Buffy's a singer and Angel's her producer. They're not together anymore and they have to deal with the ways of life after a major blow out.

Disclaimer: Oh yeah, and I just happen to own the universe while I'm at it.

AN: I thought it would be the day I died before I would ever take inspiration from anything that Britney Spears was involved in. So, here I am, dead as a doornail because that day has come. The song is Every time by Britney and it's pretty good. And this is pretty much what happened in her vid with a nice B/A spin.

Warning: Character death

Completed: 5/10/04

-----

Buffy sighed as the long stretch limousine turned onto the street of the Las Vegas Hotel. She felt so isolated, like she'd been fighting to breathe for so long. Her only comfort was her producer, Angel, and even he had been neglecting her lately.

She didn't blame him though; they had, had a particularly nasty breakup a couple of months ago. He left for awhile but he came back. He came back as her "friend" and producer, nothing more.

It hurt, more than she could have thought possible, to love him and him not return the feeling. Being with him everyday after everything they had been through. . . it was unbearable. But she dealt with it; some Angel was better than none she guessed.

She risked a quick glance out of the corner of her eye, a short look was all she could allow herself. And even in that shortest of looks, her heart fell to pieces again.

She lost herself looking at his blissful mouth form words to speak over the phone, how those lips had haunted her dreams. But she would refuse to back down, not now, not ever. He set the standards for their new relationship, if you would even call it that. Strictly business. She would follow that plan till the day she died.

'Friends are allowed the touchy thingy right?' she asked herself. Back before they had dated they had always touched digits but things were different now. . .so different. But she needed to be reassured now, she needed him.

She tentatively extended her hand as she reached to touch his leg to get him to look at her. As soon as she did he cut her off with the one minute sign with his hands without even looking at her. 'He probably doesn't even know that I'm here.' Buffy spoke to her mind as her heart sank even further within itself.

She frowned as she put on her ball cap and dark sunglasses, they were a useless try at hiding her from the masses but it offered a little comfort and she would take what she could get.

Notice me

Take my hand

Why are we

Strangers when

Our love is strong

Why carry on without me?

Her body guards rushed her out of the door and quickly guided her down the long hallway. There were so many of them. . . critics, photographers, and fans. They all wanted a piece of her, they kept clawing at her skin for her to give them something to remember her by. . .some part of herself for them to cherish. An autograph, a picture, a lock of hair. . .anything. But she didn't have anything to give, he had taken all she had with him and he still had yet to return her heart.

She had truly fallen when he had gone, she couldn't fly without him, her Angel. She felt so small without him, like everyone was looking at her through a microscope. It was bad enough that she was short to begin with but to actually feel small is a whole different ball game. She had been a wreck, she barked at her publicists, refused endorsements, and canceled shoots. Her career had been fast going down the toilet without him guiding her.

But she wouldn't tell him that or let him think it even for a second. When he had finally come back to salvage her career, she had become somewhat stone and a complete pain to deal with. She couldn't help it, it was the only way she knew how to defend herself. Whenever someone backed her into a corner, she lashed like a rabid animal, always going for the hurt.

Who knows? Maybe she was like that before, maybe that's why he left. He left because she was unlovable.

Some part of her rebelled at the painful thought but her self hatred had taken humorous control over her mind. Thoughts running rapidly across her brain. They told her things she didn't want to believe but she listened faithfully to them anyway, knowing that they were the truth.

She gulped in the humid air as her guards pushed her into a new room filled with tabloids of her and plenty of photographers to make quick cash for a snapshot of her and maybe some juicy dirt to feed to their employers.

She watched as the last straw broke for Angel. She looked on helplessly as he tore down the shelves lined with pictures of herself on cheap tabloids and tried to scream his name as she saw his fists fly through the air. She remembered how he was so always over protective of her as she watched him take down four men with just one punch.

She bristled. What in the hell was he trying to do? Ruin her career? 'God, he's so stubborn, hot headed, and stubborn. Did I mention stubborn?' She ranted internally.

It was true, that she had felt lost without him but anger was an emotion that gave her strength when she was with him, it kept her from breaking down and running into his arms crying and begging him to take her back, to love her once more. Anger was all she had left to hold onto and even that was slipping through her fingers, but not without one last bang.

They stomped into the apartment and he slammed the heavy door against the frame.

"Buffy," He called out pleading with her to stop but she just kept on walking forward, ignoring him just like he had her. "Come on, Buffy, don't be like that." Angel growled, he was so tired of these games. Things had used to be so simple. . .

"You know what, I don't need you or any of this!" She screamed at him as she turned around with an angry force.

"Baby, don't." Angel said as he tried to hug her to help her calm down. She had no idea how badly he wanted to make things right but that ship had sailed and he was still standing on the dock waving and screaming at them to stop.

"Why don't you just leave! It's what you're good at!" She yelled as she pushed him off of her, he had no right.

"BULLSHIT!" He bellowed as he took one of the three thousand dollar vases and threw it against the wall with a satisfying crash.

"Hot head." She berated under her breath as she watched the fresh flowers sink to the floor. Some things would never change.

She scoffed at his outburst and walked away from the tense air. She glided forcefully down the hall, stripping off her glasses and her over shirt. What she needed was a nice long hot bath, that would make her troubles for a little while.

She slammed the door and it rattled against its hinges. How could someone get so far under your skin? How could someone make you the happiest person alive and at the same time make you the most furious and miserable person in the universe? It was stupid and so was he, couldn't he just leave her alone?

"Gah!" she called out frustrated as she threw an assorted amount of cosmetics and some toothpaste at the mirror that glared at her. When she had looked at her reflection she didn't like what she saw one bit. She saw someone who was cold and closed off, she never wanted to be like that. He made her like that. For once she just wished that she wouldn't have to see his face in her dreams.

Maybe then, just then she could find peace.

She climbed into the grand steaming bath and sighed.

When had things gone so wrong?

She'd asked these questions millions of times over. Was it her? Was I not good enough? Didn't he care enough to say? Is there someone else?

She groaned, she guessed she'd never know. It wasn't any of her business anyway, at least, not anymore. She knew what had scared him off, the big three words that doomed all relationships. As soon as she was waxing poetics and saying 'I love you' he was out the door. He had bolted as if his tail had been caught on fire with that terrified look on his face. She scared him off.

Guess the old superstition is true, never fall in love with someone at the workplace.

Was it wrong to say how she felt for him? Was she too clingy? She had never been in love before him and she didn't know if it was right to say such things, but it just came out like she was meant to say it. But now, she'd never say it ever again.

They'd fought with each other everyday since that, she was bitter and hurt and she didn't know how to be around him. He was there all the time but she guessed that goes with the territory. They, after all, depended on each other to do their work. There was no way not to see each other.

She exhaled slowly as she let her body realize why she still hurt so much.

She was still in love with him.

God, she just wished he would go away, was that too much to ask? Could the man at least give her a little closure instead of dragging her along like he was. Seeing him everyday was killing her on the inside. Her warmth and happiness had been chipped away by the second. Maybe if she had never signed that deal. . . no, she wasn't going to go there.

What's done is done.

And no matter what, Angel had shaped who she had become and she couldn't escape that fact no matter how much she tried. 'Guess I'll always feel this way.' She grunted, she really didn't want to. But she refused to need him, she'd do everything on her own. She didn't need him, she refused the fact with full force. He had left her crying in the rain and that day she wanted to cut all ties, it wasn't her fault that her foolish heart would want him back in.

She used to dream. . . that he was there. It would make her stronger, make her see the things the clearly. It gave her a semblance of self. It made her depressed and upset that when she tried to fly without him she had crashed down like her wings were made of cement.

She groaned as she felt her stomach get a little nauseous, she hadn't been feeling that well lately. She hadn't felt well in a long time.

She ran her hand through her silky blond hair and opened her eyes in question as she felt the unfamiliar sticky substance slide into her hand. She yanked it down to eye level and gasped.

"What?" she breathed painfully. Blood coated her hand. She was bleeding badly.

"Angel," She whispered pleadingly as she felt the dizziness take over her and slid down into the full tub. Blood slid down in a thick streak where her head fell and mixed into the water where her air escaped her fully.

'I love you.'

I may have made it rain

Please forgive me

My weakness caused you pain

And this song is my sorry

The light consumed her body as she felt her soul leave her body.

---

She ran down the hallway as fast as she could, she had to see him just one more time. . .

---

I make believe

That you are here

It's the only way

I see clear

What have I done

You seem to move on easy

"Bitch!" Angel cursed as he watched in fascination as the table went cascading to the floor after he kicked it with his boot.

She was so damn selfish!

Making everything about her, it was always about her. He hurt her this and he hurt her that, he was sick of it. He didn't come back here so she could be fucking crowned ice queen.

He was trying to do his job.

Was it his fault she couldn't let go?

He never asked for her to love him, never wanted to hear her say it. That's how things get messy, and that's why he despised those words with a passion.

He'd never even speak them, not ever.

Love is just a phase, nothing real. An emotion made real by philosophers and dreamers. Did dreamers ever survive in the real world?

No.

He lived by the book and no woman would change that. He shook his head at the thought, 'She's just a girl anyway,' he told himself.

He wouldn't let her change him, people don't change.

Especially him.

God, he was surprised he didn't hate her by now. But for some reason unknown to him he'd stay.

Business as usual.

What in the hell had she been thinking? Falling in love with someone like him, it was a joke. That's part of the reason he had strolled out of her hotel room laughing on that cold night. That was probably forever ago for everyone else.

Funny. . .felt like yesterday.

"Dammit!" Why was it so hard for her to move on? It's not like he'd never been there before, she must've known that.

It's not like he'd ever love her, so why couldn't she just let go?

It was days like these, which was now turning into every single day, why he'd chosen to come back. If he knew she was going to be the bitch queen from hell then he would've never even thought about it.

He didn't even think it was possible to come out of her. Before this. . . he'd only seen her smile.

And then she cried.

That was another turn off right there, to see her all blubbery with tears streaking down her face as if her eyes had been a fountain.

But even in tears she was still undeniably beautiful.

And it would make him absolutely crazy the way she clung to him like a lifeline, like he was the only one there for her in the world.

Truth was and he would never admit it to anyone including himself but it was scary, having her hold him so close. No one had ever cared that much for him before, put him on such a high pedestal. And he had pushed her away. . . he had made her like ice towards him.

But it was easier that way.

He got up with a sigh and grabbed his shaving kit from his bag and headed to the bathroom. As soon as he got out of Queen Bee's hair the better. Lord knows if he stayed in that bathroom more than five minutes it would be World War 9. She would be pissed enough with him going in there why she was using it in the first place.

He opened the door and it creaked softly. He sighed, "Look, I know I'm probably stepping on your toes right now your highness but I'll only be in here for a bit, so deal."

He raised a sarcastic brow awaiting her comeback and frowned when it never came.

He looked over to where she was supposed to be and nearly felt his heart jump out of his chest when he saw her body underwater.

"Buffy?" He questioned dumbly as the shaving cream and razor fell out of his hand and landed with a cold thump on the floor.

"Buffy." He stated worriedly as he rushed to her and jumped in the large bath as emotions he hadn't allowed himself to feel in a long time surface.

He pulled her slick body out of the soapy water with shaky hands. He pleaded, "Wake up, Buffy."

"This isn't funny, baby. Please." He begged into her ear as he swiped her damp hair away from her face and swallowed a sob as he noticed the dark red spot on the back of her head. The blood. . . Her golden blond head had been stained in crimson. He hugged her body close as he rested his head on her still chest, searching for any sign of life.

Nothing.

"What do I do?" He cried out distressed, he couldn't lose her, not now. His mind finally latched onto a solid thought and grabbed the cell phone out of his now soaking pants.

"911? Please, help me. My girlfr—my friend is hurt, you have to help her, please." He stuttered into the phone. Since when did his voice sound so weak?

----------

Every time I try to fly

I fall without my wings

I feel so small

I guess I need you baby

And every time I see you in my dreams

I see your face, it's haunting me

I guess I need you baby

She sat on the edge of the tub gazing down at him with sad eyes.

He was too late.

She had another path to take now.

If only they hadn't let things get in the way the first time then maybe. . .

Doesn't matter.

Her apparition of a body wanted to scream out to him to say that 'I'm right here!' 'All you have to do is feel!' but she couldn't. He wouldn't hear her if she did.

'Guess I need you, baby,' she thought in her soulful mind as she felt herself fade.

She watched him sadly as he slowly broke.

------

"Buffy, please don't leave me. I'll be better I promise, baby. I'll never leave." He murmured as the dam finally broke and his tears finally spurted forth in cascades of a waterfall.

"I love you." He sobbed into her throat.

She'd never know. . .

------

She smiled softly, that secret smile that he used to love so much. 'Still does.' she sadly reminded herself.

She cried out in protest as she felt her newer surroundings tugging at her transparent insides. She didn't want to leave him, she never wanted to leave him.

"I'm sorry." She apologized to his shivering back that was still gripping onto the naked corpse for dear life.

She blinked her eyes once again and found herself in the hospital. She walked through the rooms and glanced at the woman they were reviving on the table.

'No, not that one.' She told herself.

She kept walking until she found where she was supposed to go.

This was her destiny.

-----

"Push, Mrs. Casten!" The nurse in the teal scrubs grounded out as the very pregnant woman squeezed her hand so hard she was afraid her bones would pop out of her hand.

"What does it look like I'm doing?!" She barked as she felt a couple of veins burst in her forehead.

-----

"Congratulations, Mrs. Casten! It's a girl!" They called out excitedly as they gave the woman the baby girl wrapped in the pink fuzzy blanket. They all swooned at the sight at the girl, she was going to break a lot of boys hearts when she got older.

"Just look at those eyes." They drooled.

-----

"The world is watching closely tonight, Kevin. Tonight, one of Hollywood's brightest shining stars has fallen tonight."

"You've felt inspired by her music and captivated by her beauty and I'm sorry to say young Buffy Summers is no longer with us on God's green Earth."

"Comments from her producer Angel O'Reilly have been disclosed at the moment and comments about their brief love affair have been kept under heavy guard."

"This is truly a sad day for all music lovers as we watch our idle being carried away on that gurney. As you see fans from across the state have rushed to the Las Vegas Hotel just to see her one more time."

"And Buffy, wherever you are, my dear, you will live on in all of our hearts and we will forever miss you."

"Goodnight, this is Judy McFellan with your breaking news."

-----

'This is my stop' Buffy told herself as she looked into the room through the glass window.

She looked back once, just one more time, hoping to see him. She closed her eyes and whispered into the wind, "I do." She knew that he loved her, she just wished he knew that comfort.

She looked back at her new family and tried to hold onto her precious memories as they quickly fled her brain and she forgot the impression they made on her soul.

"I'll see you again someday." She promised herself as she left her new life embrace her in its promising arms.

Every time I try to fly

I fall without my wings

I feel so small

I guess I need you baby

And every time I see you in my dreams

I see your face, it's haunting me

I guess I need you baby

-----

Always.

------

El Fin

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