What...?? by Bernadette




~Chapter 1~

"What? I don't understand."
"Yeah, I'm having trouble understanding."
"I thought you were a lesbian. Lesbians don't have boyfriends especially not dead-best-friend's-ex-boyfriends."
"I know but... I'm not a lesbian- isn't that what you asked Angel to ask me here to do," Willow said in what she hoped was understandable English. She hadn't wanted to tell Buffy this on the phone but Angel had gotten a case he needed wiccan help on and she couldn't leave. Willow didn't want to lie to her friend any longer and not telling her was lying to her.
"Great to hear that Will. Not that I have anything against lesbians, believe me I don't, but I'm thinking I would prefer you be a lesbian. Why did you have to pick Angel?" Buffy asked in a whining voice as she gave up the anger she was trying to build. The blonde couldn't be angry at Willow. Willow deserved more, much more from her friends.
"Buffy, Angel and I have been talking for a really long time. Pretty much since he came back from hell... and we became good friends. When I came here last week I didn't expect to fall for him," Willow said as she sat on Angel's couch. She had sent him downstairs when she got on the phone ten minutes ago.
"Do you love him?" Buffy asked in a deflated tone as she fell onto her bed.
"Yes, I do."
"That is good. Always good to have love in a relationship. Love is important-"
"Buffy, you are going to start to babble. That is my job. Are you okay?" Willow asked as she looked at her bitten down nails. She was so afraid of losing her friendship with the blonde, her first female best friend.
"You won't lose me," Buffy said needing to let her friend know the truth. Buffy was also afraid that she would lose her first real friend. No one had ever stuck by her like Willow did. "Near death and death haven't separated us. A little thing like a guy won't come between us."
"Wow, Buffy. Are you okay?" Willow asked with a slight giggle.
"Am I that bad that you have no faith in my ability to be just a little mature?" Buffy asked as she stared at the ceiling of her room.
"It is just sometimes you are not so... excepting. Believe me I'm happy that you are but... this isn't going to be normal is it?" Willow asked a little worried. Would their friendship become awkward?
"Maybe not this weekend or the next but soon. Will, just don't let him lose his soul," Buffy said as she sat up. Her mother had just come into the house with Dawn. "I have to go."
"Don't say anything to Tara. I will be getting in touch with her," Willow said.
"Okay, I love you," Buffy said as she sat up on the bed.
"I love you, too," Willow said just before the phone clicked.
"I thought I was the only one you loved. Who do I have to win your affections from now?" a voice came from behind her.
"Another woman," Willow said as she leaned back on the couch and looked up to see Angel.
"Another one? I thought you were into men at the moment," Angel said after he kissed her forehead. He went around the couch and sat down next to her.
"Not men. A man," Willow said with a large smile as she looked at the man she loved. "I love you."
"I love you, too," Angel said before he brought his hand up to her cheek. "I always will," he said just before he gently pulled her into a kiss.
When they separated Willow looked at him a little guilty. "What is wrong?" Angel asked worried.
"Buffy seemed okay with it but you know her. That doesn't mean she is okay with it. I don't want to lose her or you," Willow said as she took his hand. "I like this feeling and I want to be selfish and keep you all to myself."
"Buffy, will get over it. She got over me enough to date someone else. It won't be long before it is okay with her that we are dating. We don't mean the same thing to each other that we used to. Soon she won't have a problem with it," Angel said as he massaged her hand.
"What if she isn't okay with it? I love her too, Angel. I love the both of you," Willow said as she looked into his eyes with a tear falling from her green orb.
"Believe me. She will be fine," Angel said as he pulled his redhead into a tight but gentle embrace.

~Chapter 2~

"So, how are you doing?" Riley asked as he walked next to the blonde slayer.
"Good, I talked to Willow today," Buffy said.
"And..." Riley said trying not to push her but nudge her a little into talking.
"Riley, if you want to hear this it won't be short or emotionless. You will get everything and not necessarily what you want to know," Buffy said as she stopped to look at him. Silently she hoped he would say he wanted to listen.
"Go right ahead," Riley said as he sat back on a tombstone and prepared to listen. There were things he feared she would say but he knew for them to get over them she had to voice them and he had to do his part to help her with that.
Buffy went and sat across from him as she thought of where to start. "I called Angel, my ex, to see if he would talk to Willow about this whole Tara-thing. I don't know what I was hoping for but I wanted something out of it. Maybe I did want her to come back and say she was straight again... I don't know. She calls today and tells me that she is falling in love with Angel. She is in love with Angel. I mean how am I supposed to take this. He was my ex. He is a vampire and he has a soul which he could lose if they ever have sex. Are those things good for her? I don't know. Even though I am over him, and I am, he still matters to me. I guess I still feel a little of that possessiveness that you get with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Riley, I am so lucky to have you. I know I don't say it and sometimes it won't seem like I feel that way but I do."
"I know, Buffy," Riley said hoping to get her to continue. There was still more she needed to get out.
"I deal with stress by pushing people away from me. Willow has never let me push her away. She keeps me here and sane. I don't want to lose her and I don't want to lose Angel. He is a good person and a good friend. I can't see myself just letting him go. I definitely can't see my life without Willow," Buffy said as she stood and started pacing.
"Do you think Willow would leave you over Angel?" Riley asked not believing that the redhead would desert Buffy.
"No, I think I will push her away and she will let me because she thinks it will be what is best. She will think she is so horrible for falling for Angel that she will let me push her away. Or she will push him away. She doesn't have the self worth to think she deserves happiness. I am afraid that my selfish, irresponsible actions will push her away or cause her to never be truly happy. I can stand here and tell you this but watch I'll still push and push. I'm afraid of losing her and Angel. He is important to me. She is important to me. I'm afraid of me," Buffy said as she wiped away a tear.
"Come here," Riley said as he wrapped his arms around her.
"Riley, she holds us together. She is the glue between all of us. Without her we have no support. With no support I run away. I run away from duty and friends," Buffy said as she cried into his shoulder.
"I will be here with you. So will Willow and the others. Buffy, look at me," Riley said as he lifted her chin. "People make mistakes and run away but they can be ready to fight when the time is present. If I know anything about Willow she is going through some of the same feelings."
"You are probably right. Riley Finn would you like to join me and a couple of my dear friends on a trip to L.A. for the weekend?" Buffy asked as she held his hands.
"I would love too," Riley said before he gave her a gentle kiss. They broke apart as his pants started vibrating.
"What is that?" Buffy asked curiously with a lifted brow.
Riley pulled out a monitor with two green blips and what looked to be six red blips. "Were about to be out numbered."
"I'm guessing we are green," Buffy said as she looked around.
"Yep, and their red," Riley said as he pulled out a stake.
"Great."

~Chapter 3~

"Cordy, who was that on the phone?" Angel asked as he walked into the main office.
"Um, I... It was Buffy. She just invited herself to join us for the weekend along with Xander, Anya, and Riley. Spike and Giles will be staying in Sunnydale though," Cordelia said as she looked at him almost stunned. "They just invited themselves."
"Well, that's good. I'll go tell Willow," Angel said with a large smile on his face as he headed back to his room.
"How can you be happy about this?" Cordelia called after him.
"Things need to be resolved," Angel called over his shoulder.
Upstairs Willow was laying on the rug with her legs crossed in the air and her attentions focused on the flashing screen of her laptop. Angel laid on the floor next to her with his head propped up on his palm. "What ya up to sweetie?"
"I'm researching the effects of the altered restoration spell on your ability to have sex," Willow said as a piece of red hair fell from the messy pile on top of her head.
"My ability to have sex? Well, um... I don't know what to say," Angel said as he moved the piece of hair. "I think I am more then able."
Willow burst out laughing as she rolled onto her back. "I... I was talking about you not losing your soul," Willow said between laughs.
"Oh, okay," Angel said looking at her with a shy face. He loved when he could make her smile and laugh.
"Honey, I know you can... um get it up but can you do that without losing your soul?" Willow asked as she finally calmed and sat up to face him.
"I don't know I haven't really... um tried if you know what I mean," Angel said as he sat up to face her.
"What if your soul is permanent?" Willow asked.
"Well, maybe you can find a way to figure that out," Angel said as he looked at his hands. "Are you... Do you... um is that something you want soon?" Angel asked.
"Oh, honey, no and yes," Willow said as she grabbed his hands. "That isn't why I am looking. I just want to be prepared. I mean I love talking to you and just laying in your arms. It is a great feeling but... what if one day we go too far?" Willow asked as she moved so she was sitting in his lap.
"I would never let that happen if we didn't know for sure," Angel said as he hugged her. "I love you too much to ever let anything hurt you."
"Do you think Angelus would hurt me?" Willow asked with a curious tone.
"I don't know...." Angel said but then he heard the demon. "Um... I take that back. I don't think he would hurt you. He... he seems to love you too."
"Oh, that makes me feel good," Willow said with a smile as she hugged Angel tight.
"Why?" Angel asked his brow scrunched.
"He is a part of you. I love all of you. It is nice to know that all of you loves me too," Willow said with a smile.
"I love you, too and it is nice to know that if something happened with my soul you would be taken care of," Angel said as he caressed her hair.
"So, why are you up here? I have a funny feeling it wasn't to discuss your... up-ability or your demon so...?" Willow asked with a blush.
"Buffy is coming over this weekend," Angel said.

~Chapter 4~

"That is great. When is she coming?" Willow asked seeming less enthused then Angel would have thought.
"Cordy just said this weekend. I thought you would be happy to get to talk to her face to face and really see how she is feeling," Angel said as he caressed her cheek.
"Is she bringing anyone with her?" Willow asked a little worried.
"I think Cordy said the others," Angel said surprised when Willow stood up.
"Goddess, do you think Tara will be coming?" Willow asked as she paced in front of him.
"No, just Buffy, Riley, Xander and Anya. You haven't told her yet?"
"Well, no. It isn't exactly the thing you do on the phone or in an e-mail. Yeah, I can just see it. Hey, Tara. You know I really enjoyed getting to know you and the love making was great and I will never forget you but I'm dumping you for a guy with a rod," Willow said as she rubbed her eyes.
"Well, I wouldn't have put it that way," Angel said with a slight laugh.
"This isn't funny. I have to tell her but don't I have to be fair to her? I can't just blurt it out on the phone," Willow said looking down at Angel.
"Why don't you just call Buffy and make sure? That way we can get the right number of rooms set up and get some more food and then you can find out if she will be coming. Maybe even she could come for a day and you guys could talk it out," Angel said as he stood up and took her hands in his.
"Everything will be fine."
"What--"
"No, what's or but's. Everything will be fine. You don't have to worry about losing your friends or me and I doubt that if you want to keep Tara as a friend she would turn you down. Your ability to love everyone makes everyone want to love you. Everything will be fine," Angel said as he stopped her from talking with two fingers.
Willow kissed the two fingers that still laid on her lips and then smiled. "I don't know if I told you this and if I didn't shame on me but... I love you so much."
"I love you, too," Angel said before he passionately pulled her to his body. "You mean more then anything to me," he said as he lowered his lips closer and closer to hers as her eyes followed his lips. Gently he pressed his lips to hers as the kiss slowly became deeper.

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"So, what do we have planned for this weekend?" Xander asked as he sat on Giles' couch reading through a comic book he had hidden in the text.
"I was thinking we could go and visit Willow. She is still in L.A. helping Angel and I talked to her. She doesn't think she will be back for about another week. Would you like to come with me?" Buffy asked as she sat across from her friend.
Xander looked up at her for a moment before looking back down at the comic. He wanted to see Willow but did he want to see Deadboy. "How much time do I have to spend with Deadboy?"
"Um... Quite a bit," Buffy squeaked. Apparently, Willow hadn't called Xander yet. "Have you checked your messages the last few days?"
"Nah, with work and the things we have been researching I didn't check. Why?" Xander asked as he closed the book.
"Oh, I think Willow might have been trying you," Buffy said as she looked over to Riley. He just shrugged his shoulders not sure what to tell her.
Xander looked back and forth between the couple. Next, he looked at Anya. His sweet Anya. "Honey, did you check the messages?"
"Yep," Anya said as she looked up from a text. "Willow left a message saying that she and Angel were dating and that you would have to put up with it. If you can't handle I was given permission to punish you. But my idea of punishment might not be the same as hers so I'll have to talk to her."
"An, honey. Thanks but I think you got the message wrong. Willow doesn't date dead guys," Xander said laughing it off as he stood up. Quickly, he sat down as he saw Buffy's face.
"Xander, Willow and Angel have grown close over the last few years and they... they apparently love each other very much, Buffy said as she too tried not to get upset. She had to learn to except it. If she didn't learn then she might lose one of the best things she has- Willow.
"No, this can't be happening. What is it with my friends? First, you and now Willow. What does he have that is so damn attractive?" Xander asked as he stood hunched over and his hands clenched.
"I don't think this is any better of an idea then you do but... If we play this wrong we could lose her. I don't know about you but life wouldn't be the same without those green eyes and great smile," Buffy said as she grabbed his shoulders. "Tell me that you are willing to lose her."
"I'm not," Xander said with a sigh. "I love her."
"I do too."
"Then you two will have to except it. We will go this weekend and we will make sure she knows that we both approve and support her decisions. Something about this feels very right," Anya said as she looked at the two friends as they stepped apart from each other. "I like Willow. She has been good to me. If either of you hurt her you will be making the biggest mistake of your lives. And I know a mistake of a life time. I seem quite a few."
"You are quite right, Anya. We must support Willow. She needs all of us as much as we need her," Giles said as she stood from his desk where he had watched it all play out. "Spike and I will stay here. You guys go have some fun and see Willow. Tell her I miss her and await her return."
"Thank you, Giles," Xander and Buffy said in unison.
"Your welcome. You should start packing," Giles said. Before he had finished they were already leaving.
"Why the bloody hell do I have to stay here with you?" Spike complained.
"Because Spike... you have no bite. Without us you have no food and without a slayer I will need help. See. It works for both of us," Giles said as he went around collecting the garbage.
"Oh, bugger off."

~Chapter 5~

"Hey, Will, I was wondering if you were ever going to come out of his room. What were you doing in there? He still has his soul doesn't he?" Cordelia said as she looked up from her papers.
"Haven't you ever heard of greeting a person with a `Hello, how was your morning?' before jumping into their sex lives," Willow said a bit snappy.
"Or lack there of apparently," Cordelia said with a large smile as she stood up. "I want to be friends."
"What?" Willow asked as she turned around to face Cordelia with a cup of coffee.
"You heard me. I always liked you, Willow. I just thought you never liked me so I never wanted to try to be your friend," Cordelia said as she leaned on her desk a few feet from Willow.
"I always thought you didn't like me," Willow said with a sad look in her eyes.
"If I didn't like you would I have sent you a birthday present every year?" Cordelia asked.
"I thought those were just to make fun of me. I always pictured like an empty box or one with dead frogs in it," Willow said a little ashamed at herself.
"You never opened them?" Cordelia said as little hurt.
"You were always so mean to me in school I couldn't see why you would do anything nice for me for my birthday," Willow said as she looked up from the floor.
"That was wrong of me. I know I was mean to you in school and I'm sorry about that. I'm not who I used to be in school. That was never me. That was my strong suit," Cordelia said as she looked down at her hands.
"I kept them all," Willow said as she too looked down at her entwined hands.
"What?" Cordelia asked.
"I always wished they were something really nice but I didn't have the courage to be let down. I never opened them but instead I put each one is in my closet neatly put away with the year written on the tag from you," Willow said.
"Call Buffy and ask her to bring them. Please?" Cordelia asked.
"Cordy, I want to be your friend even without them," Willow said as she looked up at the beautiful brunette.
"I know but I wanted you to have them. Especially, the one from senior year and the one from your eighth birthday," Cordelia said as she walked over to Willow. "You'll see why. Just go call her and have her bring them. Then I am stealing you away from deadboy and we are going shopping."
"Okay, I'll be right back," Willow said as she moved over to Angel's office.
"Thank you," Angel said as he finished coming down the stairs.
"For what?" Cordelia asked truly confused.
"For wanting to be friends with Willow," Angel said as he took her hand. "It means a lot to me. I know we have really become friends but it is nice to have my friend like the girl I love."
"Angel, I have wanted to be her friend since we were five years old and she was sitting in the corner at one of the birthday party's in this green little dress with white lace around the edges. She was so lonely. Just like me. Her parents were in some other country and so were mine. I felt connected to her. I sat with her that whole party. Every day after that I wanted to be one of those people that she loved unconditionally," Cordelia said as a tear fell down her cheek.
"I remember that day," Willow said as she walked out into the lobby. "I was so happy that someone like you wanted to spend time with me. I'm sorry, Cordy."
"I'm sorry, too, Willow," Cordelia said as she hugged the redhead.
"This is nice," Angel whispered to himself. "Girls, go have some fun. I can hold down the fort and Gunn should be here soon."
"What can we do? I'm broke," Willow said with a grin. "I wasn't expecting to be here for more then two days."
"So am I," Cordelia said as she looked at Angel.
"Oh, all right," Angel said as he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He took out his Gold Card and gave it to Willow. "Don't let her hold it. I will never get it back." Cordy smiled before she stuck her tongue out at the vampire. "Love you too, Cordy."
"Thanks," Cordelia said as she grabbed her purse and Willow's arm. "Away we go."

~Chapter 6~

"Everything ready?" Riley asked as he checked to make sure that they had everyone and everything. Anya had packed enough to last them months in all different climates. Xander had packed a bunch of games and snacks. Buffy had managed to pack only a little bag of clothing.
"Yep, everything and everyone is here," Buffy said as she climbed into the front of the SUV. They were going down the road when she yelled stop.
"What's wrong?" Riley asked as he looked her over for anything wrong.
"I forgot the packages for Willow. We have to run to her house before we leave," Buffy said as she grabbed her head. "Sorry, I know how you are with times and stuff."
"It's okay. We can run over there in no time," Riley said as he turned around and headed towards the redheads house.

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A few hours later and a couple of rest stops later they had arrived at the Hyperion. All of them walked in as they looked over the extensive area. "Does anyone ever feel like the Sunnydale crew got gipped?" Xander asked.
"Yeah, sometimes," Buffy said as she looked at the large hotel. "Most of the time."
"Hey, Sunnydale isn't that bad, guys," Riley said as he followed them in. This place was huge, though.
"We live on a Hellmouth."
"We have no place to met at other then Giles' small apartment."
"We have a group of people that work really well together and we haven't been defeated yet. I think we are both lucky groups," Riley said as he watched Buffy and Xander continuing with their list.
The inside was just as impressive as the outside. All four of them walked into the lobby and almost gasped. "Yo, Dawg, I think your friends are here," Gunn hollered as he walked into the lobby from the center garden.
"Hello, I'm Buffy and this is Riley, Xander, and Anya. We are old friends of Angel and Cordelia," Buffy said as she looked at the black man dressed in a pair of shorts and a thoroughly soaked shirt.
"Nice to meet you all. I'd shake hands but I'm sure I reek at the moment. Angel, should be out in a minute. He was just grabbing the rest of the sparring equipment. Take a seat while I go showered and get changed," Gunn said before he head up stairs.
"He has a nice ass," Anya said as she watched him go up the stairs.
"Don't let Cordy hear you say that," Angel said was he walked into the lobby. "Hi, guys."
"Hi," Anya and Riley said with smiles. Riley knew that Buffy loved him and knew he didn't need to worry about the tall dark vampire infront of him.
"Is deadboy smiling or it that my imagination?" Xander asked.
"I think he is," Buffy said a little pale. Angelus smiled, not Angel.
"Would you be happier if I brooded a little?" Angel asked with a little laugh.
"It might make us more comfortable," Xander said stepping closer to Buffy.
"I think Willow did that. I remember he didn't smile much in either world I saw him in," Anya said as she looked over the tall dark vampire. All he wore was a thin pair of sweats with no shirt.
Buffy thought as she tilted her head to the side to get a better look pass Riley.
"Buffy!" Riley said as he saw her tilt her head.
"Hey, I have eyes, too," Buffy whispered.
"Come on guys. I'll show you to your rooms before I go to take a shower. Willow and Cordy went shopping. They should be back by dinner time," Angel said as he started up the stairs.

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Buffy and Riley got their own room and started to unpack what they would need immediately. The rooms they got were big and each came with a small living room and bathroom. "This is really nice. He could rent these out and get a good penny for them," Buffy said as she folded a shirt and put it on the bed where Riley took it to put it in a draw.
"Yeah, it is really nice here. I could see all of us living in a big hotel and having an office downstairs like here. I've only been with you guys for almost a year and I feel like we are really close. I could definitely see us all living in a place like this with our children running around and laughter going through the hotel," Riley said as he put something else in the draw. He went to get the next thing from the bed but it wasn't there. He looked at Buffy and found her just staring at him. "What?"
"You painted a picture I have always imagined. Well, I used to wish for it. It is what I want if I get to live long enough to have kids," Buffy said as she moved to sit on the bed. "You picture yourself with us in the future?"
"Yeah, I feel like I am really a part of this group. I love you, Buffy. I'm not planning on leaving you no matter how hard you push me," Riley said as he sat next to her on the bed. He took her hand and smiled. "I love all of you."
"I love you, too," Buffy said as she started to cry. Riley caressed her chin and made her look at him. Gently he kissed away her tears before moving to her soft lips. Together the both of them laid back on the bed.

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"Earth to Anya," Xander said as he called his girl friends name for the fourth time. "Where were you?" he asked when he got her attention.
"I like it here. I feel really comfortable and happy here. It isn't like Sunnydale," Anya said as she looked around the living room.
"What do you mean?" Xander asked as he stood next to her and looked around the room.
"Sunnydale only has demons there because it is the Hellmouth. If it was closed they wouldn't go there anymore," Anya said as she looked thoughtfully.
"Well, Anya, you never really cared about fighting them. As long as you are okay what does the demon population matter to you?" Xander asked confused.
"It started to matter to me when I almost lost you. It is just here there are real demons not ones just attracted by the Hellmouth. I think if we closed the Hellmouth then Sunnydale would be fine and we could come here and do some real work," Anya said as she turned to look at Xander.
"You want to move here?" Xander asked.
"Maybe but it is just a feeling," Anya said starting to brush it off.
"Just a feeling made you come back to Sunnydale and made you come get me," Xander said as he took her hands and made her look at him. "Feelings are very important."
"I know but lets not decide anything now. We still have so many things to deal with," Anya said before kissing him. "We can't leave Sunnydale if the Hellmouth isn't closed."
"Anya, you amaze me," Xander said as he looked at the woman he loved as she opened his suit case.
"That is my job. If I don't you would go to someone else and I wouldn't be able to get any good orgasms. You are the only one that makes them good. I think that is cause of what I feel here," Anya said touching her heart. "I love you."
"I love you, too," Xander said before he rushed her and lifted her into his arms before placing her on the bed.

~Chapter 7~

"I thought you said they were all here," Willow said as she shifted on Angel's lap. When Cordelia and she had walked in Gunn and Angel had been waiting for them. After scareing the two girls and then getting a couple of wacks they had settled on the couch where Angel had pulled Willow onto his lap.
"They are. They are just a little...."
"Preoccupied with mating like bunnies," Gunn finished for the vampire.
"Oh," Willow said as she blushed. "Yeah, sounds like them."
"Well, seeing as they might be a bit longer why don't we make Willow show us the cloths she bought," Cordelia said as she took the redhead's hand and pulled her off of Angel's lap.
"Yeah, I'd like to see them," Angel said with a smile.
"Great, we can have a fashion show you are just going to love," Cordelia said as she dragged Willow into Angel's office and drew the shades.
"Gunn, honey. Can you please bring the bags here?" Cordelia hollered from the door of the office.
"Sure," Gunn said as he got up. He had to laugh when he heard Angel make a sound like a whip being cracked.
"Angel, can you go get my make up bag?" Willow hollered out to the vampire.
"Sure," Angel said as he got up.
Gunn made the same sound as Angel passed him. "Right back at ya big bad vamp."
"Oh, be quiet."

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"Willow, you have to come out," Cordelia said as she stuck her head in the office door. "Angel, will get all happy with it."
"Do you really think he is going to like it?" Willow asked as she looked down at herself.
"He is going to love it. Believe me," Cordelia said as she opened the door all the way. "Come on."
"Okay," Willow said as she walked out into the lobby. She stood stark white as she realized that now everyone was converged on chairs in the lobby waiting for her. Even Wesley had gotten into the office by the time she had gotten out. "You didn't tell me everyone was down already."
"I know. That is why I made you put this one on first. It is probably the most daring and most flattering. I knew you wouldn't do this more then once with all of them here," Cordelia said as she pushed the redhead up to her friends.
"Wow, you look wonderful," Angel said as he stood up and walked over to the redhead. He looked her up and down as he examined the clothing.
"Don't you just love my taste in clothing. She is wearing this cut off tank from DKNY in this wonderful hunter green that just pulls out her eye color. Her pants are a low rise pair of leather pants in a dark chocolate color, but I won't tell you were we got them. You would kill me, especially when you find out how many pairs she got of them," Cordelia said with a smile.
"Wow, once again," Angel said with a bright toothy smile. "Very nice."
"I think deadboy might lose his soul just looking at her," Xander whispered into Buffy's ear and they both tried to hold in the laughter.
Angel gave her a sweet kiss before whispering in her ear. "How many pairs did you get?"
"Se..ven... Seven in all different colors and cuts," Willow croaked.
"Very nice," Angel said as he wrapped her in a gentle hug. "I like the clothes but even if you didn't have them I would still look at you the way I am now. I love the way you look in anything that you wear."
"You know, I think you know me better then almost anyone. You quiet my fears before I even get them or before I even say them," Willow said as she took his hand. "Who wants to go out to dinner?"
"I do."
"Me."
"Me, too."
"Me, three."
"Yeah."
"Great."
"Okay, then let's get going," Willow said as she pulled on Angel.

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"I wish we could have had Giles and Spike here," Willow said as they calmed down from another laughing fit. There must have been something in the Japanese food that had them all laughing till their sides hurt.
"Spike? Why would you want him here?" Buffy said as she leaned back taking deep breaths.
"Because I like Spike. He is good when he can't eat you ," Willow said as she leaned against Angel.
"I have to agree. He is my favorite Childe," Angel said as he wrapped her arm around her.
"I like Spike, too," Anya said as she grabbed her soda. "He is always nice to me. He doesn't treat me like and idiot or a bad demon person."
"Well, that is good since he is bring Tara here tomorrow night," Willow said as she cringed waiting for a response from either Buffy or Xander. She looked up surprised that no one said anything but she hadn't seen the warning look that Angel gave everyone. No one was going to hurt his little one.
"Okay, I was expecting..." before finishing she looked at Angel who was looking at her with eyes that told of the love he had for her. "Thank you."
"Your welcome, Little One," Angel said as he rubbed her back. "So, Buffy, how is Dawn and your mom doing?"
"They are doing great but believe me that Dawn is driving me crazy," Buffy started.

******************************************************************************************************************

"Hey, Angel. Can me and Cordy run over to that magic shop for a minute?" Willow asked as she pointed to the store across the street.
"Sure, do you still have the credit card?" Angel asked.
"Yep, right here in my almost not existent back pocket," Willow said as she was able to fit just two fingers in the pocket of the leather pants. "Could they be any tighter?"
Angel just smiled at her.
"Oh, that isn't a good picture for you to have," Willow said as she shook her head.
"Go ahead over before I won't let you leave my arms," Angel said with a smile as he gave her a slight push.
"Thanks," Willow said as she grabbed Cordelia's hand and started across the street.

*******************************************************************************************************************

In the magic shop Willow's face lit up and Cordelia just shook her head. "Can I help you?" a woman asked as she came out of the back room.
"No, I'm just looking," Willow said as she continued to look. L.A. was supposed to have the best magic shops in the area. With wide eyes she looked around humming.
Cordelia just stayed in the center of the shop looking at the little trinkets laid out. "Hey, sweet-cakes, what are you up to?" a voice asked from behind her.
"Hey, Lorne. I am just here with a friend. What is our neutral demon friend doing in a magic shop?" Cordelia asked as she smiled at the brightly clothed green demon.
"Just picking up something for the club. Excuse me I hear a wonderful sound," Lorne said as he moved into the back of the shop and found a redhead seated on the ground reading through a ton of book titles. Softly she hummed before singing, "I can't stop this feeling deep inside of me..."
"Oh, Red, you have to continue," Lorne said from behind her.
Willow jumped up but managed not to scream. With her back up against the book case she lowered her arms that had been raised in fear. "Um... Hello."
"Hello, sweetie. I was listening to you singing. You have a wonderful voice. You also have a lot going on in the head and heart of yours," Lorne said as he bent over and picked up a tattered leather book with a Phoenix on it. He handed it to the redhead. "Buy this one."
"Thank you," Willow said with a smile. She opened it to the first page and smiled. It was Rom. "How did you know this was what I was looking for?"
"Well, follow me. I think I know someone you know," Lorne said as he led the woman out to the middle of the shop where Cordelia was still looking around. "Sweet-cakes, I found your friend."
Cordelia turned around and smiled when she saw the worried look on Willow's face. "Willow, this is Lorne. He is a friend of ours. He owns Caritas, the bar we are heading to. He is one of the good guys."
"Go ahead tell her what I can do," Lorne said as he put his hands in his pockets.
"He can tell what is going to happen to you or what can happen to you when you sing," Cordelia said as she put her hand on Willow's shoulders. "Don't be worried."
"Why did you tell me to get this?" Willow asked as she turned to Lorne.
"Because Angel-cakes is going to need it if you keep wearing pants like that," Lorne said as he went to the woman at the counter. He handed her some money and she gave him a book with no words exchanged. "Well, I have to go. See you at the bar if you come by."
"Will, what did he mean about the book?" Cordelia asked confused.

~Chapter 8~

"Cordy, I have been looking for this book since I brought... since Angel was sent back from hell," Willow said catching herself.
"You brought him back?" Cordelia asked as she understood.
"No... How could little ole me do something like that?" Willow asked as she looked at her feet. Looking up at Cordelia standing with her hands on her hips and her head tilted she sighed. "Yes, but don't tell him. He would be angry that I might have hurt myself," Willow said as she tried to wave it off.
"You could have. Don't you ever worry about yourself?" Cordelia asked.
"Not really. Anyway this book here will give Angel his soul permanately. It was written by the Rom, supposedly the same gypsy that cursed him the first time. She knew he had to suffer with his guilt and didn't feel sorry about that but she knew one day it would be lifted for one reason or another. She made this book up to let him be happy with his soul the way his soul could never be happy when he was human and cursed. It contains everything to do with the undead. It is said that she got a very... unhealthy obsession with vampires and eventually disappeared. All that was left was this book which contains things from how to give a vampire a permanent soul to letting them go in the sun and so many other things," Willow said as she caressed the cover.
"Okay, but if she was vengeful enough to curse a guy with his soul so that he would be unhappy for a very long time why would she suddenly want to help him be happy?" Cordelia asked confused.
"Here," Willow said as she started to read, "Cursing the demon was not a mistake but cursing the soul was a heart wrenching part to take. The demon goes through life with the soul but only the soul seems to suffer and not the demon. The demon with a soul saves lives and tries to be the one thing he can't be... human. This is not what the curse was meant to do. One day when the curse is broken the soul should be rewarded. He has saved the kin of those that have cursed him to misery."
"Does he know?" Cordelia asked.
"Nope, not going to tell him until I have read the whole book and I have everything and I mean everything to do it right. I don't want this screwed up," Willow said as she looked at her new friend. "I should pay for this."
Willow went up to the counter and smiled at the woman. "How much do I owe you?"
"Nothing, Lorne paid for most of it and I have a feeling you will be a great one. Just don't forget the woman who gave you the Book," the woman said before she went into the back room again.
"We should hurry up before Angel gets jumpy from your absence," Cordelia said as she headed out of the shop.


**********************************************************************************************************************

"I can't wait to get to sleep," Buffy said as she leaned against Riley as they walked up the stairs to the hotel.
"Neither can I," Riley said as he swung her into his arms. "Night, guys."
"Goodnight," Willow said with a little laugh.
"We are going to head up too. We had a good time," Xander said as he took Anya's hand.
When both couples were upstairs Angel took Willow to sit on the lobby couch. "Did you have a good time little one?" Angel asked as Willow rested her head on his shoulder.
"I had a wonderful time. It feels so right to have everyone here. No one is fighting and everyone seems so happy," Willow said as she sat up and looked at him. "That is something we haven't had in a long time."
"I know. Let's just hope that tomorrow when Tara and Spike get here that it stays that way. I like being friends with Xander, Buffy, and even Riley and Anya. It is nice," Angel said as they held hands.
"Yeah, I agree. We should get up stairs," Willow said as she stood and pulled on his hand.
"Are you going to stay in my room tonight?" Angel asked as he stood to follow her.
"Of course. I like cuddling, don't you?" Willow asked with puppy dog eyes.
"I love it," Angel said as he swung her into his arms and kissed her. "I love you."
"Ditto," Willow said as she rested her head against his hard chest.
When both of them were changed and ready for bed Willow climbed in and Angel followed. Together the two slept cuddled together in peaceful slumber.

~Chapter 9~

"Have you told him about the spell yet?" Cordelia asked as she finished filing the case paperwork on the demon dogs.
"No, I'm not done with the book yet," Willow said as she finished printing up some paperwork to put in the file.
"I find that hard to believe. It wasn't that long and you have had it for a day. You have been constantly going at it. How come you aren't done yet?" Cordelia asked as she sat next to her friend.
"I want to be totally sure. Cordy, if this doesn't work it would hurt him so much. I couldn't let that happen," Willow said as she stood up.
"What would hurt who?" Angel asked as he came into the work area.
"Um... nothing for you to worry about. Did you sleep well?" Willow asked as she walked over to give him a hug and a kiss.
"Okay, I'll just pretend that you aren't keeping something from me," Angel said before he kissed her forehead.
"Angel, just give me a little time and I will tell you. Please?" Willow asked as she rubbed his hand.
"Yep, no problem," Angel said with a smile. He couldn't be mad at her or even think the slightest mean thing about her but he didn't like secrets. Secrets felt wrong.
"You are great. Thank you," Willow said as she jumped up and down. "Thank you. Thank you," she said between kisses all over his face.
"Hey, guys."
"Oh, that is so cute," Anya said as she looked at the couple. Xander just snorted as he saw his best friend hugging and kissing Angel.
"Not."
"Be quiet Xander," Anya said as she slapped him.

*******************************************************************************************************************

"Will, are you hiding something from Angel?" Buffy asked as she looked at her salad.
"Sorta," Willow said as she ate one of her french fries and looked around the open restaurant. Cordelia had decided she and the other girls needed to get out of the hotel before she killed one of the guys.
"Will, secrets are bad," Buffy said sincerely hoping to guide her friend in the right direction.
"I know. I am going to tell him when Tara leaves. I was hoping you guys would take the guys out and let me tell him in my own way," Willow said looking at Buffy.
"No, problem. Can I hear what the secret is?" Buffy asked as she leaned over onto the table.
"Um... sure. IfoundaspelltosecureAngel'ssoul."
"Okay, let me recap. `I found a spell to secure Angel's soul,'" Cordelia said as she leaned back watching Buffy's look of surprise, hurt, and confusion.
She might be friends with Buffy but it was nice to put some of that pent up Queen C attitude on someone.
"Wow, congratulations, Will, you get to have Angel and his soul," Buffy said a little sorry for herself but then she saw a couple kissing next to her. The couple reminded her of a very cute solider and herself. "That is wonderful," she said in an upbeat tone.
"You really mean it," Cordelia stated more then asked.
"Yep, my best friend gets to be happy. Willow, you deserve that so much. I was meant to be a slayer and not necessarily be happy but because of you and the others I have been happy and a great slayer. I love Riley and wouldn't give him up even if Angel came to me and said that he wanted me and I could have him," Buffy said before taking a sip of her soda.
"Well, he wouldn't do that because he is mine," Willow said jokingly.
"Oooh, a little possessive aren't we," Buffy said as she bumped against Willow.
"Damn skippy. I am not letting go of this one," Willow said with a bright smile.
"I certainly don't blame you," Anya said with lust in her voice. Everyone at the table had to laugh.

*********************************************************************************************************************

"Angel...."
"In here," the dark vampire said as he finished reading through the text on Demons of the Northern Hemisphere.
"Oh, hi. I just got back from eating and shopping. I thought maybe you and I could spend some time together before Tara and Spike get here," Willow said as she sat on the couch next to the hunched over man.
"Yeah," Angel said as he sat up straight and looked into her eyes. "I would love to spend some time with you."
"Great," Willow said as she lifted his arm wrapping it around her. "What do you want to do?"
"Talk." Angel caressed her hair gently as he sat back on the couch letting her rest on his chest.
"Okay, you can pick the topic."
"Okay," Angel smiled. Thinking carefully of a topic to speak about he came to one subject- Tara. "Let's talk about Tara."
"Why do you want to talk about her?" Willow asked as she sat up and faced him.
"Willow, this is someone you care for. I want to know at least a little bit about her," Angel said patting her hand while hoping to comfort her. He knew she was nervous and hoped getting her to talk about what she was going to do might help.
"Okay, well, her mom was a witch. We first met in class but then something happened... One day we didn't really know each other and the next we were fighting the Gentlemen with our powers together. Somewhere around there I felt this spark. I don't know if it was because I was finally finding someone a little like me or if it was love but... it was something. Anyway, we started dating and then we were spending more time together and then... You asked me here. There really isn't all that much more," Willow said as she once again leaned back into him.
"What are you planning on saying to her?" Angel asked as he rubbed her arm soothingly.
"I don't know. I was thinking of just making it real simple. That is all I can think to do.... I don't want to talk about this anymore. I will handle it when the time comes. She still has a few hours to get here...." Willow yawned. "Man, I am so tired."
"Then lets get you some more sleep," Angel said as he picked up his love and brought her to his bed where he laid her sleeping body on the navy blue satin sheets.

~Chapter 10~

"Tara, luv, are you done yet?" Spike asked as he stood outside the women's room at the rest stop.
"Yeah. Thanks, Spike," Tara said as she walked out of the restroom rubbing her stomach.
"Have you been feeling okay?" Spike asked a little worried.
"Well, I don't know. I think I just haven't been feeling well," Tara said.
"I got that much, luv. Why are you sick?" Spike asked as he lit a cigarette.
"I cheated on Willow. I like Willow but I really like this person in a way I don't feel for Willow. I don't think Willow feels the same but she is the type of person you never want to hurt. You never want to let go of her she is perfect but I don't love her that way. I'm making myself sick. What do you think?" Tara asked as she got into the car with Spike.
"I don't think you are going to have to worry about that," Spike said as he peeled out of the parking lot.
"How long till we get there?" Tara asked as she shifted in the seat.
"Only twenty minutes. Shorter if I can help it."

************************************************************************************************************************

"Tara, it is so good to see you. I really needed to talk to you," Willow said as she hugged her soon to be ex-girlfriend. She had to hold back her laughter when she heard Angel growling behind her.
"Yeah, we really need to talk. So, I take it you are Angel. Spike told me all about you," Tara said as she held her hand out to Angel.
"Yes, it is nice to meet you, Tara," Angel said as he shook her hand.
"We are going to go upstairs so we can talk," Willow said as she took Tara's hand and led her upstairs leaving Angel and Spike staring at each other.

****************************************************************************************************************************

"Tara, I know this might sound blunt but I don't think we should see each other anymore," Willow said as she stood in Angel's living room.
"I agree. That is what I wanted to tell you," Tara said as she felt relief rush through her.
"We should head down. We don't want to leave Angel and Spike alone together too long," Willow said as she opened the door and waited for Tara to walk through.
"So, I'll call you when I get a chance. I still want to be friends and talk about spells and you know," Tara said as she headed down the stairs. She halted when she heard the two vampires talking.

**********************************************************************************************************************

"Sire."
"Childe."
"We should talk, too."
"Sure, mate."
"I'm sorry," both the men said in unison.
"Spike, you are my Childe. I will always care about you. You make me proud," Angel said knowing that Spike needed to hear that.
"Thank you," Spike said as he lowered his head. He was surprised to feel Angel's arms wrap around him. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
"And here I thought I was the only one for you," Willow said as she walked down the stairs so they could see her.
"You are but he is my Childe," Angel said with a smirk as he wrapped his arms around the redhead.
"I know. Hello, Spike," Willow said with a bright smile.
"ello, Red," Spike said feeling like he should be blushing.
"You know we should probably get going. I have classes in the morning and I should probably get your paperwork for you since the others are here," Tara said as she stood with the rest of them.
"Okay," Willow said as she hugged the blonde. "Thank you."
"Thank you. I'll call you later," Tara said as she headed to the door. "I'll be in the car when you are ready Spike."
"Okay, luv. I'll meet you out there."
Tara left with a wave and the three were left standing there. "You should come back when you get a chance."
"I will. When the other morons get back I will be free to come. Right now I have to help the Watcher," Spike said as he looked at his feet. Looking up he smiled, "See ya, Red and Sire."
"Bye, Spike."


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