Author’s Notes: This is AU.
For the record I am (was?) a total B/A ‘shipper. Reading the transcript of a radio interview with David Boreanaz annoyed me so I decided to give Buffy someone else (at least in this story). The pairing here was at the suggestion of my sister-in-law. (you have to read it to see!)
Parts of the interview have been omitted and/or edited so that it would appear as if Angel were talking (not DB) for this story. The complete interview can be found online here.
Just consider it a bit of farfetched, therapeutic fluff. And remember, in fiction – anything is possible.
Disclaimer: Own nothing. All belongs to Joss, ME, Fox, et.al.
Pairing: B/Other, C/A implied.
Distribution: My site, EverySixSeconds; sites currently with permission to host my fics; all others please ask.
Originally posted: Apr 15, 2002
Buffy hit rewind on the tape one more time. When she received the tape in the mail, she was more curious than anything else. Wolfram and Hart, the name on the return address label, meant nothing. But now, after listening to the tape for the third time, she was confused and a little hurt.
She hit play one more time, just as her new beau walked into the kitchen. They had been together only a few months, but during that time Buffy hadn’t thought of Angel even once. This tape was the first reminder.
Kissing her cheek, he moved to pour himself a glass of orange juice. “What’s that?”
“Um. A tape that came in the mail yesterday.” She hit play once again and they were both quiet. She had recognized Angel’s voice immediately, but the second voice was a mystery.
Man’s voice: “That’s right! You’re already a father. What’s it like having a baby?”
Angel: “Actually, it’s pretty neat. I love Connor.”
Buffy closed her eyes vividly recalling the conversation in the cemetery when Angel told her that he couldn’t have children. How willing she had been to accept that she wouldn’t have any children just to be with him.
Man’s voice: “Darla killed herself, right? The baby’s mother? Who’s been helping you raise the baby? Buffy?”
Buffy’s boyfriend looked from the paper he had been reading at the sound of her name. He didn’t recognize the voices on the tape, and only had been absently listening until now.
Angel: “God, no. Buffy’s pretty much out of the picture. That’s just the past. I think between Cordelia and Fred he’ll be mommied to death. But, Buffy’s just the past.”
Man’s voice: “Oh, come on. Buffy can never really be just the past, can she? I mean, she’s your soulmate.”
Angel: “I think Darla was probably my soulmate. I mean, we spent a hundred years together, then made a baby. You can’t just-“
Man’s voice: “Well, then Buffy was your first love.”
Angel: “I was Buffy’s first love, but I loved Darla in a sick way.”
Buffy sighed and looked at the dark brown eyes watching her with concern. Clearly she had felt more for Angel than he had for her. Was the “In 243 years I’ve loved exactly one person” just a line that he had fed her? She knew she shouldn’t be surprised – after all, he had made her promises about making things work between them that he never kept, probably never intended to keep.
Man’s voice: “I just thought it would always be Angel & Buffy. Sorry.”
Angel: “You’re forgiven. I’m just saying that it’s not gonna happen. There’s no more story there for us. Buffy isn’t my priority anymore. At one time, she was always in the back of my mind, well, now it’s all about the baby and Buffy is just, well, she’s just a person I used to know.”
Buffy closed her eyes as she felt strong hands run down her back, soothing and massaging, seeming to know exactly what she needed. While it was true that she hadn’t thought about Angel in months, his words still hurt. She had thought that they had something special, something both of them would remember with fondness and affection. Not something so casually dismissed.
Man’s voice: “Awww, come on! The story there was so incredible.”
Angel: “And like every good story, it came to an end.”
Man’s voice: “Are you going to hook up with Cordy?”
Angel: “Well, I’m all for it. I don’t know what the Powers that Be have planned in that regard, but I’d love to be romantically involved. Cordy is really what I need, I believe.”
Man’s voice: “And she’s hot, too.”
Angel: “Incredibly hot. Cordy’s low maintenance if you can believe that. I’ve worked with a lot of women and I’ve got to tell you Cordy doesn’t care if her hair’s messy or her lipstick isn’t dark enough. She gives a hundred percent of her ability and her looks aren’t her priority all the time.”
Man’s voice: “Is Darla coming back?”
Angel: “I don’t know. Certainly people rarely stay dead in our world, but you never know.”
Man’s voice: “Buffy just came back to life, too.”
Angel (audibly sighs): “Yeah.”
Buffy clicked the tape off then turned and buried her head into the powerful chest behind her. She sniffed slightly, hurt and stung that Angel sound – well, disappointed – that she had come back to life.
“What do you want to do, Babe?” The deep voice rumbled through his chest against her ear.
“Want to make a trip to LA with me, Honey?” While it was true that her dreams lately – and her nights and occasionally days – had been about hot, dark bronze skin instead of the cold, milky white flesh of the past, Angel’s words still hurt. Buffy realized the she just needed closure. She needed to hear him say the goodbye that he had denied her.
Angel looked up in surprise as Buffy tossed the tape onto the desk where he sat.
“Was there something that you wanted to tell me?” Crossing her arms across her chest, she studied Angel. It had been awhile since she had seen him, but she was surprised none-the-less that he seemed to have gained weight – and maybe not in a particularly flattering way.
Angel picked up the tape, “Buffy? What are you doing here? What’s this?”
“A little something that I received in the mail. At least, I’m assuming that Wolfram and Hart are friends of yours?” Buffy paused, finding this much easier than she expected. “I know about Connor, your feelings for Cordy and your feelings for me. That you consider your soulmate to be Darla and not me.”
“Which, now that I think about it, is okay. Better than okay actually. I just came here to return the tape to you, air a few grievances and to say goodbye. It’s called closure.” Buffy smiled, a genuine smile.
“Uh, what-?” Angel stammered, unsure what Buffy was talking about but briefly recalled a conversation a few months ago with Lorne where he might have said something about Darla being his soulmate.
“You made promises to me about making things work that you never kept. Instead, you left me without so much as a goodbye. It was convenient for you to keep the door open – just in case – but it hurt like hell for me. I was young and inexperienced – and I had loved you with all my heart. But I healed, eventually. Then you took away the one day that I would have treasured. After you promised me that we’d make another one just like it. Didn’t think I knew about that did you? Thought you were being noble by being the one to remember it? Sorry to break the news to you, but I knew. I think you’ve always done what was best for you, easiest for you – while pretending that you thought it was best for me.” Buffy stopped, taking a deep breath. “That’s pretty much all I wanted to say. Now I just need to hear you say goodbye. Then we’ll both be free to move on – cleanly – with our lives.” Buffy waited while Angel simply stared at her, confused.
“Angel. It’s an easy word – or two – to say. Just say it.” Buffy looked around the office, noting the obvious feminine touches. Cordelia’s handy-work most likely. Once more, she was surprised at her lack of jealousy. She actually felt happy – and relieved – that Angel found someone else.
“Buffy, what-” Angel stopped as Buffy held up her hand and raised her eyebrow. “Ok. Goodbye?”
“Thanks. Goodbye Angel. Thanks for- well, the good things. No thanks for the pain. Good luck with Cordy.” Buffy turned and walked out, feeling like she had finally had some sort of resolution. Resolution her way and on her terms for a change.
Angel followed Buffy out, wanting to ask her what all of this was about but was stopped short as Buffy reached the man waiting for her in the lobby. Angel was more than a little surprised that she was here with someone. He watched as Buffy stopped in front of the tall – and very large – man and placed her hand on his chest, talking softly. The man was leaning down slightly to hear her, his fingers gently brushing the hair back from her face. He smiled as she laughed softly.
Suddenly Cordelia whispered behind him as she and Fred leaned around the corner. “Well hello, you gorgeous hunk of man.”
Angel’s smile froze as he turned to her, realizing that she wasn’t talking to him – rather she was talking to Fred *about* the man Buffy was with.
“See, I told you he was hot.” Angel’s eyes widened impossibly large at Fred’s words, uncharacteristic for the normally shy girl.
“How does she always manage to find such honeys? I’m thinking I should move back to Sunnydale if they’re growing ’em like that now. Umm-mmm.” Fred giggled in response to Cordy’s words.
As they watched, the man leaned down and kissed Buffy – a deep, heated kiss that curled her toes and made her forget everything, even her own name, as she twined her arms around his neck and pressed closer. If either of them noticed their audience, neither cared.
Buffy had someone now in her life, someone that she loved and as importantly, someone that loved her. While she’d never get used to the attention that The Rock commanded by just being in the room or the crazy WWF schedule, she knew she’d never tire of his kisses, his powerful body, or his caring, considerate personality. As for backing her up on patrol, he’s certainly demonstrated that he was more than capable. Besides his size alone was a pretty strategic advantage…
She sighed when he released her and took her hand, whispering softly “Let’s go home and make a baby of our own…”
Buffy never looked back.