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 Angel's Secrets

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The Healing Process

By Blu

Summary: Buffy and Angel reunite.
Part of The Healing Series
Disclaimer: All rights reserved for Joss Whedon, the WB, Mutant Enemy, etc. I used the characters for my own personal enjoyment and that of others, not for profit. I have nothing, so don't expect much if you decide to sue. The rights to the song "Anytime" belong to Brian Knight or whoever owns them, and it's not me. I am using the song as my own personal derivation for this story, nothing else. I also only used the lyrics that fitted with my story, so some will be left out. Oh, and the song is inside these *** little things.
Author's Notes: This story is my own creation, so rights to it belong to me. Comments welcome.
Distribution: ask me.

Here goes nothing:

.

*****I can't remember why we fell apart
It's something that was so meant to be
Forever was the promise in our hearts
Now more and more I wonder where you are

Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
Do you ever wake up reaching out for me?
Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
I miss you. *****

A soft sigh broke the silence of the bedroom. Empty arms ached for something to hold onto. Or rather someone. Buffy Summers awoke to a dark room. Moonlight spilled through the window and turned her skin to alabaster and her hair to silver. She sipped the room-temperature water that she kept on her nightstand.

A long month had passed since Angel's soul had been restored. After the ceremony, Angel had apologized and then disappeared. Buffy had gone to his apartment the next night to make sure he was all right and found a penciled note on his bed:

Buffy,

Somehow I know you will be the one to find this. I felt it to be in the best interests of all involved if I went away. I will return, eventually. After all that I've done I don't exactly know how to face you. Time apart will be good for us. I'll miss you.

You still have my heart,
Angel

Buffy had simply left his apartment, she couldn't bear being in it without his presence.

.

Buffy sat up in bed and brushed her tousled hair out of her face. She sighed again. Sleep had long since eluded her after Angel's departure.

She got up and walked to her window. The almost full moon told her that it was Oz's time of the month. A cool California breeze played with her hair and whispered across her face. Tears slipped free.

She made her decision. The window was opened to it's furthest limits and Buffy slipped out. She hastily hopped back in and grabbed a stake from her wooden chest. Back out the window she went, then took a light leap off the roof. Landing on her feet, with catlike reflexes, Buffy took off towards the Bronze.

Angel's apartment was reached in minutes. The door was locked, the way Buffy had left it when she was last here. She took the key he had given her after the incident with Kendra out of her pocket and unlocked the door. Inside there was a layer of dust a half-an-inch thick on everything. Buffy closed the door behind her and dropped her stake. It fell to the floor without making a sound.

Buffy sneezed. She wearily set about cleaning the apartment. After everything was free of dust, she looked around. This was Angel's place. Where he belonged. She wrapped her arms around herself and perched on the edge of his bed.

*****Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
Do you ever wake up reaching out for me?
Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
I miss you. *****

Angel stalked past the Bronze. He was tired and ready to lash out at the next thing that crossed his path. He was sick of running away, of hiding from those he loved. They will not forgive you, his mind whispered. He ignored it. He knew the truth. He couldn't forgive himself.

Angel twisted the knob to the door of his apartment. Unlocked. He caught sight of a wooden stake on the floor. Afraid of what he would find, Angel slowly lifted his eyes. And saw her form lying on the bed at an odd angle.

"No!" What he had intended to come out as a scream, emerged as a whisper. Angel heard his bags drop onto the floor. He numbly walked to the Slayer, idly wondering who had done this to her.

She had a peaceful look on her face, Angel noted. Then he heard a peculiar sound. One he couldn't place right off. It was coming from Buffy. Snoring. Angel leaned over her. And couldn't resist. He touched her cheek lightly with his fingertips.

"Angel." The sigh escaped her lips. She reached out and locked her arms around his waist.

"So much for Slayer's reflexes," Angel murmured, allowing her to tug him on top of the bed, next to her. She smiled into his shoulder.

"...love you..." he heard before he let his exhaustion claim him.

*****Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
Do you ever wake up reaching out for me?
Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
I miss you. *****

Buffy awoke late in the morning. She mentally shrugged. One more day of skipping school can't hurt my records any more. She snuggled closer to Angel, more specifically, his chest. "Mmm," she hummed, breathing in his scent.

Angel cracked open his eyes. His face was buried in a cloud of hair. HER hair. "Buffy," he mumbled, trying to get up.

She held him in place firmly. "Don't go," she pleaded in a whisper.

"Buffy, this isn't a good idea," Angel tried to extract himself from her grasp.

"What's not? Me finally getting a chance to get back my lost love? And keeping him from running away again?" Angel didn't look into her eyes. She knew him so well. "Buffy, don't do this..."

Buffy kissed his mouth and willed him not to turn away from her. Of course he did. She released him reluctantly, and watched as he pulled himself from the bed and paced across the room. Unwanted tears fell from her eyes.

"Angel." Buffy closed her eyes and her head fell back in defeat. "I'm sorry. I just wanted to be happy again-" Buffy got up off the bed and stood there, looking confused and hurt. "...and I wanted...you, back again. I'll go, if that's what you want." The last words were issued on a sigh. Buffy wiped away her tears, unwilling that Angel see how much she really needed him.

*****Still have your picture in a frame
Hear your footsteps down the hall
I swear I hear your voice driving me insane
How I wish that you would call to say... *****

Angel turned and looked up at her. Stared at her. Her eyes were tired, and looked older than her mother's. Her body was thin and worn. She had run herself ragged. Angel would bet that Giles was worrying himself sick about her.

Angel sighed softly, causing Buffy to look up at him. Her piercing gaze left him no room to breath.

"Angel, I forgive you."

Angel closed his eyes. "No. Don't."

Buffy drew a sharp breath at the pain on Angel's face. She slowly walked toward him and held out her hand. He opened his eyes and looked at it. His eyes rested on her claddagh ring.

"You still wear it."

"So do you."

Angel searched her eyes, desperately. He found no trace of fear or hate or loathing or even hurt. His face relaxed.

Buffy threw herself at him. "It's about time you came home," she said into his neck.

*****Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
Do you ever wake up reaching out for me?
Do I ever cross your mind, anytime?
I miss you.

No more loneliness and heartache
No more crying myself to sleep
No more wondering about tomorrow
Would you come back to me, come back to me *****

And Angel allowed her forgiveness to seep into him.

The healing process begins again.

The End

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