AN: This one-shot takes place sometime during season three of "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" after Buffy and Angel get back together.

The CPR Conundrum

"Angel, can I ask you something?" asked Buffy in a sweet voice.

The two lovers were sitting on the couch in Angel's mansion, a bit sweaty and sore from a recent workout session. As much as the two of them loved sparring, they both found it difficult to be that physically close to the other, knowing that they could do nothing more than spar.

"What is it?" asked Angel, already sensing that he wasn't going to like the direction in which this conversation was going to go.

"Why didn't you give me CPR?" asked Buffy, turning her body so that she could fully face her boyfriend.

"When?" asked Angel, furrowing his large brow, and thinking back over their recent sparring session.

"Down in the Master's lair," pushed Buffy. "You know, the time I drowned."

"I couldn't," said Angel, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. "I'm a vampire."

"So?" asked Buffy.

"So, I have no breath," explained Angel a bit petulantly. "I don't breathe."

"Yeah, Xander told me you said that," said Buffy thoughtfully.

Turning his body to better face Buffy, Angel grew quite serious and, his voice suddenly thick with emotion, told Buffy, "Look, you know that there are things I can't give you. And I wish I could, because you deserve everything good in the world. You deserve someone who can take you into the sunlight, have children with you, give you a nice, normal life, do CPR when you need it. Sometimes I think I must be the most selfish person in the world. I know you deserve these things, but I can't give you up." Angel quieted and sat gazing into Buffy's eyes, a sober look on his face.

Buffy gazed right back at Angel with a sympathetic look on her face for a couple of seconds — before bursting into laughter. "What?! Seriously?! Did you really think I was going to buy that? Save it for when we're actually having an emotional discussion." Buffy could not stop chuckling, much to Angel's annoyance. "Tell me the truth, why didn't you do CPR on me?"

Angel looked somewhat chagrined, but clenched his jaw tightly, unwilling to answer Buffy's queries.

"Angel, seriously. Why didn't you do CPR?" pushed Buffy.

"I'm a vampire; I don't breathe," insisted Angel.

"Spike smokes," retorted Buffy.

"What?" asked Angel, honestly confused.

"Spike smokes," repeated Buffy. "You are able to take and expel breath. I was thinking about it, and CPR from you might even me better than CPR from Xander. I mean, Xander was exhaling carbon dioxide into my lungs. Since you don't use oxygen, you would have been breathing more oxygen into my lungs. Just saying."

There was a long, awkward pause, as they both sat staring at each other, no longer faux sympathetic, but calculating.

"I was being nice and letting Xander be the hero," said Angel, a little too quickly.

"Nuh-uh, not buying it," said Buffy. "You hate Xander."

"I'm very strong. I didn't want to break your ribs."

"Nope. I'm the Slayer; I could handle it."

"Xander was closer to you. He was already on the ground."

"So … you didn't give me CPR because you didn't want to get your pants dirty?" asked Buffy with a raised eyebrow.

"No," said Angel loudly. "I …"

"You …" prompted Buffy.

Rapidly, in sotto voce, Angel confessed, "I don't know CPR."

"What was that?" asked Buffy gleefully.

"I don't know CPR," said Angel more slowly, now annoyed.

"I knew it," said a self-satisfied Buffy, turning around and leaning into Angel's arms. "'I have no breath,'" she muttered quietly, laughing.

The End

AN: It always bothered me that Angel gave that BS excuse in the first season. If you liked this one-shot, please review.