Disclaimer: All characters and basic concepts used in this story are the property of their respective owners. I own nothing; they are used solely for entertainment purposes. Any copyright infringement is not intended or implied.
Credit: A special thanks goes to pink chocolate unicorn—without you it would not have been possible. Thank you for always standing behind me; for everything you do for me :)
First of all thank you to all who have favorited, followed and reviewed :)
I'm really glad you enjoy the story :) It's a very old story and I maybe will a little rewrite it. That is why it always takes a bit until I post the next chapter. And for the couples, everything is open. I'm not really sure what I want at the moment but I hope it will not bother you and you'll enjoy the story nonetheless :)
When Angel left his office, he did not know Buffy and her friends were the reason for the call. As he walked past Harmony 's desk, she tried to speak to him, but he only responded with a brief "Not now." He went faster, nearly running. The last thing he wanted now was to talk with his secretary.
Harmony looked after him and muttered to herself, "I just wanted to say there are no demons in the lobby, it's just Buffy and the gang." She shrugged and went back to her work. Her job had it's advantages; like good Coffee Kitchen Connections.
As the elevator slowly descended, Angel felt a slight tingling sensation. As if a Slayer were nearby. But he knew that could not be; Buffy and Faith were in Sunnydale. As the floor numbers ticked by, the feeling grew stronger. "Strange," he murmured to himself. "There's something wrong here… Buffy and Faith can't be here."
The elevator doors finally opened and he could not believe what was happening in front of his eyes. There were some young girls of the hall, faces pale and drawn with exhaustion.
Angel sighed. Faith was among them, standing with another dark-haired woman, supported an unknown black man. He could see Willow, Xander and Dawn. Angel sighed again because in the middle of the group Buffy was standing next to her watcher and talking with him.
A smile appeared on his face, until he saw the torn blood-stained blouse and the wound on her belly visible through the tears. At that moment, Buffy looked up and saw him. She smiled. Her change in demeanor did not go unnoticed; The group around her looked toward the elevator. They nudged each other with shoulders or elbows to get the others new slayers to look out for the man with the beautiful brown eyes. A few even began to giggle.
Faith noticed that the girls were impressed by Angel and stepped closer to Buffy. "Hey, B, you got a some competition with Angel," she murmured, amused.
Buffy lightly bumped Faith on her hip without turning her gaze from her dark-haired vampire, keeping eye contact and still smiling at him.
Faith looked between the two and realized that Buffy's thoughts were elsewhere and just shook her head. She headed back to Kennedy, who she had left alone with Robin.
Giles had noticed that Buffy's attention was no longer focused on their conversation and followed her gaze to see Angel. Ah. Now he understood... He was relieved to see the vampire.
Willow made her way to where Faith and Kennedy stood, nodding a silent greeting to Angel as she passed him.
But Angel did not react; he only had eyes for Buffy.
Angel finally broke eye contact with Buffy and his gaze fell on the security guard, who was visibly uncomfortable. He had probably realized that he had acted wrong and the group was by no means undesirable. Even though he had seen the condition of the arrivals, he had done nothing.
That was why Angel would take care of that matter. Later. He made a mental note to give a full briefing on the changed company policy. The guard should have known to make an exception for the injured ones. Angel would yell at him later. Now, his first priority was the wounded, and then, when everything else was handled to his liking, he'd have a talk with Buffy and Giles.
Angel's gaze wouldn't stay off Buffy for long, their eyes meeting once more even as he barked an order to the security guard to call Wesley and Cordelia down. He'd leave it to them to discuss the situation with the others.
He made his way to Buffy and took her in his arms. "Buffy," he said softly. It still sounded like magic when he pronounced her name.
"Angel," Buffy returned, tightening her arms around Angel. They held each other for a little while.
The girls looked at the events with wide eyes, a few a bit jealous of Buffy. She always got the great men: first Spike, a dream of a man with his beautiful blue eyes and his great figure. And now this beauty, Angel.
Wesley came from the other end of the lobby, approaching the group. He looked around and took it all in. Lightened, he noticed that his former proteges Faith and Buffy were quite well and sighed softly to himself. Thankfully, the others did not seem to be in a critical state.
Nevertheless, he knew that this was not a social call, but that they needed help.
Cordelia arrived right behind him. She paused for just a moment when she saw her former gang standing with some other girls. She looked around the lobby and saw Xander, she frowned slightly when she noticed he looked distressed and sad. She decided to talk to him later.
When she arrived next to Angel and Wesley, she greeted the unknown faces: "Hi, I'm Cordelia. You can call me Cordy. " She walked up to Xander and drew him into a hug, waving her hand at Willow, Buffy and Giles. She gave Faith a smile as she nodded hello, keeping it brief because Faith was busy propping up an injured man with another girl's help.
Three hours later the wounded were finally taken care of. The others had gone to the showers. The girls had fresh clothes from Cordelia and Harmony, the two men borrowing something clean from Angel, Wesley and Gunn.
Now the friends had finally time to talk about the last time in Sunnydale. They sat in the large conference room.
Angel sat at the head of the table, the others spread out in the other chairs. Buffy sat facing him from the other end of the table. Had she always been so beautiful? Yes, she had always been a pretty girl, and now she was a beautiful young woman.
"Angel, you're not listening to us," Wesley said, tone holding a mild scold. He leaned forward a little and looked closely at his friend, unable to help the quirk of a grin as he studied Angel even as he sighed. It had always been like this: Angel and Buffy, as if no one else were in the room. "Is it okay for you that some of the people stay in your apartment?" he repeated once he had Angel's attention.
Angel scratched his head once. Somehow, he'd not noticed the whole conversation. "Sorry. Um, yes, of course that would be okay. Who?" he asked, looking at Wesley with slight alarm. He was a little unsure what he had just agreed to.
"Just admit that your thoughts were elsewhere..." Wesley murmured, gaze going pointedly to where Buffy sat.
Angel snorted. "No, I was—" he started, voice a near-whisper. "I was just wondering if she was always so pretty."
"She looks the same," Wesley said, looking at Buffy before eyeing Angel curiously. He paused, then continued, louder, "Is it okay if Kennedy and Willow stay with you? Buffy and Faith can stay with Cordelia, Dawn with Fred, Giles with me and Xander with Gunn. And for the others, we'll set up a few other rooms."
Wesley waited patiently for Angel to digest it all.
Finally, Angel nodded. " Yeah, okay." He would have time to talk to Buffy tomorrow.
To be Continued?