Rating: PG 13
Summary: A little POV piece after Angel leaves the tomb... and Sunnydale... for the last time.
Feedback: You beta, you beta, you bet! Kimi37212@hotmail.com
Disclaimers: All Joss, all ME, all the time...
A/N: Something new for me. Thank you, Chris for recognizing this for the POV it really was. And to Colleen, Kelly, and Chen for their invaluable input. I hope this is a point of view I don't make a habit of...
He doubted it.
He'd left her the Wolfram and Hart file. And the amulet that was meant to be worn by a champion. Meant to be worn by 'him'.
Had it only been four years since he'd left? God, it seemed like twenty! He'd felt like a kid again when he saw her. Which was pretty mind-boggling considering he hadn't been a kid in over two hundred years.
Every time he came back to Sunnydale, it felt like he and Buffy could pick up where they left off. For about five minutes. Then, as usual, he pissed her off. Because who did he think he was, anyway? Besides no longer a part of her life?
The whole thing with Spike had been a shock, and he hadn't been able to keep from calling her on that. He had good reason, too, because Spike was an evil, bloodsucking vampire who had never done any good for anyone or anything. Except, well, obviously that wasn't true anymore. So he had kept digging his grave deeper with every word out of his mouth until Buffy had called him infantile. And then she'd dragged out the old and tired, 'you tried to kill me, I killed you' thing that reared its head within fifteen minutes of every visit. He guessed she didn't owe him any explanations about Spike. Especially since Angel only came around for special occasions, like her mother's funeral and the End of Days, and none of the ordinary stuff. Hell, Buffy really owed him *less* explanation than anyone else.
And then, when she wasn't all 'oh, yes, yes, Angel', he made the biggest mistake of all. Just reached back into the old-time bag of excuses for the most convenient one. The old 'slayer excuse'. And he really wasn't to blame on that one. She'd obviously used it so often, it was like a little mantra echoing in his head.
Cookie dough. She'd actually said she was cookie dough.
And she'd been perfectly serious.
It wasn't an appalling comparison. Bad, yes, but not the worst he'd ever heard. In fact, Willow would have probably nodded sagely and gone into a deep discussion about the relative benefits of fast cookie baking as opposed to slow-and-low cookery. Xander would have jumped right in with even more analogous comparisons - and made her laugh.
Her watcher would have cleaned his glasses and changed the subject.
But he himself had listened with gravity, nodding as she'd continued her explanation, going on and on about dough and baking. Although to his credit, he had bailed on continuing to work the whole cookie angle.
At the time, he thought she'd done pretty well at illustrating her point with cookie dough. But as the more he thought about it, he was beginning to wonder.
He guessed you had to be there. Except...
Buffy would never have compared herself to cookie dough in Spike's hearing.
It would have been like committing verbal suicide. Angel stepped into the long black limo and settled back in the cool leather seats.
Where he had given due weight to her words, Spike would have snorted after the first sentence.
Drumming his fingers on the soft armrest, he thought about it. She could tell him anything. And that was as it should be. Because Buffy knew how hard he'd worked to try and do the right thing. The proper thing. Do right by her. By the world.
He frowned, brow heavily furrowed as he looked down at his hand. What was weird, though, completely bizarre, in fact, was that Spike inexplicably managed to do the right thing, without a lot of deep thought. It just seemed to work out that way, even if it looked like it was for all the wrong reasons. Nothing says you're sorry like getting a soul. Look what a big difference it'd made with Buffy. He had really been blindsided on that one.
Now Buffy would have never skated by the 'eat me' statement with Spike, because his already derisive smirk would have dissolved into gales of laughter. Frankly, he had tried to ignore it. He was above such a cheap shot.
Whereas Spike was... not.
He would have gasped with laughter, then told everyone he saw just what she'd said, snickering the whole time.
So, no. Never would she have called herself cookie dough in Spike's presence. Spike would have never let her get by with it. Because he was a fractious little bastard who called a spade a spade. Who went for the truth like a pit bull on steroids.
Angel threw his head back against the softly padded seat. Which was probably why he was quietly riding back to L.A., alone, without putting up a fight, respecting her wishes...
While Buffy was giving the amulet to Spike.