Whistler looked at the couple and smiled. He stepped back into the garden, closing the door behind him, with a smiling Nicolas in arms.
<This kid knows> he sensed.
<In time> a voice replied.
Angel reluctantly pulled back and looked into her shiny, confused eyes.
Before she could say another word, Angel silenced her with his mouth as he kissed her more firmly.
It ended much too quickly for them as they heard the phone ring. Willow pulled back, not sure just how to act.
“I...I should get....that...”
Angel smiled at her and nodded.
Willow walked backwards, bumping into the door. Her cheeks turned redder as she turned and walked down the stairs on weakened knees.
Angel remained looking at her, coming out of his thoughts by a small giggle from behind him.
Willow quickly picked up the phone, her mind still trying to process what had just happened.
“Helloooooooo. Anyone there?”
Faith’s voice finally snapped Willow out of her thoughts.
“Hi, Faith, how are you?”
“I’m fine, you?”
“Me? Fine, perfect..great...wonderful....fine..just fine.”
“Nothing, why would you think that something’s wrong...nothing happened...absolutely nothing.... why would anything happened.. it’s just me, Willow...”
“Spill. What happened?”
“You aren’t a good
liar, Will. You’re worse than Rupert. Is Angel..?”
“Who said anything about Angel... I didn’t mention Angel...”
“Ah, so that’s it. What did you do with Angel... or should I say when did you do him?”
“Faith, um... nothing..”
“Fine, don’t tell me...pass the phone to Angel.”
“I’m gonna ask him instead.”
“What are you doing?”
“Nothing, I just thought he might want to ask...”
“He kissed me.... I mean... we kissed...,” she broke down as she turned a bright red.
“What do you mean good?
“Ex-boyfriend. He and Buffy are no longer together. Get that in your head, now.”
“No buts. Did you kiss him back?”
She almost sighed as she remembered just how sweet it had been.
“Did you like it?”
She blushed a deeper red.
“I think so..... he kissed me again,” she revealed with a smile as she bit on her lower lip.
“Then full stream ahead...”
“Life’s short, Will. Take what makes you happy...... you don’t get many changes, believe me.”
“I think Angel should answer that, but what I understand they both broke it off.... I think that whole hell period made it a permanent situation.”
“Oh, before I forget, what time did you want us to be there for dinner tonight?”
“You aren’t going to do anything....?”
“Insane? Nah, just there for support. You’ll even have Giles.”
“I don’t really think
Giles will be accept...”
“I know him, Will. He’s a different man. Anyway, once I withhold sex he’ll quickly understand and accept the...”
“Yeah, it’s true. He’s a tiger a tell you.... You’ll have both our blessings to, as my Watcher would put it, shag him.”
Willow couldn’t help but giggle.
“Do you think.... he might want...?” she asked hopeful.
“No...well not right
now.... you know... want me?”
“One way to find out, but I’m sure he does Will.”
“Maybe nothing. Go get him. We’ll be over around seven. And Willow...”
“I want all the naughty
details when I get there.
Angel turned to see a smiling Nicolas and Whistler looking at him.
“I take it you...”
“We stepped back out, didn’t want to interrupt you two. You both looked busy.”
Angel grinned as he ran his fingers through his spiky hair.
“And...?” Angel asked, waiting for him to continue.
“Your a big boy Angel. You know what you’re doing. I like her.....”
“I think she’ll do you good....”
“I thinks so, too,” Angel replied with a smile.
“But you might actually want to...,” Whistler began to advise.
“I’m going to do it right this time, Whistler. No lies, no secrets, nothing.”
Whistler smiled and nodded in agreement.
“I know you had some sense in that head of yours,” he remarked.
Nicolas simply clapped his hands together and began to talk then burst into a fit of giggles.
“See, he even agrees with me,” Whistler commented.
Angel grinned at the know-it-alls.
“Can you watch him for a bit more, I’d really like to talk to Willow right now.”
“Sure, I’ll send her up,” he told him as he walked to the stairs.
Angel took an unneeded breath and walked to the garden.
“Whistler said you wanted to talk to me...” Willow said nervously as she closed the sliding door behind her and stepped deeper in the garden.
“We need to...” he began to explain.
“Angel, I.....what we...” she tried to say as she moved closer to him.
Angel reached out and took her hand, pulling her down on the bench with him.
“No.... I want to talk first...please..”
Willow gave him a weary smile and nodded, fearing which way this conversation might go.
“The kiss we shared.....it was...wonderful....”
“But..” Willow added, trying hard to fight back the feeling of dread that he had not felt what she had.
“There aren’t any buts here. Willow, would you consider going out with me?” he asked straight forward.
Willow couldn’t believe what he was asking her.
“Would you consider a relationship with a vampire....a demon.”
Her lack of response left him worried. He had taken a chance kissing her which only motivated him to ask for much more.
“But Buffy...and Oz....,” she began to say, for the first time realizing what it would mean to start a relationship with Angel.
“Buffy and I aren’t together any longer...I don’t love Buffy, nor do I want her...I want you...”
Willow couldn’t help
but smile. What she had been feeling this past few days had became clear
as she looked deep into his soft dark brown eyes. She smiled as she dared
to place her hand on his cheek.
“Can this get any freakier?” Faith asked as she swirled the pasta around her fork.
“I don’t think so,” Angel replied as he looked around the table
Nicolas giggled, somehow realizing what she meant.
“This is not what I ever thought I would be doing. I’m eating dinner with a demon, a watcher, a witch, and a vampire, topped off with the fact that I’m a slayer. Nicolas might be the only one normal here.”
The baby clapped in agreement, speaking to them, then looking back at the food on his high chair, making the group laugh in amusement.
“So, what are you doing for Christmas, Whistler?” Faith asked, curious.
“Heading to the Bahamas,” he replied as he took another piece from the chicken parmesan.
“Bahamas?” Giles asked surprised.
“Even a demon needs a vacation.”
“Vacation, right. It would have nothing to do with the annual festival fairs?” Angel asked.
“That is just an added bonus. So, what are the two lovely couples doing,” he asked as he grinned, almost chuckling as he saw how red Willow turned.
“We’re spending Christmas day here and they’re coming over for ‘Boxing Day”,” Faith replied with her best English accent.
Giles smiled at her attempt, reaching out to take her hand under the table.
“It’s getting late,” Giles told them as he put his napkin on the table.
“Which means I have to go and patrol...”
“Angel and I could join you...” Willow added.
“I’m free for a bit...” Whistler added, enjoying the time he was spending with the couples.
“This is going to be
fun,” Faith remarked as they got up from the table and began to clear their
“Details, details..” Faith asked as she poked Willow’s ribs, making the baby giggle.
“Details?” she asked confused as she looked on at the fight between Angel and the four vampires.
“Yeah, you know. What did you do about the ‘kiss’?”
“Oh ... he asked me out” she replied with the smile.
“And you said...”
“Yes! I know you had it in you...”
“But Buffy and Oz....”
“Are most likely having the time of their lives....alone.... without you.... and you told me Oz dumped you a couple of days ago.”
“I feel so much better....”
“Look, the way I see it you only have to answer two questions. One, do you like Angel?”
“...I do... a lot...,” she replied.
“Do you want to try it out with him?”
“Ah, no buts aloud. Time you had fun. Just enjoy these two weeks and let them lead you.”
After a bit of thought, Willow agreed.
“Fine, I’ll let them take me away...” she giggled.
“Don’t you think you should help him?” Willow asked as they looked at Angel fighting.
“I guess I should,” she replied as she walked out of the protection field that Willow had performed.
Giles looked on, taking notes as needed, as Whistler began to make faces at the baby behind her, making the baby laugh.
“She’s getting good,” Willow remarked, loud enough for Giles to hear.
He scouted closer to her, still looking on as Angel and Faith fought.
“Very much so,” he replied proudly. “Angel seems to have sharpened his skills as well.”
“He hasn’t even broken a sweat yet.”
“Faith tells me that you and Angel are..... together.”
“Well... together like friends... but we both want more so he sort of....well....”
“He asked her out,” Whistler answered from behind her, making his way over to take a seat next to her on the grave.
“Well, that’s quite....”
Willow smiled at Whistler as he began to make magic tricks with his hat for the baby.
“Yes....um... I agree. He seems to take very good care of you and Nicolas.”
“He does, Giles,” she reassured him with a large smile.
“Good then, I won’t have to worry about you.... We are expecting you three to be there for Boxing Day, even you Whistler, if you come back from the Bahamas early.”
“Sure, why not,” he replied, re-thinking his plans.
“As we expect you over at our house on Christmas Day,” she told them both happily.
“We could have used some help here,” Faith yelled at them as she dusted the last vampire.
“But you both were doing so well...” Giles began.
“...didn’t want to
spoil your fun,” Whistler added.
“Are you sure you want this, Willow?” Angel asked at he looked at her.
“It won’t be easy.
I’d understand if you didn’t want to...”
“Angel, I know this won’t be a normal relationship. Your a vampire, I’m a witch that used to date a werewolf. I can handle this,” she replied confidently.
“After everything I’ve done...”
“You did nothing. That was Angelus and he’ll never be able to come back, I made sure of that.”
“Can you accept me as what I am,” Angel asked as he lifted his mask.
As the soft glow of the fire showered them, she took a moment to take a good look at his demon face.
They had arrived less then two hours ago and placed Nicolas to bed once they had arrived. They had settled in front of the fireplace and talked.
Angel was a bit unsettled by her silence, worried she had changed her mind.
Willow smiled, then kissed him gently. She pulled away and saw his evident surprise.
“I can, I do, I always have.”
Angel smiled as he pulled her in his arms and kissed her, his human mask falling into place. They fell back onto the blanket on the floor, there lips never parting.
Willow awoke in the
comfort of a pair of strong arms wrapped firmly around her. She smiled
as she snuggled a bit deeper against him. He had remained a perfect gentleman
with her, never pushing her more then she wanted. His kisses were nothing
she had ever experienced, his touch nothing she had ever felt. He was patient
wonderful. All she had always thought he would be.
He awoke the moment she stirred in his arms and smiled as he realized she was moving closer to him. As much as his body had pleaded to him to continue it’s experience with the tiny red head he could not. This was a relationship he had always wanted and he would be patient. He had known there was an attraction between them, but never expected the passion that fueled him in her simple kiss... touch. His smile grew, as he looked down at her and saw how tiny she was against him, but how strong her soul was.
Their peaceful relaxation was interrupted by a cry in Nicolas’ room. Angel softly moved Willow off him and onto the bed as he checked on the crying baby. Much to their surprise and a bit of glee, Nicolas had spent his first night in the crib sleeping.
Angel moved over to the crib and took the small boy into his arms.
“Miss us?” he asked the yawning baby.
The baby playful began to giggle, making Angel smile wider.
The baby only looked at him in wonder and spoke a simple word that brought him to tears. He rushed to the bedroom, quickly waking Willow.
“Angel what happened, what....,”
Then she heard the two words that made her smile with happiness.”
Angel wouldn’t help but whirl around, with Nicolas up in the air securely in his arms.
Angel soon placed him back in his arms, placing a kiss on his forehead. He put the baby on the bed, Nicolas soon crawling over to Willow, baby talking.
Angel sat on the bed
and pulled Willow close to him as Nicolas crawled up to Willow’s knees,
happily looking on as Willow placed a tender kiss on Angel’s lips as a
tear escaped his eye.
Angel was a bit nervous about asking her. Even after the talk and what had happened last night, he still doubted that someone as beautiful as she was would ever what to be with him, in any sense, as a friend or more.
Willow looked across the counter and caught him staring at her for the eighth time. Their was something he wanted to tell her, she sensed it, she just feared what it was he wanted to say. She hoped he didn’t regret anything they had done or wanted. This was the first time in her life that she was truly happy and that she knew what she wanted and it embodied one name, one person, Angel.
She caught his gaze and blushed, not realizing she had been staring as well.
“I wanted to ask you something...”
Willow’s heart beat began to beat a little faster, her breathing quicking as she waited for the question.
“Would you... would you like to.... would you do me the honor of going to the movies with me tonight?” he finally asked.
Willow smiled, quickly giving him her reply.
“I’d love to.”
Three hours later, the small family prepared for there outing, both umpteen for a family film for Nicolas. Angel carried the baby bag as Willow carried Nicolas in the baby straps across her chest.
Angel made sure to keep her close to him, his hand never leaving hers. He only left them to buy her some popcorn and a refreshment, but returned quickly to his seat. Nicolas wasn’t much entertained, falling asleep 20 minutes into the movie.
After a very sweet ending, the couple decided to leave, opting for some coffee a few blocks down. But their plans soon halted as they met Giles, out of breath, running towards them.
“Giles, what happened?” Willow asked worried.
“They have......they have.. Faith.”
“Who? Who has her?” Angel asked.
“We were patrolling.... we were ambushed us... they took her.”
“Do you know where they took her?”
“I don’t know... they seemed to be headed to the warehouse,” he replied
“We’ll find her Giles, we will,” Willow tried to reassure him.
“I pray we do.”
After a quick search,
they found the small army of vampires assembled at the old warehouse. Angel
and Giles quickly made their way to the roof knowing from experience they
would find the sky light. Much to Giles relief, they found a battered Faith
hanging from the wall in shackles. Giles was about to open the lash when
stopped him, motioning for him to be patient, telling him he detected another heartbeat other then Faith’s.
The two men waited patiently, both men thankful that they had managed to convince Willow to stay behind in Angel’s apartment. Once the coast was clear, Angel open the latch and climbed down, startling Faith. Angel moved over to her and took off her gag, by the look on her face, needing to tell them something. As Giles made it safely on the floor, her frightening words urged them to leave.
“It’s a trap!”
It was too late for
them to react, a faint yellow gas filling the room, as well as the arrival
of ten vampires jumping onto Angel. In a matter of moments the room was
soon deadly silent.