The sun fully showed its complete colors to the world, welcoming a new admirer with a warm touch. Willow felt the arms around her tighten and leaned her head back against his chest and closed her eyes. Angel was ready. He had made some peace with himself, not enough, but perhaps enough for sanity’s sake. He waited for the burn, but never for the warmth. He opened his eyes to see his first sunrise in over 200 hundred years. He could not believe it. He remained speechless as he continued looking at the colors that seemed to tease the sun fully awake. Once the sun fully rose, Willow unlocked her arms from his and turned in them to face him. She looked up into his face and saw his tears fall. She saw his eyes turn a lighter shade. She took in his full beauty, not wanting to disturb him. Angel looked down and smiled, still overwhelmed with emotion. Willow placed her head on his chest, letting him enjoy the first of many days to come. Willow’s eyelids dropped, but she was soon fully awakened as she felt his arms move under hers, pushing her off his body and up into the air. She looked down at herself held at arm’s length, seeing the biggest smile she had ever seen from him. She giggled.
“It was you. You did this,” his voice full of happiness. She nodded. <Guilty as charged> she thought and began to giggle louder.
“All I have to do now is get you on solid foods and you’re good to go,” she said humorously.
He laughed at her twisted humor. He placed her back down on the floor in front of him.
“Why Willow? Why would you do this?” he asked, more tears falling.
Her look became tender and soft. “Because I miss my friend in the day.”
Angel crushed her in his hug.
Willow waited to protest, but soon felt oxygen becoming an issue, as well as her ribs. “Breath,” she managed to let out. Angel understood and loosed his hold on her, but didn’t let her go. “You know what this means?” she said, her lips moving against his bare chest. Angel pulled back, not sure what she meant. “You owe me big.”
“Willow, I know I...,” he started to say.
“No, no, I’m not finished. This is a biggie, you know. As fun as it was, no more leaping over fences. I checked and this Sunday you will be taking me to the Botanical Garden at noon to see a puppet show”, she said with serious face. Angel started to laugh, something he had not done in a very long time. “No, no, this isn’t funny. You will come with me to see Joshua the Panda tell the tale of Cinderella and enjoy it. It that understood, mister,” she said as she poked him with her finger into his hard chest. His laugher grew louder as he saw how serious she had made it sound. It was wonderful. He hugged her a little tighter, thankful for the treasure he held in his arms. Her head suddenly fell to his chest, her arms moving to his waist for support.
“Willow?” he asked, terrified something was wrong.
“I’m still...still a little weak...tired,” she told him.
Then, in one swift movement, she was swept up in his arms, being carried back into the house, back to his bedroom. “Angel, I want you to enjoy your day out there,” she protested as he tucked her into the bed.
“I am and I will, but not before I know you’re back to your healthy self. Then I will,” he told her as he caressed her cheek. Willow smiled, then remembered. She looked at the clock. It was 7:25 a.m. Her face turned paniced. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“School,” she said as she tried to get up, but her weakness and a slight push prevented her from doing so.
“You need rest.”
“I missed yesterday,” she blubbered out, covering her mouth.
“Why?” he asked suspiciously.
“I was busy,” she replied.
“Willow,” he said, his voice a bit stern.
She looked down into his pillow and simply mumbled. “Researching?”
He smiled, knowing what it meant to Willow to miss a day of school, not to mention two, but none the less, she was too weak to go. “Thank you,” he said, making Willow look up and blush.
“No need to thank me,” she said happily, “Remember, Joshua the Panda”.
Angel chuckled at her
reminder. “You’ll stay here in bed until you’re back to your old
self, no sooner. You need
food, I’ll cook,” he said with a smile as he got up from the bed.
“I might start liking this,” she told him with a smile.
“Sounds good. Angel, can I use your phone?”
“Willow, everything in this house is yours. You never have to ask,” he told her.
She smiled at him, then watched him leave through the door. She picked up the phone and hoped Amy was still home. “Hello?”
“So, how’d it go last night.”
“Good, very very good,” Amy said with a short giggle.
“I can’t wait to hear the details,” she said, happy beyond belief.
“At lunch, no, in first, definitely have to tell you in first,” she told her.
“Amy...I’m not going to school today.”
“Why, aren’t you O.K.? Shit, I forgot. Did everything go right? Are you fine? Angel?”
“Amy, it worked”, she said, happier.
“Then he can..”
“We saw the sunrise this morning,” she giggling.
“Wow, Willow, you did it. I knew you could,” she said, proud of her.
“I’m just a little weak. It took a lot out of me. Angel won’t let me out of the house until I’m better, so that’s why I won’t be going in to school today.”
“Don’t worry, Willow. Xander called me last night. He was worried since he hadn’t seen you in school and you weren’t home. I told him you felt sick when I went by your house yesterday to get something, so I decided to stay ‘cause you looked pretty bad and since your parents weren’t home. Then you came over to my place to spend the night.”
“Thank you, Amy. I’m sorry about this whole mess. Just tell them I’m sick, but feeling better, and not to worry. Tell Xander to get my homework assignments, and I’ll have Angel call school and report me out.”
“Sounds good. Will do”.
“I found him.”
Willow managed to convince Angel to eat out on the patio. She would hear no arguments. He carried her out to the terrace, then brought her food. Every other word out of his mouth was a thank you. She kept reminded him it wasn’t necessary. When she finished eating, Willow felt better, but was soon rushed back to bed for more rest. By mid-morning she felt good as new and when she woke saw Angel sitting on the floor next to the bed reading.
“You should be out walking or something,” she told him, waking up.
He turned his head up to look at her and placed the book down.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Refreshed,” she told him, then looked down at herself.
“Except for the clothes.”
Angel chuckled. “I’m glad.”
“So why aren’t you out riding a bike or something,” she asked him as she rubbed her eyes.
“Don’t know how.”
“You are kidding me?” she asked, amused.
“Can you really see Angelus on a bike?”
Willow laughed as she tried to visualize him on one.
“But you should be out there. It’s your first day back under a light blue sky.” she said with a smile. She closely looked at Angel’s change of expression.
“Willow what if..,” he began to ask.
She stopped him, knowing
what he was going to say. “I am only going to tell you this one more
time. Listen good. You cannot lose your soul. You have it permanent now
-- forever. But just in case, just in case, there is a
secondary spell that will anchor it once more before it completely emerges. Then there is the third and fourth precaution I took. Then there is the fifth and sixth one I did after that. Then that reminds me of the seventh and eighth to take care of those, oh, and we can’t forget about the ninth. And, if all somehow fail, there is that tenth
one I did that will turn you into a frog,” she told him seriously. Angel laughed at the last comment. “Ah, you mock the life of a frog. Well, I’ll have you know they have a hopping life,” she said with a smile, then turning it into a chuckle. Angel laughed harder at her odd sense of humor. “So see, you have more chances than a cat, Angel. You’re stuck with your soul,” she said happily.
Angel still couldn’t believe it. He pulled himself up on the bed and hugged her, nearly squishing her on the mattress. “What did I ever do to deserve you?” he asked, close to tears.
“I was asking myself the same question about you,” she replied.
Willow hated to lose
the feel of his body over hers, but weighted her options, then reluctantly
decided to speak.
“Oxygen is becoming an issue.” He bashfully pulled himself up. “Now, what are we doing today?” she asked.
“I wasn’t sure you would want to join me?”
“I’d be hurt if I didn’t.
I have an idea,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
Willow looked at her
watch. It was only 11:30 a.m. She had managed to pack a picnic before they
headed for the park. She had finally convinced Angel that a leather coat
in the middle of a heat wave was not the best thing to wear. She had successfully
made him change into normal looking blue jeans, with a white T-shirt. He
looked as good as always. Willow, on the other hand did not look as good
as he. She had changed into one of his many v-neck T-shirts, replacing
the small shirt she had worn earlier. It made it mid-way to her skirt,
but it felt better than what she had on before -- loose and much cooler.
She found the perfect spot under a large tree. Angel followed, still absorbing
all the wonder around him. Willow unfolded the cool sheet and then began
to take off her shoes. She waited for him to come over and bring the pillows
he carried. She sat down on the sheet and breathed in the fresh --smog
mostly-- air. Angel came over and sat next to her. She placed one pillow
against the tree and leaned back on it. Angel wasn’t sure what he
was supposed to do. Willow looked at him and saw the confusion on
his face. “You have to take your shoes off,” she instructed. He looked at her feet and saw her toes wiggle at him. He did as she asked. “Lie down,” she further explained. He hesitated for a moment, until Willow showed him how to position himself. He laid his head on her lap, then saw the playground in front of him where children played. His face softened. He felt Willow’s hands caressing his hair, then heard her voice. She begun reading the book he had left off reading back at his apartment. Angel felt an inner peace he had never felt before. It felt right, it felt good,
it felt familiar. He had found what he had been looking for.
Willow took a shower
before heading to the library. She had checked her answering machine to
find ten new messages -- one from her parents, six from Xander, two from
Buffy and one from Giles. She thought back over the past 36 hours as the
water fell on her body. She had skipped school to visit the fair, to speak
to a woman who told her she needed to find her soulmate if not lose him
forever. She also had found Amy a date, returned, found the spell, went
to Angel’s, proved he trusted her entirely, passed out, shared with him
his first sunrise in over 200 years, got carried to bed, nursed back to
health by him, went to the park and read to him, and was asked to join
him later on this evening to watch the sunset with him. She was happier
then she ever been. She couldn’t seem to stop smiling. She finished up
and got dressed. It was wonderful. She got ready, anxious for the evening
Amy waited for her at the front steps of school. She had so much to tell her, she was ready to explode. Once they saw each other, they both squealed in happiness. Amy went up to her and gave her a hug.
“I have so much to tell you,” they both told each other at the same time.
They started laughing.
“What happened?” Willow asked her.
“He asked me to be his girlfriend,” she said happily, showing her the charm he had given her.
Willow stopped and hugged her. “I’m so happy for you.”
“I haven’t been this happy in a long time,” she replied.
“I know, but does he know you’re a witch?”
“He does and is a bit skeptical, but told me it didn’t matter and would keep open-minded about it,” she said with a smile.
“That’s great news.”
“And you. Where were you?”, she asked curiously.
They began walking towards the library again.
“I spent all day with him at the park. It was nice,” she said with a wide smile as she remembered.
“What else?” Amy asked, knowing she was leaving out something.
“He asked me to see the sunset with him,” she said, feeling a bit nervous.
“I haven’t seen you this happy before, Willow. It’s him, isn’t it?”
She smiled and simply replied, “I found my second half.”
“Second half in what,” Xander asked as he met them in the hall, startling both of girls.
“How ‘ya feeling?” he asked, eating a twinkle.
“Good, ‘cause we need
help. Giles has more of the legend,” he told her, walking with them to
As they waited for Buffy to arrive, Willow took Giles to the side for a moment.
“Giles, have you ever heard of...well....I’m not sure how to put this...souls that seek each other throughout lifetimes, hoping...I don’t know...to make it this lifetime.”
“Reincarnation?” Giles asked, a bit confused.
“I think that’s how it could be explained.”
“Perhaps. Anything is quite possible here. I’ve never really researched it,” he replied.
“Would you know how to regress someone?”
“If I can remember, I’m sure I can. Why?”
“Ms. Carpenter wants to see if we’d be able to regress.”
“A rather odd assignment.”
“I know, but if I needed to, could you?”
“If need be, I suppose I would be able.”
“Thank you, Giles.”
Buffy emerged from the hall. “Did I miss anything?”
“Nope, just in time,” Xander replied.
“My friends informed me the warlock left for London last night. They are trying to keep an eye on him. The gentlemen in Ireland is still researching the legend for me, but he did, however, find a second part to the legend.”
“Let’s hear it, my man,” Xander said.
“The final day shall come where destined souls shall meet to battle the fates of immortality. Searching and empty, the entwined shall meet and await the arrival of their new found fate”.
“That makes no sense, Giles,” Buffy said.
“I know, it’s up to
us to make sense of it,” Giles said
Willow looked at her
watch and nearly jumped out of her chair. It was five. “I have...I
need....well, got to go,” she told them as she got up and headed to the
door, hoping no one protested. To her relief they only wished her
luck and nodded their heads.
“Must really be in a hurry to meet Oz at the bus station,” Xander commented.
Amy looked up confused. “Oz?”
“Yeah, he comes back tonight.”
“That explains why she so rudely left,” Cordelia said, flipping through the pages of her book.
Amy’s eyes widened.
If only they knew, she thought.
Willow had changed
four times, taken another shower, and combed her hair eight times. It was
nearing 5:45 and Angel had just called and told her he would be by in 15
minutes to pick her up. She paced the floor of her room wondering what
she was doing. She knew it was him, she knew how she felt, now she
worried what he thought,
what he felt. Buffy, she thought, wondering if it was possible he still loved her, wanted her instead. It terrified her to think it. So deep in thought, she didn’t hear the sound of a low purr coming from outside. She nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the doorbell.
“Calm down, calm down,” she told herself.
She headed to the door.
Angel wasn’t sure what
he was doing. He was nervous, excited, happy. It was almost too much for
him to take. He looked down at himself and made sure he looked presentable.
He knew this was Willow, Willow his friend, his dear sweet friend, his
beautiful, kind, loving friend. He shook the thoughts out of his head and
doorbell. He had made all the necessary arrangements to make this night as special for her as possible, to thank her for everything she had done for him, although a voice in the back of his mind spoke the truth --- he wanted to woo her. He knew it was wrong, she had a boyfriend. But being with her, talking to her, spending so much time with her, felt so right and chased away the loneliness and sadness he always felt. He waited for her to come out.
Willow’s hand was not working well and she had trouble opening the locks. She looked at him and smiled, feeling her cheeks become hot. He took in her beauty and handed her the rose he held in his hand. Willow took it happily.
“Ready?” he asked.
She nodded and stepped out of the door. Closing it, she did not pay attention to the ringing of the phone. He extended his arm to her and she accepted it gladly. Then he walked her to the transportation of the day, a beautiful, jet black, shiny new motorcycle. He smiled as he saw the look on her face. He grabbed the helmet from the bike and handed it to her. Willow accepted it and started to put it on. Angel remained standing there, admiring how she looked. She had dressed up a bit, wearing nice, form-hugging, black pants. She had chosen a nice white silk shirt with spaghetti straps that showed off her milky white shoulders, and a sheer white, button down shirt which she had left open. She had swept up her hair in a French twist, and she smelled like jasmine. She thrilled him with a single look of her green eyes, more than any other woman ever had. He helped her put on the helmet and then got on the bike, holding out his hand to offer her a seat. She swung her legs over the bike and shifted a bit to find a comfortable spot. She placed her small arms around his strong stomach and heard him start the engine.
“Hold on tight,” he told her and felt her arms tighten around him. He pulled out of her driveway and roared down the block.
As he headed home,
Xander looked up as he heard the roar of an engine. He headed up the patio
to his house without a worry, excited about spending time with Cordelia
at the Bronze.
The voice of Amy filled Willow’s house as the answering machine kicked in. “Will, are you there? Do you know Oz was heading back tonight? Xander told me at the library. I wasn’t able to get to a phone sooner. I hope everything is going good. Give me a call when you get back. Have fun.”
A moment later a second voice filled her empty house.
“Yeah, baby, it’s Oz. Came in on an earlier bus. I missed you. Can’t wait to see you. We should all get together tonight at the Bronze. See you soon.”
“Willow, pick up the
phone. It’s Xan the man. Just wanted to let you know we’re all meeting
at the Bronze tonight, after 8:00 p.m.. It’s a couples night out, and since
it’s Friday we can make it an all nighter. Everyone’s coming with their
significant other. Oz called to let me know he’ll see you at the Bronze.
He has to set up and I have to pick up
Cordelia, so, see you later”.
“Willow? Guess you’re
not there. Well, anyway, I’ve been thinking about what you told me, so
I’m going to try it. I know it’s wiggen, Buffy actually taking advice for
once, so....I was wondering if you have Angel’s number. I went looking
for him, but can’t find him. I’m inviting him to the Bronze tonight. We
should start somewhere and
what better than with a group. Give me a call.”
Willow held on to Angel
as she would to dear life. She felt a rush course through her body as the
motorcycle sped up and gripped the curves. He drove her to the mountains,
where the trees towered up to the sky and a peaceful silence enveloped
them. She laid her head on his back and took in the view, completely enjoying
smiled as she thought about his rose. She hadn’t known where to put it, so she added it to her hair, under the helmet. The moment she had opened the door of her house earlier, she had forgotten how to breath. Angel looked great, handsomer then she had ever seen him. His ever present leather jacket was gone and he was wearing black pants and a button down, black shirt, tucked in, with a white shirt peaking from underneath. His hair was still
wild, and his skin tone a little darker. What finally melted her completely was the smile he flashed her. It was not possible for him to look better. She loved the bike, and their speed chilled her with excitement. She looked up and saw it was half an hour till sundown. Her heart beat quicker as she thought of the wonderful evening ahead, any time she spent with him was wonderful, but tonight she could feel the electricity in the air, making her smile.
“Willow, it’s Buffy again. Can’t seem to catch you. Call me. I still haven’t been able to reach Angel. I’m going to try the number Giles has for him. Call me.”
“Willow, it’s Amy.
I know you’re out, but if you hear this message do not go to the Bronze.
Everyone will be there. I just got invited to go too. When I see them,
I’ll tell them you were still a bit sick, stomach flu or something, and
your cousin came to see you and took you with her until Sunday maybe. Call
me so we can talk. I hope
everything is going well with Angel. Should I even call him by his name? No, well, I didn’t mean Angel, I meant your cousin. Call me before I have to cast a “let’s not talk about Willow just yet” spell on them. Bye.
“Will, Oz called me. Time change. Meet at 9:00 at the Bronze. Where are you? Anyway, call me. I’m leaving to get Cordelia in a couple of minutes, we have “extracurricular activities.” See ‘ya.”
“Will, it’s me, Amy. Just wanted to let you know that I was joking about the spell, well, only partly. I was thinking maybe each time they said your name they got hungry or something. That way they won’t ask me. Just kidding. Wanted to let you know they changed the time for the Bronze. It’s later, so avoid it completely. In that case avoid the city if you can. Anything happen? You owe me your confession. Call me and have fun, Willow. Be happy.”
“Angel, I’m sorry I
missed you. You’re becoming a stranger. Just wanted to know if you wanted
to go to the Bronze tonight. I miss you. Call me or just meet me there.
Around nine. See you soon.”
“Damn....oops, sorry. Willow, where are you? I can’t find Angel. Give me a call soon.”
He blindfolded her and carried her to the spot he knew she would love as much as he. He carefully placed her back on the ground and removed her blindfold. Before her stood the sunset over a magnificent cliff, overlooking the mountains below. It was truly breathtaking. He pulled her into her arms, holding her in front of him, as she had done that morning. They looked on as the sky lullabied the sun to sleep with its exquisite colors. Willow felt the warmness of it on her face and settled deeper in his arms. After a couple of minutes the tranquil darkness appeared. She turned in his arms and hugged him.
“Thank you,” Angel told her with tears in his eyes.
Willow hugged him tighter. She was close to tears as well, but they were tears of happiness, not of the sadness that had haunted her for such a long time. Once Angel regained control, he pulled her chin up.
“It was wonderful,” she said, finding words to express herself.
“That was only the beginning,” he told her in a sexy voice.
She smiled. He pulled away from her and, taking her hand, led her into the forest ahead. She followed. She was a bit frightened, walking in the woods at night, but with Angel by her side her fears diminished. She soon saw small flames not far in the distance. Her curiosity grew. After a brief 5 minute walk, she emerged from the woods and saw a large white sheet laid in an open meadow. It was eliminated by the light of the candles around it. On the large sheet were elegant trays and dinnerware for two with two long candlesticks in the middle. He had managed to amaze her once more. He took her hand and placed it on his arm.
“Would milady do me the honor of joining me for dinner?” he asked as he looked at her.
Her face lit up. “It would be my pleasure”, she replied with a large smile.
“Then let us eat,”
he said as they walked to their private dinner.
“Has anyone seen Willow?,” Oz asked as he got to the table.
“I’m sure she’s running late or something,” Xander replied snuggling closer to Cordelia.
“Hey Buffy,” Oz said as he saw her approach.
“Has any one seen Angel?” she asked.
“No deadboy,” Xander replied with a smile.
Oz and Buffy sat down,
wondering where their dates could be.
Willow finished off her second glass of Ginger Ale. She had tasted each type of food that had been placed around her and liked each one. Two hours after the food was eaten, Angel and Willow remained where they were, talking and enjoying each others company.
“This is your estate?” she asked, surprised.
“It reminds me of the land my father had in Ireland,” he revealed.
“It’s gorgeous here.”
“It’ll take at least take you a day to see everything.”
“Wow,” she said, hoping something inside.
“Can you stay that long? The house is just over that hill and I would love for you to see it in the day,” he pleaded, hoping she would.
Willow looked at him for a moment, then looked down at her hands on her lap.
Angel felt his heart sink at her expression. He should be grateful she had come this far with him, but something inside told him to keep on, to continue trying.
“I would love to, Angel. I’ll need to make some calls to let everyone I know I’m O.K. and will be out of town”.
Angel’s face lit up
with happiness. He took out a cell phone from a bag next to him and handed
it to her. She smiled as she accepted it from him. He stood up and told
her he would be right back. She thanked him and then he was gone. Willow
dialed her friend’s number, hoping she was still there. After three rings,
the phone was picked
“Amy?” she questioned, since the person on the other end was breathing rather heavily.
“Willow....it is ...it’s about...time,” Amy said, trying to catch her breath.
“Is anything wrong?” she asked nervously.
“Xander called me to ask if I had seen you, but my dad picked up and I told him to tell him I was out. I’m meeting them at the Bronze tonight and I have no idea what to tell them. I was thinking stomach flu, and your cousin, or what ever, came to see you and took you in for the weekend. You think that’ll work?”
“Sounds good to me. My cousin’s name is Mary, and she came to check up on me under my parents orders, and took me in when she saw I was still sick. That way I can spend the weekend here.”
“I take it you aren’t in Sunnydale.”
“About half an hour away.”
“How’s it going?” she asked, knowing Willow would have a huge grin on her face.
“Wonderful, great, magnificent. It’s beautiful here, Amy. I’ve never seen a place so pretty. Everything is perfect and I’ve never been happier.”
“Geez, Willow, rub it in, why don’t you.”
“You have, Jonathan remember?”
“Yeah, but he isn’t loaded like Angel, I’m sure, or that handsome. Sure Jonathan is cute, so very cute,” she said with a giggle.
“I feel like I’ve known him for ages.”
“Well you have.”
They both started laughing.
“Then I must have known you for ages, too”,
“Best friends even then.”
“When do you think you’ll be heading back?”
“I don’t know. Angel wants to show me the estate, and...”
“You are in no hurry to come back, are you?”
“Don’t worry, you deserve to be out, having fun. Don’t think about anything but you and Angel this weekend. Find what you’re looking for, she told her.
“I already have, Amy....I love him.”
“Who?” Amy asked, surprised.
“Angel,” Willow replied simply.
“Are you sure?”
“More then life.”
“Wow, and after only one day in the sun.”
“Before this happened. It just took me five months to realize it,” she confessed.
“When you nursed him after he got back from Hell?”
“It started then, I think, but maybe before. Then, after the gang found out what I did, you and he were the my only friends I had left. Even Oz didn’t speak to me for a week. Then something happened, I can’t explain it, something else started to grow.”
“I’m happy for you Willow, He’s a good man if you love him,” she said as the doorbell rang.
“I’m sure that’s for you,” Willow said with a giggle.
“Have to go. CALL ME TOMORROW, young lady”.
“I will. Have fun.”
“Stick to the plan.”
“Have a great time.”
With that Willow hung
up and took a deep breath. She smiled, finally able to admit what her heart
had tried so hard to keep hidden. The only problem was, she didn’t know
how Angel felt. Then a tugging thought entered her mind. What if he still
loved Buffy? She knew her heart would break in two. She looked at her phone
Xander, leaving a message with his mom, and then talked to Giles. He told her he hoped she felt better and to try and have a nice time at her cousin’s house. She told him she would check in tomorrow. He thanked her and told her to rest. Willow did feel guilty about lying to everyone, but when she thought of why she did it, that burden was lifted. She waited patiently for Angel to return and sipped her Ginger Ale.