A Cure for the Common Cold

Disclaimer: I'm just taking these characters out for a test-drive. I will
have them home by ten. Joss Whedon owns all. I have nothing, nothing I tell
you. So don't sue me.

Distribution: If you want it, you got it, just let me know so I can come see
your site.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Angel finds Willow sick and alone. He makes one heck of a nurse.

She had been sitting there on the park bench for hours. The rain dripped
from her cheeks, mixing with her tears. She was soaked, but she didn't
notice. All she could feel was hurt. All she could think was Oz....Buffy. Oz
and Buffy. Buffy and Oz. Together.

Why hadn't they told her? Oz had broken up with her nearly a month ago. He
had said that they had grown apart and she couldn't possibly expect them to
graduate high school dating, could she? He thought it would be best to just
end it then before they couldn't be friends.

Now, as the image of Buffy and Oz passionately embraced singed her brain,
she choked back bitter laughter as she thought of the new guy Buffy had been
so secretive about lately. She had walked around all glowy, but refused to
divulge her guy's name. All that time, Buffy had been glowing because of her
best friend's boyfriend. How could they?

Honestly, their lying to her hurt worse than the severing of Willow's
connection to Oz. In fact, she had gone to Oz's with a peace offering of his
favorite bacon brownies to show him that she had gotten over the break-up
and still wanted to be friends. But now all she could feel was betrayal.
Pain. Lonliness.

"Why?" she asked.

She had been sitting there for hours. Angel's superhuman vision allowed him
to see her tears splash against her palms as she sobbed out her broken
heart. His silent heart ached for the little witch. He had been watching her
all this time. Not wanting to startle her, but unable to leave her
unprotected and miserable.

He had watched her for such a long time, not just tonight. He had watched
her at first with the eyes of an amused bystander, before he became part of
the "Scooby Gang." He admired her optimism in spite of everything. The way
she threw herself into saving the world, though she knew she'd probably have
to do it all over again the next week. Then he saw her with the eyes of a
friend, eyes that liked and appreciated, but didn't grasp the internal and
external beauty of the person in front of him. But now that he had cleared
his head of Buffy and all the madness that came with her, he saw who she

And he loved her.

Lately, it had been worse. Well, not worse, but harder to ignore. His dreams
were filled with her face, her body, her smile. Willow.

She raised her head. Someone was near. She peered into the darkness.

"H-hello?" (Oh yeah, Willow, real tough. Why don't you just invite whatever
blood-sucking hell-fiend is out there to lunch on your jugular? You know,
cut out the middle man.)

Well, the jig was up. She knew he was there. His skulking off would probably
just make her feel worse. Besides, he was past his skulking days.

She blinked the raindrops from her eyelashes as Angel stepped out from the
shadows. He almost felt his heart warm as relief washed over her face.

"Angel," she laughed a hollow, shaky chuckle. "Fancy meeting you here."

"Same to you," he grinned. "What are you doing here, Will? You're getting

"Oh, yeah, it's raining isn't it?" she said, as if she was noticing it for
the first time. Her bright green peered blankly into the night sky. Her hair
was stained dark crimson with dampness. Her lips were purpling with cold.

"Willow, let's get you inside. You'll get sick."

"I'm already sick," she mumbled. "Sick of me ... sick of this. Go away,
Angel. I'm tired and all I want to do is sit here."

"And what? Brood? Look, you're talking to Brood King. I'm the master, I
invented it. And trust me, you can brood just as easily in a warm, dry
pneumonia-free environment."

"Where am I going to go?" she asked, questioning herself more than him.

"With me." he lifted her off the bench and helped her walk away from the
park. He laid her down in his backseat without her protests and drove to the
only place he wanted to take her. His home.


Willow woke with a start. She bolted upright. Where was she?

She didn't recognize the sparsely furnished room she was in. She was wearing
someone's long red silk nightgown, which was beautiful but not particularly
warm. She snuggled deeper in the gray duvet someone had enveloped her in.

Whose bed was she in? What had she done?

Her head pounded. She definitely had the beginnings of a nasty cold. When
she was little and she got sick, her mother couldn't be bothered with her.
So Willow got out of her physician's desk reference and figured out how to
make herself feel better. But all she had ever wanted was her mother to take
care of her.

The door swung open, she sat up.

"Angel?" she asked. Her hand flew up to her neck. He wouldn't...

"Morning, or evening as I should say," he said sitting on the bedside. He
brushed his cool hands over her hot forehead. It felt so good. She couldn't
stop herself from leaning into the caress. "You're a little warm. How are
you feeling?"

"Not real good," she said. She looked down at the rather sexy gown she was
wearing. "Angel, what happened last night? Nothing happened... did it?"

"No," he tucked the blankets tighter around her hips. "You were sitting in
the rain and upset. I brought you here to dry off because it was closer than
your house and you fell asleep before we even got here."

"So you decided to put me in this?" she indicated the gown.

"I had my eyes closed the whole time," he said solemnly.

"Uh-huh." she said, letting him know she didn't quite believe him. She threw
back the covers. "Well, thank you for the bed time and the nighty, but I
should probably be going now."

She stood up too quickly and felt the world see-saw beneath her. "Whooa."
She groaned as her head spun. She felt Angel's hands slip around her arms
and guide her back to the bed. He tucked the covers around her.

>From her stupor, she heard water running in the bathroom. She drifted in and
out. She was vaguely aware of Angel's form coming toward her. She felt her
body being lifted from the bed and carried into a bright white room. She
looked around as Angel undressed her. She was too tired to remind him not to

Angel's bathroom was surprisingly modern considering it was in a
150-year-old mansion. Smooth white ceramic tiles covered the walls and
floor. There was a large sunken tub and separate shower. The tub was already
filled with steaming water that had "stuff" floating in it. She thought
maybe they were dried herbs.

Angel lowered her into the tub and folded a towel behind her head. Upon
closer inspection she saw that there was wintergreen and rosemary floating
on the surface of the water. The tub also smelled of eucalyptus oil She
scooted in deeper, letting the water swallow her further. She moaned with
the simple pleasure of being warm again.

Angel smiled gently, trying to ignore the reactions her moan elicited from
his body. He filed them for later reference. He grabbed a silver brush
Drusilla had left in her haste to escape the mansion and began raking it
through her tangled hair. She leaned into each stroke. She had never had a
man brush her hair before. It was nice, it made her feel cared for and

He wrapped her hair into a makeshift French twist and stuck a pencil through
it. With a thick washcloth, he soaped her fingertips, her palms and her
wrists. She knew she should be embarrassed. Here she was naked and
completely vulnerable, but she hardly noticed. Angel hardly seemed to
notice. While his ministrations were gentle and tender, they were anything
but sensual. She sat back and relaxed, letting her mind float away.

Angel wasn't quite so lucky. It was taking every ounce of his control not to
dive into the tub with her and make her his. Touching her body wasn't making
it any easier. Her pale skin called to him, begging for his lips, his touch.
He decided it might be better if he moved to the front of the tub and washed
her feet and ankles. But that just gave a full-length view of her.

Bath-time was over.

Soon she was wrapped in comfy flannel pajamas. She looked down.

"Whose are these?" she asked.

"Yours," he pulled the covers over her. "I went shopping while you were
asleep. An ordeal in itself. Food doesn't look like food anymore."

She smiled at the thought of Angel trying to rationalize cookie dough in a

"It all comes in weird colored cans now. But at least I recognized fruit and
bread," he chuckled. "Are you hungry?"

She shook her head. "Maybe just some juice."

He walked to the door and as soon as he was out of sight, ran like a madman
for the kitchen.

(Juice, juice, she wanted juice. That was a good sign, right? Had to get the
juice. )

"Wow, that was fast," she grinned as he brought her the glass. He was glad
he didn't have to breathe heavy. "So how long have I been here?"

"Since last night."

"I slept a whole day?" she cried.

"You seemed exhausted." Angel nodded.

"But my parents will worr- oh, wait, they're in Cairo. But Buffy and Oz- no,
I don't think they would be too concerned with me, either." she thought she
might cry. There was no one to be worried about her.

"Willow, why wouldn't they be worried about you? Buffy's your best friend
and Oz is your..." he hated even saying the word. Of all of the millions of
girls between heaven and hell, why  did he have to fall in love with an
adorable witch involved with a werewolf?

"The reason I was sitting in the rain like a schmuck." she said.

"Trouble in paradise?" he asked, hoping his voice wouldn't sound like he was
praying "ohpleasohpleaseohplease."

"Heaps of it," she said. "Oz broke up with me about a month ago-"

"What?" he gaped. How could he have not known that? He had seen them plenty
in the last month, but they hadn't been all puppy-lovish for a while now. So
he couldn't a difference.

" And just when I thought I was over it. That I could move on, I see my
'best friend' making out with my ex-boyfriend. I think it's been going on
for a while now." she said.

(WHAT A MORON!) Angel's thoughts thundered through his head. How could
anybody hurt Willow? How could Oz trade this little red angel for a pain in
the ass like Buffy? Sure, he had fallen into that trap before, but he saw
the light before it was too late.

"I'm sorry, Will." he squeezed her hand.

"Such is life on the Hellmouth," she shrugged, sipping her juice. "Just when
you get a week off from saving mankind, you get your heart stomped on."

"Will, you don't have to pretend for me." he stroked her cheeks.

She looked down at the glass in her lap.

"I know, but I have to pretend for me," she said. "Losing Oz isn't what hurt
me. Having my best friend lie to me and revel in the break-up of my
relationship is."

"So I take it you don't want to give Buffy and Oz a call to let them know
you're alright?" he took the glass from her and set it on the nightstand.

"No... it might be good for them to think of me for a change."


She had been there for three days. Her cold practically disappeared on the
second day. He had fed her every hour on the hour, insisting that the saying
was "Feed a cold, starve a fever." Blueberry waffles, chocolate chip
pancakes, thick soups, thin soups, French toast, until she pretended to be
asleep just so she wouldn't have to eat any more.

"You're going to have to roll me out of here!" she laughed as he forked
another mouthful of French toast for her. "And I can feed myself, you know!"

"Just one more bite," he said. "Besides I'm having fun, now I know why
Drusilla liked taking care of her dolls so much."

"Wierdo," she glared at him as he swiped at the syrup he had dripped on her
chin. "Honestly, this can't be much fun for you. You haven't left the house
for two days."

"Well, neither have you," he said. "An why would I want to leave the house
when you're here?"

She smiled.

"How about getting out of bed today?" he asked.

She laughed. "I've been trying for the last two days, but you wouldn't let
me! Don't act like it's your idea!"

"Can I help it if I like the idea of having a beautiful woman in me bed,
even if I'm not in it?"

"Angel, you don't have to lie to me, you don't have to call me beautiful,"
she looked at her lap.

"Willow, do you even know how gorgeous you are?" he stroked her cheek with
his palm. "Even in men's flannel pajamas and bed-hair, you're the most
stunning creature I've ever seen. Which is saying a lot, I've lived 243
years. I've seen a lot of women. And that's not even the best thing about
you. You're sweet and kind and funny and smart... and often as I've
rehearsed this speech those are the least complimentary words I could have
used. What I'm trying to say is, I've loved you for a long time now.... I
just thought you should know."

Her world spun. Angel? Loved her? Was that even possible?

She leaned towards him hesitantly and touched her lips to his. He let a
useless sigh escaped his lips. He pulled her toward him, deepening the kiss.
His touch was so light.

"Mmmmm... maple syrup," he grinned.

"I can't tell you I love you right now, Angel, even though I do. But I need
to get over the weirdness of the whole break-up thing, so it will mean all I
want it to," she smiled. "And besides I never said you couldn't get in the
bed with me."

"Well, move over then," he lifted the blankets and snuggled against her.

"I thought we were getting out of bed today?" she grinned mischievously.

"A few more hours wouldn't hurt," he shrugged. "I'm thinking only of your

"Oh, yes, of course." she nodded.

He settled her head against his shoulder and grabbed the remote. He had
bought books and a TV so she would have something to do all day while he was
asleep. He flicked it on, the late, late movie was showing- "Bride of

"Funny," she socked him in the shoulder.

"Hey, a guy can hope can't he?" he laughed, snuggling her against him.

Suddenly the door burst open. Buffy stood there, stunned at what she saw.
Angel? In bed with Willow? She rubbed her eyes and blinked to make sure she
wasn't hallucinating.

"Does someone want to tell me what the HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?" she

Part 2

"Buffy!" Willow yelped. She dove under the covers. For a moment she had
forgotten that her best friend had stolen her boyfriend from under her. She
had forgotten the pain of seeing them together, knowing they had lied and
tricked her. All she could register was the astonished agony on Buffy's

Then she heard Oz and Xander crash into Buffy from the stairs.

"Yo??" she heard Oz ask.

"AAAACK!" Xander screeched and felt to the floor in a faint.

She tossed back the covers and tried to bolt for the bathroom. Angel grabbed
her shoulders.

"Willow, slow down! Come on, sit back," he settled her back against his cool

"Yes, Willow, don't let me interrupt!" Buffy spat.

"Buffy, don't you dare accuse Willow of wrong-doing." Angel warned her in
low dangerous voice. "It was your betrayal that brought Willow here.
Speaking of which, what are you doing here?"

"Willow came up missing this afternoon," Buffy said. "We came to ask you to
help us search."

"You just noticed I was missing?" Willow asked.

"Yeah, why?" Buffy shrugged.


"Well, I'm sorry, Wills, I've been busy!" Buffy said.

"Busy shagging my ex-boyfriend!" Willow yelled. "Busy shagging him while he
was still my boyfriend!"

Xander stirred, he sat up. The blood drained from Oz's face. (Oh, god, she's
seen us.)

"Willo-" he began. Angel interupted.

"Look, Buffy, not that it's any of your business, but I found Willow sitting
alone in the park a few nights ago. She was so upset by your sluttery that
she sat in the rain, crying herself ragged. She caught a terrible cold and I
took care of her while she was sick. That's all....for now. But just so you
know, after Willow's feeling better, I have every intention to ask her to
stay a while longer."

Willow's blood thrilled. She grinned happily. "And I have every intention of

"AAACCK!" Xander screeched and passed out again.

"Look, I think you should all just leave," Angel said. "We don't need you

"But, but, but-"Oz stuttered.

"Come on, Oz," Buffy glared. "Pick up Xander. We're leaving."

"But, but-" he stuttered.

"Oz!" she hissed.

The three reluctantly shuffled out of the mansion.

"Well, that was interesting,"Angel chuckled, tucking the blankets over her.

"Interesting, horrifying, same thing." Willow laughed.

"I meant it, you know, I want you to stay here with me as long as you like,"
he traced the line of her jaw with his finger.

"I would love that," she smiled, kissing his fingertips.

"Good," he kissed her forehead. "Now, watch the movie."

"You're not the boss of me," she laughed.

"I-that is, er, shoot." he pouted.

"Well, we'll take turns being the boss," she murmured, kissing him.

"Yay!" he grinned.

They drifted off to sleep watching what had to be the worst vampire movie
ever made. But they woke up happy.

At first, Willow thought it was some really good dream. She couldn't have
possibly woken up nestled against Angel's cool chest. His arms wrapped
tightly around her, hands cradling her face. She snuggled against him,
praying she wouldn't wake up before she got a chance to-

He stirred, smiling, and kissed her forehead.

"Morning." he mumbled against her skin.

"Mmmm, not a dream, thank goodness," she sighed. His kisses traveled down
the length of her nose, caressed her cheeks, worhsipped her little chin. He
slipped his down her body to pull against him by her behind.

"Not a dream." he shook his head. "How do you feel?"

"You should know," she grinned, glancing at where his hands rested.

"Well, you feel... amazing," he kissed her chin. "Heavenly," nuzzled her
throat. "Divine." his tongue traced her collarbone. "I've never been so
happy to wake up in more than 200 years. But I want to make sure you're all
better before... anything happens."

"Anything?" she asked innocently. "You mean something like this?"

Her hands traveled down the length of his torso as her tongue brushed across
his cold marble throat. He groaned.

"Or this?" she nipped at his chest, he made an interesting purring noise in
his throat. "Or maybe this?" She traced a path towards his bellybutton. He
couldn't take much more of this. He growled and rolled over her. She giggled
as he pressed the length of her body into the mattress.

"Oh, funny, tease the century-old vampire." he grumbled.

"Oh, poor baby," she cooed.

"You forget, paybacks are hell, sweeting," he grinned.

"Uh-oh," she feigned worry and prepared herself for the onslaught.

The end