"Dammit Willow," Buffy
said angrily, "where could they have gone? I mean, Xander and I kiss.
I finally tell him I like him as more than a friend, and he flakes out
and disappears on me. Then you and Oz brake up cause he
wants to go on the road and have groupies, and he disappears. And Angel…, well Angel always disappears.
<Buffy stops herself
from telling Willow what Angel had revealed to her. It had been several
years since she and Angel had broken up for good. She kept hoping
Angel would move on, and he finally had. He had fallen head
over heals for Willow. The two of them had spent a lot of time together. At first it was really hard for Buffy to be around Angel and he needed a friend. Willow was there for him and she brought him out of his shell. She actually made the brooding vampire happy.>
"Well," Willow started, breaking Buffy out of her thoughts, "maybe the boys needed some time to themselves. I mean, it's not like they'd go partying or anything without us."
Meanwhile, across town… the boys were doing just that.
Angel walked into the country-western bar. <Since this is on the outskirts of town, I won't run into anyone I know> Angel walks up to the bar and orders a double shot of SoCo. The bartender can tell he's drunk already, but figures he can handle a few more.
"It's good to have someone who can hold their alcohol in here. Those two over there, they've hardly been drinkin' for 3 hours, but they're already blabbering like high school students.
Angel looks in the
direction the bartended motioned to and saw two people who were high schoolers
when he met them. Angel downed his first shot and ordered 3 more.
He walked to the end of the bar and sat down next to the
taller of the two.
"Well, well, if it isn't the slayers little follower and the friendly neighborhood werewolf. What brings you two all the way out here?"
"Music of pain," Xander mumbles. Oz just nods. Then Xander realizes who spoke. "Dead-Boy! What are you doing here?"
"Drinking, getting drunk, then drinking some more. But I am not nearly as drunk as you two are. So, want to tell me what's going on. Why aren't you with Buffy and Willow?"
"No!" The two guys said in unison, actually slurring in unison.
"Okay then. Since you two obviously can't drive, why don't I see you home." <I'll just finish getting drunk there> Angel thought as he downed his shot and the ones he had bought for Xander and Ox.
Willow jerked awake to the sound of her ringing phone. Although she was tempted to ignore it, this was the Hellmouth and that probably wasn't such a good idea.
"Willow, you awake?"
"No Oz, I'm still asleep. Yeah I'm awake. What's up? Is there evil brewing?"
"No, you won't believe this, but I'm hanging out with Xander at Angel's. We're drunk."
Willow could tell by the sound of his voice, as well as the fact that he called her at 3 AM.
"No, really? Okay, two questions: why are you guys drunk without Buffy and me, and why are you two hanging out with Angel? Xander would never just hang out with Angel?"
"Xand and I were hanging out at a bar and Angel showed up. Walked us home, but we decided to come back here and get more drunk."
"It was not a bar…it was a country western bar," Xander shouted from the background.
"Okay, so why call me?"
"I just wanted to say how sorry I am that I hurt you and that I'll always love you, but it isn't fair to have you waiting around for me while I'm on tour."
"It's okay Oz. I think it's time we both moved on. Thanks for everything. Be careful okay, make sure you are all secured on the full moon."
"No problem Wills. Xander wants to talk to you and I need to go pass out now. Bye-bye."
"Bye Oz," Willow said laughing. <Oz must be really drunk to talk that much. >
Xander picks up the phone, only slightly slurring his words.
"Willow my girl," Xander shouts, "what's up? Why are you on Angel's phone?"
"Umm…Oz called me."
"Oh right, I told him I wanted to talk to you. How sweet of him to call you for me."
Willows laughed, "He's nice like that."
"Yep. The werewolf is cool like that. Anyway, have you talked to Buffy lately?"
"You mean the girl you bailed on after she kissed you? Yeah, I talked to her today. By the way, WHY THE HELL DID YOU RUN OUT ON HER?" Willow yelled into the phone causing Xander to drop his. "Do you have any idea how that hurt her. And then you go out and get drunk. What were you thinking?"
"I didn't know how to react. I've been crazy about her for so long, I didn't know what to do. Willow," Xander started, finally sounding more sober, "I am scared. I want to be with her, but I don't want to get hurt. Or hurt her. Do you want to know what my first thought was? Well, after the 'oh my God, Buffy's kissing me' thought? I thought about you. What would this do to our friendship? And I know that if Buffy and I got together it would mean you and I never would. I guess I just needed some time to think. Plus, there is the whole Slayer thing. I don't know what I would do if Buffy died. Or if I died. She doesn't need to worry about that. "
"Xander," Willow interrupted,
knowing he could go on for hours. <When it comes down to it, he
could babble as much as she could>. "About you and me, we're
just friends and you know it. What happened before doesn't
change that. We needed to get together, no matter how briefly to get it out of our system. And I would be nothing but happy if you and Buffy got together. All I want is to see you happy. I got over you a while ago
Xander. Don't use me as excuse to hide from Buffy. You need to talk to her. Call her. Give her a chance. You have always been in love with her, and you have to let her love you. But Xander."
"Yeah Will," Xander responded quietly.
"Wait until tomorrow to call her, she needs her sleep."
"Okay Willow. So, you and Oz broke up? Why didn't you tell me?"
Before Willow could respond she heard a voice in the background.
"Dammit Xander, it's my turn!"
"Shut up Deadboy. I am not done talking to my best friend yet!"
Willow could hear arguing in the background, but couldn't make out what they were saying. Why was Angel so determined to talk to her?
<That could be interesting…Angel drunk. This could really be funny. I wish Buffy were here to see this. >
"Willow! My bud. How are you? We didn't wake you up, did we?" Angel asked, sounding only slightly more sober than Oz and Xander.
"Angel, I'm fine. And of course you guys woke me up. Only vampires and drunk guys are awake at this ungodly time of the night. But it's okay. You guys are entertainment enough to keep me awake."
"As long as you're not mad at us, it's okay. I was quite surprised, but I had fun with them. I ran into them at this country bar…"
"COUNTRY-WESTERN BAR" Xander and Oz shouted in the background.
bar. Anyway, I'm going in the other room now. They're way too loud.
They were getting really drunk so I agreed to take them home. Mind
you, I was a little intoxicated myself, but they didn't
want to go home, so we came over here and drank some more. Then Ox and Xander decided to call you, so we did and…"
"Angel," Willow interrupted, trying really hard not to laugh. "Oh goddess, you're babbling." Then she really started laughing.
"Babbling? I am not babbling. I don't babble… Okay, I'm babbling. But so what, " Angel was starting to sound defensive, "I'm drunk. Drunken people do that. Besides, you babble all the time, even when you're sober."
Willow could hear the 'so there' in his voice. "True, but I'm Willow. I do that. You're the big, bad, brooding vampire."
"Not that brooding anymore." The drunk rambling left his voice. "And that's thank to you Willow. That's kind of what I wanted to talk to you about. I've never properly thanked you for restoring my soul. It wasn't until much later that I realized it was you that did that. And then, you accepted me back and trusted me again when everyone else couldn't do it. Even Buffy didn't trust me completely. You always stood up for me. You were my friend. I didn't realize how much of a friend you were until Buffy and I broke up and I realized I might never see you again. You were the only one I could talk to. You listened about my experiences in hell. Actually, you forced me to discus that time. And that helped me more than you can ever know, or I can ever express to you."
"Angel, you didn't have to tell me all this. I know how you feel."
"No you don't. Not really. And I did have to tell you. I waited too long to tell you. But that's not all…" Angel started to talk really fast, as if forcing himself to say the next part. "I know it's too soon, but if I don't say it now, I probably never will. Since you and Oz broke up, I would like a chance, when you're ready, to see if we could be more that friends. If you want to that is. Or not. It's up to you. I just wanted you to know how I feel. I think I'm falling in love with you. I know you could never feel the same, but I…"
said softly knowing he would go on all night, "right now I need some time
on my own. But in a few weeks, if you still want to, if you asked
me out I wouldn't say no. But right now, you're drunk and you have
of my best friends over there who are even more drunk. I think you guys need to go to bed, you 3 are going to regret this tomorrow."
"Sure Willow. Good night. And thanks for listening, and everything else. And I know I'm drunk, but I do love you. If you let yourself admit it, I think you love me too."
Willow hung up the phone. <Did she love Angel? She was closer to him than she was to anyone now, even Xander. Oh well, I'll worry about that later. Now, back to sleep…country western bar hmm? That's why she kept she kept hearing Angel singing "Boot, Scoot, and Boogie" while she was talking to Xander.>
Willow fell asleep
with visions of dozens of Angel clones line dancing.