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Part 5

 It was a cold, starless night in Sunnydale as Angel walked to Buffy's house.  He had found a note from her at his place requesting his presence at her home  this evening because they had to have a 'talk', which didn't sound too good  to Angel. He had been avoiding Buffy, and for that matter Willow, for a while now because of what had happened two weeks ago.  It had been two weeks since Faith had sent some lackey vampires to attack himself and Willow. Two weeks since he had held Willow close.  And she had felt so good in his arms. Her silky hair brushing against his chin. And he had kissed her. Touched her perfect, pure skin with his sinful lips.   He had only kissed her forehead and her cheek but he had wanted to kiss more.   So much more. He could just imagine how sweet her lips would taste. Angel had tried to wipe it all away. After all, he shouldn't be lusting after  Willow, she was Buffy's friend and more importantly, he LOVED Buffy.

*I LOVE Buffy* he corrected, *Not loved. *

But maybe it was 'loved', could his feelings for the slayer have died the same way Willow's sight did?  After all, he had noticed a change in Buffy. A bad one. She used to be so  much fun and so sweet. But lately she had been caught up in herself. Gushing about how she was the luckiest girl in the world to have him, not because he treated her well but because he was such a good ornament. He felt more like an object of hers lately than a 'boyfriend'.
Willow treated him like a person, not just a vampire or a thing she could own and change when she pleased. She acted like having him around was some special gift she didn't deserve. She made him feel special. Were his feelings for Buffy misplaced? Should those feelings belong to Willow now?  No, that was impossible. He was just Willow's friend. Her comforter and  supporter through this difficult time.  Still, those thoughts had disturbed him enough that he had distanced himself  from her and Buffy. Needing time to think.  He didn't know why he would be  having these feelings. He had known Willow for a very long time and had never lusted her before, and besides, he was, he guessed you could say, 'dating' Buffy. And Willow had a boyfriend, Oz.  Oz, the same son of a bitch who SHOULD be Willow's comforter and supporter but wasn't because he had given up on her and run off.
And poor Willow, so strong and trusting, believed he would come back and Angel tried to convince her of that. Convince her of something he himself didn't believe.

Still, he knew one thing. He cared for Willow and if Oz wasn't there, he would be. He slowly climbed up to Buffy's window. Making sure that he was extra quite so he did not wake up Buffy's mother. He slipped into the dark room and the lights immediately flipped on. Buffy stood by the light switch. Her arms crossed and a frown on her face.

"I got your message." Angel said as he took a seat on her bed, "You said you wanted to see me. That we needed to talk."

"Yes, we do." Buffy said, her voice tight and bitter, "I wanted to talk to you about Willow."

"Willow?" Angel asked.

"Yes. You two seem to be pretty close lately." Buffy said, her voice not hiding her obvious rage.

"What are you talking about?" Angel asked, annoyed by how she was acting. He didn't want to fight with her, but she always seemed to be picking fights with him lately.

"I saw you two. Two weeks ago, you were holding her, kissing her, and here I thought that you and I had rebuilt our relationship."

"Did you see ALL that happened those two weeks ago? Faith attacked us and Willow needed comforting, which I gave, so why are you so angry?" Angel asked, a bit pissed off at the idea of her spying on him.

"WHY were you with Willow? That's my question, when did you two become so close? Is there something I don't know?" Buffy asked.

"Is there anything you DO know?" Angel snapped backed, "Willow and I are friends, we went on a walk. You shouldn't be so paranoid."

"I'm not." Buffy pouted, "I just don't like the idea.."

Angel cut her off, "What? Of me having a life? The idea of me having friends?"

"The idea of you and Willow." She bit out, "I know a lot more than you think. I overheard Xander talking to Cordelia recently, they're going out again thanks to the oh-so wonderful Willow, and I heard him say that he thinks the two of you have something. He said that she told him you stop by sometimes and I would very much like to know why."

"How can you trust something you overheard? And more importantly, why should I tell you anything?" Angel growled.

"Because it makes sense. You've been so distant lately and you're hardly around. Probably catering to Willow's every little need when we both know she can handle herself fine. I care a lot about Willow. I love her very much and I don't think it's right for you to run around with her and give her the wrong idea or have you forgotten she has a boyfriend and you should tell me because you're my boyfriend. I'm your girlfriend and as your girlfriend I
want you to stop seeing Willow!" Buffy shouted.

"You don't own me." Angel said in a dangerously low voice, "I can do whatever ever the hell I want and be with whoever I want to be with. You can't tell me what to do."

"I just don't get you!" Buffy screamed at him, "How can you romance me one day and be off with Willow the next? What makes her so special! What makes her better than me! Is it because she's blind that.." Buffy froze, knowing she had crossed a delicate line.

"I-I didn't mean that." She whispered.

"Oh, I think you did." Angel said in a grave voice, "You're so self-centered that you can't understand why I would chose to spend time with a weak, shy, mousy blind girl like Willow over a strong, open, seeing girl like yourself.
Well, I'll tell you, She's funny, bright and a wonderful person. Not self absorbed or pushy and possessive. Her ability to see or not see doesn't matter at all to me. It's what is inside her that I find so compelling. I've been living a lie for a while now. I was so caught up in our 'forbidden love' and how right we seemed to be to notice that you've changed. You're just no longer the woman I fell in love with. You're someone else. Someone I don't
love.  I care about Willow more than you and Oz ever could or ever will. You both seem to be too concerned with yourselves to see her. Willow has managed to handle being a blind person when others, like a certain Slayer I know, would have given up all hope and probably jumped from a terrace by now. Bottom line: Willow is a stronger person than you will ever be."

Buffy lips pressed hard together as she walked over to Angel and slapped him hard across the face.

There was a thick silence.

"Leave. Get out of my house. NOW."

He looked into her icy blue eyes and knew she meant it. But he didn't care, he had made his choice, he had said it out loud and admitted it to her and himself.

Willow was a better person than Buffy to him now.

As soon as Angel reached the window Buffy called out to him, 'And don't come back. We're over, Angel. You lost the best thing you ever had. Me."

Angel climbed out of the window and walked down the street.  There was a pain in his heart, because he knew there was now truth into what he had been trying to convince himself was not real. Buffy had changed, she
was no longer the woman he loved, but someone else. Someone who was self absorbed and unloving to everything but themselves.

*I guess it was loved* he thought as he walked home, his thoughts on Willow.