The disclaimer is in the beginning of the story

Part 14

When her lungs began to flame from lack of air, Willow gently pulled away. Both sat silent for a few moments, tips of their noses almost touching, looking into each other’s eyes for acceptance. Apparently, they liked what they saw because before either had time to really process what was happening, they were sharing another tender, loving kiss. This time, it was Angel who pulled away.


Willow looked hurt that he had broken the kiss and he cringed. He hadn’t meant to hurt her. She took his signals the wrong way and began to randomly -- and almost angrily-- babble. “I know, I know. You still love Buffy, this is wrong, I’m too plain and ugly for you, I’m too young, you’re too responsible,  I have... well... no one, your a vampire, I’m a mortal...” He cut her off with another kiss. She shivered with pleasure as he ran his tongue over her teeth. When they finally separated, he responded in turn to each of the excuses she posed to him.

“ I don’t love Buffy, this is right, you’re beautiful,  you’re mature, I’m reckless. You have me, and we were meant to be together. Screw the star-crossed, angsty lover thing. I don’t think I can do that. Anyways, I’m tired of begin mature and responsible and denying what I really want. And that, my dear, would be you.”

She arched and eyebrow at him. “Really?” She was still a little wary.  <How could someone like Angel care about me??> “Then what were you going to say to me?”

He smiled. “Just wanted to tell you how much I love you...”

She smiled back. “*I* *love* *you*.” Each word was accompanied by a kiss, short and sweet and enough to leave him aching for more. “Angel?”


“Just hold me?” She wrapped her arms around his neck and entwined her fingers in his hair. Startled but pleased by her upfrontness, he quickly complied. He wrapped his arms around her waist and  held her as close as
possible, wanting more than anything for this moment to last forever.  When she shifted so she was resting on in, he couldn’t have been happier. <I’ve been alive all this time, just for this...>

Both sat together for a long time in companionable silence, holding each other tight.

Part 15

Buffy silently pushed open the door to the library and tip-toed in. “Giles?” She called out softly.

“Mmmm? Buffy?” Came the reply from the stacks. Buffy sighed. <Damn and I was hoping that he wouldn’t be here. Buffy, you should know better. He *lives* here.> “Yeah, it’s me. Could you come down for a bit? We really
need to talk.” <No backing out now...>

She had to tell him about what had happened. Correction, *almost* happened. <Thank God> She couldn’t bear the thought of him really being mad at her, but she had to let him know before it got out and he heard from somebody else. It would get out eventually, she knew that. He appeared from the stacks.

 “What about?” He murmured absently. “Did you go talk to Willow? Work everything out?”

She cringed. “Umm, sorta.”

He raised an eyebrow at her. “What to you mean, “sorta”? You either did or you didn’t, I don’t see how it could be anything in between...”

She sighed. <Boy, is he gonna be pissed!> She gestured to a chair. “That’s what I came to talk to you about. Here, sit.”

He did, trying all the while to ignore the feeling of dread creeping up his spine, and his gut feeling that this was *not* going to be a pleasant conversation.

“You see, after our, uh, *discussion*, I went to go see Angel.”

He opened his mouth to interrupt, but she cut him off with a wave of her hand. “Please don’t, Giles. This is hard enough for me already...”

He nodded and his mouth snapped shut. <Uh-oh> “So, as I was saying, I went to see Angel.” She gathered all her courage and told the story, all the while staring at the floor. She was afraid to see the look on his face...

When she finished, she looked up to gauge his overall reaction. <Mistake....> He sat at the table, cleaning his glasses repetitively.  She could tell her was mightily pissed, trying to stop from blowing up at her. He looked up at her, praying to all the Wiccan gods he knew of that he had heard wrong, that she was playing some horrible trick on him, that this was all a nightmare and he was about to wake up. Deep in his gut he knew it was the truth, and he was now threatening to explode.  “You. Did. WHAT?!”

 As he spoke he jumped from the chair he was sitting in, sending it flying across the room. It hit the wall and shattered into useless wooden shards. <Well, useless unless you’re Buffy, Vampire Slayer extrodinare...> “” Giles looked like he wasn’t sure whether to scream and yell or break down into tears.

 He did neither. “Get. Out. Of. Here. Now.” He really was *not* taking this well. Shamed that she had done what she had done, she immediately slinked out of the library, pausing only once. “Giles, I’m sorry. Please believe that I’m sorry...” and then she was gone. Giles stared at the empty space where she had just stood, and answered her. “Too little, too late.”

Part 16

Angel looked down at the girl nestled comfortably in his arms. She was relaxed, but not sleeping.

<I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s slept out for a month!!> He snickered at the thought. Willow heard him and looked up, startled. She saw the devilish glimmer in his eyes and pouted. “Are you laughing at me?”

The smile widened. “If I am?” He questioned.

Her lips curved. “Mmm... punishment. Now, were you?” A grin. No answer. “Were you?” She asked, poking him in the ribs. “Hey!” He doubled over in laughter and she giggled too. “Hey, I got me a ticklish vamp. Now.
*Were* *you* *laughing* *at* *me*?!” She carefully enunciated each word, accompanying them with pokes and jabs from her fingers. He threw up his hands in surrender.

“I give up!!! Yes, I was. I’m sorryyyyy.....” He whined pitifully. He put on his kicked puppy dog face, knowing full well no girl could resist it. Willow, apparently, wasn’t no girl. She knew exactly what he was trying to pull, and she’d be damned if she let him.

“Oh no you don’t, mister! You were laughing at me, now you can pay the price!!” Angel whimpered. “I’m sorrry.... please forgive me? Pllllleeeeeassssseeeee?” She rolled her eyes at his pathetic attempts at begging. Not yet deterred and still having fun, Angel stepped up the begging a notch. Sucking up. Tried and true method, or so he hoped.

“Wiiilllllloooowwww?” She eyed him warily. “Whhhhaaaatttt?” He flashed her a sexy smile, the one Buffy used to go ga-ga over. “Willow? Did I ever tell you...” He paused for a moment to think. “How very pretty you are?”

She again rolled her eyes. “Nice try. You’re going to have to do better than *that*!”

“ Did I ever get around to telling you how absolutly beautiful you are? How your red hair lights up your face so bright you look like an angel... *My* angel.” He was running his fingers up and down her face, very much distracting her.

“How your eyes shine so bright with innocence I’m attracted to them from miles away.... how your cheeks are sculpted so perfectly... How...”

As he rambled on and on, Willow began to fall into his trap. He knew it, too.

“How your lips are just begging to be kissed...” <Why that little!> Before she knew what was happening, Angel swooped at her, grabbing her mouth in his own. Tempting as it was to return the kiss, she summoned all her willpower and pried him off of her. He looked at her, crestfallen. A true kicked puppydog.

“No kissies?” He asked dejectedly.

“Nope. No kissies. That’s your punishment.” She wagged her fingers at him.

“*No*? No *kissies*?” He sounded as if he couldn’t quite believe it.

<Of course he can’t! He’s probably so used to having his way with women that hearing someone say no is just uncomprehendable.> She smiled to herself. <Oh, this is gonna be fun...>

“Nope!” This time her voice was more firm. Angel knew she was dead serious.

“Not even if I beg? I’m verrrrrry convincing!” He purred in her ear. She smiled slightly. <Well... this could be interesting...> “Well.... maybe...” The convincing and purring parts were definitly added bonuses. “mmm, good.”

 He was nuzzling the side of her face. <Ohh, it’s so hard to concentrate when he does that!> Silently, she cursed him. <That little stinker knows he’s getting to me!>

“Pleeasssse?” He was whispering in her ear now. “Please forgive me?” <Errr...> Still, she shook her head firmly. He blew into her ear, sending shivers down her spine. “Plllllleeeeeaaaaasssseeee?” “”

At that point, she wanted nothing more than to say yes. Still, she didn’t. She held out. She knew there would be time for ‘kissies’ later, and for right now this was the entertainment. She wasn’t gonna let him get off easy- <no, he’s gonna have to work for this!>

Angel was enjoying their little game. For one thing, it gave him a chance to tell Willow how he felt without scaring her. For another, it provided him a chance to act completly out of character without consequence. He was acting like a teenager, and he knew it. Still, it was nice. He loved being with Willow like this. And he loved seeing how
his actions affected her. <She’s so cute... trying to resist me..... not many can do that...>

He realized the ear stunt wouldn’t work and again uped his actions a notch. He continued his begging, now placing butterfly kisses up and down her jawline. “Please? I promise I’ll make it worth it..” <ohhhh....> She smiled, almost painfully, still trying to resist his charms. “Tempting as that sounds, no.”

Angel smiled. <She’s breaking...Strong as she is, she still can’t resist me.> He liked the happy feeling that spread through him with this revelation.

The smile struck Willow as being kind of odd. She was trying to figure out what it meant when it hit her, hard. <He set me up!! That creep set me up! He’s *enjoying* watching me squirm!! Here I thought *I* was in control.... he’s been using me like a puppet!!!>

Angel saw the look on her face and immediatly knew that she knew. <She figured it out.> He smiled. “So, Red, am I forgiven?”

She turned to him, eyes flaming. “You little CREEP! You set me up!”

He grinned. “Yeah, but it was fun, wasn’t it?” He was prepared for her to throw a fit. To scream and yell and turn bright red. But once again, she surprised him. Instead of throwing a fit, she lay still on the bed and answered. “Yea, I guess it was.”

“Say what?” He was completely taken by surprise.

She giggled. “I said, yea, I guess it was. I guess it was fun.”

He stared at her in shock. <Guess I’m not the only one acting out of character...> “You never cease to amaze me, Red. You know that? Not ever. I think I have you pegged and then you turn around and do something like this. It’s wonderful... and, I agree. It *was* fun.”

He rolled over so that he was pinning her to the bed beneath him. She didn’t squirm- didn’t even flinch. Angel had to give her credit- she wasn’t nearly as shy and mousy as everyone had her pegged to be. In fact, she could be pretty gutsy when she wanted to be.

 Once again they were nose-to-nose. Still, she faced him without flinching. <I love her...Spunky gal...> He leaned in to kiss her, more than a little surprised when she once again pulled away. <*Very* spunky indeed...>

He quirked his eyebrow at her. “What now, Red?” She sighed. “You put me through ALL OF THAT and you think that we can just kiss and make up?”  She sighed again. “Men...”

Angel looked at her, incredulous. “Red, don’t you remember what happened the last time you insulted my gender?” He grinned at the panic that flashed through her eyes, loving it all the more when she quickly concealed it.

<And I’m still pinned beneath him...> Willow sighed inwardly. “As I recall, mister, you’re just as if not more ticklish than I am.”

Angel would’ve flushed if he could have. Thank God that he wasn’t able to. Willow would never let him hear the end of it. Not being one to back down from a challenge, he grinned right back at her. “That’s where the fun part comes in. How’re you gonna tickle me if your too busy protection yourself?”

 Willow thought. And thought. And thought. Before he could stop her, she was jabbing him in the ribs, causing him to double over with laughter and lose his precious grip on her. “Nice of you to give me the first shot!” She yelled, just before running out the door, leaving him to recover. She raced down the hallway, cursing at herself.

<Are you stupid, Rosenberg? You don’t know this house! He does! He’ll find you in a second!!” Still, she knew she couldn’t just give up. She was *not* about to go down without a fight. So, she ran blindly down the hallways, desperatly hoping to find someplace to hide. Before she knew it she was standing in the living room, with two doors to chose from.  One lead directly back to Angel. She chose door number two, hoping it housed something good. She was relieved to find a long corridor with five doors on each side of the hall. She tried the first door on the right, but it was locked. The second and third were too, but the fourth was open. She pulled the knob and stepped inside.

*ACHOOO!* <Damn!> The room was dark, grey shadows dancing across the walls. It was also very, very dusty. Willow could make out large lumps covered in white sheets. <Furniture> She was fascinated. <What is this
place? I wonder if Angel even knows....> It was then that she heard Angel’s sing-songing voice from down the hall.

“Oh Wil-low. I’m com-ing for yo-ou.” She winced. <In a vampire/ mortal situation, it is definitly *NOT* smart to turn the vampire into the predator and the mortal into the prey...>  She sighed. She’d gotten herself into this mess, she’d get herself out of it. She looked around for someplace to hide or something to use to get away from him. Grabbing one of the sheets off something she presumed was a dresser, she hid behind a lump that resembled a bed. <Now all I have to do it wait.>

His voice came again. “I can hear your heart, Red. I can smell your blood..... I’m coming for you, and when I get you........... I’m gonna tickle you ‘till you’ll beg for mercy...”

Willow couldn’t stop the smile that spread across her face. Sure, her heart was pounding from the excitement of the chase, but it was kinda fun. Not bad at all, really. She either got away and got to brag to Angel that she had beat him, or she got caught and got to spend some quality (tickling) time with him. No, not bad at all. Of course, she had no intention on giving up. <This is one kill that ain’t gonna be easy.  I’m sooo *not* handing myself to him on a silver platter. He wants me? He’ll hafta come and get me...>

 The door creeked open and Angel stepped inside. He walked slowly, carefully, trying to pinpoint exactly where she was hidden. He turned slowly, and the moment his back was to her Willow pounced. She threw the sheet over his head and ran out the door, Angel on her heels. She raced back through the living room and finally arrived at her destination. The bathroom. She jumped in and slammed the door behind her, just barely making it out of Angel’s grasp. He was going to fast to stop short and slammed straight into the door.

Willow winced. <Poor thing...> “Sorry ‘bout that, honey...” she called out in a sugary sweet voice.

He answered in just as sweet a voice. “That’s alright. You’ll pay when I get ya...” He took a moment to grin at the thought and then continued.  “That wasn’t very smart, was it, Will. You boxed yourself in, and I can pick the lock in a matter of seconds!”

Willow nodded, looking around for the supplies she would need. She had a plan. “I’m counting on it!”

Sure, he’d catch her, but not before she got him good. She carefully made her way to the shower, all the while keeping an ear out. He was apparently trying to pick the lock, without much sucess.  She grinned. She grabbed the showerhead in one hand and the knob to turn the water on in the other, keeping a steady eye on the door. He had picked the lock.

The door was opening slowly. Apparently Angel liked to savor the kill. <I’ll give him something to savor..> Willow thought gleefully. When Angel’s face finally came into view she turned the water on full force, sending water spraying all over his face. Needless to say, he was taken by surprise. He spluttered and flailed wildly, sending Willow into fits of laughter. Unfortunatly for her, he didn’t follow the plan. Instead of running away liked she’s expected, he continued to advance forward towards her.

<Uh-oh...> She backed up a few steps. <Great, he’s boxing me in.> Behind her was the bathtub, and Angel was standing between her and the door, the only exit to the bathroom. She took another step backwards. <ooooo....> She had unintentionally stepped on a bar of soap that had fallen to the floor in the excitement. She went careening into the bathtub with a huge splash. Now it was Angel’s turn to laugh hysterically. She was wet from her head to her toes.

<Well, screw this!> She thought. <If I’m already *this* wet, I’m not gonna let him get off with anything less.> Unfortunatly, the showerhead was bouncing across the room from water pressure, sending jets everywhere. It was out of her reach.

She must have looked truely pathetic because instead of attacking her then and there, Angel instead offered her his hand. She took it gratefully. Before Angel had time to process the evil glint in her eyes, he was sitting in the tub along with her, also soaked. “Why you little!!!”

Somehow she managed to pull herself out of the tub before he could grab her and ran out of the bathroom, slipping and sliding all the way. She made it all the way into the living room before he caught up to her and
tackled her. Both went down in a heep. *OOF!*.

Once again, he had her pinned. <Damn!> She was in no way liking the evil smile spreading across his lips. “Uh-oh?” She questioned. He nodded.  “Uh-oh,” he confirmed. “Red... you’ve been a very, very bad girl. And
bad girls get a good ticking!”

Willow screeched when Angel started to tickle her. She kicked and punched and clawed, but was no match for the vampire. She laughed for what seemed like hours until she couldn’t breath. She gasped for air but none came. Angel sensed the new desperatness of her struggles and immediatly stopped, concerned. “Willow? Are you alright?” “No! I’m *not*!!!! I’m freezing cold, sopping wet, and I can’t *gasp* breathe!”  “Sorry, Will. But you gotta admit the first two are definitly not my fault!”

“Yeah, I know, I know. Still it’s fun to blame you for them! And anyways, it *is* your fault that...”

She was cut off by his mouth. <Or not...> When he broke the kiss, she spoke again. “You know, that really isn’t fair! Any time I try to reprimand you, you just kiss me! How am I supposed to put up a good arguem-” she was cut off again by his mouth covering hers. <Damn.>

Angel remained over Willow, half keeping her sopping body warm, half enjoying himself,  kissing her like there was no tomorrow. And that was the exact position they were in when Rupert Giles, one high school librarian slash Watcher, walked in.
Part 17

Giles looked down at the scene before him. Angel and Willow, tangled together on the floor, liplocked, both sopping wet. <Oh boy.> Not that the scene was any particular surprise- it was quite obvious, at least to
him, that they had mutual feelings for each other. He’d suspected for a long time- the recent scene in the library was only the tip of the iceberg. Last he knew, though, they were quite oblivious to each other’s feelings, good friends *only*.  <Apparently they figured *that* out!> He had come to talk to Angel about what had almost happened with Buffy- he was greeted with this scene. It didn’t look like they had plans to break it up any time soon, so he interrupted as tactfully as possible.


Both turned, startled. Seeing Giles, they quickly disentangled, embarrassed. Seeing as he was the one who had barged in, he decided to speak first, hopefully save them some embarrassment.

“Uh, I’m sorry about.... interrupting. Angel, I came over to talk to you...”

Angel nodded, buisness like, trying to use this as an excuse to forget about the scene Giles had walked in on. “Give me a minute?”

Giles nodded. “Of course.”

Angel turned to Willow, who was flushed to the color of a tomato. She looked at him, an almost pained expression on her face.

“What’s wrong, Willow?”

“Theshowerisstillon.” She mumbled under her breath.

Angel understood; Giles did not. “What did she say?”

“She said the shower’s still on.” When he turned to Giles and saw the mystified- but assuming- expression on his face, he immediatly cringed. “Errrr. I’ll be right back. Then we can all sit and have a nice chat, ok?”

Giles nodded. Angel quickly excused himself, leaving a very flushed Willow with a very uncomfortable Giles.

“Ummm...” She started.

“Willow, don’t. I mean, you don’t have to explain anything, OK? I apologize for bursting in on you two- I wasn’t thinking. What you guys do is your business, not mine. If it makes you feel better, I’m not judging you by what I saw or what I think, okay? This isn’t so terrible.  I’ve known for awhile about you guys..”

She looked at him, completely mystified. “How could you have known about us for awhile? *WE* haven’t known about us for awhile.”

He smiled. “It was only a matter of time until you two figured it out. The way you two looked at each other, so obviously cared for each other... You guys are good for each other. You bring out a side of him that never surfaces- same the other way around. I want you guys to be happy. You’re happy, then I’m happy.”

Willow looked at him, tears forming in her eyes. “You’re wonderful, Giles. I would give you a hug but-” she looked down at her sopping clothes- “I don’t think that it would be much appreciated at this point.”

Giles smiled. “That’s alright, I’ll take a raincheck. Congratulations, Willow.” He added softly, delighting in the bright smile that overtook her face. He loved her like a daughter and was telling the truth when he said that he was happy for them.

It was then that Angel walked in, a bit startled by the obvious change in the demeanor of both. Willow looked comfortable- Giles looked almost-- happy. <Odd...>

“Hey, Red, you flooded by bathroom!”

She turned pink. “I’m sorry....”

He smiled. <She’s so cute when she’s embarrassed.> “S’ok, don’t worry about it.” He held up a large black towel, which he immediatly wrapped her in. He smiled when she subconsciously cuddled up to him. He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.

He led her to the couch and made sure she was comfortable before turning to Giles. “Can I offer you anything to drink? Tea?”

“No, thank you. I’m quite fine.”

“Alright, you can here.” He gestured to a fluffy armchair that Giles immediatly sunk into.

When Giles was properly seated, Angel cleared his throat to begin. “Well, you see-”

“Angel. You really don’t need to--”

“Actually, we kinda do. It wasn’t as bad as you might think.”

Giles nodded.

“Well, it all decided when *Willow* decided to insult the entire male species--”

“Ex-cuse me! I *think* it all started when *you* laughed and then provoked me!”

The playful accusations were tossed back and forth for a few minutes, leaving Giles completely clueless- trying quite unsuccesfully to follow what the heck they were actually trying to tell him.

Giles cleared his throat, successfully interrupting their playful banter. Both turned to him, once again flushed.

“Sorry, Giles.”


“That’s alright. Though I can’t follow what you are trying to tell me--”

“Well, here’s the short version,” Angel said, “Someone provoked someone, which led to Willow- er- tickling me. Which led to me chasing her around the house. Which led to me cornering her in the bathroom, where she
tried to get even with me by spraying me. Unfortunately for her, she fell into the tub, and then, unfortunately for me, she dragged me with her. She got out- I followed- and here we are.”

Giles nodded. It definitely wasn’t as bad as he had expected. “Ok, then. Now that we got that cleared up..”

Angel nodded. “Yes, you came to talk to me about something. What about?”

Giles’s glance flickered over to Willow briefly, and Angel understood. “Willow, why don’t you go take a shower? This way you can wash all that dust off. Then when we’re done talking we’ll sit down and have dinner.”

She nodded, understanding the hint. She quickly excused herself and headed for the bathroom, shivering all the way.

Giles turned to Angel. “Something happened last night that you should know about.”

A wry smile crept across Angel’s face. <I don’t believe it, she actually told him.> “And would that be Buffy coming this close to staking me? ‘Cause I already know about that...”

Giles almost choked. “You *knew* about that?”

The smile grew. “Yea, I knew. I was awake. She didn’t know that of course. And so I just let it play out. She did the right thing. It was hard for her, but she did. You should be proud of her, Giles.”

Giles shook his head. “I can’t believe her behavior, and I apologize for it. It was absolutely unacceptable. Had she actually staked you, I would’ve killed her myself.”

“-But she didn’t, Giles. She wanted to, but she couldn’t- wouldn’t- go through with it. You raised her well, Giles.”

He again shook his head. “Had I raised her well she wouldn’t have cheated with Xander, she wouldn’t have spoken to Willow the way she did, she wouldn’t have tried to stake you. Her behavior is HIGHLY reprimandable, and I can assure you that she *will* be reprimanded.”

“Don’t worry about it, Giles. It’s something that’s going to have to play out on it’s own. I will *not* give Willow up because Buffy is jealous. Just as she would never give Xander up. It’s as simple as that.  I would, however, like to thank you for coming here to tell me- it really means a lot to me. Also, thank you for not mentioning this in
front of Willow. I don’t know if she would forgive Buffy- I don’t know if she would forgive me for not stopping her.”

Giles nodded. “Of course.”

“And, if you wouldn’t mind, maybe we could just keep this between us? I’d really rather Buffy not know I was awake.”

Giles nodded again. “Of course, again, I’m quite sorry.”

“Nothing to be sorry about. So, what were you and Willow talking about when I walked in?”

Giles smiled.

Part 18

Willow stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around herself. It was only after she finished drying herself off that she realized something.

<Shit! I don't have anything to wear!> Angel had done something with her dress, but she had no idea where it was and the last thing she wanted to do was to streak through the house practically naked. *Especially* with
Giles there. The sweats she had been previously wearing were still sopping wet.

<Great..> She thought sarcastically. <I can either go out there in a towel and ask Angel for clothes or I can go through his drawers.> It wasn’t exactly a hard decision. She crept into his bedroom and went to the dresser. Try as she might, she couldn’t remember where he had grabbed the clothes for her from before. She sucked in a deep breath, closed her eyes, and pulled open the first drawer her hand touched.

“EEEEEKKK!” She was staring down at a drawer full of black silk boxers. Apparently, she shrieked loud enough to be heard in the living room, because Angel came running in, worried. And what a sight he was greeted
with- Willow, wrapped in a towel that barely covered what it was supposed to, staring into his boxer drawer. He broke into a wide smile.  “Willow, if you wanted to see my boxers, you could’ve just told me!”  Willow flushed dark red. “Uh...” Then realizing just how low the towel was sitting on her, she quickly grabbed it and held it up. The scene was hysterical.

“Red, what are you doing looking through my boxers?” If it was possible, she grew even redder. “I-- I didn’t have any clothes, and I didn’t want to come out in just the towel, soo...”

The laughter was now threatning to errupt. “Here.” He opened a drawer and pulled out another pair of sweatpants, then he opened another drawer for the shirt. She was still bright red. “You can go change in the
bathroom.” She grabbed the clothes and ran out, embarrassed. Angel smirked. He didn’t understand it, but the whole scene was just loveably adorable. *She* was just adorable. And he did so love her..... He shook his head, still smiling, and went back to Giles, who had no idea why he had run out so suddenly.

“What happened, Angel?”

“Willow just had a little problem, is all. No big deal.”

Giles smiled. “Oh, good, I was worried.”

Angel grinned. “Nothing to be worried about. Would you like dinner?”

“Actually, that sounds quite good. I’m famished, I haven’t eaten since lunchtime.”

“Wonderful. If you’ll just excuse me, I’ll go make us something. Willow will be out in a few minutes.”

“Of course. Thank you for being so hospitable, Angel.”

“Thanks for being such a good friend, Rupert.”

Giles smiled. “You’re welcome.”

An Hour Later

“Well, thanks for coming!”

“Yes, thank you, Rupert.”

Giles nodded. “Of course. I’ll be seeing you in a few days, then? Just remember, Willow has school tomorrow and all of next week. I don’t think it’d hurt for her to miss a few more days, but don’t let her get to far behind, all right?”

“Of course, I’ll make sure she keeps up with her studies.”

“Great. I’ll be seeing you then.”

“See you!”

“Good-bye, and good-night!”

Giles walked out into the muggy night, feeling considerably better than he had all day.


Willow had done a good job of pretending that nothing was wrong when Giles was there, but as soon as he left everything came flooding back to her. <Oh God, what does he think! I was looking through his underwear!!>

Angel knew exactly what she was thinking about. As much as it amused him, he knew how uncomfortable she was and he wanted to clear it up immediatly. He wrapped her in a giant hug and kissed her lips lightly.  “Willow, don’t brood. You’re too pretty to brood. I understand, let it go, alright?”

She smiled and snuggled up to him. “Thank you for understanding Angel.  Thank you for being so wonderful about it.”

“Would you expect anything else?” The question was a joke, but Willow answered anyways.

“I guess, in all fairness, I really shouldn’t have.”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too. I love you so much...”
Part 19

“No!” Willow shook her head stubbornly. “I will NOT!”

Luckily for him, Angel had quite a few years of experience in dealing with stubborn women. “YES, you *will!* Right now, as a matter of fact! Don’t give me any more trouble, Willow. You know perfectly well that I’m going to win.”

Willow pouted. “I don’t wannnnnna go to bed!” She whined pitifully.

Angel was firm. Someone had to take a stand on this. “Willow, you have to. You need your beauty sleep.”

 She made some more whining noises. “You can’t make me!” She chewed nervously on her lower lip, knowing full well her could, and most likely would.

“I want you to go to bed. You can go voluntarily or otherwise. Your choice, Red.”

“But...eep!” She was interrupted when Angel’s  hands slid under her and lifted her up. She struggled pointlessly in an attempt to get him to put her down. Not that she really *wanted* for him to put her down...

He walked into the bedroom and dumped her unceremoniously onto the bed.

She immediately moved to sit up but was pinned down as Angel’s arms encircled her. “Hey!”

She wiggled, fidgeted, and squirmed, giving Angel a very hard time.

“You- aren’t- going... *anywhere*!” <Boy, she sure is strong! But I’m--- stronger..>

She stopped wriggling, taking him by surprise. His grip on her loosened a bit. Before he knew what was happening, she shot up and raced from the room. His eyes narrowed and his lips thinned. He rolled off the bed and chased after her.

She was fast, but he was determined. He caught up with her at the end of the hall and scooped her back into his arms. Again she struggled, but this time he was especially cautious to keep her legs immobile and her arms pinned behind her back.

“That wasn’t very nice, kitten..”

“Bite me! I’m *not* going to bed!”

He growled softly under his breath. “Come on.. don’t be unreasonable!”

“Hmmpph.” Again he deposited her on the bed and again she struggled. Not wanting to provide her with an escape route again, he immediately draped his body over hers. She let out a surprised squeak.

“What are you *doing?!*”

“Forcing you to hold still. Goodnight, Willow.”

She tried her level best to squirm out from under him, but it wasn’t easy. Of course he wasn’t resting all of his weight on her, but it was enough to keep her immobile. <Drat...> Gradually, the struggling began to wear on her and she felt her eyes drooping.


Willow’s heart rate calmed and her breathing became more relaxed. Angel slid off her gently, being careful not to disturb her. He left the room and shut the door softly.


Willow watched from the doorway as Angel sat still on the couch, staring into the fire. He had sent-- no, forced- her to bed almost an hour ago. She’d been close to falling asleep when the absence of the comfort of his body woke her. She tried to relax, but she found she couldn’t.  Finally, she gave up and went to search for Angel. So she stood in the doorway, completely still and silent, just watching.

He knew that she was there, and he knew that she was watching him. He didn’t move but instead sat still and let her watch. The last few days had gone by in blur. They had just recently found their love for each other, but he felt more comfortable with her than he had with anyone in all of his life. <It’s like she completes me...> Soon growing tired of knowing she was there but not being able to be close to her, he called to her. “Willow, since you are already being disobedient... if you are going to watch me, wouldn’t you rather do it close-up?” He didn’t turn
but still faced the fire. In his mind he could see her blushing crimson from being caught.

She was blushing deep red. <Damn, he’s good at that. I guess I’ll never be able to watch him without him knowing it!> She rounded the couch and sat down next to him, curling up into a ball and resting her head on his chest. He pulled a blanket from the back of the couch and spread it over her. She cuddled into it, reminding him over a kitten. He draped an arm around her shoulder, and was awarded by a contented noise. He smiled. <Now she even purrs like a kitten!> The smile grew, and was soon met with an exasperated moan.

“What’s wrong, kitten?” He snickered at his private joke.

 “Please tell me you aren’t laughing at me again! I’ve had enough excitement for the day!”

“I’m sorrrry....” He whimpered, but the grin still covered his features. He was making fun of her.

She puffed her lip out. “Do you want me to wipe that smirk off your face, mister?”

His eyebrow arched suggestively. “Please, do try it!”

“Oooohhh.... you!”

“Oooohhh.... me! Is right. You never could’ve gotten away from me, you know. Never could’ve won, not against a vampire!”

“Excuse me! As I recall, I managed to avoid you for quite some time! I even managed to get you soaking wet, so the way I see it I *did* win.”

“Might I remind you that I caught you?”

“Please. You know good and well that I won, you just can’t admit it!”

“Red, I beat you in the chase, I could beat you in anything else you could think up in that little brain of yours!”

Her eyebrow arched. “That sounds like a challenge.”

His face twisted. “If it was?”

“Then we have a contest. I’ll make it up, winner.. well, winner claims the title.”

“How come you get to make it up? How do I know that it’ll be fair?”

Her lips quirked. “I thought you could beat me in *anything*?”

He was defeated, and he knew it. “Well.. I guess.”

“Good. But let’s make it a little more exciting. The winner not only get to be *the winner*, they get to dare the loser to do anything. And the loser has to do it. How does that sounds?”

<Notgoodnotgoodnotgood..> But his male ego was on the line, so of course he had to accept. “Sure. Are you sure it can be anything, though?” At the look on her face, he amended his statement. “-- ‘Cause I’m not sure
if you’ll want to do the dare that I come up with!”

“Uh-huh, suuuuurrrrreee. If you win, I’ll do anything you can come up with. Of course.... since that isn’t going to happen...” She smiled at him, innocently and sweetly.

“We’ll see. So, when is this gonna happen?”

“Whenever I think of the perfect contest. In the next few days, I guess.”

He gave her a suspicious look. <This should be interesting...>