It was made in a way like BtVS and AtS ended at the same time and Angel got back in his old office.
Sunnydale is shattered to million pieces. Town with only one Starbucks shop will never serve another deamon again. Buffy looked back to it with many memories, both good and bad. Mostly bad ones that magicly got covered with good ones. Who knows, maybe Willow had her fingers in that too, but that's another story that shouldn't be touched. Good old Scooby Gang after the disappearance of their beloved town sat in yellow school bus and headed to L.A. Xander wasn't a big fan oft hat idea, but Buffy thought that their old friends can help them. Willow also thought it would be fun to catch up with all of them, while Giles was on Xander's side. Dawn really didn't cared about anything, she just wanted to sleep. Faith, Wood, Andrew and the rest of the Slayers got out of the bus near San Francisco, where they got on a plane and headed to Clevland. Willow didn't wanted to talk about Kennedy leaving, but they all knew she was having a rough time, losing another important person in her life. She was quietly sitting in her seat on the end of the bus, looking trough the dusty window. She had no regrets. Well maybe one or two, but she tried to kill those regrets with happy memories and good things she had done trough the years. In front of here, there was Xander, with his head on the window, pretending that he's sleeping. Unlike Willow, he had many regrets, but the first one that came to his mind was Anya. No, his regret was not meeting her and loving her. His regret was letting her die. His regret was leaving her in that place, alone. He blamed himself. Because he didn't had anymore strenght to blame others. He will never forget touch of her hand, or her cute sarcastic answers. Or her shiny eyes that could lighten up his day, even if it was covered with grey clouds. He didn't knew what will he miss the most about her, but he knew he's going to miss her. She still didn't found her place in the world, or got to figure out the beauty of life. He knew he's never going to see her again, but then again, in that crazy world of his he couldn't be sure about that. Dawn, who was sitting few seats in front of him, every now and then got up and poked him in the shoulder to make sure he's sleeping. He wasn't, he was awake, but he didn't reacted at all. He wasn't in a mood to talk with anyone. Giles was driving the bus, living on Red Bull. He got a full bag on a gass station where they stopped to buy some chips and gass, about half an hour ago, and already there were 4 empty cans around him. Buffy was in a seat behind driver's seat, thinking about what are they going to do when they come to L.A. She knew going there was here idea, but she started to having doubts about it. She didn't knew what's she going to find there, and once again, she was scared, but didn't wanted to show it. She just wanted to create a good life for her and her friends. She wanted Dawn to finish school. She wanted to find a normal job, nice apartment and just lay back in her sofa and watch reruns of Friends. She thought that new city will mean new begining, but she figured out that going to L.A is just like holding to something she knew. Something that reminds her of home and past. Every few minutes, this crazy idea rushed in her head, she wanted to tell Giles to turn around and that they're going to Clevland, but something was holding her back. She didn't wanted to go to L.A but in the same time the desire to go there was so big she couldn't fight it.
- „ Buffy, what's up?“
She raised her head and saw Willow standing above her. She had kind of worried face, but her little half smile was visible around her lips.
- „Nothing, everything's fine.“
She lied to her, but in the same time she tried to convice herself that everything is really fine.
- „You don't have to lie to me. I know when something is wrong.“
She sat on the seat next to her and waited for the answer. Buffy looked at her and concluded that there is no reason to lie to her best friend.
- „ Will, I don't know if this is such a good idea.“
- „Going to L.A.“
- „But, it was your idea.“
- „I know, but.. wouldn't it be the best for us to start somewhere else. Were we don't know anyone, and where no one knows us and..“
Willow stoped her in the middle of sentence. She looked at her with her „Willow“ look and did that thing with her mouth she usually does when she doesn't agree with her.
- „You can't run. We can't run. And we can't hide. We can't be scared anymore. That's not you. You fight, you don't run away from danger. You look her straight in the eyes and poke her. Everything is going to be just fine.“
Buffy smiled to her, and this time Willow smiled back with big wide smile.
- „We're here.“
They heard Giles from the driver's seat. He had another sip of Red Bull. They all stood up and looked outside the window. There was a big bord for turning in L.A. Dawn smiled when she thought about all the malls. Xander just sighed and got back on his seat. Willow looked at Buffy. She was smiling. She wasn't nervous anymore, and all the doubts went away. She knew, this is the place that's waiting for her.
The best part of L.A was the sun. Sometimes, Buffy craved for little rain or snow, but she loved sun. She always thought that's because she hates the night. When the night comes, when the sun goes away, her ordinary life stops and vampires enter in the part of her life she never asked for, but started to love. She felt safe, because she knew she can always protect herself and people she loves. But L.A changed so much from the last time she was there. The last time she was there, she had a fight with Angel. She said some things she regreted moment after. To be honest, she regreted it even before she said them. Sometimes she hated that side of her, which was so harsh. She hated herself for building that wall so he or anyone else can't hurt her again. But those words were said, and she can't take them back, no matter how hard she tries.
- „Well do you two know where we are? I was never here, you two were!“ – Giles shouted in his british accent that was always close to Buffy's heart. Giles made sam bad decission in this past few weeks, but Buffy couldn't stay mad at him for long. She never said „I forgive you“ to him, but in her heart, she forgave him. She knew he did some things because he thought they're the best thing to do. She did the same many times, and he forgave her.
- „I don't remember this building being here. Or this one. I'm not sure we're in L.A“ – Buffy said looking around her in disbelief.
- „I think you have to make a turn right here.“ – Willow pointed her finger to the right.
Giles noded his head and made a turn to the right.
- „Oh, now I remember.“ – Buffy said with a light smile on her face. Dawn rolled her eyes and looked at Xander who was serious.
- „Hey you!“ – she shouted throwing empty can of coke at him.
- „What?“ – he answered angry when can fell in his lap.
- „Why are you serious?“
- „Ah. Some things are just bugging me.“
- „Wanna talk?“ – Dawn sat next to him.
She looked to the floor, then back to him with her sad puppy eyes but he wasn't looking at her anymore. She made an angry face and the area around her eyes got wrinkeled.
- „Uh. Here!“ – Buffy pointed her finger to the building on their right.
Giles parked the school bus on the empty spot near the building and opened the door. Dawn jumped first from it because she was wishing for fresh air for hours. Others followed her. But Willow was the first one who went to the doors and pulled the handle. Buffy heard a crack in her chest, like she swallowed glass ball and now it broke in her chest. She never knew that she can experience so much pain because of a door handle. The room was empty, and Willow was kind of disappointed. She wanted to see a surprise on their faces. But there's always time for that.
- „They're not home. We can go now.“ – Xander said walking towards the door.
- „It's middle of the day. Of course they're home. He's probably sleeping.“ – Willow said watching Xander leaving.
- „Well then let's go to his room.“
- „Right.“ – Buffy started walking in the direction of Angel's room.
- „Wait, how do you know where his room is?“ – Xander asked, with a little half smile on his face.
- „Well, I was there.“
- „I'm afraid you forgot to mention that missy.“ – Xander laughed a little when he saw her face blushing.
- „Chill Xand. I cought him there with.. Faith. You know how's that.. get cought with Faith?“ – Buffy smiled back to him. He became serious, and Buffy felt like she won that little battle.
Buffy started walking and the rest of the gang followed her.
They entered Angel's apartment, with Buffy leading them. It was just like she remembered it, like nothing was moved for years. She asked herself is that because Angel doesn't like the change, or maybe he's afraid of it. Sometimes, she was just like that, change was the scariest thing in her life, because change never brought anything good.
She saw him sitting in his chair, reading some book. She saw him from the back, and was nervous. Now she's playing I'm-gonna-surprise-you role, not him. Years passed, and they both changed so much. She haven't sat and talked with him for years, but had a feeling like he never left. That feeling she feels around her heart when see's him will never go away. She wasn't sure does she want it to go away. But she was sure for one thing, she doesn't want to forget. Never.
He suddendly lift his head up, and without turning around he said – „Buffy?“
He felt her. He felt her presence. He smelled her from far away, and that's the smell he'll never forget. He closed his book and left it on the coffe table next to his chair and stood up.
- „We did it.“ – Buffy said looking at him, not knowing what to say.
- „Did what?“
- „We stopped the evil.“
- „Well I haven't doubt you for a minute.“
Buffy smiled to him.
- „But, what are you doing here. I mean, don't think I'm not glad.“
- „We didn't knew where else to go.. Sunnydale is gone.“
- „How do you mean gone?“
- „There's this big hole where it used to be. Not a pretty sight.“ – Willow interupted them.
- „Oh.. well that's bad. And you're welcome to stay as long as you want.“
- „Thank you.“
- „Others just went out to grab some food, they'll be back in a minute.“
- „Great. I can't wait to see that little ex girlfriend of mine.“ – Xander smiled.
- „Actually, Cordelia is not here.“ – Angel said that with sad voice. Buffy instantly knew there's something wrong.
- „Oh, where is she?“ – Willow asked not feeling what Buffy felt. Buffy kicked her with her elbow because she was afraid of the answer.
- „I don't know how to say this.. but she's gone.“
- „Gone.. you mean dead?“ – Giles finally interfered.
Angel noded his head.
- „Oh my God.“ – Giles said taking his glasses of. There was an empty look in Xander's eye.
- „How did it happen?“ – Buffy asked to break the silence.
- „It's a long story. I don't feel comfortable talking about that now. Why don't you sit down.“
The gang went downstairs and sat on the chairs. The place felt so familiar to Buffy, even she didn't spent much time there. The time she felt wasn't pleasant, and yet she felt like she had the time of her life there. Maybe she was just tired, and her head was full of thoughts. Maybe tomorrow will be better day. Shiny, new day. Maybe tomorrow, she'll see or hear something she'll never forget.
The day was sunny, as it was usually in L.A. Giles is constantly sitting by the computer, waiting video call from Faith. She promised to call when they come to Clevland, to tell him how's like there. Any new monsters, maybe. The sight of that was pretty funny, only because few years ago Giles was cursing at that big stupid box. Xander and Willow took Dawn out, she was really excited about going to shopping mall, she really didn't cared which one. Buffy was still sleepy, but because of all the thoughts she really couldn't sleep that much, so she was going around Angel's apartment, just looking around. She saw Angel sitting by the kitchen table, polishing some sword she knew nothing about. When he saw her standing by the door he put the sword down on the table and stood up.
- „So, you have a son?“ – Buffy asked to break the silence.
- „How's that even possible? I mean, don't think I'm not glad, but I thought you can't have kids.“
- „That makes two of us. Look, that's a really long story.“
- „Wow. You have a lot of long stories in your life.“ – when she figured out that sounded a bit harsh, she looked at him like she was looking for forgivnes. He saw that, and didn't reacted dramatically.
- „I guess I do.“
- „And Cordelia was one of them?“
Angel gasped, because Cordelia was the subject he didn't wanted to talk about because that talk would bring so many memories and feelings. But since Buffy was the one asking the question, he found the courage to answer her question.
- „Yes. She was.“
- „Did you loved her?“
- „Did you loved Spike?“
They both looked at each other, and they both didn't knew what to say. Angel figured out how that question was very wrong, because Spike was alive, and Buffy didn't know anything about that. He went back to Europe with Illyria, and Angel felt it wasn't his place telling Buffy about Spike being alive. He knew that Spike's going to do it one day, when he's ready. No need to ruin the surprise.
- „I cared about him. He became a big part of my life, he became my friend. I learned how to trust him and, I guess, with some time, I could love him. I felt something for him, but it's hard to say if that was that kind of love he wanted it to be.“ – Buffy first spoke, and she did it with the tears in her eyes. She remembered Spike, how he proved her he can become something, that he can become a person, a champion. She cleared the tears that started to accumulate in her eyes. Angel saw Buffy was honest with him, so he felt he has to be honest with her.
- „She changed. A lot. She wasn't this person you knew back in the days, she grew up. And she grew up int his wonderful being. She was a true friend and a big support. I cared about her, and in a way I loved her. And like you said, with time, that could grow in something bigger. But time wasn't given to us.“
- „Isn't that funny. How there's not enough time. God, back then I thought I have the time on the palm of my hand, like I can control it. And it slipped away when I wasn't looking. Now, it's like it's gone, it doesn't even exist. Like we live in a space with no time, everything is still, nothing is happening. I could never give up time, because now I see how precious it is.“
- „Why don't you sit down?“ – Angel asked her when he didn't knew what else to say.
- „Sure.“ – she pulled out the chair next to him and sat. He sat too.
- „Angel, I'm so afraid.“ – tears came to her eyes again.
- „Afraid of what?“
- „I'm afraid because I don't have anywhere to go. For this first time in my life, I feel powerless. Like there's nothing I can do. Like I can't help. I can't win. I don't know what's going to happen. I have to find a job. And Dawn has to finish school. But I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to act in the real world. For all this years I've been living in the world that for the most people doesn't even exist. Now that world is far away from me too, but the problem is, that is the world I know. That is the world I can handle. I don't have a home anymore. None of us do..“
- „Buffy, I told you, you are welcome here. You can stay as long as you want, all of you. And don't worry, here in L.A we have plenty of bad guys, your world is not gone.“
- „I missed that.“
- „You laughing.“
- „Yeah, I missed it to.“
They looked at each other, and Buffy's cheeks started to blush again. She didn't knew what's happening to her, she never acted that way. Maybe because, for this first time, she felt like a normal girl. Like a normal girl who saw her first love again, and all the memories came back to her. And the past was so close to her, she could hear her knocking on the door. She felt like Angel never left, like he was with her forever. He saw her blushing, and he remembered her blushing many years ago when they first met. She knew to blush around him, but after some time she stopped. He kinda missed that. Touching her red cheeks, cheeks so warm that he could feel his fingers melting. Like she swalloved a fire, and now it's burning inside of her. He saw her few days ago, telling her he's going to fight with her, shoulder to shoulder. Then it was so easy, and now they're acting like kids in love. Or not? Maybe that's the point. In some fields of our life, we never grow up. Or we grow up just enough, in the way that we can understand things, but also can ignore them because we don't like them. We never truly grow up, we just convince ourselves that we do, only because we want to. Our looks change, and our personality changes, we can drive and we can work. We call ourselves adults, but we're not. Because the truth is we don't want to grow up, but nature told us we have to. So we keep that child in us, we keep him deep inside, and after few years, that child learns how to control us. And when we found ourselves in situations that are connected with our inner child, we let him out in the open, because that child knows how to handle that situation. We don't.
- „You know, our dreams fade. Back int he days, my biggest wish is that you become a human. I fantasized abou it for like..“
- „…million times.“ – Angel interrupted her.
- „How do you know that?“
- „You told me.“
- „No I didn't. I haven't told anyone. Not even Willow, I was hardly telling myself that because I knew it's never going to happen.“
- „What if I say to you it did?“
- „What are you talking about?“
- „Buffy, what's your biggest wish?“
- „I want world gives us our time back.“
- „Angel, don't change the subject! This is not about what I wish, this is about what happened. And why I don't remember it!“ – Buffy was screaming her lungs out.
- „I'll tell you, I promise, I'll tell you everything, just calm down.“
- „Fine!“ – she shouts and sits on the chair she was sitting before.
- „And I want everything. Every little detail. From the beginning till the end.“
- „It.. it all started when you came to my office. You were mad because I haven't conntacted you when I came back to Sunnydale..“
- „Yeah, that part I remember. And then that demon thingy with rock in his head came trough the window. You killed him. What am I missing?“
- „Well, in the original scenario, that didn't happened. Demon, Mohra demon.. I didn't killed him. He escaped and we went looking for it. Down, in the sewers. You went up, in the day and I stayed down. I found him, and we got into a fight. I killed him, but his blood mixed with mine.. and I came alive. I went to Doyle..“
- „Oh, and where's Doyle?“
- „He's dead..“
- „Oh. I'm sorry.. keep on.“ – Buffy said with tears rolling down her cheeks.
- „Doyle and me went to Oracles..“
- „And they are?“
- „They are servants for The Powers That Be. A male and a female, they're higher beings who guide warrios of good.“
- „So, they said to me I'll live my life as a human, that I'm free. I'll live and die. Then I found you, on the beach. We came to my apartment and we talked, about what are we going to do next, and how we should take things slow. But one thing led to another, our hands colided and then we..“
- „Made love?“
- „Couple of times.“
- „Oh God..“ – Buffy cover her mouth with her hand.
- „And then?“ – she asked.
- „Doyle came to me, he had a vision. Mohra demon, he regenerated itself, he was still alive, so I went after him. But I didn't had my vampire strenght anymore, and I couldn't fight you. You showed up, and we killed him for good. Then, I went to Oracles again, without you knowing..“
- „Yeah, I figured that out..“
- „Buffy, that was the right thing to do.“
- „And you didn't cared enough to tell me? You thought I can't make a mature decission?“
- „It wasn't like that..“
- „Just continue.“ – Buffy interrupted him in the middle of the sentence.
- „They told me you'll die..“
- „Good I have my knight in shining armor.“
Angel looked at her.
- „I asked them to take my life.. to make me a demon again. So, they took back our time. They took back 24 hours.“
- „And why do you remember that and I don't?“
- „That was the price. Only I will remember what happened. I had to stop Mohra demon, and you saw me killing him. One second, I was holding you in my arms, and the other, I found myself 24 hours back int he past.“
- „God.. Angel.. do you really take me for granted? Why haven't you told me about this before? So we can deal with it together. How could you take that away from us? Were that 24 hours with me so awful you wanted to delete them?“
- „Buffy, your life was in question. My life.. without me fighting evil, you're all alone. You would die. And others.. people's life were in question.“
- „And what about us? What about our lives? What about our happines?“
- „We can't be selfish! We have to be brave ones! That's our destiny, that's our life. Other's will always be more important, because we're the only ones who can protect them.“
- „You can't make people happy if you're not happy.“
- „No, but you can save them. You can save their life.“
- „Then I guess I wasn't worth saving.“
- „No! I sacraficed so much. My friends, my family, they were in danger every single day. And I had to protect them. And I was just a girl, but I had to save the world. I had to kill you. I thought making love to you will be the most beautiful moment of my life, and I ended up killing you. People will die. We can't save them all. But people we save count. We can't save everyone, but we can save ourselves. Don't you think we deserve that? You wanted to pay off all the bad things you did, you wanted to save people. You saved thousands of people, but now, you have to think about yourself. We'll always be the ones who'll fix everything, who'll save people, but we also have to take care of ourselves..“
- „You said you understand..“
- „When I asked Oracles to turn back time, I told you. You were devestated, just like you're now, but you said you understand.“
- „I do! God help me, I do! But you don't have to protect me anymore. I can handle the truth. I need the truth. I understand, probably I would do the same. Probably. God I hope I never find myself in that situation, but you never told me, you're the one who had memories..“
- „You're forgeting that I am the one who never forgot. I never forgot. I had to live all this years remembering how it was like, and it's like it never happened. I saw you in the sun. I kissed your lips in the sun. I still can smell your skin from that day, and I remember how I felt. Trust me Buffy, memories would only hurt you. Knowing what I know, and live with it. Those memories are beautiful, but so heartbreaking at the same time because I ask myself everyday did I do the right thing? What would happen now if I stayed human? Would you be here? Would I? I wanted to give you..“
- „A normal life? You keep saying that, and like I said to you years ago, I'll never have a normal life. Bad guys keep on coming, and there's more of them and they're stronger everyday. With or without you in my life it's hard. And my life is not normal. I made my peace with that. But I can't make peace with this. I just can't. On one hand I understand, but on the other.. I don't see how you could do that.. I need to.. I need to go.“
Buffy ran upstairs and Angel knew he can't follow her because it's day. Truth hurts, but it's still absolute. Nothing can replace the truth, not even the most prettiest lie. Even when the truth is something that can hurt us the most, we have to belive in it. Because one day, truth will save us. When we accept it.^
Buffy was wondering out in the L.A. For the first time, she wished there is no sun. She felt bad seeing it there, in it's more precious and beautiful form. The only thing she wanted is to sleep, but with all this light around her, that was impossible. And the night is so far away. She sat on the bench near the beach and remembered how Angel told here this is where he kissed her. In the daylight. She felt mad and betrayed and like her head is going to fall from her neck, but in the same time she was glad it happened, even if she doesn't remember it. To be honest, it gave her some kind of hope. But she was mad because she can't remember it, she can't remember how she felt, and what was she thinking. Was she thinking at all? She wasn't mad because Angel did what he did because she knew that was the right thing to do. You can't let people die only because two people wants to live happily ever after. But just knowing about all the stuff they could've had was heartbreking, and in one moment she was sad Angel told her about that, but in the other, she was glad. But she also knew she has to clear that up with him, like a normal and mature person. She should know how to talk with him like that. That was the whole point, that's why he left. To give her a normal life, so she can grow up , so she can become something more then school girl in love. She got up from the bench and decided that she'll go to Angel, and talk, just talk. With no screaming, no poking, just nice mature talk.
She came back to Angel's apartment and saw him sitting in the chair, in the same position as she left him. It looked like he didn't moved a muscle. He figured out she's standing there and looked at her. She had this serious face, but he could see her half smile coming up. Her eyes were still full of tears and her cheeks were red. She went downstairs and pulled the chair. She sat and put her hand on Angel's. He looked at her surprised.
- „I understand.“
- „Because I trust you. You did the right thing. I could never deny that. To protect people, that's not our job, it's our life. It's what we're destined to do. You know that sometimes I know to react roughly, mostly when you are in question. But, we grew up, both of us, we can deal with this.“
Angel was still looking at her, surprised how much she grew up. He never doubted her, he belived she'll change for the better, that she'll grow up, but he never imagined how much she'll change.
- „I'm glad to hear that. Really I am. And just look in what wonderful person you grew up to be.“
Buffy lookes at him with a look he haven't seen in a while. She gently squeezes his hand for a second, then puts it on his face. She leans a little and kisses him on the lips.
- „No. I'm not making a decission. This is not just for a moment. Think about it, all the slayers are activated. Who knows how many of them are out there. Thousands. Millions.“
She was talking while kissing his neck.
- „We're safe now. I know bad guys will never go away, but we're not alone. We don't have to work by ourselves. We can be happy. We can be together..“
Angel closed his eyes and lived for a moment.
- „We could never be together. Not really. Something bad could happen again.“
- „Well, I was thinking. I haven't had a lot of time, but what if you can become a human again? If you want.“
Buffy kept kissing his neck, then went higher and higher until she touched his lips.
- „Well, there are more Mohra demons, right? And maybe some spells.. we could find a way.“
Buffy sat on his lap and looked at his eyes.
- „Angel, I'm not preasureing you, but I was thinking, what if one day we decide to be together, forever. When we feel it's time. Not today, but maybe 3 years, maybe 7 years from now. What if we wish that. I'm tired of thinking what could happen, and I'm tired of thinking some things are impossible. If this life teached me anything it's that nothing is impossible. I want to know what you wish for, and I want to find a way to make that happen.“
Buffy pushes her fingers trough her hair.
- „I don't know Buffy. That sounds great, but what if we never get ready?“
- „That's why I don't want to think. I want to belive.“
- „Then, I guess, if I ever feel ready, I could do that. I could make that sacrafice.. for us.“
He looked at her and saw her smiling. She leaned back and kissed him on the lips. She felt like she felt many years ago.. just better.
Sometimes, it's not that bad to grow up. Sometimes we need to grow up. We need to change and figure out stuff. We are just people, or we just try to be. Some of us want to be more. But when you love someone, and that someone loves you, you know you left something behind you. There's no bigger gift then love. Love needs sacrafice. Love needs truth. Love just exists, next to happines, to make our life better. To make the world a better place. Nothing is impossible, everything can happen. Reality is questionable, and we don't know what's out there until we start looking. But the most imortant thing is to keep our memories close to our heart. Because one day, even the most saddest memory we have will make us smile. When we learn how to accept it. Memories feed us, because we love to hold to the past. But there comes time when we have to move on, and memories are the one that helps up to push the past away. When we take love, happines and all the other things that makes us a better people and put them away, I guess the most important thing is to never regret something that made us smile. The most important thing is to never forget.