Gift From The Past

Chapter Seventeen

Cordelia glances into the windows of April Fools as she passes. She is so glad Buffy did not want go there to shop. She stops outside Modelleís before pushing open the door. Buffy and Willow glance up at the sound of the bell.

Buffy: You made it.

Cordelia: Did you think I wouldnít?

Buffy: No, I guess Iím just nervous. There is so little time.

Willow: It will be fine. We will find the perfect dress.

Buffy: Dresses. We all need dresses.

Willow: You said you had an idea for the men.

Buffy: Uh huh. I found a shirt I love but there is a problem.

Cordelia: What?

Buffy: It only comes in Black and White. Let me show you.

She pulls a piece of folded paper from her purse.

Willow: Oh I like it.

Cordelia: Not bad. Well you just get it in black of course.

Buffy: But we already decided he would wear a white shirt and black pants and the guys would wear colored ones.

Mrs. Knight (shop owner): Do you want the shirts to match the ladiesí dresses?

Buffy: I would but that would take too long.

Mrs. Knight: Not really. You just buy all the shirts and dresses in white and then have them dyed.

Buffy: Do you think we have the time?

Mrs. Knight: I think you do.

She takes the picture and looks at it.

Mrs. Knight: Order the shirts today and as soon as they come in, bring them in and I will have them and the dresses dyed to what ever color you chose. I can have them done in just a couple of days.

Buffy: But we donít even know what dresses.

Mrs. Knight: I know dear but that is why you are here.

Buffy: Oh yeah.

Mrs. Knight: Now in looking at your choice for the men I understand the look you are going for. A casual style with a hint of history.

Buffy: I guess.

Mrs. Knight: Am I wrong?

Buffy: No. I am just not sure what I want. I think that is the problem.

Mrs. Knight: Well let me show you something. It is very casual but I think it has that same period feel.

Cordelia begins to look through the racks as the shop clerk goes to the far wall.

Willow: Buffy, do you have any idea what you want?

Buffy: White.

Cordelia: You think you should?

Buffy: Why not?

Cordelia: Well you know, with your coloring. It wellÖ

She pauses at Buffy and Willowís looks.

Cordelia: Well if you want to be all washed out then I wonít stop you.

Willow: I think you look wonderful in white.

Mrs. Knight: Here we go.

She holds up the dress.

Mrs. Knight: Now this can be worn off the shoulders or not.

The dress has a full skirt and a ruffle along the neckline with short poofed sleeves.

Mrs. Knight: It is very reminiscent of the peasant dress.

Cordelia: Reminds me of a gypsy outfit I wore to a costume party once.

Mrs. McKnight: Yes, yes, a gypsy princess.

Buffy shakes her head

Mrs. McKnight: You donít want to try it on?

Buffy: No.

Mrs. McKnight: You sure?

Buffy: Way sure.

She turns and begins to go through the racks. The clerk returns the dress. Willow moves next to Buffy.

Willow: She had no way of knowing.

Buffy giggles.

Buffy: I know but could you imagine Angelís face?

Willow: Uh huh

Buffy: Not a big turn on either.

Willow: Is Buffy having lusty feelings?

Buffy: When does Buffy not have lusty feelings?

Willow: He still wants to wait?

Buffy: Oh yeah.

Cordelia: How about this?

She holds up a cream colored white satin shift dress with a square neckline. Buffy shakes her head. Cordelia shakes hers back.

Willow: How about a suit?

She holds up a two piece linen suit with satin lapels.

Buffy: No. I want something more flowy and longer guys.

Cordelia: But does not look like a traditional wedding dress?

Buffy: Exactly.

Willow: And does not look like a gypsy girl.

Buffy: Exactly.

Cordelia: I am not sure such a creature exist.

Buffy: I will know it when I see it.

Mrs. Knight holds up a white confection of tulle and satin.

Buffy: Uh too fru fru.

Mrs. Knight: Okay.

Willow: Fru fru? Is that even a word?

Buffy: She knew what I meÖÖ.

Buffy stops mid sentence as she stares at the rack.

Willow: You okay?

Buffy: Oh yeah.

She pulls out a white dress and holds it up.

Willow: That is so pretty.

Cordelia: Not bad.

Mrs. Knight: Would you like to try it on dear?

Buffy nods and follows her to the dressing room. Moments later she stands in front of her friends and the three way mirror moving around.

Mrs. Knight: It is a perfect fit. I donít see any alterations needed.

Willow: Buffy?

Buffy: You like it?

Willow: I do.

Buffy: Cordelia?

Cordelia: Itís nice.

Willow: What do you think?

Buffy: I love it. But can you call mom?

Willow: Of course.

Mrs. Knight shows her the phone and she calls the gallery. Buffy is still preening in front of the mirror when Joyce enters the shop a few minutes later.

Buffy: Mom?

Joyce: You look so pretty.

Buffy: I know it is not what you always imagined.

Joyce: No but it suits you.

Buffy hugs her mom.

Buffy: Well I better change.

Joyce: Have you found bridesmaid dresses?

Buffy: Not yet.

Mrs. Knight: Can I make a suggestion dears?

Buffy stops and turns toward her.

Mrs. Knight: Well you could do the same dress in the colors like the menís shirts.

Joyce: The same dress?

Mrs. Knight: It is just an idea.

Joyce: Buffy?

Buffy: What colors?

Mrs. Knight: It is up to you. We can dye them when we do the shirts.

Buffy: Could we?

Mrs. Knight: Unless you want a different style.

Buffy: Willow?

Willow: It is your day.

Buffy: Cordy?

Cordy: Can I have purple? I look so good in purple.

Buffy: Dark purple.

Cordy: Sure.

Joyce: I think Willow would look wonderful in a dark green.

Buffy: Me too. Wills?

Willow: Whatever you think? I like green.

Mrs. Knight: With the white, it will be like diamonds, emeralds, and amethsyt.

Willow: Oh that is perfect. Diamonds represent strength, reconciliation, healing and protection. Emeralds are for love, money, health and psychic powers. And Amethyst are used to promote peace and healing.

Buffy: Really? I like that.

Mrs. Knight: Well, letís see if we can find these ladies sizes and you need to order the shirts.

Joyce: Well I need to get back to the gallery. I left Carol all alone.

Buffy hugs her mom and rushes back to the dressing room.

 

Late afternoon

Buffy opens the front door of the house and glances into the living room. Seeing no one around she moves up the stairs and to her room. She smiles at the large male sprawled on the bed reading. He lays the book down and smiles back.

Angel: Hey.

Buffy: Hey yourself.

She leans over and kisses him before laying down with her head on his chest. He begins to gently rub her back.

Angel: How did it go?

Buffy: Mission accomplished.

Angel: So you wonít be naked?

Buffy: Well not during the service. Now afterwards is another story.

Angel: Afterwards can wait. So you found dresses?

Buffy: Yep and I ordered the shirts too.

Angel: White or black?

Buffy: All white but we are going to dye two to match Willow and Cordelia dresses.

Angel: Good idea.

Buffy: Uh huh. Amethyst and Emerald.

Angel: I like that.

Buffy: Good.

She yawns.

Angel: Here. Let me turn out the light.

He reaches over and flips off the lamp and the room becomes immersed in darkness. Angel kisses the top of her head and continues to rub her back. He closes his eyes and listens to her breathing. In only moments, she is asleep.

 

Later

He is still watching her sleep when he hears the front door open. He gently maneuvers himself free and places her on the pillow. Angel covers her before he heads down the stairs. He finds Joyce in the kitchen.

Angel: Hello Joyce.

Joyce: Oh you startled me.

Angel: Sorry.

Joyce: You just move so quietly.

Angel: Buffy calls it stealthy.

Joyce: Have you heard from her?

Angel: She is upstairs sleeping. She seems to tire easily.

Joyce: Perfectly normal.

Angel: It is?

Joyce: Oh yeah. Her body is going through a lot of changes.

Angel: So she will be tired a lot.

Joyce: She might be.

Angel: I will remember that.

Joyce: I know you will.

Buffy: You will what?

Joyce: Take good care of you.

Buffy: He always has.

Joyce: So what do you want for dinner?

Buffy: Something light. I had a big lunch.

Joyce: Did you girls get everything picked out?

Buffy: Almost. Just have to order a cake and flowers.

Angel: Want my help?

Buffy: Of course. The cake is no biggy but I have no idea what kind of flowers.

Joyce: Well your colors are purple and green. How about orchids or maybe irises.

Buffy: I donít know. I want something simpler.

Joyce: Like what?

Buffy: I Ďm not sure. I guess I need to go talk to a florist.

She turns to Angel.

Buffy: You have any suggestions?

Angel: I am partial to heather.

Buffy: It is purple.

Angel: Actually it is lavender.

Buffy: I wish there were green flowers.

Joyce: There is a green flower they use in bouquets but I am not sure the name.

Angel: Bells of Ireland.

Buffy looks at him and smiles.

Buffy: Okay I am putting you in charge of the flowers.

Angel: You are?

Buffy: Yes. I will order the cake tomorrow. You order the flowers.

Joyce: And I already ordered the deli trays you wanted.

Buffy: Perfect. Now all we have to do is wait for the shirts and make sure everything is dyed.

Angel: And classes.

Buffy: Oh yeah, canít forget those.

Angel: Well I think I better head back to LA so you can focus on school.

Joyce: How did you get out of classes today?

Buffy: I only had two, so I talked to the professors and found out what I was going to miss.

Angel: And tomorrow?

Buffy: I have four classes and actually I need to finish a few assignments.

Angel: Well why donít I drive you back to the dorm after you eat and then head back to LA.

Buffy: I guess. Will you be back this weekend?

Angel: I will try.

Buffy: But if evil needs defeating you canít.

Angel: Buffy.

Buffy: I know. But I like when you are here.

Angel: And I like being here.

Joyce: Here ya go sweety.

She sets a salad and milk in front of Buffy. And then sets a tall glass in front of Angel. He looks up in shock.

Joyce: Hey, we all have to make adjustments.

Angel: Thanks.

Joyce sits down on another stool to eat.

Buffy: Mom have you heard from dad yet?

Joyce: No sweety, his secretary says he is still in Japan. She promised to give him the message.

Buffy: Japan? You sure? Cause when I called, she said he was in France?

Joyce: She did?

Buffy: Uh huh. Cause I was wondering if he could understand it any better than I could.

Joyce: Well I will try again in a few days.

Buffy: Well I left a message at the condo in case he does not check in the office first.

Joyce: Good idea.

 

Friday night.

Well it is actually closer to morning as Angel trudges through the sewers. Yellow slime drips from his ax, his sleeve, and his hair. He shakes his head sending globs against the walls before climbing up the ladder into his lair. He mentally chuckles as he remembers Doyle calling it a bat cave. He props the ax against the wall before shrugging off his long black coat. He wonders if the cleaners can remove Glugar blood as he strips and steps into the shower.

Soon the hot water cascades over his aching body. He closes his eyes and pushes the memories of his latest case from his mind and wonders if he can stay awake until it is late enough to call Buffy. He has to hear her voice. He has to know she understands why he didnít make it. And why he canít be there tonight either. He frowns as he works the shampoo through his filthy hair.

Angel canít stand disappointing her and well himself for that matter. It will take an apocalypse to keep him in LA next weekend.

Angel: Next weekend.

He sighs and smiles as he begins to fantasize what is to come. He has never allowed himself to hope for anything and suddenly he has everything he could ever imagine. As he continues to think about the wedding and the baby, he steps from the shower and dries off. He looks down at his uncontrollable reaction to thoughts of Buffy.

Angel: This is going to be a long week.

He strides from the bathroom to the kitchen and fixes a large glass of blood. The cool air of the apartment flows over his nude skin as he waits for the timer to sound. He begins to reminisce about various cases and push cravings for Buffy from his brain and other parts of his body. As he downs the last of the glass, he glances at the clock and picks up a book. It is still too early to call her and maybe a little reading will help fill the time. He shuts off the lights in the kitchen and walks in the dark toward his bedroom.

He pauses as he approaches the doorway. He can hear the soft murmur of a heartbeat. He picks a sword from the wall as he moves closer. His hand reaches out and flips on the bedroom light. A small lump is in the middle of his bed. He smiles as he sees two green eyes peering at him from the mass of bedding.

Buffy stares at his muscular torso. He canít move for a moment as his tired brain processes her sudden presence.

Buffy: Hi.

Angel: Buffy, how did you get here.

Broken from his momentary stupor he reaches over and retrieves a pair of pants from off a chair. He steps into them quickly and turns back to her.

Buffy: Mom, drove me up. After Cordy called and said you had a case, she volunteered to bring me.

She climbs from the covers and moves toward him.

Buffy: She will be back on Sunday.

She looks into his face.

Buffy: I hope it is okay.

He wraps her in his arms.

Angel: It is more than okay. It is perfect.

Buffy runs her fingers over his chest.

Buffy: Do you often parade around in your birthday suit?

Angel: Sometimes.

Buffy: Were you heading to bed?

Angel: I was going to try and read until I could call you.

Buffy: Well you donít have to call now. You want to go to sleep?

He nods and she kisses his cheek before moving back to the bed.

Angel: I need to change.

He moves to his packed bag and pulls out his pajama pants. He walks toward the bathroom.

Buffy: Angel?

Angel: Yes.

Buffy: Do you usually sleep in the nude?

He turns back and smiles at her.

Angel: Yes.

Buffy: Oh