A Grounded State
DISCLAIMER: Don’t own nothing and right now, thank heavens.
Buffy walks into Willow’s room and watches as she quietly meditated. Willow slowly opens her eyes and looks up into her passive face.
Buffy: I didn’t want to disturb you.
Willow: You didn’t, come on in.
Buffy moves forward and sits on the edge of the bed.
Willow: I am doing better.
Buffy: I know.
Willow: But you’re not.
Buffy: Not really. I am glad I am here and I am glad you are here too.
Willow: But there is something still not right?
Buffy bites her lip and nods.
Willow: You want to tell me?
Buffy nods but remains silent.
Willow reaches out and touches her arm. Buffy looks down at the soft touch.
Willow: Buffy, I will help if I can. You know I will.
Buffy: I don’t think anyone can. Not really. It has been too long and too much has happened. We can’t go back there.
Willow: Back where?
Buffy: He keeps coming back to me. Little things just bring him to me. Willow, why can I not stop loving him? When will the pain really ever end.
Buffy shakes her head violently. Willow understands and pulls her into an embrace as the tears begin flowing.
Willow: Oh Buffy. I..I…I.
Buffy pulls back and looks into her face trying to compose herself.
Buffy: I try to forget. I try to I swear. Then something happens. Someone or something reminds me.
Willow: And this time?
Buffy: There were the ghosts in the school basement but that I was able to push away.
Willow: Okay but there was something more?
Buffy flashes in memory of Spike at the church.
Buffy: I can’t say.
Willow: But you are hurting again?
Buffy: Yes, but I will learn to cope. I always do. I just needed someone to listen.
She gets up and heads for the door.
Willow: I am a good listener.
She walks out and Willow sits staring at the empty doorway.
Willow: But I am a better friend.
She grabs the phone and dials.
Willow: Xander, I need your help.
Later that same day.
Buffy and Dawn walk in the back door to find Willow and Xander standing in the living room.
Buffy: What’s up guys?
She glances from one to the other.
Willow: You and I are going on a trip.
Willow: Xander has agreed to stay with Dawn. I have packed your bag.
Buffy: And can I ask where we are going?
Willow: LA, now lets go.
Dawn: LA? Why?
Willow: Buffy and I need to see an old friend.
Buffy starts shaking her head.
Buffy: No way. I‘m not going.
Willow: Oh yes you are.
Buffy: I can’t.
Xander: You have to. Even I know it.
Willow: Don’t argue with us.
Dawn: Go on Buffy. They are right.
Willow grabs her arm and leads her toward the car. She opens the passenger door and Buffy numbly climbs in.
Dawn: Buffy, have a good time.
Buffy: This is a mistake.
Willow: No it‘s not.
Willow climbs in the driver’s side and pulls out of the driveway. Buffy stares out the side window as the town and then the farmland flash by her. Panic creeps into her slowly.
Willow: Buffy, you have to do this.
Buffy: I know. I think I have always known I would.
Willow pulls the car up in front of the hotel and turns of the ignition. She turns and looks at her best friend.
Willow: We are here.
Buffy: It’s big. Bigger than I imagined.
Willow: You ready?
Willow: But you are going to do it anyway?
They each climb out and move toward the door. Buffy stops a few feet away.
Buffy: Do I look okay?
Willow: You look beautiful……….as always.
Willow pushes open the door and beckons her to walk in. Buffy steps through the threshold and stares up at the high ceiling and then down into the large quiet lobby. Willow steps past her and walks down the stairs onto the tile floor.
Fred step out of the office and smiles.
Fred: Hi, can I help you.
Willow: We are looking for Angel. Is he here?
Fred: Do you need help? Cause that is what we do here. Help people.
Willow: No, we are okay, we just need to see Angel.
Buffy: He is here.
Willow: He is?
Buffy: I can feel him.
Willow: Oh yeah right.
Gunn walks in from the back.
Gunn: Hey aren’t you that friend of Angel’s? The one that was here last year. The one who…….
Willow: Yes, that was me.
Gunn: You are not here to bring more bad news. She is not, she is not dead again?
Buffy: No, I am not dead.
Gunn’s eyes flash up to the petite blonde standing back in shadows. He takes in her stature and powerful presence.
Gunn walks forward and holds out his hand. She cautiously takes it.
Gunn: I have heard a lot about you.
Buffy: You have? From who?
Gunn: Angel, Cordy, Wesley.
Buffy: Well, anything Cordy says is a lie.
Gunn: I don’t know. She said a lot of pretty nice things.
Buffy head suddenly jerks up toward the balcony. Her eyes looked into the brown eyes and she feels as if her heart and lungs suddenly forgot how to function. Willow follows her gaze up toward Angel.
Willow: Hi Angel.
Angel continues to stare down into the pools of green consuming him. Gunn turns and waves his large hand in front of her face causing her to look down at him.
Gunn: You okay?
He feels a hand on his shoulder and looks back into Angel’s face right beside him.
Angel: Is there a problem?
Willow: We came to talk to you.
Angel turns to the read-head.
Willow: Can we talk in quiet?
Angel looks toward the office but then nods at the stairs. Willow walks up, followed by Buffy and then Angel. Gunn and Fred watch the odd processional.
Fred: He still loves her.
Gunn: I think it is mutual.
Angel opens the door to his suite and they enter. Buffy and Willow glance around the room taking in the furnishings and décor.
Angel: Please sit down.
They both sit down on the sofa and Angel lowers himself into the large leather chair. He slowly looks from one female to the other. As his eyes rest on Buffy, he feels a slow boiling of his blood begin. After a few long moments of complete silence he opens his mouth and rapidly shuts it again.
Willow: I know you were not expecting us but I think it is time we stopped this madness.
Buffy jerks her head toward Willow and Angel sits up straighter.
Buffy: Hold on.
Willow: No Buffy. It is time the two of you quit this insanity.
Buffy: I agreed to come here and talk to Angel. I never said we were insane.
Willow: Well you are and today I ends.
She turns sharply toward Angel and glares at him.
Willow: Do you still love Buffy?
Both Buffy and Angel’s mouths drop open for a mere second.
Buffy: Willow, please.
Willow: Buffy, let me do this. Angel?
Angel looks down at the floor and then over to the box of Cordy’s pictures he was going through on his kitchen table. Buffy takes in his lack of confirmation and a small noise escapes her throat. He darts his eyes back at her and looks deep into her eyes as if to bore into her very soul. She skirms and looks away only to look back. He takes an unneeded gulp of air.
Angel: Yes, I love her. That will never change.
He looks back at Willow.
Angel: But that is not enough. It will never be enough.
Willow: Why not? Cause you say so?
Angel: No, cause she deserves more. She deserves a real man.
Buffy: You are a real man.
Angel sighs and looks back at her with pain in his brown eyes.
Angel: No I am not. I can not give you what a real man can.
Buffy: But you can give me what I really want.
Buffy: No Angel. I tried the normal guy. Well guess what, a normal guy can not handle it. Yes, he can make love to me and yes he can take me on picnics in the sun and someday he could even give me children. But what he can’t give me is unconditional love. Total acceptance of my calling. And someone I can count on when I feel totally overwhelmed. That is what you gave me. That is what I need. I need a man who is my equal. Someone who can stand beside me and not behind me.
Angel: Nothing has changed.
Buffy: Good cause I loved the way we were. You and me. Loving and fighting side by side.
Willow watches in wonder as her friend grabs on to her future with both hands and is determined to not let it get away.
Buffy: So before you go all sacrifice guy, I will tell you something else. I love you. I have tried to stop but I can’t. I have tried the normal guy. I have even tried the souless demon but at not time did I stop loving you and only you.
Angel’s face registers anger at the new admission.
Buffy: But you know what even they knew where my heart was.
Angel is able to croak out one word.
Buffy: What? Oh, who was I with? Does it really matter? What matters is I love you and only you and without you I am less than me. You need to accept it cause I am not leaving until you do.
She sits back and crosses her arms defiantly. Angel and Willow look at her with a mixture of shock and pride.
Willow: I think she spoke her case rather nicely. So you going to stop being a real jack ass and kiss the girl.
Willow: No more buts damn it.
She stands up and grabs Buffy’s arm hauling her to her feet. She shoves her in front of Angel and looks down at him.
Willow: Who is more stubborn? My money is on Buffy.
Angel keeps staring up at the blonde planted in front of him. He looks down at her feet and then slowly back up. As his eyes land on her sensual mouth she lightly moistens her lips with the tip of her tiny pink tongue. His total resolve caves and he jerks her into his lap. His mouth presses down and then consumes hers. Her lips part and his tongue accepts the silent invitation. Willow slips quietly out of the room as they become lost in the all the feel of ach other.
The kiss deepens and his hand runs down her back and clasp tightly on her ass. He pulls her in close. She can feel his obvious erection pressed against her hip. She runs her fingers into his thick locks as she lets herself become lost in the feelings. After what feels like seconds and hours at the same time, they part. Buffy’s breathing comes in sharp intakes. His fingers gently stroke her neck.
Angel: I am sorry. I should not have…
Buffy places her fingertips over his lips.
She leans in and gently brushes her lips over his.
Buffy: No. You are not going to try and wriggle out of this. I came here for you and I intend on having you.
Before he can protest she captures his mouth again. The kiss is soft, sweet and loving, unlike the prior overpowering lust filled kiss. As their lips and tongues slide and tango in a dance of rediscovery, they are unaware of Willow’s return until she softly coughs.
They pull back and glance at her just inside the door.
Willow: Sorry to intrude but I forgot to do something earlier.
Willow steps forward and touches Angel’s shoulder.
Willow: Buffy please stand up a second.
Buffy slowly rises and looks more confused. Willow closes her eyes and takes short shallow breaths. Angel feels a strong energy flow from her hand and into his body. His eyes widen is sudden fear as a heat permeates his being. He fights a urge to struggle free and then is consumed with a feeling of euphoria. Willow raises her hand from his body and his head collapses back against the chair and his eyes close.
Buffy: What did you do to him? Is he okay?
Willow: He is fine. I just used my uber powers for good.
She smiles and turns to leave. Angel opens his eyes and watches her go.
Buffy: You okay?
He slowly nods.
Buffy: What did she do?
Angel: I am not sure but I have an idea.
Angel: My soul, I think she grounded it.
Buffy: Huh? She did what?
Angel: I think she grounded my soul to my body.
Buffy: Made it…..made it permanent?
He nods. She looks at him and then runs out the door. She looks over the railing at Willow talking to Fred. She yells down to her.
Buffy: Did it work? Is it permanent?
Willow looks up and nods. Buffy stands staring at her smiles. She suddenly feels two arms grab her from behind and lift her off her feet. Cool lips brush her ear.
Angel: (whispering) Want to stay out here or go back in my room?
She giggles and tilts her head back and his lips reclaim hers. He turns and carries her back to his room. He kicks the door closed behind them and sets her on the floor. She turns around and wraps her hands around his neck.
Angel: Slow down a second.
Buffy: You don’t want…….
Angel: Oh I want but we have to know where we are going.
Buffy: I am thinking big bed I can see through that door over there.
Angel: I mean beyond that.
Buffy: I thought I pretty much made that clear earlier.
Angel: I know. No normal guy but is there really a place for me in your life?
Buffy: Your place has always been there just waiting for you. Always, remember.
Angel: I remember.
Buffy: I know you have work here, but I need you too.
She closes her eyes and then looks back into his warm brown ones.
Buffy: I need to live again. And I am only really truly alive when I have you with me.
He nods in understanding before scooping her up into his arms and carrying her to the bedroom. He lowers her amongst the linens and reaches down to remove her shoes. Then he sits down and slips his own boot off before laying beside her. As he leans into to her lips, her hands tussle with the his numerous buttons before yanking the shirt open. Buttons fly across the room in various directions and the fabric slide away. She pushes it down his shoulders. Soon they are in a race to remove every barrier of clothing hindering their exploration.
His lips and tongue runs trails over her hot flesh until he latches onto one taunt pink nipple. She arches into his face and her hand seeks out his throbbing erection. Her hand softly strokes his thick shaft as his mouth and hand pays homage to her plump white globs and their pink peaks. She moans softly at the gentle but enticing attention.
A whimper escapes her lips as his mouth abandons her breasts and moves over her flat stomach. She release his cock as he slithers down her body leaving wet kisses over her flushed skin, until he reaches the core of her desire. He presses her thighs open and begins to lathe long strokes over her dripping flesh. Her hand intermingles with his thick hair as he slips two fingers into her hot channel and draws her hard nub between his lips. Within moments she is thrashing on the bed in overwhelming pleasure.
He smiles and advances up her torso. His lips tease at hers before kissing her deep and thoroughly. A moan is escapes his throat and is trapped in her moth as she wraps her small hand around his sizable girth and guides him to her quaking entry. He pauses only mere seconds before plunging into her steamy depths. They both groan as he fills her completely. They freeze as they bask in the feeling so long denied them. Their eyes connect and their hips begin the familiar rhythm of the ages.
Their eyes never leave each other as they ride the ebb and flow of sensations. All too soon he fills the familiar tingle in his groin and he slips his hand down and fondles her clit to bring her climbing with him. She spreads her legs wider and he sinks deeper and immediately crashes over the precipice. She feels the deep throbbing in her loins and it sends her spiraling into her second orgasm. He collapse across her chest and his tongue laps at her salty skin. Her fingers trail over his back in gently swirls.
Angel lifts slightly and kisses her lips before rolling them both over. As her body blanket his, he closes his eyes and sighs.
Buffy: Ready to come back to me now?