Sunnydale Class of ’94, part 2
By Tango

Angel’s alarm sounded loudly at six AM. With his eyes still closed, he flung one arm out and hit the snooze button before burying his nose in the nape of her neck once more, pulling her closely against him. Five seconds later, his eyes opened in shock and he looked down at the rumpled form against him.

He swallowed harshly as she murmured in her sleep and wiggled closer to him. Not only had he slept, but he had slept like the dead. Propping himself up on his elbow, he looked down at her. Even in those asinine footy pajamas, she was sexy. With a sigh, he started to pull away and get ready for work before he did something he would regret.

“No, five more minutes,” she grumbled in her sleep, pulling him closer. He gritted his teeth. Surely, she was dreaming of Spike, thinking it was her boyfriend and not her nerdy high school best friend in bed with her. He eased away and got out of bed.

Twenty minutes later, after his early morning bath (he was going to have to get that damn shower fixed, pronto), he eased back into the bedroom to find his clothes. As he was struggling to see what to pull from his closet in the dark – his choice in an almost entirely black wardrobe making it exceedingly difficult – Buffy roused from sleep.

“You can turn on the light,” she said in her softly hoarse morning voice. He thanked her and crossed the room, flipping on the light and grinned as he saw that she had covered her eyes to block out the harsh light.

“Can’t you call in sick or something and hang out?” Buffy asked. “I’ll buy you a big venti mocha if you do.”

“No, I have classes and no peeking over there,” he said, but she could hear the smile in his voice.

“Fine,” Buffy shot back. “Besides, I saw all your goodies yesterday.”

“Not all of them.”

***

When Buffy finally woke for the second and final time of the day, it was nearing noon. She yawned and stretched, rolling onto her side to stare out the windows. It was the time of year when spring was beginning to slide into summer. The birds were all chirping and the trees and flowers were blooming for all they were worth. It was beautiful.

She nearly purred, snuggling into the covers, burying her face in Angel’s pillow. Just like it had been last night, the scent of him was so comforting, soothing something inside of her that she had only recently realized was broken. Buffy sighed as her thoughts took a maudlin turn.

Pushing herself out of bed, she made her way back to her room. She rolled her eyes at the thought. It really wasn’t her room. It hadn’t been her room for ten years. The home she had grown up in was now a rental. And as much as she wished otherwise, it looked like a rental. All of the walls were painted a bland, eggshell white. All of the carpeting was a muted beige. The vibrant personality that used to fill the house was gone. It had died with her mother.

As Buffy sifted through her suitcase of clothes, she thought of her mother. Joyce had died unexpectedly just weeks before graduation. Even now, that time seemed unreal. Buffy had been so lost, so adrift. All of the plans that she and her mother had made for her future were scattered. Joyce had wanted Buffy to go to college, to study music. Hank had other ideas, he had a few friends in the music industry and he thought Buffy should get an agent and try to get a record deal as soon as possible.

Buffy wasn’t sure what to think. Had her mother lived, Buffy was fairly certain that she would have gone to college. It would have been a quieter existence, lacking the wild success she earned over a decade as a pop tart. But Buffy couldn’t help thinking that maybe her life wouldn’t have felt so hollow.

Sighing, she pulled out her favorite well worn jeans and t-shirt. She knew part of the hollowness was leaving Angel like she had. He had been so angry, so hurt. She didn’t even know it was possible for him to get that mad. She could still remember the look on his face. She thought for a long time that he hated her and she didn’t have a choice but to stay away. Now all these years without him seemed wasted.

She had loved being a singer, loved her career, but as Spike so aptly pointed out, her last few albums hadn’t skyrocketed like they once would have. Even if she hadn’t had nearly as much success the last few years, she could stay in the business and punch up her deflated career. But she was already rich beyond her wildest dreams and she was tired of running the rat race.

She made coffee and wandered outside to sit on the porch. Maybe she could stay here with Angel and work on songwriting. It wasn’t like she couldn’t do that anywhere. She had been knocking around the idea of just writing for a long time now. She actually had written a dozen or so of her own songs over the years and a few of them had been hits. Smiling, she took a sip of her coffee and stood up to start her day.

***

He looked up when she started giggling. Angel rolled his eyes and set his satchel on the island in the kitchen. There wasn’t exactly a lot of options to choose from. He didn’t have much furniture. Cordelia wanted it and he thought it would be easier than fighting with her, so he escaped with a couple of bookshelves, his computer desk, a couch, and an old TV. Giles had given him a spare twin bed he had, but after two nights on that thing, Angel had stuck it in Buffy’s old room and bought himself a cheap queen size.

“What’s so funny?” he asked.

“You look so grown up,” she said, still laughing. “All respectable.” She couldn’t help raking her vision over him again. He was wearing a pair of black slacks and a gray button up shirt with a black blazer over it. Men’s casual fashions usually didn’t do much for her, but she had to admit it looked good on him.

“I’m a teacher,” he said shaking his head. “I can’t exactly wear leather pants to work like some people I know.”

“Hey,” Buffy groused. “I look good in leather.”

He smiled wolfishly at her. “I never said you didn’t.” He walked out to the living room and she followed. They flopped down on opposite ends of the couch.

“So how was school, Mr. Roarke?” She couldn’t help it, she giggled again.

He sighed, rubbing his eyes wearily. “Not bad,” he said. “I’ll be glad when the year is over. My students are almost climbing the walls. The spring air has their hormones going nuts. None of them can concentrate on anything except how good the object of their lusts look. It’s driving me insane.”

She clucked her tongue and playfully kicked him in the thigh. “You’re such a killjoy,” she said. “They’re kids. Let them have their fun. Prom, parties, dating, that’s what it’s all about. Surely you haven’t forgotten all that.”

He snorted. “Speak for yourself, partygirl,” he said. “I remember spending a lot of time in the bathroom.”

She laughed again. “You are so nasty. Stop sharing.”

***

Angel couldn’t seem to stop sharing. Every time he opened his mouth, it was like his adult body and mind had to prove he was still that pimply faced sixteen year old kid, who couldn’t get a date to save his life, hopelessly in love with his best friend. Obviously, it was nature’s way of knocking him down a notch.

That night Buffy kept him up late again chatting endlessly about the years they had missed. It seemed they never ran out of things to talk about. It was all so easy. They had slipped right back into what they were before and he was tucked firmly into the friend zone where he had always been.

Around midnight, Angel yawned and turned off the television. Buffy had been asleep for half hour and even though he was really tired himself, he stayed there for a while because Buffy’s head was resting on his shoulder. He took a deep breath. He was so very, very sad.

Especially since he had spent the last ten years reinventing himself. Sure, he had been blasé to Buffy about the changes, but the truth was, it was definitely an eye opening experience. His braces had come off shortly after Buffy left town. He got contacts (and later made it permanent with laser eye surgery) and started working out. He changed from an ugly duckling into the college stud. He went from no dates to more than he could handle.

He started over. He managed to be the school nerd and the cool guy at the same time. He left behind that geek who hid behind his two female best friends. Now, somehow, in less than forty-eight hours, he was a nerd again drooling over her every move. Cordelia would just have a field day with this one.

Sighing, he got up, making sure that Buffy didn’t fall when he moved out from under her, and scooped her into his arms. Taking the steps slowly, he carried her into her room and put her into bed. He brushed a quick kiss over her forehead before he went to his own room. He knew she was going to break his heart all over again before this was over.

***

Angel sighed in contentment, burrowing his nose against the nape of her neck. He knew what must have happened, but he didn’t want to open his eyes and do the right thing. He just wanted to hold her tighter. So he did. For five whole minutes before his alarm started blaring next to his head.

Grousing, he pushed himself up on one arm and turned the alarm off. Blinking quickly, he glared down at Buffy cuddled so trustingly against him. He yanked the covers up from the end of the bed and frowned at her bare feet. “You’re violating the footie pajama rule,” he said, pushing the covers back and climbing out of bed.

“Shut up,” Buffy growled, covering herself up once more.

Just to be contrary, Angel flipped on the overhead light, smiling at her cry of distress before she pulled his pillow over her head. He glanced at her and try as he might, he couldn’t deny how much he loved the sight of her in his bed. In the years he had missed her, he dreamed of getting her in his bed again. But never in those dreams had he imagined that when he finally did get her in bed again that they would be right back to where they had always been, completely platonic.

“Buffy, you can’t keep crawling in bed with me just because you don’t like sleeping alone,” he said, digging through his closet for something respectable to wear.

“Can too,” she said, her voice betraying that she was still half asleep.

“Why?” Angel countered.

“’Cause,” she responded and then let out a little snore.

Angel would have laughed if it weren’t so true. But the fact of the matter was that where he was concerned, what Buffy wanted, Buffy got.

He was glad he’d finally taken the time yesterday to finally replace the showerhead in the bathroom. It made it much easier to take a cold shower.

***

“Buffy!” Giles said, beaming as he walked towards her and enveloped her in a tight hug. She hugged him back and then looked around the library that she had once spent many hours as a high school student.

“Looks smaller,” she said, hopping up on the counter and crossing her legs. “How’ve you been Giles?”

“I’m perfectly fine, Buffy. Able to carry on despite how terribly old I am,” he said wryly, reminding her how often she told him that as a teenager. “I didn’t expect you for another week,” he said, tugging off his glasses and cleaning them thoroughly. She smiled at him and shrugged lightly.

“Don’t get all mushy on me, Giles,” Buffy said. “It just embarrasses me so.”

“Hmm…yes, well, I did miss you, despite the fact that I am still reeling in shock that you actually won a prestigious Grammy award for that noise you call music,” he said, returning his glasses to his face. “I’m very proud of you, Buffy. I’m so glad you’re home.”

Sniffling, Buffy hopped down and hugged him again. “I really missed you, Giles,” Buffy said, when she pulled away. “You want to come over for dinner on Friday? I promise I won’t cook.”

“In that case, yes, it sounds delightful,” Giles said chuckling. The library doors swung open and three teenage girls came sauntering in looking like they read Seventeen magazine religiously.

“Mr. Giles,” one of them sang out in a high pitched voice, “I need a book on that short, French guy for history. Mr. Roarke is making me write a pap-“ The girls all stopped together and stared at Buffy slack jawed. “Ohmygod,” she blurted, “you’re Buffy Summers!”

“Yes,” Buffy said, nodding her head and smiling.

“I mean, like, the real Buffy Summers!” she squealed. “Here in Snoozydale!”

“I grew up here,” Buffy said. “Mr. Giles and Mr. Roarke are very good friends of mine.”

“Would the short, French guy you’re referring to be Napoleon Bonaparte?” Giles asked dryly. The girls ignored Giles and excitedly chatted with Buffy, fumbling with their notebooks to beg for autographs.

“I have single CD you ever made,” the teenage girl yipped excitedly. “God, and the video that you had Spike in? He is the sexiest man ever!”

Shaking his head, Giles went into his office.

***

“Oh, excuse m-“ Angel smiled, looking down at Buffy. He’d nearly run over her walking out of the teacher’s lounge on his way back to his room to work on lesson plans. “Buffy,” he said, hating the way he sounded slightly out of breath.

“Hey,” she said. “You need to show me your room.”

He nodded and together they walked down the hall. Buffy smiled as she saw that he now had Mr. Morris’ old classroom. Buffy wished she could say something interesting about the room, but the truth was, it looked like a classroom.

“I thought school was out for the day,” she said, snooping around his little corner of academia. He had maps plastering the walls everywhere, a bulletin board full of papers his students had written and the chalk boards were filled with his elegant slanted script.

“My work is never done,” Angel said dryly. “I still have lesson plans to finish. I’m surprised you’re still here.”

“Still?” she said, her lip sticking out in a pout. “You knew I was here?”

“Buffy, it’s a high school. Do you really think that a major recording artist could be in the building I wouldn’t hear about it?”

She hopped up on one of the desks, swinging her legs. “Ya got a point there,” she admitted. “I met one of your students. She was upset you were making her write a paper about some short French guy.”

“Candace,” Angel said, barely suppressing a shudder. “That girl is nothing but a pain in my ass.”

Buffy shrugged, trying to look innocent. “She was cute.”

Angel shot her an incredulous look. “I’m a teacher and I have no interest in getting fired,” he said. “Or arrested.”

Buffy laughed, singing out, “Don’t stand so close to me...”

Angel took a stress ball shaped like an apple off his desk and threw it at her. She caught it easily. “Giles is coming over for dinner on Friday,” she said. “Hope you don’t mind.”

“Let me guess, I’m cooking,” he said, rolling his eyes at her.

“I can’t cook unless you want burnt toast and scalded water, followed by a second course of McDonalds. Besides you’re so good at it,” Buffy said, smiling sweetly and trying to butter him up. She waited a beat and then gave him a sexy little smile that was almost more than he could stand.

“You owe me,” he growled, looking back down at his lesson plans. A full minute passed by and Buffy had neither left, nor had she stopped looking at him. With a huff, he looked back up at her. “Buffy, I can’t work with you staring at me.”

“So you’re done?” she said brightly.

“No,” he snapped.

“Well, be done,” she ordered, grabbing his hand and tugging on it. “Let’s go have fun. You’ve been working all day.”

“You need a hobby,” he grumbled, packing up his stuff. “And don’t think I’m going to cut out early every day to play with you.”

“You’re my hobby, Angel,” she beamed and kissed him on cheek. She smiled at him brightly and looped her arm through his. As they walked out together desire pooled inside of him. He wanted her so badly he could hardly see straight.

He was still dwelling on his little blonde best friend when they walked out the front doors and were mobbed by students who were waiting around to see the famous pop princess who graced their school. The crowd was too big for them to see her and it didn’t look like they were getting through any time soon. Buffy felt like a giddy teenager again as Angel crouched down so she could jump on his shoulders. He held her legs as she sat on his shoulders and tried not to think about the fact that her thighs were pressing against his face.

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