She only sent him pictures with skies so blue that it made his heart ache, or spectacular sunsets that seemed to burn and swirl in the sky. She even sent a few sunrises in those sweet, pale pinks and oranges. The sun sneaking into a new day.
She never sent pictures of buildings or monuments or statues. He, after all, had seen the world that she hadn’t. He had seen these places and these things from the vantage point of his nocturnal eyes. She didn’t think he needed to see them again and she was right. All of the pictures were of sky and green grass and tall trees, flowers in bloom. Some of them had her in them, some didn’t, but all were blazing with life.
On the back of each picture she sent there were locations and dates and nothing else. She let him know where she was and that was she was alive and thinking of him. Sometimes the envelope only had one picture in it - a random shot of blue sky. (Athens, Greece. August 7th.) Sometimes there was a month worth of shots. (Somewhere in Italy, September), (Right outside of that disco, September).
He loved the ones where she accidentally spoke to him in her script. (I can’t remember where this was. Dawnie says right outside of Rome. I swear it was an hour from Naples. We argued for a half hour about this one. It’s Naples, Angel.) He felt like a schoolboy overwhelmed by the sight of his name in her looped, female script. It reminded him of that notebook she left at the mansion with “Buffy and Angel 4-Ever” on it, how he felt seeing it even though he knew it wasn’t true.
Anyone who didn’t know Buffy would think that her “4-Ever” was childish and immature, but he knew better. She was much older than her years. She knew as well as he did that their version of forever would be somewhat different than what other girls would have. She meant the real 4-Ever, shrouded in soul and enveloping the aether.
Knowing all of this, with the latest picture from Buffy nestled in the inside pocket of his jacket, he still sat across the breakfast table from Nina, the blonde werewolf. She was beautiful, he noted, nervously sipping his coffee. He patted his pocket absent-mindedly and looked into her blue, blue eyes. He didn’t let his gaze travel to her chest even though he had thought more than once about tasting her flesh and cupping those large, beautiful breasts in his hands. Wesley was right after all. He couldn’t have perfect happiness or his mate, but he could get laid now and then.
The idea made him hungry. He had ordered food, which he fully intended to eat, just to make her feel comfortable, of course food wasn’t what he was hungry for. He nodded and smiled at whatever she just said. Werewolves were notoriously strong and energetic. Would she be like Buffy, he wondered, a lithe, soft body with incredible strength? Or would she just be another human during the day?
He thought the latter, although it was disappointing. Wesley was right, Angel thought. True, perfect happiness wasn’t something you came by everyday. It was special, unique. It was Buffy. That was why nothing happened when he took Eve behind his leather couch and it was why he could afford to romp around with Nina if he wanted.
He smiled absently at Nina and then frowned into his coffee. If he only loved Buffy just a little less…
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