"Ok, I have the cake, the soda, the chips, the dip, the plates, the forks, the knives, the purple passion in non-identifiable bottles..." Angel stood before the table in the library, taking inventory. It was graduation day at Sunnydale High School and the graduates would be arriving in a few minutes from family parties to have one just for the 'library club.'
The graduation itself was held earlier that Saturday. Angel felt so proud of everyone as they accepted their diplomas from Principal Snyder and he could swear he clapped the loudest for each of his friends. And when Buffy climbed that stage, his heart swelled at the fact that she did it, she beat the odds by having a life outside of slaying. Even though they were no longer together and had moved on with their hearts, he still loved her, was her first love and that would never change.
"Angel? Do we have everything?" Giles asked, coming out of his office with a pile of napkins and cups.
"Looks that way," Angel replied, opening the small cooler sitting on the floor where several bottles of Willow's special drink were waiting for him. "How did you like the ceremony?"
"It was long winded and dull," Giles replied. "But seeing Buffy receive her diploma made it all worthwhile."
"I was thinking that very thing earlier," Angel said.
"What were you thinking of earlier?" Willow asked, coming through the library doors.
"You," he answered with a devilish smile. "Always you."
"Flatterer," she replied, smiling. She set the backpack she was carrying down under the table. "This cake looks really cool. Did you make it?"
"No, I wanted it to taste good, not just look good," Angel said.
"Hi, guys!" Buffy said, entering the library with Xander and Cordelia. She waved her diploma in the air. "I graduated!"
"That you did," Giles replied, smiling at her. "And we are all very proud."
"Hey, I graduated, too," Xander said.
"Barely," Willow said under her breath. Angel chuckled.
"When do you have to leave?" Buffy asked Giles as the others helped themselves to some drinks.
"Half an hour, I'm afraid," Giles replied. "But I shall be back on Monday."
"Does this mean I get a vamp free weekend?"
"Of-of course not. I still expect you to patrol," he said. "Vampires do not take the weekend off..."
"I know, I know," Buffy interrupted. "You have me too well trained not to do it."
"If I tell you to sit or roll over, would you?" Giles asked, a small grin playing on his lips.
Buffy stared at him a second. "You just made a funny," she said, starting to laugh.
"Who made a funny?" Xander asked, his mouth around some chips.
"Giles," Buffy replied.
"Our tweedman made a funny? How is that possible?" Xander teased. "Don't tell me he's possessed."
"Very humorous, Xander," Giles retorted. "I can see why they allowed you to graduate."
Xander grinned at him.
"Before Giles has to leave, I propose we toast," Angel said, holding up his paper cup. He waited until everyone had a drink, then continued. "To the graduates." Giles echoed his statement.
"General, did you get a party when you graduated?" Willow asked as Xander began serving up the cake.
"I didn't," Angel replied.
"Get a party?" Buffy said.
"No, graduate. I only went up to the fifth grade," Angel said.
"Really? Why?" Willow asked.
"I got kicked out," he mumbled in response.
"You got kicked out!" Willow exclaimed. The others looked at him and he would have blushed if he could.
"What did you do, Jingle Bells?" Xander said. "Try to feed off the other students?"
"I wasn't a vampire then, twerp," Angel replied.
"Must be pretty bad since he resorted to name calling," Buffy commented quietly to Cordelia. They waited expectantly for Angel to continue.
"Oh, hell," he said, tossing down the remaining drink in his cup. "I put a fish down Mary Eileen's knickers..."
"And that got you kicked out?" Willow asked, holding back her laugh.
"Every day for three months," Angel continued. "And put worms on the teacher's apples, depants Jonathan every chance I got, broke all the chalk, glued Elizabeth to her chair, tied my brother to the bell, blocked Marcus in the outhouse..."
The group of friends were laughing so hard, tears streamed from their eyes as Angel ran down the list of things he did to be removed from school.
"Look what I brought," Willow said an hour later, holding up a tape. She directed Xander to get a TV/VCR cart from the audiovisual room while the others refreshed their drinks. The five friends were already sloshed having participated in a wild toasting game after Giles had left. Turning off the lights, Willow pushed the tape in the VCR and settled back to watch. She giggled from her perch on Angel's lap as they came on screen.
"How long did it take you to scrape your jaw off the floor, Bells?" Xander asked as the couple on the tape turned and smiled at the camera.
"I still haven't picked it up," Angel replied over his shoulder with a grin. The tape continued, alternating between the friends dancing, conversing and horsing around.
Buffy sighed when she saw herself dancing with Giles, and Willow smiled up at Angel, who kissed her softly on the forehead.
After that, the picture on the screen changed to that of the camera operator moving quickly across the dance floor, weaving through couples to focus on two distinct males swaying to the romantic music.
The laughter started muffled in the library, then grew as Angel got right into Spike's face, talking harshly. The look on the two vampires faces when they realized they'd been taped sent everyone into gales of laughter, Angel included.
The video cut next to Buffy dancing with Spike and Willow bounced on Angel's lap, knowing what was coming next. Buffy groaned when she saw herself kissing the peroxide blond, blushing bright red at the taped conversation that followed. "I can't believe I kissed him," she said, hiding her face in her hands.
"You said he was good with the smoochies," Willow pointed out mischievously. "In fact, your exact words were 'Damn, Angel, you didn't tell me he was such a good kisser.'"
"How would Angel know if Spike was a good kisser or not?" Xander asked.
"Truth or dare at Willow's house, remember, lamebrain?" Cordelia said to her boyfriend.
"Oh yeah," Xander said. "Deadboy's done the deed with Junior."
"So, is Buffy right?" Cordelia asked Angel. "Is Spike a good kisser?"
"Spike was the best male at everything," Angel replied, taking another drink. The others stared at him, expectantly.
"You can't leave us hanging with that statement, Angel," Cordelia finally said. "Details, boy, details."
Angel sighed dramatically and told Willow to stop the tape and turn on the lights. He grabbed a piece of paper out of the hacker's backpack and a pencil before starting his story. "Spike is a nickname, as you know. His real name is William," he said, pencil drawing light lines on the paper. "And William was an excellent lover. Strength, skill, passion, he had it all. We did it anywhere and at anytime - against an alley wall, on a piano, under the stairs at a party. We did it in Piccadilly Square, at the opera, even one time on the Eiffel Tower."
The four friends sat enthralled by the tender tone of Angel's voice as she spoke about the blond vampire, his hand moving the pencil over the paper.
"Then Drusilla came, after it had only been us for twelve years. Darla had gone on to Greece, leaving us in France, and we kicked it up like a couple of bachelors. He was my best friend," he grinned at the memory. "But when I went after Dru and turned her, things changed."
"What happened?" Willow asked quietly, sitting on the edge of her seat.
"William fell head over heels in love," Angel stated simply.
"I didn't know vampires could fall in love," Buffy said.
"Oh, we can," Angel replied sadly, his hand flying over the paper. "In fact, I loved Darla for a long time and she was in love with me, even after I regained my soul. It ripped a hole in my heart when I had to stake her to save Buffy."
Willow laid her hand on his left arm and squeezed gently. "As I said, Spike fell in love and things between us became strained. He wanted Drusilla all to himself, and, of course, I wouldn't give her to him. Then one night I went hunting, killed a gypsy girl, got my soul and didn't see them again until they showed up here in Sunnydale."
"Didn't you says you got it on with him after you lost your soul again?" Cordelia asked, just as quietly as Willow.
Angel's lips curved into a wicked smile. "Let's just say , it wasn't a mutual activity."
"You forced him to have sex?" Buffy asked.
"I forced him to do all sorts of things," Angel replied. "And I stole Dru away from him."
"No wonder he wanted to help me," Buffy said.
Angel laid the pencil down and stood after retrieving a new bottle of his special drink. He gave the others a small smile. "I'm going to take a quick look around the school," he said, then left the library in a hushed silence.
Willow reached out and turned the paper towards her. "Wow," she commented, eyes widening. "Oh, wow."
"What?" Buffy said, standing to look over the red head's shoulder. "I second that wow and raise you an oh my."
"Let us see," Cordelia said, holding out her hand. Buffy passed her the paper. "Hello, Greek God."
"It's not fair," Xander said. "In my best dreams, I could never look like that."
"Look at the detail," Cordelia commented. "If Spike ever comes back, I'm going to have to restrain myself from drooling all over him."
"Same here," Buffy said, taking the paper back from the cheerleader. "Either that or faint on sight."
"Angel definitely had to have feelings for Spike to be able to draw him like that from memory," Willow said. "I don't know if I should be jealous or not."
Buffy snickered first, then the others joined in as they thought of the absurdity of the conversation, the portrait of the blond vampire tucked away in Willow's backpack for safe keeping.
"General?" Willow said, walking outside to the vampire sitting on the school steps, looking up at the stars.
"Hi, Red," Angel replied with a small sigh. "What are you doing out here?"
"Did you love him?" Willow asked in reply.
Angel turned and looked at the red head who'd sat next to him on the step, studying her. "Yes," he finally answered, returning his gaze to the stars. "More than Darla. He was my best friend, my companion, my lover, my hunting partner, everything a vampire could want in a mate. I taught him everything, and learned from him as well."
"But he didn't love you," she commented quietly.
"No, he didn't. Did I ever tell you how I was back then? I was very...well, sick is a perfect word to describe me. Sick and twisted. I took everyone who was good and destroyed them. At first, I did that because it was fun. Then I did it because of my feelings for him."
"You didn't want to love him," she said. "Because he didn't return your love."
"Exactly," Angel replied. "One of those that I destroyed was Drusilla, making her into a vampire instead of killing her because of her psychic powers. And that was my mistake. Because William fell in love with her...and I was alone."
"What happened between you two when you lost your soul?" Willow asked, intertwining his fingers with hers.
"He was stuck in that wheelchair," Angel said, turning his eyes to the label on the bottle. "His lower back had been crushed by Buffy, and that takes awhile to heal. When I saw him like that, all those feelings that I thought had gone away came back in full force."
"And it made you really mad," she added.
He nodded. "So, I took the one thing he loved more than his own life - Drusilla. It was easy to do, seeing as how I was her 'daddy.'"
"Well, it looks like they are back together again," Willow said. "And you have me now."
"Yes, I do," Angel gave her a tender smile, squeezing her hand. "I love you, Red."
"I love you, too, General," she replied. "Always."
"Let's play sardines," Willow said after she and Angel had returned to the library.
"I haven't played that in a long time," Buffy said, climbing unsteadily to her feet.
"How do you play?" Angel asked.
"One person hides and the rest seeks. When found, the seeker joins the hider in the hiding spot until all the seekers find the hider," Willow replied in one breath.
Angel nodded, clearly confused. "Right."
"Here, you go hide first," Willow told him. "Anywhere in the school. First one to find you will explain more."
Angel stood. "How much time do I have to hide?"
"Two minutes," she replied, looking at the clock on the wall. "Starting now."
Two minutes later, four drunken former seniors roamed the halls looking for the hidden vampire. They separated at the junctures in the hallway, each going in a different direction. Xander found him first, hidden in his and Cordelia's favorite make out closet. "Hey, Jingle Head," the teen whispered, closing the door behind him.
"Xander," Angel replied, scooting over as Xander sat next to him between the sink and the steel shelves.
"Ok, we just stay here until everyone finds us. I've played with 15 people before. Let me tell you, that was a telephone booth I don't ever want to squeeze in again," Xander said.
They sat in silence for a few minutes before Angel began to shift uncomfortably. "What's with the moving, Bells?"
Angel leaned closer to the teen's ear. "You smell so good," he whispered. "And it's making me really horny." Xander let out a squeak, and Angel clamped a hand over his mouth. "Do you know how close I came to kissing the night Buffy was in the hospital?"
He shot his tongue out and licked the edge of the Xander's lobe.
Xander let out a muffled shriek this time, breaking away from Angel and scooting across the floor as fast as he could. "That's just wrong! What about Willow?"
"Maybe she could join us," Angel replied in a low tone. "Or maybe she'd just like to watch." Xander tried to sputter a response and the vampire chuckled. "Admit it, Xander. You want me."
"No, you sick, demented vampire! I love Cordelia and the only pants I want to get into are hers!" Xander vehemently denied.
The door opened and Buffy, Willow and Cordelia all stood in the light. "We can hear you all the way out here, Xander," Cordelia said, pulling on the light chain. "And you're not getting into my pants anytime soon."
Xander shot to his feet and pushed past the girls out the door. "Willow, do something about your bloodsucker! He was coming on to me!"
Angel stood and faced the girls, a wicked grin on his face. "General, are you picking on Xander?" Willow asked.
"I'd like to do other things to him," he replied with a leer at the teen in question. Xander let out a yelp and ran down the hall to the library, causing the vampire to chuckle. "That was too easy."
Willow rolled her eyes. "General, that wasn't nice."
"But you love me anyway," Angel replied, sending her a killer smile.
Willow looked at her other two friends and shrugged. "Vampires."
Buffy giggled and grabbed Angel's arm. "Come on, loverboy, Willow said she'd be it next."
"Now I'm going to be coddling a paranoid Xander because of him" Cordelia said to the hacker before heading back to the library.
Willow laughed and went to find a hiding place.
"Red, I know you're in here," Angel sang quietly as he moved through the classroom. "I can hear your heart beating. Smell your delectable skin..."
A hand shot out of a small coat closet in the back of the room, and pulled him inside with a giggle. Angel found himself pressed against the side wall, Willow pressed bodily against him, her hand pulling his blue shirt out of his pants, then running her fingers over the taunt muscles of his stomach.
"Red," Angel ground out in a choked voice as she rubbed herself against him. "What are you doing?"
"If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you," she whispered, then giggled again. Her deft fingers lowered his zipper and unbuttoned the pants before dipping inside to pull his erection free.
"Red!" Angel gasped as her lips replaced her hands. He grabbed the bar in the closet, squeezing dents into the metal as she teased him with her teeth and tongue.
In the small area, her arousal overwhelmed his senses and he shut his eyes tightly before giving into his urges. With a low growl, he pulled her up his body and ferociously kissed her, one of his hands pushing up her skirt, seeking her heat.
Her wetness coated his fingers as he rubbed and twisted her clit, sending her into a fast orgasm. Without giving her time to calm down, he pushed her up against the opposite wall, slamming into her body with his throbbing shaft.
Willow gasped and clung to him as he rammed into her, her ears picking up a low rumbling coming from his chest. She felt his face change against her before his fangs pierced the delicate skin of her neck.
With a cry of pleasure, she exploded into a second orgasm, Angel following close behind. They both slid to the floor, still connected at the hips and neck, as the red head tried to catch her breath, her hands brushing the back of his dark hair.
Angel started to purr, loud and satisfied, and she felt him remove his fangs from her nick, caressing the skin with his lips and tongue. Suddenly, he began to lift her up and down by her hips on his already hard cock, leaning back from her neck to look at her with his gold eyes, his purring echoing off the wooden walls.
Willow started to move against him, and he brought one hand between their bodies to finger here where they connected. She clenched her muscles around him at his expert touch, and his purr turned to a harsh growl.
Panting, she felt her third orgasm building and she rocked faster on him. He pinched her sensitive nub and suddenly she was flying once again as the waves of pleasure shot through her limbs. Angel pulled her down on top of him, his fangs sinking into the other side of her neck as he thrust up and came, spilling his cold seed once again.
Willow swam back from her euphoria to Angel's purr as he licked her neck, his tongue swirling in the blood. She let out a pleased sigh. "Angel," she said quietly. "We have to move."
His purr turned into a quick negative growl, then settled back into the soothing sound. With another giggle, she shifted her lower body until he was no longer inside her, then reached between them to put him away, his mouth never leaving her neck the entire time. Raising a hand, she pushed open the closet door and looked out. "Um...hi, guys," Willow said, her face turning right red.
Buffy, Cordelia and Xander all sat in the third row of desks, grinning at her. Xander was the first to begin clapping, soon joined by the two girls. Willow buried her head on Angel's shoulder and groaned, embarrassed beyond belief.
Angel was still purring. Other than growling for a short time when Willow stood up and led him back to the library, he didn't stop. The young witch sat between his legs, as he leaned against the table leg, continuously nuzzling the bite marks on both sides of her neck.
"Does he even know we're here?" Buffy asked, continuously amazed at the sound coming from her former love.
"I don't think so," Willow replied. "Only in a peripheral way. If you were to get too close, he'd probably growl at you, thinking you were a threat"
"And you know this how?" Buffy said.
"I've been paying attention to my hunnie's vocalizations," she replied, proudly.
"Well, he stopped hitting on me and that's a big plus," Xander said, shoving some more chips in his mouth. The alcohol was now gone, as was most of the food, and the four graduates and one purring vampire were stretched out on the floor, sleepily.
"At least he has taste," Cordelia said, smiling at her boyfriend. Xander leaned over and gave her a quick kiss.
"I can't believe we're no longer in high school," Buffy commented, rolling to her back and staring up at the ceiling.
"Well, we are in high school, seeing as that's where the library it located," Xander said.
"Xander," she sighed, shaking her head at his bad joke.
"So, what are we going to do this summer? Stake killer demonic whales? Avert the impending stampede of centipedes?" Xander asked.
"I'm going to dad's in LA, as usual," Buffy said.
"I'm going to Europe," Cordelia said. "And you're coming with me."
"I am?" Xander said.
"I guess I'm going to Europe," Xander told the others with a big grin.
"What about you, Wills?" Buffy asked.
"I'm going to hang out here with Giles," Willow replied, her lips quirking.
"When you get dressed enough to leave Angel's side," her best friend said knowingly.
"True," she said, before giggling. Angel growled as she leaned forward, causing the others to burst out into laughter. She leaned back again, bringing a hand up to caress the side of his face, and he settled back into his soothing purr. "Should I get him to stop?"
"Nah," Buffy said. "He's like a big cat. Makes me sleepy listening to him."
"I think that's the alcohol, Buffy," Willow told her.
The Slayer yawned, followed closely by everyone else. "Don't matter, it's nice," she said as her eyes dropped shut.
"Goodnight, guys," Xander said, curling onto his side with Cordelia spooned against him.
"'Night Xander, 'night Cordy," Willow replied, smiling softly as her three friends drifted into sleep. She moved her head and looked up at Angel's vampiric face. She place a soft kiss on his lips and he blinked, his purring tapering off. "Hey sexy," she said when he focused on her. "Time for sleeping."
Angel nodded and moved with her so they were laying on the floor in similar fashion to Cordelia and Xander. He touched his face with a frown, noting the ridges were back and let his human mask slip into place. "Red? How long have I been in what you like to call my game face?"
"Since the closet about an hour ago," Willow replied with a tired voice. "Love you."
"I love you, too, Willow," he said, kissing the back of her head. He listened to her breathing as it changed to that of sleep, mulling over his unawareness of everything but Willow when he is physical with the red head.
In the wee hours of the morning, he finally figured out why - he trusted her, completely, wholly, and with all his soul.