"Ugh, I swear if I study anymore my brain will explode. I am in need of some
serious fun. How 'bout it Willow? Up for a little Bronzin' tonight?"
Willow looked up from her textbook into the expectant gaze of the Slayer.
"Sure! Oh wait, I can't. I promised Patrick I'd go to his apartment
"Willow, need I remind you that the Dingoes are playing tonight? This will be
the fourth time you've missed them play in a row."
Willow cringed slightly at the gentle rebuke in Buffy's tone. "Oz
understands. He knows that Patrick needs to feel accepted. Patrick is my friend
am I'm going to be there for him. He still has nightmares you know."
Buffy stood up and stretched her legs. "Yeah, I know. Angel told me."
"See? I just want him to be able to get over this and be at peace. That's
what a good friend would want for him. Hey, I'm late. I'll see you tomorrow
Willow gathered her things and walked out of the library.
"It stopped being about friendship a long time ago," Buffy whispered in the
"Monet? You can't mean that! Monet was a joke compared to da Vince. Just look
at the textures. Monet's are completely strangled. They are a mass of confusion
stemming from a delusional mind."
"Angel, I can't believe we are supposed to be the same person here. Monet was
a genius. I mean, just LOOK at his use of colors. What you see as a result of a
delusional mind, others, like myself, see as a look at humanity's nature. I give
up on you! You have no taste in art"
"No taste in art? You know as well as I that I spent over 50 years studying
art! Gods! What won't you put your faith in? I bet you still go for all that
fairy stuff we used to believe when we were kids!"
"Just sprites." Patrick said with a self-conscious chuckle.
"You thinking of Buffy? She's just like a little pixie. But don't you go
thinking that way. She's mine" Angel finished with a good-natured growl.
"No, I was actually thinking of Willow. Just look at her. She's petite, she's
got all that red hair, those green eyes, and dainty features. Just like out of a
storybook. I can just see her with wings, flicking in and out of places, helping
anyone in need." Patrick's voice trailed off, his eyes staring at an unseen
"You think that much of her? Less than a month ago you couldn't even stand
the sight of her." Angel said with his eyebrows raised.
Warning bells went off in Patrick's head. < I went too far > "She's one
of those friends you can always count on." Patrick replied with a careless shrug
praying Angel would drop the subject.
With a quiet, "That she is" Angel acknowledged Patrick's wish to move on to a
Patrick sighed inwardly with relief. He mentally strengthened his shields so
he would never again come so close to revealing all the admiration and desire he
held for Willow. "So, what do you think of van Goghe?"
"That isn't a word! I know for a fact it's not!" Willow sputtered, "I can't
believe you Patrick! You are 243 years old and you're stooping so low as to
cheat at Scrabble?"
He couldn't help what happened next. She was so infuriated at such a trivial
occurrence that she reminded him very much of an angry kitten. Willow had never
resembled Alissa more. Patrick threw back his head and laughed.
Willow stopped mid-rant at the sound coming from Patrick. At first she
couldn't place it but realization soon dawned on her. He was laughing! A good,
hard laugh. The tone was sweet and full of good nature.
Without thinking, Willow threw herself into his arms. Patrick nearly jerked
back in surprise but he restrained himself, luxuriating in the simple act of
holding her. To feel her arms wound in nonchalant abandon around his neck
brought him happiness he couldn't even begin to explain.
"You have a wonderful laugh Patrick." Willow murmured, "But I still say
mellifluotic isn't a word."
Patrick contented himself with a chuckle into Willow's hair.