If Only I Had Known


Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the plot in this story, they're Joss Whedon's. I am simply borrowing them for entertainment purposes.
Distribution: Sure... just ask first(I'll probably say yes) and tell me where it's going.
Author's notes: This is the end of "Surprise" from Angel's POV. The companion piece to "No Tomorrow." Tell me your opinion on this one. Angel's a pretty hard character.


"Come on," I told Buffy. "We need to get inside."

We were making our way to my apartment after a near death experience with the Judge. I was pretty worried about this one and I suspected that Buffy was, too. I hoped we would get past this. I don't think I could ever live without Buffy.

Once we were inside my apartment, I took off my heavy coat, glad that I wasn't wet. Buffy, on the other hand, was a different story. I noticed she had wrapped her arms around herself and I realized she was shivering.

"You're shaking like a leaf," I said, stating the obvious.

"Cold," she replied.

"Let me get you something," I said, then turned and got some of my own clothes for her to wear. "Put these on. And get on the covers just to warm up." I liked the fact that she would be wearing my clothes. It made me feel good that she had something of mine on her.

She took the clothes from my hands and walked over to my bed. I watched as she sat down and then looked at me expectantly. "Sorry," I said, turning the other way. I loved looking at her so much, that I hadn't noticed that I was supposed to give her privacy while she changed. I'm not sure what I had been thinking, really.

I suddenly found my thoughts wandering to the morning before. When she had come over to my house, worried that something had happened to me.

"It's bedtime for me," I had told her.

"Well, then I like seeing you at bedtime..." she had responded.

I wasn't sure what she had meant by it exactly, but I had a pretty good idea. And I was sure it had just slipped out. But I wondered if she really was ready for something like that. She was only seventeen years old as of today. Did she really know what she wanted? My thoughts were interrupted when I heard a small gasp from behind me.

"What?" I asked worriedly.

"Oh, um, it's okay," she said. "I just have a cut or something."

I knew she was fine, and I knew that part of me just wanted an excuse to turn back around. "Can I..." I started and then rephrased my sentence. "Let me see."

She didn't answer for several moments, during which I metaphorically held my breath. I knew she wasn't undressed yet because not a long time had gone by. Finally, the whispered answer came.


I turned around and took in her sight once again. She had taken off the long sleeved shirt she wore on top of the sleeveless one and was clutching against her chest. I walked over and sat beside her on my bed. She turned around and I looked at her back to find an inch long cut against the back of her shoulder. Gently, I lifted my hand to touch it. Just as I had thought, it was already healing.

"It's already closed," I told her. "You're fine."

I'm not sure why, but I found myself pulling down the strap of her shirt that my left hand had been touching. I felt her lean back and cuddle her face against mine. Tears were running down her face and I wondered why. My arms wrapped around her instinctively.

"You almost went away today," she said. She sounded scared and lost and it broke my heart.

"We both did," I answered.

A tiny sob escaped her lips. "Angel," she said, sniffling. "I feel like I lost you. You're right, though. We can't be sure of anything."

I wanted so badly to reassure her. To make her feel as safe as she could. To kiss all of her pain away and hope it never came back. She didn't deserve all the pain she was going through. She still doesn't, really. It wasn't fair. But who ever said life was fair?

"Shh... I..." I started. I wanted to tell her what I'd been feeling for so long now but I wasn't sure if I should. I didn't want to make her feel as if she was committed to anything. She was still so young and I didn't want to tie her down.

She turned around to look at me. "You what?" she urged.

I hesitated a little, but I finally got on with my confession. What was it that they say? No guts, no glory? "I love you. I try not to but I can't stop."

She smiled slightly. "Me-- me too. I can't either," she answered.

I felt my heart soar. I could tell that she was being sincere. True, she wasn't being too detailed but then again, neither of us have ever been that great with expressing our feelings. I wanted to tell her so many things. There was just so much that she deserved and needed to hear. But my brain wasn't forming that many coherent thoughts.

And it didn't help when she leaned forward and captured my lips in a passionate kiss. I felt all of her emotions in that moment. All my doubts about her not being ready for a commitment went out the window. I only felt her love and raw emotion that she transmitted through the kiss and I felt the need to transmit some of my own. If I could not tell her in words what I was feeling, then I would let her know through actions. I knew where this was headed and still felt that I had to give her one last chance to stop.

I broke off the kiss. "Buffy," I muttered. "Maybe we shouldn't..."

But she covered my lips with a hand. "Don't," she whispered. "Just kiss me."

I happily obliged. We poured all of the emotions we had been feeling for the past several months into one passionate kiss. And then another, and another...


I awoke later that night when I felt a pain in my stomach. My eyes went wide and I stumbled off my bed, naked. I searched blindly for my clothes, trying to get dressed as quickly as I could. I wasn't sure what was happening, but I had a pretty good idea.

I took one last look at the sleeping Buffy, feeling a deeper, more emotional pain at what was about to happen and stumbled outside. Even as I felt my soul being ripped away from my body, my last thoughts were of Buffy and it was her name that I screamed out. I didn't want her to come out and find the demon in possession of my body, so I don't know why I called for her.

And I prayed to any god that would listen to keep her safe. Safe from me.

If only I had known.

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