Watching and Waiting
Summary: Buffy and Angel start to feel the heat.
This is the first part of The Waiting Series.
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all her friends belong to someone other than me. Despite the fact that I firmly believe that I would be much nicer to them than their *cough* actual owner. ;)
Special Thanks: Thanks for reading!
Angel was making his way rather stealthily towards Buffy's house, anticipation suffusing him. This was the time of night he loved the best. From the hours of dusk until about eleven, there was always the possibility that he might see Buffy, get a chance to interact with her. However, he also knew that she would be out during that same time period, hunting for vampires, risking her life... a thought that tormented him. The wee hours of the morning were calm and beautiful... but he spent that time utterly alone. But here... now... He always made it a point to come to Buffy's window between eleven and two. Sometimes she would be awake, sometimes asleep. Sometimes he would have the guts to reveal to her that he was there, sometimes he wouldn't. He would crouch on the porch roof, right outside her window, watching her sleep, or do homework, or talk on the phone to Willow. For hours he would watch her... or, on rare occasions, join her.
The look in her eyes when he would call her name softly, letting her know of his presence, was always so rewarding. Her whole face would light up, admiring him, welcoming him. Not a night went by that he didn't wonder how he'd been so lucky as to have her... affection. He didn't know if it was love - he dared to hope sometimes, though. He hadn't said the words to her, either, although he harbored the romantic notion that their hearts spoke the truth to each other. He loved her with every molecule of his being.
Hoisting himself up the trellis next to the porch roof, he moved stealthily towards her bedroom window, seeing an odd light emanating from behind the gauzy curtains. He crept closer, careful not to step on the portion of the roof that always let out a loud squeak. He didn't want to wake her if she was sleeping. The flickering, guttering light resolved itself into a candle flame as he drew nearer... it bobbled on the wick of a fat, white candle that was perched on Buffy's window sill...as though in welcome...
"Buffy?" he called quietly, careful not to upset the candle as he eased through the window. "Should you have this candle here? Isn't it kind of..."
He finally saw her. Her. Buffy. Lying on her bed. Lying there - dressed in the tiniest... laciest... flirtiest bit of fabric he'd ever laid eyes on. He swallowed, hard. "... dangerous?" he finished with a gulp.
"Angel," she practically purred, and he felt an instant of cold, pure terror before a flood of heat rushed through him, vanquishing it.
"B..bu..Buffy," he finally managed to say successfully, irrationally pleased with his ability to form any syllables at all. His mind raced around in circles, chasing its tail, searching for something, _anything_, to say. "Aren't you cold?" he finally asked inanely, a shiver of anything BUT cold working its way down his spine.
"Not really," she drawled with a confident smile, apparently recognizing his sudden brainlessness for the compliment that it was. "But I could be warmer. Why don't you come over here?"
Surely, surely he was going to simply combust on the spot. Poof! He could almost imagine the consternation of the Slayer and her friends... (sadly, Buffy's vampire boyfriend died tragically in the late hours of the night. Spontaneous vampire combustion. Buffy was trying to seduce him, and he simply couldn't handle the heat, poor lamb)... Wrenching himself away from his maudlin, ridiculous imaginings, he tried to respond. To his absolute horror, he heard his mouth say, "I'm okay over here."
"Well, then, I'll just have to come over to where you are, won't I?"
Angel thanked whatever gods hadn't smote him on the spot for saying something so stupid, assuming they were the ones responsible for Buffy not simply pushing him back out the window in disgust and going to sleep. He gulped again, nodding inanely as his fantasy alighted from her bed and stalked across the room towards him. Stalked. As if she were hunting something. Perhaps him? God, he hoped so.
As Buffy drew closer, Angel felt tendrils of heat curling throughout his cold body, inflaming him. Finally grabbing firm command of his brain once more, he reached out to take her hand, smiling at her. "You're so beautiful," he whispered.
"So are you," she murmured back. "In the candlelight and everything... you're everything I've ever dreamed of, Angel."
Fighting against the urge to ask her if he usually stuttered and blushed and said odd things in her dreams, too, he decided he'd better find another use for his mouth before it ran away from him again. Lowering his dark head to hers, he brushed his lips over hers, seeking... caressing.
She responded beautifully, arching up against him as her slim, bare arms reached up to twine around his neck. Her fingers played with the short hairs at his nape as they kissed.
Groaning, he gathered her body against his, the slow, drugging heat that had been overtaking him bursting into a conflagration. He was hot... so hot... she was burning him alive with her sweet kisses and her soft sighs.
Their mouth separated as she arched her neck, turning her head to the side to let him trail his lips over the soft skin, the threat of fangs a world away. He became absorbed in his task, taking his cues from her moans and gasps, the gentle twisting of her body against his much larger one. He nibbled on her earlobe, sucking it lightly as the flames of desire roared in ears... so hot... so hot...
"... Angel...? Angel! Angel!!"
Realizing that her body was rigid against his own, and she was, in fact, yelling his name to get his attention, he pulled away from her to stare meaningfully into her eyes.
"Angel," she began earnestly, her eyes wide with a powerful, unnamed emotion, "the curtains are on fire."
"I know, Buffy... oh baby, I know... wait... what?"
She flung herself out of his arms, diving for the blanket at the foot of her bed. "The curtains... she gasped out, snapping the heavy blanket open with a flick of her wrist.
Angel turned to find the lovely white gauze curtains aflame. No wonder he'd been so hot... he mused as he helped Buffy beat the flames out, careful not to get too close.
When the curtains were finally subdued, hanging in limp, charred remains from the curtain rod - and the candle itself safely doused - Angel glanced over at Buffy. The exertion of fighting the fire had taken it's toll on her. Her hair was mussed... the faint sheen of sweat licked her skin... her chest was heaving... all really quite wonderful. He grinned, moving to take her in his arms once more.
"Buffy? Do you smell smoke?"
The sound of Buffy's mother's voice right outside the bedroom door efficiently snuffed the flame for the evening. Scrambling for a robe to cover her naughty Slayer attire, Buffy wordlessly waved Angel towards the window... which he was already halfway through, sliding down the porch roof in an ungainly and painful demonstration of that old adage that vampires don't always land on their feet. As he hit the ground with a loud thump and scurried into the nearby shrubbery, he heard Buffy's mother screeching behind him.
From the shadows, he watched and listened as Buffy tried to explain what had happened - sans the presence of her vampire lover, naturally - to her mother. It clearly wasn't flying very well. With a final indication of dire consequences, Mrs. Summers retreated to her own bedroom after confiscating the innocent candle that had started it all. Buffy came to the window, peering out into the night, obviously searching for him.
He almost stayed hidden from her... would have... except she called his name, and he was powerless to deny her.
"Here," he whispered back, moving underneath her window, staring up at her beauty in the moonlight.
"I'm grounded again," she confided. She leaned against the sill, her robe rippling over her small frame. "So... I guess this is good night?"
He smiled reassuringly at her, trying to erase the small pout that the words had brought to her own lips. "Just for tonight, Buffy," he said quietly.
She perked up at the thought, grinning down at him... showing more than a hint of the confident sensuality that had so captivated him earlier. He swallowed heavily, wondering if he should have followed his first inclination to snuff that damned white candle the moment he slid over the window sill. If he had... if he had...
...forcefully ripping his thoughts away from another fantasy that threatened to flash-fry him to ash, he heard her ask him where he'd be the following night. "Where do you want me to be?" he replied, and saw her smile slowly... a seductive half-smile that promised him that this wasn't over... not by a long shot.
"The Bronze," she told him as he retreated from her window... putting distance between himself and the girl who threatened to scorch him with flame ten thousand times hotter than a mere candle. "I'll be there!" she called softly after him, needing his reassurance still.
As he disappeared into the night, his words wafted up to her. "I'll be waiting..."
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