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If You Remembered

Buffy was dead.

While Angel was off in Pylea, Buffy had sacrificed her life to save the world…and the bratty little sister he barely remembered.

It was selfish and horrible of him, but the first thing he thought was ‘why?’ and he still wasn’t sure he knew.

Except that that was who Buffy was, wasn’t it? Not selfish but not pragmatic either. It never occurred to her that the world needed a Slayer more than it needed another ordinary teenage girl. That she’d leave behind a world full of people, any one of whom might die themselves because she wasn’t here to save them and a smaller world full of friends who’d suffer agonies because of her loss.

And she’d be leaving Angel.

Angel, who had sacrificed the one dream he’d had since the day the gypsies had given him back his soul “ the dream of being human again “ just to make sure that Buffy Summers would be safe… and alive.

It was a waste. Everything was a waste.

He stared at his bed, wishing it was the one in which he’d made love to Buffy “ the one where she’d listened to his heartbeat while they ate ice cream and kissed and made plans for a future together.

The one he’d left to go to the Oracles.

Couldn’t he take it back? Please? Because if he could, he’d go back right now and do it all differently. He’d be selfish and heedless of anything but ‘them’ and he’d stay human. Yes, everything would be different, and maybe she’d have died even sooner, but…

Time. The one thing she no longer had any of at all. Now what he had was an eternity without her in which to ponder the irony of the fact that if he’d just stayed mortal, and had so much less time, they’d have had so much more together.

He closed his eyes and he could see… her. Every inch of sun-kissed flesh that he’d kissed and caressed. He could just recall the way chocolate ice cream tasted when he licked it off the nipple of her right breast and the way she tasted…

Crueler torture “ every bit of it “ by far than anything the fiends of Hell had inflicted upon him.

This would be the second time that she’d condemned him, wouldn’t it?

The anger and the hatred roiling around inside him felt powerful enough to tear him apart. How could she do this? How could she do this to him?

If she’d remembered… remembered even a moment… would she have done things differently? Would she still be here? Would she have made a different choice up on that tower?

Oh god. Willow had been here and gone and he hadn’t asked her anything. Hadn’t asked if they needed help to pay for the funeral arrangements; he hadn’t asked when the funeral would be. He really was a bastard, wasn’t he?

There were voices outside his room and Wesley was one of them. Earlier, he’d said something about a monastery “ someplace where Angel could go to be alone and work through his grief. Guess he’d made the arrangements.

So Angel would go. Somewhere where he could be selfish and not care about his responsibilities here in Los Angeles or about doing anything to help Buffy’s friends. Funny how that chance to be selfish came too late for it to be anything but a small, shallow mockery.

But he’d take it.

He’d leave Cordelia and Wesley and Gunn and let them take care of Fred and just trust in them to fix what was broken and help the helpless and do… everything.

Because Buffy was dead and Angel didn’t care about anything or anyone at all.

Nothing and no one at all.

The End.
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