viciouswishes: (angel braces)
[personal profile] viciouswishes
Title: Awkward Pauses
Author: Viciouswishes
Rating: G
Words: 816
Summary: Set in the Where You Look Down, I've Walked Before 'verse, Angel and Anya have some bonding time.

Angel stands alone on his balcony. He misses the stars. Some days, he thinks he should just give it all up and move to the country side. Buy some acreage and put his house in the middle. A big house with a lots of room so he never felt caged during the day without sewer access and Wes could home school Connor.

He imagines himself bouncing his grandchildren on his knee and telling them stories about battling demons. It would be a family-estate, yes.

Or maybe they could just move to England and live at Wes' family's home. Wes' mother would love the company, and despite what an ass Wes' father was, he's dead now and Wes' mother would gladly sign over her portion to Wes.

No, Wes would never want to move back to where he grew up. That would takes years of therapy Wes was never going to get or admit he needed.

Maybe it isn't the stars Angel misses, but Wes and Connor. The hotel is too quiet without them. He misses others too, like Cordy and Spike. At moments like this, he almost needed the sharp smack across the face their wit always delivered. Even some sparring with Faith or Gunn would've livened up the place. But both of them had taken the week off -- Gunn and Fred taking Helen to visit her grandparents and Faith to go find herself in the desert. If not for the whole sun problem, Angel would've gone with Faith.

Instead, he looks in mirrors that never show his reflection and makes no sound in his own home. He feeds the rabbit and the kitten. Angel's always surprised how well they get along, prey and predator.

Of course, he's forgotten about their latest human addition to his home. And he startles her.

Anya screams and throws her paperwork from her hands. "Angel. Don't even do that again."

"Sorry." He frowns. "It's been so quiet."

Anya nods her head. She's wearing pigtails, which makes her look even younger, when she's the only person he knows who's truly older than himself. "You're just lucky I didn't have a weapon."

"Aren't you supposed to be on vacation?"

"He cancelled."

"Cancelled?"

Anya sighed. "We got in a stupid fight and then I realized that I've been dating the same men over and over again. The same stupid fight. So I dumped him." She sat down in one of the circular couches. "Now I realize how stupid it was to dump him before the vacation, but then there'd be sex -- really, really good sex -- and I'd forget all about how he's just like the rest of them and I'd stay. I just want something more, you know." She looks over at Angel. "Of course, you know. You have more. You have a husband and a kid and a huge hotel and a pretty successful business."

"It's not as easy as it looks." Angel glances around the big, sprawling hotel as he hands Anya the last of the spilled papers.

"I know that too." Anya sighs. "You know, you and Wes should really get married now that it's legal in California. I mean, I know you're not alive and all, but you'd be able to save a lot on your taxes and it's not like you aren't already married in everything but the certificate. Plus, I'm ordained by the Universal Life Church."

"Wes and I talked about it. And we thought it would be best if there weren't more documents tying us together, with the whole me never dying."

"Unless you get killed. Or Shanshu. Or run into one of those demon things again, like that one time with Buffy."

"Jesus. Is everything that I do on record?"

"Pretty much. You know, office gossip when we're waiting for the next case. Which, by the way, you should really talk to your son about the birds and the bees."

"Do I want to know why?"

"Probably not."

There's an awkward pause between them. Angel's not used to being around Anya, and she's not used to him. She helps Wes out, teaches Connor tongue-twisting limericks, and baby-sits Helen. He kills things, loves Wes, and tries to get Connor to bed on time. Angel still hangs out in the shadows, and she seems like a constant, bright beam of sunshine.

"Anyway," Anya says, "I heard there's a Clara Bow double-feature down by the piers. And I figure that you're the only one around here who might appreciate silent cinema and how revolutionary it really was."

"Plus, Bow was a looker."

"She was very attractive, for a woman." Anya stands up and walks into the office for her purse.

As Angel goes to lock the door and turn the main lights off, he smiles. Maybe some company and a movie is all he needs for now. Wes usually called early in the morning anyway.
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