— I ship it buuuut not as much as you ship it which is a lot.
— I can already tell this is gonna be a massive bummer.
Come bug me if you want - they can pretty much work with any fandom.
— I want Angel and Riley to interact and have it not be a contest for who loves Buffy more or who knows her better BECAUSE ONE RELATIONSHIP DOES NOT NEGATE THE WORTH, VALUE, OR LEGITIMACY OF THE OTHER =)
— Angel loved human Darla. Angelus couldn’t but Angel did. Even when she was a vampire he felt responsible. He felt bad for what they had done, what they had turned each other into. Darla as a human - she was alive. She wasn’t emotionless or without a conscience. Angel loved who she might have become. Who she had the chance to be.
Angel tended to avoid returning to Sunnydale if it could be helped. It was a nice enough town for being a Hellmouth and oddly enough, it wasn’t the murder rate or general demonic population that kept him away. If it had been, he wouldn’t have been any more comfortable in LA which was really just the same shit on a larger scale -easier to hide from civilians and those who didn’t know any better when it came to the things that lurked among them.
Sunnydale was different and the memories there were both the best of his long life and the worst. Angel had not loved as a human - not properly. He had lusted. He and Darla? Had he loved her? Could a thing without a soul truly love? Darla had been the center of his universe, his partner in crime, his enabler and his keeper. His sire and his lover. After he regained his soul, she had shown only revulsion and anger. But he had seen her, her human face, and known that he could of loved her.
The woman she had been. Even as a vampire, she had been lonely. His monsters had loved her monsters but that was all. She was an idea, something beyond conventional, moral love. Darla had been obsession and vengeance and rage and passion. His perfect mate, his ideal other half. Wasn’t everyone looking for someone whose demons played well with their own? In her own way, in her own selfish desire for Angelus, trying to free Angel from his soul had been an act of love.
He would have appreciated it, Angelus. But he wasn’t angelus anymore. She couldn’t be blamed for being what she was. She felt no remorse or empathy. She celebrated in death, in agony and torture and for over one hundred years, Angelus had, too. When that had been taken out of the equation, there was nothing left between them to sustain anything. Angel had left it all behind. He had suffered, alone, for a very long time.
In all that time, he had survived. One good bask in the sunlight and it would of all been over. But he didn’t stop. He didn’t live but he existed, in his suffering, and it wasn’t until he saw her that he knew why. Buffy. She was everything he shouldn’t love. Human, and a Slayer at that. He’d killed Slayers, bled them dry, listened to them scream and one look at her and he knew he would never allow that fate to be her own.
But in the end, love was not enough. His punishment, his curse, it was not idly ignored and the people she loved paid the price. She allowed him to feel pure, unadulterated bliss and that ripped it all away. They could never be together because the man she loved would disappear and be replaced with the man he had been. She paid in blood for their love. Her friends suffered. Her family suffered. And why? Because she had made him feel human and that was unforgivable.
He had left her because he knew it would be more painful to stay and pretend he didn’t want her, every moment of every day. Because the temptation was perpetual and the knowledge that she deserved happiness even if he was cursed to never know it - it drove him down his own path, fighting against the darkness, trying to find some way to make up for over a hundred years of carnage. There was no end to that battle. It became his life and he knew, deep down, there was no redemption for him. He fought anyway.
Each time they crossed paths it was a test. A reminder. And so if he could help it, if she could help it, they stayed apart. On the rare occasion they had to work together, it was like dying all over again. It was a torturous reminder of what could never be. This was one of those times. He was across the street from the ever familiar house. Buffy didn’t seem to be home but he wasn’t sure. So he waited, cloaked in darkness, steeling himself to be professional and nothing more.
Preparing to face her, forcing his expression to be passive and resolute.