Stepping Out


“So you’ve never done that with him? Ever?” Willow asked, large eyes dark with amazement. “That’s so weird! I thought Angel would be good at it, you know. Centuries of experience and all.”

“Don’t make the man suffer,” Xander said firmly, before Buffy could answer, raising his voice slightly over the impassioned shriek from the vocalist as she finished a song. “If he’s not comfortable doing that, then I say Buffy respects his feelings and doesn’t push him.”

Willow snorted. “Yes, because you’re so keen on not making Angel wriggle on the spot,” she scoffed.

“Just because I feel a certain male solidarity at work here, crossing over the boundaries of him being a creature of the night and me being all full of hatred and loathing for said creatures...”

“Xander!” Buffy said. “Angel’s not – he’s on our side, remember?”

“As well as being Buffy’s honey bunny,” Willow said sternly.

Xander choked and spat flat coke over the table. “He’s her what now?” he asked weakly. “Friends, Will, you mean friends, right?” He looked appealingly at Buffy. “Tell her, Buffy. Tell her how sadly wrong she is and make my ears stop hurting.”

Buffy glared at Willow. “Way to make me regret sharing,” she threatened.

“Sorry,” Willow said, attempting to look contrite. “But he is, isn’t he?”

Her eyes lit up hopefully and Buffy smiled, blushing a little. “Yes, I guess so. Even if he won’t do that thing.”

“Work on him,” Willow advised. “Make him see it’s important to you and tell him all the cool kids are doing it. Even Xander.”

“Hey!”

“Hi, Buffy.”

Buffy turned and smiled up into Angel’s face. “Angel! We were just talking about you.”

Angel looked exquisitely uncomfortable. “Really? Why? No, don’t tell me.”

“I’ll tell you,” Xander offered.

“But then I’d have to kill you,” Angel said, pulling Buffy from her seat with a look and whisking her away.

“Man, I hate when he does that,” Xander muttered.

Willow looked at him enquiringly. “Which bit? The being all cool and sophisticated part? Or the way he can go all menacing without even trying? Or the –”

“Willow.”

“Being quiet now,” Willow said, zipping her lip and grinning.

Xander stared at Buffy and Angel as they made their way to a secluded spot. “Still though,” he said thoughtfully. “I wonder why he doesn’t do it?”

***

Buffy snuggled down beside Angel and rested her head against his shoulder. “This is nice,” she said. “I was thinking you weren’t going to show.”

Angel’s arm tightened around her and he brushed a kiss against her hair. “Promised I would,” he said.

“Yes,” said Buffy, “but sometimes I think promising things is just asking for the Hellmouth to get all hellish on us.”

“Seemed quiet out there,” Angel assured her.

Buffy turned and looped her arm around his neck, pulling him down and kissing him. “Now I’m really worried,” she murmured, her lips travelling from his mouth to his throat.

“You don’t seem it,” Angel said, tilting his head and trying not to moan as she bit down. “Buffy...that’s –”

“You don’t like it?” Buffy asked, innocently widening her eyes.

“You know I do,” Angel said, letting a growl deepen his voice. “But if you do more things I like, we’ll get thrown out. Even the Bronze has some standards.”

“Nah,” said Buffy. “But I’m all for the taking this somewhere more private...except, school night and Mom made me swear I’d be home early.”

“Oh,” Angel said flatly. “Well, I’ll walk you home, shall I?”

“Sure,” Buffy said. “Just got time for one dance.”

Angel froze. “Buffy, you know I can’t – look, you go and I –I’ll watch, okay? Dance with Xander.”

“Oh, he’d just love standing in for you!” Buffy said.

Angel frowned. “Well, yes, he probably would,” he said awkwardly.

“Not for this!” Buffy hissed, her face set and determined. “Angel, they’re playing a smooch song. You’re good at the smooching part. We’ll just be doing it vertically, in public, with background music. Do this for me or I’ll..”

“What?” Angel said, beginning to panic. She looked so inflexible...

Buffy tossed her head, “I’ll –” She stopped and looked at him.

“Run out of fiendish tortures?’ Angel asked.

She shook her head, bringing her hand up to let it rest against his cheek. “No...I’m ingenious threat girl, no problem there...just don’t want to, you know? Angel, this would make me happy. Won’t you just do it? For me? Because you love me?”

“That’s low, Buffy,” Angel said.

She dimpled at him, the sad, plaintive look vanishing. “I know. Good, huh?”

Angel sighed, stood and bowed his head slightly in defeat. “Miss? May I have the pleasure of this dance?” he said, offering her his hand.

Buffy grinned. “Oh, you may. And you will.”

***

“She did it!” Willow squeaked. “She got him out there! Oh, and this is such a romantic song too...”

“What? Where? No! My God, what’s she doing to him?”

Xander’s voice rose bat-squeak high and Willow reached over to pat his hand reassuringly. “It’s just a dance,” she said.

“Look at them! With the holding and the hands and the...the hips, good gravy, the hips!”

“She used my line, then,” Willow said proudly, watching Buffy and Angel sway together, eyes locked, smiling at each other.

“Which line?” Xander said frantically.

“The one about dancing being like –” Willow glanced at Xander’s distraught face and took pity on him, “like, umm, walking. On the spot. Into a wall and bouncing back. And –”

“Vertical sex,” Xander said. “You told her the vertical sex line, didn’t you Willow? How could you?”

Willow sucked hard on her straw. “Oops?” she offered.





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