Title: The Rest of the Story Authors: Mediancat & Robyn the Snowshoe Hare
E-mail: rcnease@bellatlantic.net & snowshoe16@hotmail.com
Part: 3/5
Disclaimer: All rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon, the WB, and FOX. Apologies to Paul Harvey.
Summary: What if Angel *did* leave with the Judge's arm in 'Surprise'...?

"Er?" Angel said quietly. "I think I deserve a better explanation than 'er'."

"Oh," Buffy said, voice dripping scorn, "The boozehound thinks he deserves an explanation."

"Hey!" Angel protested. "After I risked my life . . ."

Buffy cleared her throat pointedly and held up the matchbook.

"Okay," Angel amended, "After I pretended to risk my life . . ."

"Yes?" Buffy said, tapping her feet.

"Well, " Angel exploded, "You didn't know I wasn't risking life and limb to get rid of that arm instead of sticking it in a bank in LA! How could you just forget about me like that?"

"Just forget about you?!" Buffy said. "Do you know how long it took me to get over you? The fear I had that I'd never see you again?"

The knock on the door got more insistent. "Buffy?" It said. "We'd better hurry -- we don't want to be late for our two and a half month anniversary!"

Angel shot Buffy a look. "About five minutes?" the vampire asked.

"Closer to ten."

"So while I was, for all YOU knew, struggling to make it inside a cave in Tibet before the sun went down--"

"But were actually getting drunk off your ass down at Willy's --"

"You just couldn't wait to find some other guy?"

"Well," Buffy said nonchalantly, "A girl has needs, and Ms. Calendar told me you'll never be able to satisfy them."

"That's not fair -- she and I only did -- I mean, what do you mean?" the look on Angel's face was one of wounded innocence.

Which Buffy wasn't buying for a second. "I was talking about the curse on you - it goes away if you experience a moment of pure happiness. Wait a minute, what do you mean, you and she only did???"

"Um," Angel said, striving mightily to change the subject, "You're being rude, keeping your friend out there on the porch - especially when there are still vampires roaming around. Why don't you invite him in?"

"So you can check him out?"

"Or kill him, if that's what it takes."

"Okay, Angel, chill. You are NOT killing him."

"The least you could have done is wait for me," came Angel's aggrieved answer. "I didn't find comfort in anyone else - I was faithful to you."

"No," Buffy said bitterly, "You just found your solace in a bottle of Jack Daniels."

"Johnny Walker, actually. Look. I admit I shouldn't have spent the last three months hiding out in a bar in downtown Sunnydale, but I was only doing it to impress you. Sometimes you're a hard woman to impress." Angel flashed Buffy his most charming smile, and again she seemed to weaken. Perhaps this could all be made to work out after all. Perhaps they could, would get back together, with the last three months of sins forgiven by each. Perhaps --

But perhaps not. After all, you haven't heard the Rest of the Story.

The knock on the door came again, even more loudly this time.

"And obviously other times not," Angel finished. "You don't want him eaten by my fellow vampires. Let him in. I promise not to kill him."

"Or maim?" Buffy demanded.

Angel sighed. "Or maim."

Buffy went for the door. "I'm only doing this because you insist on meeting him. After all, it's not like we really have to worry about the supernatural in Sunnydale much anymore."

"Why not," Angel began, but his response to this shock died on his lips when the door opened and he saw . . .

Part Four