" . . . Tom the Frat Guy?"
Angel's jaw didn't just drop, it seemed to come almost completely off its hinges to dangle by a scrap of skin. He was a danger to low-flying birds and flies. Had anyone been looking for a good candidate in a large-mouthed bass look-alike contest, Angel would've been the man . . . er . . . *vamp* for the job.
Before his horrified gaze, Tom 'the Frat Guy' Warner swept into the house, holding a large bouquet of daisies in one hand as he swept Buffy into a hug with his free arm. Tom looked charming, Buffy looked thrilled, and Angel just looked sickened.
Angel hadn't been this shocked since the day he walked into the Master's cave and discovered the ancient vamp's penchant for cross-dressing. He stood in the living room and dithered long enough for Buffy to find a vase for the daisies while Tom stood next to him and attempted friendly-guy-smalltalk, which basically amounted to, "How 'bout them Broncos?"
Angel's power of articulate speech didn't return to him until just as Tom was helping Buffy on with her coat. Unfortunately, it returned in a rush, and instead of a polite inquiry as to Buffy's state of mind in her choice of companion, it came out in a rather belligerent tone.
"YOU'RE DATING THE GUY WHO DRUGGED YOUR DRINK AND TRIED TO SACRIFICE YOU TO A HUGE DEMON SNAKE IN A HORRENDOUS RITUAL IN THE BASEMENT OF HIS FRATERNITY HOUSE? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR *MIND*?????"
"Angel!" Buffy said disapprovingly, looking up at Tom to make sure that his feelings weren't hurt.
Clearing his throat delicately, Tom carefully folded and handed Buffy her coat, clearly sensing friction in this room. Turning, he crossed to where Angel stood - a trembling mass of ex-boyfriend wrath.
"We seem to have gotten off on slightly the wrong foot," Tom began carefully. "Now, I understand that in the past I did some very unconscionable things. However, confinement in the Sunnydale Minimum Security Prison taught me the error of my ways. I found new life and meaning in learning to swing dance, and with my new purpose in mind, I founded the first swing club in Sunnydale." The brilliant glow of the righteous and the pure had come to Tom's face, and Buffy came up to place a hand on his shoulder, an expression of pure love coming over her face as she looked at the visionary she loved. Angel backed up slowly. He'd always been more of a fox-trot man, himself.
"I met others who were like what I had been. Frustrated, lost, and delving into the dark arts. I brought them to the swing club, and to the sounds of The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and Frankie Manning they found purpose and meaning once again. Then the vampires and the demons came, and we taught them to swing too."
Angel nearly choked. "The demons and vampires would've *EATEN* you!"
"So one who has not been to a swing club would think," Tom corrected gently. "After all, if they had eaten us, they would've been out hundreds of swing partners! All the demons and vampires in Sunnydale are swingers now. But by then, certain powers in the town had noticed the drop in dark magic and killings."
"That's how I met Tom again," Buffy said dreamily, "The gang and I went to the speakeasy where he was lindy-hopping one night, and the moment our eyes met, we just knew."
Tom gently slid his arms around the petite Slayer, and lowered his lips to hers. The kiss was the sweet passion of those who are truly in love. Moving closer to each other, Tom's hands slid down her back just as Buffy's fingers tangled in his light brown hair-
-and then Angel ruined the mood by clearing his throat loadly. "Knew what?" he asked acidly.
The anniversary celebrants gazed into each others' eyes.
"I knew," Tom said, "that I had found my swing partner."
"Oh, Tom, that's so sweet.." Buffy whispered as she rose on tiptoe to bring her face up to his-
-which was when Angel noticed the wedding bands on both of their hands.