Pairing: (specify 'shippy or not): Willow and Angel, friendship
Requests: (one or two things you'd like to see in your story, i.e. object, time period) season 3 of Buffy, a bag of Skittles
Restriction: (one thing you don't want) No character bashing
I hope you like it! The story takes place shortly after "Doppelgangland," and, okay, so it's not much of a story. More like a scene. But.... enjoy!
"I mean, I’ve never understood what that was supposed to mean. ‘Taste the rainbow?’ What does a rainbow taste like, anyway?" She saw Angel’s mildly bemused look and sighed. "I know, I know. I think too much. Really need to learn not to say everything that goes through my brain... Hey, you want one?" Willow held out her half-eaten bag of Skittles to the vampire with whom she sat.
He shook his head and waved her away. "Thanks, but no. I’m not big on candy."
"But... rainbow-y goodness!"
Angel smiled. "Thanks, Willow, but I’m not a rainbow kind of guy."
The redhead shrugged. "All the more for me, then," she said happily, popping a few more into her mouth, glancing at the book in front of her. She wondered what Angel was thinking. She was pretty sure that he was her friend, not like Xander or Buffy, but a friend nonetheless. Still, there was something about him that kept her from asking the questions that crossed her mind when she thought of him. It wasn’t that he wouldn’t share, or that it was wrong to ask; it was more that, for some reason, it just didn’t seem fair to put him through it all again. In his two-hundred-plus years of existence, she knew many things had happened that he wanted to put behind him, and a lot of them that he’d rather forget. It didn’t seem right to make him relive any of it.
It seemed to Willow that she often found herself around guys who didn’t show what they felt. Okay, she admitted, Xander’s the exception. But don’t exceptions prove rules? Or something... whatever rule it might be that you’re trying to prove. Oz, she knew, felt things deeply but rarely expressed them. Until she’d gotten to know him, she hadn’t been sure that he cared about anything. She knew better now.
Angel was still a bit of a mystery to her, though. Despite the fact that they talked occasionally, that she helped him with research and other knowledge-y stuff, and that he’d even showed up in her room once, he would always be closer to Buffy than to any of the other Scoobies. Which makes sense, Willow thought. After all, they loved each other. Love each other, she amended; they just can’t do anything about it. She’d never talked to Angel about what had happened between him and Buffy, but she knew most of the story thanks to many heartfelt, late-night conversations with her best friend. Willow couldn’t help wondering what he’d gone through between the time that Buffy killed him and when he’d reappeared.
She’d never asked, though, having seen Angel soon after his return; whatever he’d been through, it wasn’t good.
"Angel?" she questioned softly, putting off her research of Kangir demons for another moment.
"What you said about vampires before - you know, when vamp-me showed up? Is... is that true? That vampires are nothing like the people they used to be? Because, well, I saw you when you were all evil and creepy, and you were pretty scary. But with her... I understood her, Angel. She’s all the things I wouldn’t let myself be. Won’t," she amended.
Angel sighed and turned mournful eyes to the red-haired girl across from him. "I didn’t tell the whole truth, and I’m sorry. The thing is that it’s a lot easier to be evil when you don’t have a soul. The upside is that you lose all inhibitions, but the downside is that you also lose your conscience.
"If you’re worried about turning into her, don’t. You’re too good a person, Willow. I don’t see you turning around and killing anyone anytime soon."
Willow sighed. "But that’s not exactly what I meant. Well, not that I’m planning to kill anyone or anything" -she laughed nervously - "but it was more about how she was. How she looked at me and thought she knew me. And, well, maybe she kinda did."
The vampire looked at her, shaking his head slightly. "You’re not the same. Well, you are, but you’ve had different experiences. You’ve led different lives. Look at it as-"
Cutting him off, Willow blurted, "There but for the grace of God go I?"
"Be glad you never will," Angel muttered under his breath, then said more loudly, "Yeah, something like that."
Willow was about to ask what he’d said at first, but decided not to ask. There were some things better left as mysteries.