Angel watched as Inara gracefully slid through the last of her T’ai Chi routine. Once she fully stopped he moved, grabbing the water bottle off the table, and tossed it in her direction. She caught it in one hand without looking. A small, slightly amazed, smile crossed her face as she looked at the bottle in her hand.
“This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I said I’d come out here,” she told him after taking a long drink. She was sweating and out of breath but didn’t seem to mind.
“Well if I had warned you, you would have never come,” he replied and closed the distance between them.
“Very correct Angel.” She slowly exhaled and looked up at him, “Tell me Angel, why even after that routine do I feel…” she trailed off, looking for the right word.
“Wired?” he offered and she smiled.
“I promised you an explanation of why I picked you. Now is as good a time as any,” Angel started. “Back in the beginning of Earth’s existence Man did not exist. Demons rules the Earth for what seemed like ever, but Man was eventually created, and the demons lost their hold on this world. A girl was given the power to fight the darkness - one girl in all the world. In my time on Earth all that changed. Any girl had the potential to be a Slayer was Called and became a Slayer to help stop the end of the world. But all magic has its price, activating all those Slayers threw the balance and evil regained a prominent foothold.
“Earth was overrun. Those that had the power or money fled in great ships and formed what we have now. Those left behind suffered a horrible fate,” Angel explained to Inara.
“Humans were left behind? To die?”
“Surely you were not the only…non-human thing to leave Earth-That-Was,” Inara pointed out.
Angel shook his head and closed his eyes. “I’m not certain. I went on one of the first ships. I helped set up the new worlds and made some of the hard decisions. In all the years since we left Earth I have never run across any other vampires or any demons. If there were any that made the trip off Earth then they have kept a low profile since.”
“What about the Reavers?” Inara asked, confused.
Angel frowned at her question and ran a hand through his hair. He took a moment before starting, “Reavers are just people. Sure, they are mentally deranged, crazy people. Something made them into what they are. We can’t stop what’s already been done…only alter the future.”
“I guess to a man that has lived for almost a thousand years Reavers aren’t too frightening,” she teased him.
“Not much frightens me.”
“You still haven’t told me what I am,” Inara pointed out. She took another long drink from her water bottle. Her breathing had evened out.
“You, Inara, are a Potential. The only problem is that there is nothing for you to slay, so you won’t be called. The magic that called Slayers is bound to the Earth…or to science, neither of which will affect you directly.”
“I’m a Potential?”
“You have to feel it…to be standing so close to me. The urge to kill me and your inability to understand that urge is what is making you wired,” he explained as he stepped in closer to her.
Confusion crossed her face and she shifted nervously on her feet. The age old decision of fight or flight seemed to be raging inside her. She squared her shoulders, exhaled her nervousness, and took a step closer to him, putting them almost touching. She looked up at him and an easy smile appeared. “Does being a Potential explain why I find myself attracted to you?” she asked, her eyes danced with excitement.
Angel chuckled and let out a sigh of relief. He reached out and touched her face gently, sliding his fingers into her hair. “You wouldn’t be the first of your line to think that,” he replied and leaned down to kiss her.