Hell For You
A/N: Gabriel is my post-Chosen invention. Don't mind him. He has no bearing on the story. Thanks for the lovin'.
+Hell For You
In the next room, Ajo was laying sprawled over his alpha’s bed, watching her do her hair and make-up. He didn’t really like Asher all that much, but he figured he didn’t know him either and if the guy, pardon, corpse, got Buffy to open up, then he was alright.
In the living room, they could both hear Jay and Chris discussing the Coalition with Micah. They all sounded very excited.
“They’ll have fun,” Buffy offered, reading his thoughts. “And it’ll give them something to do on their own.”
That was true. The two other shifters of their little family had a tendency to be clingy, Chris a lot more so than Jay. It was time to kick the kiddies out of the house to go play with someone else for a while. And when exactly had he started thinking of his friends as his kids? He pulled a face. Weird thoughts there.
Buffy smacked her lips and ginned at the mirror before taking a few steps backward asking, “Zip me?”
Ajo complied, sitting up and carefully zipping up her dark green cocktail dress. It was new and pretty and he knew she’d thrown almost week’s tips out the window for it. But then that was alright. All four of them had jobs and they got by well enough to be looking for a better apartment. Besides, Buffy had a tendency to strip the occasional demon she found of their money before chopping their heads off. It helped. And
he was due for a promotion.
But that didn’t matter right now. What mattered was Buffy and the slight frown on her face.
“You alright? You know you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, right?”
She nodded. It wasn’t the first time he told her that. She owed no-one anything. Least of all the vampires. Then, suddenly, she smiled.
“Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve been on a date?”
It was a rhetorical question. He knew the answer and she knew that he knew it. The last date she’d been on had been more than ten years ago and the guy was dead. They were all dead. Every man and the one woman she’d ever loved had left her, either by dying or simply walking out of on. Not one of them had stuck by her, this wonderful, strong, beautiful, sad woman.
And Ajo knew she had cried for every one of them. They had hurt her and she had grieved and screamed and raged and moved on. He would have curled up in a bed somewhere and never gone out again. He would have given up and locked up his heart.
She didn’t. She picked up the pieces, put them back together and tried again. Sometimes she called their names in her sleep. Angel, Spike, Gabriel, Faith.
Some people might have thought her weak, desperate in her quest for someone to love her. Ajo knew better. It wasn’t weakness that had made her agree to go out with Asher. It wasn’t weakness that made her trust the vampire and open her heart to him. It was strength. The strength to get past old pain, the determination to not give up, the belief that somewhere, somehow, there was a piece of happiness waiting for her. So she tried again and again and again and never gave up.
“I wish I had your strength.” It was out before he knew it and he gave her a sheepish smile.
She smiled back, fixing a pin in her bun to fit better. “I’m not strong,” she rejected his comment gently.
She didn’t even realize it. Didn’t know how awe inspiring she was, not only physically.
And that ladies and gentlemen, he thought as he watched her snatch her purse and wave goodbye to the guys before slipping out the front door, was why he would go to hell and back for her.