Part 10 Interlude
Angel was brooding again. The trouble was that he wasn’t the only one doing it this time. Where only a few days before someone would have gleefully scolded and teased him about his creepy lurking habits, they were now all studiously ignoring it in favor of being caught up in their own moody introspections.
He was surprised how much that bothered him, despite his normal grumbling about them interrupting his thinking time. But since no one was bothering him he took his time contemplating the complete change in atmosphere since Xander and their own geeks had left. For starters there was no more laughter in the Hyperion. Everything was quiet, as if a sort of uneasy hush had fallen over the place.
Dawn had quickly become withdrawn shortly after saying her goodbyes. She sat silent and scared, keeping to the research area, hunched over ancient tomes and avoiding eye contact while looking for information about Cordy’s latest vision. Spike was never far from her, a constantly moving shadow that was by turns mope-y and sharp tongued and vicious towards anyone who got too close.
Cordelia was for once openly agitated. She was flittering around the old hotel from one place to another trying to look busy so that she wouldn’t show how concerned she really was about the whole situation and having her friends out of her site. Gunn was slightly more successful in looking unfazed and pretending that he wasn’t secretively hovering over all of them.
The quiet was like an itch, a small irritation that grew the longer you didn’t do anything about it; and although Angel would never say it out loud, he missed all the chaos and noise that had become such a part of their daily lives. The vivacious and lively energy that seemed to exude from his humans when they were feeling upbeat made the hotel feel more like a home. Even their constant bickering was better than the heavy despondence that had taken over. With a long unneeded sigh he realized he fervently hoped that things in Sunnydale would be settled soon so that Xander, with his irrepressible humor, and Fred and her frenetic good cheer would come home, where they belonged and scold him while dragging him back into the group.