“Wife?” Buffy crossed her arms without realizing it. “Ariane didn’t say anything about a…”
“May I take your order?” The darn waiter was back. They both picked up their menus for the first time.
“I’ll have the chicken spinach salad, dressing on the side. And a glass of water.”
“Very good.” He picked up her menu. “And for the gentleman?”
“Lunch-sized steak, medium rare, house salad.” He watched her as the waiter left. “I’m watching my weight. Not a vampire any more.”
“Ditto. Not a kid anymore. You look like you’re not into the donuts.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. You were asking about Monica.”
“Monica. Right. The wife.”
“I’d decided on cops over robbers, and besides, I look fantastic in blue. It was my first year on the job and we were called to a domestic disturbance. When we got there, the wife had been beaten pretty bad, and the daughter had called it in. Step-daughter, actually. Now most of the demons I meet on the job are of the human variety, but this husband was an actual demon, posing in human form. He ran, my partner fired, he fell. And bled green all over the driveway as he morphed into something a little more lizard-like.
You would think in most cases the daughter would lose it, but she didn’t. She just sat and held her mom until the ambulance came. And later we had a long talk about the demon population of LA. One talk led to another.
She was a remarkable woman, Buffy. Brave and smart. And I fell in love with her.”
“I won’t say she didn’t flinch when I told her my life, including my unlife, story. But she struggled to understand. She accepted me. For some reason, she loved me too.
Well, I was human, I had prospects and I loved her. So I married her. And we were happy. First time in my whole life I was truly happy. And then Angela came, and I was happier still.”
“Angela. Is she named…?”
“She’s named for Angel, yeah. In the end, after all the fighting and mortal enemy crap, he was the closest thing I had to a best friend. Not my only friend, mind. There was Charlie, and Fred. Even Wesley, in a way. They’re all gone now. But Angel and I shared something. Something nobody else would ever understand. I may not have really liked him, but I respected him.
‘Sides, when Angela was born her hair stuck up funny.
So, we went on, my little family and me. Monica put up with being a cop’s wife, worrying every time I left the house but never complaining. I could see it in her eyes, though. The fear I might leave one night and never come back.
But there are dangers worse than guns.
She wasn’t feeling well. Felt like she had no energy, she said. At first we chalked it up to her trying to work and be a mom. But that wasn’t it.
The people I’d seen go before went quick. But cancer goes so slow, eating you up a bit at a time.
And then there was just me and Angela.”
Buffy put her hand on his. “I’m so sorry.”
“Imagine me a single dad.”
“You were always good with Dawnie.”
“My girl’s eleven now. I want you to meet her.”
“I’d like that.”
The lunches arrived, and they ate quietly.
Over coffee, he asked, “So, tell me your story. What happened with the Slayer army? And the Scoobies? And you?”
“Hmm,” she said. “That’s a long story.”
“Okay, start with you. What’s gone on in the last fifteen years in Buffyworld?”
“I guess I could start with my husband.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/210832.html