Funnier in Latin

Title: Angel of Mine
Author: Amberina
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Set in summer between AtS 3 and 4/BtVS 6 and 7
Summary: Fred thinks of Willow as an angel.
Disclaimer: All things BtVS and Angel belong to Joss Whedon


These feelings started a while back. Before Cordelia and Angel disappeared, before she and Charles got together, before Connor was even born. These feelings have been in her for a while now.

For instance, one day she saw Cordelia walk into the Hyperion wearing a very short skirt. So short that if she bended over, Fred got a full view of her thong'd rear. She's a woman, and Fred's a woman, so there was no reason for Fred to get aroused by that sight, right? Because she had never been aroused by a woman before. She never thought she was gay, never questioned that she was straight.

She loves Charles with all of her heart, and she would love him more, had she had more heart, but as it was, she loved him with all of her regular-sized heart. So the feelings she had for Cordelia didn't make sense at all. Because she did love Charles, she knew she did. Does. But the feelings, they stayed.

And when the sad, redheaded angel walked into the hotel, looking for Angel, the feelings were there again. She was beginning to think that she had just transferred her hero-worship from Angel to Cordelia, that it was just an innocent, non-lesbian crush, but then Willow walked in.

She was the most beautiful creature Fred had ever laid her eyes on. She wasn't flawless like Cordelia, and she wasn't strong like Gunn, no she was attractive because she was the exact opposite of those two. She was pale, and she was weak, and she was scared. But she had something about her - something that told Fred she wasn't as innocent and weak as she seemed. She had an aura of power and been-there-done-that-ness all wrapped up in a sweetly vulnerable outside shell.

Fred had met her once before, when she came to tell them that Buffy had died, but then she had been different, less sad. Not that she had been exactly happy before, but something major had happened to change this angel. She was an angel, Fred couldn't think of her as anything but. She was a shattered angel, perhaps a fallen angel, but still no less of an angel.

"Hi," Fred offered softly, trying to keep herself from babbling by biting on her lip.

The angel glanced around the hotel. "Is Angel here? Or Cordelia?" She smiled, a sad, heart-wrenching smile that wasn't one of happiness at all. "Heck, I'd even like to see Wesley."

Fred looked down. "Angel and Cordelia are missing. We haven't seen them in weeks. And Wesley doesn't come around anymore."

The angel's mouth formed an "o" and she looked confused. "I, uh, I guess I'll leave."

"You don't have to!" Fred said quickly. "I mean, you can stay a little bit. You don't really know me, but I could use some company. Charles is out and so is Connor, so it's just us."

The angel looked grateful for the invite and steadily walked over to where Fred was. "Um, I don't know you or Charles or Connor, but I could always use some new friends." That don't know what I did, she almost added. "Do you remember me?"

Fred nodded. "Yeah. I was a little scattered back then, but I could never forget you."

Willow looked at her questioningly and Fred blushed. "You were so sad. But you're sadder now."

Willow looked down. "Tara, my girlfriend, she died."

Fred didn't know what to say for a moment. "Oh, I'm so sorry," she finally managed. She had met Tara at Buffy's funeral. She, too, had been an angel, with an ethereal glow that told Fred not to worry that she didn't know Buffy, she would have still been glad to see her there anyway. She had told Fred, with her mouth not her glow this time, stories of Buffy and her bravery, and Fred had been in awe of the fallen super heroine. She had been in awe of the beautifully angelic creature before her, much like she was now. "Tara was really nice."

"Yeah," the angel said, and despite the short answer, it spoke volumes.

"Do you need a hug?" Fred offered.

Willow glanced up and offered her a weak smile, but a genuine smile. "That's all right."

"Nonsense," Fred said, climbing to her feet and offering the angel a brief hug. "Everybody needs hugs. Hugs and tacos. Do you want to get some tacos?"

Willow grinned slightly. "Tacos could be good."

"There's a Taco Bell not far from here," Fred said. "We can walk there."

Willow nodded. "Okay."

****

Willow and Fred ate in silence, which was unusual for both of them - being silent. But their mouths were so stuffed with tacos, it would be hard to talk if they tried.

The angel looked even more beautiful when she had mild sauce mixed with sour cream and a little bit of lettuce dripping down her chin.

"You've got - " Fred gestured at her own chin and Willow brought her napkin up and mirrored her action, wiping the clump of goop off.

"Thanks," Willow said.

"You're welcome. If we're going to be friends it'd be really mean to let you walk around with taco stuff all over your face."

Willow nodded, considering this. "Yeah. Thanks, though, for not being mean. I wish I wasn't so mean sometimes," Willow said, looking down at the table, forgetting all about her half-eaten taco. "I've done bad things, and I know I shouldn't be laying all of this on you, but I feel like you'd listen and not judge me, you know?"

"You feel right," Fred assured her. "You can tell me anything."

The angel took a sip of her Dr. Pepper and sighed. "I've killed people. I tried to kill my friends, the only family I've ever had, all because of a coward with a gun killed Tara." Fred's eyes were wide and Willow really hoped she wasn't afraid of her. "I went for revenge and the magick the power I had absorbed was too much, it took over, and soon revenge wasn't enough. It was just about making people understand - making people feel the pain that I felt."

The angel still didn't look up, and Fred felt a strange feeling. With all that the angel had told her, she should probably be scared or at least weary of her, but instead she felt closer to her than ever. Not that she could relate to the magick-and-murder thing, but she could understand where the angel was coming from, in a weird way. And she was still an angel, a lost angel trying to find her way home, a fallen angel trying to get it's wings back, but still an angel.

The poor thing began to cry, and Fred's heart went out to her. She placed her hand over the angel's. The angel's ghostly pale hand was almost as thin as Fred's. "It's okay, it's okay," she tried to assure her. "You're a good person. I know you are."

Willow looked up at her with a tear-streaked face. "You can't know that. Even I don't know that."

Fred wrapped her remaining tacos up. "Would you like to go back to the hotel?"

Willow nodded, beginning to wrap her own taco up. "Yeah. I can't really handle the public thing right now."

"I understand," Fred said honestly. "Up until a little while ago, I wouldn't even leave my room, let alone go out in public."

The angel smiled slightly, and Fred felt as if she had been bestowed with a precious gift.

****

"I'm sorry," Willow began, nervously, "for everything I did. But I'm not really, and that scares me. I know it was wrong, but I can't help but feel that I would do it again."

Fred wrapped her thin arms around the angel's shoulders and stroked her hair back gently. "It's okay."

"No," the angel whimpered, "it's not okay. I did horrible things. I flayed a man, Fred. He screamed for mercy, and I killed him, I enjoyed it. But the memories - I don't feel bad about it. Why don't I feel bad about it? I know I should."

"Maybe he deserved it," Fred said hesitantly.

"No, no matter what he did, he didn't deserve to suffer like that. He killed Tara and he deserved to pay, but not like that. I'm a murderer, you realize that, don't you? Why aren't you afraid of me?" The angel looked up at Fred with glistening, blood-shot eyes.

"Because I know you're not going to kill me. I can tell that you're not the same person that killed that man. I can tell you've changed. And anyway, I didn't shoot your girlfriend," Fred said with a loopy grin, and Willow couldn't help but smile at the look on her face.

"You're very pretty," Willow said suddenly, stunned that the words came out of her mouth. Not that she didn't think that the woman was pretty - she did - but it was too soon after Tara's death. Wasn't it?

"You're pretty, too," Fred said, taking the moment to admire the strong vulnerability of the red-headed young woman sitting beside her. She hesitantly moved her hand to the angel's shoulder, and the angel tensed under her touch, but soon responded by sliding a bit closer to her.

A million thoughts raced through Willow's brain. Was this right? Was this somehow betraying Tara? Was Fred even gay? But all her thought processes shut off when the tiny woman beside her pressed her soft lips against hers. Willow closed her eyes and just responded.

Fred pulled back, a thoughtful look on her face.

"Are you okay?" Willow asked.

Fred nodded. This wasn't at all like kissing Charles at all. Charles' soft, pillowy lips were always like a cushion against her own. The angel's lips were soft as well, but thinner, poutier, it was kind of like touching her lips against a feather. Charles kissed with a force, though, and his kisses were always hungry and passionate, his tongue always prodded her mouth, searching for something he never seemed to find. Kissing him was like a sword fight in her mouth. But kissing the angel was kind of like an epiphany. It told her not only that she liked girls, and that staring at Cordelia's ass wasn't just a fluke, but that she wanted Willow beyond anything. Willow's tongue was soft against hers, gently pushing against her in a tender masquerade. Kissing the angel was like a slow dance to a sappy Michael Bolton song in her mouth. It was fun, and it was new, and Fred thought she could do it all day long. It was almost as good as tacos.

Fred leaned in again, and brought her lips to the angel's gently, exploring the mouth of this beautiful goddess sitting next to her.

Willow moaned into the kiss softly. Images of Tara flashed through her brain, and she pushed them back, opting instead to kiss this sweet young woman next to her with everything she had. Finally, they pulled apart, both gasping to catch their breaths.

"I love Charles," Fred began, hesitantly. "But I want you."

"It's okay to be confused," Willow said softly. "Right now I'm not exactly with the clear-headed."

"I can't have both," Fred said to herself, intending for the words to only be in her brain, instead of spoken out into the air.

Willow shook her head. "I'm not going to ask you to choose." She stood up wearily. "You'll figure out what you want eventually. But if you truly love Charles - be honest with him."

Fred stared up at the angel, her eyes wide with admiration. "Are you my angel?"

Willow shook her head. "I'm not anyone's angel. I'm just me, and for once, that's okay." She smiled weakly and made her way out of the hotel, leaving Fred staring after her.

Fred knew that no matter what the angel claimed, she was an angel. She was her angel.

Almost as if on cue, Charles came into the hotel, a huge smile on his face. "Hey, baby. I think I've got a lead on the whole disappearance thing."

He embraced her in a hug, and she settled into him, revelling in the familiar feel of his chest against her own, his strong arms wrapped around her body. She breathed in deeply, to catch the smell of him. "Mmm, you smell like outside, Charles."

"That's because I was outside," he said simply, placing a kiss on her lips.

She returned it, and sighed contentedly. "Charles, I love you so much."

"Oh, girl, you know I love you."

Fred nodded and pulled back. "I know. That's why we need to talk."