Pairing: Buffy Summers/Angel
Fic Title: If You Drive Me Back
Why This Must Be Read: Post-series, Angel is found as an amnesiac human and it's up to Buffy to take care of him. Glorious, moving writing that gets this bittersweet atmosphere that just... oh, it's so beautifully painful and gorgeous. Watching Buffy move around him and everything she can and can't tell him, and how all those feelings are just beneath the surface. I loved this piece.
The doctor from the phone met her in the lobby, extolling in his professional monotone the extent of Angel’s injuries. Broken ribs, broken hand, broken face. Abdominal surgery to repair something Buffy couldn’t, had you asked her, identify as being in the human body. And post-surgery, he’d lapsed into a coma. A coma. Buffy thought of all the instances of coma in her life and was uncomfortable by how common a thing it was. Hundreds of stitches, dozens of diagnostic tests with adorable names. And still no answers. They were unable to find any organic reason for the memory loss. It could be shock from trauma, the doctor said, but in those cases we expect only loss concerning the traumatic incident, itself.
Angel had forgotten his whole life. Who does that? Who wakes up one morning to nothing at all?
And the question Buffy wanted to ask after each pronouncement of ill health was, But he’s alive. You’re absolutely sure he’s alive, like, alive alive. But she knew how that would sound, and she didn’t think, after all he’d been through, that Angel needed any more trouble.
The doctor took her to Angel’s room, and there he was, alive. He was attended by a battery of machines: heart monitors, EEG, the slender scythe of the IV stand. The quiet beeping of the heart monitor was near sufficient to drive Buffy from sanity; his heart, Angel’s heart. She watched the peaks and valleys grow and thought of lying against his chest and feeling nothing. Angel’s heart.