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Author's Note: Some of the dialogue has been taken from the actual 20th episode of Season Three. While some of the plot stays the same, this does not feature the hell beasts,- which have been moved to another season -as I wanted this episode to be happy for all concerned. Enjoy.

The Prom.

Night faded away, and the pale light of the dawn began to clothe Sunnydale in its ethereal brilliancy. Pushing the shadows away and blowing apart the last cobwebs of sleep in the mind of the guardian of the hellmouth. Buffy opened her eyes, to find that she was not in her bedroom at Revello Drive; a place which had become a common nightly sanctuary recently; but in Angel's at Crawford Street.

Not only that, but she had also been under the owner's close scrutiny for sometime now. He was looking at her with the familiar small smile of contentment, his usually dark brooding eyes brightened by the happiness within, which, to her constant astonishment, he always found in her presence. Buffy was not used to this sort of by product of her existence, afterall, she was the vampire slayer, the beasts were rarely happy when she showed herself.

But with Angel, everything was different. She could sleep in his arms without the fear of not waking the next morning. Trust him to help her fight the demons she needed help with. Certain in the knowledge that he would never betray her, nor anyone else she entrusted into his care, that he would die for her, just as she would for him, no matter what the cause.

He smiled as she opened her eyes to see him; or rather his existent smile grew wider. "Good morning."

"Definitely good," she replied, smiling back at him; or to put it more accurately, grinning inanely. She had been doing a lot of that lately around him. Not that she minded, it was just the most used way to show how happy she was. Well that and, this; she kissed him.

Regrettably- to both parties -it was short, but then the morning was well advanced already, and if neither of them were careful, they would miss college and school first classes of the day. Angel pulled back to his original position with a contemplative look upon his face. "I was wondering if you would like a drawer."

"A drawer?" She questioned instantly, surprised by the inquiry.

His features turned to confusion. "That is the expression, isn't it?" He queried, still unsure of many of the idioms when it came to relationship protocol.

"It is," she quickly assured him, touched once again by the romance of her creature of the night- although he was fast becoming one of the day as well -boyfriend. "I just never thought you'd ask. Of course, I'd love one. Thank you," she kissed him again.

He seemed even more pleased that she had said yes; obviously he had put a great deal of thought into it. Then he rolled her underneath him, and the world faded away as she gave herself up to the wonder that was Angel's kissing. Buffy arched her back, letting his hands slip in-between the sheet which covered the mattress and her, so he could touch her skin. His tongue begged and received permission to slip into her mouth, where it duelled playfully with hers. Buffy parted her legs to rest either side of his, rubbing her hips against his, and her hands went to rest upon his back, tracing his tattoo.

Angel withdrew his tongue and moved his lips down to her neck. Worshipping her skin with his mouth, he wove a leisurely path of kisses down the valley between her breasts. Then he tilted his head and peppered kisses across the left until he reached her hardened nipple. Tenderly he twirled his tongue around it, then closed his mouth and suckled. He dealt the same to her right, then moved to her honed stomach and beyond. He adored these mornings; those spent waking up beside her. The ones without her had become so rare that their effects were torturous when they occurred. Angel rose back up to her lips, kissing as he entered her. Inside her he found happiness and acceptance of all that he was. And he reciprocated in kind; loving the slayer, and the young woman who had to carry the mantel of a chosen warrior.

They both reached ecstasy at the same moment, their eyes giving and receiving eternal gratitude. Content to remain inside her forever, Angel continued to kiss her as they worked themselves down from their emotional highs. Silently they exchanged smiles, before kissing again. Both would be content to spend the rest of the day like this, and let the world and its troubles rumble along without them.

But the world could not do the same for them. The alarm rang, bringing their sated bodies and minds back into the present. Buffy reached out with one hand to turn it off, while Angel made move to withdraw from her. He was halted however, by her hands closing around his manhood, making him look up at her.

"Don't," she commanded softly.

"I have to," he replied, but with obvious reluctance. "We both have early classes, remember?"

"I know, but we won't see each other until this evening when you have to pick me up for the Prom."

"Why won't I see you until the Prom?" Angel asked as he withdrew from her completely, hands and all.

"Because my dress isn't at home, its at Mom's," Buffy replied as she got up from the bed as well.

Angel stilled, watching her as she grabbed one of his shirts and proceeded to hide her nakedness. "What did you say?" He asked softly.

Buffy recalled what she had said and slowed down the speed of which she was doing the buttons as nerves overtook her. And she thought he was the only one unsure of the relationship protocol. "I said my dress was at Revello Drive," she eventually replied, reluctant to say the word again; even if it was in a different context.

Angel smiled, a small, secretive smile and disappeared for a moment. When he returned, he was carrying a small cubed box. He handed it to her with a hopeful expression, silently waiting for her to open it and become reassured.

Buffy lifted the top off and looked inside. Its content puzzled her. The object was an old-fashioned key. Silently Buffy picked it up, her eyes moving from the item to him curiously.

"Read the note," Angel commanded nervously.

She obeyed, turning to it. "If found, please return to Buffy Anne Summers, 1902 Crawford Street," she got no further. Delighted beyond words, she stared at Angel.

"Buffy, will you move in with me?" He asked her.

"Yes!!" She cried immediately, jumping into his arms, wrapping herself around his body and grabbing his lips for a kiss. Only thanks to his vampire reflexes, did Angel manage to stay standing. The kiss almost had the same effect too.

"Are you sure its okay?" She asked when she had returned to ground. "With UC Sunnydale, I mean."

"I checked that. As long as you don't take my classes its fine."

"What made you ask?"

"When I open my eyes in the morning, and all I see are empty pillows, an ache grows in my heart. Although I don't remember the last time that happened."

Buffy felt herself nearly grinning again. "That's beautiful."

"And I figured it was too soon to ask the question which requires a ring."

Buffy chuckled as he intended. She had told him some time ago that she did not want marriage before college. Still smiling she pulled herself close to him again. "You know, for an 18th century Irish Catholic, you're not adverse to 20th century values."

"Its why I've managed to exist for so long," he replied wryly, kissing her hair. "And now we really ought to get dressed."


" 'When I open my eyes in the morning and all I see are empty pillows, an ache grows in my heart.'" Willow mined a swoon and fanned herself for a second. "Wow."

"I second that wow," Cordelia said. "Why can't we bottle it?"

"Because the universe would be more screwed than it already is," Buffy said. "Besides Xander can be romantic, can't he? Look at his sacrifice of a road trip to buy the Bronze so you can go to college."

"True," Cordelia mused, recalling the time he had told her about it.

"Speak of him and he shall appear," Buffy said, looking up.

"Hi girls," Xander greeted as he and Oz joined them in the monastic style walkways of Sunnydale High's inner courtyard. "All set for the Prom? Partners invited?"

"Check," the slayer replied. "Some of us are going with demons- all right, just me -but I think that's a valid lifestyle choice."

"Actually, I think you can count werewolves in the demon category," Oz offered in friendly support.

"More importantly," Buffy continued, "I have the kick-ass dress."

Willow's eyes lit up. "Ooh, the pink one?"

Buffy nodded. "Angel's gonna lose the ability;- to speak or stand, that is."

They walked into the corridors within the building of the high school.

"What about yours, Will?" The slayer asked her best friend.

"I haven't got mine yet," Willow explained as they neared the library. She went on to describe one of the possibilities.

"So it was blue and sorta short," Buffy was heard to recap as they entered the headquarters of Scooby gang.

"Not short, medium," Willow clarified. "And it had this weird, sorta fringy stuff on its arms."

"What's that?" Giles asked as he walked in from his office. "A demon?"

"A Prom dress that Will was thinking of getting," his slayer explained. "Can't you ever get your mind out of the hellmouth?"

"I'd be delighted to," Giles answered. "However, the day of the Mayor's Ascension is fast approaching, and we don't know what to expect."

"Well, what about the pages that Will stole from the Mayor's books? Look, she put her life on the line there, pal. Don't tell me they're useless." Xander was incredulous.

"On the contrary, no," Giles assured. "We know the Ascension refers to a human transforming into a demon, the living embodiment of an immortal. And on Graduation day, our Mayor Wilkins is scheduled to do just that."

"Trouble is," Wesley Wyndam-Pryce began as he entered, "we don't know which demon he is going to become."

"Haven't you left yet?" Xander asked him.

Wesley frowned at him. "My flight doesn't leave until after the Mayor's Ascension. Providing anything survives, that is."

"Nice to know your level of faith in us," Giles remarked dryly. "As I was saying, there are thousands of demonic species."

"So, its safe to say we shouldn't waste any time on such trifling matters as a school dance," Wesley finished.

"Well, that's too bad, because I bet you would look way 007 in a tux," Cordelia mused in a slight mocking tone.

Which Wesley failed to pick up. "Except of course, on the actual night, when I shall be aiding Mr Giles in his chaperoning duties."

"What?" Giles queried, looking at him. "Excuse me?" Wesley stared back at him pleadingly, until he tired of the expression. "Fine, fine, fine."

Buffy turned to Willow. "We'll get you a dress," she proposed. "Why don't we check out April Fools?"

"If you do, don't let anyone else know," Cordelia asked. "I'm working there to pay for mine."

"I am dipping into my nightclub manager fund to procure a shiny new tux, so look for me to dazzle," Xander said.

"And I myself will be wearing pink taffeta, as chenille would not go with my complexion," Giles commented with heavy sarcasm. "Can we please talk about the mayor's Ascension?"

"Giles," Buffy began, "we get it. Miles to go before we sleep. But especially if we're all gonna vaporise or something on Graduation day, we deserve a little prommy fun. One night of glory, not too much to ask."

"It reminds us what we're fighting for," Jenny agreed.

Giles sighed, staring at the engagement ring on her finger and conceded that they were right. They had things to be fighting for, himself included, and he and Jenny had yet to properly celebrate their engagement, the question being asked during the middle of a demon crisis which forced Angel to pretend to be his demon in order to trick the Mayor and Faith into revealing all they could about the Ascension.

A bell rang, causing all to make their way to class, save Buffy, who hung back from the rest, looking at her Watcher with a sudden nervousness, as though she had done something he might not be pleased about.

"What's wrong?" He asked her.

She eyed Wesley, who was looking at the two of them curiously. "Could you give us a minute, Wes?" She asked.

"Sure," he replied, disappearing into Giles' office and closing the door.

"Buffy, what is it?" Giles asked her as she drew him away to an area near the door.

"Angel asked me to move in with him," Buffy revealed. "And I said yes."

"He did?" Giles queried. "That's wonderful news. I'm pleased for you."

"You are?" Buffy sought to confirm. "You're not worried about me moving in with a vampire, albeit a souled one, or me being too young?"

"Not at all," he assured her, surprising her by pulling her into his arms for a brief hug. "I'm glad he found the courage to ask you. You've done wonders for each other, Buffy," he added, withdrawing from the embrace. "He's returned to the world because of you, and in a way, you have too. You've learned to balance your home life and the slaying, a feat which few slayers before you managed to accomplish. I'm really pleased for you."

"Thank you," Buffy replied.

"All right, chapters thirteen and fourteen to be read in time for next class. Dismissed."

Angel stood behind his desk in his role as Professor O'Connor of Art History, collecting returned assignments as the pupils of his first class after lunch left his lecture hall.

"Angel," a voice called out, causing him to look up and meet the gaze of Mrs Summers, who was standing by the double entrance doors.

"Joyce," he greeted her, "come in."

The students parted, heading out the other door, and she made her way to the desk. Angel came round and leant on the outside edge.

"Buffy told me that she's moving in with you," Joyce remarked when the hall was devoid of students.

"Yes, I asked her this morning," Angel replied. "I hope you don't mind?"

"No. In fact I wondered how long it would take for you to screw up the courage and ask." Joyce smiled. "You two are spending a lot of time together lately."

"She's the love of my life," Angel readily replied, letting all of the love for her shine through his voice and face. Joyce had difficulty restraining a gasp. Over the past year she had begun to see why her daughter had fallen for Angel. First it had been his manner; the way he would look at Buffy, how he would hold her or speak to her, like she was the centre of his universe. Second was how well he knew her daughter, every facet of her manner and face. He was able to tell when she was well and able to comfort her when she was not. The third thing was what she had learned just now. When Angel smiled and thought of Buffy, his whole face lit up. His tone became lighter, the brooding look disappeared, revealing him to be even more attractive than he already was. Not that she was remotely attracted to her daughter's boyfriend, but she could see now what had drawn her daughter towards him, and how much Buffy had improved him because of her courage to love him as a human being, rather than fearing him as a vampire.

"And I'm lucky enough to be hers, as she tells me," Angel added.

"You are," Joyce agreed. "You make her happy. Before you, even before she was called, I'd rarely seen her happy. We- her father and me -did not help matters, we went through a messy divorce, aggravated by her troubles at school, as much as we tried to not let it affect the way we loved her and cared for her. But when she met you, I saw the difference between before you and after you. You make her happy, Angel. That's why you not only have no objection from me, you also have my blessing."

"Thank you," Angel replied to that, his voice laid with emotion.

Joyce smiled. "I'll see you this evening."

Angel smiled. "I can't wait." He closed his eyes and pictured them dancing, wondering what her prom dress would be like, other than possessing the ability to enhance her beauty even more. The image was satisfying enough to keep him focused for the rest of the day.

"Are you sure?"

"Willow, you look gorgeous!"

"Yeah, Oz will be speechless! Well, even more than he usually is," Cordelia amended.

The three girls had assembled at Revello Drive to dress for the Prom and were now waiting for the boys to pick them up.

"Xander is here," Joyce called up. Cordelia took one final look at the mirror, then went downstairs.

The boy was the first reduced to what the slayer had once termed as salivating boy talk. Xander beheld the vision that was his girlfriend, wondering once more how lucky he was to be her choice over popularity at High school, to be her love, rather than any others whom she could have the pick of.

Oz arrived a few minutes after they left, his silence a testimony to how beautiful Willow looked. They exchanged a brief kiss full of sweetness in the hall which Joyce had to capture on film as the moment was too sweet to be left behind in the past without any evidence of it's once existence.

Then it was Angel's turn.

Joyce answered the door, and held back a gasp at the sight of Angel in a tux. He was wearing a long styled jacket and a white cravat, which made him look more sophisticated than the usual black tie, while also not conveying the look of a time traveller. "Angel, Buffy will be down in a minute." She gestured him inside.

Buffy appeared at the top of the stairs. Angel looked up and gasped. She was a vision in pink silk, which seemed to have wrapped around her body, save for two thin straps of material caressing her shoulders, with deliberate creases around the bust and waist line, highlighting every inch of her curves before reaching down to the floor. The pale yet dusky shade was perfect for her skin colour, bringing out her beautiful brown eyes, which glowed brightly as she smiled at him. Her just past shoulder length blond hair was pulled into a half pony tail, fastened gently half way down her tresses.

Angel's mouth was still open in awe when Buffy descended the stairs. She herself had difficulty trying to act nonchalant at his appearance, knowing the magnificent body which the clothes hung to ever so well was concealed beneath them. She came to a halt before him, and wrapped her bare arms around his neck to give him a brief kiss. "Hi," she said. "Nice threads."

Angel gazed at her in awe for another moment. Then he clasped her hand, raised it to his lips and bowed, his ancient manners in full force.

The flash of a camera a few minutes later, ended the Kodak moment. Buffy blushed, while Angel merely straightened up and, with a deft flick of his wrist, pulled her closer to him. Then he pressed his lips to hers, kissing her as if she were a marble model of a saint he had just undertaken a pilgrimage to, but at the same time, making sure that saint knew her pilgrim loved her well. Joyce continued to take pictures of the occasion, during the kiss and when Angel backed away a little to talk.

"You look beautiful," he said to Buffy, his eyes, his eyes still running over her fine figure. "A goddess," he added, his tone still containing flecks of awe.
Joyce had almost used a complete roll of film by the time Angel had led Buffy out to the black limo which he had rented for the night. The driver held the door open for them as they climbed in.

"Sit next to me," Buffy softly requested as Angel went to the seat opposite her.

He smiled in reply. "If I did I wouldn't be able to stop myself from ravishing you."

"What's stopping you opposite me?" She queried flirtatiously.

"Good point," Angel replied, as he made to move from his seat for a second, then sat back. "Don't want to wreck your dress," he confessed.

Buffy checked to see that the opaque window was up between them and the driver. Then she stood up, and lifted up her dress. Moving to sit on him, she smiled. "We can work around that."

Angel hands wandered up her thighs. "So we can." He caught her lips in a kiss. His hands deftly examined the pants beneath her dress, silently noting in surprise that they were from a bikini, being held upon her body by two bows either side.

Buffy grinned as she broke from him. "I chose them precisely for this situation," she confessed, before unbuttoning his shirt, running her hands leisurely down his chest, until she reached his trousers, whereupon she slid down the zip to let her fingers delve inside.

Angel groaned as they closed around his manhood, already stiff from seeing her, even more so now she sat on his thighs, looking at him with a small wicked smile, the kind he rarely saw any place but their bedroom or the mansion when they were alone. He growled as she drew him out from his dark confinement, stroking him almost to the point of no return. In revenge and wish for to please her, he loosed free the bows before slipping his hands into her own sex, pinching and caressing until she bucked towards him, her breathing fast as her pulse throbbed with passion.

She let him lift her so he could enter her, looking in his eyes as he thrust in and out, letting him see the joy their union caused her, the happiness she felt every time they made love. He smiled too as his hands clasped her butt, holding her steady until they both reached the height of their passion and beyond, letting her wind down upon him in the heady after glow.

They remained joined to each other for as long as they could, until the slow speed of the vehicle indicated they were nearing the high school, whereupon Angel retied the bows, and Buffy confined him once more, making themselves look decent by the time the limo drew to a halt.

"Well," Wesley Wyndam-Pryce began, munching some hors-d'oeuvres fresh from the buffet table, "I must say this is all rather odd to me."

"Oh yes," Giles commented remembering the watcher's background. "At an all male preparatory they didn't go in for this sort of thing."

"No of course not," Wesley agreed. "Unless you count the nights you made the lower class men get up as girls and watched them..." he trailed off as Giles looked at him. "Dip is tasty isn't it?" He asked, rapidly changing the subject.

Cordelia and Xander entered, her dress cut causing Wes to splutter. "Sauce is hot. Very hot," he lied, meaning sauce as code for female student.

Willow and Oz followed their friends in. The former smoothed her dress down and breathed a small sigh of relief. "We got in. Maybe we should dance before we get bedevilled, or beheaded or something."

"Yeah it's strange," Cordelia agreed. "This is the first time the hellmouth has not stepped in and messed up a grand occasion."

"Lets dance before we jinx it," Oz decided.

After a couple of dances Buffy and Angel arrived, smoothing out their clothes and trying for all the world not to look like they had just had sex in the limo.

"Hey you two," Willow called out.

"How's the prom?" Buffy asked.

"Strangely affecting," Oz replied. "I got all teared up when they played 'We Are Family.'"

"What kept you guys?" Will asked.

Buffy blushed and looked around for a distraction.

Angel provided one. "May I have this dance?" Buffy smiled and gratefully led him out on to the floor.

The music was slow, allowing for Buffy and Angel to indulge in more closeness. Buffy closed her eyes and rested her head against him, content to let the world fade away while she resided in his arms.

"And the award for Sunnydale High's class clown for 1999 goes to Xander Harris."

Surprised, Xander swung Cordelia around in his arms, then leapt up to the stage and took place before the microphone.

"This was so unexpected," he began before taking out a piece of paper he had prepared just in case. "In fact I'm," he held up the card. SPEECHLESS, it read.

The watching classmates groaned as he jumped back down to Cordelia, Willow and Oz, clutching his award.

"We have one more award to give out," Jonathon continued. "Is Buffy Summers here tonight?"

The crowd clustered around the stage turned round to locate her. Soon they found the reason for her failure to answer to the call. Music may have ended awhile ago, but there was still one couple out on the dance floor. Until now, they had remained unnoticed by the rest of prom attendants. Now though, with everyone's eyes upon them, and slayer/vampires senses alive, they parted and looked around them embarrassedly.

"This is actually a new category," Jonathon now continued. "First time ever. I guess there were a lot of write in ballots and um, the prom committee asked me to read this;" he opened a piece of paper and began to read. "'We're not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you, but that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you. We don't talk about it much, but its no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here.'"

"Zombies," someone shouted.

"Hyena people," shouted another.

"Snyder!" Shouted someone else, causing everyone to laugh.

"'But,'" Jonathon continued, "'whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of these people here have been saved by you, or helped by you at one time or another. We're proud to say that the class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history.'"

The crowd broke into applause.

"'And we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class, offers its thanks, and gives you, this.'"

Jonathon produced a multicoloured glittery miniature umbrella with a small plaque attached. "Its from all of us, and it has written here, 'Buffy Summers, Class Protector.'"

The entire crowd broke into applause. Buffy turned to Angel, to see a smile on his face. He leant forward and kissed her in congratulations. Reality set in, and she walked up to the stage to collect her award.

Jonathon smiled at her as he shyly handed her the trophy, the golden glitter sparkling from the lights above. He leaned in to kiss her cheek, and uttered his own thanks for her saving him from himself when he was ready to take his own life in the bell tower.

"I'm not only grateful for myself," he whispered, "but for the opportunity of giving this to you. Until afterwards, I had no idea how many students felt the same way."

"Neither did I, until tonight," Buffy replied. "Thank them for me, Jonathon, and yourself. Tell them that they have made everything worthwhile."

"I will," he replied, before stepping back to let her take centre stage and show her appreciation to all who were gathered.

Giles was there to greet her when she returned to the floor. "A perfect prom. Loads of slow numbers with my boyfriend, soon to be live in partner, and I got a little toy surprise."

"I had no idea that children en masse could be so gracious," the librarian murmured.

"Every now and then people surprise you," Buffy replied.

"Perfect night?" Angel asked her as he came up behind her with Jenny, who went over to her fiancee. The music had started up again.

"It couldn't be more perfect," Buffy replied, turning to him, while Giles was led off for a dance.

"Dance with me?" Angel asked.

Buffy put her award down somewhere safe, then wrapped her arms around his neck. "I was wrong," she remarked softly, "it just got even better."

The End.
To Be Continued In

Graduation Day; Part I.