Angel sat up in bed, his eyes filled with confusion as he stared at the Slayer. "Huh," he questioned, his eyebrows scrunched in confusion.
Buffy reached into a drawer and pulled out an old t-shirt. "I wanna paint," she repeated her request as she unbuttoned her silk shirt.
For moment, Angel's mind went blank. Buffy stood at the foot of his bed, dressed in the laciest scrap of fabric he'd ever seen. The little red bra barely covered her breasts and he had a very hard time concentrating on what the hell they were talking about. It had been a good week and a half since he'd last seen her without clothes on, and that had been a total accident. It had been a busy week on the Hellmouth and the Slayer and the vampire had been pretty busy defeating them all the demons making an appearance. At the rate the bad guys were coming into town, Angel was positive he wouldn't see Buffy completely naked again before the end of the millennium.
Buffy understood this and let him gawk for a second, before stunning him totally by taking the bra off and tossing it to him, hitting him right in the face. "You can see it better that way," she explained when he glared at her. A moment later, the shirt covered her naked form, obstructing Angel's view.
Angel blinked to clear his mind. "What were we talking about?"
Buffy smiled indulgently. "Painting."
So reminded, Angel pushed back the covers and got out of bed. Buffy was disappointed to see that, while his top half was bare, his bottom half was not. Damn.
"So, what brought on this sudden need for artistic expression," Angel asked her as they walked out the bedroom.
Buffy recalled something her mother once said about painting being a joyous, fulfilling experience that calmed the spirit and soothed the soul, but she figured Angel wouldn't buy that coming from her so she settled on the truth. "I want to paint my name all over your body."
Angel looked back at her and smiled. "Sounds like fun."
"I thought so."
"So, what do I get out of this?"
Buffy smiled. "You get to do the same to me."
Angel pondered this for a brief moment, before grabbing her hand. "Then let's go paint."
"This is so much fun!"
Angel smiled at the Slayer, who was busy painting little designs on the canvas with her fingers. She was actually doing a pretty good job, he observed proudly. Of course, finger-painting was an elementary school activity, and any kindergartner could paint geometric shapes, but he didn't have the heart to burst her bubble.
"Why don't you try using a brush," he suggested gently, handing one to her.
Buffy took the brush from him, dipped it into the paint, and drew a nice, pointy wooden stake in the bottom right hand corner. "You know," she said as she observed her work. "I should sign all my stuff this way."
"It's definitely unique." He got up from his seat to stand beside her. "Done," he asked, gesturing toward her masterpiece.
Buffy nodded, her smile radiant as she stared at her work. There was a barn red house, complete with a front door, two windows (with black curtains), a mailbox, and a chimney (for Angel's beloved fireplace). On the porch was a swing, gently swaying in the fall breeze, and a wolf lay sleeping in front of the door. In the emerald green grass was a garden of beautiful night blooming flowers, and the dark blue sky was filled with twinkling yellow stars and the bright silvery light of the full moon. There was a huge tree in the front yard, its golden leaves littering the ground. A bushel of apples sat beside it.
And lying on the blanket under the tree, staring up at the sky, were Buffy and Angel, wrapped in each other's arms.
"You like," she questioned hesitantly.
Angel turned his gaze to the picture. He chuckled when he saw the black curtains in the window, laughed outright when he saw the smoke coming from the chimney, and tears streamed from his eyes when he saw Oz, curled up, asleep on the porch. But when he noticed the figures lying together under the tree, he took Buffy in his arms and held her tight.
"I love it," he told her before capturing her lips in a sweet kiss.
When Angel pulled away, Buffy set her painting aside and grabbed a tube of crimson red paint. Smiling devilishly, she squirted a bit on Angel's chest. "Now, let's get naughty."
"Where do you keep this paint?! In the freezer?!?"
Angel placed a hand on Buffy's shoulders, holding her down when she tried to squirm away. "Stay still," he commanded, as his fingers glided over her skin.
Buffy heaved a sigh, and tried to stop moving. "Angel, this paint is cold."
"You're being a baby," he replied, the smile in his voice taking the sting out of the rebuke. "And I'm colder than this paint and you've never complained before."
"That's because your cold makes me hot," she replied testily. Her body stiffened when she felt Angel tremble above her, signaling his silent laughter. "You know what I mean."
"Right," Angel replied when his laughter subsided. His fingers moved a few more times on her back before he announced, "All done."
Buffy turned over, knocking Angel to the floor and she stood up. "What does it say," she asked, spinning in a circle as she tried to see what he'd painted on her back.
Angel watched her, a smile on his face. She resembled a dog chasing its tail. It was highly amusing. "If you calm down you can go in the bathroom and look in the mirror."
Buffy stopped circling and looked at Angel, her cheeks red with embarrassment. "I forgot about the mirror," she informed him unnecessarily.
He chuckled. "I kinda figured that out."
The next thing he knew, Buffy had grabbed his hand, pulling him toward the bathroom.
"You like," Angel repeated her earlier question, only with more assurance.
Buffy nodded absently, her eyes focused on the picture Angel had drawn on her. The Slayer and her vampire were lying on a bed, engaged in the most intimate of acts. Angel's eyes were focused completely on her as she moved above him, her pleasure obvious on her face. "How," she asked as she twisted her body, making the two figures on her back move sensuously.
"I've got a wonderful muse," he replied simply.
She turned to him then, tracing the letters on her chest. His whole body was marked with her name and symbols representing her. Her name was written in flowing script all over his chest, back, and arms, stakes and crossbows were drawn up and down his legs. She'd even written her name on his most impressive part, even after he informed her that there was no one that particular part of his body loved more than her.
"So, that's us," she queried, a small smile gracing her lips.
Angel wrapped his arms around her, kissing her lips. "Uh huh."
"You're very bad," she said, deepening the kiss.
Angel shrugged. "I have my moments." He pulled away, his fingers going to her stomach, where his name was painted. "Got any other wonderful ideas to suggest," he asked, his fingers drifting to other parts of her body that bore his name.
Buffy's eyes moved to the huge tub that took up the majority of the space in the room, her smile widening as inspiration struck. "How about we take a bath?"
"And ruin all our hard work?"
Buffy nodded in answer, pulling out of his embrace. She turned on the taps and hot, steamy water poured from the faucet. "But the faster we get clean," she said, as she sank down into the tub, the water rising around her. "The sooner we can start painting all over again."
Angel wasted no time joining her in the tub.