after.midnight // v.naked
TITLE: Seven Days
AUTHOR: Tamara
RATING: R -- it's one huge pile of angst
FEEDBACK: Comment away.
SUMMARY: Someone's missing Angel.
DISCLAIMER: Joss owns 'em, not me.
NOTE: I've been lacking inspiration lately, so I'm a little off my game. But this hit me and I had to run with it.


It's been seven days since the last time he touched you, his fingers gliding gently over your skin, sending shivers up your spine that made him smile. You remember how he used to hold you, his bare chest against your naked back, his arms wrapped around your waist, his thumbs gently caressing your stomach. His skin was always cool, like late night ocean breezes, and you never knew that the cold could be so soothing, never knew that his chilly embrace would be your home.

You made love that night, just seven days ago, and you can remember every touch of his lips against yours, the feel of his tongue as it explored your body, the way he fit so perfectly inside you, filling the emptiness in your soul. He told you he loved you over and over again that night, his voice soft and gentle and filled with emotions you never thought anyone would ever feel for you. He wanted you to know he meant it, that they were more than just words uttered in the heat of the moment. You didn't need them, his love for you evident in all the things he'd ever done for you. But you accepted them, knowing he needed to say them, and you let him know that you loved him, too.

You've barely made it through the last seven days without him, can't begin to contemplate how you'll get through the next seven and the seven after that. You feel him in the bed beside you, his body, solid and real, in your arms every night, waking up hours later only to find it was all a dream. You spend every night on the phone with him, his voice, deep and soothing, lulling you to sleep. You begin each day sitting in bed, hugging his pillow to you, the one that holds the faintest hint of his scent, the scent that's slowly fading away. You miss him more than you thought you'd ever miss anyone, and you count the days until he returns. You try not to think about the fact that he may not be coming back, that this battle may be his last. The thought of being alone without him forever terrifies you, something you only let him know in the stillness of the night when the miles between you are endless and your only connection is the cheap plastic of the telephone.

It's better during the day, the daily routine of running the office, saving the lost souls that wander LA's dark streets keeps you from missing him too much. Cordelia's there, dragging you to lunch on company time, chatting endlessly about auditions and rehearsals and scripts she's reading, little things that help to take your mind off him. Wesley reads you stories when you're sitting around with that look in your eyes, the one that says you're miserable without him. Gunn drags you down to the hood when the others have gone home and you just don't want to be alone. You don't have the heart to tell him that seeing him surrounded by family, laughing and joking and being together, only makes you miss him more. You wonder when they started taking care of you instead of the other way around, when they became your family too.

It's dark now, the sun disappearing below the horizon. It's his time of day, your time of day, but now it only serves to remind you that he's gone. You go to the calendar, marking off another day, trying to ignore the days that came before. It's the start of seven new days, seven days without him. The phone rings just as you slip into bed and you turn out all the lights before you answer. It makes it easier to pretend he's there with you.

"Hi," you answer, your voice just above a whisper, hoping that will help to hide the tears that have started to fall.

"Hi," he replies, and you can hear the smile in his voice, the longing and concern. You know that he hears your tears, he always does. "I miss you."

There's so much in those three words. He misses you, he's worried about you, he loves you, he wants to be home. There's that and more in your voice when you answer:

"I miss you, too."

It's been seven months since you saw him last, seven months since he went away to fulfill his destiny. You try not to think about when you stopped living, when you started measuring months in days. It's gotten easier, living without him. You have your job //his job//, you have your friends //his friends//, you have your life //which isn't really complete without him//. Every night you hear his voice in your ear, telling you his misses you, that he wishes he was home. Every day you see his clothes beside yours in the closet, his toothbrush resting on the bathroom sink next to yours. They're little things, inconsequential things, but they remind you that, even though he's away, he's yours, that he always will be. They remind you that someday he's coming back to you.

You just have to make it through the next seven days.