Ice Cream

by Mary Beth Nielsen
Copyright 1998

This is a short one (like the song) for Celli, who just *had* to ask why no one ever wrote a story to Sarah McLachlan's "happy song." Thanks a bunch Celli... loves ya lots! :):) Not mine... as if I could *ever* hope to be creative enough to create characters like these. No money... don't sue. Feedback *very* welcome.

"Your love is better than ice cream,
Better than anything else that I've tried."
-- Sarah McLachlan

It was a warm, peaceful evening in Sunnydale as Buffy and Angel walked side by side through the park. They had left the Bronze earlier, abandoning their friends when they decided they wanted to be alone. On a whim, Buffy had led them to the main thoroughfare of town so that she could satisfy a sudden craving. Now they were taking the long way to Buffy's home, quietly enjoying each other's company.

"Mmmmm." Buffy murmured, her eyes closed with pure enjoyment. She sighed, opened her eyes, and blushed as she noticed Angel watching her with amusement, although his eyes were bright with... something more.

She slid the plastic spoon out of her mouth and began fiddling with the cup in her hand and its contents. "What?" she asked defensively.

"You... are enjoying that? Angel asked, the light from the street lamp dancing in his eyes, his mouth twitching as he tried to suppress a smile.

"Of course," Buffy scoffed. "There's *nothing* better than chocolate ice cream."

"Nothing?" Angel asked teasingly.

"Well..." Buffy smiled coyly. She stopped walking and turned to face him, leaning on the low wall that borders the cemetery. She cocked her head to one side, studying his face. Her expression turned serious as her brow furrowed. "Have you ever had ice cream Angel? I mean do you eat..."

He shrugged, cutting her off, "I think I've tried it. At some point." He glanced away, as always a bit uncomfortable discussing the things that made him different. "I don't... need food but sometimes it... passes the time. Why?"

"It's just weird." Buffy caught his gaze and held it. "To think that you can't appreciate all the wonderful tastes and flavors in the world. I know my thighs could stand a little less appreciating on my part...." Angel smiled. "But," she continued, "it's just.... sad." As she finished, Buffy stabbed her spoon into the ice cream and took another bite, this time not savoring quite it as much. She continued to fidget, turning the spoon in the cup.

"Who says I can't?" Angel said softly. He reached out, took the cup of ice cream from Buffy and looked her in the eye. His gaze was intense and Buffy found herself breathing deeply at the effect it had on her.

Angel whispered. "Tell me what you love about ice cream."

Buffy just stared for a moment before she realized he was serious. So she told him, slowly at first, hesitant about what to say.

"Um. It's soft and ... uh... sweet," she said, glancing at Angel who nodded encouragement to continue. "It's creamy and tasty. It's cold. It's the perfect treat on a hot day or a warm night. It's messy." She smiled.

"What else," he whispered, as he stirred the ice cream gently and scooped out a spoonful. "Tell me."

Buffy closed her eyes, imagining a spoonful of ice cream for herself. She continued, "I love the way, if it's a cone, you can sculpt it with your tongue while you eat it. And if it's in a bowl, you can scoop it up and it sort of slides off the spoon into your mouth. I like to keep the spoon in my mouth for a while to sort of savor the feeling. I love how it's cold but as you take a bite, it sort of melts on your tongue and down your throat, leaving a creamy coating behind."

Buffy realized she was blushing and opened her eyes to see Angel with the spoon in his mouth and his eyes closed, savoring his own bite of chocolate ice cream.

He opened his eyes, locking his gaze with hers. "It's delicious," he whispered. "One of the best things I've ever tasted."

Buffy smiled. "Isn't it?"

"Yeah," Angel reached around and placed the cup on the wall behind her, "but you know what's *better*?" Buffy shook her head slightly, and he brushed his hand across her cheek and then drew her close for a long, slow, passionate kiss. His lips still tasted of chocolate.

They stood there for several minutes, locked in a lover's embrace. Common sense intervened as they realized it was getting very late.

They parted silently, their eyes smiling. Hand in hand, they headed for Buffy's house. A few moments later, Buffy broke the silence.

"I think there is definitely something better than ice cream."

"Yeah?" Angel glanced down at her.



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