the pearl


Another truck slowly made its way through the small desert town, stirring up the hot dry dust. Buffy Summers, her eyes narrowed against the clouds of dust, stood at the edge of the road, waiting. She had just finished her shift at the local truck stop, serving greasy hamburgers and thick slices of pie to equally greasy and thick truckers, who, in-between phone calls to their families and leaving insignificant tips, would try to cop a feel or two while complaining about the coffee.

She made her way across the two-lane highway, stepping carefully over the squished rabbit in the road. It had been a long day, and all she wanted was a drink. She walked towards the small cantina across the road, where they didn't care, and they knew better than to ask.

The cool air from the swamp cooler was a comfort compared to the 120-degree wind. She walked up to the cantina, her eyes adjusting to the faint illumination given by only a few table candles and the old-fashioned Christmas lights behind the bar. The bartender nodded at her as she sat on the furthest barstool. "The usual, chica?"

Buffy nodded. When he placed the bottle of beer on the bartop, she handed him a dollar. "Thanks, Jaime," she said softly, before drinking, dissolving the thick dust that had grown inside her with a long drink of cool beer. Her body slowly began to relax. Here, she was safe. Safe from the dry hot dust that seemed to permeate her clothes, her hair, her soul. Safe from the truck drivers with their sausage fingers, giving her a grope instead of a tip. Safe from her memories. Safe from...

Buffy closed her eyes, trying to block the memories flooding into her mind. Angelus smirking at her. Angel staring at her, his eyes wide with pain and betrayal. The resistance she felt as she plunged the sword through him. The eerie silence as Alcatha's portal closed, leaving her alone. Again.

She dug in her pockets for loose change and found just enough for a pack of cheap cigarettes. As she lit her first cigarette of the day, she felt the smoke fill her lungs and inhaled deeply, feeling the nicotine rush through her body. She never smoked before she left Sunnydale. But after several nights of waking up in bus terminals whispering his name over and over, she needed something to distract herself.

She looked up as a large group of loud people walked in. They were part of the young bored Chicano crowd that tended to get drunk on the weekends, screw each other, and crash their trucks, just because there was nothing better to do. She turned back to her cigarette, watching it slowly becoming ash. Jaime came over and took the empty bottle from her before replacing it with another. The jukebox was kicked into life by one of the young rough men, and began to play a loud Tejano song. Buffy frowned slightly, but decided not to make a scene. It wasn't worth it.

Until a loud argument started, with a girl screeching "Get the fuck away from me!" Buffy looked at the crowd, and instantly went into battle mode. She lifted herself from the barstool and walked over to the small crowd.

A girl no older than Buffy was stood there, glaring at the man who had her arm in tight grip. "Let me go!" she said loudly again, attempting to pull away.

Buffy went up to the man. "Excuse me," she said softly, tapping him on the shoulder.

The man snarled at her, "What the hell do you want?"

Buffy looked at the girl. "I believe she asked to be let go."

The man looked at her and smirked. "And how are you gonna stop me, bitch?"

Buffy raised an eyebrow, then, before the man realized what was going on, managed to get his other arm behind his back and slammed him up against the wall.

"Bitch!" the man swore before suddenly pushing her away and throwing her on the ground. "No one fucks with me!"

Buffy began to rise, but froze when she saw the gun he had pointed at her. "C'mon Juan," said a voice behind her. "C'mon, man...she isn't worth it."

"Fuck you, Jaime. No one messes with me and my bitch, especially some little tramp." The gun remained pointed directly at Buffy. "C'mon, bitch. Get up!" Buffy got up very slowly. "Now you're gonna work with me, bitch. You're gonna leave me the hell alone!"

Buffy's eyes narrowed. "Oh, I'll work with you, Juan." She kicked the gun out of his hand. "I'll work with you in the best way." She kicked him again, this time hitting him dead center in the chest. Juan fell back against the wall with a grunt. Buffy slammed him up against the wall, dazing him. "I think this way ought to work," she whispered into his ear before slamming him against the wall again. She released him and let him slide down the wall semi-consciously. "Bother her again, and I'll do more than introduce you to the wall."

She turned to the small group of men around her. "Anyone else want to meet my friend the wall?" As they dispersed, she grinned. "Thought not."

Buffy turned back to the girl. "Are you okay?" she asked softly.

The girl stood there, her arms wrapped around herself, staring down at the man who had been hurting herself just a few minutes ago. At Buffy's stare, she looked up, her large dark eyes glimmering with tears. "I...I'm fine..." She looked down at the man again. "You hit him."

"I don't like to see women hurt," Buffy said gruffly. She looked down at the man. "It's something I never want to see again."

The girl shivered. "I need a drink."

Buffy nodded and gestured to the bar. "I'll buy you something," she said.

The two girls walked back to the bar. The girl asked for a beer. Buffy paid for their beers, then turned back to the girl. "Does that happen all the time or just when I'm around?"

The girl looked down at her beer. "He doesn't mean to hurt me. He means well. He just...he doesn't know how rough he is, you know?"

Buffy frowned. "I think he knows damn well how rough he is. And so do you." She took a sip of her beer. "Why do you stay with him?"

The girl looked up at Buffy. "He wasn't like this before...."

Buffy's face paled, remembering when she said those exact same words. Finally, she found her voice. "Before you slept with him, right?" she said, her voice low and harsh.

The girl's intake of breath said everything. Buffy looked down at the bar top, her eyes closed tight, not seeing her mother's disappointment, the fear in Willow's eyes, the pain in Giles's entire body, and, above all, Angel smirking at her, knowing that he had killed someone who she was just beginning to forgive...

A hand grasped her sleeve. She looked up and saw the girl looking concerned. "Are you okay?" she asked softly, her voice quiet.

Buffy closed her eyes for a second, regaining that hidden well of strength she didn't even know she had until there was nothing left. She smiled weakly. "Here we are, I saved your life and all, and I don't even know your name."

The girl looked down at her beer, then looked up, her dark eyes shining. "Angelita," she said, her voice barely over a whisper.


Buffy's stomach dropped. Oh God... she thought. Angel... She closed her eyes for a second, trying to regain some self-control, then smiled softly. "That's a pretty name," she said quietly. She looked back at her beer. "I'm..." C'mon, who is she going to tell? It's not like anyone's looking for me down here...yet... "I'm Anne." She looked back at the girl, smiling tightly.

Angelita smiled softly. "Thank you for the beer," she said, her voice still quiet. "But I need to go..." She began to stand up.

"Wait," Buffy said, her voice slightly edgy. "Juan could still be out could get hurt."

Angelita looked at Buffy, her eyes sad. "I know," she said. "But there's no place for me to stay....I have to go back." She began to walk away.

Buffy grabbed her arm. "No, wait! There has to be a place!"

Angelita turned back to Buffy, her eyes dark with resignation. "Juan takes care of me. I don't have anyone else who can."

"Stay with me," Buffy said, her voice tinged with desperation. "Don't go back to him. You can stay with me. It's not much, but I have a room at the motel. I can get you a job at the truck stop. I..." Her voice broke. "You don't have to go back to him. Please."

Angelita closed her eyes tightly, trying to forget the world around her and the choice facing her, then slowly nodded.

Buffy grabbed her hand and led her out of the cantina.


The door slowly opened on the dingy motel room. Buffy clicked on the lights, then made her way towards the bathroom, pulling off her shoes as she walked. "Just set your stuff down anywhere. I'll be back in a second." She shut the bathroom door, then slumped against it. What had she done? Invited some strange girl in just because she was abused by her boyfriend? You know why you brought her here, the voice in her head replied. She reminds you of yourself.

Buffy walked over to the sink and began washing the dust off of her face, keeping the water cold in an attempt to startle herself back into reality. "What am I doing?" she asked herself in the mirror. "What else can I do?" After a minute of standing there, she opened the door and stepped back out into the room.

Angelita was sitting on the edge of the bed, looking nervous. Buffy sat down in the only chair, directly opposite from the bed. "Can I get you something?" she said softly to Angelita. "Another beer, some water?"

Angelita shook her head. "I..." She paused for a second. "Why are you doing this?"

Buffy looked down at her hands, remembering the cool steel against them, the resistance of Angel's body against the plunging sword, the hot tears that ran down her cheeks as she realized exactly what she had done. "I...I have a secret. One I haven't told anyone."

Angelita looked at her. "Anne?"

Buffy looked up at the girl, tears in her eyes. " name isn't Anne. It's Buffy. I made that up because I didn't know I could trust you. I didn't know I could trust anyone." Buffy looked down again. "I...I went through what you are going through now. I was in love with this...guy...and one night we got a little...and then he...." Buffy's voice broke. "He changed....and he wasn't the Angel I used to know....and then he killed Ms. Calendar and tried to end the world and I had to do it even though he had become my Angel again it was too late it was my destiny and my mother had kicked me out and I was expelled and I could never face Giles or Willow or Xander again...and Angel was..." She bgean to cry now. "Angel was gone..."

Angelita moved closer, resting her hand on Buffy's knee. "I...I don't know what to say..."

Buffy looked up at the other girl. " here...for now...I just need to know that someone knows...that someone is here..." She looked down and grasped the other girl's hand. "That someone cares..." She looked back up at Angelita. "I...oh god...I can't believe I just told you all that...I mean, I don't know you and I don't know why and I...." She closed her eyes. "I just need someone to hold me....please..."

Angelita wrapped her arms around Buffy, pulling her onto the bed. Buffy sobbed into the girl's shoulder, all the pain and rage rising up in her and leaving. Angelita stroked her hair, holding the crying girl in her arms tightly. After a minute, Buffy pulled away and looked at Angelita, stroking her cheek. Angelita slipped a hand onto the back of Buffy's neck, gently stroking the small strands of hair there. The two girls looked at each other, then slowly, tenderly, moved in and kissed gently.

Buffy broke the kiss first. "I..."

Angelita put a single finger on Buffy's lips. "Shh..." she said softly, before kissing her again.

Buffy closed her eyes and pulled Angelita closer to her. Her kisses were different from Angel's, but the flutters it caused in her stomach were the same. She slid her hands up Angelita's shirt, feeling the soft skin of her back, so different but yet so familiar. Angelita began to unbutton Buffy's waitress uniform. Within a matter of minutes, with a minimum of fuss, the two girls were naked in front of each other. Angelita reached out and caressed Buffy's cheek, her hand slipping down to the other girl's shoulder. "You're so beautiful," she said softly before kissing her again.

Buffy laid back on the bed, pulling Angelita with her. She swum in the overwhelming sensations, feeling herself move closer and closer to the edge. Her eyes were closed shut, and she moaned softly. She felt the pleasure build higher and higher. "Angel..." she breathed softly. She heard the soft chuckle of the other woman. "Oh Angelita..." She began to shake, feeling the waves of orgasm crash through her. Her head fell back, and her mind floated on the feeling. Buffy flashed back to the night with Angel, feeling his arms around her, feeling him inside her, the emotions, the sensations crashing down on her again. "Angelita!" she screamed, her arms clutching at the other girl. Buffy fell back onto the bed, sobbing. She pulled Angelita towards her, still crying. "Thank you, oh God, thank you...thank you..." She continued to sob, holding the girl tightly, until she fell asleep.


She awoke the next morning, to the sound of Angelita dressing. "Whu...what's going on?"

Angelita looked at the girl, smiling softly. "I did a lot of thinking last night. And I think I'm going to get out of here...."

Buffy nodded, her face serious. "Do you know where?"

Angelita shrugged. "Anywhere the bus will take me..."

Buffy wrapped a sheet around herself and reached into her bag. "Here." She handed the other girl a bus ticket. "It's a ticket to this town called Sunnydale. There's not much there, but you can get a cheaper bus ticket to L.A. from there."

Angelita raised her eyebrows. "I....I don't know what to say..." She looked at the other girl. "Thank you."

Buffy smiled softly. "That's all I ask for, Angelita." She stood and faced the girl. "Being with was amazing..." She picked up the other girl's hand and held it to her chest. "I felt...I felt as if I was finally redeemed, as if everything would finally be okay..." She kissed the other girl softly. "Thank you."

Angelita caressed Buffy softly, then walked out of the motel room. Buffy curled back up on the bed, wrapping her arms around herself, thinking of redemption.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at