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Angel watches them sometimes.

Watches Faith who has come so that Buffy wouldn't have to. She doesn't say that -- surprisingly tactful for her -- but Angel knows all the same, because Faith is a terrible liar for someone with so much practice. Watches her watch Illyria with something that Angel would call hope if he weren't feeling so cynical.

Watches Illyria respond by grieving in the only way she seems to understand, rebuilding everything that she knew of Wesley, everything human. Angel thinks that the impetus shouldn’t be the issue but Angel misses Wesley, all of Wesley, betrayer and friend, and so it is.

He watches them when they come together in their tasks, not really under any agreement, spoken or unspoken but out of a need. He doesn't think either one likes each other, not in the sense of smiles and orange juice over breakfast and maybe a co-owned puppy down the road. Even if either of them was the type. No, it's not like that.

It's like something, though. Something that looks fresh and real and alive.

It keeps his eyes focused somewhere. That's all he needs for now.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile