Her breath hitched in her chest, at least she thought it did, then again she really wasn’t sure she was breathing at all. Oh god, she might not be breathing! Buffy quickly shut her eyes, trying to calm herself once more. He always had that affect on her…
She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat, and bent back some of the limbs and leaves that blocked her view. Her tiny body was stretched somewhat uncomfortably across the tree branch, her legs hugging it tightly underneath. It kinda hurt, and she was deathly afraid of heights, but it was all worth it just to see him.
The Giles’ had moved next door more than a month ago, their father some big corporate executive, she had no clue what the man really did, besides order her daddy around. They had moved to Sunnydale all the way from London so that Mr. Giles could over see the new company here. Buffy wasn’t interested at all in her new neighbors when her mommy and daddy had been talking about them, she was more into watching ALF at the time. It wasn’t until she had spotted Liam that she suddenly wanted to know any and everything about the family next door.
Liam was a tall, gorgeous, older man of twelve, who had soulful brown eyes, an amazing smile, and quite possibly the most angelic face she’d ever seen. Dad had said something about him having a younger brother, a few years older than she, but she didn’t care. Liam Giles was the only Giles that existed to her.
Ever since the day Liam had trotted over to the house to return the baseball she accidentally sent flying over the fence, she was in love. And had taken up a nightly vigil in the large oak tree in the backyard, that overlooked the privacy fence, giving her a direct view of the Giles’ tennis court. He may only be twelve, but Liam was already quite the playboy, taking girls to his ‘special’ spot out on the court. She watched him, night after night, whisk some girl away, a bottle of his father’s champagne deftly hidden in his jacket. After the two of them sputtered from the few sips of alcohol and danced to the soft music he would have playing on his radio, would come the kissing. That was always the part that made Buffy” heart sink…
She wanted so badly to be one of those girls, but she was only seven, and he didn’t even know she existed, unless he was returning one of her ‘toys’. God, she was such a baby, she cursed herself silently, and focused her attention back on the court.
Tonight was no different, as if on cue there was Liam and his girl of the moment. Buffy scowled as she watched them, secretly hoping that the girl would get close enough to the tree so that she could spit in her hair. Buffy was so busy being completely jealous, and wondering if she could spit far enough from this spot to hit her anyway, that she didn’t notice the tiny figure standing in the yard below, looking up at her.
“What are you doing?!” The voice shouted out of nowhere. Buffy felt her eyes go wide as she lost her grip on the tree, and let out a startled yelp as she fell, smacking into the ground with a loud thud.
Not gonna cry, not gonna cry, not gonna cry….she repeated over and over to herself as she writhed on the ground in pain. Not gonna cry, not gonna cry…her arm and leg throbbed like crazy, and she could feel the sting of tears at the corners of her eyes. Not gonna cry, not gonna cry…
“Are you okay, girl?” The tiny voice asked again, Buffy opened her eyes to see a small, frail looking boy standing over her. He pushed his thick glasses further up on his nose with one hand, and used the other to wipe off the snot that dripped gingerly, sniffing loudly.
“Is she okay?! What the hell happened?!” Oh great, Liam! She had fallen right over into their yard, he’s gonna know she was spying on him, he’s gonna know all about her stupid crush, and he’s gonna laugh at her for being such a baby…
She couldn’t hold it any longer, the tears that had threatened to spill earlier, came out in droves. She couldn’t help it, and only cried harder as she felt herself being slowly lifted from the ground.
“What did you do?!”
“I didn’t do anything, Angel! The silly bint was sitting in the tree!”
Angel? She smiled a little at the nickname, forgetting the shooting pain in her arm for a moment.
Angel, she liked that….
“Mr. Giles, thank you so much, but really there’s no need…”
“Nonsense, I’m more than happy to cover the hospital bill, I do feel partly responsible for the accident.”
Buffy could hear her mom and Mr. Giles talking outside of her room, as she sucked on the lollypop the nurse had given her. Everything was more or less a blur since her fall, she barely remembered being driven to the hospital. Her arm felt weird covered in that cast, but it didn’t hurt quite as bad anymore, plus, if free candy is what you get for breaking your arm, then she would be working on the second one real soon.
“But I didn’t do anything! It wasn’t my fault she fell!” She rolled her eyes at the whiney voice, she didn’t even know the kid and already she didn’t like him.
“William!” Mr. Giles said angrily, making Buffy giggle, she liked hearing this boy get in trouble, he deserved it, sneaking up on her like that and all…
“Go and take your gift to Buffy, and do behave.”
She could hear the little boy groan as he opened the door to her room. God, he’s funny looking, Buffy thought as William reluctantly made his way to her, holding a card. He had poofy, brown hair a big, thick glasses, that seemed to swallow his face. He was kinda skinny too, no really skinny, he looks sick she thought, and retched a little as he sniffed loudly, obviously swallowing snot.
William stood near the bed nervously clutching the card until it bent, sniffing loudly. Buffy stared at him, rolling the lollypop around in her mouth.
“What?” She snapped, taking the stick out of her mouth.
“Does, does that hurt?” He asked meekly, sniffing again, whipping his nose with the back of his hand.
“No, it tickles.” Buffy said rolling her eyes, putting the candy back in her mouth.
“You don’t have to be mean…”
“I wasn’t being mean.” She shrugged. William glared at her, his grip tightening on the card. He really didn’t like this girl…
“What were you doing in that tree anyway?! Only an idiot would sit in a tree at night…” He teased nastily, smirking at her.
“None of your business!” She shouted. “Give me that stupid card and go, Will-ie-yum!” Buffy snatched the card out of his hand, making a face at the giant wet spot she found on the back of it. “Eww…” She muttered.
Buffy felt all of the air go out of the room as he walked in. There was Liam, smiling warmly at her, carrying a basket of flowers. The elder boy, eased his little brother out of the way, putting the flowers down next to the bed.
“Hey, Buffy.” He smiled, god he has a great smile. “Feeling any better?”
She nodded, unable to speak. She should say something, anything, don’t just nod! William snorted again, making her want to gag, but she shook the feeling away, looking up at Liam.
“Thank you for the flowers, Liam.” Buffy said, sweet as ever. He flashed her another smile, causing William to roll his eyes.
“Call me Angel.”
“Thank you for the flowers, Angel.” She giggled, William made loud gagging noises in the background, earning a look from his brother.
Buffy scowled at him, sticking her tongue out at him. Man, she really didn’t like that kid…