To tempt you further, I have just planted a rosebud there of my own creation. I'm posting it here too, though, so I'm not sure if that actually works as any kind of draw. Anyway, at least it proves that the community is now active.
Disclaimer: Characters et al. belong to Joss.
Notes: For ba_rosebuds, using the first round's title prompt "Fragile" (#6).
Buffy put down the magazine she hadn’t really been reading as Angel emerged from the doctor’s office and into the waiting room, his right hand peeking out from a pristine white cast that went up to his elbow and was held up by a sling around his neck. “Nice,” she said as she maneuvered his good arm into a careful embrace. “Hey, you know when a kid has one of these he lets all his friends sign it. It helps with jealousy issues.”
He didn’t respond to the jest with his usual tolerant smile or riposte, and Buffy turned her attention to getting them out of the hospital as soon as possible. In the parking lot they both headed toward the driver’s side of their car, and then Angel made a disgusted sound and stalked around the hood to open the passenger door. Buffy resisted the urge to make any droll comments; she knew he wasn’t really complaining about her driving. He preferred to be the one behind the wheel and she preferred to let him, but they both needed to get used to changing their habits to fit the circumstances.
Once they were both buckled in she put her hands on the wheel without turning the ignition, and let out a long breath. “Angel.”
He said nothing.
“Angel, we need to talk about this.”
“It’s just a broken arm. It’ll heal.”
Buffy slammed her hand down on the wheel in anger, accidentally hitting the horn with one finger and releasing a weak blare into the parking lot. “That’s the point! It’s just a broken arm! Do you have any idea how lucky you are? A no-big-deal injury like this and then getting out before they attacked again? You should be dead. If it happens again you will be dead.”
Angel looked at her strangely, eyes intent and mouth flat. “Then it won’t happen again. I was sloppy. I should’ve used a--”
“It won’t happen again because you’re not coming with me again.” There. She had said it.
“No,” he shot back, wasting no time on surprise. “I’m still strong enough. I have a young body. I’m not letting you fight alone.”
“I can fight with other Slayers.”
“Fine, then fight with them and me. Buffy, this is just one incident. You’re overreacting.”
She didn’t answer for a moment, trying to figure out how to say what she needed to say. He knew damn well that she wasn’t overreacting, but he was never going to admit it on his own. Maybe the injury hadn’t scared him as much as it did her, but the implications of it must have. She made her voice as firm and toneless as possible. “You’re a liability.”
“What?” he said faintly.
“I’m sorry, but it’s true. You’re not still strong enough. You’re, you’re fragile. It’s like I have this priceless vas and instead of keeping it safe I’m carrying it around with me and sooner or later it’s going to slip out of my hands and I can’t, I can’t fight demons with this priceless vas on me, okay? I can’t keep protecting you.”
Angel put his forehead into his left hand and rubbed his temples. “I didn’t think it would be like this,” he muttered.
Buffy’s heart froze up. “What? Us?”
“Oh.” She wasn’t sure what else to say. “Well, it is. I guess. For some of us more than others.”
He reached over and took her hand from where it was still resting on the steering wheel. “I’ll get used to it. I don’t want you to worry about me.”
She brought his hand to her lips and kissed his ring, almost unconsciously. “I try not to. But I can’t just get a new vas, you know? You’re not that easy to replace.”