Angel first saw her in the first day of her Ancient Weapons and Lore class. The girl sat in the very front row of the class-which Angel was not very fond of doing, but she took the seat next to her anyway. She looked over and grinned at her. She had dark hair and almost too blue eyes. When she smiled back, Angel's heart skipped a beat. Just then the bell rang signalling the start of class, and making Angel jump. Laughing at herself, she turned to face the front of the room.
The professor introduced himself as Mr Freeman, but that they could call him Freeman or Mr/Professor Freeman. Whatever they prefer. He was an older man, not really old, maybe around fifty something and around average height. He seemed like he was going to be a real friendly guy, even if he turned out to be a shabby teacher.
Angel kept trying to catch the girl's eye to try and ask her name, but she never took her eyes from the professor. Angel was beginning to think that this was the girl's way of telling her that she didn't even want them to be friends.
Freeman finished his introduction and was going about assigning books and things. The girl turned to face Angel with a notepad in her hand.
"Uh, hi," Angel said nervously.
The girl set aside the pad then brought her hands up and started to move and wave them around. After a second of what seemed like random hand flailing, Angel realized that she was deaf and quickly motioned that she didn't know Sign. The girl just kind of laughed a little, an awkward but natural sound, and picked up her notepad and pen and began writing something down. Curious, Angel accepted the pad and read:
"Sorry, I thought I'd give it a shot," Angel looked up apologetically, but the girl just rolled her eyes and motioned for her to keep reading. "My name's Sarah Love. I didn't really expect you to know any ASL, but I can read lips though."
Angel looked up and grinned at Sarah, happy that she wasn't being snooty. She was just reading the teacher's lips.
"I'm Angel," she said. "Angel Hartig."
Sarah motioned for the pad and scribbled more onto it before handing it back.
"Do you like to read, Angel? Because there's this new book store downtown that I thought seemed cool."
Angel laughed and held up a finger, asking her to hold on for a second. She turned and grabbed her backpack, opened it up and showed about five of the books she was carrying with her to Sarah.
"Love to read," she said.
Just about then, Professor Freeman called her name, and Angel said that she'd be right back.
Freeman handed her her assigned textbook and asked to hear a little more about herself. She told him that she had a sister named Amber, that she really liked to read, and that she'd also like to learn ASL.
"Really?" he asked sounding impressed, "Not many people would like to like to practice that form of language."
"Well, I just made a friend who is deaf, and felt like a complete idiot when she tried to sign to me."
"I also have a friend who is deaf, and I sign well if I do say so myself. I could try to teach you some time if you'd like," Freeman offered, surprising Angel. He didn't seem like he would teach any type of language.
"Sure, that'd be great," Angel said. "Thanks, Professor."
"Sure thing. Just see me after class to set up a date and place," Freeman said then went back to calling names.
Angel went back to her seat to find Sarah reading one of her books from her bag. Normally, Angel would be super pissed if anybody even thought of touching her books without her permission. But, for some reason, she wasn't even the slightest bit annoyed about it.
Sarah was sitting with one ankle crossed over her knee, she was rockin' some high-top converse and black skinny jeans. She had one foot bouncing slightly as she read. Angel couldn't tell what kind of shirt she was wearing, except that it was some type of band shirt. She couldn't tell what the shirt was because it was covered by a black leather jacket, that fit her awesomely.
When Sarah saw Angel looking at her, she lunged for the notepad, and started scribbling furiously. She pushed the pad at Angel.
"I'm sorry for not asking first, but I saw the cover and it looked really interesting." Angel looked at her apologetic face as she tried to hand the book bag to her. It was Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. Angel had read it at least a thousand and one times.
"No, it's fine!" Angel hurried to reassure her, "You can borrow it if you want. I've read it, like, a million times," she finished, handing the book and notepad back to Sarah.
She smiled at Angel and nodded her thanks as she marked her page with the front cover flap. Sarah sat the book on her desk and, at that moment, Freeman called her name, then waved a hand wildly. Angel laughed and caught Sarah's arm and motioned her to Freeman.
"He told me that he can sign," Angel told her grinning. "You're in luck." Angel watched as she went up to Freeman.
At first, she watched them, trying to see if she could decipher anything they were saying, but quickly gave up on that. So she just went about finding the book that was currently reading; which was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel.
Angel was deeply engrossed in the conversation between Buffy, Giles, Willow and Xander when Sarah came back to her seat with her textbook and a small grin on her face. She lightly tapped Angel's desk, getting her attention. Angel looked up and accepted the notepad.
"Freeman told me you were going to practice ASL with him some time," Angel read, she could feel her face turn red, "I could help out if you want." Angel looked down at the pad a moment or two longer than necessary to cover her embarrassment.
Sarah's smile slowly faded as Angel stared at the paper in front of her; she thought that she was upset. Angel looked up at Sarah knowing that her face was still red. Sarah motioned for the pad.
"Are you angry?" She asked.
Angel shook her head, "No, I just didn't think he would tell you that I wanted to learn."
"Was he not supposed to?"
"I didn't tell him not to, I just expected him not to," she said shaking her head. "It doesn't really matter, I guess, though."
"Well, I'm sorry he upset you, anyway."
Angel laughed. "Don't worry about it."
"Class!" Freeman called the class to order. "Today, we probably won't get much actual work done. But we will at least try to get something started."
Sarah and Angel's conversation was finished until the bell dismissing class was rung. Angel was really glad that she'd decided to take the class. She was also glad that Sarah had decided the same. The class was really very interesting and Professor Freeman kind of reminded her of Bobby Singer from Supernatural.
Angel kept glancing over at Sarah to try and see what caught her attention most to try to use it as a conversation starter later. She found that the most interesting thing, to herself at least, was finding and studying old lore on the Pagan gods. Loki was her all-time favorite god. Every time she thought about the trickster god she couldn't stop the image of Richard Speight Jr eating a Snickers out of her mind. Needless to say, she kept grinning like a fool.
Later, after the bell signalled the end of this class, as they started loading up their things, Angel heard something land on her desk with a thud. It was a pretty good sized book for beginning ASL learners with a sticky note on the front.
Angel looked at the note and read:
Thought you'd like to study a bit before our first lesson. Send me an e-mail with a time and a date, and I'll get back to you.
P.S.- What were you laughing at the entire class?
Angel blushed and laughed as she slid the book into her backpack. When she looked around, she noticed that Freeman was over by his desk working on something on his computer, and that Sarah had already fled the room. With a slight frown, Angel looked to Freeman and waved her thanks then headed out to her car.
Finding her beloved Monte, Angel opened the door and stood leaning against it as she looked around at the people milling around the lot. She noticed a very sleek and nice looking Harley Davidson with a couple of guys standing next to it. Feeling like they would make good friends (because, really, what person with a bike as sexy as that couldn't be likable?) she decided to holler a compliment at them.
"Hey, nice bike, man!" she called over to them. The taller of the two looked up in her direction and grinned.
Only then did she realize that the guys had their fingers laced together as they talked.
"Yeah, thanks," he said, patting the tank affectionately. "Restored her myself."
"Well, I have to say you did a really great job on her," she said. "I'm Angel, by the way."
"I'm Mark, and this is Alec." Mark wrapped an arm around the smaller, blond guy's shoulder. He nodded with a friendly grin.
They seemed oblivious to the looks that were being thrown their way. Angel was proud of them for not being ashamed of themselves and wished that there were more people like them around her town.
"We just moved down here from Virginia," Mark was saying. "How long have you been around here?"
"I've been around here forever, man. Born and raised."
"Yeah? Do you know much about the neighborhood around the Silver Edge apartments?"
She scoffed. "The Silver Edge apartments? I would hope I knew the area. I live there." Angel chuckled at their pleasantly surprised expressions.
"Really? That's awesome!" Alec said, speaking for the first time.
"Speaking of," Mark said, frowning slightly. "We should get back and finish unpacking and make sure that Felix didn't get ahold of any of your critters, Lec."
"Yeah, you're right. I will strangle that damn cat if it hurt my dragon."
"Dragon?" Angel asked. "As in a bearded dragon?"
"Yep." Alec answered as he accepted the helmet that his boyfriend offered him. "My little Sammy."
"Ya know, cats and dragons have been known to be buddies. Mine get along great. They cuddle all the time. Oh, and I have a dragon too. Her name is Skoken." Alec looked slightly surprised about that. "She's my baby girl."
"Do they really? Perhaps Felix just isn't normal. Maybe we could set up a date with all our critters," Mark said chuckling a bit at his own little joke.
"Sure," Angel agreed. "Any time. It's not like I have a life to interrupt." She tried to sound less desperate for company than she actually was.
"I'll try to get ahold of you later, Angel. We've gotta go finish up a little more unpacking," Alec said swinging a leg over the impressive bike. "What number are you in?"
"Lucky thirteen," she answered as she started backing away toward her own car.
Angel watched Mark straddle the motorcycle and pull it upright. He waved in farewell and then they were speeding away.
She watched them leave the lot before turning her attention back to the dwindling crowd of young adults, hoping for a last glimpse of Sarah. Angel frowned when she didn't find her anywhere. She turned back to her car and climbed into the driver's seat, tossing her messenger bag into the bucket seat next to her. Throwing around one last look around the lot, just to check, as she left the campus.