Capsized Delusions by Tango
DISCLAIMER: Don't own them. Of course.
DISTRIBUTION: Of course. Please just let me know. (See bottom for places to
find my other fics *g*)

SPOILERS: I've moved on to Season Five. Aren't you proud? *g* This begins
during "Beer Bad." Angel has kept the Gem of Amara, instead of destroying
it and goes to Sunnydale to pay Parker a little visit. Chaos ensues.

FEEDBACK: It's a drug. I'm addicted. Please give me my fix! Please!!

RATING: It will be NC-17 (she sings with her head thrown back in laughter),
as if anyone expected anything else besides a dark, sexy, naked vampire!
Right now it's probably PG-13 for language.

LYRICS: All lyrics are from Live.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is in response to Lela Rose's request. You want Angel
to get his revenge on Parker? Coming right up...*G*


Chapter 1

//now don't you know, i'll never be the same again i, i want to walk in the sun
i am alive and well again//

Angel strolled across the UC Sunnydale campus, absently spinning the Gem of
Amara on his finger, assuring himself that it was still there to protect
him. A vampire walking in the sunshine was unnatural. Being a vampire in
itself was unnatural. Even more unnatural than *being* a vampire was one
who was walking in the sun. He felt his skin tingling with the slightest
fear that the laws of nature would change their minds and ignite him. But
the air was radiant and frolicked across the grass, rippling it; the warmth
from the sun snuggled over his body and he felt as if he should feel happy
and well...light in the light.

What he felt was the overwhelming power of the stone on his finger, making
him invincible. He tasted the spice of revenge in his mouth for the man who
had slighted his mate. And the flavor was enticing, shameless, brutal.
Angel didn't need a mirror to see that his eyes were narrowed in predatory
warning for every male who walked by - silently challenging each to be the
one who carried Buffy's scent.

He felt her presence rolling over him, beating him more soundly than the
sun's rays and he gravitated toward it, forgetting for whole seconds at a
time that he was here to defend her honor. He found it mildly humorous that
he had to become a blood sucking fiend, "The Scourge of Europe," before he
could be concerned with honor. Before he was a vampire, when he had his
soul originally, he was just as concerned about chivalry and honor as he was
when he lost his soul - that is - not at all. He perversely screwed wenches
when he was Liam and killed with even less trepidation when he was Angelus.
Soul or no, he didn't give a fuck about lives and feelings. When he
regained his soul, he still didn't, or couldn't, care about the humans who
scurried around him. He was thankful he had the strength to allow them to
live. But Buffy awakened in him the protectiveness and old fashion morales
that he never possessed before. She made him want to force the whole world
to its knees in worship of her. She made him want to destroy anything that
hurt her.

(It's called addiction, Angel. We all have it. - I believe yours is named
Slutty the vampire Slayer.)

Somewhere between the hot pokers that Spike and his maniacal friend had
forced into him, the smooth classical sounds of Mozart and the story of the
wrongs that had occurred between Buffy and her newest lover, Angel lost his
redemptive goals. A short time was spent brooding, for Angel anyway, before
he headed for the Hellmouth. He didn't want to help the hopeless, he wanted
to hurt one stupid college boy- again and again.

He walked over the grass, feeling the new texture that day put on it,
feeling like an interloper in an alternate dimension. He didn't belong
here. The ring, loud and screaming in his body, did not belong on his
finger or on that of any other creature of the night. But he would allow it
to remain in one piece long enough to reclaim what was his. No fucking
college boy was going to hurt his mate and be allowed to walk upright.

Buffy's heartache beckoned him from across the quad and he went to it,
answering her call. He felt the eyes of the students on him as he walked.
He knew he didn't belong here, but he was going to make sure that by the
time he was finished, Parker didn't belong here either.


//when all that's left to do
is reflect on what's been done
this is where sadness breaths
the sadness of everyone//

Psychology 101 was quickly becoming the longest class Buffy had since her
altercation with Parker Abrams. She glanced at the clock, then at Parker
and his newest conquest a few rows below and then disappeared into another
graveyard daydream of how she could save him, impress him, make him want her
again. 9 ½ minutes remained in the class and she shifted uncomfortably next
to Willow, wishing this was the sort of class she could just skip without
being booted from it, wishing that Parker wasn't in the room.

She bolted upright in her chair, her mind jarred from her reverie when she
felt Angel's presence. He was there but he couldn't be, could he? Buffy
didn't need a window in the room to know it was another sunny, bright day in
Sunnydale. But he was there and coming closer. Her skin was already moving
toward the door, as goose bumps prickled over her skin.

"What's wrong?" Willow whispered, almost inaudibly. Buffy shook her head
vigorously, indicating that she wasn't about to open her mouth and let Angel
come pouring from it. She rubbed her arms as a chill covered her. She
began gathering her things, preparing to bolt from the room when the class
ended, planning on her search route.

Buffy spent the last few minutes of class, stirring in her seat as her mind
raced of why he was there and how he could be in the middle of the day. The
Gem of Amara sprang to mind and she immediately felt an odd feeling come
over her.

Angel. In the sunshine. Angel. In the day. Angel, so much closer to

Realizing the urgency of the moment so much more clearly, her eyes wandered
back over to Parker and the girl he was whispering to. Angel couldn't
possibly know about him, could he? Guilt sprang free from logic as it
painted her body in slippery strokes. She had nothing to feel guilty about,
she sternly reminded herself. She had a right to be with Parker. He left
her. For a normal life.

*A normal life?* How very fucking funny that was.


//he said, he said, he said
"there was nothing to fear, boy"
and he said, he said, he said
"worthless are your tears, boy"//

Angel wished there were shadows to melt into as students came streaming from
the building that housed his ex-lover. He stood off to the side, under a
tree, watching the glowing, sleepy bodies emerge from class and from the
building into the sun. The surreal feeling increased every moment he stayed
in the day. As Buffy's scent attacked him from the exit of the building, he
stepped forward scanning the tanned student bodies. He growled inwardly
when he didn't see her. That could only mean one thing. *He* was there.

Angel moved onto the path, blending himself into the crowd, scanning the
male population in the near vicinity. It took three minutes or less to find
the boy...dark and attractive, whispering into a pretty girl's ear. Buffy's
scent was intermingled with that of a dozen other girls on the boy and that
knowledge alone was enough to incite sweet visions of one broken neck in
Angel's mind.

When Parker wasn't kissing the girl, he was murmuring sweet nothings.
Bloodlust like he hadn't felt in a very long time stood up and waved inside
the vampire's body as Parker told her she was beautiful. And she was
beautiful. But Parker's compliment was verbal foreplay, a step leading to
goodbye. Angel knew those words. As his former self, as Liam, he had
mastered the art that Parker was currently bumbling through. Before he
could stop himself, before he could plan an artful terrorizing, Angel's arm
snapped out and grabbed the boy by the nape, pulling him back like a kitten.

"What the..." Parker's voice said, shocked at the attack and met the deep
brown eyes of one very angry vampire standing in the sunlight. His hand
tightened, forming a vice on the boy's delicate neck...his *too* delicate
neck. He couldn't help but remember what fragile human bones feel like when
they snap in his hands, how simple it is to make them fracture and split.

Angel wasn't sure what he hated more - Parker or what he saw of the boy
inside himself. He used to be that despicable user and he had spent years
killing it inside himself. Now he wanted to kill it inside Parker, rip it
out of his flesh and dangle it before his pretending, sensitive eyes. The
violence was almost revered by the vampire, as he felt it rise up inside
him. He wanted to lick blood from the boy's throat and watch as tears of
pain squeezed from his eyes. He couldn't wait to purge his mate's scent
from the boy's warm body. He wanted it so badly his hands were shaking and
his eyes were flashing golden, iridescent.

"I'd like to talk to you for a second," Angel said between clenched teeth,
forcing his eyes to remain brown and human.

"Who the hell are you?" Parker said, trying to keep his voice from cracking
in fear of the large and incredibly strong man who gripped his neck

"I'm a friend," Angel said, "Of Buffy Summers."

As if on cue, Buffy's hand landed on Angel's and ripped it away from
Parker's neck. Angel looked down into the most beautiful and the most angry
green eyes he had ever seen. Even in her anger, she was perfect. He forgot
about revenge and violence as he stared at her in the sunshine, soaking it
up and radiating it like a goddess. His mouth went dry and he gulped
unneeded air as he looked down on her. Finally, her words began to

"What the hell are you doing?" She demanded, gaining a shocked look from
Parker and his new girl.

"Buffy," he said, taking in her beauty with a revered awe.

"That's what I'd like to know," Parker said, reminding Angel of his
presence. Angel's head turned slowly, refocusing on the target.

"I'll be glad to explain it to you," Angel said, taking a step toward the
boy again, "Nice and slow."

"Godammit, Angel," Buffy said, pulling him back and then turned to Parker,
"You need to get out of here."

"Gladly," he said, hurrying away trying not to crush the hand of his new
girlfriend as he nearly tripped away. Angel watched him retreating a moment
before turning to meet Buffy's pissed off expression and then on Willow and

"Hi Willow," Angel said lightly, nodding "Oz."

"Angel," Oz returned, nodding.

"Hi," Willow said, casting a sideways glance at her friend and then
returning to Angel, "Oz was right. You are *really* pale."

"Yeah, well, there hasn't been a lot of opportunity to tan in the past 200
years," Angel said, trying to half smile at least, but Buffy's stare blocked
his attempt.

"We've got that thing," Oz said, taking Willow's hand, hinting their exit.

"Yeah," Willow added, "That thing. And I think we're late."

"See ya around," Oz said, as he walked away with Willow, who had already
started to whisper in his ear.


//i alone love you
i alone tempt you
i alone love you
fear is not the end of this//

Buffy and Angel made their way in an angry tromp across campus as Buffy
sputtered her objections, "You can't just come here and start beating people
up! You left."

"I know," he answered.

"You were supposed to let me have a normal life and then the first time
someone hurts me, you come running to hurt them back! You're supposed to be
the old, wise and *mature* one. You're supposed to be in LA doing whatever
the hell you do there," she yelled, trying not to look at him. Angel in the
sun, walking by her side. Some food and a couple of ants and this could be
a picnic. His pale skin seemed to glow in the daylight, darkening his eyes,
making them portal, sucking at her soul.

"I know," he repeated, not bothering to object. What was the point? It was
all he could do to keep his eyes trained on the path before them and not on
her, blinding him with her utterly amazing luminescence.

"Are you just going to be saying that all damn day?" she said, stopping and
making the mistake of facing him.

"No," he answered, "I know I have no right to be here, but I am. I
shouldn't be mad but I am. I should be in LA, you're right, but I'm not."

"What were you planning on doing to Parker?"

"So that's his name," Angel said, making a mental note.

"How did you even know about him?"

"Well," Angel said, "Spike paid me a little visit to try and get his ring
back. While he was torturing me, along with a friend of his, he told me
about your *lover*." The last word came out cracked and bleeding.

"Don't look at me like you have a right to be jealous," she said a little
too weakly. The pain in his eyes was almost more than she could stand.

"I know I don't," he said, clearing his throat and looking away from her,
across the manicured grass. He couldn't look at her anymore. Not without
wanting to touch her, imagining someone else touch her. Now that he had
seen the boy, he knew his nightmares would be filled with visions of her in
Parker's unworthy arms. He held still as he felt a shudder coming on.

"You didn't answer my first question. What were you planning on doing to

"I don't know," Angel answered truthfully and then quietly added, "I wanted
to hurt him."

His eyes betrayed his almost ruthless anger for the first time since she
came on the scene. She shivered as his eyes flashed golden so quickly, she
was almost convinced she imagined it. Tangible violence radiated off his
cold body and she started to drown in it.

"You should...go back...h-home," she stuttered, forcing the words out of her
dry throat, "I have class now."

"Go to class," he urged, regaining a moment of calm, "Buffy."

Her name sang from him, curling lust over his smooth lips. The baritone
velvet of his voice when he spoke her name was a long forgotten pleasure
that made her step a little closer. The Gem of Amara flashed in the sun as
he pulled her against him, barring her against his hard chest as he devoured
her lips. Her hands dove under his leather jacket and caressed him through
his silk shirt. She slinked against him, responding to his touch Students
and other passersby, found themselves staring at the gorgeous couple who
clung to each other, expelling forbidden love and lust in the air around

"I'm sorry," he said as he broke the kiss, staring into her swimming eyes.

"Me too," she answered and leaned her forehead against his chest, breathing

Any second she would step away. That's what she told herself, anyway. Any
moment she would find the strength to go to class...

Yep, any time now...

Angel was the one who finally dislodged himself from temptation, stepping
just outside of her reach. Even as his body moved away, he felt her
resisting and begging him back, but she remained silent.

"Going to class," she mumbled, moving back a couple of inches to emphasize
her point, "Are long are you staying?"

"I'm going to stay tonight," he admitted. Even as he tried to make himself
lie, he knew he couldn't.


"Can we...can I take you out to dinner or something?" He asked with begging
eyes, "I just want to you, see how you're doing."

"Angel," Buffy answered, planning to reject him but finding she couldn't,
"maybe we can go for an early patrol together first?"

The broadest smile she had ever seen on his face appeared suddenly, mocking
the sun.




//we could reminisce then you would go about your day//

Angel watched Buffy walk toward her class and away from him. She didn't
hurry, but sort of wandered away as if she wasn't sure where she was going
or that she should even be going there. He stared at her back and it never
even crossed his mind that she probably felt awkward walking away with his
eyes burning into her. So he stood stock still in the center of campus as if
time had stopped but only for him. Students moved around him and looked at
him strangely as he watched the beautiful blonde girl in the distance.

Finally, he moved again, a statue coming to life. Now that the distraction
was gone, he had time to focus on the matter at hand. He walked slowly, in
an attempt to rationally think out his course of action. But he knew that
even thinking about it, trying to talk himself out of it, was futile. He was
going to make sure that Parker did not hurt her again. The only way to
cement that was merciless, caustic...and necessary.

He turned and followed the path he had seen the boy travel when he allowed
him to escape, feeling the ever growing anger fill his gut, twisting inside
him like a thousand snakes of wrath. He knew that jealousy and rage were to
be expected in this situation, but he was far beyond any kind of normal
scope of emotions. It was almost as if the ring protected him from all
dangers to him except for the mental elements. His hands were trembling with
the need for blood, with the power he now possessed. The ring strengthened
him more each day but his mind was breaking down under it. The sun's ultra
violet light lapped at his skin, forming a hidden power he hadn't thought
was possible to attain. It was overwhelming, terrifying, exhilarating.

He crept inside the building, and passed classrooms silently, feeling as if
he had broken a seal of trust in his mate as he looked through the small
square window of a lecture hall, finding his target. He growled with
irritation that Parker was in the His lips curled in a silent
snarl as he backed away from the window.

A plan was already beginning to form as he moved out in the strangely
welcoming sunlight. He turned his face up and closed his eyes, soaking up
rays that were long denied him. The infusing power of the day was forcing
his body to shine with a thin layer of sweat, causing an almost
imperceptible tremor in his hands and to keep his eyes their deep chocolate
brown required demanding concentration that was impossible 100% of the time.

He knew it was the ring, altering his body, increasing his prowess of body
and diminishing his efficacy of mind. He was changing but he didn't care. He
had a task to complete and he wasn't removing the ring until that task was


//oh now feel it comin' back again
like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind
forces pullin' from the center of the earth again
i can feel it//

Buffy muttered, "Thank you," a little too loudly when her professor finally
dismissed class. Having Angel in town and having classes too was like
writing your memoirs on a rollercoaster - it just wasn't possible. Her
concentration level was at an all time low and it was all she could do to
decipher the words that were spoken around her.

She felt his presence crawling over her, tickling her skin, making little
hairs stand up on her arms and her mind raced with memories, worries and
hopeful thinking that led to less hopeful thinking. She knew she needed to
be realistic about this. She needed to accept that he was not going to stay,
they were not getting back together, there would be no more sweet kisses
like the one on the quad where every muscle in her body cried out for him,
knocking leaves off the trees in outrage when he broke the contact between
them. There wasn't a future there. So she needed to deal with his coming and
his leaving.

But she didn't want to and her whole body ached with the thought of him
leaving. She wanted to run out and find him, share the sunlight with him,
beg him to stay, convince him that the ring changed everything.

But the ring didn't change anything. It was all superficial. She knew that
and she knew that he knew that. He was still a vampire and she was still The
Slayer. There wasn't any *real* reason that they should be reunited...except
for the *little* details that always seemed to escape them: true love,
actual understanding, soul mates. You know, trivial things.

She was growing more and more cynical about life. And she was tired.
Utterly exhausted, in fact. As she walked across campus in another
identical, perfect California day, she thought about how easy it would be to
stop all this, to go to him and tell him the truth - she loved him, she
didn't want to live without him. Ring or no ring, darkness or light, every
day without her soul mate was killing her inside.


//the chills in your spine are oh, so sweet
people honor you so high//

Doyle walked into the office and was surprised to find Cordelia there,
glaring at him in the way that only she could. He scratched his tousled
head and perched on the edge of her desk, looking into her angry eyes. He
couldn't help the crooked smile that crossed his face. She was so damn
beautiful and her anger only made him happy that she was focusing all her
energy on him.

"What's th' matter, princess?"

"Where have you been?" She demanded, standing up abruptly, "Just because
Angel isn't here, you think you shouldn't show up *at all*?"

"I'm here," he said, hopping off of the desk, "So I did show up, didn't I?"

She muttered under her breath and crossed the room, opening a file drawer,
pushing a file in and slamming it closed.

"Did you put that in there alphabetically or do you have your own system?"
He asked with a sparkle in his eyes.

"Is he just going to stay in Sunnydale and forget all about us?"

"Angel," Doyle said, nodding calmly at the change in subject, "He only just

"Yeah and he'll probably lose his soul and be all fangy and then I'll be out
of a job. I need a paycheck while I wait for my inevitable stardom, but
does he care about that? Oh no! All he wants to do is run to save Little
Miss Fights A Lot and leave us here to starve."

"He's been gone like 8 hours," Doyle said, trying not to laugh, "Besides,
the ring will protect ‘im. I don't think he'll lose his soul."

"How do you know?" She demanded, turning toward him, causing her dark mane
of hair to fly around her.

"Dunno," he admitted, "Just think he's impervious to all harm. I think that
includes the curse."

"You have so much to learn, little Irish man," she taunted, "Nothing is
*ever* that easy. Something's going to happen!"

"How do you know that?" he asked gently, stepping closer to her.

"Because something *always* does!"


//i'll kill you in my dreams
i turn the other cheek during the day//

Parker Abrams looked like a treat, a sugar coated goodie to the flashing
eyes of one very sunlight cloaked vampire. He followed him the equivalent of
several city blocks across campus, stalking him and going unnoticed by the

Parker was light on his feet, walking along with a couple of his friends.
The boys talked and although Angel could clearly hear their conversation, he
did not pay attention to what they were saying. In his mind, they were
already captured and made prisoners. Controlled and urged on by the power
of the ring and the need for revenge, he followed. In his eyes there was no
fire, it was far too cold inside for that. The world was only finding him
in small snatches, painting persuasion on his undead flesh.

Inside his soul, there was a whisper to stop it, to turn and go back to the
life he was supposed to be leading, to help the hopeless he was supposed to
be saving. The whisper begged him to clear this up, to shake himself free,
pleaded with him that there was a choice to made. His conscience was
crossing its broken fingers.

Angel made a choice. He ignored it. The little memories of why he left
were escaping him. Buffy deserved more than the hand that Parker had dealt
her. Someone deserved to die for this, for her. Taking note of the dorm
that Parker went into, he turned and left with much difficulty. He had to
wait just a little bit longer.


//we could analyze the situation and be gone//

Xander held a lighter up before Buffy and Willow as they sat around a table
on campus.

"Rough day? Come on, Buff," Xander pleaded, flicking the lighter at them,
"Be a lonely drunk. Rough day?"

"Stop flicking at me," Buffy said, drenched in thoughts of Angel and Parker.

"Work with me here," Xander whined, "I'm finally an essential part of your
collegey life. No more looking down on the townie. I'm the new bartender
over at the pub. Got my lighter, my rag, my empathy face."

"Aren't you too young to be a bartender?" Willow asked.

"Oh contraire, mon frere," Xander announced brightly.

"Mon frere means brother," Buffy corrected.

"Mon girl frere," Xander said, holding up a fake ID for their admiration,
"Behold. Behold."

"I don't believe this is entirely on the up and up," Willow said, inspecting
the ID with doubt on her face.

"What gives it away?" Xander asked, looking over it for the flaw that
escaped him.

"Looking at it," Willow answered.

"Well, no one's going to see it anyway. Now I'm the bartender. I kick
people out."

"You know," Buffy said, trying to take part in the conversation, trying to
tear herself from the constant Angel invasion going on, "There's more to it
than wiping and kicking. Mixing drinks for instance."

"Well, I've seen cocktail. I can do the hippy-hippy shake."

"Well, even if I had a pretend cigarette, I couldn't tell you my pretend
problems," Buffy added, "The real ones have clogged up my head space."

"Oooh, unload ‘em right here, baby," Xander said excitedly, "Rough day? You
wanna talk about it? Shutting up now."

"I'm pregnant by my stepbrother," Willow started in a faked drunken slur,
"Who'd rather be with my best friend whose left me with no place to live.
No food except this bottle of wild turkey which I drank all up."

Xander stared at his redheaded best friend with obvious confusion, until she
clarified, "that was me being tanked and friendless for ya."

"Gets my Oscar nod."

"You know what?" Buffy announced, "It's class time."

"So are you going to come by tonight to the pub?" Xander asked, ignoring
Buffy's comment about class.

"Oz. Bronze. Date," Willow said, in a very Oz-esque manner.

"You know maybe," Buffy said wistfully, "Maybe there's a way for him to
stay. Now that he has the ring, there's a way. Right? Right?

"How's that fugue state coming along?" Xander asked Buffy with confusion.

"Angel," Willow answered.

"Dead Boy's here?" Xander groaned, lowering his head to his hands. And he
thought Parker caused a cloud of doom. He felt as if he should already be
running for cover.


//but the beauty of this vision alone
just like yesterday's sunset
has been perverted by the sentimental
and mistaken for love//

The sun was going to set soon and although the ring now protected him from
the sun, Angel still felt the change inside him. From the time he fell on
his knees before Darla and sipped the poisoned blood from her breast, he
became a creature that dreads the night and eternally craves it.

Buffy was like the night - she enveloped, evolved, bloomed and destroyed.
He was already settling into the memories, getting used to smelling her
again, feeling her again, craving her again with the same intensity - more -
than the night. But the night always bled into day and took his freedom.
He found himself always waiting for both raging beauties and they both
denied him, reminding him of what he could never have. Tonight was no
different as he felt her tentative approach behind him.

"Hey," Angel said without tearing his eyes from the sunset blooming ahead.
Buffy sank into the grass next to him and glanced at the incredible,
flamboyant display for a moment before taking in the picture of Angel
adoring it.

"Hey," she said, feeling the tension of sitting just a couple of inches from
him, over a grave, against a headstone. Not so unlike what they had done so
many times before but there was never a sunset in the mix before. There was
never this feeling of awe blanketing him.

"I thought we were meeting after dark," he mumbled, flipping his eyes from
one spectacular sight to another, caught in what he should be concentrating

"We were," she said, "But I forgot about the sunset and I...I wanted to
share it with you."

She melted as he smiled slowly and put his arm around her after a moment's
hesitation. He was relieved when she accepted his gesture and leaned
against his chest. They stared at the horizon together and Buffy thought
about how many of these she had taken for granted before, how many natural
displays of twisted painted color she had drifted by before.

"I always wanted to do this with you," he said, resting his chin on the top
of her silky, golden head.

"Me too," she answered.




//put your soul in the water
and join me for a swim tonight//

"Buffy? Rough Day? Wanna tell me about it?" Xander asked, standing at the
bar, wishing he was on the other side of it instead, complaining about *his*
rough day. Instead of becoming an accepted member of academia without
actually having to deal with all the classes that came with it, he was
treated like a...bartender. He had seriously misjudged the opportunities to
join in the meat market from the other side of the bar.

"It's just...Parker's problem with intimacy turns out to be that he can't
get enough of it. And knew it. I knew what he was. And I *protected* him
from Angel! If he were tied and gagged and left in a cave that vampires
happened to frequent it wouldn't really be liked I killed him really." She
said, as her eyes filled with tears and fell into a tangent, simply unable
to keep her mouth closed, "And Angel is leaving. He took me out to dinner
and then walked me home and didn't even kiss me goodbye. He treated me like
I was *just* his ex and he's just going to go back to LA and leave me here.

"Buffy," Xander said in an endeared warning.

"There's something wrong with me. No one wants to be with me. It's like
I'm not good enough to stay with."


"I'm an idiot."

"No," Xander said, leaning over the bar, "You gotta stop being so hard on-"

"Hey," his new boss grunted, forcing him to remember he was there to serve
alcohol to people who were *mean* and undeserving of his beer.

"I'm better," Buffy mumbled, trying to brighten up her face, "This has

"Do *not* go anywhere," Xander said and jumped back into the fray, thankful
that the "hippy-hippy shake" mostly consisted of serving beer and not
learning a thousand other complicated drinks. Buffy sat waiting for less
than a minute before she stood to go and bumped into the first warm body.

"Oh no," she said to the upperclassman she had just tried to tunnel into,
"I'm so sorry. I just keeping running into people today."

"I can't imagine anybody minding," he said, looking her over thoroughly as
three of his friends came up to join him in the visual mauling of The
Slayer, "You're not thinking about leaving are you? Because we have a strict
policy against you leaving. At least until you've had a drink."

"Yeah, well, what my friend is just saying is you shouldn't be sad and alone
right now," said his friend, butting ahead to speak directly with her, "I
mean, you're a very beautiful girl who should be covered with men. And,
could we be those men? It's on us."

Buffy glanced across the bar to see Parker leaving, nearly wearing the girl
he was with. Revulsion shuddered through her and her hand shot out on
impulse, taking the cold drink from his hand. Taking a sip, she hoped it
would take her from the memories that kept clarifying themselves in her

Angel. Parker. Screw them both.


//to be alive
i say that the colors must swirl
and i believe
that maybe today
we will all get to appreciate the beauty of gray//

The bar was crowded and human voices rose ever higher and louder to travel
over the din, but even from across the room, in the shadows, Angel could
hear her. Four men refilled her glass and regurgitated random, obscure
quotes from textbooks. Old ideas recycled into new, if he wasn't so madly
angry and jealous, he might think they were funny. Foolish young men who
think their theories are new ideas. He wished he could tell them that few
things in this world are new.

He watched them watch her and even as they approached his mate, he knew
their agenda. He couldn't help the low growl that traveled through his body
as she leaned forward to listen, flashing the tanned, perfect skin at her
modest neckline. They don't deserve the glimpse of skin they get, the
opportunity for her ear. Angel waited for one of them to touch her, to
brush her fingers as they poured the beer into her glass, knowing that
Parker was escaping with his newest lover but he couldn't turn away - not
with those four men hanging on her. Guilt ruffled over his body as he
looked on, knowing that part of the pain coming from her eyes was his and
not Parker's alone. Not anymore. He cursed silently as he realized that
once again, with the best of intentions, he had hurt her.

Angel glanced over at the bar and wished he could get a strong Irish stout,
to dull his senses even slightly from the painful reality he was lurking in,
but Xander was the bartender. Revealing himself to him would be a step away
from walking directly up to Buffy, so he turned back towards her and the men
who were currently draping their eyes on his mate. He narrowed his eyes and
clenched his hands to keep still the tremors that were becoming almost a
normal event in the past few days. He paused, deciding to look on just a
little longer before he moved on to find his revenge.


//what was pliable in love
is now hard and crystalized//

Buffy could feel the fast effects of the beer in her body. Her vision had
started to blur and the tips of her fingers tingled against the cool glass.
She swayed in her seat as the four boys spoke to her, rambling on, as if
their big words would impress her. She didn't care as the comfort of
intoxication began to have its way with her. She felt like she was already
being held and caressed as she lifted the newly refilled glass to her lips.
If she didn't know better, she would have thought that another pair of eyes
was on her besides the four men and Xander's watchful eyes from across the
bar. If she didn't know better, she would think that the undead soulful
eyes of her ex-lover were burning into her, instead of off brooding in the
dark somewhere.

She shrugged off the thought and tried to listen to the young men around
her. The more she drank, the simpler things became. Theories and ideas
began to disappear into the straight lined absolutes in life: Beer tasted
good. Boys giving her undivided attention was good. Parker was bad. Angel
was going back to LA. Things were getting easier and so she pushed her
glass over to be refilled with the foamy brew.


//won't hesitate
to leave you there, by yourself
chained to fate, yeah//

The next night, Parker opened his eyes and felt a dull pain thudding inside
his head. He started to raise his hand to touch the place where his temple
throbbed when he realized that he was bound. The cold metal of the chains
issued a loud warning of his fate and he began looking around the large
room. Seconds later, he settled on the large frame of the man whose large
hand had nearly broken his neck before. He groaned and began to struggle in
vain as the glowering, dark haired man stood lazily and approached him.

"Glad you finally decided to wake up," Angel said, smiling coldly at his

"What...why..." Parker mumbled, trying to deal with his situation, but his
senses came far short of dealing with the situation.

"Two intriguing questions," Angel answered, "and the fact that you haven't
figured it out yet makes me feel better about bringing you here. You're too
stupid to be walking the streets."


"Finally, you're with me!" Angel exclaimed, moving closer.

"She said she didn't have a boyfriend," Parker groaned, pulling against his
chains harder, in a panic, as the man drew closer. In his eyes was a deadly
determination and at the same time, an utter glee that the word
"disconcerting" didn't begin to cover.

"She doesn't," Angel said, cocking his head to the side for a second, to
look over the boy and then struck out, backhanding the boy and grinning
freely at the sound he made in pain and of the appearance of blood at his
mouth to match the crusted crimson at his temple, "You just don't get it do

"I'm sorry," Parker groaned, "for whatever I did, I'm sorry."

"You think random apologies will make this disappear? No, no, no. You need
to learn something from this or the whole exercise is meaningless," Angel
said as he twisted his face into the demon, widening his golden eyes at the
boy. Growling, he added, "We're going to start with your moral structure.
You need to be broken down, boy."

"Oh God," Parker yelled, as a terrified scream filled the mansion's great
room, "Help! Somebody help me!"

"Go ahead," Angel said, stepping closer, "Scream. It makes it better for


//the world is burning down
can't you smell the smoke in the air?//

"Buffy! Buffy!" Xander shouted running through the quad in search of the
cave Slayer. He found her standing in the middle of the grass, looking
around in confusion, "Aha. Can't find the beer. Good. Freshman girls
unable to hold the beer, shouldn't have it. Get into trouble."

Buffy jumped away from him, as he moved closer. Eyeing him and shifting her
weight from one muscular leg to the other, she prepared to attack.

"Hey, we're good," Xander said, moving toward her more slowly, "Remember the
boy? Boy smells good, yeah? Is there any part of Buffy still in there?"

Smell. Buffy's prehistoric mental process caught up with Slayer senses and
she sniffed the air, inhaling the acrid scent of smoke deeply.

"Oh no," Xander groaned as he saw her prepare to lunge forward.

"Fire Bad!" Buffy screamed, as she looked into the sky and saw the smoke
billowing up, filling the night sky. Dodging Xander, she ran toward the


//the felix of your truth will always break it
and the iris of your eye will always shake it
and the armies, the armies i have created
will always hate it
will always bait you on
until i take it back
deep inside my head//

"If..." Parker groaned, hanging limply by his chains, struggling to see
through the blood that was stinging his eyes, "if she's not your girlfriend
what is she to you? What...what are you?"

"Vampire," Angel said, leaning over the boy as he cowered back against the
wall, "You know, creature of the night? Ring a bell?"

"I didn't think vampires were real...and you were in the sun...before."

"Welcome to the world below," Angel whispered, "I'm not like other vampires.
Of course, I'm feeling a little more human, considering your status in the
cycle of things."

"I didn't do anything to her," Parker begged, looking up at the horrible
face of the demon looming over him.

"Are you getting more moronic as we go along or is it just me?" Angel said,
making sure his black boot made firm contact with Parker's lying mouth as he
kicked up and he delighted in the yelp of pain he got as the boy finally
fell on the floor, holding his mouth.

"Why are you even protecting her?" Parker yelled, spaying blood on the floor
as he held onto as much of his bravery as he could, "Shouldn't you want to
kill her?"

"No," Angel growled, "I only want to kill you."

"Please...I'm sorry..."

"What are you sorry for?" Angel said, admiring the lush color of his blood.

"For sleeping with Buffy."

"You think I'm angry because you slept with her?" Angel asked

"That's not why you want to kill me?"

"No, you little fuck," Angel roared, picking him up and slammed his thin
body against the hard wall he was chained to, "You used her! You treated
her like a whore and then tossed her aside. That's why I want to kill you,
that's why I want to torture you until you can no longer scream in pain."

"I was just having fun," Parker said weakly, trying to burrow himself in the
wall rather than have the vampire's cold hands on him.

"So am I," Angel answered, dropping him and watching with pleasure as he
landed on his knees. The slap of his kneecaps on the marble floor was warm
and inviting to his enraged ears..


//but the beauty of this vision alone
i can't shake from my tree just yet
it keeps invading all my private moments
listen to me now//

Willow sat limply on the bench, breathing deeply the fresh air, trying find
her lungs again. She scooted nervously away from the cave Slayer who petted
her, while crouching on the bench next to her, looking over her and
sniffing. Xander and Giles looked around them, both feeling the need to
laugh with relief as they watched Buffy's strangely devolved behavior.

"Did you guys have enough fun for one night?" Xander asked brightly.

"Yes. Please," Willow said, still gulping air.

"Buffy tired," Buffy said weakly.

"And was there a lesson is all this, huh?" Xander taunted condescendingly,
"What did we learn about beer?"

"Foamy," The Slayer offered.

"Good, just as long as that's clear," Xander said, as he watched Buffy
wander over to the mini van where her fellow cave people were trapped,
"Anyways, I think that the boys in the car are contained for the time being.
This will give them some time to ponder the geo-political ramifications of
being mean to me!"

"Who's van is that?" Giles asked as Buffy pressed her hand against the

*Boys trapped,* she thought, slapping her hand on the glass to announce her

"I dunno," Xander answered, settling on the bench next to Willow, "Wasn't

"Angel," Buffy harumphed, turning to face her civilized friends. Now that
the danger was passed, her body adjourned against the buoyant graze of his

"No Angel," Xander said, standing, "Angel bad. Buffy needs to go home and
sleep off the beer."

"Buffy want Angel!" she yelled, holding her stick up in warning.

"Buffy," Giles said gingerly, "You ought to go home with Willow. You can
see Angel tomorrow before he leaves for LA."

"Buffy want Angel NOW!" She yelled and ran off toward the beckoning call of
her mate.


Part Four


//pick me up and put me on the ground
set me up and spin me all around
no, you are not the one i wish to see
no, sir//

Buffy tore into the mansion and stared at Parker's chained form with
confusion. Not Angel. Bad Parker not Angel. The feeling of him was
fleeting from this place and she tried to focus her cluttered thoughts on
the vampire, rather than the human.

"Buffy," the bloody boy groaned, struggling back to his feet, resting his
weight on shaky, bruised legs.

"Parker," she said with anger flashing in her eyes, limping closer to him,
dragging her stick with her as she went.

"Buffy, please help me," Parker pleaded, pleading with the eyes she used to
trust and adore, "That guy, on the quad yesterday, he...he's a vampire and
he wants to kill me! Please, I think he'll be back soon."

"Where Angel?" she grunted, not moving to set him free. Parker immediately
saw that something was wrong with her and couldn't figure out what, but he
ignored that problem and focused on himself, "He left and said he'd be

"I'm back. I just wanted to get a bite to eat. I'm not ready to kill you
yet and I was getting peckish," Angel crooned as he walked back in the room.
Angel's confidence faded as he saw Buffy standing there.

"Oh God," Parker groaned.

"Buffy," Angel said, shocked, the smile fading from his ridged face. When
she turned on him and began running full force toward him, he moved into a
defensive stance thinking she was about to hit him, but she molded herself
against him, nuzzling his neck. She sniffed his cold flesh, rubbing her
hands on his broad shoulders. Mmmm...leather, incense and passion.

"Angel smell good," she grunted, moving in closer to him, "Buffy miss

"What's wrong with you, love?" He said, pulling her back shoulder length and
met her hazel eyes with his golden ones. She looked at him, answering his
question with her questioning eyes. Shaking off his current state of
disarray, Angel glanced briefly at Parker before tugging her toward the
door, "Come on, baby, we need to go see Giles."

"Buffy doesn't want Giles," she said, pulling him back, "Buffy want Angel."

She launched herself against him, slamming her lips against his, kissing him
roughly around his fangs and breaking her own skin in the process. She
didn't hear Parker's horrified gasp as she attacked her ex-lover, the demon
who was currently held him prisoner.


//warm bodies, i sense are not machines//

Giles, Xander and Willow watched tiredly as the neanderthal version of The
Slayer went off to find her vampire.

"Guess we'd better go after her," Willow said, rising to her feet and
smoothing her tousled red hair.

"Perhaps," Giles said.

"What? You don't think we should go after her?" Xander said, turning in to
look at the watcher with shock.

"Well, I supposed if anyone will be able to handle her, it would be Angel.
She can't hurt him, since he has the ring and he will keep her from harming
anyone else...or herself."

"Then can I go to bed now?" Willow asked quietly. She loved Buffy and
wanted to help, but after the fire, all the excitement and the weight that
worrying about her future with Oz, she was simply beat.

"Go to bed, Willow," Giles ordered lightly, "We'll check on Buffy in the

"What if...what if she...well, you know how she was sniffing me before,"
Xander said, stumbling through his reasoning.

"They'll be fine," Giles said, clearing his throat and attempting to sound
confident, even though he was far from that snug feeling. They all looked
out over the path she had taken, trying to decide if leaving her with the
vampire really was the best choice.


//our love is like water
pinned down and abused
for being strange//

"Buffy," Angel gasped, pulling away from her lips once he tasted her
powerful blood on his tongue. He changed back to his human face slowly and
looked down at her, bracing her at an arm's length. She squirmed back into
his arms, rubbing his broad chest with her little hands and pressing her
slim hips into his rapidly growing arousal. She bit his neck in lusty
invitation and growled lightly.

"God, Buffy!" Parker screamed, reminding the couple of his presence,
"You're...what are you doing? Help me!"

"Parker bad," she said, turning around, curling her words angrily around her
lips. Angel couldn't help the smile that returned to his face. Buffy
wasn't going to stop him this time.

"Yes, love," Angel agreed.

"Buffy, please," Parker begged from his cowering place against the wall,
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"You didn't *mean* to hurt her?" Angel asked, nearly shouting, "You know,
I'd really *love* to know just what you meant to do then."

"Buffy want Angel," she said proudly, turning away from the boy and back to
her vampire. Behind her back, Parker was safely out of sight and the
delicious form of what she had always wanted was before her. She ripped
open his shirt and kissed his cold chest, "Buffy love Angel."

Parker shivered with revulsion as he looked on, "You've slept with her?" He
began to choke as he felt the bile rise in his throat. He had slept with a
girl who had slept with a vampire.

*Angry puppy* Everything was slowly clicking into place as he nervously
realized blood was flowing freely from his head and mouth.

"Buffy," Angel protested, with much difficulty, "Come on, baby, you have to
stop. Something is wrong with you."

"Angel not want Buffy?" She asked with tearful eyes. Even with her simple
speech the implication was flashing in neon lights as Angel's heart sank in
his chest. She thought Parker didn't want her and now he didn't want her

"No, that's not it," he said, pulling her close again. She twisted away and
stalked over to Parker, who was still protesting and begging to be saved in
the background. She swung her stick, striking the side of his head that
hadn't been bleeding before she struck him and smiled as he fell to the
floor once more. She spun around and faced Angel.

"Angel want Buffy?" she demanded, dropping her limb which cracked from the
force of her blow on Parker.

"Yes," he said, nodding vigorously, " have to understand -"

Buffy interrupted his words, as she crouched and swept his feet out from
under him. She hopped on top of him, straddling his arousal and pressing
in. She ripped the front of her shirt away to bare her breasts for her
lover's eyes. He groaned in pain of trying to resist her, melting from the
heat that radiated from her exceptionally beautiful flesh. He reached up
and cupped her breasts. She purred, pressing against his hands as he
touched her.

"Mate," she commanded. The double entendre came fully clear as she slid
back to release his erect cock, "Buffy Mate."

From the moment her hand touched his arousal, any noble intentions that had
remained disappeared. Angel flipped them, simultaneously rending her pants
from her body to expose her to him. Without pause, he plunged inside her
waiting heat and she arched up violently to meet him. As they rutted like
wild beasts on the marble floor, Parker laid unconscious a few feet away.


//our love is like water. angels pinned down and abused//

Angel woke with the sunrise, feeling the blissfully naked flesh of his lover
against him. He kissed her sleeping head and remembered the night's events.
Looking over, he saw a very bloody and emotionally scarred Parker looking
over at them nervously. Angel glared at him but said nothing. He rose and
went into the bedroom and returned with a blanket, which he wrapped around
Buffy and carried her into the bedroom. He returned, having covered himself
with a new pair of black pants and looked down at Parker.

"Are you going to kill me?" the boy asked.

"I want to," Angel said, nodding.

"But you're not going to?" he asked hopefully.

"She gets upset when I kill people," he answered, settling back against the
wall. As he pressed his bare shoulders there, he realized that his skin was
covered with claw marks from the wild mating last night. Parker waited in
silence for the answer, watching Angel's calm face, unaware that beneath his
calm veneer there was a battle for control. Angel fought as one side of his
mind told him to rip out the boy's throat and the other reminded him of who
he was supposed to be, of what his fealty in life was. Both heads turned as
a muffled rustling came from the bedroom.

Minutes passed as both sets of male eyes stayed trained on the door. Buffy
finally appeared in one of Angel's shirts, peaking out and then closing her
eyes in pain as she realized that the muddled memories of the previous night
had actually come to pass.

"Angel?" she asked, looking from him to Parker and back again. At least the
horrible excuse for a one night stand was still alive.

"Yes," he said nodding and meeting her eyes, knowing she was searching for a

"Thank God," she said, sagging against the doorway. After a moment, she
straightened and flashed anger at him, "Now what the hell do you think
you're doing?"

Tiny feet padded on the floor as she approached him. Pointing at Parker,
she yelled, "What in the hell made you think that *this* was okay?"

"He deserved it," Angel said, pulling away from the wall and gesturing at
Parker too, "He's a horrible excuse for a human being! And people call *me*
a fucking demon? What do you call that?"

"Go home, Angel," she said, going over to release the prisoner.

"Buffy," Angel said sternly, flinching as her skin came in contact with
Parker's, "Don't touch him. I'm not done with him yet."

Emotions stirred in his cold blood as he crossed the room and pulled her
roughly away from him. She pivoted and punched him hard in the face,
causing him to step back several paces.

"Back off," she warned, bending to release him again and got half of his
shackles off before Angel came over, demon intact, glaring with golden eyes.
She turned and engaged. Slayer and vampire, soul mates and lovers,
battled over a boy that they both despised. Finally, she knocked him down
and stomped her foot down on his chest as Parker looked on. This little
blonde girl had overpowered the vampire? What?

Angel couldn't help but let his gaze travel up her shapely leg and under the
shirt she wore to spy her glistening sex. He smiled at her arousal and
remained under the pressure of her foot, but allowed one hand to smooth over
her calf.

"Don't change the subject," she said irritably even as she shivered from his
touch, awash in waves of desire for him even through her fury.

"Let me finish my lesson," Angel said, allowing his hand to move up to her

"I can't," she said and pulled away just as his fingers reached the apex of
her thighs. She hurried across the room and pulled Parker free. She ran,
nearly dragging him out into the sunshine, momentarily forgetting that Angel
could follow.

Just outside of the mansion, she pulled away from him as if his skin were
burning her and continued ahead, ignoring the stones that occasionally
pressed into her bare feet.

"I suggest you hide for awhile," she said bitterly as she walked away.

"Buffy, thank you for saving me," Parker said as he hobbled after her, "I
really am sorry."

"So am I," she said, with a glare of violence in her eyes. She picked up
the pace to get away from him and he followed not attempting to catch up
with her, unsure if she meant that she was sorry for what had happened to
him or if she was regretting that she saved him.


Part Five


//i have forever, always tried
to stay clean and constantly baptized//

Buffy ran across town, onto campus, up the back stairwell and into her room,
holding Angel's shirt around her naked body as she leaned against the door.
She struggled to catch her breath and was reflecting on who might have seen
her when Willow's green eyes fluttered open to look at her disheveled

"Are now?" Willow asked inside a yawn.

"Mostly," Buffy said, settling on her neatly made bed, "I still feel...a
little strange."

"But you don't have a club anymore," Willow offered brightly as she sat up
in bed, "And you're speaking in almost complete sentences."

"Yeah," Buffy said, taking inventory of her mental process and finding it
far from complete, but better. Things were still fuzzy and her body was
still flushing with the memory of Angel's touch, his hand sliding up her
leg, inching over her inner thigh.

" something happen with Angel?" Willow asked, leaning on one
arm as she waited for Buffy's response.

"Oh yeah," Buffy answered, looking down at the shirt that dwarfed her small
body. Willow said, nothing, waiting for her to go on. Silence filled the
room, until Buffy began speaking again, "Alright! I'll tell you. Angel
kinda kidnaped and tortured Parker last night..."

"Is he evil?" Willow asked, glancing over Buffy's outfit - or lack thereof.

"I don't think so," Buffy said, standing to get her robe from the hook on
the closet door, "Just pissed. Although, he did seem a little off."

"Did know...with him?"

"Yes," Buffy said slipping into her robe quickly. She turned back toward
Willow, holding his shirt in her hands gently as if she expected him to
materialize and fill it again.

"But he's still got a soul?"

"I think the Gem of Amara protected us," Buffy said, "But something else is
wrong. He's kinda ruthless. I mean, I can see Angel trying to beat the
crap out of Parker, but not...not what he did."

"Parker deserves to be tortured, the big poophead," Willow said with a grin
crossing her face, which she quickly wiped away, "I mean, it's horrible what
Angel did. Very bad. Uh-huh."

"Will!" Buffy exclaimed looking over at her friend with shock.

"Well, he does need to learn that there are consequences for treating people
like he does. It's not right."

"Angel almost killed him," Buffy said with a shiver, "And then I had to save
his stupid ass! And I didn't want to. A big part of me wanted to walk away
and let Angel have him. It was scary."

"Buffy," Willow said, scooting to the edge of the bed so she could meet her
friend's eyes directly, "You know you wouldn't have let Angel hurt him.
It's okay that you're still upset. He hurt you."

"Being with Angel again," Buffy said, looking off at the wall with glazed
eyes, "It was...Willow, I don't think I can let him go again. I think...I
might not live through it if he leaves again."


//so what he was may have been beautiful
but the pain is right now
and right here//

Angel watched from the doorway as Buffy pushed Parker away from her and left
him alone and hobbling back toward home. He gripped the doorway in an
attempt to keep himself from running over and snapping the boy's neck before
Buffy could turn around and save him. He knew that there was something
inside him that was not on caliber and it was making violence so much more
attractive than it had been last week.

The knowledge saved Parker's life, as Angel willed himself to stay put and
watch them walk away. He let his eyes glide over his lover, nude under his
silk shirt. Her perfect legs were flashes of toned muscle as she hurried
away, holding the large garment close to her lithe body. His desire for her
reared up and was not sated, as he waited for her to disappear from sight.
He wished he could call her back. He wished that a call from him would make
her turn around and run back to him. But he knew it wouldn't.

Parker was staring at her body as well, although the large shirt completely
covered her, the memory of her flushed flesh against the cold skin of the
vampire who had tortured him was fresh in his mind. She was so strong and
he still couldn't believe how she had taken Angel down with ease. He
thought back to their night together. She could have easily broken him just
as the vampire did. He picked up the pace toward his dorm, knowing that he
would have to keep looking over his shoulder for Angel. How long would he
have to fear the wrath of the vampire who was in love with a very strong
human girl?


//just realize your senses
and realize your earth
just realize your essence first//

Angel turned and went back inside the mansion. He headed for the bathroom
to shower and thought about what his next action should be. Should he just
leave and go back to LA? Even asking himself the question was fruitless.
He wasn't going to leave until he made things better with Buffy. He wasn't
going a step near the town border until he was able to touch her again.

He stripped off his pants and stepped into the shower, ducking under the
warm cascading water. His arousal ached, throbbed for the heat he had just
barely immersed himself in the night before. He wanted more and he released
a ragged groan as he leaned against the cool tile of the shower wall and
tightened his hand around his cock.

The memory of her wild eyes, blonde hair tangled in his fingers, her warm,
supple skin raging against his on the mansion floor, caused his hand to pump
faster. Her screams for him while she bucked against him, her guttural
demands, ordering him to mate with her harder, faster, forced his teeth to
grind in his mouth as he jogged his hand up and down, feeling his climax

He growled, knocking his head against the wall as he spilled his seed onto
the shower floor. He couldn't hide from the daylight, from his Slayer's
lithe body, when the ring on his finger gave him freedom to walk out the
door and find her. He washed himself quickly, threw on clothes and moved
toward the door to find her. When he first stepped into the daylight, his
body involuntarily shrinked back for a second and then he took another step
forward into the light that couldn't harm him.

He smiled as he moved into a dignified gait in the day. Invincibility was
crying out in his mind, taking over his sensibilities. He would find Buffy,
then Parker. Nothing could stop him.


//in the presence of my struggle//

Sunlight lazily made its way through the office windows as Cordelia blinked
open her hazel eyes. The light snoring coming from over her shoulder made
her jerk and turn her head to look at the warm body against hers. He
stirred from her body's movement against his and opened his eyes. The
corners of his mouth twitched with a smile.

"Mornin' Princess," Doyle whispered, kissing her still clothed shoulder.

"Oh God," she whispered back in distress, closing her eyes, as if in pain.

"Calm down, baby," he said, pulling her closer against him. Even as she
mentally resisted him, her body accepted the draw, molding firmly against
hard chest once more.

"I don't even like you," she said, her voice muffled against chest briefly
until she pulled away once more, "There's told me about the demon
thing and then..."

She scrambled to her feet and looked down at him as he remained on the
floor, smiling gently up at her. Doyle was in the process of learning to
deal with her spouts of anger and resistance of him. He knew she would need
a second before he took another swig of her. She was better than any drink
at any damn pub anywhere.

"Did you trick me?" She demanded, resting her tanned hands on her denim clad

"What?" he asked in a half smile.

"Do you Brecken demons have some kind of...I don't know power of persuasion
or something? I definitely didn't want to make out with you last night. I
think you tricked me!"

"Don't be ridiculous," he said, sitting up and yawning before rising to his
feet, "You were in full control of your mind. You just couldn't resist."

"I can't stand you!" she shouted as she pulled her hair back from her face
and looked around for her shoes. She paused when his hands fell on her hips
and pulled them back to meet with his. A lingering kiss on the tape of her
neck sent heat rushing through her body and he continued, circling her to
meet her lips. She thought, he had to have some power over her, because as
much as she thought she wanted to move away, she found that she couldn't.

"It's okay," he said against her lips as his arms slid around her. He
almost cheered with relief as she leaned against him, giving in to his
kisses but was slighted when she pulled away again.

"Angel," she said.

"No Doyle," he said, placing a hand on his chest.

"No dummy," she said, "Angel still hasn't called. Maybe we should call
Giles, see if he is okay."

"Maybe we should wait a little while longer," he said, reeling her back in
with his sexy Irish lilt and wandering hands, "I'm sure he's fine. Probably
just drooling on The Slayer."

"Kinda like you're drooling on me?" She asked, nearly finding a smile. He
silenced her with another kiss. She returned it with fervor as worry began
to set in. She was kinda getting used to this already.


//this is not helping me at all
what you are doing here
in the name of God and Love
it's the distribution of fear
pyramids, healing wines, analysts with fame
i haven't got your degree
and i forgot your name//

"God DAMN," Forest exclaimed to Riley as they approached Parker in the
Student Lounge, "Who the hell did you piss off?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Parker said with a slight lisp in
his voice as he tried to speak with a bruised face and split lip.

"Try us," Riley said, crossing his arms over his chest and taking inventory
of Parker's wounds. He was limping slightly as he walked. He was covered
with contusions and bruises and probably had a concussion from the marks on
both temples.

"A vampire," Parker said, looking around him nervously and leaning in to
whisper his words.

"No kidding?" Forest said, looking sideways at Riley who straightened
immediately, "But you got away?"

"You believe me?"

"Well," Riley said, scowling at his friend, "We're pretty superstitious.
Forest here believes in Santa Claus too. But just out of curiosity, where'd
ya see him?


//fighting, mating, warring
you are all this now
be aware, not scared
look at me now
i say
you are the world//

Buffy did *not* want to go to class. She didn't want to leave her room. In
fact, she would have been content to hide under her bed until a new reality
set in, but after a much needed shower and constant urging from Willow, she
relented. She gripped her book bag with the white knuckled fierceness of a
girl who could not control her own lust for her mate.

Angel was definitely still in town and not far away from where she stood the
way her body was beginning to tingle. She was fairly certain that a little
part of her previous cave girl mentality had stuck with her, because she
felt an overwhelming need to find him and make him hers again. But she
forced one foot in front of the other to class.

Have to go to class, she reminded herself silently, as the feeling of him
grew stronger and stronger. Finally she collided with it when she looked up
and found him standing there in front of her. A deep breath was required to
keep her standing still there and not running away from him or into his
arms. He walked toward her and grabbed her hand - the one that wasn't
clutching the book bag with dear life. He led and she went along, allowing
herself to be moved away from the busy campus path.

The fact that he hadn't said anything at all, made her fill with worry.
Could this be a walking in the sunlight, nearly invincible Angelus? She
didn't have time to ask because he pressed her against the brick wall in the
back of her dorm and began kissing her deeply as the morning sunshine bathed
their mutual arousal.

"Angel," she gasped as his large hand found its way under her skirt. His
hand caressed her over her soaked panties, finding her clit through the
material, "Stop. Please."

His other hand cupped her right breast, his thumb repeatedly brushing her
nipple as he returned to her lips. He pushed aside the silky material
between her legs and dexterous fingers found access to her warm opening.

"I've missed you so much," Angel said as he kissed her neck and felt her
legs opening for his pleasurable attack on her.

"This isn't...right," she moaned as her hands moved over his silk shirt,
memorizing the muscles that lay hidden there. She glanced around them,
waiting for some fellow student to wander in or out of the back door and
find them there. But no one came along and he felt so good touching her,
causing lust to flood her senses.

"Yes, it is," he whispered as he tugged dug her top enough to release one
nipple and didn't pause before sucking it into his mouth. She moved against
his hand and mouth, panting in want of him as he spoke again, "I want to be
inside you again."

"Can't. Not here," she whimpered as his cool flesh, slightly warmed by the
sun, moved over her in random places where her flesh was bared to the day.

"Please," he said, in more of a urgent command of want than a plead, as he
pushed a second finger inside her slick opening, batting his thumb against
her clit.

"I need you, Buffy. After all this time...all this want...let me in, baby,"
he said, huskily as he pulled her hand to his groin, allowing her shaking
fingers to feel his need of her. She was so close to climax that her inner
muscles pulsed against his intruding fingers. Before she realized what she
was doing, she unbuckled his belt, unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. She
pushed the offending black material down to ride low on his hips and he
groaned as if in pain when her hot fingers wrapped around him. He pulled
his hand away from her and wrapped her legs around his waist, as they guided
him into her together.

"Love you," he growled against her neck as he moved inside her. The sun
shone on the lovers, illuminating love long kept in the dark. From the
bushes twenty paces away, Riley and Forest looked on as Angel bared his
fangs and sank them into her neck.


Chapter 6

//if i said you ought to give him some of your water
you'd shake your canteen and turn away//

"I think we should be worried," Xander said at the impromptu, sans Buffy,
Scooby meeting.

"I agree," Giles answered, nodding.

"Well, she said he was a little off, not crazy and he still has his soul,"
Willow added weakly.

"Why wouldn't he have his soul?" Xander asked, standing up in his outrage,
"Is there a reason why he wouldn't have his soul now?"

"Um..." Willow started and turned as a knock sounded on the front door, "Oh,

Giles looked over Willow disapprovingly before turning that look on the
desperate, blanket covered form of Spike. Smoke rose from him as he cowered
in the doorway, trying to get away from the indirect sunlight.

"Help me," he said weakly, causing Giles to push him back out into the day
and listened to Spike's yelp of pain with mild enjoyment.

"What part of ‘help me' do you not understand?" Spike shouted as he hovered
back by the door, looking into the house with longing.

"The part where we help you," Xander said, standing next to Giles.

"Come on, I'm parboiling out here," he groaned, pressing his nose against
the invisible barrier like a lost kitten, "Invite me in."

"No," Giles said, shaking his head calmly, "It's fairly unlikely."

"Damn it! Look, I'm safe. I can't bite anyone. Willow, tell' em what I did."

"You said you were gonna kill me," Willow said, recollecting the incident
clearly, "then Buffy."

"Yes, bad, but let's skip that part and get to the part where I couldn't
bite you."

"It's true. He had trouble performing," Willow said, a little too gleefully
for Spike's taste.

"Yeah, well, it looks like they've done me for good," he muttered with
disgust, as if the white hats were supposed to somehow feel bad for him."

"So....What're you saying is?" Xander asked, almost hopeful of the
explanation to come.

"I'm saying that Spike had a little trip to the vet and now he doesn't chase
the other puppies anymore. I can't bite anything. I can't even hit people."

"So you haven't murdered anybody lately? Let's be best pals," Xander said,
leaning against the door with heavy sarcasm.

"I've got information," Spike babbled nervously, "About the soldier boys you
were fighting. Got the inside scoop. Come on, what have you got to be afraid


//if you've ever known love
if you've ever known peace
if you've ever known joy//

If Angel had ever felt sure about anything in his entire existence, it was
about the gorgeous blonde woman straightening her clothes before him now.
Trembling in the aftermath of their lovemaking, she gingerly touched the
rebroken scar on her neck and looked up at his ridged face as if it were
what love should look like, like love was the face of an ensouled vampire.
He bent, kissing her gently over his fangs and pulling her close against his
body, wondering how he was going to return to his other life, to what he was
becoming before he came back to her.

"Buffy," he whispered, pulling back enough to look into her eyes as he
reverted back to his human form. The transformation came slowly because her
blood was moving so strongly in his body, "Let's go somewhere."

"Where?" she asked.

"Anywhere," he said, "Away from here, from the Hellmouth. Just for a little
while, let's go where no one can find us."


"No," he said, squeezing his fingers into her narrow hips, "don't say ‘no'
yet, just listen. We can come back. I just want to take you somewhere
where no one knows us, where we are just two people in love, not a vampire
and a Slayer."

"We'll always be that no matter where we go," she whispered as tears filled
her eyes. Reality was too heavy on her emotions and it was forcing sorrow
from her.

"I know," he answered, "and I know you deserve a normal life. I'll leave, I
promise. I just want a little time, so I can remember...I want to have this
for when..."

He didn't finish and he didn't need to. Buffy knew the long nights he was
about to refer to and the lonely times that were rocking ahead of them. She
started her sentence with his name but wasn't allowed to finish it when an
electric shock traveled from his body to hers, jolting them both. As they
moved to look on their attackers, they were both shocked again...separately
this time.


//she was a bitch, but i don't care//

"Why are you in the office again today?" Doyle asked, squinting in the dark
office after coming inside from the brilliant day, "It's beautiful outside
and the boss is away."

"Which is why I'm here," she said, slipping out of his arms quickly, "He
still hasn't called."

Cordelia had been living in a land of doubt and absolute denial about Doyle
and the fact that she was...was not...was...was not, damn it....attracted to
him. When she was at home or anywhere that was where he wasn't, she could
steer herself away from thoughts of him - almost, but when he was
around...that voice, those eyes and the way his hands moved on her body was
distracting, to put it mildly.

"Why're ya fightin' it?" Doyle said, pulling her back against him again and
smiling into her hair as she relented, "No one can even see us."

"Actually," a female voice said from the door and they turned around to see
Kate, standing there with a silly grin on her face. She was thrilled, not
to catch the two in an embrace, but that the couple wasn't Angel and anyone
else. She had harbored suspicions for quite some time that Cordelia,
despite her harsh demeanor, had feelings for Angel. She couldn't be happier
that Cordelia was no longer in the running for the sexy detective.

"Um, hi, Kate," Cordy said as she took one long step away from Doyle, "Did
you need something?"

"I was looking for Angel," she said, still smiling widely, which pissed
Cordy off to no end, who did not understand the meaning behind the smile.

"He's not here," Cordy snapped, "He's out of town."

"Oh, okay. Do you know when he'll be back?"

"We have no fu-"

"What Cordy means," Doyle said loudly, interrupting her, "is that he's
taking care of a bit o' business and we're not too sure when he'll be back."

"Oh," she said nodding in confusion. Being a police detective, it didn't
take much to make her suspicious and Angel's two employees definitely fell
into that category. Those thoughts multiplied when the phone rang. Cordy
snatched up the receiver quickly.

"Hello? Angel?" She asked nervously, "Oh hi. It's you. No, we haven't.
Of course not. When? So what you're saying is both of them are missing?
We're coming there. No, he needs us. Yes, I think it's necessary. Stop
being so damn British. We're on our way! Yes, now. Aren't you listening?"

Doyle and Kate were definitely listening and the blonde cop was the first to
pipe up when she hung up, "Angel's missing?"

"," Cordy answered, turning to glare at Doyle with a message that
said *yes, he's missing and we have to go right now*, "He's helping to look
for someone else who is missing. And we are going to help him."

"But it sounded like that wasn't him on the phone," Kate asked accusingly.

"Well, it wasn't, *Little Miss Detective*, it was a friend of ours."


//hope is a letter that never arrives
delivered by the postman of my fear//

The room was fuzzy to The Slayer's eyes when she came to and she blinked and
strained to see for several minutes until she found she was restrained to a
hospital type gurney and standing over her was a doctor, Riley and Professor
Walsh. She wished she could rub her eyes or pinch herself because a few
minutes ago she was in Angel's arms and now she was staring up at her
Psychology Professor and the T.A.

"Record time," Walsh said to the doctor who nodded and smiled, "Interesting.
You seem to be human but your body chemistry is definitely not normal."

"Why am I here? And where is here?" Buffy said, struggling against her
restraints, which she didn't realize where specially designed to hold
demons, not humans and so were not so easily broken.

"You were bitten by a vampire," Walsh said, "And apparently you allowed it
to happen. Since you have not been turned, we suspect you are his minion."

"I'm not his damn minion," Buffy said angrily and continued to pull at her
restraints, "Now let me go. Riley, what is going on?"

He shook his head and stepped back a step to let her know that he was not
going to answer her questions, even though his resolve was weakening more
every second she pleaded with him with her beautiful eyes.

"Ms. Summers," Walsh continued, "We have a few questions and if you
cooperate, we will set you free. If not, you will remain in our custody
until we know what to do with you."

"You can't hold me here!"

"Yes, we certainly can. We are a government program and since we do not see
fit for you to walk the streets, we are authorized to quarantine you as long
as necessary. Indefinitely, if we see fit."

"Quarantined? From what? I already told you I'm not his minion."

"Why did you allow him to feed off of you?"

"The hell with you!" Buffy answered, "Let me go!"

"The two of you seem to have extraordinary abilities," Walsh said, "He seems
impervious to all harm. We couldn't even perform accurate tests on him
because of his accelerated healing rate. You also have accelerated healing,
although not to the same extent. Why is that?"

"You really think I'm going to answer your questions?"

"I think you will if you want to go home," she said and then thinking for a
moment, changed her tactic, "If you want him to live you will."

"You can't kill him," Buffy said weakly, knowing that they could if they
figured out the power of the Gem of Amara.

"You don't seem that sure," Walsh answered, "We are scientists and there's a
way to kill everything. It's just a matter of trial and error for some

"He's not a beast," Buffy said, not sure why it mattered to her what Walsh
thought of him. The only thing she was sure of was that he was alive and in
the complex...somewhere.


//the subculture of my dreamsis waiting for me to fall asleep
i know you're scared, you should be
i know you're scared//

When Angel woke up, he was in a white room containing nothing but him. He
could feel that Buffy was close by but couldn't see or hear her. His first
instinct was to vamp out and roar in anger, which is exactly what he did.
Professor Walsh approached Angel, while several of her aides were in Buffy's
room performing minor torture tactics. With the first slice of her delicate
skin, Angel ran toward the transparent door and screamed her name as the
shock tore through his body.

"Angelus, I don't think we've been properly introduced," Walsh said with a
cold smile.

"You've done your homework," Angel growled, "But trust me, bitch, you don't
want to be properly introduced to Angelus." He growled and flinched as
Buffy was cut again, her pain searing his skin as if they were slicing his,
"Don't touch her again."

"We're not hurting her," Walsh lied. He flinched again as they deeply
sliced her skin again three containment cells over.

"Yes, you are! Stop hurting her NOW! Do whatever you want to me but leave
her alone."

"So it's true," Walsh mused looking into her handheld monitor, watching the
connection between the two unfold.

"What's true?"

"You can feel her pain. Let's see how strong the connection is," she said
with a cold smile and nodded at the aide standing by the door. Angel turned
to look at him, but the arrow had already struck his chest, inches from his
heart. Walsh watched through her monitor as Buffy flinched for the first

"Angel," she whimpered. The aide shot three more arrows before one hit him
and in once again, Buffy flinched.

"Now we know how to hurt you," Walsh said turning to walk away, "You don't
seem to respond to your own pain. We haven't been able to rehabilitate you
as we have the others because you seem to be impervious to any physical
harm. But this should more interesting than what we originally planned."

"Take me to her!"

"Why would I do that?"

"As long as you continue to hurt her, you will get no cooperation from me."

"I will hurt her until I get cooperation from you."

"What do you want from us?"

"I want to document the coupling of the legendary slayer and her vampire,"
she answered simply and Angel stared at her slack jawed.

"You've got to be kidding," he said with disbelief.

"No," she said, staring at him stone faced.

"What the hell for?" Angel said, his whole body shaking in anger.

"We're scientists, Angelus," Walsh replied, "It's an experiment."

"For WHAT?"

"I can't reveal the whole process to you and even if I wanted to, I

"Just take me to her," Angel answered as his mind raced for a way to escape.
The complex seemed airtight. He could see cameras attached to the walls
outside of the cell and assumed correctly that they were deep underground.

"I will bring her to you," she answered with a tight lipped smile.

"And bring some bandages with you!" He yelled after her. "Perverse
bitch," he muttered looking down and yanking the arrows from his chest.
Several minutes later, a cloud of thick gas drained into the room. One of
Walsh's aides stood watching as the drugged smoke filled the room.

"I don't breath, you fucking moron," Angel said, with his game face intact.
He began to sway from the gas and faintly heard the aide's answer, "It
permeates the epidermis, *moron*."


Chapter 7


//this information caused a cut in the line
now i'm remembering//

"Bloody hell! Cuttin' off the circulation," Spike complained as the Scooby
meeting went into full swing. It was ridiculous that he had gone, in just a
couple of days, from the biggest bad around to a helpless, starving vamp.
And now he was tied to a chair begging for blood! The Powers That Be had to
be laughing their asses off.

"You don't have any circulation," Anya said, without blinking, "Vampires and
several other forms of demons have no circulation."

"Well, it pinches," he whined.

"Get used to it. We have more important things to worry about," Xander said,
reeling as well from the curious situation. Spike couldn't kill anyone?
His whole sense of life was out of wack.

"You know," Spike continued, forcing a sigh from most of the group, "I came
to you in friendship....Well, all right, seething hatred, but I've got
useful information, and I feel I'm being mistreated.

"Tell me everything you know," Giles said, "It's of certain importance now
that Buffy and Angel are missing."

"I'm too hungry to remember everything," Spike said, lifting his chin in
protest, "Bet you wouldn't treat Peaches this way."

"Then sit there," Giles said, "Until you are able to overcome your
devastating hunger and tell us where to find the complex."

"Oh bloody hell," he moaned, "I don't remember exactly where it is. I can
probably send you in the right direction. Just give me a little taste.
There are plenty of veins in here, you know. You stingy bastards could

"No," Giles and Xander said at once.

"You fucking humans," Spike complained, pulling half-heartedly at his ropes,
"You probably wouldn't be able to get in there anyway. It's Fort Knox."


//anal, tight-assed soldier with that dogged heart
put down your gun
we are ready to explode, we gotta take it smart
and take it slow//

"Professor Walsh," Riley started slowly, "Not to question your judgement,
but Buffy is bleeding profusely. She needs medical attention and you just
locked her in a cell with a vampire."

"I realize that Riley," Walsh answered with her eyes peeled on the monitor,
"The vampire is restrained."

"For how long? Is this just a test of bloodlust or something? She's going
to *die* if she doesn't receive treatment and soon."

"I realize that too. This is a test of several different things.
Bloodlust, yes, is one of them."

"Please," Riley begged before he even realized what was coming from his
mouth, "I...I can't let her die. You can't let her die. This is crazy!"

"Stand down, Agent Finn," Walsh said, pulling rank, "I will conduct my
experiments as I please and you will follow orders."


"Silence!" she shouted, "You either stand there and follow orders or you can
leave this room. Understand?"

"Yes, ma'am," he mumbled, staring at the screen. All he could do now was
wait and wish he had never run into Parker that morning, that he had never
found the couple having sex against the building, that he had never joined
the military.


//hold on to the reigns//

Buffy was bleeding and unconscious when they dragged her in the room. Walsh
and Finn watched from the monitoring room as they dropped her drugged body
in the room and left. Angel growled at them when they dropped her to the
hard floor, as if they wanted her to be hurt when she fell and the menacing
sound coming from the vampire caused them to rush from the room, even though
he was strapped to a chair.

"Buffy," Angel said, "Wake up, love." Pulling against his restraints, he
looked over her frail body. God, she was so pale and blood was flowing from
several different wounds. She looked weak. Weaker than he had ever seen
her, except maybe when he had fed off her before graduation. He forced the
guilt from his mind as he looked over her. If he hadn't fed off her today,
she would be healing faster. She might be awake. If she died, he knew he
would carry a large part of the blame with him for the rest of his days.

"Buffy," he said louder, "Wake up. You have to wake up and stop the
bleeding. Baby,'re bleeding." She was not moving and the
smell of her blood was overpowering. He felt his face changing again in
spite of his constant efforts not to. He pulled more roughly at the
bindings and took inventory of her wounds.

"Buffy!" He yelled, snapping the restraints and falling to his knees to
scoop her up. Turning back, he yanked one of the restraints off of the
chair and bandaged her right arm with it. Pulling off the other restraint,
he bandaged her left leg. Finally, he ripped off his shirt and bound
several other wounds, all the time trying to revive her. Checking her
vitals, he found her heartbeat steady and her breathing normal.

"I know you're watching," he said looking out into the hallway where a
camera was mounted on the wall. He stared at the blinking red light and
growled, "If she dies, everyone in this fucking building will follow her."


//my brain waves confused between what is and ain't//

"Looking for the redhead," Oz said, standing at Giles' front door. Giles
stood back and let him in.

"Thought Armageddon might be coming since you missed class," he said to his
girlfriend, only half kidding. In Sunnydale, it was hard to tell.

"We're not sure," Willow said, biting her lip to stop her tears, "Buffy and
Angel are missing."

"We'll find ‘em," Oz said, strolling in and perching on the arm of the couch
next to Willow. He slung an arm around her and pulled her closer to him,
showing, as usual, that although his words were flippant, his feelings were

"I hope you're right," Xander said pacing around the room, "Cause we don't
even know for sure if Angel has a soul."

"Sit down," Spike said, "You're making me bloody dizzy...the hunger isn't

"Perhaps you can perform a location spell of some sort," Giles offered,
cleaning his glasses for the fourth time in the past ten minutes, "Since
Spike is less than forthcoming with the information we need, we should be
able to find them another way."

"Yeah and then we can watch him starve to death!" Xander said, leaning in
to the defenseless vampire.

"Oh shut up," Spike growled.

"Ooh, scary," Xander retorted.

"Children!" Giles yelled irritably, "Willow?"

"I can try," she said.

"Works for me," Oz said, threading his fingers through her silky red hair
and offering a soft smile, which she tried to return without much success.


//she'll have to handle this one on her own//

Kate walked out of Angel Investigations, climbed in her unmarked police car
and waited. She watched as Cordelia and Doyle climbed in a little red
economy car with the license plate, "Queen C." She put her car into gear
and followed, hanging back as much as she could.

She had no idea where they were going or how far it was, but she knew she
had to find out what was going on. The close knit team always had something
up their sleeves and were usually dancing on the line of the law. But this
wasn't about the law. This was about Angel's life. Strangely, she cared
about that much more than she should.

One hour turned into two and she stayed with them. As the sun began to set,
they passed the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign. Cordelia's car seemed to know
the roads, steering more than the driver, turning over well traveled tree
lined streets. Kate wondered what danger this simple little California town
could have for a vampire like Angel. Guess she'd find out soon enough.


//if i was half alive
then you were dead
subsistin' on that same old bread//

Angel was starting to enter full blown panic as he looked down on Buffy's
unconscious form. She wasn't waking up. She was breathing, her heart was
beating, her skin was warm as usual but she wasn't awake. He caressed her
damp forehead and rocked her back and forth, whispering her name over and
over, promising her the sun and the moon and the stars, if she would just
open her eyes and speak.

She didn't and the sound coming from him was moving from angry to the
damaged cry of a lunatic. He felt like howling at the moon, if he could see
one. He stood and paced with her in his arms. Crushing her body to his
chest, he roared for medical attention for her, screamed at them to come
save her or he swore they wouldn't be able to save themselves.

Walsh watched the monitor with the coldest smile that Riley Finn had ever
seen. As Angel paced, he paced along with him in his mind, sharing panic
with a member of the walking undead.

"Captivating," Walsh said finally, speaking for the first time in a half
hour. She stood alongside Riley, both of them glued to the screen like
mindless zombies. Riley was sickened by her for the first time since he had
known her. He had always thought her to be ruthless, calculating and
brilliant but this was over the edge.

"How can you just stand there?" Riley shouted, "Save her!"

"She's not going to die," Walsh said, smiling at her young agent, "We gave
her a strong sedative. She'll wake up soon."

Riley sighed and slouched next to her, feeling relief sweep over her body.

"College boy's in love," Walsh said with a smile - one that was not


//the fact that you moaned//

Buffy moaned lightly and Angel's head snapped down to look at her, "Buffy?"

"Angel?" she moaned in a voice so light that only vampiric hearing could
have caught it. He crushed her even more tightly to his chest and felt like
crying. Instead he whispered, "Thank God."

"Feel funny," she said.

"I'm going to get you out of here," he said, looking around again, knowing
there was no way out, but certain he was going to find one. He had to.
Even as he began looking around another round of steam hissed into the room.
They were about to be drugged again and Angel hurried to the furthest
corner of the room and sat against the wall, holding her tightly to him.
Winding his hands in with hers, he whispered, "Hold on to me, love. Don't
let go of me."


//make sure that you are on time
you are on time, you are on time
we are on time//

"Think that worked?" Cordy asked Willow when she finished the spell.

"One second," Willow said, holding up her hand and looking around the room.
Soon the tiny shining light of the guide she tried to summon in the frat
house on Halloween appeared, flickering her tiny light, "Take me to Buffy."

The light moved toward the door and the group stood, all moving to follow
the miniature glimmer that flew through the door. Running to keep up with
her spell, Willow followed it closely. No one heard the irritated vampire
shout after them, "What about me? Don't leave me here, damn you!"

The light engrossed everyone and no one noticed the tall, blonde jogging
after them. The light led them through a cave and stopped at a wall. After
a few seconds, she disappeared. With their guide gone, they all stood
listening closely for any sounds and heard nothing. Finally, they branched
out, searching the cave's tunnels and rooms. Three hours later, they all
gathered at the mouth of the cave again, exhausted, dirty and empty handed.

"It didn't work...again!" Willow said sadly.

"Uh, guys?" Oz said, pointing to the wall where the light had stopped.
Pressing in a nearly invisible bump on the wall, a door swung open.


//my emptiness has built your altar
and i've worshipped myself in you forever
until now//

Angel groggily opened his eyes and the first thing he did was look down. He
wanted to see his lover still in his lap, he wanted to see bright, healthy
green eyes looking up at him. He sucked in an unneeded breath at what he
did see - golden eyes looking up at him.

"Buffy?" He choked.

"Hello lover," she crooned through fanged teeth. The last completely sane
thought that Angel had before he came unhinged was that every fucking person
in that complex was going to die...just like she had.


//hey man, this is criminal, it's hard line symmetry of people//

Buffy opened her eyes and found herself staring a white tiled wall.
Immediately, she noticed the most feral sound she had ever heard coming from
behind her. Slayer senses kicked in, despite of her weakness and she rolled
over to face the insane eyes of her. She came face to face with an enraged
vampire. She whimpered in fear and pulling herself to her feet, pressed
herself against the wall.

"You're going to kill me," she whispered. They could have done anything to
her. Anything but this, this...whatever the hell this was and she could
have bared it. But locked in a cell with an insane vampire? Deep in her
soul, she knew she was about to die.

"*They* killed you," he growled.

"Killed me?" she asked, completely confused.

"Feel your face!" Angel screamed, "Can't you feel the death? Take your
pulse. You're fucking dead, Buffy!"

Buffy believed him for a second and her hands flew to her face. Normal as
ever, unless she just couldn't feel her own deformity. She checked her
pulse. Her heart was racing, but it was beating. She held out her wrist to
him, "I'm alive. But I think you're dead, whoever you are."

"You're dead, my love," he said, falling to his knees, "You're dead and it's
all my fault. My God, I let them kill you."


Part 8

AUTHOR'S NOTE: For my purposes, Willow's power is more like it is now than
it was then.

DEDICATION: For Peygan & SailorGirl


//and i was reachin' foward//

Oz looked around cautiously as he climbed in through the now open door in
the cave. The room his black booted feet landed in was empty and blindingly
white. The rest of the crew climbed in after him and looked around room in

"What is this place?" Willow whispered.

"Must be part of the complex that Spike spoke of," Giles answered. There
was only one other door in the room and Xander charged ahead, turning the
knob. As the rest of the Scoobies prepared to object, a red light flashed
from the corner and sirens went off all over the complex. They all
scrambled back toward the door. Oz was the last to climb out and turned
around to extend a hand to his girlfriend. He found that the door was now
closed and Willow Rosenberg was trapped inside. He pressed the button and
found that it yielded no response this time.

The wolf started to appear as he slammed his shoulder against the door again
and again, shouting for his lover, until he was completed transformed. With
no memory of what he had been doing, he stopped pounding on the door and
turned to face the humans before him.


//i wanna feel
i wanna try
i wanna rock in the city tonight
i wanna dealdon't wanna die//

The night was getting the most of Spike. He had been left alone too long
for his short attention span to handle. He pulled at the ropes three times
and smiled as he felt them snap. Maybe if The Slayer had tied him up, he
might have stayed tethered, but as it was, he was now free.

He moved toward the door, wondering why on earth he had gone there to begin
with. What had made him think he was helpless, that he needed the
superfriends to save him? Angel lived without feeding on human flesh, so
could he. He headed toward the local butcher, regaining the proud stride in
his steps. He may not be able to kill, but none of the demons in town knew
it yet. All he had to do was pretend for a little while until he figured
out how to fix the mess he was in.

As he kicked in the white door in the back of the butcher shop, he felt
almost like himself again. If only he could get a good spot of violence
tonight his mood would be back in place. As the smell of blood attacked his
senses, he felt his face changing.


//i can't remember
it all, it needs to be clear, i tell you,
if the feeling drops out of your voice,
would you kindly pick it up.//

Buffy stayed against the wall and watched with mortification as the vampire
who seemed so frightening a few moments before crumpled on the floor
overcome with sobs. His large shoulders shook with his sorrow and he
repeated her name over and over, although she wasn't aware that it was her
name. She observed him for ten minutes, waiting for something to happen.

It took twenty minutes, 39 seconds for him to raise his face and swipe a
large hand over his tears. His eyes hardened as he looked at her and a
smile twisted over his previously devastated face. Fear returned as she met
his eyes and she wished the wall would swallow her before he did.

"You know," he said looking over her trembling body, "I have been waiting
for this moment since the day I laid eyes on you, gorgeous."

"W-w-waiting for what?" She stuttered.

"For you to die," Angelus whispered, "Together we are unstoppable."

"T-together?" she whimpered as he crossed the room to her.

"Yes," he hissed. She tried to move further back when he reached her but
there was nowhere to go. He slipped his fingers through a handful of golden
hair and forced her lips to his. Despite her fear, she felt her body
responding to his. She knew this kiss and this rough embrace. She had
memorized the hips that jutted against hers and the hard chest and pressed
against hers. She remembered the searing heat that began to course through
her body in response to her mate.

"I know you," she said hoarsely when he broke the kiss. She moaned as
nimble fingers pinched her tender nipples, "I can't remember, but I know."

"I'll remind you," he growled as he ripped away the front of her shirt,
baring perfect breasts to his starving eyes.


//almighty fear//

"Um, hi," Willow said, lifting her hand in a tiny wave to the five armed men
standing before her, "I just got lost and then the door closed."

"You're trespassing on government property, Miss," the leader stated
plainly, aiming a intimidating semi-automatic weapon at her and feeling
slightly absurd for it.

"‘Kay," she said, paling, "Sorry. If ya just open the door again, I'll go

"Please come with us," the leader said, waving the men toward her. Two men
stepped forward and Willow held up her hand, "Please don't touch me. I'll
leave on my own."

"Secure the girl," he ordered. The men continued toward her and Willow's
raised hand, moved forward, as if she was brushing air from her path and the
power took the soldiers away with it. She smiled at the crumpled heap of
men on the floor and gingerly stepped around them. She asked them nicely.
It wasn't her fault that they didn't listen. She looked back at the door
that led to the mouth of the cave and then entered the complex, deciding to
seek out Buffy instead of her other friends.


//we've got to stick together after all//

"This get any worse?" Xander said, backing slowly away from the snarling

"Could you *not* jinx us?" Cordy snapped, feeling Doyle's hand on the small
of her back. Strangely, she felt safer just from the light touch. The
group backed slowly away, an inch at a time, wishing desperately that
someone had brought the dart gun, a damn brick or something. Giles flipped
his eyes around the empty cave and couldn't see so much as a large rock in
the vicinity.

"Everyone move very slowly," Giles whispered over his shoulder at the group,
but his voice was the breaking point for the wolf and he dove toward the
Watcher, who was the nearest to him. Giles braced himself for the attack
that never came. He nearly swallowed his own tongue when he saw a demon he
thought, perhaps, was Doyle meeting the wolf in mid-flight.

"Don't kill him!" Cordelia shouted, unsure of who she was talking to. She
didn't want either one of them to die. She almost smiled in spite of her
worry, she was so proud of *her* demon. All breath was held as a the two
grappled with each other. Much to everyone's surprise, Giles ran out of the
mouth of the cave, leaving the two to battle.

"Giles!" Xander called out and looked from the fight to the mouth of cave
and back again, trying to decide where he should be, when Giles ran back in
with a large rock. He bounced around the two, dodging the rolling bodies
until Oz's furry head came in view. Swinging, he struck him, knocking him

"Jesus!" Doyle said, disentangling himself from the unconscious werewolf,
standing up and dusting himself off, "I think I need a drink!"

He looked over and saw a dazzling smile on Cordy's face and knew it was all
for him. Suddenly, his back didn't hurt, his leg wasn't bruised and he
thought, if he tried, he might be able to take flight.


//but will it stand the test of time
or will it rot
like the mission that tried too hard//

Finn and Walsh glanced at another set of screens when the alarms went off
and after a moment spotted the intruder.

"Willow," Riley said and looked over in time to catch Professor Walsh's curt
nod. She pressed a button and spoke to one of the two teams on call that
evening, "Bring in the girl."

Riley cursed to himself. Things couldn't have turned out worse if he had
planned it that way. How the hell did they find the cave entrance anyway?
No one *ever* used that. The laboratory was not even known to exist by most
of the complex, but there she was. He watched closely, hoping that she
would escape somehow but was struck dumb she all the men simply crashed to
the floor unconscious. Walsh turned to Riley angrily, "Go get your little

He nodded and walked out of the surveillance room. Navigating the hallways
and passages, he followed Walsh's updates on her location through his
earpiece and found her in a hallway away from Buffy and Angel.

"Hi Willow," Riley said with a smile.

"Riley," Willow said, taking a small step back, " here?"

"Yeah," he said, nodding, "I need to show you out. Sorry about not having
any hospitality but people here are not very cool about visitors."

"I'm looking for Buffy," she said, "I need to find her."

"She's not here," Riley said, straining to make his lie believable.

"Don't lie to me," Willow stridently.

"I haven't seen her," he lied again. He regretted his lie when her eyes
flooded an inky black. She flicked her fingers and sent him colliding with
the nearest bare wall. She was quickly losing patience and gaining anger.

"Asshole," she muttered as she turned and walked down the hallway. She
turned a corner and glass slid down on both sides, trapping her. Mist
clouded the room and she pushed the doors back up, trying to escape, but
before she could walk across the room, she dropped to the floor.


//dead beyond destruction
though it leaves me quite erect//

"Who are you?" Buffy whispered at the vampire as he licked her lips,
"What's your name?"

"Angelus," he said smoothly and the sound of his name coming off his silky
lips in a rumbling baritone increased her arousal and the beat of her heart,
which he had already convinced himself did not exist.

"Do love me?" she asked confused from the string of conversation
that had transpired.

"Not sure love is the right word," he said, as he slipped her pants off her

"I don't understand," she said, her words turning to a moan as he reached
between her legs and plunged into her dripping opening.

"You are mine," he said simply, as if that should explain everything. End
of conversation, but she pulled away. Pulling her pants back up, she moved

"What the hell are you doing?" he demanded, feeling the unbearable throb of
his arousal against his pants. He stared at her in disbelief that she would
dare refuse him. No woman ever refused him. Not Angelus. Not even Angel.
The woman he wanted, he always got. The Slayer was no exception, until now.
Her bare breasts rose and fell with her quickened breaths and suddenly it
occurred to him, that she was breathing. With vampiric speed he crossed the
room and felt her neck.

"You're fucking alive!" he shouted.

"I tried to tell you," she said, stepping away again.

He looked around the room and jumping up, he slammed his fist into the place
in the wall that held the spouts that had released the gas. He looked
around the room and found another one, pounding at it furiously and ignoring
blood pouring from his fist. When he was finished, he turned on her with
golden eyes and the most powerful Slayer in history was frozen in fear.


//turn my head
turn my head
it's aimed at you//

"Incredibly sloppy, Agent," Walsh said unforgivingly as he limped back into
the monitoring room.
"She's a witch," Riley said, "I thought she was going to let me lead her to
the trap before she knocked my skull against the wall."

"Well, you failed," she said, "It's a good thing that the foolish girl
walked into it herself."

"I guess," Riley said, pausing to look at the monitor. Angel was growling
at a forgetful, bare chested Buffy, who was cowering in fear, not knowing
her own strength or ability. She was helpless and the vampire was closing
in. Panic filled him as he looked on.

"Calm down," Walsh muttered, "He won't kill her."

"How do you know?" He asked, a little too loudly, gaining a warning glance.

"He won't," she said sternly.

"I can't take that chance," he said and extending his arm, he released a
powerful bolt of electricity into his superior officer.


//when they lanced his skull
there was puss and light//

"He's okay," Giles said, looking up from Oz to the group and noticed for the
first time the blonde woman standing in the doorway, "Um...hello."

"That was the strangest thing I've ever seen and I thought I had seen some
strange things. Doyle, you're a demon?" Kate said.

"Half," he said, nodding.

"You followed us?" Cordy shouted.

"Yeah," she answered, "I knew you were lying about Angel being missing."

"It's none of your damn business!"

"I'm Ruppert Giles," Giles said, crossing the cave to her, "This here is
Xander, Anya and the werewolf is our friend, Oz."

Kate shook his hand and was thankful to find his skin warm and human. At
least he seemed to be. She was so surprised at the events that had
transpired, she was tempted to think she was a demon too.


Chapter NINE

//if you've ever known pain
if you've ever said no//

Oz woke up with a pounding headache, which was made significantly worse by
all the yelling in the room. He knew immediately why he felt like he had a
hangover and it wasn't because he had partied too hard with the band the
night before. Although he couldn't remember turning into the wolf, he knew
that was exactly what had happened. He opened his eyes to find he was
wrapped in a blanket and bound to the chair that Spike had previously been
tied to.

"There has to be a way back in there to get Angel out!" Cordy shouted, red
faced and puffing anger into the room.

"And Buffy and Willow," Xander added with irritation. Cordy always did have
a one track mind. Which was curiously similar to Anya's usual behavior.
Before he bothered to notice the pattern, he turned away from Cordelia and
looked over at Giles, "Any ideas?"

"Well without Willow, the magick element is next to impossible and so is
breaching the complex through their computer systems. Their security, as
evidenced today, is very high. I'm afraid I'll need to think about this."

"Um...guys?" Oz said calmly, "Could someone untie me now?"

"Oh no way, wolfy," Kate said, standing from the couch and stepping back in
fear of the beast turned into man.

"As much as I loathe to leave you there, you did turn when there wasn't a
full moon," Giles said.

"Yeah, what's up with that?" Xander asked.

"Sorry," Oz said, with the same blank expression on his face, "I got upset.
I'm fine now. I just need to find a way to get Willow out of there."

"I think it's a horrible idea to let him go," Anya said, "He could kill us

"Just keep the dart gun handy if you're afraid," Oz suggested, trying to
keep as calm as he could as full blown panic filled his body, "I have to
help Willow."

"How?" Kate asked, testing the werewolf's plan before unleashing him.

"Who asked you anyway?" Cordy asked and taking the side that wasn't Kate's.
She strolled over to untie the ropes with defiance, "Oz very rarely eats
people and if he does turn back into the beasty, we'll just point him
towards you."


//i've willed, i've walked, i've read
i've talked, i know, i know,
i've been here before//

Angelus was livid. His dreams of being with the vampiric equivalent of his
mate were shattered when he felt her pulse strongly on her warm body.

"I can't believe this shit," Angelus said, dropping his hand from her neck
and pacing around the cell.

"I don't understand why you're so angry," Buffy said, trying to keep her
fear in check, "First you were upset that I was dead, then you said you were
glad I was dead. Now you're mad that I'm not. Do you have multiple
personalities or something?"

"Right," he said in frustration, "I forgot you're Forgetful Sue now. You
were so much more fun before you forgot who you are. At least I would have
gotten a little fight out of you instead of this cowering in fear bullshit.
I was freed of my soul when I thought you were dead. Not sure how because I
wasn't having any fun and at all and guess what? I'm still not! I've got
to get out this room so I can kill that bitch!"

"My name is Sue?" Buffy asked timidly and nearly jumped when he whipped his
head around to look at her again with those cold, angry eyes.

"For the love of fucking hell," Angelus raged, "Your name is Buffy. You are
a vampire Slayer and we're trapped in this little room because of you!"

"S-slayer? What did I do?" She whimpered, trying to figure out how she
could be a vampire Slayer. She was terrified of vampires. Not that she had
ever seen one before today but Angelus was frightening.

"Oh let's see, you had sex with soul boy in the bright sunshine where anyone
could see and neglected to mention that there are demon hunters on campus."

"Soul boy?"

"This is useless," he growled, "Forget it. I'm just going to kill you and
then I'm going to find a way out of this room."

Buffy slid across the wall, begging the tiles to become a door as he moved
toward her. He grabbed her by the shoulders and slammed her back against
the tiles, wishing the same thing.

"No," she whimpered. She reached out with her small hands and pushed him as
hard as she could. She was utterly shocked when he flew across the cell and
slammed against the transparent wall, sending a jolt of electricity through
his body. He stood and brushed himself off with a cold, fanged smile.

"That's more like it," he said smoothly approaching her again, "Let's see
what else we can get you to remember."


//and to right or wrong
and to meek or strong
it is known, just scream it from the wall//

Riley hurried from the monitoring room and ran toward the place where Willow
was sleeping. He swiped his card and punched in a five digit code, which
released the door. Crossing the room and looking over his shoulder every
few seconds, he slung the unconscious witch over his shoulder and ran toward
Buffy's cell, trying to figure out how he was going to get her out of there
without releasing the vampire. His thoughts were halted when he came face to
face with Forest and three other men who were normally under his command.

"Stand down soldier," Riley ordered his friend.

"Don't try to pull rank," Forest said angrily, "You stunned Walsh and
released a captive. From the looks of it, you were about to release a
couple others."

"These are innocent people," Riley said, tightening his arm around Willow,
silently begging her to wake up, "It's wrong to keep them here against their

"Since when did we care about what's right or wrong?" Forest asked, "This
about following orders. Set down the girl and walk away. I'll let you

"You'll let me leave anyway," Riley said, pulling his gun from the holster
and pointing directly at his friend's head, "Step aside."

"This is stupid. You're not going to get very far with her."

Riley ignored the last comment as he jogged down the hall and took the
quickest route out of the Initiative.


//it is easier not to be wise
and measure these things by your brains
i sank into Eden with you//

As soon as Cordy released the ropes, Oz was on his feet. He headed for the
door, holding the blanket tightly around his naked body.

"Where are you going?" Cordy asked, "And you're welcome!"

"Thanks. To get clothes," Oz said, "And then my girlfriend."

"But how?" Xander asked, approaching him.

"Haven't figured that part out yet," Oz answered as he opened the door and
walked out.

"Wait for me!" Xander shouted as he ran after him. The two men who loved
Willow headed off into the night without weapons or a plan, but
determination was overflowing and well aimed - or they hoped it would be.

"Kate," Giles said, turning to the police officer, "Could you possibly
contact the Sunnydale police force and ask them into intercede on our

"Not if it's government," Kate said, settling back into her seat, "I wish I
could, but the PD will not interfere with this situation. Even if they did,
they would have no jurisdiction when they were turned away."

"They can't be above the damn law!" Cordy shouted angrily.

"Not above the law," she answered, "They just follow a different one."


//oh why, oh why, oh why//

Walsh was revived by Forest and Graham who stood at attention waiting for
her orders after helping her to her feet. They both looked anxious despite
the emotionless faces they were trying to hold on to.

"Debrief," she said simply as she sank into a chair.

"Agent Finn took the witch out of the complex," Forest said, keeping his
eyes on the wall behind Walsh's head, "He was heading toward the vampire and
Slayer when we blocked his path. He threatened us with his sidearm and we
allowed him to leave."

A enraged roar came from the monitor as he finished his sentence causing
everyone to glance over at screen. Angelus had The Slayer in his arms and
was moving back and forth like a tiger in front of the glass wall.

"What's the problem?" she asked her aide, who now had orders to stay at her
side at all times until the security was tightened again."

"She appears to be dead," the aide answered.

"He only thinks she's dead," Walsh answered happily, "she isn't."

"Excuse me, ma'am but I went over the footage you missed," he said, "he was
speaking to her before and has already realized that she's alive. This is a
separate incident."

"Scan the cell."

"The vampire damaged all of the sensors," he answered, "We can't monitor
anything but video and sound."

"Damn," she said, standing slowly to her feet and checking her balance
before walking across the room and out of the door. Forest and Graham
followed closely as she neared the cell where the vampire held the seemingly
lifeless body of The Slayer.

"You frigid bitch," Angelus said, turning golden eyes on her, "You killed

"She's not dead," Walsh said, looking over the girl's paled body, "and by
the look of her neck, I can see that if she is, you are to blame."

"I tasted her and she fucking died before I could turn her," Angelus
growled, "What the hell did you give her? There are more drugs in her
system than I've ever tasted in human blood!"

"That's not your concern," Walsh answered, "You will lay her by the door and
we will remove the body."

"The body?" He raged, "You better pray I can't figure out how to get out of

"We'll make sure you don't. Put the girl down."

Angelus growled and laid her at the entrance and backed several feet away.
Walsh nodded her consent to Graham and he opened the door. As he bent down
to pick her up, Buffy's foot shot up and met with his jaw, knocking him back
against the wall Angelus charged into the door that Walsh was trying to
close and attacked Forest, who was just raising his gun. Forest met the
wall, landing near Graham and Angelus turned on Walsh. With one quick
movement, he snapped her neck and dropped her lifeless body to the floor. He
glared at the two soldiers, silently daring them to attack him, as he
grabbed Buffy's hand and pulled her roughly behind him as he moved toward
the exit.


//and to love: a god
and to fear: a flame//

The angry stride of Oz's shorter legs were hard for the taller Xander to
keep up with. Xander was sure he had never seen a look that cold in Oz's
eyes before - he was almost calculating in his fury. When they settled on
the unconscious form of his lover slung over the broad shoulder of Riley
Finn, the air became brittle in response.

"Don't wolf out," Xander mumbled as Oz called out, "HEY!"

Riley stopped and turned slowly, cursing under his breath, "Hey."

"Put her down," Oz commanded with hands curled into tight fists. He was
shaking as he tried to keep control but his werewolf senses smelled a
strange, drugged odor on her ashen body. He could almost feel his claws
extending as he watched the soldier gently lower her to the ground.

"So you're one of those commando guys, huh?" Xander said coldly, "Where's

"Look," Riley said, stepping away from her as Oz rushed over and knelt at
her side, "I didn't do this. I saved her. I tried to get Buffy out...I

"Try harder,"Xander said as his eyes darkened to black glittering jewels,
"You can't keep her there."

"I know," Riley said, backing further away, "I tried to tell them that and
nearly got shot trying to get Willow out."

"Thank you," Oz said, lifting her body into his arms. He looked Riley over
slowly, as if he were deliberating a decision. Finally, he he said, "If you
ever come anywhere near her again, I'll kill you." He turned and walked
slowly away. Xander nodded in agreement before following Oz back to Giles'


//free love is a knife through the jugular vein son
free love, I can't afford to add up what you fuckers are made of//

"Where are we going?" Buffy asked, trying to keep up with the long strides
of Angelus, "Are you taking me home?"

"Yeah, right, I'm taking you home. No, I'm not taking you home! You're not
going back home," he answered as he led her along.

"What?" she said, pulling her hand out of his and stepping back, "You said
if I helped you get out of there you would take me to my family so I could
try and get my memory back!"

"Yeah, Buff," he answered, "I'm a vampire. Do the math, baby. I don't care
if you ever get your memory back."

Buffy turned and ran toward the dark cemetery, holding her tattered shirt to
cover her breasts. She knew it wasn't safe, but needed to get away from the
lunatic that was trying to hold her captive. Once glance from his dark eyes
held more power than anything that jumped out in the night. Angelus knew
that as well and smiled as she fled. He moved to follow her, strolling after
her confidently. At first he found it enormously annoying that she couldn't
remember and barely fought him but now the little game of cat and mouse was
much better than he expected.

Buffy kept reminding herself that she was strong and could take care of
herself as she moved away into the murky night. When a hand grabbed her arm
and spun her around, she expected it to be Angelus and was surprised to see
a different vampiric face in hers.

"Slayer," he sneered, punching her hard enough to knock her off her feet.
He dove for her and she rolled over, moving from the spot where he landed.
Scrambling to her feet, she started to run. He looked after her for a
second in confusion before jumping up to follow. The Slayer was running

The Slayer was running away and terrified. She looked over her shoulder
every few minutes to see where he was in his pursuit. When she turned
around the fourth time, he was no longer there. She kept running as she
scanned the surrounding area for him and hurried right into his arms. She
screamed as he lunged for her neck and pushed him away, only to find him
attacking again. Weak from the numerous drugs running through her system
and the loss of blood, she found herself trapped in his strong grip again.
He lowered his mouth to her neck and prepared to feed, gloating shamelessly
for his kill before he made it, which was why he didn't notice Angelus

"Are you fucking blind?" Angelus shouted after he ripped the vampire away
from her and punched him soundly in the mouth.

"Huh?" the vampire asked, climbing to his feet.

"She's marked," Angelus said, pointing to the broken scar on her neck.

"I don't understand, Master," the vampire said, drenched in fear.

"And you never will," Angel said, pulling the branch down that hung over his
head and breaking a section away. He shoved the branch through the
vampire's chest and watched him dissipate to ash with disgust.

"I don't get it either," Buffy said, staring at the ground where the vampire
had been, holding her arms against her destroyed shirt. Angelus lifted her
arms and watched with glee as the material fell away from her erect nipples
and round, full breasts. He pulled her against his bare chest and growled
lightly. Much to her confusion, she was turned on by the animalistic sound.
She squeezed her thighs together only to find his hand was already there,
rending the material from her body.

"You belong to me," Angelus explained as he growled again purposely, knowing
the sound made her wet, made her want him even more than she already did.
She was naked, defenseless and trembling as he stepped out of his pants and
then lowered her to the grave behind her. She folded to the ground without
objection, wondering why she didn't protest. His strong cold hands on her
body, his sucking mouth on her nipples, was breaking into her thought
patterns, making her less aware of the demon and increasingly aware of the

"You're mine," he said, reinforcing his claim on her as he knelt between her
legs and looked down at her glistening opening.

"I don't belong to you. I don't belong to anyone," she objected finally,
feeling vulnerable under his stare. She began to scoot away but he grabbed
her legs, pulled her back against him and slid inside her.

"Oh but you do," he growled, rolling them over, "Every inch of your body is

He looked up at her sitting astride him with obvious conflict on her face.
Although she didn't remember anything of her former life, she knew she was a
person and didn't belong to anyone. She also knew that flesh to flesh with
this demon *felt* right. It didn't make sense, but her body couldn't forget
the touch of its mate. She shivered as his hands moved over her thighs,
over her abdomen and cupped her breasts. He laid still beneath her as he
caressed her naked body, waiting for her to move. He held on to his
resolve, making himself remain motionless as her blazing heat melted him.

"S-stop," she whispered. She couldn't think with his hands roaming over her
and couldn't move from his lap.

"You can move away any time you want, Buff," he whispered, tucking a large
hand between her legs to pinch her clit. He smiled lazily at the jerk of
pleasure that went through her body and groaned as her inner muscles flexed
around him. She closed her eyes to block the sexy vision of him below her
and he pulled her hands to his chest, bracing them against the muscled
surface, "Come on, Buff, you know you want it."


Chapter TEN

//the perception that divides you from him is a lie
for some reason you never asked why
this is not a black and white world
you can't afford to believe in your side//

Buffy and Angelus laid on the fresh grass planted above a grave, glistening
in the moonlight from their exertion. The quarter moon was so soft against
the clouds that it seemed to meld into them. Buffy thought it looked like a
wispy dream, a surreal intrusion of her reality.

"Oh God," they both whispered in unison and turned their heads so they were
face to face. Memories of what happened flooded both of them

"Buffy?" Angel said, gulping grass flavored breath as if he needed it.

"Angel," she breathed and wiggled across the grass to climbed into his

"What happened?" she said with her face buried in the crook of his neck.

"I'm not sure," he answered, "Something in the drugs they gave us made you
lose your memory and I...well, I couldn't have lost my soul, so maybe the
drugs altered my mind."

"Could a drug do that?" She asked, pulling back to face him.

"Guess so, cause it did," he said, "And now I'm...well...actually, I'm not

"That's not what I thought you were going to say," she said, resting her
cheek on his outstretched arm. She felt so tired. She was bone weary,
mentally exhausted and wished she could just climb inside her lover's body
and hide from the world.

"The ring," he said, holding up his hand, "I think I have to destroy it."

"No!" Buffy shouted, bolting to a sitting position.

"It's...changing me, Buffy," Angel said, "You know I've been acting
differently since I came back. What happened with Parker...and outside your
dorm. Even now I feel like reclaiming you and then going out to kill him."

"But..." Buffy said, preparing her objection and finding that there wasn't
one. The tears that filled her eyes crushed Angel and he reached out to
wipe an escaped drop from her cheek.

"Please don't cry, love," he whispered and gathered her onto his lap to rock
her as she began to sob. He could barely make out her muffled words against
his chest but he understood. Taking off the ring meant no protection from
the curse and no protection from the curse meant no relationship. No
relationship meant he was leaving again.

"Can't...stop," she said as her words squeaked out like the rest had,
between torrents of tears and heaving breaths.


//used to be so calm
used to be so sane//

Everyone was used to seeing the taciturn Oz, the guy who rarely even makes
an expression, let alone speaks that the Scooby gang, plus Kate and Doyle,
were startled by Oz's countenance. Not only the fact that he was showing
emotion, but that it was a strong mixture of anger and worry. He stormed in
Giles' flat as if being chased by a cadre of demons and laid Willow on the
couch. He crouched on the floor, swept her hair away from her face and
didn't bother acknowledging anyone's presence in the room.

"Willow," he said gently, clutching her hand, "Wake up."

He waited and alternated between shaking her gently and burning holes into
her with his gaze. She wasn't waking up and he was tiptoeing toward the
edge. Finally, he looked up and his eyes swept the room until he landed on

"She's not waking up," he said to the Watcher with pleading in his eyes.
Giles stepped forward, with a fatherly stride and although he had the best
of intentions, he had no idea what he was supposed to do once he reached the
girl's side. Giles reached over the arm of the couch, so Oz didn't have to
move out of the way - although he suspected the boy would not have moved
anyway - and felt her pulse.

"She seems to be breathing well and her pulse is strong," Giles said.

"Will," he said again, shaking her, ", you have to wake up."

"She might be in coma," Cordy offered and gained a sharp look from Oz that
caused Queen C to whither to silence. The rest of the room opted for the
same quietude and were reduced to staring at the couple. Ten long minutes
passed while everyone simply stood there, listening to the tick of Giles'
clock. Finally, Willow moaned and Oz jerked at the sound.

"Willow?" he said, trying to get his constricted throat to release the word.

"Oz," she breathed as her eyes fluttered.

"I'm here, baby," he said, "Open your eyes."

She took a moment to focus on her boyfriend's face and the terror that it
held. When he was sure that she was completely with him he pulled her into
his arms and squeezed her tightly against her.

"I thought I lost you," he whispered into her hair. If Willow ever had a
second's doubt that he loved her, every wedge of it disintegrated into the
tight embrace.


//if it slithers into the haze
it can't be true//

Riley couldn't go to any of his friends. In fact, since his room was above
the compound, he realized that he had nowhere to go at all. After a long
walk around campus, he finally decided to go back to the Initiative and
receive his punishment.

The moment he walked through the door, he knew that something was seriously
wrong. There was a buzz all over and strange expressions. As paranoid as
he was about what he had done, he knew that this couldn't possibly be about
him. He found Forest and Graham inside a group of men who were about to be
sent out.

"What's going on?" he asked. The hard eyes of his friends were painful but
he stood his ground and waited for a response.

"Angelus murdered Professor Walsh," Forest said, narrowing his eyes in
anger. Riley could see by the bruise on his cheek and his split lip that he
was present for the event.

"She's dead?" Riley asked, slumping in pain. She was not a very nice person
and tended to be ruthless, but over the years, he had begun to care about
her, respect her mind and her brilliance. He was sad that she died and glad
that he hadn't been the one to release the vampire from containment. He
suddenly felt like an outsider. After his betrayal of her and her death, he
knew he no longer belonged there, "Are you sending the men out to recapture

"This is a kill, not a capture," Forest answered and turning to Riley's men
he said, "Dismissed."

They fell in line and vacated the complex in search of the vampire
and...Riley thought with a start...The Slayer. He stood there trapped in
indecision, until it dawned on him that there had to be an answer to all
this confusion in Walsh's experiments on the couple. Without speaking
another word to his friend, he turned on his heel and headed for the
research lab.


//she needs your love//

Their tears turned to caresses, melting into desperate kisses. Buffy
clutched Angel to her as if he would disappear if she dared let go. Angel
clung to her as well, needing the feel of her. She began to push him back
into the grass and he resisted, pulling back to look into her eyes.

"We shouldn't," he said, absently sliding his hand over her spine.

"Yes, we should," she answered in protest, "I need this. I need you now
because...tomorrow.... Angel, please, don't think about the consequences.
You still have the ring for now. Just love me."


//everybody's anxious
for the coming of the crisis
the collapse of the justice//

When Oz released Willow, she looked nervously around the room, "Buffy and
Angel still trapped in *that place.* We have to find out where they are and
how to get in."

She stood and grabbed her bag from the corner, pulling her laptop free, "If
I can breach the security, we can get a window of time to get them out. "

Giles leaned against the wall watching the little witch pound furiously on
her keyboard. Sometimes he forgot her genius, neglected to notice how much
they all relied on her. He had to admit that he was just as afraid as Oz
was that she wouldn't wake up. He always felt that they all were his
children. Even Cordelia in her own funny way. He looked over at her and
Doyle, curled up next to each other on the couch. He smiled at her attempts
to pretend she didn't care about him. Anyone could see that they were both
far gone.

"I think I can decrypt this," Willow said as the door opened and revealed
two weary warriors. Willow jumped from her chair and pulled Buffy into her
embrace as she began to babble, "We tried to get in there to save you and
then I was caught and then Riley trapped me and then he saved me and I was
asleep for awhile but when I woke up I tried to save you again but here you
are. I'm so glad you're safe. You *are* save, aren't you?"

"Calm down, Will," Buffy said with a sad smile, "We're good."

Angel slipped around the two reunited friends and headed over to Giles. "I
thought you might want to know that I destroyed the Gem of Amara. It's too
dangerous even for me. I figured you might want to document it in your
Watcher's Journal or something."

"Yes," Giles said nodding and realizing the weight of the situation, "Thank
you, Angel and I'm sorry."

"Me too."

A knock on the door caused all eyes to raise.

"Who could that be?" Giles asked as he headed for his door.

"Yeah, I thought everyone we knew was here," Buffy added.

"Riley," Buffy said curtly, moving to stand next to Giles. A low growl from
Angel made everyone turn to look at him except for Buffy who wasn't at all

"Step through that door," Angel warned. Oz stood there bristling as well,
feeling protective over his love, just as Angel did.

"He *did* save me, guys," Willow reminded, taking Oz's hand in hers.

"I just have some information on the drugs you were given. After Professor
Walsh was killed, I went back and looked through the research."

"Well?" Buffy asked, crossing her arms.

"When you two were given the sedative, two of our lab rats injected you both
with separate drugs. Buffy, yours was an extra sedative so you would sleep
longer, a drug that blocked your memory temporarily. Angel, yours was a
depressant and a hallucinogen. There was another element that made it seem
like you lost your soul but the notes were difficult to understand. There
were a couple of elements both mixtures had in common, but I'm not a
scientist," he said, looking over at Willow and extending a folder, "I
thought Willow might be able to decipher it."

"I hope you don't think you're save now," Angel growled, still feeling after
affects from the drugs and the Gem.

"I just committed treason for you people," Riley said angrily, "The least
you could do is stop growling at me."


//behold the unsheathing, it's love the blade is not ready to cut
it's dull from our thinking, it's rough//

Willow studied the file for years, if you asked Buffy's version of the
story. There was definitely more going on because something was seriously
wrong with Angel. Still. Again. Whatever. His teeth were grinding in his
mouth as he tried to keep the pain that coursed through his body in check.
He kept telling himself that if he waited just a little bit longer Willow
would find out what was wrong and could fix it.

Buffy was feeling a little faint herself and went to the bathroom four or
five times during the researching to splash water on her face. During the
third trip, Angel was leaning against the wall and Kate was standing in
front of him, whispering in his ear. Buffy felt jealousy surge through her
as she watched them exchange quiet words. She tried to think logically but
the fact remained at the end of her discourse with herself that Kate lived
in LA, where Angel lived and was undeniably beautiful. Buffy was pretty
sure she hated her. She watched closely as they talked and when Kate
touched his arm, Buffy crossed the room and interrupted them.

"Excuse me," Buffy said asked under an icy glare, "Something going on?"

"No," Angel said, shaking his head.

"Just talking to Angel," Kate said, "In private. Until now."

"About what?" Buffy asked boldly, wishing she could hit Kate just once.

"Nothing," Angel said meeting her eyes and glancing over at Kate and then
back again.

"Why not tell her Angel?" Kate said, "It's not a big deal. I wanted to know
if he was staying with you or if he was coming back to LA *with me*."

"I see," Buffy said, stepping closer.

"Buffy," Angel said, shaking his head, "Don't."

"Why not, Angel?" she said, mimicking Kate's earlier tone, "Maybe we need to
chat about territory for a second. And what's *mine* or more importantly,
Kate, what's *not* yours."

"Wow, Cordy," Xander said, grinning at Buffy.

"Hey!" Cordy said, "Don't compare her to me. I'm *much* better at being a
bitch than she is. Although I do have to say: Kate, give it up baby.
Angel's spoken for. And even if he wasn't-"

She stopped talking when Doyle elbowed her and she turned on him, "What?
Why are always trying to shut me up. I can say whatever I want to say."

"And you *never* stop saying it," Xander added.

"Shut up," Cordy snapped.

"Guys," Willow said, standing up, waving the folder at them. Riley stood up
from the stairs, which apparently was the Siberia section of Giles' small
flat, "I got it."


//angel, don't you have some bagels in my oven?//

A month later, Buffy was smiling down at Angel, whose head was laying on her
bare stomach. It was becoming a daily ritual and she stopped thinking it
was adorable.

"Do you *really* think you're ever going to hear a heartbeat. I mean,
really, Angel," she said, chiding him.

"I might," he said, flashing her a smile before gathering her into his arms,
"Vampires have extraordinary hearing."

"Among other things," she said, smiling suggestively.

"Did Giles and Willow ever come up with anything new?" he asked, gathering
her into his arms and tracing swirls onto her softly rounded belly.

"Well, Giles said it might just have been the prophecy all by itself.
Willow has been trying to decrypt Initiative files to see if Walsh knew
about the prophecy of the Slayer bearing the child of a vampire or if she
just had great timing."

"Either way, I wish I could have thanked her before I broke her neck," Angel
said and then mumbled, "Not really all that sorry for killing her."



"No you're not," she whispered as she kissed his neck.

"Not really," he said with a sly grin.

"Maybe you should be punished," she said, sliding her hand over his thigh.

"Buffy," he growled delighting in her response and protesting at the same

"Are we going to talk about this *every* day until our child is born?"

"Not *every* day," he said, grinning, as she swung her leg over his hips,
"Maybe every other day. You know, whenever Doyle has a vision and I have to
run back to LA, we probably won't talk about it those days."

"You're invulnerable," she whispered as she bent to kiss his perfect chest,
while her hands began to wander over his body, "you absorbed the powers of
the ring when you destroyed it. So stop worrying. There's no fear. Not

"There's no way to be sure," Angel dissented, "Not really."

"Don't make hormonal Slayer angry," she warned, "Listen, when the commando
guys attacked us and Forest staked you... I almost died before I saw that
you lived. We've made love every day and you haven't lost your soul.
Accept it. It's here to stay. *You're* here to stay. And I'm not letting
you ruin this for us."

"Well, I'm definitely not going to resist if you keep that up," he said,
relenting with a groan as she rubbed his cock through his black pants. Her
breath tickled him as she giggled against his skin, using the tips of her
fingers to tease him further. He pulled her up to his lips and kissed her
firmly and then met her eyes, "If something should ever happen. If it wears

"Stop," she said, "You're going to make love to me for the rest of my life
*with* a soul. Now make love to me."

"Yes, ma'am," he said jokingly as his hands slid around her.