Diluted Truth by Tango



Disclaimer: All the characters are based on the television shows, Buffy the
Vampire Slayer and Angel. Don't own them, get money for writing about them
and have no permission to write about them.

Rating: NC-17

(I'm brand spanking new to this group so please let me know what you think.
Warning: This fic begins with a *graphic* A/C scene. Thx.)

All lyrics are from Cake.


//have a slice, but watch out - she ain't no good for you.//

Angel didn't really have time to think about how it happened, how he ended
up inside her, pressing her against the lobby counter where any member of
the "family" could walk in and see them. She was leaning against the outside
curve, facing the glass doors, one long slender leg held at his hip by a
large, cold hand. With the other hand, he pulled the top of her low cut
shirt aside and leaned down to suck at her erect nipples as he pistoned
inside her.

"God, Angel," she panted, moving back against him, her legs threatening to
buckle underneath her. Every muscle of his superhuman body was focused on
her pleasure as he reached under her skirt to pinch and rub her clit. He
stretched her to fit him, banging her forcefully against the counter. She
slammed into her second orgasm, spasming violently around his cock, falling
back against the counter, causing her legs to open wider for him. He pushed
her up, sliding her back across the smooth surface and slid her legs to his
shoulders. Reaching between her toned legs, he ripped her shirt away at the
front, watching with pleasure as her ample breasts bounced free.

She groaned through gritted teeth as he continued to force her into further
submission. He pinched her nipples roughly causing jolts of pleasure to
shoot through her body. Every cold touch was nearly as unbearable as the

"I'm going to..." he groaned. He wrapped her legs around his waist and
pulled her up to his lips as he moved inside her, kissing her passionately.

"I'm going to die," she gasped as he abused her swollen clit once more.

"Come one more time for me, Cordy," he whispered, nibbling on her nipples,
sucking them roughly into his mouth again. Her ragged groans came in bursts
of glorious pleasure as she neared climax.

Angel always thought Cordy beautiful. Any man with the gift of sight could
see that her big brown eyes carried more soul than she would ever admit. Her
smile was arresting and made men feel like they had been blessed with a
moment of truth. Her tanned skin ran long and slim over her luscious,
slender curves.

She was beautiful, there was no way around it. The problem always was that
every time she opened her mouth, the picture went askew. He was always
surprised how her unapologetic, brash manner turned him off. Before. Now he
wasn't sure how much of the change was in him or her, but she didn't turn
him off anymore. At all.

Cordelia, on the other hand, was never turned off by Angel and his "salty
goodness." He was tall, dark and delicious. He carried assurance in one hand
and sincerity in the other. The rest of him was dynamic, streamlined
predator. For a man that never made love, that couldn't without losing his
soul, he oozed sexuality. It was a downright crime...until tonight when he
thrust into her, breaking any bonds of resolution she might have had - which
were few.. She finally understood just how Buffy couldn't resist this

Damn, she wanted him. She couldn't count the number of times she thought
about walking across the hotel lobby, straddling his thighs and begging him
to rip her clothes off and take her right there. That was why she had
squirmed in closer to him as he kissed her for the first time. She didn't
know that he could smell her arousal, that he could sense her body heat
rising, her blood pumping faster for him. Her responses egged him on, making
him ignite even more heat. Soon he was reaching between her firm thighs,
plunging into the wetness his vampiric senses already smelled. Minutes
later, he was sheathed inside her, giving her the fuck of her life.

"Yessss," she hissed, clutching his back, digging her nails in to hold him.
As they came together, Cordy's ass left the counter and it took her a second
to realize that Angel hadn't lifted her - they were floating. But she wasn't
having a vision. She looked at Angel's face revert from ecstasy to despair.
He was having the vision.


//he's haunted by something he cannot define. bowel-shaking earthquakes of
doubt and remorse, assail him, impale him with monster-truck force. in his
mind, he's still driving, still making the grade.
she's hoping in time that her memories will fade.//

From vampire to childe and childe to sire, from the girl made demon by The
Powers That Be to The Slayer and back, from soul mate to soul mate...from
those wishing it so, came a strong vibrant light. Angel was stricken with
visions of Buffy as he released into Cordelia's hot depths.

Visions of what had been ripped through Angel's mind. Flashing with violent
urgency, he saw the girl on the front steps of Hemry High, her red lips
wrapped around a lolly pop, being called to her fealty...the girl swinging
down on the vampire following her through the dark alley, pressing her foot
on his chest...

God, the pain, the fear that rushed in his mind from Buffy's right before
she fought the Master. So beautiful and vulnerable. He had forgotten that
voice, that stubborn determination that made him love her a little bit more.
He focused on the sensations, letting them wash over him...

Inside his mind's eye he made love to her again, losing his soul all over
again. He fell to the floor, unsure where Cordy landed as the vision

Sent to hell his torment rode besides hers as her memories played through
his brain...Her dream of him, back from hell, human on a beach...How did you
find me here...If I was blind, I would see you...Stay with me...Forever.
That's the whole point. I'll never leave. Not even if you kill me...

Barrage of memories...his return...her repeated attempts to leave him. He
felt overwhelming guilt rush through his body as he realized she had tried
to leave him numerous times and he wouldn't let her. Then he decided to go
and gave her no choice...

...He's leaving me... I'm sorry. Must be horrible...I think horrible is
still coming. Right now, it's worse. Right now, I'm just trying to keep from
dying...oh Buffy...I can't breathe, Will. I feel like I can't breathe...

...Drink. Drink Me...

...What's that...What's what...you have a scar...Right, um... angry puppy...

//conceiving a plot. it quickens, it thickens. you can't put it down now. it
takes you, it shakes you, it makes you lose your thought.//

He struggled to stand, pulling his pants up as the vision continued.
Somewhere in the background he heard Cordelia's voice but he couldn't make
out her words because Riley was making love to Buffy...her sister was being
created from green energy...Riley was in the vampire nest, paying to be fed
off of...Riley was leaving her...Spike proclaiming his love...Joyce
dying...Angel arriving at the funeral...Dawn kidnapped...

...Death...Heaven...Earth...Spike...numbness...Making love to

He fell to the floor as Buffy's orgasms with Spike flashed through his mind.
She didn't feel anything. His love was lost somewhere in the aether,
somewhere in the pain...

"Angel," Cordy yelled, hugging her tattered shirt to her chest, "Please say

"Oh God," he said, falling into sobs on the marble floor, "Oh my God..."


//you turn the screws, you tear down the bridge, flimsy as it is, it's
business like//

After a few moments, his sobbing ceased and he sat there staring at the
lobby, sitting on the cold floor. Cordelia stood over him, tugging on his
arm, pleading with him to get up, to speak to her.

"Angel!" she yelled again, her hands on her hips, breasts flashing as the
torn material slipped aside. He looked up at her, his eyes dazed and
tormented, "What happened?"

"Vision," he mumbled, pulling himself to his feet. There had to be a way to
fix it, make it better. Why would the Powers have revealed that to him if
there wasn't a solution? Obviously something had been missed along the way,
a detail had been lost and it caused her reality to tear a little in the
wrong direction.

"What did you see?"

"I saw...reality...what is...shouldn't have happened that way," he said, his
words spaced far apart but still seemed to run together.

"What shouldn't have happened that way?"


Figures, she thought with irritation. She was jerked out of her annoyed
reverie when she heard him begin to walk across the room buttoning his shirt
as he went.

"Where are you going?" she asked as he shrugged on his leather jacket.

"Sorry," he said, opening the basement door and pausing a second to look at
her, "Something I gotta take care of."

He didn't tell her that he wasn't actually even leaving the building. He
wanted her to think he was gone, so she wouldn't know what he was doing. He
felt slightly guilty as he set up the tools of the ritual. Cordy was going
to be upset with his choices. No time for regrets now.

The casting the spell, he was soon standing in the dank hallway he had
visited before. The air was heavy, musty and dank like a flooded basement
but the fire of the ones held in suspension for their crimes was hot,
pressing against his face, lapping at his nerve endings.


//yeah, somehow, i know, no, i won't forget you, no, no, no, no, no, i
won't. you won't forget me, no, no, no, no, no, no//

Angel woke in his bed the next morning - well, afternoon - and felt as if he
had been drugged. The haze that filled his head was difficult to shake off.
He sat up and stared at the brick wall in front of him. Dreams were so
strange as if...


He vaulted from his bed and looked around his apartment anxiously. That was
no dream. He had fallen asleep with Cordy's scent on his body and woke 8
hours later with Buffy's scent permeating his senses. The Powers That Be
were strange creatures. When they explained the process last night, it
almost made sense to his frantic mind, but today he was sure that he
wouldn't be able to explain it fully. Looking around he understood. He had
given up all that had occurred for the last year and half to travel back to
the day he folded time. In order to save Buffy's life, he had to go back and
try again. Repair what had happened before. If Buffy never threw herself off
of the tower, she wouldn't have lost her lust for life when she was brought
back to life...and she wouldn't have to die again.

The Powers and their muddled riddle-speak, somehow made clear to him that
one objective was imperative - that he save her from death a second time
around. If that could be avoided, she would save the world from the ultimate
end of days. He felt grief for the life of his son and an overwhelming
emptiness entered his soul. Darla would never be the mother of his child.
Not now. His eyes filled with tears which he quickly blinked away.

There was a chance. The Powers said there was a chance for Conor. There was
a chance for Shanshu. There was a chance for Buffy. Everything was left to
chance. The only thing they would openly admit was that with this temporal
fold, history was changed forever. If Conor came into existence, Darla would
not be his mother. The only gift he was given for his eternal sacrifice was
his permanent soul.

"Angel," a familiar voice wafted down the elevator shaft and Angel walked
towards the sound.

"Yeah," he answered, thinking of nothing else to say.

"There's a girl upstairs who's almost sad enough to fall into my arms. Keep
up the dark cloud, maybe I'll get lucky."

"DOYLE!" Angel said running over and pulling the half-demon Irishman into
his arms.

"Wha's the matter with you, man? I know you're all broken up from seeing
Buffy but you've got to pull yourself t'gether."

"Buffy just left?" Angel said, grinning, pulling the sequence of time
together in his mind. There was more than a fighting chance to save Doyle.

"Okay," Doyle said backing up with his hands in the air, "You've gone insane

"When was Buffy here?" Angel demanded.

"Yesterday," Doyle announced.

"That's fantastic," Angel said smiling and pulling on his coat.

"Where are you going?" Doyle said, confusion covering his unshaven face.

"Need a bomb," he answered, disappearing through the trap door in the floor.
When he hit the wet sewer floor, he broke into a glorified run. Everything
could be different this time. Everything could change. With his memories of
the past intact, anything was possible. There was a chance for everything.


//when she walks, she swings her arms, instead of her hips
when she talks she moves her mouth, instead of her lips
i've waited for her for so long, i've waited for her for so long
i've wondered if i could hang on, i've wondered if i could hang on//

Standing in the corner, unnoticed by anyone, Angel had a perfect vantage
point of the dance floor and the front door, eagerly awaiting her arrival.
He couldn't stop the broad grin that enameled his face. The building that
housed The Scourge exploded with a vibrancy that he had never remembered
seeing before. Football heads in flame created pure joy in his undead heart.
The hybrid demons were safely on the boat on their way to a new home, Doyle
was on a dinner date with Cordy and he was leaning in his favorite corner in
The Bronze waiting for Buffy.

He felt her coming closer and looked urgently at the door, smelling her
perfume as it wafted in the door before her. He smelled the blood pumping
wildly in her veins and he knew she was adrenalized from her latest battle.
The smell of her excitement was irresistible but he kept his place in the
corner just a little longer to watch her. Her black leather pants hugged her
narrow hips and muscular thighs, barely touching the top of her silky red
halter top. She stopped and looked around the club, making a full circle,
scanning the crowd and finally turned toward the dance floor, leaving the
sexy skin of her bare back for him to admire. He watched her closely as she
began to dance, unaware of the hungry eyes of the men in the club noticing
her, unaware of his starving eyes taking in every detail of her.

His eyes drank her in, famished for a second to touch her but not wanting to
move from this moment, not wanting to give up the pleasure of seeing her. He
had this dream million times, where he never feared for his soul - it was
permanently intact in his fantasy world, so he knew he would eventually be
able to walk over and touch her. It was completely unreal to him that it
wasn't a dream this time. He could walked over and touch her.

He leaned against the wall and almost moaned from just the sight of his
love, his mate moving in perfect fluid motion to the music. He knew she was
unaware of her beauty. She emitted a siren of sex across the room and every
single man - and some not so single - looked to see her alone, provocatively
moving her lithe body to the music. Within minutes of her arrival on the
dance floor, she was encircled by men, trying to move closer and closer to
her. Gently moving away from them when they got too close, she continued her
mating dance, calling her man to her from across the room.

//if she wants him more than she wants me, let this be.
she'll come back to me. she'll come back to me. she'll come back.
all day i wait and wait to hear her footsteps on my walkway.
she never came. she never even called.
she'll come back to me. she'll come back to me. she'll come back.//

Her boyfriend answered her call, wrapping his arms around her. Angel stood
up straight and rigid as he watched Riley moved against her. His head
pounded with anguish as he watched her with him. He took several steps
forward but stopped himself. He watched her closely, transfixed on her face.
She was attracted to him. She liked him but she didn't love him. She didn't
love him.

Buffy flowed into Riley's arms on the dance floor, trying to lose herself in
his arms but this nagging sensation, this familiar reminder of the past kept
tingling beneath her skin.

Stop it, she chided herself silently, snuggling into him. He was nice, sweet
and kind. He accepted her Slayerness, even if it was somewhat reluctant.
Okay, yeah, he worked for the military in a secret demon hunting venture,
but he was human. He was a decent, corn-fed boy who could make her happy.

She tried to focus on positive thoughts but his touch was already
frustrating. He hadn't even made love to her yet and still he didn't linger
where she needed him to and passed over the areas she ached for him to
touch. She always left him hungering for what she wasn't given. He
tenderized every moment, said what she wanted to hear and tried to become
what she wanted...what he would never be. She knew she could lose herself in
him. She could, if only those feelings she needed to feel for him would
manifest themselves. If only she could transfer her ache for Angel into an
ache for Riley.

Angel felt the sigh escape his lips as he burned holes in her and her new
boyfriend. His vampiric hearing picked up the beep of Riley's beeper and
watched as the blonde boy toy disentangled himself from The Slayer and
looked down at the message. He excused himself, leaving her alone on the
dance floor once more. Angel felt the smile creep over his face and he began
his approach.

He knew it was probably a mistake but he moved in closely, weaving his hands
under her arms to pull her against him, his large fingers spanned against
her tiny abdomen. She inhaled him and moved silently with him in slow erotic
circles on the dance floor. For moments, they didn't meet eyes, they didn't
think. They just moved together.

"I've dreamed this so many times," Buffy muttered with her head back against
his chest, "When my hands touch my body, I dream they're yours."

"They are," Angel whispered in her hair.

"Will it be you when I turn around?" She whispered.

"Turn around, love," he whispered. Slowly, she turned with her eyes closed.
Her lids fluttering open, she saw him with a tiny smile across his lips.

"Have you finally come back to me? Or is this just a new kind of torture you
cooked up just for me?" Anger and hurt crept into her voice for the first
time, old pain rearing, tainted fears battling inside her.

"I never really left," he said, "I could never really leave you, not in my
heart, not in my soul. I was wrong Buffy." Tears filled his eyes for all
that was lost to him and for all that could come back.

"I can't stop when it comes to you," He whispered, knowing each syllable was
the truth, "I love you."


//you tell me that you love me so, you tell me that you care,
but when I need you, baby, baby, you're never there//

Angel sat across the couch, clad in his traditional black pants and shirt,
unfazed by the pounding beat of the house music. Buffy watched him from the
opposite side, looking over his sculpted features, his broad chest beneath
his silk shirt, his large hand resting on his muscle corded thigh. Those
hands knew her body more intimately from one night of passion than Riley
would ever know from a thousand.

"I don't..." she started, inching across the couch, "I don't know what to
do. How can I be sure you won't leave again?"

"I won't," he said, "If you're still willing to give up the sunlight, then
I'll stay until you want it again."

"I don't care about the sunlight. I never did."

Buffy watched the smiled crawl over his body and she mirrored the movement,
shuffling herself across the couch and into his arms. Meeting his lips, she
knew she didn't care about the curse or children or the sunlight she never
saw anyway. Angel was home.


//And I would be the one to hold you tight, kiss you so hard, I'll take your
breath away, and after I wipe away the tears, just close your eyes dear. //

Riley hurried back to The Bronze in the hopes that Buffy had stuck around.
They quickly bagged the HST that was spotted near campus and his night was
free once more. He couldn't wait to get back in her arms. He caught a
glimpse of her walking out of the front door of the club and quickened his
gait only to halt a few steps after. Connected to her arm was a large dark
haired man.

He watched in awed silence and frozen as she turned to look at him in a way
that he couldn't identify. It almost looked like...despair or helplessness.
There was a short interchange of words and then the man lowered his head and
passionately took over the mouth of his girlfriend. One of her hands rested
on his broad chest and the other threaded his hair, almost clinging to him.
The man was the one who broke the kiss and looked down at her, intensely
taking over her complete attention.

Riley watched from his spot, unmoving, unable to move. The man raised his
hand to her face and brushed away...was she crying? She melted against him
as he kissed her again, spoke briefly and walked away. She went off in the
opposite direction.

Riley looked from one to the other and back again. He followed the man.


//some people they call me monster, some people they call me saint
my talent feeds my darker side//

Angel strolled towards the mansion. Buffy would check in with Giles and
Willow and then meet him there. He moved along, feeling the promise of
happiness rise up inside of him. Soon he would be able to make love to her
again. Then he knew everything would click into place. He would understand
how he should proceed, what he should do about his affairs in LA and how to
keep Buffy safe from the darkness that threatened her. With his new found
glimpse into the future from his vision, he knew at least parts of what was
coming to threaten her. He had an advantage to saving her from the darkness
that meant to envelope her.

Lost in his thoughts, he nearly collided with Spike. Angel felt the growl
rumble through his chest at the sight of his Grande Childe but he couldn't
hear the sound emitted over the raging inside his head. But Spike did...and
so did Riley from his vantage point in the bushes. The only thing Angel
heard was the screaming of Buffy's voice bouncing inside his head, her pants
of passion at Spike's claiming of her. He felt his face slip to his less
friendly side and the ridges on his face rose with his hackles as he looked
upon his Grande Childe.

"Spike," he said, almost spitting out his name. Spike smiled casually
through his already elongated fangs, as he took a swig of the bottle of
blood in his right hand.

"Well, well," Spike said after his swallow, "What are you doing back in
Sunnyhell, Peaches?"

Angel didn't answer his question. All he could see was remnants of his
vision, Spike's hands on her body, moving inside his mate. He growled again,
grasping for the reason he knew he should embrace.

"Hey, mate," Spike said, backing up a step, "I know your panties are all in
a bunch over the torture thing, but you understand...it wasn't personal.
Just wanted my ring is all."

Angel looked at his Childe's almost concerned face and almost started to
laugh as the realization hit him. This Spike hadn't made love to Buffy yet
and now he could stop it from ever happening. Finally, he did laugh and
allowed his face to move back to his human form.

"Guess you're still not playing with a full sack," Spike said, moving away
further and looking over the hysterics that had taken over his Grande Sire.

"Damn Spike," Angel said, "You're funny."

"Yeah, I'm a bloody riot."

"Do yourself a favor," Angel said, his face growing serious again, not to
mention dangerous as he glared at the blonde vampire, "Stay away from

"No worries mate," Spike said, shaking his head, "I got the chip now. Can't
even hit the little bint."

"If I find you anywhere near her, you will be a pile of dust at my feet, got

"Yeah, whatever," Spike said, pretending nonchalance, turning away and
walking towards his crypt. Something was up with the Poof, that was for
certain. He was fairly sure he didn't want to know what it was.


//scratching at the bottom for another clue//

Riley was thinking much the same thing - something was definitely up. Except
he *did* want to know what it was. First of all the dark haired man knew
Hostile 17. That was the first strike against him. Befriending demons was
not on the top of the acceptable list in Riley's book, especially for
someone who just finished snuggling up to his girl.

Riley found himself leaning forward to try and hear the interaction between
the two, even as he crouched in the bushes. They didn't seem to like each
other much. He watched closely and even crept forward a foot or two. He was
straining so intently on the low voices that when a loud feral growl erupted
from the dark haired man, Riley nearly fell over in the bushes. He moved to
find a better vantage point, so he could see their faces instead of Angel's
broad back.

Making his way slowly, so he didn't alert them of his presence, he nearly
gave himself away with a gasp at seeing Angel's golden eyes, protruding
fangs and ridged face. That fiend had been kissing Buffy and she had looked
at him like she was in love. She had to know he was a vampire. She was The
Slayer after all. But she wouldn't have kissed him if she had known what he
was, right?

Riley watched as Hostile 17 backed away from the dark haired vampire,
intimidated. The other vamp kept walking and Riley moved to follow. He
followed as closely as he could without being detected, to an old abandoned
mansion on Crawford Street. Riley paused outside the doors, checked his
weapons, took a deep breath and went inside.


//i don't want to wonder if this is a blunder
i don't want to worry whether we're gonna stay together ‘till we die
i want to love you madly, i want to love you now
i want to love you madly, way i want to love you, love you
love you madly//

Buffy crept into the mansion and felt a cold chill cover her body. The chill
transformed into fear and fear into desperation as she made her way inside.
What if he wasn't there? What if he changed his mind? What if she almost had
him and then he left again?

She took a brave little step and that step was followed by another until she
found herself staring into the warm blaze of the fireplace. She stood in
front of it, soaking up its heat. If the fire was here, then Angel was. Is
that the way it always worked?

She turned and found him leaning against the wall, taking her in his deep
brown eyes. Strange to be a being so beautiful, so full of happiness and
sorrow all at once. She waited for him to come to her and she stood with her
back to the fire, watching her lover lurking in the shadows. Finally, he
stepped forward and crossed the room in a wide, urgent gait. He pulled her
into his arms and crushed her to his dead chest, mesmerized by the pounding
her heart against him.

He released her after several long minutes and looked into the eyes of the
woman he loved. She was there with all her fire, all her doubt, all her
trust, all her feeling. She was covered in raw intensity and just the waves
of perfect emotion that peeled off her skin caused enough joy to last him
for months without it. He soaked up the energy, rendering it from her skin,
licking it away with his eyes. He fumbled inside his head for words to
explain the unexplainable. All he could think of was that there was nothing
dead about this girl.

There was nothing dead about her.

"Angel," she whispered, lost in the deep, brooding eyes of her demon lover.
She always said his name that way, as if all that ever needed to be said was
buried in that one desperate word. His name on her lips was the embodiment
of all that needed to be said. He said her name, understanding that the
genesis and exodus of what they were was somehow just as wrapped in their
names as their fealty.

He bent and touched her lips with his, searing them with his own, plunging
deeply into her mouth, laying claim on what should have always been his. He
pulled her in tightly, too involved in the moment to wonder if he was
hurting his pliable warrior lover. He explored her mouth with urgency,
crushing his fingers into her narrow back, feeling her dig into him, clawing
for a better hold. They rammed proverbial horns, toping each other's urgency
with more from the other, battling for dominance.

Buffy, the stronger of the two, pushed Angel's large form to the hard marble
floor, attempting to overpower him with her slight weight. Her blonde
tresses cascaded over the sides of her face and created a tunnel of
fragrance as she pulled away and looked into his eyes. His chest heaved with
unnecessary breath, moving her in shallow waves over his chest.

"You'll stay this time," she said. A statement. A command. An order.

"Yes," he answered. A promise. A vow. A threat.

Grinding her hips into his arousal, she looked down at her hands, spread
over his broad chest, "You're mine. Forever."

"Yes," he repeated, arching into the heat that radiated against his strained
erection. He looked up into her determined, defiant flashing green eyes. He
waited as her tense body, unmoving, stayed perched above his, letting her
claim on her mate sink slowly in. She drank him in, the smell of him, the
hazy arousal in his eyes, the feel of his large hands on her tiny hips. He
squeezed her hips and pushed her down harder on his arousal, signifying his
need. She didn't move but the arousal dripping inside her was screaming for
him to sate her. His nostrils flared as he inhaled her arousal and his mind
shut down at the memory of the honey waiting for him there.

He waited with the patience of his eternal years for her to make the move to
make love to him but she was lost in his eyes, unable to move, unable to
think. Tears filled her angry eyes as she let the memories of his loss wash
over her. Her muscles held so tightly against him, her knees crushing into
his hips, her hands nearly cracking his sternum with the pressure she
applied and her whole body began to violently tremble. Time of loss and
emotions too great to express fought inside her mind as she looked at her
lover. She knew that if made love to him again, she would not be able to
walk away again. She knew that she could not lose the love of her life
twice. She was trapped in the balance between anger and awakening heat, so
she stayed in her violated anger, bruising him with her pain.

"Buffy," he groaned in pleasure and pain as she bore down on him. She didn't
move and her expression didn't change. He waited a moment more, wondering if
the stamina of The Slayer could outlast his threshold for patience and pain.
He deserved any torture she could imagine. He knew it so he pulled her hips
in tighter against him, crunching his fingers into her curves, showing his
participation in the emotion.

"Buffy," he repeated as tears escaped and fled down her flushed cheeks, "I
love you. I'm staying."

She tightened against him and he was almost certain he heard his pelvis
crack from the force of her claim on him. Her hands curled against his
chest, her fingers full of cold muscle. Her mouth finally opened and through
gritted teeth she swore, "If you leave me again. I will kill you..."

Before she finished her sentence, as the word "you" was making its wandering
way past her lips, he flipped her and she landed dully against the cold,
hard floor. With swiftly executed movements, he ripped her expensive leather
pants from her hot core, leaving her dripping opening for him to enter,
which he did without hesitation. Another step in the claiming of a mate, he
slammed his throbbing cock into her, while simultaneously ripping her halter
away, leaving the small bit of material a shattered memory on the floor
across the room. His hands found her warm, round breasts from memory,
pinching her erect nipples harshly as he moved against her.

Finding the rhythm of his movements and moving to the carnal base of his
convictions, her petite hands wrenched his shirt from his chest. She smiled
at the pitch of the cloth shreding away, just as her trepidation collapsed
into small fragments in his arms. Wrapping her legs tightly around his
waist, she fell into the motion, rising to meet him, losing herself in her

She panted as his dexterous fingers found her inflamed clit. She culminated
in seconds from the urgent movements of his fingers. He watched with
pleasure as her breasts rose and fell with her release, her inner muscles
convulsing around him.

He moved closer to her, his chest gliding softly against hers, creating
unearthy friction between their twisted bodies. His mouth found his mark on
her and he sucked gently at first, then harder, his blunt teeth gnawing at
the scar tissue, reminding her of his stake on her. She moved against him
with greater urgency, even more aroused by his cold sucking lips on her
neck. She felt as if she were breathing fire as she sank her teeth into his
neck, tearing at his flesh violently.

He felt his features moving and reforming into the demon he hid inside him.
He moved away from her neck, pulling her away from his at the same him,
turning his head away from her, hiding his golden eyes from her gaze. He
couldn't stop himself from moving inside her however, melting from the
intensity of her heat, he burrowed himself inside her harder and harder. She
reached up and intertwined her fingers in his thick hair and pulled him with
libidinous brutality to her neck.

//your naked body shimmers in the night. dancing and chanting in a
sacrificial rite.//

"Buffy," he groaned, her name erupting from his lips in savage roar.

"Take it, Angel," she growled back, pivoting her hips against him as she
forced his sharp fangs closer to her scar.

"No," he said, struggling away, the word savage and raw.

"Yes," she said, twirling them, moving on top, smashing him brutally to the
floor in the process, his skin making a stinging slap as it hit the floor.
She flipped her hair to the side and pressed her neck to his mouth, "Drink."

Defeated, he bit in and came with the ecstasy of the first drop of her
powerful blood touching his skin. She too found her release in the finality
of the claiming and screamed his name.

The last straw of sanity left inside Riley Finn snapped with the sight of
the vampire sinking into her neck and the sound of her orgasmic scream. He
yanked the stun gun from his belt and rushed the lovers, mixing a strong
electric volt in with the aftershock of their joining.


//reluctantly crouched at the starting line//

Angel pried his eyes open and saw nothing but whiteness. He sat up urgently
and looked around his cell. He was clothed except for his bare chest and he
remembered that Buffy had ripped his shirt away. He placed both palms
against the glass, attempting to get a bead on his captors and a high
voltage shock traveled through his body. He took a step back and tried to
shake the daze from his head.

"You're awake," a voice said and Angel looked up to meet the glare of his
beloved's beau.

"Where's Buffy?" Angel asked in response to Riley's statement.

"In containment."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean? You have her locked in a cell

"Yes," he answered, his blue eyes made of ice, "She has to be quarantined
until we're assured that you did not turn her."

"What?!" Angel shouted, unable to believe his ears, "*Of course* I didn't
turn her."

"She bit you," he said simply. Angel groaned audibly. Amateur.

"She didn't feed off me," Angel said, trying to remain calm.

"That remains to be seen," Riley said.

"Let her go," Angel commanded, keeping his anger in check.

"I'm sorry, but you're not in a position to be giving orders."

"You're lucky I'm not," Angel growled, "I want to see her."

"That's not possible," Riley said simply, "I don't think I'll ever let you
see her again."

"This isn't about quarantine," Angel retorted, "This is about jealousy."

"I'm not jealous of you, vampire," Riley said, turning away, "Your control
over her is not real emotion and we both know it. She'll come around when
she's been separated from you for a little while."


//i can't believe it's true. i can't believe that you don't want me anymore.
you're with him, and you don't even know that I've been dying all day

"Let me out of here," Buffy said, her words daggers slicing through his

"You're being quarantined until we can ascertain whether or not the vampire
turned you," Riley said, trying to keep his voice even and impartial.

"Riley," Buffy said, anger coursing through each syllable, "He didn't turn
me. I didn't feed off him, now let me out of here."

"I'm sorry," he stated in a cold military manner, "It's against regulation."

"What did you do with Angel?"

"He's in a containment cell."

"What are you going to do with him?"

"Well, as of right now, attempts to drug him have failed. Our doctors are
waiting to implant a chip but if they are unable to do that, then he'll be

"No!" Buffy screamed, pressing against the electrified glass. She stepped
back from the shock and then stepped back in.

"Take me to him," Buffy said softly.

"No," he answered. She touched the glass again and felt the shockwaves of
pain crunch inside her. She held herself against the voltage until Riley was
screaming for her to step away.

"Take me to him," she said through chattering teeth.

"Buffy, it's going to kill you!"

//she's got a serrated edge//

"Then let me out," she screamed in a stutter. Riley stood frozen as her
beautiful limbs shook violently from the voltage. In a panic, he slid his
card through the panel and pressed the button for the glass to slide away.
Buffy fell forward into the hall and landed face first on the white tile.
Riley rushed to her side and pulled her to her feet, unnerved by the
unnaturally warm feel of her skin.

Still twitching, Buffy slammed the heel of her hand into Riley's throat,
knocking him back gasping. She yanked his badge from him and ran, shouting
Angel's name.

"Buffy!" Angel answered in the opposite direction and Buffy pivoted, running
toward the sound of his voice.


//i had a match, but she had a lighter. i had a flame, but she had a fire. i
was bright, but she was much brighter. i was high, but she was the sky, oh,
baby, i was bound//

Angel was making everyone dizzy with his pacing. Giles, Willow, Xander and
Anya sat in the long row of multicolored chairs watching the vampire wear
away the tiles on the hospital floor.

"What's taking so long?" Angel muttered, his frustration not missed by the

"Well, they have to do tests," Willow offered weakly, "...and stuff."

"Can't they just come out and tell us that's she's okay?" Angel offered,
stopping for a second in his course to look over at the befuddled friends of
The Slayer.

"Well, generally speaking-" Giles began but stopped his sentence when Riley
entered the hall.

"What are you doing here?" Angel growled, looking over the boy.

"Checking in on my girlfriend," Riley said. His voice was hoarse and a large
black bruise was forming on his neck from Buffy's attack.

"She's not yours," Angel said, taking a step toward the blonde soldier.

"Riley," Giles said, standing and clearing his throat, "Perhaps you ought to
wait at home. I will have Buffy contact you when she is cognizant."

"I'm not leaving," he said, digging his heels in, "Not while that vampire is
here. He leaves."

"Okay," Xander said, joining Giles' side, "Not that I want to take Dead
Boy's side or anything, but we trust him *a little* more than we trust
you...God, I can't believe I just admitted that."

"You trust *him* - that *bloodsucker* more than me?" Riley shouted in

"Do try to quiet down Riley," Giles said in his most fatherly voice,
sneaking a glance at Angel who stood rigid but looked fairly calm, "We are
in a hospital and we don't wish to cause...a disturbance."

"Not all demons are evil," Anya said, standing and then abruptly reseating

"Angel's good," Willow added, "He has a soul."

"A soul?" Riley asked, his brow ruffled in confusion.

"Excuse me," the resident physician said, stepping in the hall, double doors
swinging behind him.

"Yes," Giles said, stepping forward.

"Are you a relative of Buffy Summers?"

"Um...yes," Giles stated hesitantly, "Her mother is on a business trip. I am

Giles tried to appear forthright and stately, which he always did. He was
mostly telling the truth anyway. Her mother was in fact on a business trip,
buying art for the gallery and he was a guardian, of sorts, for The Slayer.

"I would like to speak to you in private then Mr..."

"Giles," he said extending his hand, "Ruppert Giles."

The doctor ushered Giles into the next hallway and spoke softly, seeing the
tall, dark haired man inch closer, straining to eavesdrop on the

"Mr. Giles," the doctor said, "Buffy Summers is a very lucky girl. She
should have suffered much greater harm from such a high electrical shock."

"She's okay, then?"

"Yes," the doctor said softly, "the girl and her child appear to be in
perfect health."



//i need your arms around me, i need to feel your touch,
i need your understanding, i need your love, so much//

Giles came out with his face masked in confusion. Buffy was pregnant? The
whole crew was standing in wait, anxious to hear Buffy's prognosis. He
looked from Angel to Riley and back again, unsure of how to proceed.

"Well?" Xander said, after they all milked the silence long enough, "Is she
okay or not?"

"Y-yes," Giles said, "I'm going in to see her now. The doctor says that she
will be just fine. I just wanted to inform you before I went in to see her."

Angel took a step forward and started to speak but Giles turned quickly on
his heel toward Buffy's room. He couldn't allow Angel to ask any questions.

"Buffy," Giles said, as Buffy's eyes fluttered open.

"Giles," she said, moaning, "I got Angel out, right? He's okay?"

"Yes," Giles answered with a smile, "He's outside in the hall waiting to see

"What's wrong Giles? You have something-else-is-wrong face."

"The doctor said that you're...you're pregnant Buffy."

"What?" she said, coming fully alert and sitting up in bed.

"You're two months pregnant."

"But I don't understand."

"What is there to understand? You're with child," Giles said, looking at her

"Giles," she said with a sigh, "Not that I want to discuss my sex life with
you but I haven't slept with Riley. The only other person I've slept with
besides Angel was Parker and that was way over two months ago."

"When did you sleep with Angel?" Giles asked, squirming uncomfortably in his
chair, "And what about the curse?"

"We had sex tonight for the first time since he lost his soul," Buffy
answered, "And there isn't a curse anymore courtesy of The Powers That
Be...I think I need to talk to Angel."


//there's no single explanation, there's no central destination//

"Hell no," Riley shouted, "That vampire is not going into Buffy's room

"Buffy requested to see Angel alone," Giles answered.

"I don't care," Riley said, looking like a child about to stomp his foot in
protest. Angel pivoted and headed for Buffy's room unwilling to participate
in the argument. He heard Riley's footsteps falling in behind him but he
continued toward her room.

"Hey baby," he whispered as he sat on the edge of her bed and pulled her
into his arms. He ignored Riley's presence at the doorway, waiting to

"Angel," she said, her eyes full of unfallen tears.

"What's wrong?"

"I-I'm pregnant," she said, choking her words out as her tears began to
fall. Riley stood rigid against the door frame as Angel's gaze snapped to
him and back to Buffy.

"Oh God," he whispered. There's no way it could be his. They had just had
sex. The thought that her child wasn't Conor tore at his permanent soul.

"Angel..." she said, gripping his coat, "It doesn't make any sense."

"What do you mean?" He asked, controlling his overwhelming urge to kill the
blonde military boy who was undoubtably the father of her child.

"I never slept with Riley, Angel," she said, "I haven't slept with anyone
since Parker."

Angel stared at her in confusion. Parker must have been the jerk who hurt
her when Spike came to LA. That was months ago. The only person she had sex
with was...him. Light dawned in his eyes and a slow smile crossed his face.
The Day That Wasn't.

"What?" Buffy asked, looking into his smile, "What?"

"It's mine," he answered, his smile dipping into a grin.



//i'm waiting for these memories to begin//

The story was long and winding. The Day That Wasn't, the years that weren't.
Angel carefully picked through the memories and the staggering visions,
choosing carefully what he shared with her. He tried to be brief but for a
taciturn vampire, he found details he had wanted to keep hidden pouring out
of his mouth.

Buffy watched as her lover struggled to share his feelings in ways he had
never done before and was crucified in his pain. His grisly description of
her death years in the future was almost more than she could bare. Not
because she died but because the pain that precipitated out of him was
tangible in its cruelty. She found herself curling into his lap, pressing
against him and reminding him of her vivid life.

"Shhh," she whispered, "It's okay. I'm alive." She pulled his hand to her
stomach and reminded him of the life growing inside her.

Conor, she thought smiling. Angel's son. Her son. Their gift from The
Powers. She kissed Angel gently and cuddled against him. Such a greater gift
than death.

//now today is tomorrow and tomorrow today and yesterday is weaving in and

The End